Wednesday 25 May 2016

Fighting Fantasy 3D Polystyrene Dungeon - Oldhammer artefact found

Hi Folks,

We were recently discussing our first ever gaming stores over on the Oldhammer forum, the topic was "Imperium Approved" and I mentioned  I had two Fighting Fantasy 3D Polystyrene Dungeons in the loft and Zhu of Realm of Zhu fame requested a photo and informed me that these were the stuff of mythology. 

So I was transporting more baby stuff to the loft for the missus and happened to find one secreted between the roof rafters, I think the other is buried deep, it's a low ceiling loft and junk it stacked rafters to roof tiles, I have to carefully balance on the rafters when looking for stuff, it's a dangerous task but hopefully we are going to clear the whole thing out in a year or two so hopefully the other one will surface.

After a bit of research and talking to the community I found out that the Fighting Fantasy 3D Polystyrene Dungeon is quite sought after which saddened me as I was helping my late friends wife clear out her loft and we found one which I declined as I already had two so we smashed it up and put it in the skip :(

The Dungeon was meant to be part of a Fighting Fantasy Battle Set as written about here You are the Hero - page 64 and here the Fighting Fantasy Wiki, I did own plenty of the large (54mm?) plastic miniatures and the battle ruleset but sadly I don't recall ever playing the rules I was too obsessed with AD&D and Warhammer. 

I had asked for two for Christmas 1983/84, most of my gaming friends had one or two and we used to join them all up and stack them on top of each other when playing role playing games.
We used my dungeons for Bloodbowl, Warhammer Fantasy Battle, Rogue Trader and lots of other games, sadly not for Fighting Fantasy Battle game we had long moved on from those plastic figures although the Fighting Fantasy Paint Set was still in use and was the gateway for us moving from enamel to acrylic paints until Citadel Colour come along,  like Citadel Colour the tiny little pots of paint lasted ages, the gold had a dodgy green tinge.

The Dungeons were probably manufactured in 1982 or 1983 and the Fighting Fantasy Collectors Guide by Jamie Fry - page 20 lists the dungeon with a guide price of £200 which was a surprise to me, although it states that this was never sold to the public which is not correct, Games Workshop Birmingham had a pallet of these stacked up in a tower and was selling them off for £10 each which was quite a high price back then, the Fighting Fantasy Wiki mentions these also being seen in the Hammersmith and Sheffield stores and sold thorough out all Games Workshop stores. To my knowledge this was the first ever polystyrene product made for and sold by Games Workshop, later polystyrene products came along like the 1988 Adeptus Titanicus buildings and the 1988 Blood bowl Astrogranite pitch

The Fighting Fantasy 3D Polystyrene Dungeon came in 9 pieces, 

1 x base with surrounding outer walls. 
6 x small wall sections with arched doors. 
2 x  thick sections with rectangular door frames.

3 x small wall sections and 1 thick section made a whole wall insert so where the Dungeon is mentioned to have 3 parts is sort of correct depending on how you look at it.

A wall insert consisting of 3 x small wall sections and 1 thick section

The Dungeon base floor was very well detailed for it's time, most people were still using graph paper or dungeon floor plans for RPG's.

Nice floor detail
More floor detail

It had 12 Doors you could cut out, 6 per wall insert (2 per section), these doors were large compared to a 25mm miniature but were great for Trolls and Ogres to moving around the dungeon.

Rectangular doorway
The doors were only tagged in with a thin seam of polystyrene for easy removal.

The other side of doorway
Arched doorway
A cut out arched doorway
It has arched 2 entrances

An entrance arched doorway
Other details include this ambush spot which may have be a result of the moulding process but it worked for us kids


With a bit of imagination you could make many configurations, when you first owned the dungeon the fitting was tight but with the constant reconfiguration it rapidly became loose fitting and I had to glue the sections in with PVA for storage.

My final configuration

You could stack them on top of each other as it had a central stair case and open door way

Stairs leading up

I need to remove some pieces of card covering the opening for the stairs as part of my restoration.

Doorway leading down
Underneath where doorway leads to, useful when stacking the dungeons on top of each other

It had a manufacturers mark 'TRONDEX' who I think still existed until 2007 look here, a Google search yielded "They are manufacturers of expanded polystyrene mouldings for packaging", If only the company were still trading we could of contacted them to discuss digging the mould plans out of their archive.

Here are the manufacturers marks.

TRONDEX 0604 65331
Serial Number 8734 or 18734

You can see it's pretty battered and the gloss black was my effort to toughen and preserve it back in the early 1990's. I started to paint the inside with black matt acrylic paint with plans to dry brush matt grey.

Left unfinished since the early 1990's

For added protection the outer shell was painted in black gloss paint.
The bottom of the base

I aim to clean it and paint the inside matt black base and grey dry brush with wood coloured doors. 

After a wipe down last night I managed to repaint half of the inside with matt black acrylic paint.

Here are my efforts so far.

Next post I will add some miniatures to the photos for scale.
I will update you on this nostalgic restoration project asap.  I hope this post will be an asset to those Fighting Fantasy historians out there

Some of you may debate whether this is an Oldhammer artefact or a Fighting Fantasy artefact, my experience is that it was used with everything but Fighting Fantasy, I am guessing the only time this Dungeon was used with Fighting Fantasy battle game and miniatures was when it was play tested by Games Workshop staff but then again like the Bloodbowl polystyrene pitch this may of happened with a wooden dungeon now would that be a glorious sight to see.

thanks for visiting

Friday 20 May 2016

SFD Giant Robots - Imperial & Scout

Hi Folks,
For today's post I have for you two SFD Giant Robots Imperial and Scout sculpted by Bob Naismith and had a limited release in 1987 via a mail order flyer (which was common practice back then) and designed to be used as Warbots, page 42 in the Warhammer 40,000 Rogue Trader rulebook, I am lucky enough to own all the Robots in this range and love their aesthetics, although they are not so giant as the name suggests. Imagine these on the modern 40k battlefield as Battle-Automata, I can.

Scout and Imperial Giant Robots
Imperial the tallest robot in the range screams manga at me, the samurai style of the robot has a lot of charm and would also make a excellent Nippon construct for the certain Frostgrave warband I am aware of, his right hand looks like it had a plate for weapon to be attached (maybe a Sword?) but this never made it to the final miniature. I should mention that some Citadel collectors know this miniature as 'Tank' as the first flyer wasn't clear on who's who.  

I went a bit mental with the colour scheme for this robot, red, white and blue, I must be watching too much of the US presidential candidate race and so I introduce to you Trumpbot© Mark I.

Imperial - front
He has wings does this suggest he can fly or are they a weapon?

Imperial - back

Scout the smallest of the range appears very Battletech, no bright colour schemes he is a scout after all so I painted this one in very earthy tones but not camouflage which would disrupt in those lovely sculpted lines and wouldn't really what to be advertising his whereabouts in red, white and blue.

Scout - front
Scout - back

I hope you like my latest work please come back and enjoy my take on classic miniatures.
Get following I am not too far away from 100 followers now.

Thursday 19 May 2016

Inquisitor Augustus - RT7 - Mercenaries

Hi, today's Rogue Trader miniature is from the  Inquisitor Augustus from the RT7 Mercenaries range, this miniature sculpted by Bob Naismith, he is a very popular character with the Oldhammer 40K crowd and appeared in the Warhammer 40,000 Rogue Trader rulebook in a photographed dioramma, artwork (see below) and the occasional appearance in the Heavy Metal section of golden age White Dwarf magazines.  To me he is the archetypal Inquisitor infiltrating intergalactic gun runners for absent Marines and bringing them to the Imperium's justice before the grimdark Inquisitors of the Dan Abnett era i.e. Eisenhorn.

