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?

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.

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):

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

Saturday 7 September 2013

Rumble in the Jungle: Oldhammer gets down and dirty

The Rumble in the Jungle is a Warhammer 3rd edition scenario that took place at Wargames Foundry last weekend between four heavyweights of the Oldhammer community: Harry "Harry", Chris "Norse", Tom "Hetz" and Richard "lenihan". It was penned by Paul "Padre" with some additional (and as it turned out quite insignificant!) encounters generated by myself.

This post isn't a battle report in the traditional sense - I'm not going to go through the battle blow by blow, partly because I didn't record it in that much detail and partly because I still have not refreshed my memory sufficiently with the rules for a report to make much sense to me or to a reader. So instead I've provided a series of pics that illustrate some key memories of the scenario.

I've lifted the marvellous background directly from Padre - if you want to read the full background and ruleset then its available on the Oldhammer forum:

Friday 6 September 2013

Bryan's cabinets of...Oldhammer!

Bryan Ansell provided a marvellous selection of figures to display at the Oldhammer Weekend at Foundry, all carefully arranged and displayed by his son Marcus. A took quite a few photographs, some of which have appeared previously on this blog, others have not. I'll let the pictures do the talking, but see if you can spot the Blanche-painted Runequest Troll...(hint: it's not in the "Blanche" section).


Thursday 5 September 2013

Fimir - fawsends of 'em!

OK, maybe not "fawsends", but I reckon 100 - 150 at least...

I've just been browsing through "Fantasy Miniatures" 1988, and while reading the write up on "The Great Day" i.e. the Golden Demon Awards 1988 I spotted a rather interesting battle scene.

You can see the scene in question on the bottom row, centre, above. I love pouring over old pics of battle scenes like this, and on closer inspection I realised that every single figure in the army facing the camera is a fimir! There must be at least 100 - 150 of them, and those are just the ones in the shot! Here's a close-up of the scene - feel free to drool over it:

What do you think the fimir are facing? Skaven? But that dinosaur-like thing in the centre towards the bottom is a bit of a mystery. Any ideas?

Wednesday 4 September 2013

Citadel vs Foundry ex-Citadel mercenaries: comparison pictures

In response to a number of requests I decided to take a comparison shot of some of the Citadel slotta base mercenaries versus the Foundry ex-Citadel mercenaries (Foundry on the right in each pair):

Hopefully you can see from the picture above that there has been no shrinkage, and quality has been unaffected. In fact, in response to Marcus's message in yesterday's post that due to advances in casting techniques the figures should be chunkier and crisper, I can vouch that this is indeed the case, which is quite remarkable really! It's probably quite difficult to discern this from the above pic, but if you look at a comparison pic of the sack that one of the figures is carrying it should be obvious (and in case you are wondering, the Citadel figures came out of a blister pack, and are not recasts):

Citadel figure on the left, Foundry on the right.

Tuesday 3 September 2013

Updated: Foundry ex-Citadel Mercenaries now on website

I've had a message from Marcus at Foundry to indicate that they've been having trouble setting up a proper section for the mercenaries on the Foundry website, so there will be a little while before the page is part of the navigation bar. But in the meantime it is possible to order the figures via the website if you go directly to this link:

I've also had some information from Marcus in response to queries as to whether or not the Foundry castings would be smaller than the original Citadel, and if Foundry are using production castings as masters. Marcus writes:

As far as I'm aware the moulds we would cast masters from are the very same moulds that the original greens were pressed in, so we should be able to make models at least as chunky. However, we should still have the original set of master castings and I would hope that nothing has happened to any of these over the years that would make us need to cast more. Theoretically, since production moulding and casting techniques should have advanced in the decades since the models were originally released, we should be making them both chunkier and crisper!

Monday 2 September 2013

Nico's Oldhammer Realm of Chaos army

Over the next few days I'll be making a series of posts about last weekend's Oldhammer event at Foundry, and I couldn't resist by starting with a series of pics of Nico's stunning Realm of Chaos figures. Those of you who follow Oldhammer are probably already aware of Nico's figures and games reports on his Realms of Chaos blog; indeed, many of the figures below have already been seen on his blog and elsewhere. But if you love this guy's work as much as I do you're probably quite happy to see these figures again.

As an aside, you may notice a chaos dwarf juggernaut in this lot - Rick Priestley insists that some rules were produced for this war machine, and were packaged with the machine itself. I've never seen these but if you have, please leave a comment below.

It was great to finally meet Nico in person and to chat about his figures. I make no apologies for the number of pictures that follow, or for my obvious obsession with his mounted units in particular - his conversions are among the best I've ever seen:

Updated: Foundry release Citadel Mercenaries and Blandford Warriors...also Barbarians

I've got some more information and pics of Foundry's latest old Citadel releases. I also neglected to mention that they have unearthed some old Barbarians (or Norse/Vikings...however you want to label them), which I've detailed below.

The first thing to say is that I spoke with Marcus at Foundry about the release of these figures and he told me that the reason they aren't on the website at the moment is that they are waiting for sets of them to be painted up, which makes sense. Some, but not all, have been painted. If you want them in the meantime its best if you call them.


Here are the figures I picked up at the weekend: