Wednesday, 23 October 2013

The Bryan Ansell collection: Halflings (Citadel Miniatures)

The majority of these bad boys (and girl) were designed by the Perry twins and Trish Carden (Morrison) and appeared in an advert in White Dwarf 97 from 1988:


Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Adeptus Administratum: latest unreleased Rogue Trader Citadel Miniature (Bryan Ansell collection)

The good news about the latest "new old" unreleased Rogue Trader figure in Bryan Ansell's collection is that we are able to positively ID it from its base tag: "Administratum":


Monday, 21 October 2013

Heavy Metal - Mighty Fortress metal master

I can see I'll have little time for too many in-depth posts this week due to work commitments, but I'll try to post something each day even if it's brief. Today I bring you a metal master for the Mighty Fortress plastic set of the 1980's (from the Bryan Ansell collection):


Yes, it is as heavy as it looks. Can you imagine what the full set weighs...

Friday, 18 October 2013

The Dave Perry collection: Chaos Space Marines part 1

Some old classics here. I particularly like the Nurgle marines and in my opinion Dave has given them the colour scheme they deserve. I've never really clicked with the Night Lords: a bit too cartoon-y for my taste but I can't fault Dave's painting of the figure.


Thursday, 17 October 2013

Unreleased Rogue Trader era adventurers and a mystery solved (Bryan Ansell collection)

There's a mystery that's been bugging me and fellow Citadel collectors and Rogue Trader enthusiasts for some time: who and what is the figure on the top left of the image on p. 11 of the Rogue Trader rulebook? Is it even a Citadel figure?


Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Wargames Foundry: unreleased orcs and some painted orcs and dwarfs

During a recent visit to Stoke Hall to see Bryan Ansell I took the opportunity to photograph some of his beautifully painted Foundry orcs and dwarfs, including a couple of orc greens that Bryan believes never went into production. A number of the dwarfs below are unlisted (thanks to Kev at www.stunties.com for confirming that). With regards to the orcs, I'm afraid I have no idea of their status - they could be unreleased, unlisted, or previously available! Whatever their status, it's a pleasure to see these very characterful figures brought to life with such vibrant painting.

Foundry don't currently list any of these figures on their website but it's my understanding that they will be on there at some point (not sure about the two orc greens).


Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Unreleased Citadel Rogue Trader era Adeptus Arbites in the Bryan Ansell collection

It's not unusual for images of previously unseen unreleased Games Workshop figures to appear on the internet, and probably the best overall source for these is the Collecting Citadel Miniatures wiki. What is unusual, however, is for new figures to appear in older ranges that might previously have been considered to be completely documented; I recently discovered two figures in Bryan Ansell's collection that fit this criteria.

The figures below are labelled "Arbites" on the front of the tab and "GW 1987" on the rear of the tab. So here I present two unreleased Adeptus Arbites from the Rogue Trader era:


Monday, 14 October 2013

The Dave Perry collection: Rogue Trader Eldar part 1

Dave has quite a few of Jes Goodwin's Eldar in his collection, harking back to the very first Rogue Trader releases. So many in fact that I've decided to divide his Eldar between two posts. Notice Dave has decided to keep the edges of his bases black. You may recall that Fraser Grey did the same thing - simple but very effective.

These particular Eldar are an absolute riot of yellow - Dave has done Eldar in colours other than yellow as you'll see from the next post! In my limited painting experience yellow is a particularly difficult colour to do well, and Dave's results are stunning.


Friday, 11 October 2013

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Wargames Foundry: the unseen master moulds

In September I blogged the response from Bryan Ansell to the question of what ex-Citadel figures may yet coming marching out of the Foundry factory. Bryan's response was:

"I'm afraid that the sad truth is that we don't really know. When we gathered up the various discontinued ranges that had become redundant at Citadel, we had no idea that anyone would ever attach any great significance to any of them. They were never properly catalogued. We do have over 5,000 old master moulds here at Stoke Hall, but they have never been fully catalogued either."

You may recall that this was prompted by Foundry's release of the old Citadel Mercenaries range.

Yesterday I visited Bryan at Stoke Hall and was delighted to be given a glimpse of these 5,000 moulds that have not been fully catalogued, which I would like to share with you:


Great, eh? I couldn't resist asking Bryan if I could take a peak into some of these moulds. The very first mould appeared to have the impression of something like a large ogre or minotaur (I think it had cloven hooves) but only the lower body and part of the torso was present on the mould. Bryan didn't recognise it and I didn't recognise it as something that had been put into production by Citadel, so chances are it's an unseen Foundry figure (or at least one that hasn't been in production for some time). A good start.

But...the next few moulds appeared to have various Darkest Africa, Saxon, and Seven Years War figures inside. If you're a Foundry historicals fan you may be jumping up and down at this point, but I was seeking more fantastical fare.

