Monday, 28 September 2015

A Tale of Four Oldhammer Gamers: Week Four

Trust me to choose something really challenging to begin with, eh? And 'challenging' is perhaps understating the Palanquin of Nurgle now that I think about it. The photograph above shows you how far I have got with it at the time of writing, and with Chico ringing in and showing off his completed hobgoblin templedog and rider, my first month is doomed to disaster. There is simply no way that this model is going to be finished by the end of September. 

But that wasn't for trying. 

The last time I posted about this palanquin I had just finished off the nurgling base - which took a full weekend! I have spent the little time that I have had in the last week to tinker away at the throne itself. I wanted to go for something opulent, so chose purple as the colour scheme for the padding on the chair and worked out from there. I used the excellent Foundry paint triad for the carved bone supports and orange for the tassels that hang from underneath the seat itself. 

Wanting to continue with the filthy/ornate look, I chose a night sky effect to paint onto the side panels of the throne, and used a nice sickly yellow to represent the stars and moons. 

Those three faces that leer so wonderfully from the back of the palanquin deserved to be properly painted. I felt that standard Nurgle 'grimdark' wasn't where I wanted to go with this model, nor the army that will form around it. Inspired by the very luminous colour choices on chaos miniatures in Bryan's collection, I decided to have a go at something similar. 

I toyed with a few ideas about the final design, and in the end went for red to match with the face above. I have just started to work on the gold edging and need to begin highlighting the base and wash you can see here. I won't go too bright, and hope a more grimy gold can be achieved with a little time invested but that won't be until next weekend as school life beckons once more. 

Still, it's October next month and that means a half-term. So hopefully, I can get two hundred points complete next month, as well as getting this classic Citadel miniature finished. 

We will speak again next weekend. 

Be sure to follow the journeys of my Brothers in Oldhammer; Paul, Steve and Chico - they sound like an alternative universe Beatles - as they complete their first month's work. 


Sunday, 27 September 2015

Ten Things Only An '80s Warhammer Enthusiast Would Understand

Does clickbait annoy you too? I am sure we have all fallen in the trap of moving that cursor over that rather intriguing statement or unusual photograph; I know I have. They seem to begin with stuff like: 'She thought she was going to the cinema but what her boyfriend did next blew her mind!' You click the link, and there he is with a large (not regular) box of popcorn! What a risk taker!

My wife is keen to install some kind of filter on the computer to stop pop-up rubbish like this annoying her (she always falls for them you see) and when I have completed this missive, she plans to install Windows 10 - which may or may not have the tools to do so. But at the moment I have some quiet time this Sunday afternoon so I felt like creating some clickbait of my own, Oldhammer style. 

You often see those '10 things that only a child growing up in the 90s would understand' style posts kicking about. A lot of them are awfully poor, but one of two have amused me a little and I thought to do an '80s Warhammer one. 

Hence this post. 

So in no particular order, here we have 'Ten Things Only An '80s Warhammer Enthusiast Would Understand'. Hopefully, you can appreciate them all!

1. You got really excited by the number of blister packs that hung on the walls of GW

In the days before corporate packaging and bland plastic models there was a wealth of wargaming miniatures hanging from rather wobbly pegs suspended from the wall. Hundreds and hundreds in fact and they didn't all have the same tedious card designs either. Orcs and Goblins came in luminous green, Chaos are a rather sickly red and green and so on. You could easily push your way through the throng of gamers to locate the range you were after, though with the rarity of actual catalogues, you never really knew what you might find. 

2. The name of this particular paint made you chuckle.

We all did it. We all stood around the paint section in the stores of old sniggering about the name of this paint. It's very name was encouragement enough to buy it with the pocket money you had to burn. Using it, you would commit painting atrocities on your miniatures when you got home (as using the colour was rather difficult) but you could smirk at the memory while doing so. 

3. Fraser Gray was an enigma! How did he paint that well? With enamels?

He produced miniatures that were truly awe inspiring with that stinky paint your dad used to paint trains and Napoleonics with. You, by comparison, created appalling splodges of colour with the modern acrylic paints. A pattern that has yet to change. 

4. You were unbelievably jealous when photographs like this appeared in White Dwarf.

Bastard! Bastard! Bastard! Why was it that the caption writer made the suffering worse with the phrase 'just some of '?

5. You happily gave these away free to a friend when you switched to Blood Bowl!

Yeah, of course you can have these old books now that I have swapped to the third edition of Blood Bowl. I won't be needing them again. Will I regret it in years to come? Of course I will! 

6. You cut up cereal packets in an attempt to build a model house

Inspired by seminal articles like this, you hastily hack up a couple of cereal packets and attempt to glue them together with PVA. The resulting soggy mess looks nothing like the picture in the article, so you chuck away your efforts and buy Warhammer Townscape instead. Then you buy another copy of Warhammer Townscape as your first attempt to build the watermill involves cutting through most of the book, spilling copydex over the remaining pages and sticking the wrong wall to the wrong roof. 

Happy days.

7. You spent ages looking at the names and photographs of the Citadel crew. 

Another month, another run down of the personalities that made up your favourite magazine. You wish they were your friends, even though the photographs of Bryan always scared you a bit. Actually, you wished you were one of them and got to play games all day long. Because that is all that they did, yes?

8.  You ruined countless plastic figures using poly-cement to stick them together.

Superglue too expensive? No need to worry, as good old Humbrol polystyrene cement is here to stay. You have just bought Skeleton Army, have you? That's a great box set with so many options. You carefully cut all the delicate pieces from the sprue in preparation, then you get sticking. Fifteen minutes later, all of your new undead troops look like they have severe influenza, with long trails of a mucus like substance oozing from beneath their heads and arms. It also took hours for this glue to dry properly, which gave the limbs and skulls of your skeletons plenty of time to slowly move out of position. I don't know how many skeleton armies I saw that looked to be doing the funky chicken, but I lost count at ten.  

9. Rang up Fist without your parents knowing and got bollocked for the phone bill!

Good old Robin. Yeah, his parents let you do whatever you like around their house. They even swear and tell rude jokes when you kids are in the room. Role models! They won't mind if you encourage Robin to ring the number just after lunch and play through a couple of hours of this! He might win a real gold coin!

I heard he is still paying off that phone bill. 

10. You lorded it up with your many sided dice over enormous tables

You felt all 'grown up' and 'sophisticated' because you rolled endlessly on innumerable tables such as this. Hang about, you still do!!

Can you think of any other to add to the list?

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Fancy owning a Tony Ackland original?

Tony Ackland has long been associated with the Oldhammer Community. He has been interviewed twice (here and here) for this blog, contributed to countless discussions through social media and even gone as far as travel the near length of England to attend third Oldhammer Weekend

After so much interest in his portfolio, Tony has decided to put some of his original art up for sale. As you will know, the other Tony (he who is known as Hough) did much the same in past years and many enthusiasts were delighted to own a piece of Citadel history. 

Nothing is for sale yet, but I have offered space on this blog to Tony to create a little gallery of his work on sale with details of cost and billing. 

As soon as I hear more expect to see more information here. Until then, why not enjoy a few lovely images from his extensive collection. 

Sunday, 20 September 2015

A Tale of Four Oldhammer Gamers Week 3

It certainly was an interesting week. You see, the wife only went and fell over and fractured her elbow causing quite a palaver in the process... Nurgle must be pleased with the subsequent suffering she endured as I managed to find some time yesterday to get some paint on this month's project: the classic Nurgle Palanquin. 

If you are late to the party, you may not know that alongside some esteemed fellows of the Oldhammer Community (okay, not that esteemed) we are attempting our version of the iconic 'Tale of Four Gamers' that appeared in White Dwarf many years ago (and was actually worth reading, I might add). My partners in grime are; the well groomed and virile Paul Mitchell, at the Black Hole, the bacon-wrapped and hunky Chico, of Oldhammer on a Budget, and the quiet one (read, most likely to be a strange deviant when the truth comes out) Mr Steve, aka The Citadel Collector, aka bridgendsteve aka whatever alias he has chosen this week to cover his tracks, Casey of Eldritch Epistles. 

As you can see, I have managed to get the first part of my painting project completed - the nurglings. And boy was this a tough task. There are all manner of yucky little creatures piled up on top of each other here and approaching such a mass of daemonic flesh was daunting indeed. I opted to continue with my speed painting technique and chose to keep the colour of the daemons the same. This would save time and allow me to get the base completed by the end of this weekend. 

I based the squabbling buggers with goblin green and then washed over the lot with a dark green/black ink wash. Once dry, I created a base colour by mixing goblin green together with the green ink and coated all of the nurglings as best I could. I used Foundry's Boneyard light shade to create the highlights by gradually adding the colour to the original mix. 

