Tuesday, 17 April 2018

The 13th Warrior: Unreleased Space Slann.

I have always loved the background and miniatures associated with the Rogue Trader era Space Slann. I collected and fielded a small army of Space Slann early on in the Rogue Trader era, and was always disappointed that GW never expanded them as a race.

The Space Slann themselves were released early in Rogue Trader, in 1987, and were never very easy to collect at the time unless via direct mail order. With a limited release, they became less easy to find, until the advent of e-bay when sellers started offering them either on open auction, or varying levels of 'Buy it Now' prices. Ironically, it was often easier to buy the Space Slann 20-30 years after they were released then at the time!

I had, up until a few years ago, most of the twelve Space Slann which had been released, although I was still missing a couple. E-bay enabled me to buy the final missing Space Slann, and also collect at least one each of the 12 released. It was during my searches on e-bay that I realised that there was a 13th Space Slann miniature which had been produced, but not released. I am unsure of it's background, but as far as I know from conversations online, this Space Slann was a later (than 1987) concept model for a re-boot of the race which never happened, and may have been produced in the early 1990's (still in the rogue Trader era). I am not sure of the exact details, or the sculptor.

Anyway, when I saw this Space Slann on e-bay it was always for large amounts of money (£100+), and whilst it was a miniature I wanted, I was'nt prepared to pay that for it, and contented myself with having a pleasant Slann force with all the TSF18 range of 12 Space Slann I always wanted. However, a few weeks ago I had a stroke of luck when one of the Space Slann which had been on 'Buy it Now' for ages went of a percentage off sale, after it's 'Buy it Now' price had been slowly dropping each listing for some months. I thought now or never, and finally bought the last Slann for £56.25, a lot for a miniature, but as I had just been paid my bonus at work, I thought, why not?

...and so here it is, the Unreleased Space Slann.

Enjoy :)
Front view.
He (or she?) is a Slann armed with what looks like some sort of las-gun, although I am sure it could be used as something similar.
The head is unusual. It looks similar to the style of Slann heads used for the Slann in the Magnificent Sven Scenario in Warhammer Fantasy Battle 2nd Edition, with the head crest. I have seen this painted more as a helm rather than flesh, but I like to think of this crested Slann as a sub-species.
I have, like all the other Space Slann, opted for bright colours and thought a green skin tone would suit it well, and give a good darker base to the gold of the gun and the bright colours of the fur.
Rear view.
I painted the fur pink-ish to give that other-world/1970's feel I have done for with the other Space Slann I have. The detailing of the sculpt is great, with a lots of fur tokens, flowers, a few pouches, and a sword.
Close up of the head. I like the visor, ususual and very 1980's sci-fi looking.

Front view unpainted and ink washed.
Rear view.
All 13 of the Space Slann.

I am currently painting some miniautres for the Magnificent Scenario, so will probably update on these next week.

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

The Slann and the Villager.

This week I have painted two miniatures from the Magnificent Sven scenario release: Slann Warrior; and the Villager.

I have a soft spot for this scenario, I've played it several times over the years on both sides. It was via this that I really became interested in the Slann and the (old) background of Lustria. Over the next week or so I will painting the remaining miniatures from the release with a mind to updating the blog on the scenario range.

Unlike a lot of the later scenarios the miniatures were scultped specifically for the scenario, rather than taken from existing ranges. Several of the miniatures subsequently appeared elsewhere. Sven and Juggo e turning up in the C06 Dwarves, and Norse Dwarf ranges. Riolta Snow appeared in the Terror of the Lichemaster release (as herself), whilst the Villager re-appeared in the Shadows over Bogenhafen scenario as the Nightwatchman.

The Slann Warrior was part of the Slann army release for the scenario, but like the other Slann they were never released elsewhere, and so had a limited production run. I'm not sure when they stopped casting them but they were gone by 1987. I sent off for the Magnificent Sven Slann army offer in mid 1987, as it turned out few months before 3rd Edition Warhammer Fantasy battle was to be released, and these Slann were gone. As an aside, the GW Mail Order Trolls were kind enough to write me a little note explaining the offer was no longer valid (sadly, I have lost the note) and instead sent me a big box of the new slotta based Slann.

The style of these Slann are slight different to the earlier pre-slotta, and later slotta based Slann. They are a little smaller (the Slann Warrior is especially). The bare-headed Slann also have a crest on their heads, similar in a way to fish or perhaps Cthulhu Deep Ones. The sculpting of the weapons and armour are more in line with the scenario artwork, rather than fully Aztec-esque as the later Slann were. I am not sure who sculpted them, but looking at the range as a whole, they look like the work of Aly Morrison. Both Riolta Snow and Karra have a look similar to his pre-slotta Elves, so it might be the case he sculpted the rest.

