Saturday, 18 March 2017

Painted Nuln Spearman by Javi Torrijo

He is a nice figure and drips that '80s warhammer character, so I cannot fathom why he never saw wider release. Until I saw this painted version I had no idea that the figure sported a manly beard! 

Last post I brought you a unique insight to the Marauder version of the Bloodthirster, and to follow that up I can share this with you, the first fully painted version of the Nuln Spearman outside of the WD image from the 1980s. Now, if you are not aware of this particular figure's story let me enlighten you a little. 

The Nuln Spearman was for a long time one of those mysteries for the early days of Warhammer. He appeared in White Dwarf 90 in an advert for a range of Citadel Fighters but never seems to have hit the shops. So scarce was he, some collectors and enthusiasts even doubted his existence and predicted that a copy would never be found, especially after the majority of Bryan Ansell's collection had been explored and Nulny didn't turn up. 

Then in 2014 a casting of the miniature appeared on eBay (along with the similarly rare, Guard Captain) for a short while before vanishing in confusing circumstances. Many collectors inferred that the seller was approached with an offer he couldn't refuse and that was very much that. As you can imagine, this set the collecting world alight with discussion and the Spearman has appeared for sale several times since. Sadly, the winning bidders were usually the Citadel Collecting sort and squirrelled the model away in a cupboard somewhere instead of using the figure for gaming or display. 

Not so with Javi Torrijo, who posted this painted version on Facebook last week. Seeing an opportunity not to be missed I asked if it would okay to share his work here on Realm of Chaos 80s - and as you can see, Javi agreed! 

So big thanks to him. 

Before I pop off again, I'll leave you with something I had never seen before until I spoke to Javi. The Nuln Spearman's rear end!! I wonder what he keeps in that pouch?


Sunday, 12 March 2017

Finally, images of the unreleased MARAUDER Bloodthirster!

Unless you have been living under a rock, you'll know all about the mysterious eBay seller named fsfminiatures and his spectacular collection. Over the last couple of months this individual has been slowly selling off a veritable wonderland of old lead, including a large number of extremely rare (ney, near mystical) vintage figures.

Nuln Spearman?  


Combat Card Dwarf Wizard?


Though not really the remit of this blog, which is focussed on the collecting, painting and gaming of original released 1980s Citadel, I thought this worthy of record. We knew that Marauder produced a series of metal greater daemons and even have the serial numbers: MM95/1 Greater Daemon of Khorne and MM95/2 Greater Daemon of Tzeentch. 

The Greater Daemon of Tzeentch produced by Marauder was a lesser well known model that turns up occasionally (I assume it saw a period of general release) and I have a couple of examples in my collection. Sodemons carries a painted example by ex-'Eavy Metal luminary, Steve Mussared.

But the Khorne daemon had remained a total mystery, at least to me. Sodemons carries no photograph of the model to this day and the eBay listing posted this week, may well be the first sight anyone has had of the model in the collecting world. And like the original released Citadel model, the daemon comes in multiple pieces. 

In my opinion, the Marauder Greater daemons are just not as good as the Citadel originals, which (I assume) is why they never made it to wider release. Still, it is fascinating to finally get a glimpse of one of the more allusive models in the old school Warhammer pantheon. With bidding at £39.00 as the time of writing (with over 5 days still to go) it will be interesting to see how much this extremely rare model will fetch. With the Nuln Spearman and the Dwarf Wizard fetching 4 digit amounts it makes me wonder if the previously unknown model will reach the same dizzy heights!

Before I disappear back into the myriad whirls and eddies of the warp, I will also share this little delight, which proves that not all exciting, unreleased models need to be massive, multiple part affairs. Fsfminiatures has also just listed this lovely hamburger eating dwarf. 

Here is the full site address for fsfminiatures if you are interested in watching this sale develop or fancy a flutter on one of the lots. And just so you know, I do NOT know the identity of the seller nor am I in contact with him or her in anyway. The purpose of this post is merely to comment on the appearance of a previously unknown model's appearance and to direct interested enthusiasts or collectors towards the eBay listings.


Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Space Marine 1st Edition: More Marines

Forgive the sub par photography, but I managed to get a second set of stands completed last night and was keen to share my progress. Painting the entire shoulder pad really made the difference to the 'look' of the tiny models and I adapted my original idea slightly for the Ultramarines with a white background to a red 'U'. The Thousand Sons remain unchanged with just an increase in yellow. 

Instead of repainting my first attempt at the models using my improved method, I decided to merely update the iconography and the difference, though noticeable will probably been acceptable to me when further units are completed. 

Last time we spoke on the issue of painting marines I asked for some advice on how best to approach them. Many thanks to those of you who contributed ideas here, on Facebook and via email.It was very enjoyable working through the different suggestive methods and developing something that works for me. I will share with you the recipe for success I am currently using as I will no doubt forget sometime in the future and returning to this article will help jog the memory banks. There may even be one or two painters out there who may benefit from such a guide... so here goes. 

Step 1: Undercoat the stand in white and then basecoat in chosen colour. For the Ultramarines I chose Foundry's Sky Blue A and for the Thousand Sons GW's Khorne Red.

Step 2: Wash over entire stand with black ink wash. Check coverage of underside, particularly with the centre marine. 

Step 3: Once dry, drybrush over stand with original basecoat colours. 

Step 4: Add first layer of highlights to the model. I used Foundry's Sky Blue B to do this to the Ultras and GW's Mephiston Red for the Thousand Sons. Paint the boltgun with a dark silver metallic paint. 

Step 5: Add an additional layer of highlights to the edges of the marines by mixing increasing amounts of Foundry's Boneyard C to the blue and Foundry's Yellow B to the red. Touch up the helmet, knees, hands and feet of the marines with the final layer of highlight. Paint a lighter shade of silver over the top of the boltgun. 

Step 6: Paint the shoulder pads Boneyard C for the Ultras and Yellow A for the Sons. Highlight with white and yellow C respectively. 

Step 7: Add Ultramarines symbol to shoulder pads in Khorne Red and Thousand Sons in black. Add Tactical Squad markings to other shoulder pad. 

Step 8: Base with darkbrown. Then dry brush with Foundry's Boneyard triad. paint mdf base edge black. 

Looking back, I was having difficulty create the sense of depth on these models. Using black over the top of the original base colour allowed the contrast to develop properly and really helped me pick out the details. Frustratingly, after painting tiny tactical squad markings on all of the pads I found this article in an old WD. 

The Space Marine (1989) rulebook just uses the White Scars illustration to explain the chapter markings and the reflective triangles made perfect symbols to represent tactical squads - so I painted them on all my marines. Know, I will use the Ultramarine red and yellow squares as it will add an additional layer of colour to my tiny warriors. Anyone know of the Thousand Sons had any additional fluff attributed to them back in the 1980s early 90s that I could add? 

Please let me know if you have something in mind. Right, I am going back to the painting table to try and apply my new recipe to some vehicles. 

Speak soon.


Tuesday, 28 February 2017

The Return of (my) Space Marine

Forgive the 'look what I've got' style post, I know that they are highly irritating and appear just about everywhere (particularly Facebook) but I just opened up my new copy of this game and I am very excited. 

I was surprised just how many memories came rushing back as I lifted the cardboard lid off the 1989 edition of the game. A whirl of Christmas time, poorly sprayed undercoat and my late grandparents. And as far as I can tell, the box is complete and I spent a happy hour laying out all of the components onto my parlour table and reminiscing to myself. My seven year old was intrigued by the tiny soldiers and the tanks (far more so that with my fantasy stuff at 28mm) and has expressed an interest in trying out the game.

More pressing is the need to paint up the models to a reasonable standard and create a gaming board on which to play. A fine spring project I am sure that you will agree.


