Mar 092013
 

Vintage Citadel models of the 80s are often costly and it can be hard to find the particular models you need to finish a regiment or special project. A wonderful thing then, that many then-contemporary miniatures from other companies are still in production – and often quite cheap!

Several of the old Citadel sculptors did work for other companies around the same time and they are usually highly compatible with the corresponding ranges from Citadel. Some of these ranges are still in production today, and I decided to do a list of what can be had and where. So, let’s have at it. It’s loosely based on my list of cheap metal miniatures over on Lead Adventure Forums. but I’ve organized the lists by sculptor.

First out is Bob Olley. One of my favourites, but not as dear to others. He has been very prolific during the years, and this is not a full coverage of what he have done or even what’s available now. That being said, I did spend the better part of a saturday putting this together!

Mega Miniatures
This is probably my favourite lead vendor of today. Unfortunately they’ve sold off their fantastic Julie Guthrie Grenadier range (beautiful minis, albeit a tad small) but they’ve kept the best part: close to  a complete Metal Magic/Hobby Products Fantasy range as it was when they closed shop in the mid 90s. Most of the range is sculpted by Josef Ochmann, with some models by Michael Immig (of White Dwarf fame). While none of them have a connection to Citadel, the models work perfectly scale wise with 80s Citadel and the style is close to Aly Morrison or Perry’s early Empire fighters.

For the discerning Citadel affecionado the item of interest here is a dwarf range by Bob Olley (originally by Metal Magic). They match the Iron Claw dwarves both in size and style.

Metal Magic dwarves. Images courtesy of Mega Miniatures

It also includes a few war machines, but those molds were sold by Mega a year or two ago. More on that further down the list. The price per dwarf is $2, and a package deal is offered with all 24 different sculpts for the very decent asking price of $40! Add to that the fact Mega charges a flat rate of $7 for shipping, regardless of order size or destination in the world. In addition they’re both fast and friendly; and in my experience the casts are excellent quality!

In addition to the dwarves, there are a few centaurs also by Olley. Nowhere near as nice as the dwarves, but still pretty neat models and it’s hard to find cheaper metal centaurs that look as good. I’ve bought a few to use as chaos centaurs.

Centaurs. Images courtesy of Mega Miniatures

Finally we have two variants of beastmen; one based on boars and the other on rams. I don’t own any of these myself yet so can’t comment on how well they compare to the 80s beastmen Olley did.

Beastmen. Images courtesy of Mega Miniatures.

 

SHQ Miniatures
Let’s look at SHQ. They’re stocking a few models from Folio Works old Fantasy Warlord game (Gary Chalk’s attempt at doing a Warhammer clone).

The models listed as Large Ogres and Hill Orcs are different combinations of the Ogre and Uruk codes from Folio. Interestingly, some Uruk are sold at £4 for one, while some Ogres are sold at £4 for two.

Ogre Necromancer. Image courtesy of SHQ Miniatures

Apart from Olley’s ogres and orcs, there are various other intersting tidbits. Some rather bland looking elves and dwarves, but also a few highly attractive hooded cultists at £7 for a set of 5 different sculpts. No idea who sculpted those though!

Ral Partha Europe
A plethora! And I’m not kidding either. Bob did chaos marauders, dwarves, goblins (very nice too!), plenty of ogres and trolls. He also did some harpies that would mix very well with his trio of Citadel harpies but unfortunately they seem to be long OOP. As with Reaper, they are a bit expensive but when buying packs the price is about £1.50 – £2.50 for an infantry model. Some of the trolls are rather cheap with some costing less than £3, and the goblin chariot is priced just right at £13 for a chariot drawn by two wolves and sporting four rather spiffing crew.

Troll. Image courtesy of Ral Partha Europe

 

Reaper
Reaper have a lot of Olley sculpts, but as with most of Reapers models they’re more RPG minis than unit filling wargaming models of a uniform cut. There are a few lovely beasties and demons though, and also dirt cheap orcs in Bones plastic. As always with Olley, there’s also a good selection of dwarves. Some rather imperial looking dwarves, and some miners. Unfortunately, Reaper aren’t exactly cheap.

Vulture demon. Image courtesy of Reaper Miniatures.

 

Armorcast
Armorcast purchased some of the old Metal Magic molds from Mega Miniatures a few years ago. I’ve ordered from them and must say I wasn’t impressed with the casts compared to those I got from Mega. Still, they have some key models in the Chaotic Dwarf range as well as the two artillery pieces Bob did for Metal Magic.

Dwarf bombard. Image courtesy of Armorcast.

 

Olley have done a lot more work, of course – but nothing that I felt was worth covering in detail here. In particular give his work for Essex a miss. Bobblehead-a-bonanza! For a rather comprehensive catalogue of his work, go check out the Collecting Olley wiki.

That’s it for now. Next time, I’ll do something a bit shorter. Like a double feature on Mark Copplestone and Jes Goodwin. After that I’ll tackle the insanely productive (and itchy footed) Kev Adams. Let me know if there’s any other sculptor who did work on the side similar to what they did for Citadel.

On the painting front I can say things are moving forward, albeit slowly. I’ve finished the four chaos warriors for my vanilla chaos Blood Bowl team. Currently working on three beastmen. So that’s six finished models so far in 2013.

Jul 212012
 

But last week, that changed! I got three former Olley’s Armies models from Phantom Miniatures (a bit defunct, but email Francesco and he might have a few more models in stock); two rather large trolls and a huge frigging human ranger which towers over the old GW ogres I have. He’s going in the “for trade” bin.

Huge!