Finally, painting wise I opted for two different influences. For the Slann Warrior I noticed a resemblance between him and a Slann from John Blanche's Slann artwork in the 3rd Edition Warhammer Armies book (included below). So I chose him as a template for painting. As for the Villager, he looks to me like a classic stereotypical English yokel/bumpkin, so I opted for that look when painting. I have included a photograph of the 'Two Ronnies' yokels as a visual pointer to where my mind was going when painting.

Enjoy :)

The Magnificent Sven Scenario miniatures release.
John Blanche's Slann artwork. I chose the Slann second on the left, second from bottom, as a painting template as I think they looked similar.
The Slann warrior.
Sheild design, loosely based on the artwork.
Rear view showing the scale armour.
The Two Ronnies as yokels.
He is armed with a simple looking agricultural knife, and a wooden club. Looking at the style he looks quite similar ro an English Civil War era 'clubman'.
Left hand side. I like the patch on the arm.
Mean looking and ready to crack a few Slann skulls!
Slann vs Man in the jungles of Lustria!

Next week might be more Magnificent Sven scenario miniatures as I plan to paint some more.

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

A quick visit to Nippon.

As I have been sorting out my old miniatures, sometimes I have come across old miniatures and ranges that I have always wanted to paint, but have never got around to. Some of those are a few of my Nipponese miniatures, from Citadel's OH and C05 Oriental Heroes ranges, with two of the cannon crew from the C22 Nippon rocket. At the end, there is also one of Jes Goodwin' wonderful C23 Ogres.

I am not planning on painting the whole army yet, but I wanted to paint a few test miniatures. These were just to get a 'feel' for painting the ranges. I enjoyed painting them. Why green? Well I used to play a lot of the computer game Civilization 3, and when I played the Japanese, the Samurai icons were always green, with some blue. So I thought I suited my idea of a fantasy Nippon. Also, in my mind it is going to be a fantasy army as I did'nt just want to paint a Samurai army with an added Ogre and Wizards, but to give the Nipponese army a slightly different feel to an historical Japanese army.

As for the army itself, I am planning to base it on the 3rd Edition Warhammer army Empire list. This gives me some good infantry, archers, cannons, a Dragon, and access to mercenary Ogres. However I have other things planned before I paint them, and I still need to finish off the army list. As a clarification, I have based the miniatures on 25mm square bases, rather than the standard human sized 20mm. The reason I did this was that many of the miniatures, especially the Samurai, were too squashed and crowded on 20mm. Building a regiment seemed less fun and more like and exericse in tessellation. I think it suits them fine, and won't really impact gaming.

For reference, the Oriental Heroes ranges can be found here:
with many currently still for sale at Wargames Foundry,
https://www.wargamesfoundry.com/collections/ex-citadel-games-workshop-modelsThe pre-slotta C05 miniatures and later OH ranges are sculpted by Aly Morrison. The Ninjas are the work of the Perry Twins.

Enjoy :)
OH2 Samurai with two swords.
He is one of several sculpting variants, this one with facial hair. I like this, and the other two sowrd miniatures. I have read that they were also a crossover range with Citadel and TSR's joint 1980's AD&D range.
They are quite bulky. As a test model I think it turned out well, but I might add a little more colour to the armour and sash, and pattern detail to the clothing when I paint the rest of the army. 
Rear view.
OH3 Rampaging Ronin.
Again another nice sculpt, one of several variants, from the OH range.
Rear view.
Nippon cannon!
The cannon itself is an old Citadel sculpt, re-released by Wargames Foundry. Two of the crew are spare crew from the C22 Nippon Rocket, the third being a pre-slotta C05 Samurai.
Citadel did'nt release a Nippon cannon, so I bought two rocket crew from e-bay, and added the Samurai commander to made a third.
I think the cannon works well as several early historical Japanese cannons were of European origin.
Pre-Slotta C05 Oriental Hero Goro Tokimane. This is one of my later Foundry produced ones.
 C22 Nippon Rocket crewman with lighted cord.
 C22 Nippon Rocket crewman with fan. I assumed he is the commander waiting to giving the order to fire.
 The C23 Ogre, 'Oriental Ogre', sculpted by Jes Goodwin.
He is a great sculpt, like all of Jes Goodwin's Ogres, and sculpted to look in a Japanese style.
I have painted him blue to suggest a large blue Oni from Japanese Folklore.
Rear view.

