Sunday 31 May 2015

The Oldhammer Weekend 2015: Wayne England's generosity, 'Warhammer Celebs' and Painting Compeititions

I had a very exciting email today from Diane Ansell from Wargames Foundry. It detailed the ongoing efforts to organise this year's Oldhammer Weekend and there are some snippets of news that followers of this blog, and Old School Oldhammer enthusiasts, will no doubt want to read about. 

Our man in the sun (well, Salisbury) Garth James - from Warhammer for Adults fame - has been busy organising the timetable for the wargames tables over the weekend. And here they are, subject to change of course. Reading through the timetables will give you some idea about what you will see going on over the weekend. 

Saturday's Timetable
Sunday's Timetable
Tony Ackland, the visionary artist behind the look of the '80s Warhammer world, will (health permitting) be attending and hopes to be displaying some of his artwork for closer inspection. Wayne England, another artist from GW's past, will be sketching during the day, as well as exhibiting his artwork (and hopefully his famous dwarf army) and selling his limited edition T-Shirt designs. Tony Yates hopes to return to the event and there are whispers that the Goblinmaster will once again delight us all with his wild Warmonger sculpts. If he can get there, Tony Hough will be selling more of his original GW art so bring lots of cash. Rumours also abound that HRH Rick Priestley may be making a spontaneous but no doubt dramatic appearance at some point too. 

Bryan Ansell's enormous collection (well some of it) of painted miniatures will line the viewing cabinets as in previous years and really need to be seen to be believed. Talking of painted miniatures, The Foundry hope to run a similar painting competition to last year - and further details of this will be published as they are ironed out. I had the rather challenging job of judging with Kev and Rob last year and it wasn't easy at all! 

Oldhammer or Oldhommer? 
Wayne England has also kindly donated a few pieces of art to the Oldhammer Community. Not the physical pieces mind, just some lovely scans and we have free reign to do what we like with them. As you can see above, Stephen Dobson has rather quickly put together this banner for the Facebook group and has done a remarkable job in no time at all. Feel free to use this banner on you own blogs, groups or forums if you wish. It isn't exclusive. 

The second image Wayne gave us (thanks again Wayne) has been used by Robert Grayston to create a nifty banner for this year's Oldhammer Weekend. Again, feel free to use it on your own webspace and help promote the event. 

If you are interested in doing your own versions of these banners, I have included the original images below. I would love to see what other skilled graphic designers can come up with. 

The hammer holding competition was going well..

If you hadn't already seen it, here is a look at this year's event miniature, very kindly put together by our American cousins and shipped over here. These are limited to the first 80 odd people who register on the website. And at the time of writing only 40 odd people have, so there is still time to get your hands on one. Actually, while I am writing this PLEASE follow the link and register even if you plan to turn up for an hour or so. It will help our hosts no end. 

While we are on the subject of the Oldhammer miniature - last time I wrote about it I did a dis-service to the people behind it: namely Thomas Grove and Darrin Stephens so do yourselves a favour and follow these links to their blogs and support the wider community. 

Here are all the important links you will need to keep up to date with the event. Everything and everything is subject to change of course. Tzeentch wouldn't have it any other way...

Saturday 16 May 2015

The Albion Adventures: Oldhammer at the Wargames Foundry Photo Report

I had the good fortune to spend most of today (16th May 2015) at the Wargames Foundry, in the very good company of some fine Oldhammering fellows. Now the purpose of this post is not to give an in depth account of the excellent game of Third Edition we played, I shall leave that to those far better equipped to do the job, but should instead be seen as a photo report of the day.

However, before we begin it is important to thank all of those responsible for the event. Namely Paul Mitchell (for devising the scenario and running the game) and Bryan and Marcus Ansell, who kept us supplied with tea, coffee, cakes, crisps, sandwiches and a treasure trove of classic Citadel figures all day.

A mighty thank you is deserved! So THANK YOU. 

