With the Oldhammer Weekend a fading, if pleasant memory, its time to set forth once more on the great journey that is Acceptable in the '80s: Realm of Chaos 80s history of Warhammer Third Edition. So where have we found ourselves?
The answer to that is issue 113 of White Dwarf, pictured above, and an issue made famous by the release of a certain board game called Space Hulk! Anyone heard of it? It has also got within its yellowing pages a number of important articles relating to the history of Warhammer Third Edition. The first of these are the initial releases for Marauder Miniatures, and it is these that we shall be discussing today.
Interestingly, the story of Marauder doesn't start with these releases. The new brand was launched quite a few months previously in White Dwarf 106 (I think! I don't have much of my collection at the moment, and this date is off the top of my head, so comment if I am wrong and I will change the offending numbers) and was mentioned as part of culture shock. A suitably '80s photograph of Aly and Trish was published along with the artwork for the blister packs.
Check it out below.
Further detail was given about the new miniatures company later on in the article. Explaining how Aly and Trish had decided the time was right for them to go into business themselves and that exciting new models would be in games shops in the near future. Read on to view what was published at the time.
Now the birth of Marauder began one of the first, and certainly the most varied, Warhammer related myths that I have uncovered. The truth behind why Marauder was set up at all! There have been all kinds of suggestions and theories bouncing around the internet for many years, with suggestions as strange as 'dramatic fallings out in the studio', tax avoidance schemes, the need to create multiple brands and so on and so forth. I feel rumour just promoted rumour until all kinds of strange stories were being spoken of as fact. I even went as far as starting a discussion on the Oldhammer Community Facebook page to try and get to the bottom of the mystery. Lots of the old myths bounced up once more, but I was great to hear a story or two from Tim Prow and Andy Craig about how the 'Eavy Metal boys would paint up many of the Marauder miniatures as a favour to Aly and Trish!
Whilst chatting to Marcus Ansell at the Oldhammer Weekend, I mentioned the mystery of Marauder to him and asked if he knew anything about the company. He answer was simple. He believed its was all about sculpting style. And he went on to describe how Aly's and Trish's style was rather different to the rest of the Citadel crew so a new brand was suggested and created - remember that there was a precedent here, with Bob Olley's Ironclaw Miniatures!
Enough history for now, let's move on to the models themselves. Now I must be honest. A few years ago, when I started out on the road of Old School Warhammer (those were the days, when you could get a '80s beastman for 50p!) one thing that I was certain about, was that I did not want to collect Marauder. It was all to 'big hands' and 'over sized silly weapons' for me. Too much like the modern game's models and something that I wanted to get away from.
I was utterly, utterly wrong!
Sure, there are some naff models and some figures that are not to my taste, but going back through the ranges again as part of my researches for this blog, just showed me how wrong I was. Let's have a look at the first set of releases shall we, and you will see what I mean.
Here we have the first page of Marauder releases from White Dwarf. Just look at those five Imperial Command models. Exquisite! Beautiful clothing which harks back historically to later Renaissance fashions. Then there are all these fighters that go alongside them. Loads and loads of interesting and characterful models that would look superb ranked up (if such a thing is possible) and led by a beautifully painted banner! Sadly, I own none of these human sculpts and my collection is definitely the poorer for it!
It makes me wonder who has the rights to these models now, and if the moulds still exist!?
The trolls too are varied, though they seem to share enough common characteristics to seem like a genuine humanoid race. I own the troll bottom centre, and you may recognise the model as Throgg in my collection, and if you fought in the RoC Warbands game on the Saturday at the Foundry, you will know that particular troll well, for he smashed his way through the Khorne lines with pleasure throbbing through his tiny... mind, I guess!? Originally, I was unhappy with the Throgg model, having received it by accident from a seller who sent the wrong figure, but I feel totally different about the sculpts now, and I would dearly like to have all the others one day, in a nice big unit!
And so we end the article. But don't worry, I will be back soon with another part in our historical journey very shortly. Before I depart, I would like to open a discussion here on Blogger about Marauder in general. Are you a fan? If so, why? Do you dislike the models and cannot bare to touch them with Nurgle's bargepole? Do you know more than us about the formation of the Marauder Miniatures company itself?
Whatever the answer, please don't hesitate to comment.
I look forward to reading your contribution!