Friday 24 October 2014

Foundry's forthcoming Kev Adams Beastmen...and some orcs

These have not yet been cast! I wanted to put this disclaimer in right at the start so (hopefully) nobody gets confused and calls Foundry to order a bunch because these have not yet been cast!

I called in on Wargames Foundry yesterday and took the opportunity to see the line of chaos beastmen that Kev Adams is starting to sculpt for Bryan. These will probably be released under the Warmonger Miniatures banner once the time is right, but I'm afraid I don't have information as to when this might be. Bryan is still pondering how to approach the release, and he may go the Kickstarter route; he hasn't decided yet. I don't think the name of the figures themselves is set in stone either: although they are clearly "beast men" they may yet end up with a different title.

Kev has sculpted a bunch of heads, and is now starting with some bodies. As you might expect from Kev the quality of the work is stunning, with bags of character and a "proper chaos" feel. Currently the heads are mainly of the "goat man" type (which he has executed brilliantly I'm sure you'll agree) but he assures me he will also be sculpting mutated beastmen, so there's a right mix to come - exciting stuff!

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Bryan Ansell collection: Warlock of Firetop Mountain miniatures

Just a quickie from me today. Yesterday, James of the Realm of Chaos 80s blog posted the Metal Mayhem articles from the now defunct Warlock magazine. Within these articles could be seen the figures from the 1980s Warlock of Firetop Mountain range by Citadel. James posed the question as to whether the figures illustrated were the original plastics or metal counterparts.

Well, not only can I confirm they are plastic, but they now reside in Bryan Ansell's collection:

Nicely painted, I'm sure you will agree.

Thursday 28 August 2014

Painty stuff: Adeptus Mechanicus (Bob Olley/Rogue Trader)

I've been collecting Citadel Miniatures for many years, but until recently I've been one of those stereotypical collectors who tends to stick new acquisitions in drawers to gather dust. It wasn't always so; until the late 80s I was a keen gamer, and over the past couple of years I've taken up that pursuit once more. One thing though that I've never really spent much time on is painting, which is a shame given the number of figures I now have. So I'm trying to do something about it. I've painted a handful of figures (most of which I haven't actually completed), but I'm now going to try in earnest to improve my painting.

There's a good chance that you share my love of the painted figures that appeared in the 'Eavy Metal pages of White Dwarf in the 1980s and early 1990s. Vivid colours and an imaginative approach to colour combination was the name of the game back then, and this is the approach that I'm trying to emulate. Here's one of the first steps on which I hope will be my road to that destination:

There were a couple of techniques I wanted to experiment with when painting this Rogue Trader era Bob Olley sculpted Adeptus Mechanicus: thinning paint, and glazing with inks.

Yes, I appreciate that you painty types who are reading this probably think I'm stating the obvious when it comes to thinning paints, but it's not something that I've formerly been fond of. This has been particularly true whenever I've used colours such as yellow and orange, and I've been of the belief that these pigments are already thin, so why thin more? Consequently I've ended up with rather thick and not too pleasing paint jobs. So on this occasion I was determined to give this thinning lark a go. The figure was undercoated white and the first thin coat of hobgoblin orange/red core (old Citadel paints) was applied. As I suspected it looked very thin, but I let it dry for a couple of minutes and perservered. About 4 or 5 thin coats in my mind was blown! I was so pleased with the result! Thinning subsequent highlight and shadow colour combinations made layering so much easier. My eyes have been opened!

I'm also a big convert to thinning with inks. I used Winsor & Newton or old Citadel inks on this figure, and glazed pretty much every part. The glazes really give depth to the colours and at the same time lift them and make them really vivid. Another conversion for me!

I have to be honest and say that once I'd painted the orange clothing - which I'm really happy with - I got a bit bored with the remainder of the figure, and painting the other parts was a bit of a chore. Ah well, I made it to the end at least.

So now I'm hooked, and I'm looking forward to sharing more painty stuff with you in future, and I genuinely would appreciate your feedback in how to improve my technique. One of my goals is that once I'm up-and-running and gaining in confidence, I'll be turning to painting my collection of unreleased figures.

Thursday 21 August 2014

A spotter's guide to recasts and recasters

The issue of recasting and recasts is an emotive one in the collecting and gaming community and has on occasion led to people being falsely accused of being recasters. I have been collecting Citadel Miniatures for three decades, and I have often observed people make false assumptions on what constitutes a recast, and as a consequence are far too quick to declare a given figure a recast, and it's owner a recaster.

Wednesday 6 August 2014

Update on unreleased unseen Heroquest prototype figures (Bryan Ansell's collection)

Back in May I posted about some fascinating figures I found in Bryan Ansell's collection that appear to be unreleased and previously unseen Heroquest prototypes. Well I recently had the pleasure of discussing these figures with none other than Jes Goodwin, and he appears to have solved the mystery.

