Thursday, 28 March 2013

Bryan's cabinets of chaos

In my last post, private wierd (check out his blog if you want to see some truly inspiring Oldhammer battle scenes) asked if I could post some more pics of Bryan's chaos army from the Warhammer Armies book. I couldn't find any more images from the Armies book on my PC, but I did find pics of some of the chaos units currently on display in Bryan's cabinets, which I'd like to share with you. Bryan's display cabinets - as I'm sure you can imagine - are seriously impressive.

(Incidentally, if you're planning on getting married then you could do a lot worse than hire Stoke Hall as a venue. If you're now wondering, "Where the hell did that comment come from?!" - Stoke Hall is Bryan's home and its where these cabinets are on display, which wedding guests are able to view.)

A couple of shots, mainly of beastmen, to start with. Not all of the figures on display here are Citadel but most are:

Above: Kaleb Daark is lurking on the left of the pic and a Runequest manticore is of the right scale to fit in nicely with the other beastmen. To the right of the manticore is a chaos demon from the "C22 Creatures" range; a smashing figure, very Nurgle-esque. To the rear you can see a lovely little banner - great colour scheme and suitably demonic looking.

Above: interesting figure in blue on the front row - not sure of the manufacturer. To the extreme left you can see a conversion - according to the 1990 Fantasy Miniatures book it is by Ivan Bartleet. Apologies for it being out-of-focus. I thought I had a clearer pic somewhere but I can't find it.

On to some seriously well-painted units:

Above: isn't that just one of the best Nurgle banners you've ever seen? And take a close look at those shields...

Above: another excellent Nurgle banner - and - it's being held by a converted unreleased Empire wizard! You can see him here along with some other unreleased wizards in Bryan's collection. On the the left of the front row is a well painted unlisted chaos warrior. Rare-fest! There seems to be a lot of Slaaneshi activity in the back rows, unfortunately out-of-focus. If the opportunity presents itself I'll try to get some better pics of these figures at some point.

Above: some more Nurgle, this time Father Nurgle with a band of little nurglings. Awww, cute...

Above: another great banner, this time Khorne. Also another unlisted chaos warrior (to the right of the banner).

Finally here are some ogres, an unreleased Bob Olley Beast of Nurgle painted by Mike McVey (nestled between some Juggernauts and Bloodletters), and a random undead horde (included because of another great banner):

Hope you enjoyed those.

Monday, 25 March 2013

Paint your beastman

Over in the B.L.O.O.D. forum and across the bloggosphere, ascendent chaos captains are beginning to nail their colours to the mast for the forthcoming Oldhammer Weekend over at Wargames Foundry. Will it be Khorne? Will it be Slaanesh? Or will you - ahem - swing both ways? In true chaos style you may choose to rebel and align yourself to one of the other Great Powers - some putrescent Nurgle perhaps? Or if you really can't decide then Tzeentch may be the one for you... Whatever chaos god you choose to align with, a staple troop choice of many a chaos warband will be the humble beastman. There's a 30% chance you'll acquire some beastmen each time you roll on the retinue table, if that's the route you decide to take in generating your warband.

OK, let's assume you've decided to stick with convention in this Slaves To Darkness anniversary year and go for Khorne and/or Slaanesh. What will be your colour scheme? According to John Blanche (and let's face it, he's the man in the know):

"A livery mainly composed of the martial colours (red, black and brass) suits the followers of Khorne perfectly, whereas Slaanesh has pale skinned followers bedecked in pastel shades, offset by shiny black leather and studs."

If you decide against these colour schemes, then good for you - your place in the pantheon of chaos will be assured. If, however, you decide to follow tradition and John's suggestions you'll be following in the footsteps of the great and the good. Let's take a look at some of the colour schemes evident in Bryan Ansell's collection.

First up is Khorne:

Kill, kill, kill, kill...

Chap on the left has a fairly bog standard colour scheme, while the other three introduce some subtle differences. Notice the spotting on the skin. You'll see this on lots of the figures from the RoC books. It is a technique advocated by John to unify and neaten up figures. I think it works.

Here's the same basic figure but with progressively wackier colour schemes:

Death, death, death, death...
I love these! The black/red contrast on the left-hand figure is really effective, and the edge highlights on his axe look good. The two figures on the right prove that you don't always need to follow convention to achieve some great results. It is chaos after all! And they're still Khornate, right? OK, back to earth for this next lot:

Murder, murder...OK, you get the Khornate point by now...
Simple but effective, and very little brass, black or red in site. Notice how these are the same basic figures as above but with different weapon heads. Actually, come to think about it these may not actually be Khorne - I'll have to take a close look at some of the RoC reference pictures...

Here, however, are some beastmen whose allegiance is unambiguous:

Are those Khornate horns or are you just pleased to see me?
The beginning of skull-creep.

That's enough blood for the blood god. Next up is Slannesh:

Dodgy hood - check. Right breast protruding - check. They must be Slaanesh.

OK, they may be painted fairly simply by today's standards, but the sickly green/black colour scheme works well. I hadn't previously noticed the markings on the waist, or that binding around the right leg. Can anyone remember if these are some sort of hallmark of Slaanesh?

Here's some more androgynous excess:

Bondage gear rather than hoods, and it's that breast again. Check out the eye-liner!

You'll find that many of the Slaanesh beastmen, and Slaanesh chaos champions too, have the flesh of one leg exposed while the other leg is wrapped in clothing of a certain persuasion. It's details like this that give these excellent old figures such character.

Back to the hood, waist markings and right leg binding again (there must be a pattern emerging?):

I love the muted browns on this figure, and good subtle use of shading. Lastly for Slaanesh (you may want to don your sunshades at this point):

I can sing a rainbow, sing a rainbow...

Let's move on...

Finally, if you thought the above were old-skoooool, check out these next ones:

You can see these actual figures on page 75 of the Warhammer Armies book (2nd picture from the top)

Heralding from a time when the four chaos powers were just a glint in Bryan Ansell's eyes, these are the original Citadel beastmen from the Runequest lineup back in the early 1980's. Bryan ranks the RQ beastmen as his favourites of all the Citadel beastmen, and I have to say I agree with him. It's probably nostalgia - they were the first beastmen I bought - but the RQ beastmen were "proper beastly"  - have a look at this advert from the first Citadel Compendium:

I'm sure you'll agree there's a fantastic selection of chaos mutations scattered among this lot, and giving that they are 30-ish years old, the sculpting quality is actually very good - well, they are Perry sculpts after all...

You can see these figures and more in my Bryan Ansell gallery, to which I'll be uploading lots more new pics this week.