Sunday, March 28, 2010

Kill team Charlie upgrade

KTC just got a some new recruits this morning thanks to the wonderful world of Ebay.  I am now toying with the idea of going beyond the full set and including a few multiples.  The charging troops will look cool together flanked by heavy lasers.  Perhaps even an imperial robot or dreadnought could come along for the ride.
  Should be fun.
You just know its going to spill out into the full series 2 marines.
Resist.  Resist.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Pete Taylor inspired Demon

So here is my Scratch built 'Realm of Chaos era' style Spawn inspired by, and dedicated to, Pete Taylor.  Full bore speed modelling and painting without a seatbelt!
Yeah, yeah, this model is unpolished, rude, crude and you know what, I kinda love him for it.
He was made mainly from scrunched tin foil over wire, covered with a thin layer of green stuff.  The yellows are inspired by John Blanches orange washed yellows from the 1980s, and he is sitting on a dreadnought base.
  Look, to be honest its crap - I wouldn't dream of releasing a figure this bug eyed and unfinished, but he brings a nostalgic smile to my chops everytime I see him.  Buzzbluhhhlrkkk!

 Pete Taylor inspired scratch built spawn.  Tin foil, wire and greenstuff.


Skellies, and using stages

I thought it would be a good time to explain a trick I use to get through my lead pile.  Firstly, pick soft targets.  These are things that dont require much effort to do, such as chainmail clad dwarves, ghosts, snotlings, knights etc.  'Soft touches' or soft targets are the thin edge of the wedge, and having these 'wins' under your belt will help inspire you to keep going.

The next trick I use is kinda implied in the tutorial page on undercoating, but I will explain further.  I paint my models in stages.  The first stage is to clean, prime and preshade my models.  They can now sit on the shelf and be admired- with the preshading you can see all the details clearly.  Alternatively, and I find myself doing this a lot, they can now go into a foam case and into storage- relatively safe from leadrot.  Either way, it can be a ages until you get around to stage two.

Stage two for me is to paint my models to tabletop standard using layered glazes to build up color over my preshading.  Once this is done to an okay standard, I can happily stop, and call it painted.  A zap of varnish and the models are done.
The third stage for me is to then take my tabletop standard models and rework them, using glazes to smooth transitions and add richer colors.  Finer details are painted in, patterns are added, expressions worked at.  I can now do this at my leasure, knowing that worse case I can just strip it.
Now this technique wont win me any Golden Demons- but it does mean my unpainted lead pile does not crush me.

To show you what I mean, check out these skellies I attacked friday afternoon.

1980s Skeletons, Armoured skeletons, Nazgul, Skeleton champion

 This is an example of stage two painting - battle ready.  These are mainly done with preshading glazes, working six figures on a strip.  Bones and chainmail get drybushed and weathering is glazed on.  I used a screwed up, flayed out old brush to dot on rust and chips, and used black and brown washes over most of the model.  Finally, thin bestial brown was washed into armour, simulating water damaged steel.  Not perfect, but I am sure you will agree, ready for battle.  I can consider them 'done for now'.  (I havent done shields for these yet- I have some custom shields planned).

Later, when I have time, I mount a few of the figures individually on bottlecaps for handling, and refine the paint job at leisure.  I focus on no more than three or four at this stage, squeezing the refinement stage in the gaps in my life.  Got ten minutes?  Fix the paint job on that pouch.  Got half an hour free?  Finish off that champions face.  Start with the command and front row of your units, then sneakily rework the back rows when you have time.  Your opponent will only see the sexy PJ's up front!

1980s Lord of The Rings Witch King of Angmar, Undead Chariot champion

This image shows the battle ready job on a sexy witch king of angmar and skeletal champion (horn head, from the chariot boxed set).  These are both entirely done with glazes over a greyscale preshade.  Yep.
I decided to do something different on the Witch King than classic black, so I started layering on rich colors circling blue, then glazed them down to darken them.  If I keep going, I will end up with a rich black effect, with subtle color shining through.  I decided to keep it as it is for now, he is much more interesting this way.

Hornhead is also just glazed down, and really could do with having his little magical discs detailed, he could do with some hard edging and so forth- but for now I can check him off.

Deadites... Sally for...  Sally for... sally forward.

Imperial Space Marines: Kill Team Charlie

If your a fan of this site you would know your Warhammer 4000k: Rogue Trader,  from your Warhammer 40k. The original was Weird, wonderful and- as most of us remember it- rich and full of promise.  It was like 2000ad punk, smashed into the good bits of Tolkien (no poems), presented by Max Headroom (look it up gen y- theres an awesome film you need to see)..
Okay, so the modern child of Rogue took a few interesting turns, but slowly has become a smaller, more restrictive and exclusive universe.  Women marines?  No.  Halfling cooks.  No.  Beastmen troopers.  No.  You cannot wear power armour unless you have implants, you cant do this, you cant do that.  Roll 4, 5 or 6 on a D6.  Oh, I have an invulnerable save on that- check the codex.

So for my next mini project I decided to tackle some of the earliest Warhammer figures in a different way- pushing them away from gothic and towards early eighties science fiction.  I wanted them to be able to walk into an episode of Rogue Trooper or ABC warriors and look the part.  So lets take a look at the figures!

First edition space marine with heavy laser

Now with the first ever 40k figures, you notice the evolution start straight away.  Batch one is prototype, with built on backpacks and absolutely chock full of detail and equipment.  They hit white dwarf before 40k did- although a cryptic ad for a Rogue Trader role playing game was seen on a flyer about that time, we had no idea a new battle game was in the making.  You can spot a first edition marine easily.  Those ball jet thingies on the backpacks point up like exhausts, and there are many more science fiction stylings such as wiring, piping, letters, scanners and laserguns.   Bolters do not yet exist, but a lot of the trappings we have come to know and love are seen in embryo- such as powerfists.  Interestingly, the sergent model hints strongly at the future, with his nazi inspired skull eagle and skull emblems.  A cool touch to this model is that he has a helmet hanging from his waist, from which dangles the middle breathing pipe.  It gives the model a very visceral, pragmatic feel- especially when you notice his helmet is modified to make room for his cyborg eye.

First edition marines

I decided the best way to exaggerate the science fiction feel of these characters was to pick a totally new scheme based on the colors common in science fiction at that time.  In the late seventies and early eighties Orange, White, Black and Beige where the future.  Take a look at Star Wars, Buck Rogers, Disneys The Black Hole, BattleStar Gallactica, Robotech- you name it.  White, Black, Beige and Orange.  Thats why commodore 64's where that awful monkey shit beige.  It was proper high tech.
I found VMC medium grey was a perfect offwhite beige with a slight warm note.  Citadel Blazing Orange would counter this nicely, once thinned and glazed over the beige.  I wanted my troops to be dirty, but not rusty- this is futuristic plexisteel or ceramite- not iron.  They have been in toxic environs, been blasted with lasers and space dust.  VMC ocre and green-grey dirtying up the palette nicely.
For the bases, I was considering round, however a glance through Heroes for Wargames, all the 40k models where on hex bases too- fortunately I have bags and bags of them.  Easy choice.  I also decided to give the base a moon dust feel, keeping with the science fiction angle.

So after taking these pictures I got most of the way through six marines, including the limited edition power armoured marine released about the same time.  I am calling them Kill team Charlie now, for some reason.

Hope you likey.

Chaos Knights and Warriors

As promised, here are pictures of my work in progress on the old chaos knights and warriors ranges.

Its interesting to see the lineage in these lines- the first and second miniatures are actually variants- with the first being a slotta based model.  The head of the second reappears elsewhere in the later range too.
The fourth mini shown came to me in a collection marked 'old D&D models', and I had trouble identifying him at first, as he was painted as a traditional templar.  After I cleaned the paint off, I noticed the skull face weakly etched on his mask and started sniffing in the chaos section of Solegends.  Yep.  There he is.  It was nice, he came in a vintage matchbox wrapped in cotton.  The acids in paper cause leadrot, so I expect this guy to start dissolving in years to come because of this.  However I did give him a dettol bath, rinsed in demineralised water and scrubbed him hard with bluetac and a soft dremel to help prevent this.  Time will tell.  When you restore really old figures be sure to seal the slot hole using paint.  If you spray varnish, give the underside a blast too.

Early Chaos Knights and Warriors

A pleasant surprise was the succubus on the shield, which I did not notice until I was half way through painting this batch.  A bit worn off, but a little paint magic to exaggerate the masses and she popped right out again.

So love to hear your comments before I finish these up-  do you think this scheme is working, or should I go back to a more traditional red and black 'evil' painting style?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Very happy this morning, because the comments posted on my last article reflect the calibre of reader I am getting through here.  I hope to keep you all stimulated!

With Mabdens point about the "secretive and mysterious" days- there was a journey of discovery- and a magic to it all.  Especially growing up sandwiched between the drab, bland suburbia of Thatcher's England and the rich, anarchic magic of the worlds found in UK comics (2000ad, Eagle), Terry Pratchet, Fighting Fantasy and White Dwarf (I drew up on a farm surrounded by urban developments, so I had forrests and dark places to fuel my imagination- I was very lucky).
  Funnily enough, the nearest analogy to how the miniature hobby felt was almost like dungeoneering.  There was treasure caves, and magical books and secret tricks and arcane lore.  You where all working in the dark, and occasionally you met a dwarf.  No, wait... hang on, lots my train of thought there.
Lead Mountain also hit the nail on the head (I get a good class of reader)- without Ebay (and I suppose improved international postage systems) I can now have the exact models I couldn't find no matter how hard I dungeoneered through the maze of game shops, magazines, journals and friends collections and bitz boxes.

Another interesting thing is that recently I saw a fascinating speech by an old, well respected Australian media man, who said that modern media like chatrooms means like minded people flock together, reinforcing their mindsets because the worlds they choose to inhabit are all alike- and every point of view they encounter helps crystalise their own.  He said he was trapped in Russia during the height of communism and noticed his friends daughters room was full of contraband rock and roll stuff.  He realised then that people will seek out what inspires them and reinforces their world view.
Well, all that stuff aside- this blogs about finding that magic again and crapping on about it- because, thanks to technology we can!

Okay, so thats enough high brow stuff.  Lets talk Lead!

Last night I attacked the lead pile and took a huge painting chunk out of the original Chaos Knights I posted a few days ago.  Although tempted to do a fresh take on some of the work from Heroes for Wargames, I decided I was sick of painting red schemes and looked for something more interesting.  I wanted the figures to exists before the pre-defined Chaos gods, so by using both Nurgles greens and Tzeenches purple-blue domains together in a very muted palette circling around a green-brown from VMC I just aquired and my current color darling, Hawk Turquoise I should come up with something interesting.

Pics shortly!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Gold to Golden Age

You know whats really weird about vintage figure collecting?...  well, actually there is a lot weird about the whole thing I suppose... but whats really weird is that they are so much cheaper than modern figures.
Take my chaos collection.  Right now, if I remounted them onto the legal square bases, I could field a pretty impressive Warhammer army.  Toting up what I payed for it, even with the harder to collect figures and I would still have paid less than buying modern figures.  Would it be technically tournament legal?  I would guess yes, its entirely Citadel figures.  After all, at Cancon there where some lovely Skaven armies still comprised of Jes Goodwin sculpts- and why wouldn't you?

So on that note, lets talk about how GW is currently stimulating the new golden age of miniatures.  Through White Dwarf, new kids are being drawn into the hobby and loving it.  Soon they start to look outside the GW stores for cheaper alternatives, and in this search they discover that there are not only alternatives, but a whole rich world of miniature outside the GW products.

  This coincides with the internet finally giving small mini companies what they need to get started- connectivity.  Sculptors can connect to casters, publishers with artists and most importantly customers to online stores.  I dont think there has ever been such a range of figures open to you at any given moment, and it only takes a few hours of browsing to not only put together a squad of interesting models and conversion parts, but also get all the instructions, tips and tricks you need to make them look good.  Compare this to the 80's when small ads in Dragon magazine, Warlock and White Dwarf where pretty much it for independants- and sending away 20p with a stamped addressed envelope to get a photocopy of some hand drawn interpretations of what figures where for sale was your browsing method.

Golden age.

Pete Taylor Gallery

 At the height of Realm Of Chaos Madness, converted chaos figures where the in thing, and towering over all of us was one mans work.  Colorful, insane and irreverant, Pete Taylor blew my mind.  Recently I sculpted a creature inspired by a vague memory I had of a yellow, bug eyed demon he sculpted, and it got me hunting around the internet for pictures of his work.  Sadly, that search threw up no results, until his gallery appeared on the Stuff Of Legends gallery.

Retrodel yay!

Pete Taylor Gallery

Now if your new to his stuff, I bet your thinking 'what the f...?' - but back then converting was hard, and scratch building was no where near as easy as it is now.  Pete Taylor was knocking out swarms of freaks and painting them super quick.  Hordes.  And every one fascinating.  In a white dwarf article about his conversions (if you know which one lets hear it from you!), he used stuff called blu-strip. Now in those days Green Stuff was something the regular public couldn't get- all we had was milliput (pastey, crumbly) and tamiya putty (seriously expensive in those days).  Blu-strip has similar properties to greenstuff- sculpting memory.  I lucked into finding some that week and tried it.  After three days of poking the monster I made using Kev Adams white dwarf recommended sculpting tool (a sharpened cocktail stick), I figured it didnt work- you see, I was expecting it to set hard- like milliput.  Still, twenty years later and I would my hand of kneadatite- so it all worked out in the end.

Oh, and if your reading, you legend Pete.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Bederken Blog

If you like the quirkiness of old school figures, or are a fan of my video game design work you may be pleased to hear I have jumped into the minis business.  Currently, you can read all about it at

The first figures in the range are the evil little Dwergs- twisted by evil magics, these freakish little critters gnaw on gnee bones.  They will be available from my site cast in lovely old school lead alloy shortly.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Cool Lead: Whats rocking my boat right now

Here are some recent additions to collection outside the realm of the 1980s that I am loving right now.

Bloat Thrall, modern EE, Reaper, Grenadier (now Mirliton), hasslefree and more Reaper

First up is the Bloat Thrall from Warmachine.  I am slowly assembling what could be considered a Cryx force, but this is merely a biproduct of how much the figures rock the eyeballs, rather than an urge to play Warmachine.  I grabbed this figure because it is just a huge open canvas waiting for tasty blending.  Ok, so it looks good and will paint well- what are the drawbacks?  Well, the weight Vs. leg strength is a big issue- I suggest drilling double pins into the joints and using a tough pin such as a sewing needle (be extremely careful cutting sewing needles- use goggles and hold a peice of rag or plastic over the pin as you cut to stop it flying off).  Even then, you are faced with a chunk of metal resting on four thin legs.  The lipped base and weight combine to make this hard to pick up, so my advice would be to slather it in layers and layers of gloss varnish so you can pick it up by the body during a game.  Drop this one at your peril!

Next up, surprise, surprise is some modern Citadel.  Yes, I know, I know, but these are actually rather good.  Bemoaning the fact that on the whole quality has dropped massively since the 80's, doesnt completely cut it, as you still have gems like these being produced.  These two are Jules Le Jongleur (Brettonia collectors series) and Countess Marianna Chevaux (Mordheim range).  Mordheim currently holds some of the more interesting quirky figures in the modern range, including the brilliant Frenzied Mob.  It sits right in with travelling players and villagers from the 80's.  Brilliant stuff.

I also have Trish's hatchling dragons lurking on my shelf.  Dont worry, I wont be rushing out to buy any plastic armies anytime soon.  Do check in the misc collectors section for some modern casts of old dragons and elementals too- mind you, I just grabbed two sets (oops) of vintage Elementals for way under the modern price.

Grenadier may be gone, but Mirliton is still cranking out its casts.  This pictured Death Giant is actually an original grenadier fig I picked up of Ebay, so its nice and crisp.  I have read reports that some of the Mirliton moulds are showing their age, and maybe once my leadpile is down I may order some and see for myself- I have an itching for the collectors giants and Dwarfs I need to scratch.  This Death Giant haunted me during the 1980s, appearing in white dwarf magazine ads I poured over, and yet never being in my pocket money budget.  What a brilliant thing to have striding across your undead battlefield.  It does look a bit like an oscar, or perhaps a posessed statue of liberty, but I love him.

Reaper's The Summoning is some of Julie Guthries best work to date- check that sculpt.  Three writhing spirit women -sensual and yet not crass.  Great stuff.  The necromancer chick lifted by skeletons is also a must- the skeletal detail on the base is brilliant and satisfying to paint.

The last batch of figures all come from my new love, Hasslefree miniatures- who not only shipped me a great batch of figures but also included an English sweetie.   Cheers.
The figures shown are just a few of the figs on my ready line - and there are many more I am aching to grab.   Two thumbs up for quality on all the casts I have received, the mould lines are smartly placed and the modular options are so good you will be tempted to buy a few copies just so you can have all the variants.  Damn you Kev!

I am also eagerly awaiting some classic sculpts based on my old art faves Eastley and Elmore this week - I have a Songs of Blades and Heroes warband to assemble!

Cool Lead: Kev Adams Goblin Court

Not a retro Citadel, but you will be damned to tell the difference- this lovely set was sculpted by the goblinmaster himself- Mr Kev Adams.  (cheers), and is a tongue in cheek reference to the classic Dwarf Kings Court.  Colin Dixon did an updated Kings Court for the company too.  I dont know what company this was made for, but apparently it went belly up.  I nabbed these off ebay with some trepidation, but have been richly rewarded- what a wonderful set!

Kev Adams Goblin Court

EE Nurgle WIP

Something old, something new

My latest comission work in progress - all half done at this stage.  This is from a huge Nurgle battle force I have been painting up - its great because its made up from figures across the ages.  Here modern Forgeworld (re: Brittle and bubbled as f@$k) minis intermingle with early Nurgle death corps.  I magnetized the limbs on the dreaddy so the client can snap weapons at will.  My fave is the guy down the front- the modern chirurgeon backpack just works so damn well with the old body.  A nice break from red, red, red- which most of my collection seems to dictate so far.  Anything thinner than 2mm thick on the forgeworld stuff has had to be rebuilt or replaced- I love the sculpts, some of the best from GW lately - but I really dont like the quality of the casts.

Friday, March 19, 2010

On foot and mounted


 Kaleb Daark, McDeath Earl of Harkness, AD&D Bard

Three figures mounted and standing variants.  I collected most of these individually- the Harkness mounted horse was hidden in a job lot of grenadier knights on ebay.  I will have that thanks!

The first two where thickly painted and gummed up with bluetac and araldite.  Fortunately this loosened in the Dettol bath, revealing healthy, rot and dint free figures.  Phew.

I dont plan to have a complete McDeath set anytime soon- the prices are ridiculous, and to be honest I never played the scenario so dont relate to the characters.  There is a nice feeling about having a complete set of something, especially if you gather them up seperately from bargains.  I have Banquo, Warrior of Harkness, Donalbane, Macelady and Fluffy at the moment, but mainly because they are drawn from other sets.  Time will tell.  Everyone dreams of spotting those rare figures tucked away under bad paint jobs in a job lot.  And it happens all the time!