Firstly, Jes confirmed that of the seven mystery figures, he sculpted the following five:



He suspects that the remaining two were sculpted by the Perry twins:


Now, with regards to why these prototypes do not resemble the known prototypes, Jes' theory is as follows:

Jes seems to recall that the seven prototypes above were the very first prototypes created for Heroquest when the game was in development. He suspects that the two knight figures were dropped and didn't make it into the final game. The known Heroquest prototypes (seen here) were later created to be painted and used in the box art. So the known Heroquest prototypes are in fact a second incarnation of prototypes. The neat thing about this theory is that it explains why the known metal prototypes closely resemble the plastic production figures (for example, here), but most of these previously unseen prototypes do not!

Thanks Jes!

Friday 1 August 2014

Have you ever seen a Sphincter Beast?

Well you have now:

Sculpted by Rick Priestley, who comments:

Ah - I think that's a Bouncing Vrubee (or some such) sculpted for Asgard back in the day - pre-dates RT by quite a few years - not sure if it was ever officially released though as it's not on the Stuff of Legends site.

This one is in Bryan Ansell's collection.

Go on, admit it - you NEED one of these...

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Chaz Elliott artwork identification - help!

Chaz Elliott (yes, he of Games Workshop fame!) is about to start selling his collection of figures and artwork. I know that his artwork appeared in various old issues of White Dwarf, the Rogue Trader rulebook and numerous other publications, but it would be great to pin down exactly where some of the artwork can be found. So, a bit a of detective work is needed: can you help to ID the sources of the following images? Please leave your comments below if you manage to positively ID the source.

Image 1

Friday 13 June 2014

The Bryan Ansell collection: Space Marine Scouts (Rogue Trader era)

Just a quickie today to showcase some of the painted Games Workshop/Citadel Miniatures Space Marine scouts in Bryan Ansell's collection. A mixture of metal and plastic (from the Advanced Space Crusade set). Some of the plastic scouts are particularly well-painted, and the metal scouts look great with the face paint!

Friday 30 May 2014

Unreleased unseen Heroquest (?) prototype figures (Bryan Ansell's collection)

This is potentially something a bit special. I say "potentially" because there's a bit of a mystery surrounding the origin of these figures. They were all found in a zip-lock bag in Bryan Ansell's collection with "HEROQUEST" written on the bag in marker pen. Although I can say for sure these are unreleased sculpts, I cannot be certain on their link with Heroquest. First the figures, then the reasons for why they are a mystery:


Wednesday 28 May 2014

Unreleased Rogue Trader adventurer (Bryan Ansell's collection)

Today's offering from the Ansell horde is yet another unreleased Rogue Trader Adventurer:

This figure is labelled "Feral Shaman" on the tab and was produced in 1987. I don't know who sculpted it but at a guess I would say Trish Carden or Aly Morrison. Could be wrong though. No idea who painted it but it was part of the collection of Bryan's painted Rogue Trader Adventurers that can be found in this advert from White Dwarf 99:

I have no idea what he's carrying under his arm - any suggestions? Also, does anyone recall reading about feral shamans in the old Rogue Trader rulebooks or White Dwarfs, or do you think he's just a "generic character"?

Tuesday 20 May 2014

Unreleased playtest/prototype Titan (Bryan Ansell's collection)

Work and family commitments have resulted in a lull in my blog posts recently, but now I'm back and my unreleased cup overfloweth. I've got plenty of fine figures to show you, both from Bryan Ansell's collection and also ones I've accumulated for my own personal collection over the last few months. So, on with the show.

***PLEASE NOTE*** this blog post has been updated since the start of the day. I initially though I was blogging about an unreleased Rogue Trader era robot but it appears it's an unreleased playtest/prototype Titan.

Today's offering was found in Bryan's collection and is an imposing Citadel Miniatures unreleased playtest/prototype Titan sculpted by Bob Naismith (thanks for confirming that Bob!):

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.

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:

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":

Thursday 27 February 2014

Unseen Rogue Trader Space Ork Weapon Platform: Bryan Ansell collection

Here's a curious little item that I unearthed in Bryan's collection: a weapon platform for Rogue Trader era Space Orks:

The gunner and weapon are standard issue from the Ork War Buggy of the period. It's the platform that is unreleased. Here is a view from the top-down:

You can see the hole for the weapon mounting on the left, and two indents where the gunner's feet sit on the right.

Here is a view of the underside:

Are those three discs on the perimeter some sort of anti-grav devices that allow the platform to hover? Have you ever come across rules or descriptions for this in one of the old Rogue Trader rulebooks?

So it may not be much to look at, but this particular collector thinks it's a lovely little piece of kit.

