Sunday, 29 December 2013

The Tim Pollard collection: unreleased Space Marine with guitar

It is not known if this Space Marine was ever intended for release, or if it was simply an in-house cast. The front of the tab is labelled "MARINE" and the rear "GW 1987". I've looked through my back catalogue of Rogue Trader era Space Marines and I can't find any obvious candidate for a donor figure, so it's possible that this is a completely new sculpt. If anyone spots a potential donor then please leave a message. Slaanesh had their Noise Marines - is there anything in the fluff of the period that mentions Space Marines wielding guitars? Not that I'm aware of.

So here he is: pretty crude, but great fun!

Saturday, 28 December 2013

The Bryan Ansell collection: Daleks and Cybermen

This week saw the 800th episode of Doctor Who and Matt Smith's final appearance as The Doctor. Although "my" Doctor will always be Tom Baker, I think Matt's performance has been up there with the best, if not the best. I for one will miss him, but I have faith in Matt's replacement, Peter Capaldi. Here's to another 800 episodes.

To celebrate Matt's time in the Tardis I thought it fitting to show these Dr Who figures in Bryan's collection. They are plastic Cybermen and Daleks, and made their appearance in a boxed set in 1987. The figures below are the ones that appeared in an advert in White Dwarf 89, and if you look closely at the colour schemes of the Daleks you can see that they are still ranked-up in the same way as in the White Dwarf 89 advert. You will also see, if you look closely, that the painting is pretty crude: they certainly looked much better in the advert!

Thursday, 26 December 2013

The Bryan Ansell collection: Skarloc's Wood Elf Archers and Elven Attack Chariot

Seeing as it's Christmas I thought Elves would be the most appropriate focus for the season. OK, tenuous links aside, here are some pictures of the Elven Attack Chariot that appeared in White Dwarf 88, and the Regiment of Renown Skarloc's Wood Elf Archers from White Dwarf 92. These figure sets now reside in Bryan's collection. Enjoy (oh, and Merry Christmas!).

Elven Attack Chariot

Here is the original White Dwarf advert:

Skarloc's Wood Elf Archers

According to the White Dwarf advert Mike McVey painted Skarloc's Wood Elves.

The White Dwarf advert:

Monday, 23 December 2013

The Tim Pollard collection: unreleased multi-part Space Marine metal kit

Back in the Rogue Trader era Games Workshop produced the RTB01 Space Marines, a boxed set of multipart Space Marines in plastic. They were and still are today a very popular kit. Multipart kits of Space Marines following the RTB01 model with multiple options of heads, bodies, arms, guns, knives, backpacks etc were only produced in plastic, right? Well it seems not. At least one multipart Space Marine set was produced entirely in metal, but was never released. Fortunately it was discovered in Tim Pollard's collection:

Here's a close-up of the two head options:

Unfortunately Tim doesn't remember much about the history of this set except that it was given to him at the time he was working there, and he was told it was rare! So, what do you think? What can you Space Marine experts tell us about the various components and minutiae of this kit? What weapon options do you see? What mark of Space Marine, if any, do you think this is? Please share your thoughts.

Have a good Christmas, and I'll be back later in the week to share another unreleased and unseen Space Marine with you.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

The Tim Pollard collection: Dark Future and Rogue Trader vehicles

Last June the excellent Realm of Chaos 80s blog posted an article about Tim Pollard, former stalwart of Games Workshop back in the glory days of the 80's. This blog post, together with a subsequent one, revealed the incredible painted miniature and original GW artwork collection in Tim's possession. Tim revealed during the course of the blog post that he was involved in the advertising of GW minis back in the day and remarked that "in order to advertise the minis I got sent at least one of each to photograph, and then I got to keep them". This raised an intriguing possibility: if Tim still had these miniatures in his possession, could they include some previously unknown rarities? Not being one to miss a potential opportunity to mine for hidden treasure, I got in touch with Tim and he agreed to let me trawl through his collection of castings (which was very kind of him given that Tim is incredibly busy being Nottingham's official Robin Hood and that he is about to become a proud parent!).