The two trolls though, are intended for the chaos warband I’ve got planned for SOBH, with nothing but Bob Olley sculpts. They are big, but not too big. Handsome too! The left-most will be a troll giant (as he’s the same height as the largest old Metal Magic giants, which I have a few of). The other will be a giant troll. See the difference there. Eh?

These bring my total tally to 51 painted – 191 acquired = -140. Not counting the ranger above, and adding one to painted for the dwarf I painted for Adam.

The plastic WHFB dwarfs are coming along nicely, and I’ll post up a pic of all 16 painted soon.

Apr 222012
 

This week I continued the Bob Olley theme in a deliberate effort to get some more chaos flavoured miniatures to make up a chaos warband of just Olley models. From Citadel, I’ve got his harpies, an ogre and a handfull of beast men. I didn’t think that was enough though, especially since all the beastmen are rank and file chaps. Thus I placed an order with Mega Miniatures and another one with Armorcast (who bought some of the Olley molds from Mega).

Mega Miniatures and Armorcast

While I was at it I also got a few other useful things from Mega (two chaos centaurs by Olley, a cart with driver and horse, a halfling thief, a damsel in distress and two rather random platypus). For the Olley warband, I got four chaos dwarves from Armorcast and four from Mega, and I’ll use the centaurs there too.

I also managed to do a bit of a silly spur of the moment purchase from a favourite seller on eBid. I had just finished setting up a checklist for the skaven and chaos models I’m missing. With a checklist you can avoid buying duplicates, that’s a great thing – but it also is fuel for the collector obsession fire. Not such a great thing.

Skaven and such...

I have also managed to find a pair of wings for the wing-less harpy I got a while back. As I haven’t been painting anything at all for the last two weeks (poor combination with an ongoing LPL tournament!) this sudden increase in acquired miniatures have really messed with my total tally. Total amount for 2012 is 44 painted – 180 acquired = -136

Found a bunch of old photos of my rather ancient Warhammer 40K army and might post some of those later this week, merely to get some painted lead on here and not only purchases on my kitchen counter.

Apr 132012
 

One of my favourite sculptors is Bob Olley. I really disliked his style when I was younger, in the early 90s. The cartoony and exaggerated anatomy of the Blood Bowl ogres, coupled with the rather stiff manequin posing didn’t appeal to me at all at the time. I still think his sculpts are pretty goofy, especially the Essex ones and those (mostly) horrible Black Orcs he did for Citadel – but there are some absolute gems in there too. For instance, his Iron Claw goblins or the aforementioned Blood Bowl ogres. Also, his newer stuff is brilliant – especially the little Splintered Lands anthropomorphic animals.

Olley, Adams and Copplestone - yum!

Among the gems are also his Citadel beastmen from the late 80s. I’ve got a few, and when I stumbled over a virtual Olley gold mine on eBay I couldn’t help myself and bought even more. The same seller also had the set of harpies for sale, as well as the rather rare and elusive Blood Bowl Troll #3. They’re all mine now!

I’ve also been getting some more Blood Bowl stuff for my Dungeon Bowl project. Four orcs and three humans.

Last week I didn’t post what I had been getting (mostly) – I suppose easter got in the way. Here’s the picture I took though. It’s a parcel from Alternative Armies, containing Jes Goodwin’s old barbarians and some lesser goblins by Kev Adams.

Haha, my parcel is hilariously squashed! Such fun!

The lead was ok though!

Luckily the chaps and/or chapettes over at Alternative Armies know how to pack their parcels so no lead was harmed. These guys were all bought on a whim. Alternative had 20% off, and I had been eyeing the old barbarians by Jes Goodwin for some time. It’s a neat little set, with nicely sculpted minis that when painted as a group will make up a great warband for Song of Blades, Skulldred or Brink of Battle – whatever I will go for in the end. The lesser goblins were a super impulse buy. I sort of regret it, as they’re really small and I’m sure I won’t paint them any time soon. Also, those spears are very fragile. They’ll make nice snotlings for dungeon crawling though. The barbarians will go out on commission if I can find a painter willing to do them for a good price.

These weren’t the only additions though. I also got two pre-slotta pirates from the Citadel rogues line. Forgot to take a photo of them, so I’ll just include them in my every-growing negative lead tally. Total tally for 2012 is now 44 painted – 154 acquired = -110! Yikes.

Jan 192012
 

Here are the finished zombies from the WIP-posts I did earlier. Not quite happy with how the picture turned out, I kept fiddling around with the settings on the camera.


From left to right, we have three C18 zombies (sculpted by Kev Adams) and then an Iron Claw skeleton guard (Bob Olley’s range which was later incorporated in Citadel’s regular catalogue). I really like the rat nibbling away on his leg, but apart from that I think the model is quite atrocious.

The model third from the left is a bit mangled, and also missing the blade from his weapon. Whenever I get my hands on a small hand drill, I’ll fix him a new one. The left most model is actually a duplicate of one I allready painted. His arm is a bit bent, which works to his advantage making him a bit different from his brother. The armoured zombie with the shield, will serve as a “leader” type of zombie lieutenant.

Of all the zombies I’ve painted so far, these are probably the roughest looking lot. I think I rushed through it a bit, being slightly stressed out by timing how long painting them would take. It doesn’t matter much, they look fine in a group. Here’s a shot of all the lads I’ve done so far. 14 of them, and counting.


Yup, them pesky heroes have another thing coming – that’s for sure! Once these guys get to Stillburg, they’ll be joined by another seven zombies and a necromancer.


Coming up next, this weeks acquisitions. Quite a bunch, actually. Quiiite a bunch. A revised painting progress tally tomorrow! In the painting queue are aforementioned necromancer and the seven zombies. I’ll start with the necromancer as I’ve been good and finished 9 zombies so far this year. Yay me!