Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Metal Mayhem: Warlock Magazine's 'Eavy Metal

 
The other day I posted about Graeme Davis' 'Fields of Battle' rule system that was published in Warlock Magazine in the mid 1980s. Now if you don't know about Warlock Magazine, it was really just a White Dwarf for Fighting Fantasy and shared many of the same writers and staff. Its earlier editions, up to issue 6, where Penguin publishing affairs really, and the Games Workshop crew didn't really take control until after that issue. And it shows, with an increased focus on Citadel products and the 'Warhammer Hobby' as it later became known.
 
One of these later additions to the magazine was the Metal Mayhem page, which was essentially a colour presentation of painted models from the Citadel team. Sadly, this article only ran in the last three issues of Warlock - which ceased publication after issue 13 if you didn't know! But we have been left with three colour pages of rarely seen Citadel models, some of which I have only seen in these series of articles. So I am rather pleased to be able to take a closer look at them with you.
 
So here goes....
 


 
 
Judge Dredd fans will certainly enjoy this first page, as it contains a series of painted models from that particular Citadel Range. The models seen at the top of the page were all painted by Colin Dixon, who was Citadel's first ever full time miniature painter, with able assistance for John Blanche. In fact, some of these models I have never before seen painted up and its a real treat to see them here. Starting from the top left, we have three Sky Surfers, which I have never seen painted elsewhere, and they have suitable comic book style paint jobs. I can't say I know a huge amount about these particular Dredd characters but I do have some vague memories from the 1980s about them in a comic book I bought.
 
Things get a little more interesting when you look at the trio of models below them. I am pretty certain that the painted Link model was on display in Bryan's cabinet at this years Oldhammer Weekend and I am fairly sure the Mighty Avenger pointed him out to me as being painted by the great John Blanche... but then again it could all just be some chaos inspired dream... I am pretty certain that the two painted models (other Angels if I recall correctly) that flank Link have not been seen published in colour before. So its nice to see them.
 
Following on from that we have a couple of painted Judges (Anderson and Fear by the looks of them) by Colin Dixon, again I am sure I have not seen these painted examples before, and this pattern continues on an upwards trend with some Perps and Old Judge Dredd himself, on and off his motorbike.
 
Underneath we can see some fantasy models and the first batch, dwarfs, are part of Colin Dixon's Imperial Dwarf range. A couple of these I recognise from earlier 'EMs and from the old Citadel Ads but there are a couple that seem new to my eyes. I rather like the colour schemes and shield designs on figures 6 and 7. The skaven here a rather interesting as the caption tells us they were painted by Pete Taylor (he of the enormous Fimir army and appearing in Warhammer Armies fame) and seem to have won a prize at the painting competition at Dragonmeet that year. I really rather suspect that these models are part of that massive skaven horde he lords over in the aforementioned book. Nice to see them close up I am sure you will agree.
 
Finally, we he Grom's Goblin Guard by Kev Adams. I love Kev's '80s paint work and he was clearly better at dabbing on the Goblin Green than many of the 'official 'Eavy Metal team'. These are much more well known figures, and that standard bearer has appeared more than one in White Dwarf, and other places, over the years.
 
I wonder if he still has them?
 

The models shown here are larely lifted from 'Eavy Metal articles from White Dwarf, even down to the red ring around that Chaos Warrior which I am pretty certain I have seen in WD. Starting from the top left of the page again, we have the second edition character models from Bugman's Rangers, some Lord of the Rings characters, Slambo (in green) two Jes Goodwin Ogres and some lovely Orc Boar Riders. The stand out pieces here have to be the painted plastic Warlock of Firetop Mountain miniatures, which I cannot say I have seen in COLOUR before. Though whether these are metal masters or actual plastic models is open to debate. Looking at those models with my experienced eye I would say they were most likely metal, but if I am wrong it just goes to show how good those plastic models were. 


The final page looks like very little effort has gone into any form of journalistic comment. Its not surprising really, as these images come from the final issue of Warlock, when things were winding down somewhat. The page depcits more of the new Imperial Dwarf range, most likely painted by Colin Dixon, as well as the absolutely brilliant goblin range from the mid 1980s. I have a few of these models in my collection and they are great, great fun! The definitive goblin fanatics get a worthy mention. The Skeleton Horde were obviously released around this time, hence the big photographic push here (there was an advert for them later on in the magazine) and they remain the best plastic skeletons ever produced by anyone.
 
Go buy some if you don't already own them.
 
