Sunday, November 2, 2014

If you build it.....Oldhammer USA weekend!

For those that have known me a long time, they know that I have always been crazy about the old school citadel miniatures and products. When I worked there, not only did I buy tons of the new stuff, but I was always on a mission to track down an old product or two ;)! So I've always been a follower of the old school vibe, and when I saw Realm Of Chaos 80s and others, it was right up my alley. But then they had an event - Bring Out Your Lead - and I got very jealous. Its ok, getting jealous is the sign of the truly passionate collector, or so I have been told. But this was just too much. I wanted a weekend, a game, just a time to get together with some others who would be willing to lay out some old stuff, play, trade, have a great time. I started this blog with this in mind. Its why it is called Oldhammer in the New World after all.

At first I struggled, how could I get a group together? Who could I get that would be able to host big games? Where would this thing be - after all I am in the arctic north of Michigan - basically a state entirely made up of peninsulas. When could we have it? Sure, some of these are basically challenges that most events have, but unlike the UK, the USA is a rather large place. Could we get enough people in one location to make it an event, instead of just some friends getting together to game? Absolutely nothing wrong with that, but we wanted something cool, something bigger than just one game.Also, where would be big enough to host it, willing to do so, and have some connection for us? Of course, BOYL 2014 was being planned at Foundry, again. So we knew they were going to have all of the cool things that you get there: great space, good food, Bryan Ansell's amazing collection. you know, ho-hum. :)! Seriously, the pictures from year one were enough to make me drool, and my wife to think I am more nuts than normal. So what could we do that would even come close? Well, Luckily for me, several of my ex-GW colleagues have started a store in the old Baltimore Bunker location - Dropzone Games - managed by Tom Gruhala, who used to manage the old Battle Bunker. You have to believe me, I KNOW these guys know how to run a store, and events, and just about everything  in between. And they are in the old US factory, so there is some connection to me at least to old school. Luckily Tom was willing to let me schedule it with him when I wandered out of the crowd, stumbling on my cane at Adepticon - a perfect example of an Oldhammer figure myself - crazy and deranged and going on about this great event.

I started talking to Rusty over a year ago about all of this and I also sent Richard Hale (Orclord from StuffofLegend) an email asking if he could attend or run a game. Where, When, Who? just went over and over. And I got some great advice from Orlygg himself - just make the date. If they can they will. So we planned it to make sure BlueinVt could make it, Rusty and I could make it, and we had our date. Tom was willing to set aside the date - and - now we just had to make the thing.

Of course then we had to start getting ideas for games together. Rusty wanted to do a Warband game, and I wanted a siege to be there (I believe my term was a big, freaking siege game ;) ). Luckily at this time, Andrew Dyer got on the forum and offered to run the painting competition. I was also able to get a friendly guy on the forums offer to run a Rogue Trader game. This was perfect as I knew I would be pretty busy, and then we could have a great RT game as well. Of course, the man with three alias's confused us all a bit by talking about his game so that we thought there were two games ;) Don Sargent wanted to set up his 3D Space Hulk board, which was another cool addition! Then Richard let me know he had his siege game, and he'd bring it along!

So we went from an idea to several people hosting games. My wife commented that anytime I talked about October, I'd get a smile on my face. So no matter what we had our little event to look forward to - but then doubts start creeping in. What if I throw this party and I am the only one who shows up? (Ok, I knew Rusty was going to be there, but what if it was just those of us running games?) How many people are going to travel far enough? Several people were SO enthusiastic, but always ended comments with "if I can go" or "maybe". Rusty set me straight on this - "if it is just us, we will all have fun playing some games". So thanks, buddy for holding my hand through all of that!

All of this was made worse by my new position - where I am currently under training- so I could not have any of the leave I had planned (originally to sell this to my wife and family it was going to be a trip to Washington DC for them, and my event for me ;) ). I was going to have to leave at 5pm Friday night - when we had planned on getting there at 6pm! Rusty had a bit of surgery, and then he caught an infection, so he went back into the hospital just days before the event! The whole thing was scary, and I was worried - about to go sideways. I left Friday night finally convinced I would at least make it, even if I would not arrive in Baltimore until 6:30 am! Rusty calling to joke that noone but he was there did not help ;) I'd also like to point out that my copilot Kyle went to sleep at 10pm, and did not even wake up when I almost drove off the rode several times in PA and WV! By the time I got to my friends house it was 7:15, and I finally laid down for a bit at 8:00. A partial undead, I wandered to my car and headed out for the day, still wondering just what would happen.....

 Tom and the crew had us all set up and everything prepared! We had tables (with Richard furiously putting out models for his Siege game), and space and chairs. It was just great! To give you an idea, at the same time that we were setting up our side, Tom was also getting a Warmachine tournament together (and while regular readers of my blog have little idea of what that curtails, it is some form of miniatures game, kinda like a shadow, and somehow requires lots of metal, cards and white things). In the ends, I think Tom was pretty happy with the fact that we brought our own terrain, could set up ourselves, and be pretty self reliant! At least I hope he was happy - we wanna do this all again, ya know?

One of the biggest tasks of the weekend was getting the siege game set up out of the boxes!
Rusty's table, all set up in its glory - Man was this fun to play on!

We had planned on setup and meet and greet time on Saturday morning, so our first games were scheduled for 11:00. This gave us some time to enjoy Rusty's warband table, Don's 3d Space Hulk pieces, and basically all sit around and wonder at Richard's big game. In fact we all really wanted to help him, but I think we were all nervous about his models (getting the figs out and into their boxes is one of the most dangerous parts)! But we had our group of core guys, and when Andrew and then Darrin Stephens (he of three names) showed up with a great Rogue Trader table, we were well on our way. I'm going to put a lot of pics up in a few future posts, but I just wanted to say a few thanks first:

Thank you to Tom, Dan, Josh, and the whole Dropzone Games Crew! We all had a blast, are so very thankful for you allowing us to be there, you had a great place for our event, treated us so incredibly well (even opening early Sunday!) and I only hope you enjoyed it and we baought enough paint and snacks to keep you happy! Thank You!

