Sunday, 30 July 2017

Oldhammer Weekend 2017: Overview

Hello and welcome to my annual overview of this year's premium Oldhammer Event held (as always) at the excellent facilites of the Ansell family's Wargames Foundry! I was damn well lucky to attend at all after recent events but thanks to my wonderful wife, Lisa "I've never been so glad to see you painting miniatures again" Taylor, transport was well and truly sorted as she drove me to the venue for much of the Saturday. 

She decided to book us into a hostel in the centre of Nottingham City for the Friday night so we wouldn't have to endure a long journey on the day, and we spent much of the previous afternoon exploring Nottingham Castle with our children - who were very pleased to learn all about Robin Hood! It also gave them the opportunity to visit their first Oldhammer Event, which captivated my son in particular (thanks to Mr. Curtis Fell, who graciously included him in the enormous Hellsreach game) and fascinated my daughter. They were both very excited to meet the famous Kevin Adams as he had sculpted small models of them several years ago, and anyone named Goblinmaster will be a person of considerable interest if you are under seven !


As with previous years there was a wonderful event figure, exclusive to the weekend, thanks to the endeavours of Jon Boyce and sculpted by John Pickford. She is based on a well known illustration originally appearing in Rogue Trader in 1987 and answers to Olivia when she isn't busting chops and decapitating perps. Thanks to James Holloway (who's photograph I shamelessly stole) you can have a closer look at the finished product below. There have been a number of Oldhammer event models over the years, and this one has to be my personal favourite (so far...) so a big thumbs up from old Orlygg to all involved. 


As in previous years I will now present a selection of the photographs I took of the event to help give you a flavour of the Saturday. Even though I was only there for the day, I must say that the atmosphere was absolutely fantastic and was easily the most relaxed and friendly it has ever been, and as you'll know if you have attended in the past, that really is saying something! It was also very pleasing to see such a range of games on show, from small Rogue Trader skirmishes to full scale fantasy battles! 


Kevin Adams set to work early with his now annual charity-sculpt-a-face drive and we were able to locate those Oldhammerers who hadn't managed to get their models completed last year. Here you can see Kev and Nick Harding just before work commenced on Nick's Dwarf Flame cannon figure. I managed to get the lowdown from Kev about his most recent work too. 


Kev had some challenging missions to complete during the day (he is there on Sunday too, if you are reading this in time and fancy popping down) with a highlight being this chaotic face on an old renegade body. 


There was a wonderful Dark Future gaming being played in the stableyard organised by Kilgore-Trout from the Oldhammer Forum. There were some wonderfully painted models on the table (more from them in a subsequent post) and the boys involved in the game were very enthusiastic about this classic car racing game. We talked about how adaptable many of the kits are and what a pain getting hold of the original figures is online. The need to remove the packet of crisps was deemed un-necessary as this was an Oldhammer Event and such items are now mandatory. 

A wonderfully run and presented game. Thank you to all involved in this! 


The majestically bearded and photographically well-endowed Richard Legg and co were running a lovely Rogue Trader skirmish during the Saturday morning, including some wonderful old Imperial Squat models that are not often spied at Oldhammer events, complete with bikes and a ramshakle flyer. Old school plastic genestealers were fielded in suitable quantities to delight and terrify the Oldhammerer in equal measure. 


My old gentleman compatriots of yore, Steve, Ash and Warlord Paul were running a 40k second edition skirmish also involving genestealers, including many of the more recent plastic releases. Ash had fielded an interesting assortment of human figs from practically everywhere while Steve was already listing his models on eBay (such is their fate when they fail him in battle) while the rather dapper looking Warlord Paul (think Sean Connery as Bond, only with a beard) unleashed his license to kill over their forces. 


As in years gone by, Wargames Foundry delighted the old school Citadel fans in attendence with another series of re-releases from the glory days of the 1980s. This year saw the return of many of the ninja figures, including the super hard to find (or used to be) ninja casualty, as well as the 1987 siege/cannon crew models seen in the WFB3 rulebook. Hobbs, from the old F4 Men-at-Arms range, the the Teutonic Knight from the old Blandford Warriors range also being returned to us. 