On thing this final article does through up is the name of the photographer. Phil Lewis is more famous for being Citadel's lensman during the Golden Age but I haven't heard of a Charlie before. Any old timers out there have any notion about who this Charlie may have been?
 
Onwards and upwards.
 
Orlygg.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Oldhammer Weekend (BOYL) 2015 CONFIRMED!


Next year's Oldhammer Weekend, also known as Bring Out Your Lead, has been confirmed by Diane Ansell as taking place on the weekend of the 1st of August 2015. As before, the even will be spread across three days (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) in an effort to help support international members of the community. 

As before, the event will be held at the new premises of the Wargames Foundry in Newark. 


Plans are already a foot towards the actual games to be played during the weekend. Of course, these are just early ideas and nothing has been officially confirmed. But I can let you know about the following...

Warhammer Ahoy! Old School naval battles in 28mm. 

Do Rogue Traders Dream of Electric Goats - a Bladerunner inspired Rogue Trader game.

A Journey to the East - a battle with the lesser used armies from Third Edition.

The Not Space Not Hulk game - Space Hulk with Confrontation rules. 

Judge Dredd: The Day the Law Died - A Necromunda inspired visit to Mega City One.

Terror of the Lichemaster -with the full metal cast. Basically, the scenarios played with the original figures!

Death on the Reik Scenarios Wargame - organised and run by me! 

And something called Deathrace 40,000.



More news soon!

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Fighting Fantasy: Graeme Davis' Fields of Battle Ruleset

Hey, here's a really interesting piece of history. Its the Fighting Fantasy Mass battle rules put out by Warlock Magazine back in the distant age know as the 1980s. It was scribed by a chap known as Graeme Davis to boot. In fact, it was only because Graeme mentioned this pdf on Facebook that I was even aware of its existence. 

I won't trouble you with a long investigation into the piece, but its well worth reading for a different take on a set of fantasy battle rules, especially considering its relationship with the rest of the Fighting Fantasy range. With miniature releases on the cards and Oldhammer Community members toying with fighting the Trolltooth Wars in miniature, this set of rules may well prove useful to some. 

The Enemy Within Scenarios: Malmir


For some while I have wished to do something with my Enemy Within idea. I think I may have discussed these thoughts with some of you in the past but this is the first time I have actually written about them here on Realm of Chaos 80s.

The premise is simple. Make a scenario pack similar to Orc's Drift, McDeath and Terror of the Lichemaster but base it on the characters and events from the early parts of the Enemy Within campaign. In order to do this effectively, I am going to explore in detail the background and scenario contents behind these classic products, steal all the good ideas and bin the not so good ideas. Hopefully, I will be able to playtest my scenarios in a bit of detail before presenting them for a wider audience at the Oldhammer Weekend 2015. 

As part of this process, I have spent some time collecting the miniatures from the Shadows Over Bogenhafen and Death on the Reik sets. Have a look at my miniature wants page to see if you can help me source any of the remaining models. If possible, I really would like to run the campaign with the original figures but shall use appropriate proxies if this isn't achieveable. 

One thing I have been able to do is source all of the original models produced to represent the player characters. These will be the 'stars' of the scenarios. They have been undercoated for quite some time on my desk but I have yet to begin work on them as other projects have drawn my attentions. I have written about these figures in detail before and that full article can be found here if you are interested. 


I opted to paint Malmir first as it was he I played the last time I rolled dice in a game of WFRP. Having a quick read of his entry in the Enemy Within booklet he is described as wearing 'colourful travelling clothes' so I opted to splash a bit of colour about him. He is, after all, a wandering minstrel by trade and a bright, welcoming attire would no doubt aid him in his business. 


The miniature of Malmir doesn't look much like his image in the supplement, but that is true of many of the other miniatures too. Looking back, I feel that my painted interpretation has too light a hair do and I shall no doubt return to his locks at some time in the future to repaint them black. 

For now he will have to remain as he is shown here. 


As I often do, I had a quick Google search for inspiration before I started painting Malmir. I stumbled across and old illustration of a medieval minstrel who's clothing consisted of a red hood and green clothing. I stole this colour scheme but added the blue trousers to further brighten him up as his character description describes. I was particularly pleased with the brown leather here, as its a colour that I sometimes struggle to get right. Here it looks nice and dark, like its been well used. Malmir has a fairly large sword and is considerably more chunky than the other models in the set. I have always stated that I felt that this model was part of a separate range and was shoe horned in. Considering he is supposed to be a lithe elf, his model if far bulkier than the other male characters. In many ways, he looks similar to the later Marauder elves. 

