Tuesday, 22 September 2020

Beginnings of fantasy - Minifigs ME Goblins, Oldhammer and some history...


Well, back in the dawn of time... around July 1973 we think (I had thought 1972 but appear to be out by a year...), Minifigs released the start of possibly the earliest fantasy range for wargamers - Middle Earth of course. If you know of any earlier dates for them please comment below or email me. Still trying to find out how early the American Jack Scruby fantasy range was... Dick Higgs was the designer and he sculpted in solder... giving reason to the angular quality of their sculpts - see him in action here.

Note the COMING SOON section at the bottom (Military Modelling, July 1973)



A who's who of Minifigs from earlier in 1973...


In the September 1973 Military Modelling, there was the first hint of interest via the letters column...


It wasn't until November 1973 that Minifigs put an advertisement for the Middle Earth range, they also got the dragon on the front page... a first for fantasy!


Note they didn't give the range a title... it was eventually to become 'Mythical Earth'... possibly due to a C&D from the Tolkien estate (much like the changing on the Sword & Sorcery range later losing their Conan descriptions)...


On to the figures!


ME15 Mounted Goblin with Axe


ME16 Mounted Goblin with Sword


ME50 Goblin with Sword & Shield although missing the lovely pointed ears...


The rest of the range can be seen here.

Now, one of the fathers of fantasy wargaming and all round nice guy, Rick Priestley, pointed out that these were the influence behind the later Citadel range of lesser goblins...


The Citadel Journal sketch shows 9 variants however I seem to have 10... looks to be the one walking with his bow on the right hand side at the back below. Sculpted by Michael and Alan Perry .


This figure started this little journey... I received him as part of a small job lot however he had a broken spear. I chopped off all the original spear remnants, drilled out his hand and, after a little tidying up, armed him with a small wire spear.... please note that these things are dangerous!







Finally, a pic of them all. I think they work quite well together...


A few other Minifigs bits from 1973 which might be of interest... there are various blogs out there with more info. Get your deerstalkers on and join in the fun!





Don't forget that Dave at Caliver Books is slowly releasing most of the old Minifigs ranges... Link here - scroll all the way down the left hand side till you hit 'Classic Fantasy & Sci-Fi Ranges'


Wednesday, 12 August 2020

New Enhanced Warriors, battle slaves of the Tenoch...

 I've just added 6 new codes for the Enhanced Warriors, battle slaves of the Tenoch. Also a discounted unit builder code for both the Tenoch and the Enhanced Warriors...  hopefully allowing people to build decent sized units on the battlefield...

The Tenoch are based on the likes of the old Dragontooth Saurians, Citadel Slann and tabletop gaming using the old FGU rules; Saurians: Dinosaurs & Intelligent Saurian Races

https://thelittlesoldiercompany.co.uk/the-tenoch


Lots more in the pipeline for the Tenoch as long as these go down well! All sculpted by Kev Adams.

As always; enquiries@deartonyblair.co.uk

Tuesday, 21 July 2020

Hinchliffe Models promotional film from circa 1975...


Posted by Airtek on YouTube, this is a fantastic snapshot of an earlier era. I did visit the Hinchliffe shop at some point in the 80's and regret not picking up a TSR John Carter of Mars ruleset that was hidden away under a table. A great chance to see some of the old legends of the hobby including the sculptor Peter Gilder...



Friday, 17 July 2020

Wargamer's Newsletter - Donald Featherstone


During a search for some pics of old Almark 20mm ranges, I stumbled across this wonderful resource. A complete labor of love from John Haines, a retired civil engineer with a love for the hobby. His main page includes some great holiday pics relevant to history buffs and the hobby.


My complete joy at discovering he has scanned most copies of Wargamer's Newsletter cannot be underestimated and I envisage frequent return trips to his site.


December 1964 front page


Wargamer's Newsletter was produced from 1962 to 1980 by Donald Featherstone, further info on the great man on a WIKI site here.

On a separate agenda, I've just finished painting the (soon to be released hopefully) Khamaí beast handler and beasties. Could do with a better name for them really... 4 more command figs to paint up and then they can be fielded with the recently released horde...





Sunday, 5 July 2020

Derek the Troll and Tony Blair by Lew Stringer


If you read Games workshop's White Dwarf magazine back in the 80's then you'll know of Derek the Troll. Great fun little comic strip that I always enjoyed... I picked up a sculpt some years back (by George Fairlamb) but only for my own enjoyment. As Lew said back in 2013; 

'Hi, just to clarify something: the character Derek the Troll was entirely created by me as a comic strip for Games Workshop, and I've always owned the copyright. I'm fine with you doing a model though (as long as it's not sold obviously) and you've done a great job!'

Back in 2017 Lew was doing some signings and a friend (thanks Geoff!) wangled me an illustration for the blog which I mislaid until just now!


He recently compiled all the old White Dwarf cartoon strips...


Grab a copy here; http://www.lewstringer.com/



Thursday, 18 June 2020

Afternoon's plans have changed...


Postman just dropped off a bundle of reading material via a friend in the States... going to be a busy afternoon...







More later!



Wednesday, 20 May 2020

New Tenoch now available - Kev Adams' Oldhammer goodness...


Apologies for pimping my goods again but I really need to get these out there... they've sat on my painting table for far too long however, the first batch are now production moulded and up on the website...


Inspired by the likes of the old Dragontooth Saurians and Citadel Slann, the Tenoch have a large amount of sculpts to follow... both Pete Brown at The Mouldmaker, Chris Nicholls at Macrocosm and Chris Taylor at Lancaster Casting have done me proud.







  


Hopefully these will be met with enthusiasm and allow me to get the rest into production!