It took ages to paint them all I can tell you!

Once I was happy with the green, I moved on to painting the eyes. Red was the obvious choice (as it contrasts nicely with green) and I used a dark red to dot out the eyeballs in the eyes of those daemons who seemed to have them. Over the top of this, I attempted a brighter red dot which I highlighted with pure yellow. The effect is quite pleasing I think - and makes the nurglings look like they have burning coal like eyes! I finished off the little details quite quickly - with purple for lips and intestines and yellowy white for the horns. 

Looking at the next part of the model - the chair itself - it was clear that I would need to finish off the base before I continued. I'd imagine that sanding and painting the base would be rather difficult with the complete model put together. I opted for brown over my usual green to create a distinct colour difference between the nurglings and the ground. 

The poles that the daemons hold aloft are still WIP by the way, and they shall be worked up as I paint the chair. I plan to stick down the next part of the model to continue working on it shortly, but with a huge pile of school work to do today I fear it will have to wait until next week. Still, I am confident I can get the model complete before the end of the month. 

Until next time, 


Sunday, 13 September 2015

Seeing the wood for the trees

Bah! It has been a few poor weeks of Oldhammer for me. A mixture of going back to school, family weddings and other unavoidable events has meant that I have done little but undercoat my nurlglings in white, basecoat them and brush over a depth wash. A poor show indeed. And with the coming week looking no better I was in a glum place indeed yesterday, trapped as I was away from home.

I was away with the family in North Essex. I took with me (as a last minute occupier) my Warhammer Third Edition rulebook, with the intention of flicking through it during the dull moments in the hotel room. The image above always impresses me during moments like these. The famous photographs of the 'The Duke's' terrain circa 1987 can stir the soul of even the most jaded wargamer and put all of our feeble efforts to shame even with the wealth of modern modelling technology at our disposal. 

It is my dream to do something like this one day, on the same scale, as I have said before. The buildings are obviously versions of the Townscape buildings, though I am not sure if these are well doctored card versions or carefully made balsawood and card replicas. Does anyone know? What ever they are, they fit together very nicely and produce a gaming space that looks like a real place. Not silly random hills, or skulls, or rivers of blood here. Just a thing of beauty. 

The trees always fascinated me. I can remember looking at them back in the 1980s and wondering how the Duke made them. My father was a railway modeller and I was used to the idea of making everything from scratch because that is what he did. I was also no stranger aged 10 to the dreaded 'Railway Exhibition', where I was exposed to a great many layouts with all manner of trees. 

I never saw any as great as the Duke's though. 

I can also remember trying to recreate something similar to what we can see in the picture with sticks and moss from the woods. They looked great, at least to my young eyes, but my mother wasn't best pleased when she saw all the dirt and twigs that came into the house alongside my brilliant new forests. 

So they went in the bin. 

I have toyed with making trees of my own, and they have appeared in many of the photographs I have taken of my own models. These I constructed form my son's old milk bottle brushes, and they were simply cut to shape, sprayed black and coated in PVA. A quick dip in the flock and they were away. 

And here they are in this old photograph from a few years back. They are quite effective, and they are really rather cheap to make when you think about it - not that I would want to make many of them though, as they are rather dull to construct. I forgot to mention the trunks - I added greenstuff to them and modelled on some bark effects in case you were wondering. 

Still, they are not a patch on the Duke's. 

Let's not forget that Games Workshop produced their own trees too. As you can see above, it was in the familiar guise of the plastic kit. I think these were probably the last thing I ever bought from them before I went retro. They were well sculpted I suppose, with a useful base which allowed you to remove the tress if you so wished. But the leaves looked flat and naff, and if you wanted a larger patch of forest on your table you' have to fork out a fair bit of cash and paint the same three trunks a fair bit. But that's modelling I guess. 

Whatever. They were okay, but they weren't a patch on the Duke's. 

I was left to wonder, as I often do, of the day I'd be able to have the space and time to build a mighty table of my own as I wandered around the town we were visiting. I had a bit of time off, so I had taken the kids down from where we were staying and out to the shops. The event not being 'my family' as such, I was pleased to have a little time to myself. I noticed one of those junk/antiques shops that every old market town in England seems to have, and ushered the children inside. They are usually worth a few minutes distraction and you can occasionally find cheap books or toys that interest the children. 

