Monday, 30 September 2013

The Bryan Ansell collection: Talisman Timescape, Talisman Dungeon and Chainsaw Warrior figures

Bryan Ansell has the majority of the painted figures that appeared in the Talisman White Dwarf adverts in issues 94 (Talisman Dungeon) and 100 (Talisman Timescape). Unfortunately I have been unable to find the Talisman Dungeon Sprite, Dark Elf and Scout figures, but as a bonus I have included the three non-Talisman Chainsaw Warrior figures in this post (an additional Chainsaw Warrior was included in the Talisman Timescape set). Stupidly, I completely mixed up the figures in taking the pics below!

Saturday, 21 September 2013

The Bryan Ansell collection: shields up!

The last time I saw Bryan he presented me with a cardboard box about the size of a brick, which was full of old Citadel metal shields. Bryan offered me the opportunity to take a sort the shields for variants, a challenge I duly accepted.

Here are the results: 61 different variants in total. Are you a fan of these old shields?

The shields with faces, top row, are particularly characterful, with some being differentiated by just subtle differences in facial features:

Friday, 20 September 2013

Mystery Citadel/Ral Partha Troll or Ogre - can you help identify?

***EDIT***: interesting news from Tom Meier:

"Yes, that's one of mine. It was one of two pieces, there's a troll-child being dragged along by the hand that goes with it and  fits into her right hand.""

So, have you seen the troll child? Please get in touch if you have!


Previously I posted this:

I have a picture of a mystery troll (or ogre) marked "Ral Partha 1983" under the base. Its not in any of the catalogues of the time - Citadel or Ral Partha (Citadel were distributing Ral Partha back then). I'm guessing it's a Tom Meier sculpt. Do you recognise it?

It's a wonderful sculpt! I'd love to get a positive ID on it, and even better, if you have one going spare let me know!

The only other place I've seen it is an example painted by John Blanche in White Dwarf 116:

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Ivan Bartleet's Honour Guard of Chaos: Mike McVey's Greater Demon of Nurgle found

Back in April I blogged about finding Ivan Bartleet's War Altar of Chaos in Bryan Ansell's collection. I pondered on the whereabouts of the remainder of this chaos warband, which can be seen gathered together on the back of White Dwarf 128:

Well, the Greater Demon of Nurgle, bottom left of the above pic has been located in Bryan's collection, and is presented below in all his pustulent glory. The figure is actually painted by Mike McVey (thanks Stuart for alerting me to that!):

What a wonderful and sickly contrast between the dark green and pink!

Monday, 16 September 2013

Bryan's cabinets of chaos: mystery beastmen

When I started my "Bryan's cabinets of chaos" series of posts it became evident that scattered among his ranks of old Citadel beastmen and broo were a number of figures of uncertain origin. Some were identified as conversions but others remain a mystery. These figures were on display at the Oldhammer Weekend at Foundry, so I took the opportunity to document them for the record. Bryan has no real memory of what these are or where they came from, but thinks that some may have originated in the USA (Bryan recounts that a number of American miniatures companies rose and quickly fell back in the early days).

Do you recognise any of these figures? If so please let me know.

Possibly Ral Partha or Grenadier?

Figure on the right may be a Skaven - cant quite tell from the angle. But what is the figure on the left?

Possibly Ral Partha?

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Foundry ex-Citadel and more: Bryan Ansell shares some thoughts

Bryan Ansell kindly left a comment on one of my recent posts regarding the content of the "Foundry archive"; given that some people may have missed it had they already read the post, I thought I would post it again:

I fear that there is very little fantasy stuff, as my father (Clifford Ansell: for who Foundry was originally set up as a retirement job) was never interested in having anything at all to do with fantasy.

The sad truth is that......

In the late(r) 80's my father did quite a lot of mould making, master casting and such for GW. I believe that odds and ends of residue from that period may survive.

Of course, Alan and Michael Perry went from their old C26 Citadel medievals to ranges of compatible models for Foundry: the Foundry models are just a touch bigger and more carefully sculpted.

The C26 range of men at arms was Citadels best selling Fantasy range for three years. (I just threw that in here for a bit of Oldhammer colour).

There will be a scattering of Perry models that never made it into a pack.

There will be loads of Human Manikins: with and without heads, faces, arms, genitals etc. Many of them will never have been used: you can't stop a sculptor making yet another manikin. Plenty of naked horses, other naked animals. Scabbards, swords, muskets, hats and weaponry of every kind. Shields: variants of every possible shape of shield. Strange things that sculptors or members of staff made for their own amusement. Nick, the caster who came with us from Guernsey made some interesting things. Tony Yates made a number of very fine items.

The seven sculptors that worked at Foundry for me a decade or so ago all worked from home, this generally results in the larger-than-usual-number-of-models-that-are-left-over-because-we-cannot-make-up-a-full-pack syndrome manifesting itself: so there will be a fair number of those.

There are a small number really old moulds from the period we were casting Asgard and Citadel (and Ral Partha) simultaneously. Unfortunately, I don't think there is anything terribly rivetting on them. Simple conversions for playtesting Laserburn and suchlike. We have shown the laser-armed Fishmen to the world already. I suspect that these were converted by either me or Rick, and that I must have made the mould, but I have no memory at all of the event.

Now, all of this is fascinating of course, but there's a couple of points I'd like to highlight. The first is Bryan's comment about:

The C26 range of men at arms was Citadels best selling Fantasy range for three years.

