Friday, July 2, 2010

Old, Old WHFB

Normally, Friday would be the particular day for celebrating the glories of Hailed vs. Hated. To be candid, I’ve not been back in touch with Dark Templar, as I’ve only just returned, so we’ve not sorted anything sexy or dynamic just yet. Never fear. I’m certain we’ll have that remedied in the very, very near future.

So today is a freebie.

Big Jim made a note yesterday that got me thinking –particularly about my old, old WHFB armies: Dwarfs, Empire, bad guys, and an odd assortment of Elves (both Wood and High –I didn’t really grasp the difference back then). This sent me scrambling to the basement with a mission to unearth several dusty boxes.

I described the armies yesterday as “slapdash.” That may have been rather generous.

The major part of each of those old armies is about 20+ years old, from a distant time before I took a grand and protracted break from the hobby. Not one of them is genuinely viable on the tabletop. Not one holds a consistent color scheme from unit to unit. I’m not even sure that any of them could field a proper unit of any merit. The Dwarfs are, admittedly, reasonably far along, and closest to being viable thanks to some late additions; however, as an example, I have nine Hammerers. What’s a general supposed to do with that on its own?

(I should mention that I do have a modestly viable Chaos army and an almost adequate Vampire army from after the aforementioned break I took between 1990-2000. We’ll be seeing more of those as time wears on).

Still, these guys are from a bygone era when army construction was more myth than possibility. Please let me explain. Once upon a time, I was a very, very slow painter. The thought of a complete army promised literally years and years of work. I painted each figure one at a time and to the very best of my (limited) ability; a genuine, coherent army seemed at the time almost an impossible dream, and I drooled over the armies that I saw at my FLGS and in the pages of White Dwarf.

Well. I resigned myself to the fact that I was unlikely ever to field a real army, and so tackled what interested me at the time and hoped that someday I’d have a workable, legal army. This was a long time ago, mind you, about the same moment that I’d stopped watching/bothering my older brothers play D&D (and stopped monkeying around with the few miniatures they had), and started taking some interest of my own. D&D never really rang my bell; however, strategy games and miniatures both did in profound ways.

But Big Jim mentioned the tremendous and old plastic kit that GW produced back in the late 80’s. I loved that kit. If memory serves, the box set came with 10 each of Dwarfs, Wood Elves, Skaven, Orcs, Goblin archers, and Dark Elves. That’s 60 minis for something like 20 bucks. Wipe that tear from your eye.

These two grumbly little guys are my favorites from those box sets. I’ll confess that I still feel quite strongly about all of these old guys, even if some of the painting feels a bit rough by today’s standards. The set was a gift, really.

By the way, you can see that I’d already started to think about conversions, as these crossbowmen (weapons kindly borrowed from those wimpy Dark Elves) clearly demonstrate.

Well. Thank you, Jim for reminding me about these little fellows. Perhaps they'll actually get some lopsided time on the table with this new edition.

p.s. The tray that the army is sitting in comes from The Container Store (an epic place positively rippling with dreams of organization and order). It is actually a plastic picture frame that I use to scurry armies back and forth from the bookshelves to the tabletop.


Brent said...

It's depressing that even your old stuff has style and panache.

Pretty sickening, if you ask me... but since nobody does, good stuff!


Grizzled Gamer said...

Not to shabby actually. While I am unsure if you could field them as a viable army in their current rendition, I have the feeling that a few purchases here or there and a few modifications...
...and you would have a viable force.

I love the Scottish Dwarf!

Big Jim said...

Hold on, let me wipe the tears from my eyes. That's a lovely collection of Dwarfs, very nice dude!

I started a WFB blog, I've gotta stop making more work for myself! lol Check it out if you are interested.

I'm gonna start taking pics of my old armies this weekend to post up.


Rob said...

Welcome back, my friend.

Glad to see that Italy was all that one might expect.

I'm getting hooked in by the new WHFB. I never really gave it much thought before. Then again, I'm part lemming. I've even pre-ordered the new book.

I've painted the better part of one pair of lascannons for my Land Raider since the beginning of June. Where will I get the time to paint a WHFB army... For that matter, which one to pick?

I've always felt that painting a whole army is daunting. It's still fun to collect and scheme.


Alexander Man said...

That´s beautiful! Love the old school stuff. Me and my friends bought many of those plastic WHF boxes back at late 80´s, and that way we all got our first own armies. Those were the days. Now I have converted the unused Dwarfs to a Blood Bowl team :) (Pics in my blog if interested) Anyway... Amazing army you got there!!!

Brian said...

@ Brent. Thanks? ha.

@ Mags. Cheers. I feel almost obligated to make them work, and even caught myself yesterday scrolling around ebay looking for some of those plastic sets. I can't even imagine what one might go for if it even exists these days.

@ Big Jim. Thank you kindly. Please know that you are entirely the inspiration for their reappearance.

@ Vo5. Cheers, my good man. You would have been equally proud and disgusted by the amount of pasta I ate. But with regard to WHFB, I think we'll have to correspond about this at length.

@ Alexander. I have to confess that digging these guys out of the basement made me very nostalgic. I'm going to head over and take a look at those Blood Bowl Dwarfs just now.

Thanks all for the support. It's great to be back and properly in action. See you Sunday.