Sunday, 1 March 2015

How to Do Oldhammer

Some time ago, Oldhammer blogger Whiskey Priest proposed a challenge. The goal of this challenge was to show that the Oldhammer community isn't just about people fetishising old models; it's about a spirit of freewheeling creativity now sadly lacking in many games. To this end, he proposed to show that you could create an Oldhammer army for cheaps, with the following rules: 

We each make a warband - a tiny army - a posse, based in the Warhammer world. A maximum of 21 figures. Two units of 10 and a hero or any similar configuration. You are entirely free to do what you want!
The figures must be either a) insultingly cheap from ebay or b) easily bought from current manufacturer.
Well, "insultingly cheap" is my middle name, pretty much, so I piled in. And then I got a bit distracted. But now I'm done, so here it is!

The army assembled: 20 rank-and-file plus a leader.

The warband is led by Pusgobbler Filthpile, an Orcish champion of Nurgle. The body is a Mantic orc, with a head from a Citadel Chaos Spawn (there are a lot of great spare parts in that kit). The scythe comes from a Citadel Flagellant; I put it together, trimmed off the hand and just fit it right in to the model's open hand. The back banner is similarly from a Flagellant. Thanks to pal Chris for the Flagellant bits!

A unit of Beastmen led by the warband's standard bearer. These models were very
kindly donated by a 
member of the Lead Adventure Forum community. 
The Skaven, unclean ratmen of Chaos. These models were very kindly donated by two
members of the Lead Adventure Forum community. 
Human cultists of Chaos. The models are Gripping Beast Dark Age warriors.
Shields are from a variety of sources, but the books, scrolls and some of the heads
are those good old GW Flagellants again.  
Orcs from Filthpile's tribe. They realise he's a bit funny looking, but they don't mind.
The bodies are Mantic orcs, with bits from GW Flagellants, Reaper fantasy minis,
Mantic dwarfs and other GW kits. 
This Skaven champion was a bit of a pain. Finally blogging and IRL pal
The Responsible One provided a rat skull head and we were off!

That is a head from ... a Chaos kit, maybe? It lacks the charm of the Skeleton Horde heads.
Uznag Skullhed is my favourite of the champions. I like his burly posture,
I like his crude armour, I like his whacking great hammer. These Mantic
orcs are a bit crude in parts but they're very good value for money. 

I painted the banner on a piece of handmade paper I bought at a craft fair in Norwich long ago. 
The head is another helpful piece from The Responsible One, to whom I now owe a favour.
The icon of Chaos is a tchotchke from the old Mark of Chaos computer game, which I got at
a car boot sale for £3. 

Freehand shields with a unified palette and theme help keep disparate models
visually unified. The same colour also appears on the Beastmen's loincloths. 
And is also reproduced on the banner. There's a Chaos star on the back of the banner I didn't photograph. 
So -- lessons learned? Well, the first lesson is that I never want to paint one of those goddamn Beastmen again. Those are ugly models with mushy detail and godawful mould lines. I think they look quite nice on the table though.

The second is that Oldhammer shield designs are fun as hell. More of those for sure.

The third is that the community is really great. I received needed parts from several different people within the Lead Adventure / Oldhammer world, sometimes free and sometimes at very minimal cost.

The fourth -- which I knew already -- is that you don't have to spend a lot of money to create a good-looking little force. Probably every model in this army cost 50p or less. Most of them were acquired on the LAF sales forum, but 50p a model or so is the actual retail price of those Gripping Beast guys. The rest was just stuff from the bits box, a little crude sculpting (that Beastman's hood is the first thing I've ever sculpted and it looks like ass) and improvisation. 


  1. I miss Hordes of Chaos for that reason - I don't really play anything that has that level of creativity now.

    1. Play, schmay. I don't *play* Warhammer at all, although if the How to do Oldhammer game happens at Salute I guess I'll bring my doods.