Thank you to Richard Hale, Orclord of Stuff of Legends fame! I asked for a big freaking Siege game.....and you more than delivered! It was huge, and for those who did not see it in person, not only was it just impressive in size, but all of the figures are just so pretty! While a lot of groups have done big games before, I have never seen a larger, more well painted display by any one person - the Perry's after all are two people! ;) Thanks so much - this was the HUGE game we needed for it to be an event, rather than just a group of old guys swapping lead!

Impressive - as every figure Richard put out for the Siege game was! Not only this signed Perry giant, but one unit of Orcs was 500 models at the start of the battle......ONE UNIT!
 Thank you to Chris Stephens, Darrin Lopez, Bulldogstephens...or what ever your real name is. We now all know that you must be wanted by a lot of people for that many alias's and that you put on one kick-ass game! I do hope that Bryan see those pictures of your Cult and limo - it would be so cool for him to comment on it! Thanks for bringing the Rogue Trader and getting us all so jones'd about doing something cooler next year! And we have to throw down next time!

Thanks to Andrew Dyer for running the painting competition, helping sort out all of that took a huge load off my mind! Getting Dave and everything set was just a job well done! I know mine was not too great this year, I just promise better paint job from me next time! A job well done, and without enough credit - so Thank you!

Thank you to Don Sargent - the 3D board was terrific and gave people something smaller and fun to play in the wee hours! Great stuff, and I can't wait to play it myself soon! Thanks also for the great attitude, great laugh, and just a joyous look. It was how I felt all weekend - and I can not wait for more! - but may have been too tired to express. Thanks!

As for event hoster's - I also want to Thank Rusty Gouldman! What can we say? His own personal bout with Nurgle, surgeries by some Mad Doc, infections, long travel, exhaustion, medicine that knocks out horses.....and he was still there throwing dice and having fun! The board you made was brilliant, it was so great to play the Warbands game over it, the buildings...the trolls under the bridge, just crazy! Even if the cats won't let your stuff alone! Thank you bud, this all would never have happened without you pushing to make it happen. Thanks so much!

For everyone who showed up to see, play, trade, drink, whatever - thank you! I had a great time seeing Steve and Vincent's love for all of this stuff (I'm sure having Dad's cool models to look at won't hurt!) Playing Thomas and Ken in Warbands, Running the Siege Empire against Dons and Kyle, Seeing such great painted models, BlueinVT for bringing so much along to show off! Just thanks to everyone! 

Of course we had some extra special guests and others to thank as well -

Mr. Graeme Davis was kind enough to let me know he definitely wanted to attend, and I've been pretty thrilled ever since! So thank you so much! It was great having you there, hearing some of the cooler bits of the good old Workshop days, and even hearing about those 19 one's against Bryan! Thanks for being so excited to join us, and it was a thrill to see you throw some dice and save my bacon at the Siege game! Thank you!

Graeme takes over the Empire artillery....see that Giant and the Squiggoth? They are gone moments later and I am breathing a big sigh of relief! Great fun, and great shooting Graeme!

Mr. Phil Gallagher was also kind enough to say he would come, and that has just been great to know - after all this is the guy who invented Sigmar and Karl Franz! But seriously, thanks for coming and sharing, I hope it was a bunch of fun for you! I'm also glad we could get you two together after 24 years - I sure hope it is not that long again!

As I said in our little post event speech, Thank you both so much! For a lot of us, this was our childhood, our Thunderbirds, and where a lot of our concepts, dreams and imagination sprang from, thanks so much for helping by giving us all you did!

Mr. Dave Taylor - thanks so much! It was great to see you at Adepticon, but when I heard Andy had roped you into judging, I was not sure if you knew what you were getting into! Thanks for the mention on your blog, Its such a huge draw from the more modern stuff, but tons of people ahve been checking us out because of it - so thanks! Also, great job on judging, well deserved champs and I really appreciate it! Thanks also for the kind words to Kyle about his painting! It means more coming from you, and you gave him so much to work on, I know he's just bound to get better and better. But a 15 year old getting advice one on one from a Golden Demon winner is just about priceless,  and he is already adding some of the things you mentioned to his Azhag model! Thanks for everything!

I also want to personally thank Bryan Ansell and Kev Adams for the BOYLdrick models for our event! It was just incredible, and I was happy to give as many away over the weekend as I could! They have all found happy homes, and I am just so thankful! To all of the stories in our heads, the incredible idea and passion of Realms Of Chaos, and the incredible history of those wonderful Orcs. Just thank you - I sure hope to support all that stuff you have planned from Foundry! But thanks for this - it was an incredible gesture, and we are ALL so happy and thrilled - Thanks!

Also, of course, thanks to my family and wife, who not only let me go on this crazy adventure with Kyle at my side, but put up with all the crazy planning and painting for it!

Here are some interesting facts of our weekend:
We had 5 very cool games, a painting competition, pickup games at a great place!
We had 31 attendees (not counting the hosts and guests)
Countless drinks and snacks were consumed
Richard's Big Siege game almost ran Tom out of tables ;)
Each of Richard's bins holds 270 infantry or 130 cavalry. (1000s of figs on the table)
Those bins leave just enough room for one Richard in a Volkswagen station wagon.
We had attendees whose average drive/travel time was 6 hours. (isn't that the length of the UK?)
It takes 14 hours to get there from my house.
Rick H made it all the way from Hawaii (surely the longest travel for any Oldhammer attendee anywhere!)
Teenagers can sleep through just about everything - including the car leaving the road no matter how many Red Bulls they drink.
Hundreds of figures were seen, traded, collected.
All leftover BOYLdricks are being sent Southward to our brothers down under - Thanks to Martin Ansell for that!


Plans are already in the works for MORE, BIGGER and BETTER next year! Can't wait!

I know this is just my thank you - still trying to get my bags unpacked and pictures sorted out due to insane hours at work this week - but for some great reports and info check out these:

Day 1 Report : Oldhammer USA Day 1 What BlueinVT saw!
Day 2 Report : Oldhammer USA Day 2 BlueinVT

Warbands Game Report: Beware the Trolls - Warbands Game Report
WFB game Report : Airbornegrove takes on BlueinVT

I'll be posting more later on! Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Oldhammer USA update - almost here!

I'm furiously trying to get last minute details done before the long, long drive for Oldhammer USA! The youngest boy is currently taking up room in the painting area furiously getting his warband finished! Can not wait for this - just a few days away now!

