Thursday 7 July 2016


Over the last week or two I have been concerning myself with a former imperial island, riven with intrigue within it's shores, that is dominated by it's captial city, and run by a mad elite concerned with it's plotting, usurpations,  and it's own self interests.

I am of course referring to Melnibone, the city of Imrryr, and the Melniboneans, with their Emperor Elric VIII, from the works of Michael Moorcock.

Back in the 1980's (as many of my blog posts seem to begin!) Citadel Miniatures gained the rights to produce a range of miniatures representing the Melniboneans and Pan Tang, as well as some other personalites, from Michael Moorcock's books. Now I have read several of the Elric books, and I enjoyed them. I love the more open multi-verse, moral ambiguity of the settings, and  the epic feel of everything without it being pretenious. Coupled with that, I really love Rodney Matthews artwork, which often depicts and was used to illustrate several of the books.

Now I have owned several of the miniatures which Citadel produced for some time, but it was only until recently I decided to focus on collecting them in a more serious way. I have been lucky to be able to buy someones collection of Melniboneans, as well as pick up all manner of odds and ends, including some more horsemen, via the Oldhammer Trading page.

As an aside, here is a link to the Melnibonean range, and the Pan Tang's:

Painting wise I am was unsure what to do. I not sure of any descriptions of Melniboneans armour in the Elric books (and I have lent mine to a friend at the moment). Various Melnibonean inspired artworks also give their own interpretations. Games Workshop's painted examples (below) looked good, but are very late 1980's High Elf in style. I did recall reading somewhere that  Melniboneans armour was described as 'yellow', or 'bronze'. So, after looking at how other people painted there's, I opted for a mid gold on a darker gold base, with colourful pastel cloth and clothes remincient of the Towers of Imrryr.

Anyway, here is what I have collected so far. The army is mostly collected, with only the odd warrior required here and there. I have based them up on the 30mm lipped bases as I think they look better, and give the miniatures more room. They looked too cramped on 20mm square bases to me.

If I use them for gaming, I will probably use the 3rd Edition Warhammer High Elf list. However, I am tempted (if I get time) to write my own Melnibonean list using the 3rd Edition rules. I don't think the 30mm bases would be a problem. I would interested to use a skirmish set of rules as well, or even tinker with the Lord of the Rings rules. However my heart really lives in 2nd and 3rd Edition Warhammer (my soul belong in the 'Slaves to Darkness book', but that is another blog entirely!), but maybe this new fangled Frostgrave thing might be worth a look too.