More retrodel love.  This is most of my minotaur collection so far (the rest are bathing in Dettol).  Luckily a chap in Queensland had a massive chunk of vintage minotaurs mixed in with a beastman army he was selling off, so I got most of mine in one fell swoop.  The AD&D minotaur has an axe somewhere in my bits box- I love this one because its the basis for John Blanches famous three headed minotaur model.  I have another variant winging its way to me now.


Monster Set Update

The Monster Starter Set
Here are my darlings of the moment- reunited after all these years.  I figured I would do WIPs as I completed them.
I only have complete sets of Chainsaw Warrior and the Monster Starter Set at this stage.  I am a few ogres off a Jes Goodwin Ogres set too, and dangerously close to having a Lords of Battle and Dwarf Lords of Legend set.  Other than that, my collection is all over the place right now.

More retrodel

Chaos Knights, Chaos Familliars, Starter Set Orc Champion, Preslotta Goblin Fanatic, AD&D Female Fighter

I have two of the AD&D female fighter high level figures- but not the middle level version yet.  I am painting both, so if someone wants to buy or trade a painted figure- gimme an email.
  If your not familliar with Citadels short lived AD&D range, all characters came in three stages of development- or mounted.  Its also a nightmare to collect because the monsters all ahve lots of subtle variations.  The best collection is undoubtedly Otherworld.  You have to check it out - Go to Otherworld  .  Otherworld also make awesome range of retro inspired figures- I grabbed some of their skellies recently - bloody tricky to assemble but Ray Harryhausen would approve.
These familliars are from the recent rereleased Chaos Sorcerers set - from GW website.  I have to pick up another and convert the living crap out of them.

Chaos generations

Front - early pre-slotta SS2 and SS3 Chaos Knights and Warriors, back- Slotta C35 Chaos warriors

So battlenuns aside, some more retro stuff for you to enjoy.  Some basecoated Kerniggits from Chaos.\\
Now these are a blast to collect- especially when you take into acount the first boxed sets had swappable heads and weapons- a completist could go nuts.  I start with a silver base and plan to tint my metals using a technique from a great tute from the Guild of Harmony website Here.  I saw some Guild painted stuff at Cancon this year- awesome, super, super smooth stuff.

Superior Sisters 2

Converted Reaper battlenuns

I took a better set of photos today for them battlenuns I hacked up a while back- and strangely I found myself picking up another pack today at the game store on my lunch break.  I do not know what my evil subconscious has planned for them yet.

More nuns arrived today

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Kaleb Daark, Gobbledigook, Warlock

Kaleb Daark, Gobbledigook, Warlock

One more photo before I sign off- some limited editions.
The first is Kaleb Daark, star of the comic featured in Citadel Journals- chaos warrior of Malal.  I have him on horseback too.  He is pretty rare, but not as much as The Chaos Brothers Jaek and Hellwud- a parody of the Blues Brothers.  Kaleb Daark is arguably based directly of Elric of Melnibone - an insane, powerful albino wanderer armed with a living weapon that drinks souls.  Hmmm.
  Anyway, Kaleb has an interesting history - have a google and a wiki and read all about him.  Do Elric too, while your at it ;)

Gobbledigook also hails from GW comics- this one a strip from White Dwarf.  Created by Bil, Gobbledigook faced off against Thrud (and lost), travelled into the future to battle space marines (and won).  Here he is from the White Dwarf Personality boxed set- along with his mate Nibl.  I based them together so I wouldnt loose Nibl, but they come on seperate integral bases usually.  I am tempted to sculpt his mate one day too.\The boxed set contained a few more interesting characters- Thrud, the White Dwarf and Ian Livingstone- as well as a bunch of totally forgettable ones.  I lucked into an Ian recently- he is partly painted at the moment.

