Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Old School Armies - A Cure For The Mid Life Crisis?

Well, I did something which I have considered since the 80s.

In the 80s I built a massive and I mean MASSIVE undead army, which was all old school Citadel, apart from 4 cavalry which were Essex Miniatures Bob Olley sculpts, bought when I had exhausted the entire stock of the local GW and other game stores (we had 3 in Sheffield) and needed the 4 models to complete the 50 strong cavalry wing on the right flank of the army.

They were nice, but LARGE, but to be fair I was not a martinet then or indeed now, with regards to figures being mixed.

The army went to the winds after I broke up with the woman I lived with before I met my now-wife of 29 years and was sold to Games Of Liverpool (if you have this army let me know) for a an absolute pittance.

Anyway, I have recently being reviewing my whole hobby as I approach 49 and friends like the great Pete Armstrong are passing on, and the sense of the reaper at my heels begins to really worry me.

So, I decided that because:

A. I paint for a living

B. I really don't want to spend weekends painting

C. I am 49 damn it!

I had to plan things out a bit more strictly.

My wife enjoys painting for leisure and loves undead, so she has said that for large tribute in the form of many bottles of Chanel, she'll paint them if I buy them.

And so this morning I have ordered just short of 11 kilos of Essex Olley undead rather than mess about chasing old Citadel stuff. Essex are genuine old school, and with the size of them, I am hoping to instill fear into my opponent with his 140 Elf bowl line... I can dream. Apart from 3 figures it's all Olley, the others are the FAN codes.

I am seriously looking forward to this army hitting the table. As they are bulky, I may have to base on element bases with 5 models arranged on a 6 figure base.

As I play 1st ed WHFB, the undead can be lethal... A ghost basically says 'BOO!' and you die.

Now, some of you will know I also have a love of lizardmen, and my other favourite army from the 80s was my Tom Meier / Aly Morrisson lizardman army - also long gone.

I had considered the replacement with the new Ral Partha reissues, but the idea of painting them is offset by the above 3 points again.

So, what to do?

In the end I was searching the web for lizardmen, and saw that Dwarven Forge make them in a ready painted form at £2.66 per model... The painting is from experience very nice for armies and hey, how many people have a DF army?

The models have a non-spiky old school vibe, so that's all good. I need to source some troglodytes and cold ones, but I think I'll have to bow to the brush and paint them myself, buying the required stuff from Viking Forge.

Lizardmen are an oft overlooked 1st ed army... They are for a bold, attacking player as they lack magic, but are tough, have multiple wounds and ignore psychology and morale - What's not to like.

The idea of simply having to pen the boxes and base the toys is a very pleasing concept.

I'll post pics as the projects unfold.



  1. You had me at 50 strong cavalry wing!. Cant wait for the pics.

  2. It should look pretty damn fine. Undead cavalry are great against Orc Boar Riders, if they charge first and force a test...

  3. Great for opening the fatal crack in a skaven army too, just slam in and watch them crumble!. Good luck with them!

  4. Go on then, what does 11kg equate to in numbers of figures?

  5. 400+ ... I stopped counting to be honest.

  6. Just had a look at the Essex site, the undead remind me of the old Jason and the Argonauts film, similar style, which I rather like. had a look at some of the other fantasy stuff on their website, you have to be careful there is some right old dross.

  7. It's all pretty good in the metal. The piss poor painting doesn't show the figures to their potential. I am a bit of a fan though...


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