The painted Melniboneans that follow are test models to get a feel for them, and the finished miniatures will probably have a much more brighter palette.
Enjoy :)  
Advert in White Dwarf #92.
'Enkar', a Melnibonean with two swords.
I painted the armour Citadel's 'Gehenna's Gold', and then highlighted with with Vallejo's 'Old Gold'. Basically, and base coat of a rich gold colour, with a highlight of a lighter one.
Once finished the armour, and indeed the whole model, was given a very watered down black paint wash.
Rear view.
I am not going for a uniform of colours, but an individual selection of pastels and bright colours for each miniature. 
I will paint the bases later, going probably for a grassland/meadow to sugget the 'Plains of Imrryr'.
'Bovar', a Melnibonean archer.
Again the same painting, although on him the colours turned out to be more muted than planned. For others I will go for more of a brighter mix and pastels.
Rear view.
'Dangrim' a spearman, without shield.
I might paint all of the spearstaffs the same colour, otherwise it might look odd and clash too much.
I will add the shields later (see below).
Rear view.
With shield.
I am going to paint a stylised Dragon (which I have seen someone do very well, but alas I cannot recall whom).
Unlike the personal clothing, the shields will be the same for each regiment.
'Zoo D'ann T'kar', Melnibonean cavalry, again without shield for the time being.
Unlike the spearmen, they will have a variety of different coloured lance shafts. 
There was a little debate on the Oldhammer Facebook site as if I should base the cavarly on the 40mm lipped round base, but I feel it gives them a certain battlefield presence and room worthy of cavalry. 
Right hand side view.
With citadel shield, although a slightly smaller one than the infantry, so it fits.
Emperor Elric of Melnibonean, in his Imperial Armour.
I have him dismounted, as released from the BC5 box set. However I also had a broken version, and so converted him up to ride a 1980's Citadel Elf Hero's Warhorse. I like the dragon armour on it's head, so thought I would suit Elric.
Melnibonean cavalry.
I have a few more to add so I can field three regiments of ten. 
I have one in the post as I type this, and I also forgot to add the test painted one from above.
I have, of course, horses for all of these, but did'nt think it was worth photographing them. About 90% of the are horses from the Melnibonean range, with a couple from the 1980's Elf ranges. As they are all sculpted by Jes Goodwin, and all ended up being mixed in with te Elf ranges, I am not too concerned.
In addition, I am considering adding some 1980's mounted Elven Archers, and the two Elven Attack Chariot with slightly different crews, as they fit nicely, but I will consider that at a later date.
Personalites of Melnibonean.
From left to right, Moonglum, Yykroon, Dyvim Tvar, Tanglebones, and Rakhir the Red. 
Two other waifs and strays from across the mutli-verse.
On the left is actually a Reaper Miniature, but she fits in so well with the Melnibonean range that I am keeping her in mind for adding somewhere.
On the right, is Jerry Cornelius. He won't be added to the army, but I'll paint him up anyway. :)
Twenty one spearmen (twenty two including the test painted one), including the all four of the different variants. The main differance is that two are bare headed (with one wearing a 'headband'), and two helmeted (one being more ornate than the other). 
I will probably do a more detailed update on the sculpting of the range at a later date. 
My plan is to have one regiment of speamen, and use any excess spearmen as standard bearers by added pennants to the spear shafts.
Mace wielding infantry.
 I have enough for a twenty strong regiment, with some spare to add to the axemen below.
I require another couple of these (or mace men) for a full twenty strong unit.
Dual wielding swordsmen. 
I like these sculpts, and when I think of Citadel's Melnibonean range I picture these and the horsemen. 
There is however a problem with them...
...they break.
 They break quite easily.
I bought these ones 'pre-broken' as it were, but it seems to be a common problem that the left handed sword snaps off. I have considered either added another sword from somewhere, or adding a shield. I might just leave them and mix them in with the unbroken ones.
I have thirty three, which makes three units of ten. Adding a couple more will make a nice unit of five Scouts, which are always useful.
I have three of the Elric of Imrryr. I already have a quite nice Elric miniature to use, so save wasting them, I might use them as captains of regiments, and paint them up in the same gold armour as the warriors rather than Elrics black armour.
DRAG 7 Dragon Masters set. 
Whilst not actually part of the Eternal Champion range, they are often regarded as such. 
I have paint stripped mine ready to paint up as an iridescent Phoorn Dragon.
I have another of these, albiet missing a tail, in the post at the moment. I'll re-sculpt a tail.
I would like to add another one or two t Dragons to the army, and am kicking myself for not buying them when GW was selling them only a few years ago on their website.
Finally I am going to as Citadel's DS6 Serpentine Dragon as it looks to me (see the heads above) like the Dragon Masters Dragon, and I could use it as a magically bound young Phoorn Dragon.

Hopefully I will be able to update as per usual next week. The break for a week in updating has been largely caused by work problems, and that I managed to twist my ankle and spend several day enforced resting (I'm fine now though'). 
Leaving that aside, I should be able to paint up some more Melniboneans, although I could update with the Pan Tang army instead. I also have been painting random critters from my collection, so I'll see. :)


  1. I always considered the full helmet guys to be the best "Dark elf" miniatures Citadel ever made. If you are in need of a few gap fillers at a reasonable price i would suggest you look at Forlorn Hope miniatures as several of their range would suit.

    1. I agree, they do work well as Dark Elves. I did at one point consider using the cavalry as Dark Elves, but decided to go for Melniboneans instead.

  2. Moorcock's creations were my intro into fantasy literature and I still, 30 years later consider him to be one of my top authors.

    You are a lucky fellow Lee, these minis are so cool.

    1. Thank you, I do feel quite lucky to have assembled the army, and have been lucky on ebay.

      Moorcock seems to be slightly overlooked of late, and his books are'nt as widerly stocked in bookshops as other authors are. I never started reading Moorcock until a few years ago, despite being aware of Elric, and Citadels Eternal Champion range, and need to re-read, and read more at some point.

  3. Green with envy; such a collection!

    1. Thank you, I've just got to get around to painting them now!