But I was working on something in the background as a surprise for our event, and I want to be able to share: we have had some special templates made, thanks to the incredible, indomitable Zhu!

These are really well done templates done by Alex of Ironheart Aritsans! These are hard plastic, printed templates. They are the Stonethrower template right from the 3rd ed book, the big template. we are going to probably do more over the course of a few years, and we can all have a set of great templates! He made the upper white one because Zhu wanted the "feel" of ancient wood!

Now, part of this is to let everyone have a chance to get them. So we are going to drop them to some helpful souls who have agreed to send them on to their final destinations. Basically to save us all shipping, I'm going to drop ship them to someone in UK (or a couple of someones to share the pleasure pain ;) ) who are going to be nice enough to send them on to their final locations....shipping will be much less if we can send them out in bulk from here to UK, Australia, Asia, etc.

They are going to be $10 a piece with 4 dollars shipping in US (like a DVD - avg price), and 8 dollars for international. The international ones are going to be bulk mailed to a consenting victim volunteer, who will then ship them out to those closer to him (ie, inside the EU is a lot cheaper to ship than from US). If you have received anything from here, then you know this is actually a bit cehaper, because we are sending one big box, and then small envelopes from there!

Alex and Zhu are going to be paid, and everyone will cover their shipping, and no profit will be made by me on these templates. Make sure to send it to me through Paypal so I do not get charged the fees (is it private or gift, i forget). But I am not making any money off of these, if I get all the fees, then I won't have enough to ship them all out!

The only money made will be two talented people who deserve it, and the postal services....though they may not deserve it right now. You can order a complete set if you would like, one of each color, order two blues, etc. Alex has been kind enough to let us do a preorder and he is going to print them on Demand.

I'm offering them for preorder starting with this post, and we will cut of orders on Nov. 30th (which is the weekend after Thanksgiving here in the states, and then I can ship them out, hopefully in time for Xmas! If I get enough for two runs, we will do one on Nov. 15th and another for Nov. 30th. So if you order early you can almost be guaranteed of getting them in time (I don't guarantee postal stuff - especially after UPS and FedEx issues last year!)

------> EDIT<-----------
These are on Alex's Print On Demand Queue so he can do a run next week, any orders done by Monday will ship out the following week. I'll be taking orders from those at Oldhammer, and then they will print and ship. Other orders will need to be to me by Nov. 30th for a second run. Good news, you can get them sooner, but you have to order quickly.

Ok! Well, I just saw Zhu's email from last night, and I want to let you all know that any templates ordered before Nov. 9th (including those from Oldhammer weekend) will have the logo fee donated to project alchemy for John Jon Boyce's project. Our guest judge Dave Taylor is also part of that project! I told you Zhu was incredible and indomitable!

If you order a complete set the shipping for US should only be 7 dollars at most, and for International it would only be $12 dollars.

So as an example, Zhu wants one set, of 4 templates, its $47 if he lives in US, and $52 if he is in the UK - or about 33 pounds (depending on day). It would be just over 41 Euros, or just under 60 Australian dollars. (those were current as of this post, for other conversions or to make sure these are current, please do your own conversion). Remember, please make sure to send it to me without fees. I do not want to have a nightmare and have no money to ship these. These are the prices for drop shippable countries (which should include UK, EU, Australia) for other countries I'll have to make other arrangements - but you will only pay exact shipping.

OK - have two sick daughters and a sick wife that I am trying to please before I go off and leave them! I also have so much to pack and do! Can't wait to see all of you at Oldhammer USA - and for those across a sea, border, or just too far away - I hope you like these! And the fact that you can get them yourself!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Oldhammer Guest of Honor: Phil Gallagher Interview

As I announced earlier, we are going to be having Guests of Honor at the Oldhammer Weekend event. Our Second Guest of Honor is Phil Gallagher, Studio Design, Editor and WFRP guiding hand...along with the creator of the Emperor himself. Once again, Phil did a previous interview on Realm Of Chaos 80s, so check out Orylgg's interview here.

We are actually pretty lucky to have some special Warhammer/Oldhammer Celebrities here in North America, and I am really excited that they are going to be able to stop by. So bring your copies of WFRP, your questions, and any presents! Phil and Graeme also let me know that they will be there on Sunday, during the Golden Gobbo competition! So make sure you can be there on Sunday to meet them!

Phil was kind enough to answer a few questions that I sent him, I tried to not repeat questions from other sources, but remember you can get your questions answered on Sunday!

OITNW: In the realmsofchaos80s interview (see link above), you were confronted with a huge stack of already created material, and had to wrestle the beast to the ground. I’m sure it was a monumental task at that time, even deciding what to keep and cut. How many months did you work on this? You said it was mainly structure that you gave it, did that include the layout or just edited text?

Phil: It seems now, in hindsight, that Realm of Chaos took year and years to complete! In reality it was probably about a year, but the truth is, I can no longer remember. The lay-out was the team’s attempt to fulfill Bryan Ansell’s vision! We were lucky to have Ian Miller do all those fantastic illustrations, while Tony Ackland never seemed to tire of drawing weird, warped beasts of all types!

OITNW: But the end result is a beloved and treasured roleplaying game, one that many believe is there favorite of all time. Was the tension between your own ideas and that already created what made it excellent?

Phil: Hmm. It’s difficult to say. I think what’s made it a favorite with so many people is the sheer amount of creativity that went into it. Of course, I STILL think the mechanics were/are unnecessarily clunky – but, hey, that’s just my opinion, and the opinion of those that still play it is much more important.

OITNW: Was there a “battle” that you won, i.e. not including something or adding something in? Was there something that you would rather have been rid of, but were made to keep?

Phil: There were no battles. There was neither time nor opportunity to re-do the combat system, for example. Jim Bambra and I simply shoved in as much role-playing guidance as we could, and “cunningly” persuaded everyone (ourselves included) that we’d “fix” the magic system in “Realms of Sorcery”…

OITNW: I know it is the periphery for you now, but I was wondering on your general thoughts on the Oldhammer movement. Are you surprised by the passions that these things you helped create years ago are generating in otherwise respectable people?

Phil: I think it’s fantastic. I am surprised and humbled to discover that the thing lives on. Long may it continue. Perhaps I should have “Here Lies the father of Sigmar Heldenhammer” on my gravestone!