Paul's scenario had us returning to the politically infused land of Albion. This time it was all about democracy, with an amusing and fast moving game all about the need to escort voters to a polling booth. The puns flew so thick and fast that you had to duck. Here you can see the initial set up for the game - we were allowed to be bribed by potential candidates. Magic items can really tempt a man!
Another shot of the early stages of the game. As I remarked to my fellow enthusiasts - I really enjoy seeing lots of different painted miniatures on the table, especially when their paint jobs vary widely in style. Can you spot my nicely painted Lady McDeath?
My dragon turtle got a chance to chomp on a few unwary adventurers. Steve Casey's nicely painted barbarians can be seen emerging from the river on the left. 
The scenario saw us protecting voters on the way to the polling booth. Things didn't quite go to plan for this group of halflings as Spot the dog advances on them!
Some of Nik Dixon's elves tackle a large monster after crossing the rather rickety bridge. 
Richard Irvine positions his warband deep within the murky waters. He had brought with him a rather nice unit of dwarf miners and sappers. Long term readers may recognise this large table as the one we used for the Warbands game back in 2013. 
Living legend Bryan Ansell arrived after a few heated hours of gaming with a box of treasures to share with us. He had, among other things, all the latest pieces off Kev Adams' workbench. 
A here is a closer shot of Kev's genius. What can you see?
Here is a much better shot of the 'Warmonger' character model from the packaging material from the same range. He has a rather silly name that no one could remember. 
Bryan also brought in many of the beastmen models from his iconic Warhammer Armies force. Sadly, the Golden Demon sleeveless t-shirt was nowhere in sight. There was a rather fetching tea towel though. 
One of the first things we spotted on the tea towel was this converted ostrich man on horseback. The rider is of course Citadel, though the mount is by some unknown American manufacturer from the 1970s. Any guesses?
A Warmonger Orc Witch. My favourite new model from Kev Adams. I must remember to pester the Foundry to get this cast up ASAP. 
I am not sure what this actually is beyond the fact that its a WIP. 
This is an interesting gem. A 1974 Tony Ackland sculpt of a dinosaur that is finally going to see production. 
A distinct lack of Blu-Tak confounded Bryan's plans to display all of the greens for our viewing pleasure. 
Check out the detail on this Warmonger musician!
Once we had finished oggling the greens, we moved on to the box of classic minis in earnest. I took the opportunity to take some closer snaps of a number of these models, many of which pre-date Warhammer. 
Lots of different beastmen from Bryan's chaos army. These are so old that they seem strangely new - they are just so different to anything available today. Horseman, who was later produced as a slotta, can be seen third from right. 
The weird and the wonderful and the famous and infamous. The model on the left was converted by Bryan and painted by John Blanche. 
I am not sure about all of these miniatures, but the model on the far left is a 1987 beastman and the model on the far right is a Citadel chaos goblin. 
Ahh, back to my first love: Realm of Chaos era stuff. This model was one of the independent daemons in The Lost and the Damned. 
A nasty insect/man conversion. 
Anyone got any ideas about this one?
I am pretty sure that this model appears in several 1980s publications. Perhaps Heroes for Wargames? I was really exciting to handle this particular model as its been a favourite for decades. 
Twisted beastmen and broo. I love the way the brighter colours contrast with the greys of many of the models. 
Slugman (far right) and friends...
Here we have a work in progress two headed terrorbird with goblin rider. There is apparently a three headed version of this creature coming too....
Bryan was also keen to share some of his more recent concepts. Here we have an ogre with a face on his nose.
Concepts for the forthcoming Warmonger Beastmen range.
More beastmen concepts
Steve Casey noticed a similarity between these two models. It was certainly something we hadn't noticed before. Variant? Conversion?
As always, the Foundry display cabinets were full of classic Citadel gold. Here we can safely drool over some of the Judge Dredd range from the 1980s, as well as some Rogue Trooper pieces. 
The original Leman Russ with wolves, Rogue Trader adventurers (yes the ones from the original advert) and the space zoats. 
Rogue Trader scenery pieces and bits and bobs.
Classic Warhammer figures, many of which appeared in the Third Edition rulebook, Advanced Heroquest henchmen, Lords of Battle and so on. 