One thing that is certain, to me anyway, is that there are very definite shades of one Elvis Presley about the model. The hair and the sideburns are a dead give away and the face has a certain 'King of Rock 'n' Roll' look to it. Turning the model over shows us why this theme was indulged so. He carries a mandolin alongside his bow.


All in all, a satisfying first result. In the coming weeks I hope to finish off the other five models in the group. Harbull will be next, so watch this space! 

Friday, 26 September 2014

The Citadel Logo



Social media can throw up some unexpected events, and though uncommon, these events are not unheard of on the Oldhammer Facebook page. Recently, a rather interesting conversation played out between several members that I felt was worthy of developing into an article, largely due to the need to preserve these stories and ensure they don't become lost in a long, long thread of eventual oblivion.

The topic of conversation? The creation of the famous Citadel logo. These days its an almost universally known brand, albeit one that has merged somewhat with Games Workshop. They are now interchangable. They have been one and the same for a long time. However, once back in the mists of the late 1970s, Citadel were one against many. Just another miniature manufacturer but a manufacturer with the support of the successful GW chain itself. For a time, they were separate companies, though Citadel effectively owned and ran the GW line roughly between the years 1986 and 1991 until the entire group of companies were sold (and ultimately merged) into what we know today.

Despite being (probably) the most famous and well known logo in the world of wargaming, I couldn't actually find out much about its creation for other websites. There were a few threads to pull, but nothing definate. I am glad to be able to draw these together and organise them in this way so many more of you are able to have access to the facts.

The discussion sprang from Zhu's question about who designed the early Rogue Trader Imperial Eagle image and eventually spread to the Citadel logo itself. Tony Ackland was initially blamed for its creation but later popped up, as people can due to the wonders of modern technology, to put the matter straight. 

"Though the (Citadel logo) has undergone some changes over time. The original logo and the image came from Albie Fiore. Where he got (the idea) from I have no idea. I redrew it because the original was so small and its use became somewhat limited." 

Tony Ackland. Facebook. 2014.



So who was Albie Fiore you will probably be wondering? Sadly, he is no longer with us, having died in 2009 following complications involving a lung tumour. But British newspaper, The Guardian, was kind enough to run an obituary on him that is available online.

Here is an except.


(He was known to many) through his work in the field of architecture, as a contributor to the television show The Crystal Maze, a production designer for Games Workshop, an antiques dealer specialising in slot machines, an adviser in the development of Erno Rubik's puzzles, the editor of the magazine Games & Puzzles, a writer of storylines for children's comic characters such as Scooby Doo and a chef on private yachts. Residents of the Bloomsbury area of central London, too, while not necessarily having known Albie, will have been familiar with the sight of the Tom-Baker-as-the Doctor-like figure cycling around on his butcher's bike on the way to and from various marketplaces.
Albie was born in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, and educated at Southend high school for boys, Southend School of Architecture, and the Architectural Association in London. Even in childhood he was fascinated by puzzles, whether literal, numerical, logical or mechanical, so it was no surprise that in the early 1960s a bank holiday double puzzle, almost certainly by Araucaria, spawned his interest in cryptic crosswords.
In the 1970s, Albie was on the editorial team of Games & Puzzles, a magazine run from a small office near Tottenham Court Road in central London. While largely concerned with board games, the magazine offered the opportunity for specialist crosswords and articles about crosswords. At first, Albie oversaw the crossword pages, but in the late 1970s took over the editorship of the whole magazine.
Albie later established himself as a setter of crosswords – a characteristic clue, of which he was justly proud, was "No can do (6,5)". He joined the Guardian team in 1992, adopting his nom de plume Taupi from a nickname he was given as a student working on a French farm, that translates as "Moley". His pseudonym in the Financial Times, Satori, in Zen Buddhism "sudden enlightenment", is based on the Basque word for "mole". Satori was first published in 2002. His puzzles for both papers were on the hard side, but always fair – the solution to "No can do" is "Bottle Party".
John Henderson. The Guardian. 2009.

So all in all, not your run-of-the-mill designer of fantasy products. And his name is certainly not one that had really registered in my mind when thinking of Citadel company history. The Grand Master of Chaos went on to explain further what he could recall.

"(I am) not sure whether Albie created it or whether it was a bit of clip art. It was pretty crude, and was reminiscent of some American '50s, early '60s pseudo Gothic imagery. In fact the internal image found in the US movie monster magazine Castle of Frankenstein was a much more elaborate image in that style. But the shadow of Neuschwanstein hangs over then all. The Citadel logo was made up from a US type face that came as a paper cutout. Made Letraset look hi-tec by comparison. I did a revised version of the castle when we were at Victoria St. Mainly so that it could be use larger on the postal stuff we put out. "
Tony Ackland. Facebook. 2014.