OITNW: One thing that most of us in Oldhammer love is the general humor and sheer explosion of creativity that the Design Studio created during those golden years. This tends to be lacking from current games and products. Was this a freedom that was allowed, or was it encouraged in the studio? Was it just something in the water….or beer? How much as editor for a lot of the materials decide how to cut it down, or did you go for a certain type of humor?

Phil: I think we had a certain youthful cynicism. Rick Priestley had set the ball rolling with the very first edition of WFB, and the rest of us just carried it on. Graeme “Undead” Davis has a fantastic dry, deadpan sense of humour, and I have terribly sad fondness for puns. Sometimes, slipping in a joke or two made me feel like I was being a little rebellious, in a quiet, understated kind of way. Other times, I just though it was funny. There were also times, of course, when we all experience that cliche of “you have to laugh… because if you don’t, you’ll cry.”

OITNW: I know that you currently act, and some of your photos have been amazing! The best roleplay group I ever had in college was a bunch of actors who also role-played. I was able to ask this question of James Earl Jones once after a presentation he did. So I will ask it of you as well: What is more important, truly incredible acting or wonderfully written lines?

Phil: Oh, good question! Wonderfully written lines make the acting easy, of course. Interpreting character, potraying genuine emotion, making the audience forget that they are in a theatre watching actors, moving them, making them laugh, these are all part of the reason I do what I do. Wonderful scripts can make the most wooden of performers look good. But the best acting I ever saw was watching Derek Jacobi walk across the stage, without saying a word, he aged 40 years as he moved from one scene to the next – absolutely amazing.

OITNW: Thanks so much for your time, I know some of these may get involved, but anything you feel comfortable answering would be great!

Phil: Glad to be of service. I hope my answers prove worth reading! As Benjamin Franklin is often quoted as saying, my aim is to “either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”

Thanks, Phil! James Earl Jones's answer to my last questions was very cool. he leaned back, in that amazing voice of his said "Ohhhhh! That's a good question!" Then he said that of course as an actor, he believed that an incredible performance can improve and create something out of anything, and that incredible words or material, just make it easier to capture. Very similar to Phil's answer. He also said, that sometimes, brilliant material could "lock" certain choices an actor could make. Making it difficult to bring something new to the material. In some ways, to me that is the same with most things and one amazing bit I wonder at every children and their imaginations. I'm always thrilled when I find them making up stories and places, rather than saying, but Bilbo has to look like this....

Ok, so that is three great guests, all appearing on Sunday, October 26th at Dropzone Games! Hopefully you can all make it!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

USA Oldhammer Golden Gobbo Competition! Guest Judge - Dave Taylor!

Well, if you have followed the forum then this is not a surprise, but we are lucky enough to have Dave Taylor join us as our judge for the Golden Gobbo competition at the USA Oldhammer Weekend at Dropzone Games. Andrew Dyer, our friendly patent official is running the event, and it looks like it is going to be awesome!

Dave is pretty familiar to a lot of people in wargaming, and has won awards (multiple Golden Demon, including staff awards), edited Wargames Illustrated, and been with many different companies, including his own. This is his bio from his blog.....

I've been modeling, painting, and playing with toy soldiers since 1991. Over the years I've painted thousands of miniatures, primarily for Games Workshop's games, but I've also tackled some great historical miniatures. You can keep up with my current projects here on this blog - Dave Taylor Miniatures. A quick browse through that will show you the kind of projects that Dave takes on!

Luckily Dave also allowed us to ask him a few questions, and I thought I would put those here:

OITNW: Do you remember the first miniature that you painted, and do you still have it?

Dave Taylor: The first miniatures I painted were for my early D&D days, some Dwarven adventurers, probably around 1983-4. I painted quite a few models for my roleplaying group over the years (including a handful of what I am sure were old Citadel Miniatures - some Orcs and Wolfriders). It wasn't until 1991 that I started painting GW/Citadel minis for wargaming. As a Uni student, I opted for the cheapest options, like the RTB01 boxed set, and painted up a dark blue Space Marine army. I no longer have any of those models, they were lost in some move at some stage, but I do remember a lecturer of mine (I studied Graphic Design) saying to me about some of my first models, "You know, Dave. I thought you'd be able to do better than this."

OITNW: Have you noticed the Oldhammer painting movement/styles in the more "current scene" and what are your impressions of it?

Dave Taylor: I have certainly noticed the Oldhammer approach to gaming, collecting, and painting. I think it's a great thing. Fortunately it's not just a nostalgia thing, but it seems to be a movement that appreciates many of the core ideas behind the fun times that were being had at GW/Citadel in the late '80s. While there are now some absolutely fantastic miniatures coming out of the GW Design Studio, they are very refined, distilled down to a core design aesthetic. The miniatures (and painting styles) of the Oldhammer era weren't afraid to experiment, to test new grounds.

OITNW: You have done some incredible armies, and some greatly detailed Golden Demon winners.  Are details or overall miniature effect more important?

Dave Taylor:  I'm a big fan of the overall impression of a miniature, regiment, or army. It's the big picture that will grab me first. But (and it's a pretty big but) it is the detail work that will always hold interest and keep me looking at the model(s) longer.

OITNW: I know you have painted a lot of 40k and Marines, but what are the iconic "Bad Guys" that you like to paint. Is there a Chaos God you really like to paint? (Do you have a special way of painting Nurgle or Tzeentch stuff?)

Dave Taylor:  I do typically paint "human" armies. They've always held the most interest for me. Humanity against the vast, spawning pantheon of foul creatures and supernatural powers. Be it a guy with a shiny breastplate and halberd, or an ill-fitting helmet and up-powered flashlight, I've loved the idea that it's their faith in the strength of Humanity (and the ranks of millions to take their place) that keeps these soldiers fighting. In those times I have strayed from the human armies, I've been drawn to the undead and Nurgle Chaos, both rotting and decayed reflections of previously human armies. I must admit I have no real "methods" to impart for my rot or decay.