Catching my eye amongst the bric-a-brac was a glass display packed full of agricultural toys. Tractors, combine harvesters, cows, farmers, fences and so on. And there, alongside a giant plastic 1970s barn were the Duke's trees! 

So I bought them.

I had no idea that they were commercially available and were, in fact, toys. They were produced by Britain's and are quite collectible among fans of the brand. So collectible that the shop owner wanted £20 for each tree. A quick glance on eBay's sold listings proved the shopkeeper correct, only that seemed to be for the mint boxed versions and the two I found in the shop didn't have boxes. Nor were they complete, and one was damaged. In the end, I managed to haggle him down to £15 for the pair and very pleased was I too. The trouble was, they stank. Musty is not the word and the wife was moaning in the car all they way home today about their smell. I have since washed them up in warm water and washing up liquid and they seem more pleasant to be around. 

Laying the parts out to dry, I was amazed by the detail and variation the models provide. For example, there are seven different types of branch that can be attached in various ways to the trunk and a large number of different foliage pieces. I have spread them out for you to see above you. 

I am really pleased to have found these, especially as eBay seems a pricy place to acquire these excellent models. They are quite the best tree kit models I have ever seen, and when you consider that they were probably designed and produced in the 1970s its even more astonishing. They are brilliant. What is more, the shop keeper threw in some other bits from other Britain's trees for free when I explained to him what they were for. 

It seemed, that he had been a Warhammer player back in the 1980s. A small world indeed. 

Now all that I need to do is find the time to construct these properly (using glue) and get them painted to a decent standard. They are huge when put together and easily tower over my tallest models, just like an oak tree should. I heartily recommend chasing a few of these down if you have the coin. One thing bugs me though. No matter how well I put them together or how well I paint them...

They won't be as good as the Duke's. 


Saturday, 12 September 2015

A Tale of Four Oldhammer Gamers: Week 2

Good morning all (well, it is as I type) and apologies for the lack of posts recently, but it's been back to school with a resounding workload increase. Subsequently I haven't done much since that last post in this series beyond clean up a few models. As you can see in the picture, I have my palanquin stripped and ready for painting. 

And what a task that was!

When I bought the model a few years back it looked undercoated in white. I am not sure what was used but it took repeated soakings in Dettol and frantic scrubbings to get the pieces clean and ready. It's a beautiful, beautiful model packed with detail and I didn't want anything looking clogged and untidy. 

Then my daughter, who is three, decided to paint the palanquin herself when I was at school, wrecking every one of my paint brushes and covering the nurglings in more glop. So it was off to eBay to buy a fresh set of brushes and a return to the Dettol for the model. 

Not a great start!

As you can see, there are also a couple of skeletons I picked up recently which will make there way (hopefully) into the army at some point as plague skeletons. 

Plan to approach painting the model in three stages. First, the nurglings, then the seat itself followed by the champion and his banners. If you look closely at the banners you can see that they are still a bit clogged with white paint! What ever the idiot who owned the model before me did, its very hard to undo! 

I hope to start the nurglings today and get them finished by the end of the weekend. You may well have noticed that Chico has already completed work on some of his pieces for this project, so follow the link if you haven't seen his latest update. 


Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Oldhammer Bookclub: Characters from Zaragoz devised for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay

Hello all. Blog posts are a bit thin on the ground in early September here at the Realm of Chaos 80s. I have gone back to school after the long summer break and things are very intensive. Long days, but I am really enjoying teaching Year 2 (that is 5 and 6 year olds) again after my previous stint with the older children.

Following on from the last post concerning Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay comes this, thanks to Mr. Kevin Green, who provided details about where in the White Dwarf archive further references can be found about Zaragoz. 

The article comes from an irregular series which was, to all terms and purposes, the final load of WFRP material published in the magazine. They used characters from the GW Books line and gave them a roleplaying twist so they could be used in your own adventures. The article we are looking at here appeared in issue 119 of WD and detailed the four 'main' characters of Zaragoz (an interestingly, three of the characters we discussed as part of bookclub) namely, Orfeo, Estevan Sceberra, Semjaza and Arcangelo. 

I reckon it would be pretty simple to convert these stats to Warhammer Third Edition and actually have these characters take part in scenarios of my own devising. Orfeo, the well travelled troubadour, and Semjaza the wizard are probably best game-wise but what of suitable models in the Citadel range?

If you have any ideas - let me know!