Now the internet is full of photographic examples of the Citadel log. A quick Google search will throw them up, though I pinched these from the Oldhammer Facebook thread (thanks Don Slater) but studying them, its clear that there were several different versions throughout the 1980s. 

Changes through the '80s. Here is an earlier version of the famous Citadel logo. 
This painting can also be found in White Dwarf.
Luckily for us, one Bryan Ansell also popped up to share his recollections on the creation of the famous Citadel logo. 

Steve Jackson, Ian Livingston, Albie and me gathered in the upstairs room above the first GW shop to talk about the name of the new company and its logo. I don't think it took us very long. Albie had been to an exhibition of the mad King Ludwig of Baravia's castles. He chose the one that became the logo. It was a castle that was never built (I think). But you can see bits of it in the finished ones I think Albie did the art. Round about the time we moved to Eastwood, Dave Andrews did another version to go on our blister packs.

One of Ludwig's of Baravia's castles. Note the similarity.
The Citadel name was me. I thought it was solid, dependable sort of name. I think I then went back to Arnold and bought the sheet of cut out letters for the logo. It may have been called Stonehenge: though my memory of that is blured now. I expect that I cut the letters out and pasted them down. I do clearly remember going to the same stationer a couple years before and buying the sheet for the Asgard logo. Paul Sully did the pasting for that and drew the Thor logo though.

Bryan Ansell. Facebook. 2014

And so ends the story, for now anyway, as there may be more to this tale than has already been revealed. Perhaps you know something of import and are willing to share it with the readership. If so, please do share.
 
And if you haven't already, go join the Oldhammer Facebook group!
 
Orlygg.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Doom Brothers or the Brothers Grim?



I expect that some of you well be familiar with these models. The pop up quite regularly on eBay though they are a rare sight painted. Though that will change as both models will be seeing the attentions of my paint brush this weekend. 

But why are they named so? Who were the two orcs? Were they really brothers? Interestingly, they seem to be a little confused about their actual name, as when they first appear in White Dwarf 91 they refer to themselves as the Doom Brothers. 

Here, have a look...


Later on, our friends reappear (seen here in one of the late '80s catalogues) with a new moniker, that of the Brothers Grim in a suitably Warhammer reference of the modern world. If the original brothers collected stories, I wonder what the goblinoid versions collected?

Actually, I dread to think!

Check them out...


There are a number of theories about their provenance, with most of them linking these characters to the aborted Malal comic strip staring Kaleb Daark. Perhaps the change in name was an attempt to reuse the models after the partnership with GW broke down. However, it seems strange to me that a comic strip story already containing a set of brothers (Helwud and Jaek) would need another. 

So I had a word with the original sculptor of the models, the legendary Kev Adams, but he couldn't remember working on them at all. Judging by the design of the armour on the bigger model he said, they were earlier on in the 1980s, which certainly puts them in the right time frame with the Malal strips. Incidentally, Kev is looking very well after being chopped up with sharp surgeon's blades and hopes to be back at work soon. 

So, I guess the models will remain a small mystery in the Oldhammer world. Unless you dear reader know something more..?

Orlygg

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Shadowking: An interview with Tony Yates

Tony at work during BOYL 2014. he set himself up a desk and get illustrating. I was lucky enough to get a concept sketch of a chaos warrior! Any one want to sculpt it? (;
Many of you who attended BOYL '13 or '14 will no doubt remember Tony. A very passionate wargamer who has been involved in the business of fantasy and science fiction wargaming since its early days. I asked Tony if he would be willing to have a quick chat about his involvement and recollections as well as having a look at his collection of miniatures, many of which he has made himself. A prolific blogger, Tony runs his own site showcasing his work. You can find it here at Shadowkings.

Right, over to Tony!

RoC80s: What were you first steps into wargaming, miniatures and the general fantasy lark?

TY: Easy, it was the comics and books, with thier fantastic science fiction worlds, that we had at our fingertips back when I was growing up. My first books were Starship Troopers and the Princess of Mars, after that I got hooked on all of Michael Moorcocks many novels. I also loved the characters that appeared in Marvel Comics adaptations early on and DC Sorcery too, Though I also read some European comics that I had to translate. The French ones were not bad but the Italian ones were much better, with lots of lots of memorable actionpacked battles. Reading these inspired me to wargame. My earliest miniatures were Airfix plastics, with my first box a ACW artillery set my dad bought me when I was really poorly one week.