Dave also is involved in the Project Alchemy bit that Jon Boyce, Tony Mansfield, Steve Casey, James Craig and others are doing (you have probably seen it pinned to the top of the Oldhammer Community page!) and you can read more about that here: Dave Taylor - Oldhammer

Dave is also one of the guys who has taken photos for Wargames Illustrated, who have some great photos of just models. He was working on that when we got the chance to talk at Adepticon:

Dave had this up at Adepticon, he was taking some photos while I was running a Deadzone event (from Mantic Games) next door! It was really impressive, and looked great!
Dave also was involved in this event at Adepticon, at least with some great photos! Really looked like a 28mm Space Marine Games, and was one of the BIG impressive events at Adepticon! Titanicus
You can also use the links on the right of Dave's Blog (the Labels bit) make sure to visit Adepticus Mechanicus, Legio Custodes and this type of thing under Golden Demon. The prolific nature of Dave's projects and his gorgeous models keep me coming back for more and more!

Hopefully we'll impress him so much he'll take some shots of our figs! Thanks Dave, and can't wait to see you there!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Oldhammer Interview: Graeme Davis, Designer and Guest at Oldhammer USA!

With great pleasure, I'm announcing that we have a Guest of Honor for our Oldhammer Event at Dropzone Games on October 25th and 26th! Design Studio member, Game Designer, and writer Graeme Davis will be attending the event. Graeme is checking his schedule to see how much of the event he can attend, but he will at least be there to celebrate the passion of the Oldhammer movement. I'll have a better idea of when he may be available, but you might want to bring along some of your WFRP books! And help me applaud one of the guys who helped bring out all of these things that crawl around in our minds eye!

Graeme helped write a lot of the WFRP books, and talks a little of that process in the interview. Interesting he has some really cool things to say about Something Rotten In Kislev!

You can find one interview that Graeme did on Orlygg's Realm Of Chaos 80s! Some great insight there for us. I tried not to repeat too many questions.

Just to let you all know as well, Graeme is currently working on Colonial Gothic, a great role-playing game that adds history to the mix. As Line Developer he has some great stuff, and also adds lots of great historical events to the group on facebook. Rogue Games can be found here. May be I am biased, but the revolutionary war is my favorite period of history. But the line just keeps getting better, with the revised rulebook! You can also pick up the line on amazon and as pdfs! Though the non-book of 18th century ruinous powers peaked my interest! Oldhammer connection, huh?

Anyway, first let me say thanks to Graeme for answering my questions and also for being our first announced GOH for Oldahmmer USA!

Here is the interview!

OITNW:  For those that do not know, current projects of yours include Colonial Gothic, which I love as it melds history and roleplaying. What are future plans for Colonial Gothic or are you working on anything else that you can reveal?
Graeme: Richard Iorio and I are just putting the finishing touches on the Colonial Gothic Players’ book, which should be out before the end of the year. As the name suggests, it includes a lot of new player options, including skills, weapons, spells, and combat. There are also completely new systems for character advantages and disadvantages, social level (very important in those times), plus an updated version of the character templates from the old ebook release to make character creation quicker and easier.
   Further in the future, Richard is working on the third installment of the Flames of Freedom campaign, and we have plans for a GM’s book as well as a super-secret project that has a significant Oldhammer connection. That’s all I can say about it for now, except that it’s not an 18th-century Realm of Chaos adding the Ruinous Powers to the game! Though wouldn’t that be nice, if we could only get GW’s blessing....
OITNW:  We all know that you have joined us on the Oldhammer Facebook group, but what is your general impression of the passion that we have for all of the earlier stuff, whether minis or story?
Graeme: Ever since Flame closed down in the early 90s, I have been amazed and impressed (and, I have to say, a little humbled) by the passion that kept WFRP alive through its wilderness period, and I had the same feeling when I discovered the Oldhammer movement a year or two back. I remember one day in about 1987 we were talking about Thunderbirds and other childhood favorites, and Jervis said that what we were doing at GW would one day be someone else’s Thunderbirds. It seemed like an outrageous assertion at the time, but I’ve never forgotten it and – lo and behold – the man wasn’t wrong!
   There really was something about those days: the particular mix of ridiculously talented people (and me!) and the circumstances that allowed us to get away with sneaking jokes into the games, mixing humor and horror, and doing all the other things that people still like. Although they certainly weren’t free of frustrations, looking back they were pretty good times. Maybe that carries through into the games themselves.
OITNW: While you are a writer, and roleplaying game designer, are there any miniatures that you collect, or did you have any? Were these for roleplaying, or did you have an army?
Graeme: I started out buying a few of the old Minifigs D&D miniatures for roleplaying around 1977, and picked up a few of the early Citadels when they began doing the Fiend Factory line. But my roleplaying at college didn’t make extensive use of miniatures – one of my college friends still teases me about a red plastic chicken from a farmyard toy set that I used to represent any critter for which I didn’t have the correct mini!
   When I started at GW I began to collect undead, which have been a passion of mine ever since I saw the Harryhausen - Jason and the Argonauts movie on TV in the 60s. I was a slow learner when it came to painting, and I never got them organized into a regulation army: I was more interested in having one of everything. I even had an unreleased Aly Morrison green of a skeleton wielding a crank-operated chainsaw! Tragically, I was prevailed upon to “put away childish things” and disposed of them before a transatlantic move during my first marriage. I’d do anything to have them back.
OITNW: The beginnings of the Chaos gods are a little in the past, but do you know of any interesting stories or their creation, or do you know any of the influences that created them (or was that just before your time at the studio?)
Graeme: The four Ruinous Powers were established by the time I discovered Warhammer, and I never heard any particular tales of their creation. My impression was always that they sprang fully formed from the minds of Bryan Ansell and John Blanche. The tale of Malal is pretty well known, and I don’t have anything to add to what’s already been said.
   Acting on a line in an early RoC draft which said that there was an infinite number of Chaos Gods of varying power, I created a couple of new ones for the WFRP adventure Something Rotten in Kislev. Ken Rolston’s original draft called for Malal as the patron of a cult, and it had just become clear that we couldn’t use Malal. So I created Zuvassin the Undoer, who might be described as the patron deity of Murphy’s Law (his symbol was based on a wrench) and Necoho the Doubter, who (in a joke I considered sheer brilliance at the time) was essentially a Chaos God of atheists, opposed to religion in all its forms. So far as I’m aware, neither one appeared anywhere outside that one book.
OITNW: I recently heard that some of the releases for the WFRP game were re-imaginings of existing adventures or modules, was this true, and where and how was the original material chosen or selected?
Graeme: In 2012, Fantasy Flight Games commissioned me to write half of a new campaign titled The Enemy Within, but it was not an update of the 80s adventures. Instead, it was an all-new campaign that explored the same themes. The announcement certainly caused a stir in the WFRP fan community, which is doubtless what FFG intended by choosing that title. I’m not aware of any 3rd edition adaptations of earlier adventures, although the WFRP2 book Plundered Vaults did consist of 2nd edition versions of various earlier adventures. I think there have been some fan adaptations converting various published adventures between the three editions of the game, but I haven’t looked at any of them.
OITNW: In the interview on RealmofChaos80s, you commented that you tried to include Malal in the Realm of Chaos books. Any insights on how you were to include this?
Graeme: My thinking at the time (which turned out to be completely erroneous) was that the book (and it was only intended to be one book at that time) would benefit from having something new and surprising in it. I already mentioned the line in an early draft that raised the possibility of a great many Chaos Gods existing, and as a roleplayer first and foremost I leaped on it. I went through a huge pile of miscellaneous artwork with a view to grouping images together and creating new Chaos Gods as patrons for the sets I’d created. Of course, it was soon pointed out to me that minis didn’t exist for any of these images, and probably never would, and that creating a new Ruinous Power would
commit the company to launching a whole new army with miniatures and a book and everything else – so would I please stop writing about new Chaos Gods!
   Specifically about Malal, I thought this was a no-brainer because he had featured in the Kaleb Daark comic and I had not yet heard about the copyright issues. I found a few likely-looking images for a greater and lesser daemon, and started to write Malal up in the same format as the descriptions of the other Chaos Gods. It should be noted that this was before Mike Brunton took over and I was using a much more modest format!
OITNW: One thing that most of us in the Oldhammer Community agree upon is just the incredible amount of creativity and organic explosion of ideas and imagery that coincided with a certain era at Games Workshop. This has been compacted into specific marketed “looks” and single styles for most of the armies and backgrounds. Most of us lament this as one of the reasons we enjoy Oldhammer so much. As one of those involved in the creation period, how do you view the current flavors of Games Workshop.
Graeme: Honestly, I can’t comment on the current state of Warhammer because I’ve been out of touch with the developments of the last couple of years. I used to get the Empire and Undead books when they came out, but there came a point when it was clear to me that Warhammer and WFRP were never again going to be the major part of my life that they were in the 80s. I had a lot of other projects going on, I had an argument with Green Ronin which ensured that I didn’t write anything for WFRP2 after Ashes of Middenheim, and FFG only asked me to do a couple of things for WFRP3, both of which were already plotted out in considerable detail before I got to have any input.
   So if I were to say anything at all, it would be informed purely by the comments I’ve seen from the Oldhammer and WFRP communities and not by any observations of my own. And I don’t think that would be particularly helpful.