Some of the moulds were quite a bit larger than the others and Bryan suggested these may have ex-Citadel in them. So I grabbed at one and opened it up to find - a giraffe. Arrrgggh!

I guess at this point I'd opened around 10 moulds, and given that my my next port of call was to photograph some of Bryan's figures I decided to call it a day with the moulds. But I hope to return...

So, what did I see at Bryan's yesterday? Well, all will be revealed but suffice to say I'll be publishing pictures of unreleased Citadel figures that have never been see before. I also took photographs of what Bryan believes are unreleased Foundry figures; time allowing I'll be uploading these pics tomorrow.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Bryan Ansell's Rogue Trader Space Marines: part 2

Back in July I published the first pics of some of the Rogue Trader era Space Marines in Bryan Ansell's collection, and focussed on some of the earliest Space Marines that went into production. Today's post concerns some of the figures in Bryan's collection which made it into the Space Marines Painting Guide, which appeared in White Dwarf 119. I've added a link to the Guide at the bottom of the post.

Have a read of the "Medic's gesture of respect to his fallen Brothers" under the Salamanders' section of the painting guide; could someone please tell me what the following means: "he used his left arm to hold his carnifex". It makes no sense to me!

As per usual, if anyone can name the painters of these figures please leave a comment. Thanks!














Sadly missing the banner.


Monday, 7 October 2013

The Dave Perry collection: Realm of Chaos Champions and Renegades

I am delighted that Dave Perry, former resident of Games Workshop's Design Studio/'Eavy Metal team, has allowed me to display photographs of his fantastic painted miniatures on my blog. If you dipped out of the hobby in the 1980s and have only recently returned to it you may have missed Dave's stint at GW, but he's provided a comprehensive and very amusing bio below. Please note these are not my words - I want to emphasise that because I certainly don't agree with the "Never truly great, Dave’s painting was, I suppose, sufficient" comment!

Over the coming weeks I'll be showcasing Dave's work, organised fairly roughly into categories. This week it's the turn of Realm of Chaos era Champions and Chaos Renegades.

Biography




Much as Japan suffered a so-called “lost decade” of economic stagnation through the 1990s, Dave  too endured a similarly self-inflicted lost decade of ruinous misadventure resulting in his own economic, intellectual and moral decline.

The underlying cause of this misspent youth was a “career” in the world of toy soldiers and miniature wargaming beginning at Games Workshop in the early 1990s and ending in the freelance wilderness by the early-2000s. The origins of the malady, that being his one time passion for science-fiction and fantasy miniatures, began in the mid-1980s with an interest in Fighting Fantasy adventure books, an initial reading of Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and his introduction to the wonders of two inch high metal miniatures by a contemporary at a middle school play-day.

Dave’s first miniatures were a pack of Half-Orcs designed by Ali Morrison and a Orc command group by Kev Adams. There followed halcyon days of discovery during the “golden age” of Games Workshop. Warhammer Fantasy Battle 3rd Edition reigned supreme; boxed games such as Adeptus Titanicus, Blood Bowl and Dark Future provided easy access to what is these days called “The Hobby;” miniatures had yet to be painted in red, red, and more red, and Games Workshop stores were not yet vying for ubiquity with Starbucks; reading the Realm of Chaos books felt like practicing Satanism and it was still cool to listen to heavy metal and wear your hair like a girl.

There was no turning back. Initially interested only in collecting Lord of the Rings and seemingly related fantasy miniatures Dave soon succumbed to the temptations of Space Marines and Warhammer 40,000. As much as gaming was enjoyable, it was collecting and painting the miniatures themselves that was of primary interest. From his early travesties of paint and brush Dave slowly reached the point at which he could keep the paint “in the lines,” although his favourite skin tone was Sunburst Yellow, if he bothered to paint the flesh areas at all...

Dave’s painting epiphany came in the form a step-by-step guide in White Dwarf magazine in which Mike McVey demonstrated how to paint a Blood Angel Terminator Captain. Following the instructions to the letter Dave produced what to his young eyes seemed a fair approximation of the original. Determined to one day be a “pro” and be hired by Games Workshop as a member of the ‘Eavy Metal team his free time was consumed by painting and pouring over the pages of painted miniatures in White Dwarf in order develop the skills and knowledge necessary to attaining his “dream.” Even when his gaming pursuits at the local wargames club were eclipsed by a growing interest in girls, beer and wearing black he never stopped painting.

Eventually, and after a failed first application and continued support and encouragement from Richard Gunson and Stuart Willis, Dave was summoned to Games Workshop’s Design Studio in Nottingham, England, for an audience with then studio manager Alan Merret. Alan, despite misgivings that would eventually prove to be remarkably accurate, offered Dave a job. Dave, despite Mike McVey’s warning that “you don’t want to do this, you should stay at college,” readily accepted the offer. The rest, as they say, is history.