Finally is the Warlock.  John Blanche painted this from a design by a contestant winner.  I am guessing he doesn't get royalties.  However, he is NOT the Warlock of Firetop mountain- but instead the Warlock from Warlock magazine- the final fantasy magazine.  This model is painted to match Johns original color scheme from the cover- including the rocks.  He was released alongside Amazona Gothique- which is also a John Blanche character (see the book Ratspike).  She is sitting on my shelf pouting at me.  No paint job until I sculpt a shield to match Johns original painting.

Goodnight from Australia.  Happy retrodel.

Sister superiors

 Battlenuns, original and buggered around with

A break from vintage Citadel today- decided to paint something else for a change.  Heres a wip of what I did tonight after work.  Camera playing up, so its in a crappy format.  I say that, of course, meaning I dont have a clue what buttons I am pushing wrong.  Anyway, my photo skills aside, here are some conversions I had laying around for a while.  Simple stuff, just arm swaps and a little sculpting to fill in gaps and add packs and rosaries.  Fun stuff.
These figures are converted Battlenuns from Reaper, sculpted by Bobby Jackson.  Like all his stuff, it towers over most miniatures- they dont stand very well next to a 40k figure, for example.

  I loved messing with the figures so much I grabbed another pack so I could paint the originals too.  You can grab yours at...  Battle nun me baby  Perhaps I will  get a few more sets and convert them to gothic horror and post apocalyptic for fun.  Perhaps a chaos version.  Yeah, thats what I need, another project.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Talisman Dwarf and Satyr,  Mormo Jabberbinder (Ugezod Orc Shaman) and early preslotta beastman

Talisman figures are very hard to collect.  They are reasonably rare, and run up high prices on Ebay.  Because of this, inferior pirate copies are common.  Aly and Trish Morrison headed up the Talisman range, giving the figures a goofy, whimsical look which packed them full of olde charme.

Mormo is from Ugezods (huge sod, gettit?) Death Commandos, and where sculpted by Nick Lund.  They are quite primitive sculpts in some respects, I am going to go out on a limb here and they they showing a craftsman developing his skills, in much the same way early Perry figures can be far too shallow.  Because of this, they are difficult to paint and have calamari lips- which puts people off.  Details are indistinct and gaps between layers are not quite a paintbrush width apart.  That said, if you can manage to paint them they are packed full of quirky character.

The final peice here is a beastman from Runequest.  The sketches for this range are shown in the book Heroes for Wargames (Paper tiger, way oop- but the old school bible).  Sketches by John Blanche.  Whats interesting is how close to the sketches the sculpts are- even to the point of trying to to reproduce his whacky flowing weighless stances and finnicky surface detail.  Again, this makes them hard to paint, but a worthy challenge.
  I picked grey for all my broo because of those John Blanche and Ally Morrison painted from the series.  I have most of this series now, as well as the Chaos warriors from the same sketch series- very satisfying because they where OOP by the time I started collecting, so even though I could see pictures of them in White Dwarf, I couldnt buy them at the time.

Love ebay.


Skaven:  Rat ogre B, A, Plague monk, Standard Bearer

Some partly painted Skaven.  The Grey Seer is based on Ally Morrisons paint job from the era- right down to the red nail polish and blue fur.  Surreal?  Much of the painting back then was- and highly ornamented and patterned.  Skaven where the brain child of Jes Goodwin (who is from Essex like me, turns out) who also designed and sculpted them.  Bless him.  Modern Skaven have more of a rattish face and an overbite - but Jes did 'em best.  You can see Jes' trade mark geometric stances, sense of weight and strong composition- which marked his sculpts out from other designers at the time who had more of a rubbery approach to stances.


Zombies from the 1980s citadel range.
1980s Zombies are recognised by their toppling, ragged stances.  A rank of these looked wonderfully erratic and decayed- you could almost smell them coming across the battlefield

Although anyone dead for a while would be bloodless, I decided to go for a fresh killed look- these guys are slaughtered and half eaten villagers raised by the Lichmasters spell only moments before.

You can get great blood by using Tamiya Clear Acrylic.  It gives such a wonderful bloody effect!  Matte varnish deadens it a bit, so spray gloss and brush on matte medium to deaden the shine on dry bits.

Night Horrors

Night Horrors, Ghost, Wraith, Mummy, Vampire

Night horrors where a rich collection of monsters and spooks from the 1980s- anything from crawling hands, frankensteins to bones in a box!  To confuse matters, night horrors where later divided up into a new Etherials category, where they where mixed with figures brought across from lost licenses such as Lord of the Rings.  The mummy was also found in the curse of the mummy set, and often crops up in other collections.  By the 1990s, the range was further watered down with a few dodgy looking variants before it dissapeared.
Some of the figures are extremely hard to find, and run for a goodly sum.

Heroic Assortment

Lords of battle Aquila and Manfred, Imperial Dwarf, Dwarf mapper, Muleskinner, Dwarf, Barbarians (aka norse)
Citadel 1980s.  I copied the paint job of the dwarf mapper from a brilliant PJ by A Frother over at the Frother forums- he used a wonderful green tinged muted pallette.
The two Barbarians have been part of my wifes Songs of Blades and Heroes warband, and it is rightly smiting my arse right now.

Evil Assortment

Chaos Familliar, 'Skeletor' Chaos Thug, Rat Ogre, Beastman, Demon, Uzegod Shaman, Chaos Familliar, Vile Goblin, Skaven standard, Beastman

The Demon seems to be a self portrait by one of the Perry bros- though this may just be another case of artist subconsciously recreating what he sees around him.  The demon and second beastman here are only half painted.

Ogre Gladiator, Rat Ogre and Perry Troll

Right to left, Troll (Perry Bros), Ogre Gladiator, Rat Ogre (Jes Goodwin)
The Ogre is based and painted to match his look on the cover of the first edition of Waqrhammer Fantasy Role Play.

Group shot

So here are a few from my painted collection so far.  All of these are from 1980s Citadel miniatures ranges.

Since I was collecting vintage figures, I decided to got vintage with the basing style.  Hex bases where originally released with citadel figures, but quickly died off before the 1990s brave new world.  You will find Talisman figures originally shipped with Hex bases- if your going for authentic.
The simple mossy look is just sand and pva glue mixed into a concrete, and then a fine layer superglued to the top for roughness.  The colors and ornaments are inspired by the bases Kev 'Goblin master' Adams- check Heroes for Wargames for lots of examples of his great stuff.

Monster set complete

Awesome arrivals today.  My Manic Hobgoblin Hero arrived yesterday, thus completing my 1980s Citadel Monster Starter Boxed Set.  I placed them all together on a shelf and got my nostalgia buzz on.

This boxed set was one of the first purchases back when I started, and I have been slowly assembling a replacement set one by one.  As far as boxed sets go its quite common and cheap to gather up, however finding the peices can be a challenge.  The set contains a Chaos Warrior, Vile Goblin, Lesser Goblin, Orc, Ogre, Hobgoblin, Dark Elf and Dire Wolf.

Pics as soon as I have painted them all.

Other arrivals include some Perry Brothers Chaos Dwarfs, Elementals and Life and Death Elemental.  Yay.

New Blog!

Last year my brother in law needed a Birthday present, and being a bit sentimental, I decided to get him some chaos marines and paint them for him. Thirteen years before I came over to show him how to paint his Chaos marines, and it was then I met my wife.  That was the last time I painted miniatures too, as a few years before that I had decided that chicks 'dont dig guys with miniatures'- and I was rather fond of chicks- and hey, it worked for me.  I gave away all my figures and moved to Australia.  I got a life.

Unfortunately my sentimental gesture backfired and weirdness followed.  Painting the new batch of figures kicked off a chain of events to where I am today.  Over the last year my collection has gone from five to over five hundred 1980s figures, I have caught up on a couple of decades of miniature history and painting techniques, and most suprisingly I taught myself to sculpt and cast miniatures, and am in the process of setting up my very own range of minis.

Life turns in funny ways.

These are the voyages of a man going into full geek remission.