Tag Archives: Empire Captain

Warhammer World – Part 1

For many of us the name Warhammer World is synonymous with the heartland of our hobby. As the flagship store, events hall, exhibition centre and the home of the design studio it’s a name almost as well known as Games Workshop itself. For years I’ve wanted to visit, primarily to see the series of huge displays, dioramas and miniatures collections on display. When work took me to Nottingham for a conference recently I knew it was time to take advantage of being in town (a mere 500-odd miles from my usual haunts) and take the chance to see it all for myself. So please excuse the shameless self-indulgence of these posts – I am after all essentially showing my holiday snaps – and the quality of the images. I did my best but between the glass cabinets and the dramatic lighting it wasn’t always easy. For those of you who’re already familiar with Warhammer World much of this will be old hat – and nothing in comparison to actually seeing the place for yourself – but for those from further afield hopefully this  showcase will help you to tap into the great well of creativity that the dioramas and displays represent. For me I found seeing the displays hugely inspiring, something that will hopefully come through in my output over the next few weeks, and with luck a few readers might find yourselves equally enthused and energised. Plus this way I can put all my pictures in one place instead of having to show people individually – something that appeals to my sense of laziness inordinately!

So, without further ado, step this way. Before we begin I just need to find somewhere to park (I jest of course, this vehicle doesn’t have nearly enough spikes, chains and trophies to be my wheels).05As soon as you walk in to the exhibition space the senses are assaulted (in the best possible way) by this delightfully old-school John Blanche diorama. Bearing in mind the vintage of the models, and the fact that large parts of it are clearly made of polystyrene, the fact that it holds up so well next to modern pieces – built with the full technological and financial power of the company today – is extremely impressive. It may be a little rough around the edges but it responds with a boundless, energetic creativity, unburdened by the restrictions imposed by decades of development. I love the modern GW universes and I’ve no wish to return to dwarves in flowery shirts but I’m glad that in this age of Sigmarites on the side of trams and staff looking distinctly uncomfortable when I mentioned Warhammer* this third-edition mid-eighties madness is still given pride of place.

*I just said I knew more about it than AoS. I wasn’t an ass about it! There was a combination of fear and resignation in the staffer’s eyes though when I mentioned it, they must be sick to the eye-teeth of people moaning about it by now.john-blanche-dwarves-and-undead-convertordie-5This isn’t a lament for lost creativity however because what follows is even better. Room after room of spectacular displays covering the grim darkness of the far future, the ruins of the Old World and the bright new future of Sigmar’s mortal realms. The dioramas in particular were simply jaw dropping – this was what drew me to visit in the first place and they did not disappoint. I was actually so impressed by them that I’ve devoted several posts to them and will be putting them up over the next few days. On my arrival the extremely talkative and friendly staffer who met me said “Take as many photos as you like mate” and I took him at his word (so strap yourselves in – there’s a lot of pictures to come!)

john-blanche-dwarves-and-undead-convertordie-4john-blanche-dwarves-and-undead-convertordie-3john-blanche-dwarves-and-undead-convertordie-2What – did you think I was joking when I mentioned dwarves in flowery shirts? Perhaps in a future Blachitsu we could get some kind of explanation for this wonderfully mad fashion choice. Additional credit has to be given for the quality of his moustache as well, something even the most stylishly hirsute of Fyreslayers would struggle to replicate.john-blanche-dwarves-and-undead-convertordie-1…And is that a lady dwarf? Clearly the 80’s was a radically different world – dwarfing today having become a solely male profession.john-blanche-dwarves-and-undead-convertordie-6Next to it we have this display showing a bunch of Empire chaps having a bit of a showdown with some lizardmen in an ancient temple. I must confess however that I know next to nothing about the origins of the piece so its significance was rather lost on me.

Edit: Thanks to Warburton  I now know a little bit more about this McVey classic. Anyone who’s interested should take a look here.img_586306As well as the dioramas Warhammer World also features an area set aside for guest displays and, at the time when I visited (which – because time moves strangely in the blogosphere – was about a month ago now) much of this was taken up with models from past Golden Daemons. The display was about to end and be replaced by something new so the content was a little sparse (my assumption being that they’d started removing models, rather than that they didn’t have very many to begin with) but what remained was a collection of some of the most inspiring (and slightly intimidating) individual models I’ve ever come across. The internet has made many of them familiar but for someone like myself, whose never been to a GW open day or Games Day event, being able to get up close to painting of that quality was memorable to say the least.

