Wayback Wednesday – White Dwarf #79

Going through my drawers the other day (not my pants) I found an old back issue copy of White Dwarf. And by old, I don’t mean from the time in the mid-late 90s when GW were painting everything in various shades of red, no I’m talking about an issue from the 80s, July 1986 to be precise, so I thought I would take a look through and do a retrospective of sorts. Sit back in your armchair by the fire and grab a cup of hot chocolate while we fire up the WayBackWhen machine >cue TARDIS like noises<.

Right off the bat: The cover. There is the silhouette of the White Dwarf next to the title, then the subtitle: “The Role-Playing Games Monthly”, say whaaaat? Haha!

Then the artwork… I must say that this painting has always been a favorite of mine, right from when I first saw it in the Warhammer Fantasy Battle book. Titled ‘Amazonia Gothique’ by Games Workshop alumni John Blanche; it is a glorious, over-the-top image of a female chaos warrior, beautiful but deadly, and with some stunning, well maintained hair… I remember when I was in secondary school I painstakingly copied this image onto my art folder, not in full color, but lovingly shaded with pencil. I always loved the contrast of the green armor, the shock of white hair and the deep oranges in the sky. This remains a favorite of mine, and I would love to own a print of it so I could frame it.

Which reminds me… I must try and track down the miniature GW made of this, there were two versions IIRC? Actually, never mind, I just saw how much they are going for on EvilBay… ugh!

Now anyone here who’s old enough will remember that GeeDubya used to make miniatures and games for a whole plethora of other licenses. Judge Dredd? Yep! Doctor Who? Yep! Random assorted characters and beasties for roleplaying games? Well.. yep! As the risk of sounding like a totally old fart, I’ll go ahead and say that those were the “good old days” – back when a pack of 4 or 5 metal miniatures would set you back a whopping £1.95 (nearly $3?). But anyway, I’m not here to talk about prices! This issue of WD (which was typical of the magazine at the time) has a veritable mountain of stuff inside, including:

  • Call of Cthulhu scenario ‘Ghost Jackal Kill’ (with lots of Hound of Tindalos shenanigans inside!).
  • Psionics in Advanced Dungeons and Dragons.
  • The Uses of Intelligence in Role-Playing Games (for the characters, not the people playing the games!)
  • Using PSI Judges in the Judge Dredd role-playing games.
  • Cartoon strips – anyone remember Thrud the Barbarian and Gobbledigook? Me too!!
  • Letters page (and y’know, nerd rage really isn’t a new thing, is it?).
  • Adverts out the ya-ya!
  • Reviews of some films and games (yes, really!).
  • ‘Eavy Metal – This is a real treat as it’s with Kev ‘Goblinmaster’ Adams and has some beautiful pictures of his work on some of those gorgeous vintage Citadel Minatures. I need a bib.

 

I LOVE looking through the old ads in the vintage WD magazines. These were the times that you would see an ad for Grenadier Miniatures on one page and then a GW ad on the next page touting their new releases, which where, in this issue, new figures for AD&D, Judge Dredd, their Samurai/Oriental Heroes range and then of course, the Machineries of Destruction:

Phwooaaaarrrr! Look at these beauties!

 

Very sheckshy, yesh Mish Moneypenny? I remember the first war machine I ever had was the Goblobber. There was something to be said about those old box sets and figures, so I’ll post these up as well for you to all drool over:

Just under two quid a piece!

Looking at White Dwarf now compared to then, well, there really is no comparison. They are similar in name alone. Over the years Games Workshop moved from a small indie business finding its feet and it’s fanbase to one of, if not the miniature gaming powerhouse it is today. Gone is the need to pay for the magazine through selling ad space to other competitors, or giving prime real estate to games systems that belonged to other companies, or even making figures for those systems. No, they have severed their ties to all that and become a hulking behemoth that only needs to worry about pushing their new goodies on the masses. I’m not knocking that at all, I mean, let’s face it, it’s a testament to their success, right? I just like to look back in time when it was obvious that the crew that ran GW at that time wore their influences on their sleeves, and supported all the things that they were interested in through their mouthpiece which was White Dwarf. (On a side note, I saw an ad for Bolt Thrower’s album ‘Realm of Chaos’ in another back issue. Those were the days!!!)