Sunday, 26 February 2017

Lead of Winter 2017

Matthew Street, Tom Reynolds and Jerome Franklin-Ryan survey the initial set up. They took generalship over the 'goodies' during the game, despite all being horrendously evil and unpleasant in real life.
Having been confined to barracks for the Night of the Living Dead game, I made the journey to Newark with exultation. And abiding at a different address resulted in a brand new route to traverse, with much of the journey through unspoilt English countryside. It was lovely travelling up but a different matter when returning along unlit, winding roads! 

But, as always, the event was well worth the effort with plenty of old faces to greet and a couple of new ones to meet. Wargames Foundry were very welcoming and served us with coffee, tea, doughnuts and sandwiches all morning. Bryan Ansell graced us with his lawful presence for most of the day, despite facing dramatic and calamitous computer problems. 

What follows are a number of snaps I took during the event with a few words of comment from me. 

Chris Howell, Andy 'Atom' Taylor and Owain Brordway took charge of the 'baddie' side, which was just as well as they all complete sociopaths who enjoy kicking small children and pulling the wings off flies. Warlord Paul was, as nearly always, the discerning GM..

Cambridge Don and officially recognised tall person, Richard Irvine fielded (like me) a small warband of pixies, sprites and things that go squelch in the night. Nik Dixon arrived just in the nick of time to field large blocks of hideous undead. 

Steve Casey and Stuart Klatcheff arrived in the afternoon after visiting Warhammer World - note how Steve's back is arched under the weight of multiple plastic kits. 

As you would expect the table was covered with a glorious selection of vintage models, many of which stood out from the chaff being original 1980s Citadel (not that I am biased). The quality of painting was excellent, with Matthew Street's dwarf force really catching my eye thanks to his excellent banners.

The battle in full flow. The forces of evil lurched forwards in a manic, gibbering line (and that was just the players) supported by several artillery pieces. Smoke effects provided by the dashing Owain and the cavalier Jerome via the vape machines. 

The allied forces of good do their best to thin the enemy line but were hampered by very poor shooting -  prompting a stern telling off and a few smacked bottoms from General Jerome. The fletchers must have been down the pub the previous week!

The chaotic (and presumably Trump supporting?) hydra managed just about everything it came in contact with much to the glee of the evil commanders.

Beautifully painted models from the Ansell collection seemed to grace a greater number of cabinets than ever before. These vibrant genestealer cultists caught my eye once again. 

As did the hybrid models that have recently been re-imagined by modern GW. 

I was also pleased to be able to photograph the iconic Plague Altar of Nurgle by Ivan Bartlett from the front. And I never realised that the model from the corpse cart (with the addition of a new face) was driving the thing. 

Bryan brought out some of his art collection. He showed us three John Blanche originals and talked through as much as he could remember about each piece. A not very good photograph of each of them will follow. 

And finally, I got the chance to see the famous 'Foundry Collectibles' Colditz set, which made the news just before Christmas.

To conclude, it was yest another fine day pushing little lead men around a table with like-minded enthusiasts and I look forwards to the big summer event in July. I hope to attend on the Saturday  -operation depending - and do something either Space Mariney or McDeathy. 

Until then, I'll head back to my painting station. 


Sunday, 19 February 2017

How do you paint your EPIC infantry?

My first two infantry stands. They are pdf bases originally cut for 288mm figures. I used blu-tak to even out the surfaces before adding the sand texture. 
Well here's a first! Painted space marines on my blog. And painted EPIC space marines from the 1989 box game to boot. These are just test pieces mind you, and represent me just fiddling around with the concept of painting tiny little plastic men, as opposed to not so tiny little metal men. A few posts back I was waxing not so lyrical about my love for the first edition of Space Marine, and these figures are the symptom of those thoughts. 

However, though I can hold my own when working on 28mm figures, I am a complete amateur with figures of this scale - and I think that that shows! Usually, when approaching something more challenging than normal I would spend a few hours reading through as many forums, blogs and articles as I could unearth on the subject - looking for inspiration. Perhaps it was just me, but I wasn't really able to find much on the subject with the best information coming from the original Space Marine rulebook (thank you for that Steve Casey) so I was left pretty much to my own devices. 

