Tuesday 30 April 2013

Who shall stem the tide of chaos?

I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day. An hour of wolves and shattered shields, when the age of men comes crashing down, but it is not this day. This day we fight! For all that you hold dear on this good Earth, I bid you stand, Men of the West!
 (Quote attributed to some bloke in shiny armour on a horse)

The forces of chaos are gathering for the march on Nottingham this Summer, and if reports are to be believed in their wake come all manner of foulness; Dark Elf, Orc and Goblin. So who will stem this tide of evil...

The time of the Elves is over, my people are leaving these shores. Who will you look to when we've gone? The Dwarves? They toil away in caverns, seeking riches. They care nothing for the troubles of others.
It is in Men that we must place our hope.

But where are the men? The real men? OK, perhaps not the real men, but at least they're 25/28mm equivalent? Remember those great table battle scenes of old, when it was the forces of men that held back the tide of chaos? In today's game we have the forces of Khorne allied to those of Slaanesh and I've even heard it said that elves can bind chaos demons to their will. What has the world come to? Let us dispense with this blasphemy and return to a golden age when it was clear where battle lines were drawn, and it was men that drew them! Some of my favourite battle scenes from old issues of White Dwarf and the early editions of Warhammer featured humans vs chaos:

Friday 26 April 2013

Bryan's cabinets of chaos 4

This week's glimpse into Bryan's cabinets focuses on some of the chaotic beasts on display. As usual, there's some well painted treasures together with cool conversions and rarities.

Thursday 25 April 2013

The mystery of the disappearing images and a lesson learned!

Apologies to anyone browsing my blog over the past day who encountered a bunch of symbols in place of images (thanks to Warlord Paul for the heads-up). This is what happened: I was browsing the gallery on my "smart" phone yesterday and noticed that it had downloaded the images from my blog. Not needing them on my phone I proceeded to delete them. What I hadn't realised is that my phone had synced the images and not downloaded them, so when I deleted them from my phone it also deleted them from my blog! So I've been spending a fair bit of time adding the images back to the blog. I'm nearly there but I've got a couple of posts left to go, so please bear with me.

I wont be doing that again...!

Monday 22 April 2013

Mike McVey's dioramas of the 1990s: Warhammer Quest

I recently visited Warhammer World in Nottingham for a Forge World Open Day event, and took the opportunity to snap a few pics in The Citadel Miniatures Hall, which is well worth a visit if you are in the area. I concentrated much of my snapping efforts on the dioramas of Mike McVey, several of which can be found in the Hall. For Oldhammerers of a certain age Mike will always be one of the most iconic members of the 'Eavy Metal team. Mike's dioramas on display in The Citadel Miniatures Hall are all from the 1990s, which is just after my main period of interest, but the painting and modelling skill on display certainly makes them deserving of a closer look (and there are some 1980s figures on show too). In this first post of a series I'll be looking at Mike's Warhammer Quest diorama, which featured in White Dwarf 191. After uploading my pictures to blogger, I dug out my copy of White Dwarf 191 assuming I would find a picture of the diorama to add to the post..what I found was a whole lot more! I hadn't realised that Mike had put together a whole 'Eavy Metal article on the diorama, complete with narrative walk-through. So I decided to upload the article to Scribd and present it at the end of this post. Given that Mike has already done a sterling job of describing the diorama I will leave you with just my pictures, and let you read about the diorama in Mike's own words.

Friday 19 April 2013

Golden Demon awards in the Golden Age: part 2 (1991)

In this second installment of Golden Demon awards in the Golden Age I will be sharing with you images of figures from the 1991 awards. This was the first year that Golden Demon was also held outside the UK (in the USA and Canada) and pictures of some of the overseas entries can be seen. The Scribd document begins with a two-page introduction to the awards (from White Dwarf 139); next are the entries themselves as seen in White Dwarf 140 including those from the USA and Canada; and finally (from page 22 on) some more Golden Demon finalists as seen in White Dwarf 141.

Thursday 18 April 2013

War Altar of Nurgle by Ivan Bartleet

My posting of images of Ivan Bartleet's Chalice of Doom has provoked a number of comments, largely centred on the relief people feel at the thought it is safe and sound, residing in Bryan's collection. Well, another old classic is alive and well at Bryan's....

White Dwarf issues 125 and 128 featured the War Altar of Nurgle, another one of Ivan's, and something I remember clearly and very fondly from my youth. You can imagine my surprise and delight when I discovered it residing at Bryan's. I really do apologise for the quality of the next pic, suffice to say it was taken in haste and without any preparation:

Golden Demon awards in the Golden Age: 1987 revisited using Scribd

Orlygg over at Realm of Chaos 80s has just reposted his feature on the three Fantasy Miniatures books, and they are very handily presented in Scribd format. I haven't tried this approach before so if you will indulge me I'm going to repost the Golden Demon Awards 1987 feature from White Dwarf 93 using Scribd. If this works then I will probably present a number of similar future posts using Scribd - it will save on all that clicking...please let me know if this format isn't working for you. If you are new to Scribd then clicking on the expand screen icon at the bottom right of the Scribd box below (to the right of the + and - zoom buttons) gives you a full screen view.