Reaper, a forerunner to Warhammer actually. Tony provided pieces of art fr this legendary book. 

RoC80s: How did you move from being a fan of the genre to becoming involved in the embryonic British games industry?

TY: I sent Bryan Ansell some art I had created as he had started Asgard and he invited me to meet him so along I went, I think the first picture of mine he used was the skelton halberdeir I was chuffed to death, Later, we becomes friends as our intrests in fantasy and comics were similar. I did art for Laserburn Combat 3000, the Reaper Fantasy rules and its supplements, Then at citadel I did the Spacefarers and the concepts for the Star Trek miniatures line, The chaos warriors box set wth sepearte heads were also based on my concepts I think and helped I write the rules published in White Dwarf!

I used to send Bryan anything I did actually!

RoC80s: You worked on many of the illustrations for Laserburn and Reaper back in the late 1970s and early 1980s. What are your memories of the development of these games?

TY: I first met Rick Priestley when he was running Citadel's mail order and I ended up doing some artwork for him for the Laserburn project. I was also involved with the 'Death World' supplement he did with Richard Halliwell, I always enjoyed chatting with Hal as he was full of ideas. Though the Death World stuff never really saw the light of day, being involved in all the enthusiasm was fantastic. I even contributed a few ideas! For example, when Laserburn and Imperial Commander were being developed, I upped the 'power armour' to 'dreadnaught armour' and suggested the use of conversion beamers. One idea we had that never did take off was the 'cartridge gun!' This was a weapon that could fire anything - explosive flare, smoke, armour piercing rounds the lot!

I can remember being shown the first two models that the Perry Twins made, a large orc and a smaller one I think, which were both fantastic in my eyes. Nick Lund of Chronicle I had met and knew before he went to work for Citadel. I spoke a few times with Nick Bibby. Also, I can remember the layout to the original edition of Warhammer and a table full of John Blanche's art. As I said before, Rick Priestley was always a good guy and great to talk too, much like he is now. Big Tony Ackland had great pages of art for the books and WD. All the studio staff always liked my stuff so I came away happy!
Combat 3000 - an early incarnation of Rogue Trader - with a front cover by Tony.
RoC80s: What about sculpting? Some of us Oldhammerers have seen your work online and at events. How did you get started here? 

TY: Well I first tried when I made a Conan in plastic when I was 13 from an Airfix Tarzan set, but I say this hand on heart that Bryan showed me how to make miniatures with milliput and then green putty. He always helped and encouraged me, and was kind enough to always cast my pieces, so I owe that all to him, 
I also had the privilege to watch him making wargames figures. I saw the first work the Perry Twins sent to him and many others. I had a very good basic knowledge of anatomy leaned through my art and comic illustrations that I had done. So I had some idea of pose and look I would spend hours with milliput on the dollies Bryan sent me. My biggest inspiration then was a line of 54mm Wild West cowboys Bryan had converted for the table top games rules he helped write. The line of perfect characters and poses really blew me away.

RoC80s: Eventually, you began to work at the Wargames Foundry. Which particular projects did you enjoy the most?

When Bryan moved back to Jersey, I spoke to him many times on the phone and sent him art work and we had long talks about toy soilders, When he returned to Nottingham, I remember one day I rang him and he said we need a concept artist. I said, 'can I have an interview the next day?' I went to the factory and well I got the job! The following week, I went to work with Kevin adams on the mercenary orcs he made there. I also worked with Mark Sims on the Vikings (which became the best sellers), then the Nymphs and Reverant Elves. I provided further concepts for the High Elf range and the Tomb Dwarfs, the Mountain Dwarfs and the Street Violence settings and ideas along with pictures and concepts for the Amazons. And a lot more besides!

Next up, I present a mere fraction of Tony's astonishing collection of wargaming figures. These really are just the tip of the iceburg as Tony really does seem to have a model of everything. Many of these miniatures have been converted or sculpted by Tony, but so wide and varied is his collection its hard to state who made what. If you recognise something please drop me a line in the comments and I shall update the captions at a later date.

Just a final word to say a big thank you to Tony for taking the time out talking to me over the last month or so. Enjoy his work.

Orlygg


















Be sure to head over to Tony's blog, Shadowkings, and give him your support by following him. Be sure to spend a fair bit of time going through his collection of miniatures as there are some real corkers in there!