Monday 11 May 2015

REGISTRATION for Oldhammer Weekend 2015 has OPENED!

This year's Oldhammer miniature. Rock on! PS: Chico personally modelled for this miniature!

Good evening all...

Just a quick blog post to say that Garth, from Warhammer for Adults, has set up his usual online tracking/registration thingy and its gone live. If you are thinking of attending, please do register here...

Completing the form (which only takes a couple of seconds) will help the Wargames Foundry organise the weekend and ensure things run smoothly. After all, I am sure that you are not going to want to hear that they have run out of double strength super cider by Saturday evening. 

If you are interested in the details about the event (i.e. who is coming and what they are doing) you can have a look at this rather snazzy summary page. 


Sunday 10 May 2015

McDeath: Restoring Spot

I met the previous owner of this dog in the early afternoon a few weeks ago. At first, there wasn't anything immediate that set him out to be any different to all the other classic Citadel collectors I had met before. He had the beard, the wife and kids and, of course, the leadpile. 

It was at the first mention of his hoard that alarm bells started ringing. For instead of being lead to the atypical 'man-cave' style garage or shed, or their opposite - the immaculate storage unit with every figure bagged and catalogued - I was taken to a run down building to the rear of the property. 

The smell hit me first. The stench of dusty old boxes crammed full of GW plastics mouldering away, the odour of slightly damp magazines from the mid '90s and the overpowering tang of spray undercoat heavy in the air. As he pushed open the rickety door, I glanced within, my eyes catching in the semi-darkness piles of rusting cans of Citadel 'Compressed Air', the coiled remains of the old flamer style paint sprayer and boxes full of unopened copies of Dreadfleet. 

It was horrible. 

The former owner then directed me to a small steel box, within lay Spot - Lady McDeath's beloved hound. Only, when the terrible canine was brought forth he was in a truly pitiful condition. His tail was missing, great chunks had been hacked from his body and one of his paws had been broken off, I tried to hold back my emotions, and nearly lost control of them when I discovered the final shame inflicted on the poor creature - he had only gone and filed his teeth away!

Spot changed hands for the total price of £1. I was glad to get away from the terrible conditions he had been kept in for over twenty years and back to the loving safety of my Dettol jar. Twenty-four hours of stripping saw the filthy layers of 'paint' removed from the creature and the full extent of the damaged became apparent. Great holes and slashes stretched across the animal's body, with his flanks having been filed down rather badly. Apparently, this could be explained away as an attempt to 'convert' the model to hold a rider. 

The tail was present but broken from the body, as was the front right paw. These were pretty straight-forwards to reattach - thanks to a little pinning. Some careful greenstuffing filled the remaining gaps and helped smooth over the slashes and gouges on the beast's body. A cocktail stick helped create some appropriate detail in the putty to mask the terrible injuries inflicted. The same cocktail sticks were then whittled down to fine points and snipped off. Influenced by Pete Taylor of Old, I used the slithers of wood to construct a set of dentures for the hound and painstakingly fixed them in place with superglue. 

Once the greenstuff was dry, I took my inspiration for the colour scheme from the box art from the McDeath campaign book. Grey. I used plenty of glazes and layers of drybrushing to work the model up into a state fit for the table, though I wasn't totally satisfied with the result and I may tinker with him in the days to come. I gave him an additional drybrush with a lighter grey after these photos were taken in order to bring out the detail a little more. 

Still, after years of mistreatment, Spot is now happy in the company of his mistress. No doubt Lady McDeath will be settling him down tonight with a bowl of his favourite Orc innards after a thorough walk around the dungeons. Welcome home boy!