Highlights included this Empire Captain by David Waeselynck…

david-waeselynck-1…and these two Plague Marines (the first by Maxime Corbeil, the second by Robin McLeod). Each is very different in style, but with Nurgle models stacking up on the edge of my painting desk and demanding attention, both will be serving as inspiration in the future.maxime-corbeil-1

robin-mcleod-1Then we have this truly ‘miniature’ diorama by Cedric Lurkin, cleverly capturing the duel theme on a scale quite different to that we’re used to.cedric-lurkin-1

Last of all this Predator Tank, dedicated to Nurgle. The creation of David Soper this claimed both Gold in the Vehicle category and the Slayer Sword back in 1990. Its undoubtedly one of my all time favourite models and so spotting it on the shelf was quite the pleasant surprise.david-soper-1david-soper-2And finally, how could I resist taking this selfie in Bugmans?04Anyway, hopefully you’ve enjoyed this look through my pictures from the day (if not the bad news is there’s a lot more to come). Tomorrow we’ll start taking a look at the dioramas, starting with Age of Sigmar.

 

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The Empire Strikes Again

I’ve always rather fancied an Empire army. All those stylish men with their smart jackets, enormous hats and silly moustaches standing firm in the name of civilisation with nothing but faith, cold steel, black-powder and ridiculous wizard-powered contraptions. I even painted up a couple of heroes for the Empire collection I almost started and, given that I’ve got Warhammer on the brain at the moment, now seemed like a very good time to show them off.First of all there’s this captain, just waiting for an army to command. Sadly as I’ve remained stubbornly focussed on the grim darkness of the far future he’s been waiting for a while, and it doesn’t look like his fortunes are going to change any time soon.

Empire Captain 1

Empire Captain 2

He’s not completely alone however, as I’ve also painted this Celestial Wizard. His crystal ball allows him to peer into the depths of space for suitable comets to drop on his enemies’ heads – or perhaps an Imperial Crusade Fleet, which might have seen to it that the End Times ended rather differently. I’d keep your head down Sonny-Jim – it’ll be the Black Ships for you if that ever happens.Empire Wizard ConvertOrDie (1)Empire Wizard ConvertOrDie (3)They may not look like much but they still outnumber my Warriors of Chaos army two to one!


Showcasing Sam: The Old World

So, after all that talk about greenskins and the world of Warhammer last week I realised I’d never got around to the second half of my little ‘Showcasing Sam’ mini-series. Strap yourselves in because a lot of pictures lie ahead!

To recap; Sam has been a good friend of mine for over a decade and remains one of the best painters I know. Recently he’s found that time for painting miniatures is hard to come-by. Always on the lookout for content for this blog I took a load of photographs of his models to put together this showcase of his work. This time we’ll be looking at his fantasy models, mostly for the Warhammer world. For his 40k models click here. I’d also highly recommend his blog, although it’s not been updated for a while it’s full of information about how he painted every model.

First up we have Grimgor Ironhide – famously the most warlike of all Orcs (yeah, you heard me Azhag ya mad git!). I really like the pallid skin, especially on the face, and often wondered if this was chosen to reflect all the time Grimgor spent underground fighting the Skaven.
Of course if you’re going to have ‘da best’ of all Orcs then you need his equal amongst the Goblins; Skarsnik (and Gobbla of course). I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who felt the loss of Gobbla during the End Times with the kind of intensity normally reserved for family members. I’m also secretly rather impressed that Sam has managed to make the model look so good in spite of painting him with quite a lot of pink.
Standing stalwart against the depredations of these greenskins we have this impeccably dressed Empire Captain.
Another of my favourites is this gorgeous skink. Just look at that jewel on the end of his staff!
I’ve always been impressed with Sam’s range as a painter – everything from that Lizardman to this unit of scabrous Plague Monks. Pretty much everyone in the world has converted the Nurgle Lord but Sam decided to break with tradition and painted the fat man as originally intended. At the opposite end of the spectrum of Warhammer bad-guys from the pie-loving Nurgle Lord is this sleek Dark Elf Dreadlord. I love the way he’s leaning into the strike – someone’s going to get their head chopped off for sure. For the last part of this showcase I wanted to leave the world of Warhammer and take us instead to Westeros, the setting of Game of Thrones. This is one of my absolute favourite pieces by Sam, a diorama recreating the infamous clash between Oberyn Martell and ‘The Mountain’ Gregor Clegane using models from Dark Sword Miniatures. I love all the little details that have been included to set the scene. To my eye the balance between creating context without overwhelming the characters has been struck perfectly. The fallen leaves and tumbled masonry creates a sense both of the changing seasons as the characters prepare for a harsh winter ahead and of the waning of their civilisation, the passing of glory and the inevitable yielding of their endeavours to history. Prince Oberyn shields his head against the Mountain’s swing, making getting a picture of his face almost impossible. The Mountain lines up to do some chopping. Damn but he’s a tall lad isn’t he? Finally, whilst I’m allowing the blog to be taken over by my talented friends, allow me to point you in the direction of Iriselsewhere who, inspired by my recent review of the new Orruks, drew the Weirdnob Shaman performing Hamlet. As one does… Until next time, hope you enjoyed this little showcase of my friends’ talents, do check out their blogs and feel free to make any comments in the box.