I am not sure what my next update will be on. I have several projects current at the moment.
My primary project is a 3,000 point Dwarf army of Renown and Legend, composed of 1980's Dwarves from the Regiments of Renown, led by the Dwarves from the BC3 Dwarf Lords of Legend. Another project is a re-visit to the Slann of the Magnificent Sven Scenario. A third project nearing completion is my collecting of a 2nd/3rd Edition miniatures for a Kislev/Dolgan Raiders army (complete with Centaurs!). If that was'nt enough, I have been collecting Undead and Characters for the Terror of the Lichemaster/Vengeance of the Lichmaster scenarios.
I also have a regiment of 20 Runequest Baboons to paint at somepoint!

Sunday, 18 March 2018

The Golden Dragon Emperor of Cathay.

I've still been sorting out miniatures, and being ill, so I have'nt really been productive in painting or blogging. However, I have been full of ideas for armies, which I promise will be blogged on soon!

One of the ideas I have is for a 3rd Edition Warhammer army for Cathay. Now Cathay was the Warhammer Worlds equivalent of China. Unlike Nippon (the Warhammer equivalent of Japan), Cathay never really had a lot of attentionat the time. There was a little background, and a few 'Chinese' looking miniatures, but very little else. Post 3rd Edition the background was expanded a little, but again not a lot.

However, one of the things I did read about was that Cathay was (unsuprisingly) a land of Dragons, and the Cathay Emperor was rumoured to be a Golden Dragon in human form. I quite like this idea, and so decided to paint up an old Ral Partha Draconian miniature from 1989 to represent the Emperor in a more humanoid form. I chose gold for the skin, and Imperial Chinese yellow for the robes. He was great fun to paint, and I can quite imagine him as a Level 25 Wizard leading a Cathay army.

As an aside, concerning the Cathay army I have an idea. As I am building a series of armies only using Oldhammer era miniatures, am a little stuck for Chinese/Cathay miniatures. I have a few warriors from the Oriential Heroes ranges, but the only Chinese infantry miniature Citadel made was one in the Blanford Warriors range. Whilst still for sale from Wargames Foundry, he comes as part of a pack of other miniatures, rather than individually, and so not easy to build up an army from him, especially using one of the Human army lists.

So the plan is/might be is to use the High Elf army list (bare with me on this). As Cathay is a land of Dragons, the High Elf army list allows for five Dragons as part of the rank and file allowance, two Dragons in a bound monstrous host, and several Dragons as War Beasts for characters. The only non-Dragon miniatures would be the Emperor and maybe a Manadrin Wizard or two, so using High Elf profile for them is'nt too strange. It would be an interesting army to paint and field. As for Oldhammer era Dragons, I can use the re-released Ral Partha Celestial Dragons miniatures. 

Enjoy. :)
 The Golden Dragon Emperor.
I love this miniature, he has a great feeling of power and menace. He faintly reminds me of Thulsa Doom.
I chose the yellow to give that Imperial Chinese look. The sculpting on his beastplate is lovely.
 Beckoning barbarians to their doom.
 Rear view.
The Ral Partha Celestial Dragon. I plan to use five or six of these in the army, but I will have to send off to the USA for them.

Next week (I do promise to update next week too!) will be a few Nipponese miniatures I have been working on, including the C23 Oriential Ogre.

Friday, 23 February 2018

Hohensknechtes and Stadtsknechtes.

Wow, Grandfather Nurgle has had it in for me this year! A weeks worth of flu in January, and now a nasty bout of flu lasting from the 8th February and ongoing (but getting better). So apart from considering the need to start a Nurgle Chaos army to appease him, it has also played havoc with my painting and blogging this month .

What I have achieved are a few test models. As mentioned before, I am currently sorting out all my Oldhammer era miniatures into armies, which is something I am still trying to get to a point to update my blog on. Now, when considering the Empire army, I realised I had no mounted Knights. With all of the armies I want to have something emblematic about that army in it, and so far with the Empire army I have Reiksgard, Fleglers, Armbrustschutzen, and Helblitzen, but no mounted Knights.

Citadel only made the classic looking Empire towards the end of the 3rd Edition (1992), and I did'nt really want to use them as I did'nt think that their look suited the older looking Empire miniatures I am using. They did make some, at the same time as Brettonians in 1989, but they can be a little expensive to find, and tricky to find all of one type. Also the horses they were suppllied with at the time were unbarded, and two of the three types of Empire Knights require barding. The only other Empire Knights released were the Marauder Miniatures ones, but they are quite rare and expensive.

So, bearing in mind I want to keep my armies all Oldhammer era, I decided to try something. I have a few spare Wargames Foundry War of the Roses Knights, which were originally Citadel's C26 Men at Arms range., which to me have a simialiar look to Empire Knights. So I added an embossed Marauder shield to each of them, and painted them up in brighter, more Empire' looking colours. I think the look fine, and I will add another five when I get around to actually painting up the army itself.
Enjoy :)

 The Empire Cavalry section of Warhammer Armies.
Itook the scan from Jaeckel Alone's blogspot. Check out his wonderful Empire Soldiers here:
Five Knights.
Front view.
I used two different types of Knight. One with the full plume...
...and the other with a light plume.
The other three Knights. The shield if the Knight on the right is an old Warhammer Regiments Dwarf shield, which gives a Sigmar feel to the miniature.
Rear and side view of the horse with it's head down.
Rear and side view of the horse with it's head up.

Next week will probably be some Undead.

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Three pre-slotta C01 Fighters in blister packs.

As part of my current sorting through of my collection into a series of 3rd Edition Warhammer armies, I have been buying all sorts of odds and ends, mainly from e-bay. I have been keen to add very characterful miniatures to add that little extra something to particular regiments, as well as buying miniautres I have always wanted, but never got around to getting.

With that in mind I have been buying a lot of the old Citadel C01 Fighters range, as well as some other C-Series, later F-Series ranges, and a few Marauder Miniatures. Whilst browsing online I found a seller selling packs of unopened C01 Fighters, which I thought were quite resonably priced (£8.95 each) for unopened packs. Looking closer at the various packs these three stood out as they looked to contain some unusual and great looking miniatures from about 1983. So I took a chance and bought them.

Now, when it comes to old and out of production unopened miniatures, I am one of those people who would much rather open it and paint them, rather than leave it just because it's still in the pack. Many of the old miniatures are lovely (hence the whole Oldhammer thing!) and deserve to be set free and painted and Citadel intended! So, I have opened these packs with a view to adding them to an army (probably the Estalian or Marienburg armies).
Here's how I got on...

Enjoy :)
 The unopened packs.
 Early C01 Fighters, from about 1983.
(Taken from the Stuff of Legends site:
http://www.solegends.com/citc/index.htm ).
I can't be sure, but I understand that they were sculpted by the Perry Twins. There are striking similarites between these and with other Perry sculpts, which I will outline later, which leads me to suggest they sculpted them.
First of the three, still in blister...
...the second...
...and third.
Still heady from the blast of 1980's air, I tried to locate this miniature amongst the C-series ranges, but could not find him! He might be unlisted?
He is a Fighter/Knight in heavy armour, with a plumed helmet and sword. To me looks late 15th, early 16th Century in historical terms, due to the style of helmet (a burgonet helmet with falling buffe), style of the armour, and the chainmail armour on his legs.
Shield with Griffin. It is clearer in the ink washed photograph.
The second Fighter.
Again, heavy armour, sword, shield. He is wears a slightly later looking burgenet, and trunk hose, making him look more mid-late 16th Century. 
He is in the centre of the catalogue page above.
Rear view, with backpack and crossbow, and burgonet plume.
The third miniature.
Like the second Fighter, he has sword, shield, heavy armour, and trunk hose. He is based on the sculpt of the second Fighter (or visa versa). He has a rather fetching hat too. 
He is centre right hand side of the catalogue page.
The shield is the same sculpt as a shield used on a pre-slotta Goblin. Citadel often swapped shields and weapons between sculpts, sometimes between ranges.
The three amigos!
The sculpt of the three miniatures is superb. Considering that they are 35 years old, the quality would easily stand up now.
Side by side the second and third miniatures showing the same basic sculpt.
The first Fighter.
He is a simlar sculpt to a fighter I bought a little while ago.
Shield with the Griffin, black-washed.
Black washed to show the details.
Black washed second Fighter. You can see the trunk hose clearer.
Rear view. Great details, including the crossbow windlass. 
Black wash.
Face details.
Looking at the miniatures I realised that the bear quite a resemblance to the Perry Twins 'Wars of Religon' range, which was produced by Citadel around the same time (1983). The style of the sculpting and scale look similar, as do details such as the burgonet.
On the left is the second of the Fighters, on the right is an Arquabusier from that range. It is also why I think that the second and third Fighters look late 16th Century to me.
The 'Wars of Religon' range is still avaliable from Wargames Foundry.
I checked out the site and found that several of the range also bear a resembalance to the Fighters.
Here is the range on the Wargames Foundry website, from where is got the photograph :

Next blog update should be on some of the armies I have been sorting out. I have started test painting a few things, but am still in 'sorting out/army list compling' mode.