Here, have a closer look! 


These ninja make the perfect accompliment to Aly Morrison's Samurai figures from the same era already available from the Foundry. Sadly, rushed for time and harried by excited children I failed to pick any of these up so will have to wait until I return to the Foundry in October to sate my Japanese martial needs. 


I did manage to pick up Hobbs and the Teutonic knight though, and will no doubt one day get some more of the more modern castings of the Feudal artillery crew (I have the originals in my collection already, many of which are painted.)  The affable Tony Yates' Blademaster and Blade Wife and his Chaos Lord had also been cast up, for fans of his unique models - my daughter took an instant delight to the Chaos Lord and insisted I bought it for her to paint. 


The near mythical Nigel Stillman was in attendence and brought in his incredible Bretonnian army, which turned out to include parts of the 'original' forces he used to create the famous armybook of years past. Here he can be seen chatting with Oldhammer original, airbornegrove, who made the trip from the US and was a pleasure to meet after so many years. Whiskey Priest and co were indulging in a skirmish game here with some beautifully painted miniatures - more of which in a later post!


Curtis Fell, of Ramshackle Games, was involved in the gigantic Hellsreach game inside the pavillion and was kind enough to hand out free resin models of the Mayor of this desolate place. Closer inspection of the model just goes to show how far his sculpting skills have come on since last year's Oldhammer Cleric. A big thank you to him for his generosity once again.  


The Hellsreach game was gigantic and very highly detailed. You could have easily spent the entire day attempting to capture the intricacies of the game as there was ust so much going on. Expect to see a great deal of coverage about this mammoth game across Oldhammer media in the future. 


This beautifully crafted table was, and I am guessing here so please correct me if I am wrong, used for the Snorcling Space Hopper game. Like Hellsreach is was an extremely imaginative piece of modelling with a great number of comdeic touches. The spiders (and their webs) were the highlight for me here. 

An excellent effort! 


Oldhammer heavyweights Erny and Geoff Sims can bee seen here looming large over the gigantic Heldenhofen game, complete with Bloodbowl Stadium! There were a great number of excellent scenery pieces on this table, including many inspired by the seminal Warhammer Townscape - can you spot the windmill in this shot?


With such a large table to play on, and in their traditional spot, the boys from GROG did sterling work putting on this sandbox game. 


A shot from the otherside of the Heldenhofen table, with BOYL impresario Garth James looking on.  


This game was enthusatically run and well resourced, complete with this Gazette display and a tonne of dice scattered across the gaming table. I believe that the famous 'Harry' from Warseer fame (and beyond) was behind much of the scenery here! 

Great fun!


Thantsants and Paul Golgfag rip the solar systems of the far future to shreds with Space Fleet, the precursor to what later became known as Battlefleet Gothic. 



Matthew Street, Steve Casey (who always seems to wear this blue fleece at Oldhammer events for reasons mysterious and arcane) and Chris High King of the Elves - you should see his collection of old school third edition faerie-folk! In fact, it is so an impressive assemblage that we hope to construct a game around his collection later on this year. And yes, there are three dragon riders on the table there!! 


Nigel Stillman brought in his vast Bretonnian army, packed full of classic models from the 1990s Stillmania era, with many of them of his own creation. The 'Laydees of ye olde baggayge trayne' need to be seen to be believed. But again, more from them in a later post. 

Tony Ackland broods in a wizardly manner behind them. He had brought his sketch book again and we made some further discoveries amongst his recently unearthed (he had forgotten he had them) work. I'll do an art post later on to cover the highlights in more detail. 


Nigel Stillman's Bretonnians ride forth- though he told us they were never allowed to appear in White Dwarf properly because they weren't painted to a high enough standard! They look mighty fine here though, I am sure you will agree!!


Inside the Foundry Shop there were plenty of games in the offing, including this lovely skirmish involving Erny and Snickit. 


Erny's skirmishing wood elves caused considerable problems for his opponents.