Inquisitor Augustus 1
I aimed to paint him the classic grey colour close to the original that appeared in the White Dwarf advert and many collectors examples out there on the web, their paint jobs don't seem to deviate from the grey colour scheme either.  I am not sure but the Inquisitor Augustus miniature pictured in the advert appears to have some slight variations to the miniature we all have, it looks like it has some sort of vent on the breastplate and possibly a skull on the helmet.  He has all the classic Rogue Trader adventurer trappings, a scanner, binoculars and a communications device, Bolter and what appears to be carapace armour on top of a uniform but that is debatable as the uniform also appears to have the contours of armour in places.  In the Rogue Trader setting this character would have been kitted out with tons of equipment and I think this miniature is one of the few that accurately represents this.

Inquisitor Augustus 2
I painted a 'M' as his badge thus belonging to the Mercenaries he has infiltrated, the 'M' badge appears sculpted on a couple of Judge Dredd Rogue Trooper miniatures and maybe a Rogue Trader era miniature or two and maybe illustrations.

Inquisitor Augustus 3

The M symbol is rooted in a old 2000AD Rogue Trooper story  'Eye of the Traitor' where the main protagonist the Traitor General has put together an army of deserters calling themselves the Marauders and all wearing the 'M' emblem.  Like other 2000ad references that found it way into Rogue Trader so did this before being quickly replaced as the Warhammer 40,000 evolved it's own universe.

Inquisitor Augustus 4

Inquisitor Augustus infiltrating a band of mercenaries his prey destined for the black ships stands just in front of him.

Illustration from the Rogue Trader Rulebook page 144

I really wish Citadel had made a set for this miniature with the Imperial Army deserter in chains as depicted in the  Rogue Trader rulebook.

Here are my efforts.


Wednesday 18 May 2016

Oldhammer Chaos Beastman and Runequest Broo

Hi Folks welcome back, 
Lately my legions of Chaos Beastmen and Broo have been feeling a little neglected but while I have been getting back to my Rogue Trader and Judge Dredd projects I still managed to flick a bit of paint on a few Beastmen and enter them into my new Beastmen gallery.

First we have Tiger Man a C27 Chaos Beastman from 1985, a really lovely miniature from this range just before miniatures started appearing with plastic slotta shields, coincidentally I am currently rereading Meltdown Man a 2000AD story from 1980 progs 178 to 227 collected into one volume by Rebellion and the main villains Leeshar's chief henchman is Tiger Commander who I think you will agree is almost a perfect clone of Tiger Man, I wonder if this story and the plethora of animal men had any influence on Trish Morrison's Chaos Beastman sculpts which are very different to the Runequest Broo that Citadel had did before.

Tiger Commander from Meltdown Man
I also think Tiger Man might fit nicely into a Frostgrave Pan Tang Warband like this one I recently enjoyed viewing on Axiom's magpieandoldlead blog, go and have a look it's brilliant.

Tiger Man - front

Tiger Man - back

Tiger Man - side

Next up we have Runequest Chaos Broo Runepriest from way back in 1982, a menacing looking creature, he will certainly be performing blood ritual with my blood priest.  I discovered that this miniature was used as the base miniature for the C27 Chaos Beastman Half-Man, I had never noticed until I started thinking I've painted this miniature before which is quite a common experience for the first few ranges of Citadel Beastmen.

Chaos Broo Runepriest - front
Chaos Broo Runepriest - back

Lastly we have a Broo with Spear or pointed stick in my opinion maybe hardened by fire at the point, a pretty basic and early Broo sculpt lacking in details and quite fragile, although it did require careful restoration due to it's thin legs.

Broo with spear- front
Broo Runepriest - back (not much going on I know)

I hope you enjoyed my latest efforts
thanks for visiting

Friday 29 April 2016

Citadel Judge Dredd Perps Part 2

Borag Thungg, Earthlet,
I finally got around to completing the the Angel Gang from citadel Judge Dredd miniatures range and thus finishing my own Judge Child Quest, this story to me has to be in my top ten of all Judge Dredd stories and many others believe that too. I am still putting more time into my faces and moving away from the previous comic book style I used on 2000AD miniatures, please enjoy my latest efforts.

The Angel Gang united once more

Up first we have Elmer 'Pa' Angelpatriarch of the family, this is a man who hasn't softened with old age, he taught his boys how to be darn mean and spends his time planning heinous crimes for his family to commit.

Pa Angel

Next up we have Junior AngelPa's favourite son and the youngest, most evil of the Angel gang, he loves to torture his victims before killing them. 

Junior Angel

Lastly we have that horrible evil little s**t the Judge Child, this monstrous freak used his psi powers to manipulate the Angel gang to do his bidding with his end goal being.... Ha! not telling you have to read the Judge Child Quest you will not be disappointed.

The Judge Child

 Another shot of the Angel Gang together again.
The Angel Gang

And for all you purists how are shouting where is the Fink, who is also a member of the Angel family although he was not part of the Judge Child storyline, well here he is I painted this one in the early 1990's and now can't decide whether to strip and repaint or just spruce him up a bit.

The Fink

I hope you enjoyed, Florix Grabundae

Friday 15 April 2016

Space Marine 30th Anniversary Tribute - LE2 Imperial Space Marine

I am sure you are all well aware that it's the 30th anniversary of the (Citadel) Space Marine on 16th April and that Games Workshop will be selling their new celebratory updated version of the LE2 Imperial Space Marine on the weekend of 16th/17th April.  The world seemed to have gone beakie mad since the leak of the Imperial Space Marine miniature and many have dusted off their old Space Marine armies and posted photos of them for our enjoyment across the internet, so when I saw the rumour of this event over on a well known rumours website there was only one thing I could do, dive into the box of heavenly delights and pull out LE2 for a painting session in tribute to my old friend.

LE2 Imperial Space Marine

I painted him up in the colours of the Blood Drinkers chapter although in the Rogue Trader rulebook they do not have black shoulder pad but I thought black suited the gold studs better. Readers who don't remember these original Space Marines before the grimdark will notice that he has a sculpted on power plant on his back that was meant to be a flight pack back then, a large laser rifle with scope and blade and weird looking laser pistol both weapons are far from the weapons of Warhammer 40,000 today.  The real detail I love about this miniature is all the vent holes and computer devices attached to his armour and If you don't keep your paint thin there is a danger of filling in all these lovely details so beware.  
Here's some photos of my efforts.
LE2 Imperial Space Marine - front

LE2 Imperial Space Marine - front

LE2 Imperial Space Marine - side

LE2 Imperial Space Marine - back

Here's the new Games Workshop version for comparison, you see see they have been quite faithful to the original although the laser rifle and pistol now appear more like a bolter and bolt pistol, I like that the helmet studs are still present, I almost filed them off as flash :D 

I will probably buy one but it is a big shame that it's plastic. £18 price tag is extremely steep for a standard miniature, I think you could pick up LE2  Imperial Space Marine on eBay for about £4-5 and I advise you pay no more and just wait for hype to die off.
Games Workshops reimagining of the Imperial Space Marine

LE2 Imperial Space Marines appearing in the Rogue Trader rulebook on page 111 with the proto Land Raider.

And some gorgeous photos of LE2 Imperial Space Marines labelled as Deep Space Mercenaries from the legendary publication Heroes for Wargames (which own 3 copies of :S)

Blade removed from the marine on the right

A head swap on the Marine on the left makes him an excellent officer.  I think the origin of the head is still a mystery.

Last Note, LE10 Power Armoured Marine was really the first Citadel Space Marine for me, it was available in my Games Workshop for ages before we got our hands on a LE2 blister but I don't recall LE10 having a blister or LE code but that's how things were back then just crazy chaos, I may have got it via the mail order trolls which just adds to the confusion as some of my memories are a bit clouded.  (I will take a photo of my LE10 for you another time)

Anyway enough rambling on, I hope you enjoy your Space Marine 30th birthday weekend it's certainly been a trip down memory lane for me, 

Q. Now dare I paint the rest of the C100 Space Marines?

A. No! far too many projects on.

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