Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Wargames Foundry Necromancer and Skeletons

Straight off the painting table. These Wargames Foundry figures fit in really well with my 80's Citadel Undead. They share a lot of the same style and characteristics as the aforementioned I think. The Necromancer is lovely with his staff and evil features. I coloured his flesh with Dawnstone Grey and then gave it consecutive highlights by adding more white with each layer. I then added yellow eyes to give him that deranged ethereal wizard look.

The skeletons were initially undercoated in black and then drybrushed all over with Dryad Bark (this really makes the detail pop - and makes it far easier to paint layers and highlights on highly detailed figures. Try it!!). I then did a dry brush of Kendri Dust then another of Screaming Skull topping it off with Vallejo White. The armour was Leadbelcher with a drybrushing of Vallejo light rust.

On the Oldhammer Community Facebook I noticed one of the posters mention that his attempt to collect the older Citadel figures was proving expensive. I'd agree that trying to buy up all originals can be a financial drain on occasion especially when shopping around on Ebay. Nevertheless I find the Oldhammer Trading Facebook page to be ideal for picking up bargains of this kind. Another cheap and excellent alternative is to buy from manufacturers who produce similar (or in the case of Grenadier/Mirliton still making the original figures but at lots less cost than Ebay - check out prices of the Grenadier Undead War Mammoth for instance. ££££'s if you buy original from Ebay...or relatively cheap if you buy the new version straight from Mirliton!!).

Both Wargames Foundry and Ral Partha have new figures sculpted by former GW employees Tim Prow and Kev Adams, and they look absolutely fantastic. With all the character of the old Citadel/GW figures we know and love. Ral Partha have a great customer service and their prices are incredibly cheap. They still produce their classic Jabberwock monster fig for only £7.95, and the new Chaos Warriors are just stunning.

In my opinion using alternative Oldhammer figures fits perfectly with the ethos we're trying to promote throughout the community. Not only does it reflect the kind of diversity that used to exist in publications like early White Dwarf, but it shows a certain open mindedness and allows players to just use what appeals top them as individuals. In other words, to mix it up, be creative and have fun!

Saturday, 19 December 2015

There and Back Again....

"Testing, testing..."

I'll get straight to the point. As a kid, from roughly 1982 until 1987, I loved Fantasy Wargaming. More specifically it was Games Workshop Fantasy Battles Editions One and Two. The first ruleset was purchased by a school mate from our local toy shop in Melton Mowbray, which is where we'd bought our first miniatures from. It's worth noting that none of us really knew what 'to do' with them other than they looked cool and collectable. A lady in the shop had mentioned something about her husband painting them, so given this cue we dug out our old humbrol enamels and started gathering in each others bedrooms for (some rather amateurish) painting sessions. There was a memorable moment when I was banned to the arctic wastes of the garage to pursue my new hobby after getting paint on the carpet one evening.

The rules suddenly gave us a whole structure and impetus to collecting the figures. Even though we didn't fully understand them, we started to have some fun games just rolling dice and moving the figures around the living room floor. I recall having some old Hinchliffe Arab figures I'd bought from a Wargames shop in Plymouth, and even they got involved some how.

Humble beginnings, but those early days have always provided a basis for my Wargaming. "Am I having fun? Does this inspire my imagination?". If it doesn't then you're probably ready to jack it in and take up fishing..or console gaming perhaps.

Fast forward and I came back from living abroad and hooked up with my local Historical Wargaming Club. I have to say, that what attracted me was the lively community aspect, the broad range of games that people were happy to play ("just paint up some figures and get them on the table!!" was how one member replied to my enquiries about where to start). It was also fantastically creative with loads of scratch built terrain and models from all different manufacturers. This last sentence is probably quite telling when compared to the journey GW has been on over the years - and probably something I don't really need to go into right now.

Anyway, the last number of months has revealed to me the wonderous entity that is the Oldhammer Community and in particular the Oldhammer forum. When I started reading the posts and following other blogs on there I became determined to start exploring and painting some of the original figures again and buying up the early publications. The picture above is my first couple of purchases in getting my old collection together again.

I've also bought a significant amount of lead (lots of Undead, some lovely Kev Adams Dwarves and Goblins etc), so expect some photos of my painting endeavours, battle reports and other waffle.

To quote a song, sometimes "you've got to go backwards to go onwards"