Tim was initially concerned that he might not have anything of note in his collection of castings, other than a large number of general release figures. As it turned out he didn't need to worry! The first thing I was presented with on meeting Tim was a large box of mainly preslotta figures of mixed manufacturer. I immediately spotted some parts of the Citadel Giant (you know - the Citadel Giant) lying in the box. Nice, pretty rare, but OK not an eye-popper. But then my attention was drawn to a metal vehicle lying amongst the figures. It gradually dawned on me that I was looking at a metal casting of a prototype Dark Future Interceptor (production castings were plastic). Here is a view of Tim's metal prototype followed by a plastic production casting:

Image from the wiki
If you look closely you will see some minor difference between the cars, a feature that is typical of metal prototype vs plastic production figures.

Good start!

Tim then presented me with were some fantastic scratch-built/converted Rogue Trader vehicles. The first one  is a scratch-built vehicle by Aly Morrison, which was a prototype Rogue Trader vehicle:

It's reminiscent of the original Rhino. Apparently the wheels are ink bottle caps!

The next two vehicles are modifications of existing toys:

The last one has a dreadnought lascannon arm mounted on top as a weapon. Can you spot any other bolt-ons from figures of the period?

Tim wasn't sure if these vehicles appeared in any White Dwarf mags or rulebooks of the time. If any of them look familiar please let me know.

More good stuff to come.

Monday, 18 November 2013

The Dave Perry collection: Chaos Space Marines part 2

In my first review of former 'Eavy Metal 'eavyweight Dave Perry's Chaos Space Marines I focussed on his Plague Marines; this week it's the turn of Khorne and the Iron Warriors. Bloooood! Deaaaaath!


Monday, 11 November 2013

The Bryan Ansell collection: Bob Olley's undead

There are many figures that Bob Olley produced for Citadel/Iron Claw back in the day that I absolutely love, and are among some of my favourite figures from that time. But there are also some which I...don' undead fall into that second category. But hey, each to his/her own and it would be wrong of me not to post these just because of my personal tastes. So here goes:

Friday, 8 November 2013

The Bryan Ansell collection: Night Horrors (Citadel Miniatures)

The "Night Horrors" range is one of my personal favourites and was released in the late 1980s, presumably to tie in with Games Workshop's Call of Cthulhu games license. It is one of those ranges that is very difficult to complete, partly due to the number of figures it includes, but mainly due to it having a small number of figures which for one reason or another are very difficult to acquire.

The range appeared in various adverts and mail order flyers but has never been seen painted. To date I have managed to find approximately a quarter of the range in Bryan's collection, some of which have very imaginative colour schemes!

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Mining the Ansell horde: unseen unreleased Eltharion the High Elf

Following in the footsteps of the unreleased Rogue Trader adventurers, the latest previously unseen unreleased figure in Bryan Ansell's collection dates back to the early 1990's: Eltharion the High Elf. This figure is still available from Games Workshop but was originally a Marauder sculpt. Here's the advert for Eltharion riding Stormwing from the Citadel catalogue 3 (the Green Catalogue) from 1992 (image from the Stuff of Legends):

The variant I've discovered in Bryan's collection is a variant of Eltharion himself; Bryan's Stormwing figure is identical to the released version. The unreleased Eltharion is missing the high-backed "saddle" but gains a rather magnificent cloak:

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

The Bryan Ansell collection: Warhammer 40k Epic scale Titans

Unless my memory is failing, it occurred to me that I haven't as yet blogged about any of the painted Epic scale figures in Bryan's collection. I'll start setting that to rights today with some of Bryan's Epic Titans. I've also included images from back issues of White Dwarf that illustrate these Titans in various battle scenes or adverts.

Monday, 4 November 2013

The Bryan Ansell collection: Rogue Trader Eldar (Citadel Miniatures)

Last month I blogged about the wonderfully-painted Eldar in Dave Perry's collection, many of which date back to the original Eldar of the Rogue Trader period. This months kicks off with yet more Eldar, this time some of the ones from Bryan Ansell's collection. I number of these figures appeared in the Rogue Trader rulebook and the Book of the Astronomican.

What I particularly like about these Eldar is their colour schemes, which really "pop." You will notice that some of them are clearly unfinished, having had just a base coat applied. I'm guessing that these figures either formed part of a step-by-step painting guide, or else were part of a larger force destined to be photographed, with time pressures meaning that they faded into the background and didn't need to be finished off to high standard.