Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Manticore

A triple row of teeth meeting like the teeth of a comb, the face and ears of a human being, blood-red color eyes, a lion's body, inflicting stings with its tail like a scorpion...with a special appetite for human flesh!

One of the things I love about the old Warhammer editions is the numerous monsters available. It is perfectly acceptable to have in your army a few of them, from good Elementals to various Chaos creatures. As it should be, really, I mean we are talking about a fantasy world goddammit!

Citadel produced a number of monsters in the 80s, and of course Chaos being the favourite child (lets not kid ourselves here) a wide selection of Chaos critters were sculpted. Many of these were stand alone beasts, and not the mandatory heroe's mounts like we see today. They were also often of "normal", as in "human" size. The following Manticore is such a sculpt. It was designed by the master Jes Goodwin in the mid-80s and is probably my favourite Manticore sculpt to this day. A good Manticore should always look like its in a very bad mood and this one fits the bill!

It is smaller than the recent offering by GW, but to me the Manticore was never meant to be a gigantic beast. I was surely influenced in this view in part by the well known cover of "The Shamutanti Hills", from the Sorcery! series of Fighting Fantasy books. A creature doesn't have to be the size of a Dragon to be terrifying!

The Manticore has the body of a lion, a human head with three rows of sharp teeth (like a shark), bat-like wings, and a trumpet-like voice.

I went pretty conventional on the painting, with a classic beige for the lion body and some dark purple for the wings and scorpion tail. I did modify slightly the position of the wings, I just prefer the look. I love the animation of this model, I find Jes Goodwin has really nailed the feline slow and predatory walking stance.

The base was made with cork, accompanied by the remnants of a skeleton to add a little atmosphere to the piece (he is a man eater after all).

Another nice addition to my Chaos bestiary. In my young days, I used to be afraid of painting these creatures, but they are a lot of fun and a great change of pace between unit painting. After painting a Griffon and now a Manticore, I'll probably need to paint a Chimera soon, I figure!

This piece was entered in the recent Analogue Painting Challenge Bonus Theme Round. This round's theme was "myth", so the Manticore, originally a myth of Persian origin, where its name was "man-eater", fitted perfectly. If you like him, you can encourage one of your fellow Oldhammerer by voting on the page previously linked. You'll also get to see a bunch of fantastic entries.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Collecting Oldhammer : 3rd edition fantasy rulebooks

A few weeks ago I sent over to a member of the Oldhammer Facebook community, by way of Vermont (long story), a few OOP GW inks as a Christmas gift. I rarely use inks nowadays (washes or AP) and Don was out of his favourite inks so I figured it was an opportunity to do a good deed, Christmas spirit and all.

Don returned the favour right away, sending me Warhammer Siege as a new year's gift! Let this be a reminder to all of us that it pays to be generous!

So yeah, it took me over twenty years but here they are, the complete collection of rulebooks made for Warhammer Fantasy Battle 3rd edition. Well, I've had 4 of the 5 since my early teens, but never got around to getting Warhammer Siege. It was a lot of fun reading for the first time a 3rd edition rulebook! I'm glad I have the two RoC books already, as they are going for some insane prices on Ebay (still worth it, though. Yes they are that awesome).

The 3rd Edition really is the edition of my youth and the one that represents most Oldhammer to me. I started playing around 1989-1990, a few years before the 4th edition came along, and although I played a lot of the 4th (High Elves vs Goblins, anyone) the one which made an impact on me most was definitely the 3rd. I was also playing a lot of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay at the time, and the two mixed really well together. In fact, I believe I got Realm of Chaos originally as a supplement for WFRP. You can see from the corners that these books have seen a lot of action, although incredibly my Slave to Darkness copy still has its dust jacket 25 years later! 

I played a LOT of this game. Does it shows?
This is the first part of my collecting of Oldhammer books. I'm working on acquiring the earlier editions as well as the complete collection of WFRP books 1st edition. I sold a long time ago the few WFRP supplements I had, and my rulebook (in french) is literally in shambles! So I would like to get a copy in better condition, in the original english version.

 I also have a few of the 1st edition 40K (Rogue Trader) rulebooks, and *that* is a testament to my hoarding disorder! I haven't played in 20 years, I've sold or lost all my figures during the dark days of my late teen years and yet...I. just. can't. get. rid. of. it. I just know if I sell them I'll regret it!