Sunday 29 April 2018

The complete set of The Magnificent Sven Scenario miniatures.

Now picture the scene as I tell a little story...'s mid 1987 and the start of the summer holidays are soon approaching. A 13 year old Goblin Lee has been saving up money from working weekends in my parents shop (giving me a disposable income of   at least £7.50 in 1987, that's three blister packs of miniatures a week!!).  Like most people I am unaware that Warhammer 3rd Edition will be released soon, and there is talk of the release of a sci-fi game called Rogue Trader coming soon, but mostly everyone's focus is on all things fantasy battle.

It's raining, and I am reading through the Battle Magic Book in Warhammer 2nd Edition, and finally start to read the Magnificent Sven Scenario, which I had'nt really bothered with (my focus hitherto being on Undead, Orcs, and Goblins). I love the writing style, the humour, the ideas, and I am intrigued by the idea of the Slann. I like the Aztecs and Incas, and the artwork in the books of the Slann fires my imgination. I really like the Slann miniatures in the insert flyer, and so decide to send off for the Gurggl's Slann army deal, 81 Slann miniatures for £37.00. Of course 'send off for' in 1987 entails writing a letter to GW detailing what you want, and getting one's mother to write a cheque!
I reason I'll get Sven and the other minatures later on...

...and so I wait.
Being 1987 it can take up to 28 days for any mail order to arrive, so I busy myself with painting other things. I even go on holiday to my grandparents in Kent for a week, still looking at the pictures of Slann in the Warhammer books. While on holiday I go to a model shop in Ramsgate, where there are Slann miniatures, which I clearly remember not buying "in case I buy ones already in the post". So I buy some of Jes Goodwins C23 Ogres instead.

Finally the mail order arrives after three and half weeks, but it's a mixed blessing. The box is heavy, so it is full of miniatures, but on opening I find a nice note from a Mail Order Troll stating that the Slann army deal is no longer available, and nor are any of the miniatures! On the plus side I did have 81 of the new C32 Slann by Trish Morrison, but any hope of collecting the scenario miniature vanishes.

Over the years I managed to pick up various of the Slann and Sven's miniatures. Sven and Juggo were still in production for a while, so easy to find, and some of the Slann I managed to pick up in bargain bins at wargames shows, and a model shop in Eastbourne. However, it was only until the advent of e-bay that I managed to fill in the more elusive gaps, and only until recently I finally managed to buy the last couple. So, many years after I started, I finally have the full set.

