Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Happy Birthday to my blog! A review of the year

It was a year ago today that I started this blog, and what a year it's been! Some incredible unreleased and previously unseen Games Workshop figures have emerged in the Bryan Ansell collection; Tim Pollard's collection has revealed some fascinating surprises; Dave Perry's painted old-skool figures have wowed us; and I've started gaming and painting again after a 25 year break! There's plenty more to come in my second year - and I might even do some more painting and gaming.

The blog has attracted 157 followers, and another 51 people are my google+ followers. Does that count as 208 followers?! I guess so...Anyway, the blog appears to have had around 133,000 pageviews which I'm delighted about because more people need to see the stuff in these collections. So please spread the word!

Please indulge me as I revisit some of my favourite posts of the past year.

The blog kicked off with preparations for the forthcoming Oldhammer Weekend at Wargames Foundry, which was still 6 months away at that time, but much needed to be done. My first post offered some suggestions for chaos beastmen colour schemes, based on some of Bryan's beastmen to be seen in the pages of the Realm of Chaos books. Continuing with the beastmen theme, I began documenting the contents of Bryan's "Cabinets of Chaos" which revealed some truly stunning figures.

Being a huge fan of John Blanche's painted figures and artwork, it was a pleasure to see these early JB figures in Bryan's collection last April.

A further post in April 2013 also revealed that Ivan Bartleet's incredible War Altar of Nurgle was alive and well in Bryan's collection.

Xaxus Chaos-Thrall revealed himself in May, and it was truly a moment of childhood memories for me to see this Compendium 1 converted figure in the flesh. Converted by Bryan, painted by John Blanche - what a heritage!

In June, a retrospective of a Rogue Trader event held at Wargames Foundry in 2012 focussed on Bryan's Genestealer Cult, which not only included some wonderfully painted figures, but also some rare unreleased figures and Dale Hurst's scratch-built limousines.

I started a series of posts on the Rogue Trader Space Marines in Bryan's collection back in July (there's more to come of these).

I blogged about Dale Hurst's Tzeentch warband in Bryan's collection last August and it's great to see so many of these have survived.

At the end of August Wargames Foundry revealed that they had discovered the moulds for the ex-Citadel Blandford Warriors and Mercenaries, which raised the exciting prospect of what other ex-Citadel goodies are yet to be revealed in the Foundry "vault."

The end of August also so Oldhammer Weekend running at Foundry, and Bryan brought along a large selection of his painted figures to display. Envious Oldhammerers spent lots of time drooling over those cabinets!

I co-GM'd a Rumble in the Jungle game over the Oldhammer Weekend using Warhammer 3rd edition rules. There was plenty of Norse/Amazon/Orc/Gorilla/Pygmy action - it was a blast!

Anyone who attended the Oldhammer Weekend will never forget the site of Nico's Realm of Chaos army on the table. There are no words...

One of the highlights of blogging about Bryan's painted figures that appeared in old White Dwarf adverts came in October, when a post about painted Rogue Trader Adventurers revealed these bombshells:

I had the pleasure of bringing Dave Perry's wonderful painted miniatures to my blog last October, which started with some excellent Jes Goodwin Chaos Champions.

We've not seen the last of Dave's figures yet.

October also saw the start of some mind-boggling discoveries of unreleased figures in Bryan's collection. We had Rogue Trader era Adeptus Arbites, an unknown figure from the Rogue Trader rulebook, an Adeptus Administratum, and the "8 ball trooper."

In December I had an opportunity to trawl through Tim Pollard's collection of miniatures, looking for some rare gems. He didn't disappoint and revealed a prototype metal Dark Future car, a mulit-part metal Rogue Trader Space Marine, and a guitar-playing Space Marine!

In January I covered the unreleased metal prototype Wizards of Morcar figures (Heroquest expansion) in Dave Perry's collection. Or at least they were - Dave no longer owns them. Not only are these beautifully painted, but I need all of them except for the orc - help me someone!