I know we all want to thank you, and can’t wait to see you at our Oldhammer USA event! Thanks so much!

We have another Guest of Honor as well, and I'll be announcing that soon!

Also - some incredible news! The Boyldrick models have arrived. Thanks to Kev, Bryan and Martin Ansell for the incredible miniature. I can not wait to give out at our event! Thanks. Also, thank you to Orlygg, for being kind enough to help us get these guys for our event as well! The only way to thank you will be a bunch of painted pictures of our incredible models!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Orktober is HERE! Or what is an Orc to me.....?

Its back - Orctober time! Thanks to Erny, at Erny's Place we are again going to hear all sorts of stuff about one of the most iconic bad guys in Fantasy history! There have already been some great posts about the evolution of orcs, by Matthew at, and some are adding guns to theirs, like Leadplague. Great start to this Orctober (or is that Orktober for Leadplague)!

Not to cover lots of covered ground, I'm just going to concentrate on two things. First, as you all know, Kev Adams and Bryan Ansell created most of the iconic "look" we tend to associate with Orcs today - from the pointed ears, big jaws, fighting and humorous spirit. Even the Green tide we all know and love. In fact the last Kev Adams releases to me (around 1992-93) of goblins marks the end of the second age of Games Workshop. You can see the progression here:

Andy Craig's Favorite Fraser Grey - Orc

Thantsants wonderful model, picture from Kev Adams Challenge blog.
Some of the most classic late 80's sculpts  - Ruglud's unit of crazies!

The Stylized "New" Rugluds......
Larry Vela's Savage Orc Boss (Golden Demon winner Chicago 2012)
Those last two images show the stylized "violent and big" version that the Orcs have become. The humor and panache of the Kev Adams sculpts is gone. Is there any wonder why we love his stuff so much (And once again are so happy about Boyldrick - Thanks Kev, hope you are healing quickly!)

It is almost like it was too much of a good thing and they had to "un"-Kev them. Don't get me wrong, I like a lot of things that Mr. Nelson and others have done...but they are different. A new breed of Orc, and not the ones I fell in love with.

I was recently watching Labyrinth, the movie with David Bowie, with the kids, and they could not stop laughing over the little goblins - both my 2 and 4 year old and straight through to the 17 year old! That humor is incredible, and captured in the sculpts of the 80s and 90s! I was struck while watching it, just how much was Brian Froud influenced by Games Workshop artists....or were his influences just shared by Mr.s' Miller, Blanche, et. all....That would be a curious thing, but it must have been something to do with the time and their influences.

The other Gobbos I was in love with as a kid was the Hobbit and Return of the King Orcs. I know, not high art, and a bit cat like, but they just always appealed to me in 1977. In fact they led me to pick up my first miniatures, some Heritage and Citadel Orcs. So in some ways, I have these guys to blame for my metal condition.

Thanks Mr. Rankin and Mr. Bass!

One note - this was supposed to be a bit about my latest hobby rescue where I tried to fix fits in, and someone can probably tell what it is, but I'll be back tomorrow with a bit on this guy and how to fix it. (I would have had more but I currently have a 2 year old teething with molars. trust me, it stops your life from time to time!)

Monday, September 29, 2014

Oldhammer Weekend USA - Rogue Trader Board update!

This is great, Chris Lopez (Darrin) just put up some WIP shots of the board he is bringing to the Oldhammer Weekend! I haven't gotten a chance to talk to him about it, but if memory serves he had a terrain guy building it. But until he can get me more info, I just wanted to post up the pictures here in case they slide off the page on facebook.

EDIT- the terrain guy is Jamie Dixon, who is doing a great job! Jamie is hoping to open a gaming store in the southwest Virginia area! Who would not want to game in a store with terrain like this. So keep a lookout, I'm sure it will be on facebook and on here if Jamie lets us in on the details!

Great looking terrain - lots of texture and a real RT tank!

Can't wait to see the tower up close!

4th time looking I finally figured out there is a bog in the corner....

Great looking start to some terrain that will look fabulous on USA Oldhammer Weekend! Cannot wait to see it - just under 4 weeks folks - make your final plans. And remember we will be doing late night stuff at Days Inn in Glen Burnie!

Thanks so much for sharing Chris Lopez (Darrin) and Jamie Dixon, terrain maker master! And if you want to  play on this awesome board, make sure to get to Baltimore! We will return to my regular posts on Wednesday!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Rusty's Corner - Rivers and Churches for Warbands game at Oldhammer Weekend!

Well, been a weird week for me. Want to thank everyone for helping out a friend of mine. I know some of the items I listed up on the trading were a little new, but it was easy to grab and sell stuff. Also happy to say that I donated some stuff that sold, and one very nice gentleman called and matched what I was able to raise, so we covered two months and even had a little extra. So - solid thanks, to a great community. If we need to get him some more, he will now be able to take some time and sort and prepare. But thanks! Apart from one special package (you know who you are!) and the few bits I am bringing to Oldhammer Weekend for you guys, everything is now on its way!

Rusty has been very, very busy of late. But as we pass the one month to go mark, he has sent me some new pics of the final piece of the Warbands board, the River section and the monastery. These are some WIP shots, but I gotta say - I can NOT wait to play on this table with everyone! Get your warbands together, and get ready to throw down! I do have some pics I'll put up Wednesday of some more villagers, monks, and dignitaries. But on to Rusty's Boards!

The board begins. The river/stream is made with careful use of spray paint and digging with a knife. Then sand and texture is added. Glad this worked out so well for you Rusty, see a hobby mistake I made years and years ago paid off!
The interior of part of the monastery. Great construction!
Monastery joining to the wall section. I do think that the one in the third book that Rusty is basing this off was basically a version or modification of La Haye Sainte. Warlord make a great one of these. Rusty's is going to look more "Oldhammer" of course, and is scratch built. So what do you guys think? - Comment Below!
I'm wondering if anyone is going to clash in that space on the board! Or are you going to run into a monk coming out of that door? Get your warband ready - and get those names on the bases!
The Great Spined of Rusty's makes a return as he gets ready to go over the bridge.
Incredible use of the terrain stuff. Rusty is always good at mixing it in. Can you believe that is only part of a bridge kit? Rusty used just one part of a bridge and built it in with mounds and odds and ends of terrain materials. To me the bridge looks older and more worn in. And no, I don;t think that Jugger is gonna stop the Dragon - no matter how he is painted!
More - and note the water is not in the river yet. Rusty puts all this detail in and then adds the extra stuff. Layered detail like this makes your terrain seem more real to me.
Rusty's Warband is trying to steal the initiative on us all.
Ok, very WIP, this is the first layer of the Woodland Scenics water effects. Thin layers dry quicker and give you a bit more control on all of the effects (and you can even paint in details on the different layers. This probably won;t be deep enough, but I know the terrain guru at GW taught me that a long time ago.
So, that is the work up to about a week ago. He's making more progress, and waiting for the water effects to dry! If you haven't made your plans to get to Baltimore yet, this is the type of game you will miss out on!

Other notes - Orclord from Stuff of Legends is going to be hosting a BIG game - a siege. Was glad to talk to him on the phone the other night and he sorted out some of the details. Its going to be 10' by 20'! Lots of stuff, and he is basing more Empire to make it extra special! You are going to want to see this or play in this one - That means you BlueinVT ;)!

This is a Siege game that Stuff of Legends did at a Games Day event! You can read a bit more on it here. Stuff Of Legends Siege Game - The Siege of Karak Azul.Ours won't be Warmaster, and is being Gamemastered by Orclord himself. I know I'm going to spend a lot of time over there! Hope you do too!

I know it was mentioned before on Facebook and RealmofChaos80s, but I want to play it down until after BOYL 2014. But yes we are going to have the limited Event Oldhammer figure that Kev Adams, Foundry and the Ansell's have created and supplied. So if you are as jealous of me of the events in the UK - here is your chance to get something extra special from 2 incredible guys - Kev and Bryan. THANK YOU both - its been years of my life working on and enjoying your figures and the worlds you helped created or define. Martin at Foundry has confirmed that our Boyldrick models are on the way to us as we speak. Unless we get crazy numbers, we are going to have one for everyone. So make sure you get there to get yours!

As most of you know, Kev is also recovering from his treatment. I understand it will still be a while until he can get back to sculpting at the Foundry. Bryan has been sharing some incredible pictures and details on all of this, and I can not wait for them to become available! But here's hoping that you recover well and quickly Kev - We want more! And thanks again for the awesome Boyldrick!

I'll have my hobby update on Wednesday this week I hope. And next weekend I hope to have a bit more news and some more info on some special stuff at Oldhammer Weekend USA. Just know you do not want to miss this!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Oldhammer USA - Warband Game Update

So the local mall put in a new playground for kids, and it is Garfield Pirate themed, which suits my girls just fine. The oldest jumped in Garfield's boat, looked at other kids, and said, the "monster had the ship...Abandon Ship!", at the top of her lungs. ;) Kids jumped everywhere and we parents had a nice chuckle. Regardless, I don't do anything unless these girls are taken care of first......

This is my littlest one wrestling a shark! Of course her mother did not approve (she's afraid of sharks after watching Shark Week one too many times), but she and I had fun with it! This is why I figure these girls will be gamers!

My Oldest one surfing on a turtle - she called him Sheldon. While the youngest wrestles Odie this time....maybe I might have a bit of a problem with that ;)? Now Their older brothers are into DnD, Heroquest, and Warhammer. More of that later!

Alright, here is a hobby update for our warbands table. In our scenario several townsfolk, monks and others are going to be walking around and getting captured by our erstwhile warbands! Rusty is making several monks and villagers, and I am making monks and some other farmers.

I wanted to put up some early WIP shots from earlier so you can see the progress that I have made on these. A long time ago, a very much younger version of me started them off with a incredibly bright red. For my sensibilities now, I started much darker and worked my way up - still have more to go, but you can get the idea.

These were Simple Greened with a bunch of my Orcs and Gobbos. You can see some of the other projects I am working on in the background. I have another hobby update tonight on the start of the Wyvern project - an old-skool repair job! But here are some pics of the monks:

This was the look I was going for on these guys. One of my favorite images from the old school stuff. Making buildings like that was always one of my goals. First though, after Oldhammer Weekend, I'm going to try to recreate the statuary jsut to the right of this banner bearer.
This is the group - All WIP, and not done in these photos. I'll have more pics of them and their progress soon. I did notice look a bit too red still, despite starting off dark brown. Inks may have to save this bit.

Still trying to figure out the masks on these guys - Silver or Gold? Weapons silver and black, so which would be better?

Command type figures

Another group shot, but you can see the "additional projects" right behind these guys.
The lead figure, and what I was trying to base my standard on...
With My standard, I am going tan/bone color, more because without the backdrop it is just too much red. Kept red text though. The chain bit made it hard, but do you guys like it?
Anyway, so these are some of the figs for the Warband Game, sure hope you guys can make it!

Anniversary – OITNW 1 year on!

It has officially been a year since my first post on this blog. It of course has been a bit longer for my gaming, but I did just want to write a brief review of the year. I have had some highlights and lowlights, of course. So to get it out of the way, I had some severe medical issues that needed taken care of, and the heat induced allergic reaction is finally fading, after 9 months! So except for that extended period of time (Which was 22+ weeks - Over 5 months) where I was not posting, I have been trying to get at least a post up every week.  With30 posts and 22+ missed weeks, I’d be at 52 with this post! Anyway here are the basic stats:

Posts: 30 (Or about once a week except for 11/8/2014-4/14/2014 where I was in the hands of the mad-docs!)
Pageviews: 13,634
Most visited month – August 2014 -3,044
Most visited post: Aurumina Demonicus – The David Soper interview (2nd – Warband Creation for Oldhammer Days in the US!)
Most visited series: Rusty’s Corner, Building the Warbands table
Entry points: #1, #2 Google (.com and, #3 Facebook
Common Search words: all Oldhammer + in the old world (#1), + blog (#2), + in America (#3)
Audience: 50.2% from USA, 12.9 from UK Surprise here was 3.3% from China and Turkey, larger than Canada, Spain, Australia and Germany! Either I’m getting hacked or we need more blogs from there!
Followers: – Direct 27  and Google+ 33 followers
Comments: 75

Of course, stats are always interesting, and China and Turkey did surprise me, but I figure that is not too bad for a first year (really half a year blog). Most important of course is our upcoming Weekend in Baltimore on Oct. 25th. Rusty’s corner and the Warband creation posts being the biggest driver of views for the last two months is no surprise with all of the people who are letting us know they are coming. Thank you very much to Rusty – I can’t wait to get on that board and throw-down! I promise lots of pictures! Also, Rusty and I have been talking over the phone for over a year and a half about the Oldhammer Weekend (and great deals for Oldhammer stuff, of course). It’s been a heady time, and this blog is really kinda both Rusty’s and mine! So thanks, buddy! And get me the river and monastery pics – everyone wants to see em ;)

Lets hope someone solves this mystery this year!
Also, a big thanks to Orlygg at Realm of Chaos 80s fame, for the mentions of my blog and our event! I know probably half my views are because of his mentioning my blog. I know he does this for many others as well (And I follow them all!). His views and posts are huge and help people find our little community, not to mention preserve some incredible stories and information on our favorite era. His biggest contribution actually centers on this blog and our Oldhammer event. For the blog, he continually encourages us to start our own. This is to see out community grow of course, but I think it is also driven by a large want that most of us share: seeing great minis, great games and great collections around the world. For our event, he told me to just pick a date and run with it. We cannot schedule “perfect” for all of us, but once we have an established date, then we can just try to get as many there as possible. So after checking with a core group I knew could help out, we established our day. Whatever happens on that weekend, or however many people can show up and game, without that great advice the answered would be no one and nothing!

Also, thank you to the whole Oldhammer Community, it has been great just talking to all of you on facebook, your trades (followed normally by a healthy dose of jealousy), reading about your games (again, some jealousy…), and seeing bits of your collections (of course, even more jealousy ;) ). It is just fun to be somewhere, even if online, where most people “get” your passion. If I only have one request (besides staying the great community that you are) it would be that more of our friends in the US would start up blogs, showcasing their hobby. So please do, I promise if you let me know. I’ll follow, and get you mentioned on here! Orlygg’s advice is awesome here as well. Both for your gaming – just set a date and do it, and your blogging – just share it!

Come, our church is cool, so start blogging and share your views with us all!
A lot of the views are coming in just before the Oldhammer USA event, whether that is more people getting ready, more people discovering it, or what, I am not sure. I can tell you that the Warband Creation post is the most viewed over the recent months, and should be my most viewed post (passing David Soper interview) sometime before the Oldhammer Weekend! So that is exciting. We still need more pics of your warbands though!

Future's so bright, we gotta wear shades.....
For the future? Well, The biggest event this coming year is the Oldhammer Event in Baltimore, but as soon as that is done (and the flurry of posts that I will be doing starting tonight), I am going to dedicate myself to some old-fashioned battle reports, as well as some posts on Heroquest, the boys favorite new game! We are even going to break out all of the expansions! But number one is to get more hobby in. Now that my health issue is hopefully behind me, and life is settling down into the normal chaos of the kids, I want to get more painted. To a better standard than I normally rush to. And I want to build some old-school terrain out of the mountains of odds and ends I have for that purpose (Some of which I have dragged from college till now!) I’m encouraged by Erny to do my mighty fortresses justice, and Steve’s challenge to paint better. So hopefully that will be shown over the next year.

But my firm goal is to upgrade to 2 posts a week, 1 gaming, 1 hobby every week from November on. Hopefully it will all be of interest to all of you!