Friday, 1 December 2017


The Fall Of The Oldhammer Empire?

It seems to me, that the whole 'Oldhammer' craze or perhaps a better definition in the broader sense would be a 'movement' (I'll leave the interpretation of that term, to you, dear reader) is getting rather silly.

Of course, to many the hole concept of grown men playing with lead dollies is silly, but I don't mean it in that way.

Let me explain a few thoughts that I have been ruminating over...

The prices of the models being offered on eBay are frankly 'a fucking rip off'. These are models which are 3 decades old, not antique, nor are they 'rare' as many claim. I would use that term with a great deal of caution little ones, because to the generation who are championing  the 'cause' anything older than their current girlfriend is seen as vintage.

Nay, nay... These models were mass produced in the days before 'artisan' this and 'small batch' that and increasingly post 1982 or thereabouts sold for an average of 30p to CHILDREN. I was one of those children but already a veteran by then. WHFB was a new kid on the block, a snotty nosed upstart of a game, slotta bases were a nightmare waiting to visit us all, Games Workshop really was!

Now, if we apply some logic here, you don't set out to produce small numbers of miniatures for a potentially massive market, for a game which, is advertised as a game of massed battles... No, really, you don't. It's bad business sense to do so.

Now, I accept that many models will have gone under the knife, epoxy or (and I shudder to consider this) been melted down into Prince August moulds, but that is still a fraction of the models produced.

My own group probably all bought every 'Citadel Specialty Set' and most if not all of the 'Regiments Of Renown' as they were released... Not collectively you you understand, but EACH. We descended like locusts on every new release, and we were but a small speck in the customer base of GW Sheffield (albeit a force multiplier when it came to causing premature ageing in the staff) and by Harry those shelves were re-filled and re-filled. I could go in on Saturday, clean out every FT series Orc on the racks and behind the 'Figure Bar' - (look that up, the terminology is accurate) and by Monday when I went in again, they were replenished. When I sold my Orcs there were two CARIER BAGS filled to the brim.

I know a friend who filled the entire basement of the family manse with miniatures in piles on every flat surface... Like me, just a school kid.

So, my Oldhammer Hipsters, think on this before you try to chisel somebody for £20 for a 'rare' model. You're talking bollocks of the first order, sirs!

If you don't have the knowledge you'd be better off going back to the plastic, modern tat-filled gaming world folks... Really.

When you list a figure, don't describe it as rare just because you don't know what it is, or it does not have a slotta base. Admit that you don't know because you are not equipped with the information. If indeed you do have a desirable gem, the buyers will set the value with their bids.

Also, this here term, 'pre-slotta' is bandied around way too freely, even on figures that are current and which never had nor never will have those terrible plastic prosthetics rather than good, honest and decent metal bases. Take yourselves into the broader gaming world and look at how many manufacturers have not fallen prey to that disease... A metal base is no guarantee of vintage. Again, DO THE RESEARCH!

Similar comments might be made about rule sets and supplements... you don't really think that 2nd or 3rd ed are rare do you? Chumps! They were vehicles for selling lead... lots and lots of lead.

Elitist arrogance appears to be another problem with the new kids on the block. 'I have this model so I am more Oldhammer than you!' or 'if you are not using the very slotta bases that were used on those models, you are not worthy of consideration as a devotee.' are both things I have witnessed... Jesus, kids, I have disposed of more figures than you will ever own... But I am just a gamer. I have owned some really famous pieces from the golden age, from the celebrities (ie: gamers who made money from the hobby back in the day- nothing more) of the hobby, but at the end of the day they are just curios, lead dollies and ephemera not some kind of holy icon.

They were meant to be played with, not stuck in a cupboard and treated as an investment... If you want to show respect for a model or book you own which passed through the hands of one of the 'old sweats' - USE THE FUCKING THING!

Be certain, that those old metal models you have, probably will crumble in your lifetime, so enjoy them and then unless you have a market for lead dust, move them on, keep the story flowing, make the models do what they were sculpted to do.

I have noted of late that the Oldhammer 'movement' is starting to fragment, as internal squabbling breaks out. This is not unique - I have seen members of a defunct roleplaying group argue over who had more credibility by where they were on the original membership roster, as if this somehow bestowed upon them illuminated wisdom. Remember the decadence is the precursor to the fall of every empire in the history of mankind, and in this case the decadence seems to be pretty advanced.

These attitudes will simply kill the history of the hobby rather than preserve it. As you prevent or discourage others from taking part in your world, you merely enact your own extinction. If that is what you want to be remembered for, knock yourselves out boys.

Stop being so confident in the value of your collection, because for us all, the only certainty is a pine box and a few flowers, and your family wondering what to do with that room full of little models and cardboard boxes, once the ashes cool.


PS: Here's a thought; go out and buy some of the models which were advertised in early White Dwarf magazines and which, are still made by the same people for £1 - £1.50 per model, such as Essex and Denizen.

 Do them the honour of being rewarded for being one of the real torch bearers of this fine hobby.

Oh, and if you are going to claim on social media that you have had 'X' or 'Y' from the day of release, best make sure that you are not 'outed' by your date of birth being 10 years later than the release date - This I have seen...


  1. I know what you mean, I have found lots of genuine folks through the oldhammer thingimebob, heck, it even got me back into gaming but the idea that the minis are in any way worth the BIN prices on eBay ( or the hype they are given) is laughable. I'll sit in the corner with my 1:72 plastics and actually have fun if its all the same!.

  2. I am going to make a confession. I grew up in the 80s collecting minis just as they swapped to slotta bases, but have always looked forward to newer, more sophisticated sculpts of the things that I love. I know, I'm a pervert. But it takes all sorts.

  3. Well said Mark, As one with a 'large' collection of 'classic' lead, let me me assure you, I try to take every opportunity to 'play' with my toys, because that's what their are - TOYS.

    Paul / Golgfag1

  4. Thanks... I still want to buy your green skins though, Paul.

    1. There's no harm in wanting Mark, But you should be careful what you wish for, because you might just get it!

      Paul / Golgfag1

    2. I only wish for toy soldiers so I'm pretty good with that karmic concept on that basis...

  5. That specific smell of elitism drove me out of various Oldhammer groups some time ago. And I actually gave away the few old figures I owned to people who liked them, because I figured for an average ebay purchase price of a regiment of halberdiers I can have several fully playable retinues / warbands for other games, made up from various "modern" plastic sets.
    All the Oldhammer hype just proved not worth it in the long run for me. I still like to read about it though, I just do not consider myself part of it.

  6. The elitism, ironically s being engendered b those at he younger end of the Oldhammer movement, who stick people on pedestals, who previously were 'just gamers' like the rest of us, and they are creating and jealously guarding their newly created 'gaming personalities! As if you were a craft beer...

    1. That's exactly what it is. There's a saying where I come from: "Hollier than the Pope himself". I recon it applies perfectly.


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