In February the very rare and much sought after Nuln Spearman appeared on ebay and in a flash he was gone, along with his equally rare Guard Captain companion. *SIGH*

February also saw the discovery of an unreleased Rogue Trader Ork weapon platform in Bryan's collection. A simple but highly desirable (in my opinion!) piece of kit.

Speaking of desirable, March saw the revelation of yet another unreleased Rogue Trader era figure - an Adeptus Mechanicus - plus the "Ymgarl Genestealer," which led to much moaning and gnashing of teeth!

So there you have it, some of my personal favourites of the last year. I hope you've enjoyed following my blog over the last year, and rest-assured we haven't seen the end of these collections yet. Far from it.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Big changes to Royal Mail pricing for figure shipment

If anyone ships figures from the UK to overseas then there are some big price changes coming in at the end of March. They are also changing their policy for posting items overseas. It will no longer be possible to ship a human-sized figure at “letter rate” – it will have to be posted by “package rate.” This means that the price of shipping a figure to Europe will increase from £1.28 (letter rate now) to £3.20 (packet rate)!

Full details here:


Monday, 17 March 2014

Unreleased Rogue Trader Adeptus Mechanicus (Bryan Ansell collection)

I'm starting to run out of adjectives to describe the figures I'm unearthing in Bryan Ansell's collection. Today's figure - an unreleased Adeptus Mechanicus from the Rogue Trader era - is exquisite. But on first glance you may not fully agree with this sentiment:

So why "exquisite"? Well, first it is the only Adeptus Mechanicus figure from the period that actual matches this piece of artwork from the original Rogue Trader rulebook:

A second piece of AM artwork from the rulebook does resemble a figure that made it into production:

And here's the figure by Bob Olley (image from the Collecting Citadel Miniatures wiki):

Now don't get me wrong, I love Bob Olley's three Rogue Trader AM from the time, but it's great to see this unseen interpretation of the facial details of the AM. Which brings me on to the second reason why I think this new figure is exquisite - the fine details (particularly the head):

How's that for a skull? Sinister! The tubes are visible too. Can you imagine what this would look like in the hands of a skilled painter? Here's another side-view that illustrates the extent of the hood, and the size of tome being carried by the AM:

Finally here's a comparison shot with Bob Olley's AM:

The new AM is a little smaller, but then perhaps that's appropriate for the figure in question?

By the way, Bob Naismith thinks this is one of his sculpts.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Unreleased 40k gang member sculpted by John Blanche

Here's something that you may not know ever existed, even if you are a fan of Old Skool Confrontation/Necromunda figures:

A 40k gang member that was sculpted by John Blanche. Yes that's right - sculpted. And cast! Here's some blurb from White Dwarf issue 121:

Now to find the actual version that was painted by John Blanche...

Thursday, 6 March 2014

New unreleased genestealer in Bryan Ansell's collection

The original Rogue Trader rulebook contains a section on the alien races found throughout the Imperium, and includes an illustration of a prototype Tyranid that later made it into very limited release (essentially unreleased). It now appears that the "proto-nid" was not the only Tyranid-related illustration to have resulted in a miniature: the original Genestealer or "Ymgarl Genestealer" seems to have been produced but not released. This figure was found in Bryan's collection of castings in a zip-loc bag labelled "Genestealer":

It's a 6-limbed multi-part casting, but with the miracle of blu-tac I have brought it to life. Here's a scale shot next to a Genestealer Magus and an early purestrain genestealer:

And are some more shots including close-ups of the head with tentacled mouth:

Here is the Ymgarl Genestealer as illustrated in the Rogue Trader rulebook:

A pretty close match wouldn't you agree? The head of the miniature, and particularly the tail, is more akin to the movie Alien figures, but it's essentially the same figure. Notice the miniature has the mouth tentacles of the illustration.

So, what do you think? I want one!