Saturday 9 May 2015

Lady McDeath

Lady McDeath - love the shoes!
There is something incredibly thrilling about winning truly rare miniatures online. Watching the clock, fearing the snipers and hoping against hope that your highest bid will be enough. Most of the time, its isn't enough and you find that other collectors have far deeper pockets than your own. But sometimes, the Citadel Gods smile upon you and success in an online auction sails your way.

Of course, until that model is safely in your hands its still potentially a stormy sea. Take Sandra Prangle for example, I have technically 'won' her in three online auctions, only to miss out on actually ever receiving her. Nothing dubious has happened to me directly mind, and I was always refunded... But the reasons put forwards for cancelling the transaction often left me feeling more than a little suspicious.

There were no difficulties with Lady McDeath mind you. She came as part of a joblot, and the other models from that lot will not doubt help claw back some of the cash it cost to capture her, for she is an expensive lady. But the chase was over shadowed by the catch, thankfully. 

When she arrived through my letter box, I eagerly tore away the brown paper and had my first good look at her. Up to that point, I didn't realise that she was holding a skull in her hand - and this has been an ongoing issue with some of the rare models I have acquired. The photographic material online is really rather lacking and you have to actually get hold of the figures before you get a true picture of what they look like. 

She was in beautiful condition. Unpainted, with a little flash here and there. And after about twenty minutes lovingly cleaning her up with a file, I based and undercoated her. As before, I used the token illustration from the McDeath boxset as a starting point on colour scheme, and also referred to the John Blanche booklet artwork on which she appears. 

I painted her exclusively with Foundry paints and loved every second. Despite the detail, she was a very simple paint up - with only the fine detail on the jewellery proving to be a challenge. 

Right, I better get her dog out of the Pet Rescue Centre now - for he needs considerably more work to get on the table than she, poor bugger!


My painted McDeath collection... so far...

Thursday 7 May 2015

McDeath: Fergus McEwman

The latest model in my McDeath project is old Fergus McEwman - Julia's champion and all round bruiser. Getting hold of him lead me to France (after an annoying internet cut at home caused me to miss out on a vital auction) but the little lead fella reached me in the end. This model was damaged on arrival and had obviously dropped from a great height or hit by a great weight at some time in it's past. A great deal of detail on the figure had being flattened being the result.

I am proud to say that the damage is in full show in the photograph above but I am quietly confident that none of you will be able to spot it. Careful filing and some careful painting was enough to cover up the damage with the minimum of fuss.

Using the Fergus token in my McDeath boxset for inspiration, I noted that this model is really just silver, yellow and flesh in terms of a colour scheme. Pretty much just a barbarian type if you look at the model out of context - he is after all also known as Hercule Throb from the Fighters Range. With this in mind, I used my tried and tested methods for painting barbarian types and the model just seemed to attract the paint from my pots perfectly.

I was keen to explore methods of painting metal on the rest of the model - with decent gold and steel techniques high on my personal set of painting targets. I was armed with a new triad of paints from Foundry and these really helped get the 'look' of gold I have been hoping to achieve for some time. The steel was also painted up using the appropriate Foundry paint triad and really made my life easier.

I cannot recommend those paints enough and I shall be investing in some more when I visit the Foundry in a few weeks.

For the first time in a long while I didn't use any drybrusing at all - preferring to use layering to capture the depth and texture of Fergus', ahem, garments and helmet crest. This was a fairly simple technique really, just a question of the base colour, ink wash and several layers of progressive highlights. I think the approach worked well and that depth and tone combine well on the model.

All in all, I was pleased to paint this little chap - especially considering that I think he was the first model I ever lifted painty brush to at a friend's house in 1987 - and get him based and on display on the Welsh Dresser. I am beginning to run out of obvious McDeath figures to paint up and its all rather sad. Still, I am not quite at the end of the collection yet and I do have the 'bigger' models to do too.

Keep your eyes peeled for more McDeath shortly.