As in previous years, the painting competition was held and the standard of entries was higher than ever. As a two-time winner myself (blowing my own trumpet there!) I was honoured to judge the entries along with Tony Yates, Garth James and Maria Ansell. In the end we whittled the entries down to those you can see before you. Scalene's Nurgle Plague Doctor and Harlequins won the single figure, and unit prize while JB (the Asslessman) picked up a the 'Big Monster' gong, thanks to his magnificant elf dragon rider that caught my eye instantly when studying the entries. Honourable mention went to the big walker conversion -though I cannot recall who made this, so please can someone inform me so I can update this post! As did the Minotaur on the toilet, a play on the inconvenienced dwarf of limited edition fame, which reminded me of the humourous entries in the old Golden Demon books of the 1980s. Wonderfully, it turned out that the painter behind this little gem was none other than Steve Casey himself, a collector turned painter, who I am sure won't mind me pointing out to readers had been feeling a little anxious about his painting recently. 

The humbly controlled joy of winning was evident on his face as he stepped forth to recieve his well won prize, and seeing my friend win was the highlight of the day for me and example of what the Oldhammer Community is all about! 

Right, that is enough for now. Expect plenty more coverage over the coming days as I take you through some of the wonderful miniatures on show (including Bryan Ansell's extensively refurbished collection), Tony Ackland's sketch book (and other arty bits) and a wonderful discovery (at least to me, so don't raise your hopes too high) from the Ansell collection. 

More soon,

Orlygg

30 comments:

  1. Glad I'm not there now, seems a right bunch of gits there... *Sigh* That's what I'm telling myself anyway hehe.

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    1. It wasn't the same without you, Chico... the toilets remained fresh and clean all day! Hopefully, you can remedy that next year! (:

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    2. Well I couldn't afford the damn Hotels costs due too the date (Damn you school holidays!) doubt next year will be any better.

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    3. Hopefully the fates will be kinder next year Chico! (:

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  2. Looks like it was a mighty gathering indeed, and thanks for the coverage!

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  3. Hi there, was thinking that I had seen that walker on a blog under the name, Mr Papfakis, look for June 2014, "tada"

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    1. Thanks for the tip. Off to Google I go..

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  4. The painter of the walker is an Aussie who flew in from Thailand to be there. I think his first name was Shane (I think) but I can't remember his moniker or surname though!

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    1. Thank you Littleleadperson, we are getting closer! (:

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    2. The walker comes from the man behind this blog: http://papafakis.blogspot.com/

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  5. Funny which model was made of the event- I was just flipping through my copy of Rogue Trader for inspiration and found that drawing thinking "This might make for a fun conversion."

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    1. Nothing stopping you creating your own version, still. But then I suppose great minds think alike, don't they? (;

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    2. The only thing stopping me from getting the model produced for the event is about 11,000 miles, so I'll have to build one myself anyhow!

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    3. I look forwards to seeing the fruits of your labour! (:

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  6. For "humbly controlled" read a little surprised and baffled :-) Another great write up!

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  7. I would like to thank the Ansell family for allowing me to use their property to make heads and a big thanks to all of you who donated money , its much appreciated .
    £240 was raised and it is going to the St Nicolas Hospice .

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    1. Great to hear that Kevin, here's hoping that you can raise even more in future.

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  8. I enjoyed myself and it was fun meeting different people .
    Sadly not much time to look at all the tables and models but that would take a weekend in itself wouldnt it .
    Looking forward to next years event.

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    1. Hope you can make it next year Kev, you still need to make a model of my wife! (;

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  9. Thank you for the report, another enviously read about event! :D I saw photos through another blog of Brian's collection display, including the original Heroquest models. Major pang of nostalgia! :D

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    1. They have to be seen to be believed. Incredible painting.

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  10. Is there any way to contact Mr. Stillman online? I think I won't be able to travel to an Oldhammer event (because family issues) but I want to write him a thank you note for some personal reasons. :) If there is one and you can tell me, could you write to wachinaynATgmail.com?

    Thanks!

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    1. I would contact the Wargames Foundry directly for such information, Rodrigo

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