Sunday, 14 August 2016

Northumbrian Tin Soldier - Time Robbers II - Evil existed long before good....


Following in the recent footsteps of the Time Robber dwarven types, that purveyor of lead goodies at Northumbrian Tin Soldier has had the talented Martin Buck sculpt up some additions that fit the bill for many evil geniuses across the fantasy genre. 

All painted by the awe-inspiringly talented Andy Taylor...




The minis released so far are available here (please let David know I sent you).

I also realised, once again, that one could use these for games based on certain movies if you were that way inclined.....Classical Greece meets Napoleon meets Robin Hood's England and so on....all in the vain pursuit of a map which will allow, well, the understanding of digital watches for one thing. 

Previous release blog post;


Films to watch for inspiration..........


This would also make a great Frostgrave quest....suitably weird warbands abound within the Time Robber range and, of course, my favorite Nightfolk one....(more of my Nightfolk posts here).

Comments below or to me at deartonyblair@virginmedia.com

Friday, 12 August 2016

A taste of Oldhammer.....Tainted Hobbit 1.


I think I have been infected once again by the love of old Citadel by that wonderful 'Bring Out Your Lead' meeting of Oldhammerers at Wargames Foundry in Stoke. Marcus, Diane and Bryan Ansell, along with a host of others, do a fantastic job of organising the gathering including supplying food and alcohol.....I can't think of a much better weekend's pursuit! There are a veritable plethora of blog postings out there for the 3 day event, a list of some I have found are at the bottom of this post. One day I will get down there...my good mate Tony Yates keeps telling me to come. Kev Adams was there again this year sculpting heads on minis for charity. Top blokes. Anyway, I had recently picked up a job lot of old bits and pieces and found this particular Hobbit minus his sword....slightly to the left of rear middle in the pic below.


How the figure should be, courtesy of Pmc815234 of the CCM WIKI.


Due to the greyness of the lead I decided to give him a controversial overnight soak in vinegar....this has been recommended by some to get rid of the dreaded lead rot......after an overnight soak he had a severe toothbrush scrubbing with soap and water. I have to say this brought him up a treat although it has to be remembered that the acid in the vinegar can also cause the chemical reaction leading to lead rot so ensure ALL residue is removed......potential screams down the years will otherwise haunt me. I then decided to cut away the remnants of the sword hilt and drill through the hand (using a pin vice) and also into the base. As below, he was ready to hold a spear or standard....


Whilst looking for suitable bits for him I delved into a couple of recent pick ups - plastic remains from other hobbyists' Games Workshop kits - these are a boon to anyone for conversion fodder. I noticed a Skaven Warp sign shield piece that fitted perfectly on his shield and realised that tainted waters could drift through the water table even to the far reaches of the Shire......I then found a suitable standard and removed the skulls and chains, then added a Skaven tail and skull along with a spearhead. The spearhead was possibly the most tricky as I wanted to keep the flanges at either side of the shaft (having to drill it out for the steel wire replacement). Thinking that the skull top to the standard wasn't particularly 'Hobbit' like, even for a tainted one, I found a candle that cried out 'YES!' in a little eureka moment. The piece is from a Scotia Grendel accessory set - they have far too many tempting bits.... 



I have since wrapped the tail around the spear to make it look as if he uses it as a 3rd hand and also added a rat (GW plastic) to the base. Undercoated already and hopefully the painting will start tonight.

13/08 A little progress tonight whilst watching the latest couple of episodes of Outcast on Netflix....really should turn the TV off and paint more.....at least you get to see the rat...


The full range of Citadel (solid base) Halfings can be seen here and, having had a look at them, it reminded me I have a bunch somewhere and may do some other conversions......

It mustn't be forgotten that Marcus' Warmonger side to Foundry has a wonderful selection of Halflings sculpted by the inestimable John Pickford....the set of Bulmoon's Bar and the Villagers are a must for everyone.....tell them I sent you.....



The full range is here.

A few 'Bring Out your Lead' posts






There is also a T-shirt to commemorate the weekend available from Warmonger Miniatures here. Marcus' sister Maria commissioned this.



'Our first t shirt featuring an Orc lllustration by Paul Philburn, artist and nephew of the late Wayne England, is now available for pre-order.

"Wayne was a massive influence on me... my artwork and love of gaming in all aspects of building and terrain loonacy which I've passed onto my lads...the circle is complete" (Paul Philburn)'

Any C&C as always to; deartonyblair@virginmedia.com

Monday, 8 August 2016

The Holy Grail has arrived.......................


Sometimes the postman makes me grin.......I'll take full pics at a later date. 


Now I need to think of a new Holy Grail.....this has prompted me to a new project....top secret for now though....


Friday, 15 July 2016

My new Holy Grail - Grenadier Miniatures Snow White......


Terence Gunn recently posted an update on his Fantastic World of Grenadier Kickstarter showing a picture of a Grenadier Snow White & The Seven Dwarves painting set (or 'Complete Art Craft Kit')......I was gobsmacked as, in all my years of collecting, I had never even heard a rumour of this. The fact that Grenadier had had such a licence and it hadn't been more widely marketed astounds me (although possibly points to a lack of skills in that area which may have been another possible lynchpin in their final demise......).

A quick Google search found an old eBay auction and I contacted the seller about using the pictures.....he didn't have another copy before you ask! I was piqued by the wording on the auction as it stated he had been an in-house sculptor for Grenadier back in the day....he turned out to be none other than the legendary John Dennett!

On using the pictures........

Hello David,
Yes, go right ahead and use the pictures if you wish. I like that these vintage pieces still have an interest out there and that you have a desire to help keep them alive with your blog.
Best wishes,
John Dennett

On attempting to purloin a hidden second copy......