Nostalgia is a strong emotion, and looking through these old back issues is a trip down memory lane for sure. I hope you enjoy these images (used without permission) as much as I do!

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Slap some paint on!

Well bloody hell, November already? was July really the last time I posted on here? Yikes. I really need to take a little WCF time out here and there a little more regularly.

While I may not post a lot on here, I do still do a lot of painting and gaming (I really hate the term “hobbying” which seems to be the term that GW have made their own). I haven’t picked up a Space Marine in forever, and strangely I haven’t missed it one bit. Instead, I raided the ‘drawers of shame’* and pulled out some miniatures that thought they would never see a bristle or a drop of paint. First up? Cybermen!

cybermen-classic

Classic Tom Baker era Cybermen from Blacktree Miniatures. They’re sort of whimsical, and charming in their own way. The proportions are a little off, but they only took literally minutes to paint. I think the bases took longer! I have some more to do, including some later era (from about the time of Earthshock/Silver Nemesis) which will be getting the treatment shortly.

Staying on the Doctor Who theme, I painted up ‘my’ Doctor, Sylvester McCoy, the 7th Doctor. Now, recently I had molded and cast a TARDIS from the old Dinky Toys die cast metal toy (available from Lord Chaos Creations ) . I cast a bunch up in resin, and thought I’d paint one up, as it’s almost perfect scale wise for wargaming miniatures, check it out:

mccoy1a

I have a bunch of the metal Daleks to paint up as well. I’m thinking of incorporating them into my Judge Dredd game as illegal alien entities. Might be fun to have the judges of Mega City One square off against Daleks and Cybermen!

Speaking of the Judge Dredd game, I picked up a Chronoscope miniature that I thought would be quite good to throw in as a street punk, but as I completed her, I thought she seemed more disciplined than that, and have since decided to use her as a Wally Squad Judge (Wally Squad – under cover cop). Reaper make some beautiful figures and I’ll be picking up some more to add to the denizens of Mega City One:

wally-squad-2

wally-squad-1

And, with us just celebrating Halloween, I painted this cheeky little number up as a gift for my wife:

I’ve also picked up some new units for my late war British forces for Flames of War, a Commando Platoon and an accompanying mortar platoon. No paint on those yet, but I’ll have another update soon (promise!).

I’ve been having a lot of fun just picking random miniatures to paint, it’s bought a little of the excitement back, unlike looking at ranks and ranks of >insert your pain point of choice here< and thinking AARGH! I also recently picked up a Keeper rulebook for Call of Cthulhu too, and have been devouring the contents ever since. I’m going to have my first game very soon. I’ve never been a GM/Keeper before, so this should be interesting… gulp!

Toodle pip for now!

P

*Drawers of Shame – draw with unpainted miniatures. Not an underwear drawer with speedos in.

 

 

Wibbly wobbly timey wimey… stuff. 2015 already!

Happy New Year to everyone! I hope everyone had safe and happy holidays, and that everyone got plenty of minis to keep them going in 2015!

Indeed I feel as though the TARDIS has dropped me off not knowing where the hell the last 12 months have gone. Mind you, if I had a time machine, it would be irrelevant. Heck, even WordPress has changed it’s interface since I last posted… zoinks! Anyway, I digress.

I haven’t been following up too much on what’s been going on in the world of gaming. 2014 saw me drifting further away from Games Workshop releases and focusing more on historical, and tinkering with Judge Dredd miniatures. The latter did in fact reignite a passion for the 2000AD comics and I started picking up trade paperbacks etc of Mega City One’s most famous lawman. Great stuff!!!

Whenever I go into my FLGS I always drift around the GW area, probably more now out of habit than anything. Seeing that 2014 saw (yet another) release of Warhammer 40K (along with the new Space Wolves codex), I finally threw my hands up resignation. I hadn’t even had chance to test out my Wolves with 6th ed rules yet, and here we were, only 2 years later, with 7th edition. I frankly couldn’t be arsed to fork out another $75 (or however much it is now) for the rules and another $50 for the Wolves ‘dex. So I stand at this point now: I’ll play with my forces if it’s 5th or 6th edition, and won’t even entertain the idea of buying any more rule sets until my beloved Sisters get a proper codex release and accompanying figures. Get to it, GW!