Notice the word "fantasy" in there - not the best-selling historical range for three years, but fantasy. Given that Citadel were churning out orcs, dwarfs etc at that time this seems quite remarkable. But if you've ever seen those fabulous old massed-battle pics from back in the day, it's invariably a human force versus a force of "bad guys." So I guess it's hardly surprising that the C26s were in such demand as a proxy human fantasy force.

For my second point I'm going to have to disagree with Bryan's opinion when he says:

There are a small number really old moulds from the period we were casting Asgard and Citadel (and Ral Partha) simultaneously. Unfortunately, I don't think there is anything terribly rivetting on them. Simple conversions for playtesting Laserburn and suchlike.

Nothing rivetting! Laserburn playtest pieces - wow, now that would be fantastic! What do you think about this prospect?

Actually I had been musing about doing a post on these Laserburn playtest pieces - Bryan has lots in his collection. It looks like I'm going to have to write that post sooner rather than later.

Friday, 13 September 2013

The Broken Nose Tribal Army List by Richard Halliwell and Rick Priestley

I'm currently in the process of painting up a small group of 1980's Kev Adams Citadel Miniatures Orcs, and I've been thumbing through back issues of White Dwarf for colour scheme inspiration. In White Dwarf 87 I came across this unusual 'Eavy Metal article - other than displaying images of some lovely old painted orcs and goblins, it didn't really have a painting or modelling component. Instead it focussed on an army list that tied in with the recently published Ravening Hordes.

The introduction to the army list indicates that it "is intended for friendly games not the Warhammer League." I'm not familiar with the Warhammer League - is it an early incarnation of the tournament scene? If it's something you were involved in could you leave a comment and share your experiences?

The back-story to the army list centres around an impending conflict between the goblinoids and the dwarfs at Blackfire Pass, which is a "legendary battlefield" in today's Warhammer. I don't know if this article is the first time we have been introduced to the Pass?

All in all the article presents us with some wonderful and inspirational old painted figures, the usual humorous back-story we have come to expect from the likes of Halliwell and Priestley, and some very entertaining troop choices such as the goblin fanatics, snotlings and lead belcher. I'm tempted to put together a similar force for a future battle: I'm a big fan of troop choices with random consequences!

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

The Bryan Ansell collection: the "Travelling Players" (Citadel Miniatures C46 Villagers)

The "Travelling Players," sculpted by Mark Copplestone, were a subset of the Citadel Miniatures C46 Villagers range. They are in much demand today by collectors, particularly those who collect old Empire figures. Orclord gives a good summary of the range on his Stuff of Legends page:

The Travelling Players were never designed to be a special set, according to Bryan Ansell, they were just a collection of new c46 sculpts thrown into a particular mail order offer. They have, however, become extremely collectable. There are 2 illustrations of the range, one in White Dwarf 96, page 64 which shows 22 pieces and the other in an October 1987 mail order flyer which shows 25, additionally including the Lute Hero, Flake and the Loudmouth. The names on the ads and on the slottabase tabs are in some cases different, the Flake, Loudmouth, Ruffian and Thug all being marked Gypsy on their tabs. Several of them were slightly modifed and re-appeared in the 1988 Townsfolk release.

Here are the White Dwarf advert and mail order flyer in question (scans courtesy of Tony Mansfield):

The three figures missing from the White Dwarf advert are indicated.

I've managed to locate 24 of the 25 Players in Bryan's collection, and I have been unable to locate the Strongman figure. The figures below are the actual ones depicted in the White Dwarf advert above, which means that the three Players which were NOT depicted in the advert - the Loudmouth, the Lute Hero and the Flake - can be seen for the first time in their painted state below. I dont know why they were left out of the White Dwarf advert.

Loudmouth on right.

Lute Hero on right.

Flake second from left.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Foundry ex-Citadel and more: what lies beneath?

If you read my posts on the ex-Citadel Mercenaries that have recently been found at Foundry and are now for sale on their website, you might be wondering what else from the distant past they have stored away, ready to unleash? A similar question was recently raised on the Foundry Arena Venue Facebook page, and Bryan Ansell himself has given the following response (I added the links to the Foundry's ebay sites mentioned in Bryan's response):

I'm afraid that the sad truth is that we don't really know. When we gathered up the various discontinued ranges that had become redundant at Citadel, we had no idea that anyone would ever attach any great significance to any of them. They were never properly catalogued. We do have over 5,000 old master moulds here at Stoke Hall, but they have never been fully catalogued either.

There will be ten or more items on each master mould, so it is likely that more interesting and/or strange stuff will eventually appear. I know that we have old Rick Priestley odds and ends including some rather worrying sphincter beasts that date back to the Asgard days. Also some tremendously characterful models from Tony Yates.

We will be in a better position to sort through the really old and characterful stuff when all the ranges that were sculpted and cast, but not released during the last decade by the Pinfold/Fletcher team have seen the light of day. There are also SF models by Terrifically Tim Prow that deserve casting up. We have been casting the more obscure models up and putting them on ebay either on Flyte of Fantasy or Casting Room Miniatures.

I'm pretty sure I have one of those sphincter beasts (seriously). So, 5,000 master moulds that haven't been fully catalogued? Very intriguing!

If any more ex-Citadel emerges you can be sure I'll post it here as soon as I hear the news.

Monday, 9 September 2013

The Bryan Ansell collection: Blood Bowl (second edition) Citadel Miniatures

Today's dip into the Bryan Ansell collection uncovers some Blood Bowl (second edition) Citadel Miniatures. I've been scouring through old White Dwarfs to discover who painted these figures, and although many of them are illustrated in 'Eavy Metal articles I can't find any indication of who painted them. Any help would be appreciated.

Big Guys



Dark Elves