The appalling sight of crushed infantry stands. These days I stick to the rule of NEVER placing models on the floor. 
Having picked up a couple of lots of marines on eBay, and having received a few extras from Ian Wood (see above), one thing that struck me was how generic the stands look when assembled. With every figure positioned in the same X pattern, the forces on display didn't really look like the rushing mass of lethal warriors as the artwork portrays. Rather squads of static monopose troopers lining up on the parade ground. 

Loose marines. Sounds like a dodgy US army amateur rock band.
Having got a number of loose models, I stuck them rather randomly on a selection of pdf bases in an attempt to vary this look. My remaining bases have already been glued down, though snipping them from the original bases won't be particularly demanding if I like the effect. 

These stands were already stuck down when I bought them. If I am going to stick withe pdf idea, I will need to come up with a way of removing them.
Following the advice of Jervis Johnson in the original Space Marine rulebook, I choose to represent the forces of the Ultramarines and the Thousand Sons on the table top, based largely on the fantastic photographs of red and blue epic scale infantry on the original photographs published in White Dwarf. Johnson, if it was he who wrote the painting section, recommended drybrushing to help bring out the detail and I followed the advice to the letter having found nothing else to go on. The finished result was very underwhelming, so I endeavoured to have a second crack at both bases. 

My first attempts at chapter markings.
This time I used my preferred technique of layering and washes and the results are far more pleasing to my eye. The general method I used was simple really. A dark base coat with suitable ink wash. I used blue/black ink for the Ultramarines and black/brown ink for the Thousand Sons. Once dry, I quickly painted over all of the raised services with the original base colour and added a few highlights to the armour, most notably the shoulderpads, helmet and legs. Black ink was then added to the chest and weapon area to create additional depth. Being an amateur working with this scale, I quickly realised that you needed to create far deeper depth effects and brighter highlights to bring out the best of these models. 

Adding yellow to the red and white to the blue, I added additional highlights here and there and used the same method to colour the bolter in each marine's hands. Still, the models looked pretty bland, even with the bases completed. I decided to add further detail and add squad markings as best I could to the figures. The Ultramarines were pretty straightforwards, with me simply painting a white U on each shoulder pad and copying the two, reflecting triangle symbols that represent tactical squads on the other. My freehand painting was a little off the mark here, though I think with practise it will improve. 

The Thousand Sons had the same attention. I added the tactical squad markings (which look better on the second attempt) and added a yellow sun with a black M on the other pad. You can just make these out on the top picture. 

In conclusion, there are several things I will try and rectify on my second attempt. 

1) Stronger highlights on the red Thousand Sons. I shall start with a darker base colour and work up, completing the final highlight in orange. 
2) I shall paint the entire shoulder pad yellow for the Thousand Sons before adding the M in black. This should help define the letter more strongly. 
3) Select a brighter more vibrant blue for the Ultramarine basecoat. My first choice was too pale. 
4) Use black as a base for the white chapter detail on the Ultramarines to give further definition. 

But before I do that, I shall ponder my technique a little more and have a look at what other painters and gamers have done with epic scale infantry over the years. If you know of a blog or other article that you think is worth reading, please share the link in the comments section below. 

If you have your own method or technique for getting to grips with epic scale infantry please comment on that too. I would love to know!! 

Thanks in advance. 


Thursday, 16 February 2017

Heavy Bombard and Crew

I fancied something a little different. So I went for this ancient Citadel heavy bombard and three crew figures, all of which have been holding up my leadpile as long as I can remember. Not having much time on my hands with the kids at home, I thought I might use my speed painting techniques on multiple figures just to push myself. 

And these are the results. Sure, they are a bit rough round the edges in places but I got this unit on the table in record time - around four hours I guess, excluding basing. 

Not that it is a process I think I will be repeating. Nor will I repeat the same livery for medieval models in a unit as I feel this makes the models look a bit to samey for me.