Games Workshop was at the time transitioning to a more mainstream, commercially successful business model and the “Disnification” of its core imagery proceeded apace. Despite the best attempts of Dave and a handful of other like minded Design Studio staff to cling to the “darker,” “grittier” past, the reality was that they were the relics.

Looking back it was a lot of fun. Although at the time it seemed a purgatory of subsistence level living, bullying and boredom. The office politics, in particular the regular purges that took place, would have made even the Communist Party of China’s politburo blanch. On the up side, Dave enjoyed the opportunity to work with many whom he had long admired. They also drank a lot of beer.

Dave did very little real “work” and spent most of his days, over a period of about five years, clowning around and annoying his managers and colleagues, as well as engaging in biscuit eating contests. (His record was an entire packet of Hob Nobs in 19.5 seconds, tea-assisted of course.)  Dave’s greatest single achievement, apart from the Hob Nobs, was managing over the course of a month or so to read The Silmarillion in its entirety and three-quarters of The Lord of the Rings, under his desk when he should have been working. Needless to say, his duplicity was eventually discovered and his literary pursuits outlawed. Oh, and he painted a few miniatures too.

Never truly great, Dave’s painting was, I suppose, sufficient. He had a few inspired moments from which came a handful of noteworthy pieces at best. He was certainly not the best, as amply demonstrated by many of his contemporaries, although Dave did play some small part in the rearing of other talent. No, his claim to fame (apart from taking five weeks to paint one Greater Daemon of Nurgle) was that, along with a few others such as Paul Muller, Stuart Thomas and Mark Jones, he was a guardian of the old lore, protector of tradition and resistance fighter. Or at least that’s what he liked to think.

In the face of the seemingly insurmountable wall of Go Fasta Red, Goblin Green bases and a ban on black undercoats, Dave maintained, and sought to demonstrate, that it was safe to use brown paint, static grass on bases did look cool, black undercoats produce better finished results, and that more realistic colour schemes did not equate to commercial suicide. Denounced as a traitor and accused of “heresy” (really, such words were (are?) very much part of the lexicon of GW life), he persisted.

In the end the forces of good prevailed, and as such bright red ghosts and goblins with yellow spears are now a thing of the long forgotten past. But so too is Dave’s painting and any claims to being an “authority” on the subject that he might once have had.

Eventually, having successfully clambered to the top of the ‘Eavy Metal Team’s greasy pole, he then made an ill-considered, futile and ultimately disastrous foray into a new career as a miniature designer. Why? They got paid more. Why disastrous? Because he was crap at it and his mind was given over to Wetherism.
When Games Workshop finally came to its senses and gave Dave the boot, he parachuted into Harlequin Miniatures where he made some truly awful miniatures, had the pleasure of working alongside artist Tony Ackland (how old skool can you get?) and overindulged at weekends. When his time there finished, Dave sojourned in Edinburgh where he joined Target Games, just three months before its collapse, and made a few more mediocre miniatures for the Warzone and Chronopia ranges while having the chance to work alongside some more childhood heros such as Adrian Smith and Roy Eastland. From then on he did bits and pieces of freelance painting and sculpting of which none were of any consequence, although Hamleys of London still stocks his little pewter teddy-bears dressed as policeman and Beefeaters.


Although Dave continued to do odd bits of commission work over the following years he now rarely paints.

Realm of Chaos Champions










Realm of Chaos Renegades


Dave has a number of Chaos Renegades from the post-ROC era, and I will be including those in a future post.





Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Unreleased Foundry Victorian in Steam Powered Armour

Foundry have published pictures of a couple of unreleased Victorians in Steam Powered Armour over on their Facebook page. The last time I was at Stoke Hall I snapped a pic of one of these figures, and here he is in all his glory:


A wonderful figure blessed with a fantastic paint job! I'm not sure if these figures are on general release yet - best way to find out is to give Foundry a ring (0115 841 3000).

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

The Bryan Ansell collection: Warhammer 40k Rogue Trader Adventurers and Forces of the Imperium

These guys were produced in 1988 and made their appearance in painted form in White Dwarf 99. Sadly Bryan's collection does not appear to be complete; the remainder may yet to be found in his collection, or may have been scattered to the four corners of the galaxy.


Back in July I promised you a view of female space marines as you have never seen them before. It occurred to me after writing that post that the female SMs in question actually belong to this range of RT adventurers rather than the standard SM ranges, so here they are in all their, errr, glory:



Phew...I think I need a bit of a sit down now. Right, on to the other adventurers:

Is it just my eyes or does this one have cloven feet? Never noticed that before.













In addition to the RT adventurers illustrated in the White Dwarf ad above, Citadel also produced a variety of Forces of the Imperium, several of which appeared in adverts but have not previously been seen as painted by the 'Eavy Metal team: