Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Opening the Cupboard Door

Like most wargamers, I have a cupboard (well actually several cupboards, cabinets, chests of drawers) in which I keep my collection of games, books and figures both painted and unpainted.

After my recent post about My First Metal Miniature (and thanks to all you commented there or on the TMP thread ), I started to get a wave of nostalgia about the early days of my gaming hobby. So I opened the door of one of my cupboards and took out these

This box of figures are from the very early days of my wargaming hobby and include some of the figures that Santa brought in 1979. And, as is pretty obvious from the photograph, they haven't been painted.

Amongst them you have

"Goblin of the South Swinging Axe" from Ral Partha's "Wizards, Warriors & Warlocks" range.

And his buddy

"Goblin of the South with Spear"

The date on the bottom of their bases in 1976, so they were already 3 years old by the time I got them. The WW&W range were clearly intended by Ral Partha for use in Middle Earth, although for copyright reasons they couldn't say that but it was pretty obvious who this guy is supposed to be

"Guard of the Citadel"

For their generic Fantasy Range, Ral Partha had their "Personalities and Things That Go Bump In the Night" range

ES10 -"Large Hill Troll Attacking with Club"

This was an early Tom Meier sculpt. Pretty basic by today's standards but it wasn't long before he started producing figures like these

"Giant Goblin with Sword"

"Sea Elf Striking with Axe"

These were from Ral Partha's "Collectors Series" range and were some of my favourite figures. I even managed to paint a couple of those!

From Citadel Miniatures, I have a number of these guys from their Fiend Factory range

FF23- "Goblins Advancing with Spears"

I always thought these were based on the guards from the Wicked Witch of the West's castle in the "Wizard of Oz". Actually I think these were redesigned figures as I'm pretty sure the original "Goblins Advancing with Spears" carried their spears in front of them and they were like naginatas than the bill hook type weapon this guy carries.

One of my favourite early Citadel models, FA24 - "Anti-Paladin"

I've always been fond of Dwarves, probably because, I'm vertically challenged myself. In addition to Dwarven models from Ral Partha and Citadel, I have a number of these stout fellows

"Dwarf with Long Pike" by Asgard Miniatures

I really liked this pose and had visions of painting up a phalanx of them. Never happened. Although Asgard have gone bust, these guys are still available from The Viking Forge in the States. I wonder if they ship to the UK?

Then a new company came on the scene, Chronicle Miniatures, owned by a certain Mr Nick Lund.

"Orc with Sword and Shield"

"Hobgoblin with 2 handed weapon"



Citadel, obviously recognising Mr Lund's talent for sculpting, quickly bought the Chronicle range and Lund worked for the Citadel Design Studio for a while, but then he left to join Grenadier Miniatures and the Chronicle models soon disappeared.

In 1983, Warhammer appeared. This, I think, changed fantasy wargaming forever and though it has been through many changes is still with us today. I, of course, jumped on the band wagon and got the rules and with it the poster boy from the front of the box art, "Harry the Hammerer"

Harry - looking more hammered than "Hammerer"

My parents, showed only a cursory interest in the toys that I was buying and didn't pay much attention when the little card boxes from Citadel appeared at the house. Maybe it's just as well when this figure arrived

Oh this one caused a few chortles by having her boobies on display.
Teenage boys, what are we like?

I don't have the heart to count just how many figures are in that box, but I do have a deep sense of regret that they have nothing more than a white undercoat on them (and they were lucky to get even that). Oh they got used, many of them appeared in  the Dungeons and Dragons campaign that I ran for several years, but somehow, I just never got the get up and go to get them painted.

But I want to turn back the clock. If nothing else, they have made me realise that while I like historical gaming, fantasy wargaming was my first true love.

The figures may be a bit small for use with the modern sculpts but I have this hankering to go back to the old D & D days and start doing dungeon adventures and there is absolutely no reason why I shouldn't use these figures to do that. So I've decided I'm going to start getting them painted up. I'll strip off the old paint from those that have any on them and give them a new lease of life. And, of course, I'll post some pics up on the blog to show how, I'm getting on.

As all dungeon adventurers need transport for all their gear, the first model that I'm going to tackle is this one

Have cart - will travel!


  1. There are some great models there. Absolutely awful sculpts compared to modern stuff, but I remember loving those things at the time. Perhaps my nostalgia is blinding me, but that's what it does after all.

    1. Yes nostalgia does funny things to your sense of reason but I think I owe these little guys an apology for not doing more with them. So time to put it right!

  2. Replies
    1. You philistine Ray!!! That's like suggesting I should sell my children!

      Actually, it's worth a thought......

      Nah! I'll keep 'em

  3. I have a box that looks like that somewhere in the basement.

    1. Don't open the basement door then Kris! You could be lost forever!

  4. All you guys have loads of unpainted pieces while here I am scrounging and harassing the Hubby to let me buy some Malifaux. I won't let you forget that you said you're going to get these painted either. I'll hound you relentlessly!!

    1. I guess even from the earliest days of being a wargamer I got bitten by the "shinybloodyitis" disease as Fran calls it.

      As Gordon mentions below we do have far more stuff than we could ever use but you have got to remember Anne, we are men and are therefore weak and easily led by the thought of having more toys to play with.

      My first Malifaux figs have arrived to.......

  5. Oh, they bring back some memories. Especially Nick Lund's Hobgoblins - what a great range, both for the time and even today! Thanks for sharing!

    1. They are good models although I only ever got his bad guys. I never picked up any of his adventurers or other "good" types.

  6. Well Anne, the solution to your dilemma is obvious! Get Mr KP to post you some of that boxful and then paint them for him. All good practice after all. :)

    I think most wargamers are just like Dave, surrounded by enough unpainted lead to shield them from a nuclear blast. After all it is much quicker to buy this stuff than to get it painted, lets think its the 2nd of May today and so far I've bought, a Flames of War rulebook a platoon of Secrets of the Third Reich infantry, an Ogre Chieftan for Songs of Blades and Heroes and an Orc Fleet for Uncharted Seas. So thats my buying in 2 days, my painting is a miserable 5 figures. :(

    1. Gordon you are the worst sufferer of "shinybloodyitis" that I know!!!

  7. What a haul! I love the idea that your painting queue now stretches back to the late 70s! There is something special about the quality of these miniatures and can't wait to see them painted up!

    1. I may have bitten off more than I can chew but I do owe it to these little guys to get them finished!

  8. I had a few of these but some are showing their age, awful compared to today's figures but brought a glint back to my dry angry heart!

    1. Always happy to make you less Angry Fran!!

  9. Like some of the guys above, I had a few of those figures. All long gone now. I recently found a load of unpainted Citadel figures from 30 years ago and eBayed them. I could have kept hold of them but I was never going to paint them and they'd have just sat in a box for another 30 years. The proceeds have been re-invested in some 6mm AWI which will get some use!

    1. I just can't bring myself to part with them given their pivotal role in my wargaming past.

      At least your models have paved the way for some new and exciting gaming!

  10. Nostalgia right enough. I remember the Fiend Factory fondly and I've still got Harry too 'need to paint him', a mate of mine recently sold off his Asgard Dwarf army,really great figures especially when you see the one with the spear you've got ranked up in 50's. Lots of figures no longer available that were great, and some not so... Good posting KP

    1. Oh my, I would have really liked to have seen those Dwarves, they really are cracking figures!

  11. I have that with my plastic 1/72 scale figures. Loads of unpainted figures. Sometimes they go trough my hands and then they go back in the box. Memories!
    Nice post!


    1. Thanks Peter! At least you still have them and then maybe one day.....

  12. Fascinating post. I remember(and still own) many of these figures. I am trying to collect the full range of Ral Partha Wizards Warriors and Warlocks, so if you are willing to part with any duplicates I would be most interested in buying them (or swapping for other old lead). Hope you don't mind me asking, drop me a mail hearthweruATgmailDOTcom


    1. Hi Mike. Thanks for your comment. What codes are you looking for? I can then have a look and let you know if I can help

  13. This is another testimony on how Chief Dr Lucky cured my HIV disease. Do you need a cure for your HIV disease? Do you want to be cured from your cancer disease? Or you want to be free from any type of disease. Kindly visit his website https://chiefdrluckyherbaltherapy.wordpress.com/ . He just cured my HIV disease and I’m very grateful to him, he is the only herbalist that can cure you.  
    WhatsApp number : +2348132777335 
    Via Email : chiefdrlucky@gmail.com
    Thank you all for reading,
    God bless"