Enjoy :)
The release sheet of the scenario miniatures.
The proxy cardboard cut-out of the miniatures, as a stand-in so you could play the scenario.
Rear view.
The Magnificent Sven scenario miniatures, on the release sheet. A terrible photograph but something I had waited a while to see! :)
Magnificent Sven scenario miniatures.
For the most part I have tried to paint most of the miniatures in line with the colours on the cardboard cut-out sheet. I had painted some of these miniatures already, some have been newly painted, and several have had their paintwork tinkered with a little.
Slann Lieutenant with Scythe.
The Slann-scythe is a type of spear, and is quite nasty looking. Concerning the armour, I tried to get the look from the cardboard cut-outs by combining a blue non-metal metalic technique as a base, and metal colour as a highlight. I did the same for the other Slann Lieutenant, and Gurggl. 
Rear view.
The other Slann Lieutenant, armed with a mace, and wearing some rather fetching pink leg armour, according to cardboard the cut-out.
Right hand side, showing the shield.
Karra Lokota, the unlucky Amazon.
Rear view.
Karl Ustracutter, renowned Norse hero, and even more unlucky than Karra.
Rear view.
The eponymous Dwarf himself, Sven Haslefriesian.
This miniature ended up as part of the later Dwarf ranges, and so is a little easier to find.
Rear view.
Riolta Snow, elf archeress and tourist in this scenario.
She also turns up as a character in Terror of the Lichemaster scenario.
Rear view.
The Village Elder, one of the last of the scenario set I required.
Rear view.
Gurggl Greenwake, the leader of the Slann.
I managed to buy this miniature very early on, in the late 1980's, from a bargain bin at a wargames show. I re-painted his armour using the mix technique used for the Slann Lieutenants.
Rear view.
I was always disappointed that his armour save was only 6, and amused that his magical sword talks!
Slann Lieutenant with blowpipe.
This Slann shows the differences in style between the earlier pre-slotta C32 Slann, and the later slotta based Slann. The head crest is the most obvious. The clothing, whilst similar to the pre-slotta Slann, is less 'Aztec' that the later slotta based Slann.
Left hand side.
Raidocks Timmowit, the Halfling stowaway.
Also unlucky, like many of his companions. I wondered if his name was a pun on Radox bath salts?
Rear view.
Juggo 'Sensless' Joriksonn, the drunken and broke friend of Sven.
This miniature also ended up in other Dwarf ranges. In addition, Juggo is present in the McDeath scenario, although a different miniature is used.
Right hand right.
Aygar Mistletaine, you guessed, unlucky, and a Wizard...
..."Watch out for that tomb Aygar!".
This miniature is one of two Aygar's produced for the scenario (the other is detailed later). This miniature is the original one for the scenario. The tip of the staff of mine, and it would seem many others, has broken off. I have repaired it to some extent.
Rear view.
One of the 12 (drunken!) Human Norse Beserkers.
Right hand view.
The Villager miniature.
Like the Village Elder, this was one of the last of the set I bought. Also like the Elder, he is armed completely differently from how the Villagers are armed in the scenario.
This miniautre was also used in another scenario, as the 'Nightwatchman' in the Shadow Over Bogenhafen scenario.
Left hand side.
Slann Warrior.
Like the Slann Lieutenant he has head crest.
I have painted this miniature in a similar manner to John Blanches artwork, and blogged on this earlier here:
Rear view.
Slann Warhound.
According to the scenario they are Hobhounds, but the style is different from the Hobgoblin ones.
Right hand side view.
Aygar Mistletaine again!
This is the other Aygar miniature which was also released as part of the C02 Wizards range in 1985, and released as Aygar Mistletaine.
The sculpt is close to the artwork on the cardboard cut outs. The design on the back of his robes has also been sculpted, making it easier to paint.
Rear view, with the sculpting on the back.
The two army commanders face off.

My next blog update will be a little delayed as I am going on holiday. I am not sure what it will be on, but I do have several things I am working on currently.

Tuesday 17 April 2018

The 13th Warrior: Unreleased Space Slann.

I have always loved the background and miniatures associated with the Rogue Trader era Space Slann. I collected and fielded a small army of Space Slann early on in the Rogue Trader era, and was always disappointed that GW never expanded them as a race.

The Space Slann themselves were released early in Rogue Trader, in 1987, and were never very easy to collect at the time unless via direct mail order. With a limited release, they became less easy to find, until the advent of e-bay when sellers started offering them either on open auction, or varying levels of 'Buy it Now' prices. Ironically, it was often easier to buy the Space Slann 20-30 years after they were released then at the time!

I had, up until a few years ago, most of the twelve Space Slann which had been released, although I was still missing a couple. E-bay enabled me to buy the final missing Space Slann, and also collect at least one each of the 12 released. It was during my searches on e-bay that I realised that there was a 13th Space Slann miniature which had been produced, but not released. I am unsure of it's background, but as far as I know from conversations online, this Space Slann was a later (than 1987) concept model for a re-boot of the race which never happened, and may have been produced in the early 1990's (still in the rogue Trader era). I am not sure of the exact details, or the sculptor.

Anyway, when I saw this Space Slann on e-bay it was always for large amounts of money (£100+), and whilst it was a miniature I wanted, I was'nt prepared to pay that for it, and contented myself with having a pleasant Slann force with all the TSF18 range of 12 Space Slann I always wanted. However, a few weeks ago I had a stroke of luck when one of the Space Slann which had been on 'Buy it Now' for ages went of a percentage off sale, after it's 'Buy it Now' price had been slowly dropping each listing for some months. I thought now or never, and finally bought the last Slann for £56.25, a lot for a miniature, but as I had just been paid my bonus at work, I thought, why not?

...and so here it is, the Unreleased Space Slann.

Enjoy :)
Front view.
He (or she?) is a Slann armed with what looks like some sort of las-gun, although I am sure it could be used as something similar.
The head is unusual. It looks similar to the style of Slann heads used for the Slann in the Magnificent Sven Scenario in Warhammer Fantasy Battle 2nd Edition, with the head crest. I have seen this painted more as a helm rather than flesh, but I like to think of this crested Slann as a sub-species.
I have, like all the other Space Slann, opted for bright colours and thought a green skin tone would suit it well, and give a good darker base to the gold of the gun and the bright colours of the fur.
Rear view.
I painted the fur pink-ish to give that other-world/1970's feel I have done for with the other Space Slann I have. The detailing of the sculpt is great, with a lots of fur tokens, flowers, a few pouches, and a sword.
Close up of the head. I like the visor, ususual and very 1980's sci-fi looking.

Front view unpainted and ink washed.
Rear view.
All 13 of the Space Slann.

I am currently painting some miniautres for the Magnificent Scenario, so will probably update on these next week.

Wednesday 4 April 2018

The Slann and the Villager.

This week I have painted two miniatures from the Magnificent Sven scenario release: Slann Warrior; and the Villager.

I have a soft spot for this scenario, I've played it several times over the years on both sides. It was via this that I really became interested in the Slann and the (old) background of Lustria. Over the next week or so I will painting the remaining miniatures from the release with a mind to updating the blog on the scenario range.

Unlike a lot of the later scenarios the miniatures were scultped specifically for the scenario, rather than taken from existing ranges. Several of the miniatures subsequently appeared elsewhere. Sven and Juggo e turning up in the C06 Dwarves, and Norse Dwarf ranges. Riolta Snow appeared in the Terror of the Lichemaster release (as herself), whilst the Villager re-appeared in the Shadows over Bogenhafen scenario as the Nightwatchman.

The Slann Warrior was part of the Slann army release for the scenario, but like the other Slann they were never released elsewhere, and so had a limited production run. I'm not sure when they stopped casting them but they were gone by 1987. I sent off for the Magnificent Sven Slann army offer in mid 1987, as it turned out few months before 3rd Edition Warhammer Fantasy battle was to be released, and these Slann were gone. As an aside, the GW Mail Order Trolls were kind enough to write me a little note explaining the offer was no longer valid (sadly, I have lost the note) and instead sent me a big box of the new slotta based Slann.

The style of these Slann are slight different to the earlier pre-slotta, and later slotta based Slann. They are a little smaller (the Slann Warrior is especially). The bare-headed Slann also have a crest on their heads, similar in a way to fish or perhaps Cthulhu Deep Ones. The sculpting of the weapons and armour are more in line with the scenario artwork, rather than fully Aztec-esque as the later Slann were. I am not sure who sculpted them, but looking at the range as a whole, they look like the work of Aly Morrison. Both Riolta Snow and Karra have a look similar to his pre-slotta Elves, so it might be the case he sculpted the rest.

Finally, painting wise I opted for two different influences. For the Slann Warrior I noticed a resemblance between him and a Slann from John Blanche's Slann artwork in the 3rd Edition Warhammer Armies book (included below). So I chose him as a template for painting. As for the Villager, he looks to me like a classic stereotypical English yokel/bumpkin, so I opted for that look when painting. I have included a photograph of the 'Two Ronnies' yokels as a visual pointer to where my mind was going when painting.

Enjoy :)

The Magnificent Sven Scenario miniatures release.
John Blanche's Slann artwork. I chose the Slann second on the left, second from bottom, as a painting template as I think they looked similar.
The Slann warrior.
Sheild design, loosely based on the artwork.
Rear view showing the scale armour.
The Two Ronnies as yokels.
He is armed with a simple looking agricultural knife, and a wooden club. Looking at the style he looks quite similar ro an English Civil War era 'clubman'.
Left hand side. I like the patch on the arm.
Mean looking and ready to crack a few Slann skulls!
Slann vs Man in the jungles of Lustria!

Next week might be more Magnificent Sven scenario miniatures as I plan to paint some more.