Hi David,
Not likely those will show up again. Not that many were produced as I was told. My copy was given to me when I first came to work at Grenadier and I've never seen another set since then offered anywhere. The only reason I let mine go is that I felt it was time to let someone else enjoy it.

John's wording on the auction was very interesting;

Presented here is a very RARE boxed set of Disney Classic Figurines depicting Snow White and the seven dwarfs and other characters plus a set of 8 acrylic paints, paint brush, illustrated painting guide and a backsheet with photo showing the contents of the set.
These figures are white-metal castings that fall within the scale of Role Playing Game figures that were popular at the time. The dwarves are approximately 25mm in height where Snow White and the prince are about 40mm.
Though it is not mentioned anywhere on the box or literature, this set was produced in the USA by Grenadier Models around 1980 if not before. During the years 1982-86 I was employed as an in-house sculptor at that company which is how I know for certain the history of this set of licensed Disney collectibles.

There are twelve castings which include:
Snow White
The Prince
The Witch
Happy
Grumpy
Sleepy
Sneezy
Dopy
Doc
Bashful
Mining Cart
Diamond Pile (that is meant to sit in the cart)

NOTE: These miniatures contain lead and as such are now considered an adult collectible item not recommended for young children.

This set is well over 35 years old so even though the paint cups remain unopened, I don't expect them to be usable at this point but I won't open them to find out. Everything else; the figures, box, painting guide etc. are in great vintage condition with very minor signs of age.

Without further ado here are the images.....all copyright John Dennett and, as stated, used with his permission.





I think it goes without saying that I am after this set....... 

Do please back Terence' Kickstarter as it is a worthy project and will be a great hobby reference for everyone.

John Dennett is still sculpting away of course so take a gander over at his Moon Devil Studio site. A lot of John's gaming miniatures are shown over on the Lost Minis WIKI here.


Saturday, 9 July 2016

Box of Dragontooth minis.......


Sitting at my mum's (if you remember, she had a stroke back in March) so just the laptop here. Yesterday, back at home, I opened up a box of Dragontooth minis looking for one particular figure to photograph for a friend......of course the mini wasn't there but I thought I'd take a pic anyway......so many bits missing which are hopefully in one of 2 other boxes........Big Meg needs adding to the painting table I think...she certainly deserves to be finished. So much lead, so little time......


Didn't want it to be a lonely post so thought I'd add the 1979 DragonTooth  catalogue.....not sure if Tom Loback was meaning it to be two words or just capitals on the emphasis.....









I'm still searching for the Winged Cat, the Reptilian Dragon, Loki, Thor and Kali amongst others so think of me if you find a stash of them! I'll finish off the post with a pic of the sorely missed Tom himself. In the short time I was in contact with him he came across as a good man and I know he has left a multitude of empty hearts behind.



Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Nick Bibby's latest sculpt......almost a return to Oldhammer!


Edit 23rd August 2016 - link to a slide show of the finished piece......astounding......

https://www.facebook.com/nickbibby.sculpture/videos/1016386125126370/

Edit 15th August 2016 - Nick has just posted an 'almost finished video' of the Dragon so I thought I'd add it to the top of this post.......you should still read the rest though!



One of the greats of the old school 'hobby' sculptors, Nick Bibby started working for Asgard Miniatures in the later 70s before moving on to Citadel Miniatures, Games Workshop and Ral Partha. A number of his fantasy sculpts are in my collection, one of my firm favorites being a 25mm and 75mm Conan the Barbarian for Asgard.


An early giant also for Asgard....one I still need 'desperately'....


A favourite dragon.... along with rider and saddle....fortunately these are my own copies...


  
A later classic of the genre, his Spined Dragon, for Citadel (around 1988) is much sought after today and commands quite high prices on eBay....(photo c/o Stuff of Legends)


In the 90s he moved from fantasy subjects into sculpting real life.......and moving forward a millennium or so......well, about 25 years....Nick turned his mind back to dragons following his career in sculpting a multitude of subjects for bronze casting....his skills have been honed to a fine degree and, barring the potential 5 figure costing, I would certainly aim to own one of these which should, hopefully, be available sometime in the Summer of 2016. All the pictures below remain Nick's copyrite and are used with his permission here. His website and Facebook links are towards the bottom of the page. 

I've tried to put the images in some form of chronological order so you can get some appreciation of the skill and effort that Nick puts into his work....












Here is a video of the dragon armature and wing membranes....


  

  








  



  


'The clever folks at Pangolin Editions foundry laser scanning my Firedrake, dragon maquette, prior to casting it into bronze. I will use the scan data as part of the enlargement process, should I get asked to sculpt a "life size", monumental, version of this piece'....


A short video of the finished "Firedrake" (minus the tall rectangular column upon which the finished bronze sculpture will stand)


The sculpt being teased from the mold prior to casting in bronze.....


Once the bronze casting has been taken out of the mold there is a long, long job of finishing ....unlike pewter and lead, this process is very labor intensive.....





  








Later pieces......

Video of the completed Griffin.....


Video of the Midgard Serpent, Jörmungandr


One of Nick's Facebook pages is here. You don't need to 'do' Facebook to enjoy.


A pictorial catalogue of some of his works courtesy of Pangolin Studios here.

Of course it's well worth popping along to his website to have a peruse of his genius and maybe commission a piece.....


Nick just advised me that the dragon will be unveiled (alongside the Midgard Serpent and Griffin) at his next one man show, this October, at Sladmore Contemporary, Bruton Place, Mayfair, London.

As always, thoughts and q's to deartonyblair@virginmedia.com