Decades of exposure to Games Workshop’s marketing materials has conditioned me not to paint individual figures, but regiments, and then armies. There was no stopping at just one Gnorman Gnoll. Gnot on your gnelly. eBay trawling has turned up two more preslotta gems from 1981–3.
One day at Games Workshop HQ, Aly Morrison came up to me with a big bag of Talisman figures. “I found this bag of scrabby old models in my basement, and I was gonna bin ’em. Then I remembered you like scrabby old stuff.” I was over the moon. Here’s the first three painted.
In the lands of the north, where the black rocks stand guard against the cold sea, in the dark night that is very long, the men of the north lands sit by their great log fires and they tell a tale…
Exploring Citadel Miniatures’ pre-slotta ranges is a real journey of discovery and wonder for me. My knowledge of Games Workshop‘s miniature ranges starts with 1991’s Catalogue 1 – which only goes back as far as 1986 and not right to the beginning of Citadel history (1979) as the name suggests. There’s a great many pre-1986 miniature ranges I have no awareness of, and so I’d never painted any pre-slotta stuff until I found out about this Gnoll.
One of the things to get your head round for Frostgrave is that you’re not really playing with a warband, like you would in Mordheim. It’s about your wizard. And I agonised over different wizard models for a good long while before settling on the Citadel ME-56 Saruman, for reasons of:
– I want the warband to be built out of 1980s Citadel Miniatures
– I’ve got a couple of spare Sarumans (“Sarumen?”)
– Importing the Lord of the Rings figures into Warhammer proper is pleasing.
“Tell me, friend, when did Saruman the Wise abandon reason for Tipp-Ex®?”
I really do like the 1980s Middle-Earth figures popping up in mainstream Warhammer. After Games Workshop lost the the Tolkein licence in 1987 a lot of the not-character figures were rolled into the main Warhammer range, like the Noldor Elves into the High Elf range. Occasionally the named character miniatures pop up in artwork or studio photographs, like ME-1 Gandalf here in the colour section of the Ravening Hordes supplement.
Gandalf™ is a wise and powerful wizard.
Gandalf™ est un sorcier sage et puissant.
Gandalf™ ist ein weiser und mächtiger Zauberer.
To unSarumanise the figure the Palantir hand was replaced with a suitably chunky hand from a Citadel Night Horror. Saruman’s left hand was flipped over and had a flame effect added from a (gasp!) modern Tzeentch kit. This anachronism still makes me feel uneasy.
Despite leading a Chaos warband, I made no attempt to make him chaotic. The red scheme and the age of the figure ties him in enough.
A burning sensation in your palm – classic symptom of carpal tunnel syndrome.
He initially had grey hair, but it looked bad. Too much like Saruman still. To remedy this I sculpted over his bald patch, and repainted his hair fiery orange. One of the nice things about figures so old is my own limited sculpted talent doesn’t look as out of place as it would on a laser-crisp modern miniature.
I finished the figure with bone-coloured flames on his robes. I was hesitant initially as he had flames popping out of his hand – I thought both 2D and 3D flames together would be confusing. But keeping them a flat colour rather than the blended highlights of the Tzeentch-fire, and putting them in bone rather than a orange colour, keeps it obvious what’s meant to be real and what’s meant to be pattern.
Clyro Burns, looking a little like Donald Sutherland in Kelly’s Heroes.
There he is, Clyro Burns, alongside his 1980s Chaos warband.
I call them “Burns’ Knights”.
There are several must-haves in a Squat army – and Exo-Armoured Hearthguard are several of them.Â Like Space Wolves and their Wolfguard, these heavily-armoured characters can be sprinkled around the army to bolster the ranks, or formed up into squads for real hitting power.
This model may’ve been influenced by the famous Sutton Hoo helmet. It’s as though the Perry that sculpted these models saw it and thought “Hey! That would look great as a robot – all it needs are hands and feet.”
Eagle-eyed amongst you would’ve noticed that there’s a discarded RTB01 helmet on the base. This is to commemorate the Squats’ victory against Mark’s Storm Giants in our ongoing Golem army challenge. So great was the massacre of these green Marines that Mark has switched to collecting Ultramarines.
Next off, let’s round these chaps out to a squad with all the variants.