This decision did help with my ability to not worry too much about getting 40K figures painted. I think I’m the only one in our group now who’s even mildly interested in it at this point anyway, so I turned my attentions elsewhere.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, me and my friend Colin decided that we wanted to venture further into the past (we’d already been playing Flames of War) and thought we’d have a go at getting some dark age armies together, with him fielding Saxons and me leading the Vikings. We’re going to be using the Hail Caesar rules from Warlord Games for this. My 300 pt Viking force comprises an army general, and 3 commanders each leading a division of 4 units of 24 men, for a grand total of 288 foot sloggers… bugger!!! Work is underway on these forces with Colin leaving me standing somewhat in a cloud of dust! anyway, here is a peek at some Viking goodness:

Supporters of Lagertha unite!

These have been fun paint but holy heck, I have a ton more to do! I love how they look altogether though, and the payoff and satisfaction is quicker than say painting a squad of Space Marines. I can’t wait to roll the whole army out on the table!

As mentioned, Judge Dredd has been getting some paint table time as well. This time I was focusing on his deadliest of enemies… the four Dark Judges! Dodgy scale/size issues aside (see my review on the Judge Dredd Miniatures game), I had a blast painting these little blighters. It also offered me the ‘mid army burnout’ break I needed away from my Norsemen.

The crimeee issss lifffee!

Then, tinkering on my phone, I made this:

Montage

Also, other mid-army burnout distractions I painted did actually include some GW miniatures. An Adepta Sororitas Sister and a Space Wolf who I don’t even think is table legal (can anyone clarify that for me?). I mainly painted this guy up because I wanted to see how the Max Mini jet packs would look, and they look GOOD!!

Skyclaw

10614205_963332323683428_4755958392292925683_n

Very pleased how they both turned out!

Nine days into the new year, and it looks like my year is already filling up with plenty of projects. A multi-state project will be going on between me and some friends down in Florida. We all picked the Nurgle lord mini as our paint challenge, and we’re going to follow each others progression through out the whole project, an article will be posted here at some point soon. Additionally, a multi-country project will be also taking place with my buddy Matt over in the Motherland and myself spearheading “Project Death Korps”. Again, watch this space. This is all in addition to getting my dark ages forces prepped and ready for battle as well. Some of you may think I have bitten off more than I can chew. I say BRING IT! 🙂 Never a dull moment at the WCF HQ!

On that note, I shall leave you for now, dear readers. Thank you for all your support, your emails and your comments, it really does mean a lot to this old wolf! Stay tuned for lots more to come!!!

DKoK Montage

Judge Dredd Miniatures Game – out of the box review

Hello my friends! It has been too long since I last paid my faithful blog any attention, but I intend to remedy that! I started this blog nearly 6 years ago now, and I can’t just let it go now, can I?

Although I have not been blogging, I have certainly been keeping up with the hobby on a number of fronts. I finally completed my Flames of War British late war forces, which was a herculean effort, I can tell you! I now owe the wife a sushi dinner for letting me finish it lol! I’m very happy to report that my initial battle with my ‘stiff upper lip’ force resulted in a victory for the Tommy’s, but only just, it was bittersweet for sure. Also, Dethtron recently picked up X-Wing, or as it’s affectionately known now: “X-Wang”. Of the 4 games I have played, I’ve won 3 of them; there truly is something to be said for the Dark Side… a lot of fun though! I’ve come to realize that I’m a fan of Tie Fighter swarm lists.

Anyhoo, back to the meat and potatoes of this entry: Judge Dredd!

