Saturday 28 January 2017

Snotling Pump Wagon

I had a bit of luck a few days ago, I located the missing handcrack from this model among a collection of Warhammer bric-a-brac. Truth be told, I was concerned that I had lost it during the move as this was the last model I worked on at my previous residence. 

With the missing piece in my possession, I spent the odd minute here and there this week finishing off the piece. This time was mostly spent touching up the painting on the snotlings (using this colour recipe) and sticking the tiny models onto the surface of the pump wagon. The finished result, I am sure you will agree, is great fun and easily ranks this model as amongst Warhammer's craziest moments. 

Painting wood has always been one of those bugbears all painters have for me. The finished result being either too artificial looking, or too washed out. It took me a while, and plenty of washes, to get a look I was happy with here and I think the completed effect suggests manky, half-rotten wood quite well. Just the sort of stuff snotlings would no doubt build with. 

This is, of course, the single story version. I have had be eye out for the more substantial two decker of this model for sometime but I have yet to be successful in acquiring one for a decent price. 

All in all, an iconic 'must have' Warhammer model painted, based and now part of my collection.

Sunday 22 January 2017

McDeath: The Original Raybees? or The Crossroads Connection?

There are many links to popular culture hidden away in the most unusual of places, and '80s Warhammer is no different. And it seems to me too easy in this day and age for new connections to be created - as people share information online without checking on its accuracy before hand. Some say that we are living in a 'post truth' world, and that the spreading of this information is a merely a symptom of that age. I disagree. My academic life concentrated on the study of pre and ancient history, and as any historian will tell you; 'truth' is a subjective force. One man's evil can be another's good after all. 

Fact on the other hand is often indisputable. It makes me laugh how many people list Ratter as being part of the McDeath set on eBay now, after I included it in my project. There were never any figures released for Glen Woe and my inclusion of the little dog was purely whimsical. But 'facts' have a funny way of going awry online, don't they? 

What I propose today is not fact. It is conjecture. As you will have seen I have painted up a little halfling. I gave myself an hour yesterday to paint him (basing excluded) and I really enjoyed working to time and the result isn't too bad if you squint a bit. Now this little chap has a bit of a mysterious heritage, having a surprisingly similar look to the original Raybees in the McDeath cardstock counters. 

Take a look. 

See the short sword and bobble-hat?

As you can see below, the unpainted and shield lacking model bears a striking similarity to our friend, the card Raybees. This figure was released with the moniker (probably supplied by Tim Pollard) of Benni Bottomdown and this name, along with the distinctive hat has had many a collector wondering about the figure's place in popular culture. Two of these esteemed colleagues are Jason Fulford and Leadhead, both of whom have suggested to me that this figure, and his curious name, are a play on the once highly popular (if incredibly low in production values) soap opera, Crossroads. 

To those of you not in the know about vintage British television series, Crossroads ran from 1964 through to 1988, with a brief return in the early 2000s. One of its more enduring characters was the hapless Benny, a rather inept handyman who pottered around the Crossroads Motel acting often in light relief. As you can see in the picture below, the character spotted a rather distinctive woolly hat too!

So iconic was the character, that poor old Paul Henry (the actor who portrayed him) was eternally typecast and has been seen less than Lord Lucan since the show ended. Though memorials to that era have adorned many a item, as illustrated here with this rather fetching t-shirt. 

Well, if it is good enough for cotton it is good enough for Realm of Chaos 80s. If you look, you can see that I copied the white shirt/blue dungaree look that Benny often sported (at least in my memories) and used it as my colour scheme. Obviously, the bobble hat had to be blue too! Somewhere in my collection I have another version of this model, or at least I did, one day I shall find him and paint a second model in splendid tribute to the rather yellow cardstock fellow. 

Until then, when can all ponder on the chances of Warhammer's Benni having anything to do with the Benny of Crossroads. I like to think that they do. 


Saturday 21 January 2017

McDeath: Markul Grimmock

Another weekend, another opportunity to get back into the swing of things. Actually, I am fibbing a little here, as some of this model was started in the week but I managed to complete the model this morning. Having painted oodles of barbarian types over the years (and rather enjoying the theme) this C22 giant just painted itself and was a joy from beginning to end. I guess I must have spent four hours working on him once the basecolours were painted and shaded in ink. 