Wednesday 26 February 2014

The Nuln Spearman and the Guard Captain came and went

So did you spot them? Yes indeed it is true - the Nuln Spearman and the Guard Captain appeared on ebay - very briefly - before the auctions were pulled. Want some proof? Here you go:

If you have no idea what the fuss is about then these two figures define the very term "rare." Citadel Giant? Chicken Dragon? Chances are you'll see ten of those before you see another Nuln Spearman or Guard captain. In all my years of collecting I have never seen another example of these - not even (yet) in the collections of Bryan Ansell or Tim Pollard.

What makes these two figures so enigmatic and desirable is that they did actually make it into adverts and flyers back in the 80's, but for some reason never made it into general release. They have reached mythical status for that very reason. But it now seems as if at least one of each of them escaped into the world at large. Here they are in an advert in White Dwarf 90 (numbers 5 and 11):

So there we have it, these particular hens' teeth do indeed exist.

On another note, what do people feel about pulled auctions/private offers? Personally I don't have too much of a problem with it, and I confess I've done it myself in the past. Judging by the number of requests I get to pull my own auctions, it seems as if there are a lot of people out there who don't mind it either! 99% of the time I turn down requests I get to pull auctions. Once in a while though, I do get an offer which even I can't refuse!

Friday 21 February 2014

Tim Pollard's pinhead Yakuza

Found this interesting character in Tim Pollard's collection:

The body was produced with a number of head variants, for both GW's TSR range and their Oriental Heroes ranges. But thus pinhead version never made it into release. I asked Tim if he was aware of a back-story; he thought that it was an idea to:

"allow extra (full-sized) heads to be sculpted over it. No idea if that was a wind-up though, I have a feeling it was and that it was just a joke in itself..."

So, anyone have any other theories why this fellow might have been sculpted? Was there a pinhead yakuza in some comic book or something back in the '80s?

Monday 27 January 2014

Jervis Johnson and the random tables of RoC

Despite the fact that my collecting and gaming roots are planted firmly in the 1980's, I still continue to buy White Dwarf to this day, and I occasionally find a nugget of Old Skool. One such nugget appeared in January's White Dwarf in the pontifications of Jervis Johnson. Jervis has a regular column in White Dwarf on gaming, collecting and "The Hobby" at large. In this month's column Jervis tackles the subject of random tables, and makes some interesting observations on the old Realm of Chaos random tables. Here's what he has to say (the juicy stuff comes in paragraph 3):

Now, I have to give a disclaimer at this point which is to say that I haven't played an edition of Warhammer later than 3rd edition, and so my ability to comment on what it's like to play anything later is extremely limited. I know that a number of you who read this blog have not only experienced later editions of Warhammer but were also playing with the Realm of Chaos books, and so I would be interested to read what you think of Jervis's views, in particular:

- Did you, as Jervis suggests, use the RoC tables with little restraint and allowed them to dictate the composition of your warbands and how they should look and be armed? Or did you "take a dim view of this" and just use them as a guide?

- Jervis is of the opinion that players also took a dim view of "being required to convert models in order to be able to play a game." Did you, dear reader, really have such an attitude? Did you abandon plans for a game simply because the prospect of being "required" to convert models proved too much?

- Here comes the best bit: because of the aforementioned points, Jervis states that "those large random tables fell into disfavour, being replaced by the army lists and points values we see today." OK, firstly, army lists and points values were already prevalent at the time the RoC books were published, and secondly, how on earth would that suggested change make things more flexible for the player?!

Now don't get me wrong, I have much respect for Jervis and his contributions to gaming. But what do you think? Is this an accurate reflection of RoC or on this occasion is Jervis talking out of his chaos portal?

Jervis does make some intriguing marks towards the end of his article. The article basically revolves around some random equipment tables he has invented for his campaigns, and he leaves us with this tantalising nugget:

I wonder if this will remain in-house, or will something wider develop from it?

Friday 10 January 2014

The Dave Perry collection: unreleased Heroquest Wizards of Morcar figures

I'm sure that many of you will have played Heroquest at one time or another, and possibly one of its many expansions such as Wizards of Morcar. Part of the appeal of Heroquest and its expansions was that they came with a set of plastic figures based on characters and races from the scenarios covered, and therefore it was unnecessary to purchase additional figures. What you may not know is that many of these plastic figures had metal prototypes which did not see general release. There are always subtle differences between the plastic production figures and their equivalent metal prototypes.

I am planning a future post dedicated to the topic of metal prototypes of plastic Citadel Miniatures, but the focus of this particular post are the unreleased metal prototypes of the Heroquest: Wizards of Morcar figures painted by Dave Perry. Dave has done a grand job of painting these figures using a subtle yet beautiful colour palette.

These figures are very rare, and I would love to acquire some. If you know of any please get in touch - excellent reward offered!