A while back I downloaded some test rules for the Judge Dredd Miniatures Game (a Warlord Games/Mongoose Publishing collaboration) and that was it, I saved it to my computer and pretty much forgot about it. At that point the only people making 2000AD miniatures was (and they still do make them) Wargames Foundry. Initially I was going to put together a couple of factions, but then realized that it was going to cost quite a bit for the miniatures and so put it on the back burner. Fast forward to a couple of months back, I saw a copy of the starter set at my FLGS and thought “fug it” and bought a copy. Not cheap, I will say, coming in at a cool $120. I’ve seen it about $100 on ebay, but guess what, yep, they charge you $20 for shipping, so do the math. So what do you get for your money? Is it worth it? Let’s take a peep in the box (hehe):

Get playing, CREEP!
Get playing, CREEP!

 

  •          Hardback copy of the rulebook – This is a beauty! Full color from beginning to end. The rules themselves only take up a small portion of the book, the rest is all breakdowns of the different factions, characters, scenarios, stats, lots of color photos of the miniatures and everything you’ll ever need to put the beat down on the perps of Mega City One.
  •          Academy of Training quick-start rules – just like the label says: a leaflet-style set of rules to get playing pretty much straight outta the box, you can’t miss it, it says “READ ME FIRST” in big red letters. It basically works as though you are a cadet on your first day on the streets and gives you a simple overview of the game mechanics to get you going before you embark on the more in-depth version of the game.
  •          Exclusive starter set miniatures – Definitely one of the incentives to buy this package: it comes with 2 figures only available with the set. A heavy weapon Judge and a Street Gang member.
  •          Metal (yes METAL) miniatures – The set comes with 2 boxes of miniatures: a set of 8 Mega City Judges and a set of 8 Street Gangers! 18 metal miniatures in total! Certainly nice to get some metal figures in an age when everything is plastic. This definitely appealed to my nostalgic side. It’s also where I have my one negative point that I have on this set – continuity. I took the judges out of the box to take a look, and one thing that jumped out at me pretty much off the bat is the proportions of the sculpts. Now I know that not everyone is the same height, weight, build etc, but I feel that there should have been some effort made to keep certain things the same. There is a lot of variation in sizes of shoulder pads, knee pads, guns etc. Some of the shoulder pads are super thick and wide, while others are thinner and less defined (look at my painted examples below). Some of the helmets are a little odd proportion/symmetry wise, but I have a feeling this is more due to the limitations of casting in metal, which also would explain the depth of posing on a couple of them too. Aside from this, these miniatures took me back to the very early 90’s when I would buy Judge Dredd miniatures made by Games Workshop, so I was practically surfing on the waves of nostalgia. The Street Gangers look great, and are full of character (and I’ll possibly pull some of my Necromunda miniatures in to bulk up the numbers a little).

 

One thing I did think was a little odd – as this is a starter set, with quick start rules etc, I was hoping that a set of dice and maybe some rudimentary measuring device (like the measuring stick that comes with the Warhammer 40K box set) would be included, but surprisingly not. The game runs on a D10 system, which would make sense to include, especially as it’s not a regular D6 driven system.

 

 

The crime issss liiiiifeeee!
The crime issss liiiiifeeee!

I recently also picked up the Dark Judges set because they are hands down my favorite characters in the 2000AD universe. You get all four of the bad guys and they also come with their spirit versions as well. Warlord Games makes quite a comprehensive line of miniatures to support this game, all of which are available through their website: http://us-store.warlordgames.com/collections/judge-dredd/  seriously, check out just how much they have, it’s great!

 

Mega City Judge
Mega City Judge

 

PSI Judge I just finished
PSI Judge I just finished

I am concerned that the miniatures are a little pricey. The set of Dark Judges came in at the $50 mark. While I know that makes the figures $6.25 a piece, which for metal ain’t bad, it could put off casual gamers or first-timers. I’m not too sure if the figures are available as singles through retail outlets (they are available this way through the website). It might be a little easier to swallow if you can walk in off the street and gradually build up your factions through single figure purchases if you don’t have the money to drop it on a box set all in one go.

So the bottom line: is it worth it? Yes! Zarjaz! I’d definitely recommend this to anyone who is a) a fan of 2000AD and likes tabletop games and b) those of you out there who like smaller, more intimate skirmish games with smaller amounts of figures.

I haven’t had a chance to have a game yet, but I’ll do another review on the mechanics when I can organize it.

Until then…

Squaxx dek Thargo, Splundig Vur Thrigg!