Tuesday 16 April 2013

Golden Demon awards in the Golden Age: part 1 (1987)

Games Workshop's National Figure Painting Championships - The Golden Demon Awards - began in 1987. Between 1988 and 1990 Games Workshop produced a series of three books (Fantasy Miniatures) which showcased the Golden Demon awards of 1988, 1989 and 1990 (the first book also illustrated some of the 1987 finalists). Unfortunately GW did not produce any further such books until 2002. White Dwarf magazines did, however, continue to feature photographs of Golden Demon finalists' figures, and I thought it might be fun to share with you images of such figures from 1991 and 1992. During these two years most of the figures illustrated were still of 1980's vintage (my favourite period) - after 1992 such figures tend to tail off.

I'll begin this retrospective series of blog posts, however, with the Golden Demon Awards of 1987. As I mentioned, Fantasy Miniatures (1988) illustrated some of the entries for the 1987 Awards, but there is better narrative and illustrative coverage of these Awards in White Dwarf 93. Actually, it's a very entertaining read and I'd recommend you make yourself a cuppa and spend a few moments basking in nostalgia...be warned however - there is 1980's fashion on display...

(PLEASE NOTE: if you simply click on the images you will see a slide show - if you want to see any image in close-up then right-click on it and select "Open link in new tab." Then click to zoom).

 If you are wondering where these wonderful figures are today then I can tell you that Bryan Ansell now has the "Chalice of Doom":

 ...and I own Nick Sewell's Zombie Dragon.

So, were you there? What are your memories of the day? Did you win anything? Who was Azaroth?

Friday 12 April 2013

Bryan's cabinets of chaos 3

Time to ramp-up nostalgia to the max and take another peek into Bryan's cabinets. Some more chaosy delights for you today. I still have to pinch myself at times to remind myself that these are the actual figures I used to drool over as a spotty teenager in the likes of White Dwarf and the ROC books.

First up some Khorne, and a front row that again demonstrates how an overall red/black/brass colour scheme can actually be quite varied:

Tuesday 9 April 2013

John Blanche's early fantasy/scifi conversions

I'm a huge fan of the miniature artwork of John Blanche, and his Blanchitsu column in White Dwarf has kept me entertained and informed for many years. I continue to buy White Dwarf, and I've noticed that much of the focus in recent Blanchitsu has been on converting fantasy figures (or parts thereof) to scifi, often with an inquisitorial slant. This trait of converting fantasy figures to scifi is by no means new, and is something that John has been taking great delight in for decades. I recently had the opportunity to take some photographs of such figures in Bryan Ansell's collection. Figures 1 - 9 below all started life as early 1980's preslotta Citadel fantasy (OK, with a couple of exceptions). See how many you can spot (what I believe to be the answers can be found by clicking on the figure captions).

Figure 1

Monday 8 April 2013

Bryan's cabinets of chaos 2

So the good news is that I've got loads more pics of Bryan Ansell's figures, enough material to keep this blog going for a good few months!

Today's post will be taking a closer look at some of the figures from Bryan's now famous chaos army that appeared in the Warhammer Armies (1988) book. Bryan is currently homing the majority of these figures in his display cabinets, but there are remnants scattered in his figure drawers that have yet to make it to display. By the way, he's hoping to bring this army to the Oldhammer Weekend.

The exact figures from Bryan's army are scattered among other chaos and non-chaos figures from the period. If you are feeling particularly beardy why not get out your copy of Warhammer Armies and see how many figures you can spot?

In this post I'll be showing some pics of the main bulk of the army, the Broo (plus some preslotta beastmen), plus some of the army characters. I've taken pics from slightly different angles: my photography skills aren't great but I hope these pics are good enough for you to get a feel for the oldschool charm of the figures. The Broo figures are derived from the following Citadel ranges: C38 Beastmen; Runequest Broo (loose/blistered figures); Runequest Broo Box 3 (v2) Attack of the Broo; Runequest Broo Box 4 (v1) with separate heads and weapons (a great set for conversion possibilities); and Runequest Broo Box 4 (v2) with fixed heads and weapons.

Monday 1 April 2013

The Dragons of Stoke Hall

Dramatic footage today of Stoke Hall being attacked by a pair of dragons.
Taking a short break from the Realm, today I've got some dragons from Bryan's collection for your perusal. Several of these were featured in White Dwarf 96, which gave some advice of painting and assembling dragons, together with some Warhammer stats for them. Haven't got a copy of WD96 handy? I've included the relevant scans at the end of this post. If you're thinking of taking an Empire or Bretonnian army along to the Oldhammer weekend, then according to Warhammer Armies, adding a wizard means a dragon becomes an acceptable bound host choice...