Of course, this model represents Een McWrecker's giant repairman in-game and is involved in the action at Dungal Hill - the fourth of the McDeath scenarios. The model was a particular bugger to get hold of as I was repeatedly outbid every time the model came up for auction. I now lack just Sandra Prangle though I do have the 'Renate' version of the sculpt, which is very similar. 

Eagle-eyed readers will no doubt have noticed the McDeath Toll House lurking in the background. At this present moment in time I just have this single model, and will need to source (or scratch build) a second one in the future. Though playing any further scenarios for McDeath is still a long way off at the rate I work, so no need to panic just yet.

Curiously, many previous gamers have chosen to mount this giant's weapon in the raised left hand. When searching for inspiration online I found several examples of the detachable weapon being placed in this way, which quite frankly made the model look rather ridiculous with its empty gripping right fist. Looking at my completed model, I like to imagine that Markul is rather proud of his ginger locks and is reaching to twiddle his golden baubles as he contemplates which stuntie he'll squish next. 

Right, off to paint once more. I have a second McDeath model on the workstation and I have challenged myself to paint him in one hour. So expect to hear from me again soon. 


Friday 20 January 2017

A Thank You from Kevin 'Goblinmaster' Adams

This blog's author with Kevin. A top bloke! 
Kevin Adams contacted me this week with some very sad news. I will had over to the Goblinmaster to explain what has happened and why the Oldhammer Community is involved, albeit in a very small (but positive) way. 

KA: My Mother passed away just before Christmas due to cancer and I've donated the money from Oldhammer to the trust that looked after her in her last few weeks.

Please spread the word so everybody is aware their money has gone to a good cause. The amount was £125 but with tax credits its £156 .25

As many of you will know, Kev has worked tirelessly at two Oldhammer Weekends to sculpt faces onto all manner of models. Some of you will even be lucky enough to have such a model in their collection. 

Glad to see Oldhammer isn't just lead and paint, but it is also heart! (;


Sunday 15 January 2017

Colleges of Colour Magic: Celestial Wizard

It's been a long time since I posted anything here, and longer still since paint met brush at my work station. My absence from anything Oldhammer, beyond a few minor admin duties online, has been far too long and has been caused by illness. At least I now know what is up, having previously been told I was suffering from a hernia, and I am waiting my date to go under the knife. I have found sitting, even for a short time, quite uncomfortable and concentrating on painting intricate Citadel miniatures to an acceptable result, impossible! 

In the interim I have taken up cooking. I have learnt how to make a roux, butterfly chicken and use a plethora of new spices. My wife and I have never eaten better! Miniature modelling and cooking have much in common - selecting colours, fine knifework and success through careful preparation and planning just three. Still, its hard seeing others base out quality figures while you stand idle. 

However, having implemented several lifestyle changes since my diagnosis, the discomfort of sitting down has decreased and I decided to have a go at knocking out a miniature this morning. I set myself a limit of two hours painting time, with plenty of getting up and pacing about and the Arabian wizard you see before you is the result! 

I am very pleased with him, having thought that my skills would have gone soft. He is of course one of the Citadel/Foundry 'Time Warped Wizards' that were released last summer at Oldhammer IV, and which have since become part of the Warmonger range. He has all the trappings of a celestial wizard; telescope, pince-nez and astronomical symbols on his attire. 

According to the Collages of magic article I am using as inspiration for this project, celestial wizards are rather ostentatious in dress, flamboyant in speech and delicate in general disposition. In most cases, this manifests itself in grace and fine manners. The popular view of the college across the Old World is slightly different with celestials being portrayed as overdressed fools who spend a fortune on fine foods, majestic wines and finely wrought artwork - they sound uncomfortably like the author of this blog!!

Whatever their personality type, celestial wizards are rarely seen during the day as they are said to dislike bright lights. Being obsessed with the heavens means that celestial wizards are in high demand for horoscopes and are said to be able to determine astral events with absolute accuracy.

So plenty of background material for games!