The past is a different country

Back in 1985 I was a teenager enjoying the Citadel Journals and Compendium that included the fluff on the Warhammer units available at the time – the Regiments of Renown. I was interested in a lot of them, especially the Goblinoid and Ogre regiments, a few of which I collected and managed to add to at a later date when some ranges were repackaged in plastic cases with full command and troopers.

Recently re-reading the fluff about the Regiments of Renown has piqued my interest in two particular units, which is strange as neither held any interest for me back in 1985 – RR17 Avenging Knights of the Cleansing Flame and RR18 Disciples of the Red Redemption.

I suspect my teenage apathy towards these two regiments stemmed from several elements – My love at the time of all things Goblinoid and the Perry Twin’s Men at Arms range wholly fulfilling my blinkered vision of fantasy humanity as a purely late medieval European pastiche.
As you’d expect nearly thirty years later my thoughts on fantasy wargaming have changed and I can see an interesting narrative skirmish campaign based on these two sides with the local populace caught up amongst them; aiding, abetting one side or the other and possibly opposing both sides at once during various encounters in a similar vein to the boxed scenarios of the time (Orc’s Drift, McDeath etc).

Anyway, both these sets of figures regularly come up for sale on ebay and often command high prices, so with my usual sense of thrift I thought about cheaper alternatives.

The Red Redemption Disciples have proven difficult to emulate direct off the shelf – hooded figures with masked faces, hoods, shields and flails are surprisingly hard to come by. During my searches I spotted this figure on an ebay seller’s multi listing described as a Ral Partha Cleric.

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A quick trawl through Ral Partha Europe’s website and low and behold he’s part of their Chaos Monk range and still in production at £2.00 a figure plus £3.00 postage. The eBay figure was only £2.20 post free so I scooped that up to check it in the metal. I was pleasantly surprised to find that size wise the monk is proper 28mm scale and fits well with modern GW Chaos Warriors. The only downside is that none of the monk figures in the Ral Partha range come with flails but I’m willing to overlook that for now. There’s always the option of creating conversions using the flails from a Chaos Marauders box set I should think. 

Anyway, the Chaos Monk paints up quite nicely as a Red Redemptionist.

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The Avenging Knights of the Cleansing Flame should have been a slightly easier unit to replicate than the Red Redemption Disciples. The original models look like early inspiration for the GW High Elves produced in plastic in huge quantities from the early 90s to the present. Consequently I considered buying some second hand Elves on eBay to use but in the end decided to go with Mantic Games Bastilean Men at Arms – these are similarly armoured, a bit more animated in their poses and can be given spears similar to the original GW troopers whilst the champion, musician, standard and leader can be modelled from the extras Mantic supply in the box set, admittedly making a few comprises along the way – the original musician had a horn not a drum for instance.
Pictures to follow for these guys.

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7 thoughts on “The past is a different country

  1. Azazel

    Likewise, these were something that looked interesting to me back in the day, but not exciting enough for me to have picked up. I’ve been scanning eBay for them every so often, but like yourself, I’m put off by the excessive price being asked. I’ve also noticed that often when someone is selling older figures for a decent price, they get snapped up and then reappear on a different seller’s eBay store for twice the price…

    The Monk above looks very much like a Bob Olley sculpt. I’m not his biggest fan. but I might go have a look at RPE’s site. They’ve got a bunch of other stuff I need to buy at some stage anyway…

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    1. Somet Post author

      The prices are usually excessive. I sometimes see individual troopers listed at £5.99 with over £2 postage on top – leaders/musicians much higher!

      I think you’re right about the monk being a Bob Olley sculpt. He can be an acquired taste, his RPE ‘War Wizard’ I’ve posted about before is probably my favourite miniature of his.

      As you’ll know the RPE website has both newer items and some really old miniatures still manufactured that you often see listed on eBay as ‘rare and out of production’ for silly ‘buy it now’ prices – which always makes me laugh.

      A lot of the single humanoid fantasy figures in their ’03 range’ are what I’d describe as ‘classic Ral Partha sculpts’ – of which Julie Guthrie and Andrew Chernak are but two designers that sculpt/sculpted in this style. I’m not keen on these miniatures, they always seem a bit puny and often oddly proportioned. However just about everything else on the website looks great and well worth a trawl, including the 15mm Blighthaven/Demonworld ranges which would be great for HOTT.

      I have to embarrassingly confess though that despite only living about an hour’s drive away from Ral Partha Europe’s Retail Outlet advertised on their website (The Scythe and Teacup Cafe in Liverpool) I’ve never been!

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      1. Azazel

        Yeah, Bob is very much a “Vegemite” sculptor (or Marmite as your lot would have it!) but while I usually hate his stuff, he occasionally turns out a gem. I’m quite partial to his Ogres and some of the War Machines, as well as the odd random figure (like that Monk). Those are on my RPE shopping list, to go with the few from the same range I’ve already got in hand. At £3.25 for an Ogre, they’re no-brainers when you’ve been paying, well, anyone else’s prices! Especially if they’re charging actual postage rather than profiting off it and refunding the VAT.

        It was also funny to see that I’ve got almost their entire Heartbreaker Kev Adams range sitting in my Orc Box here. Might be time for some Dwarves to go with the Ogres next.

        I think you’ve hit on one of your next goals. A trip to the Cafe in Liverpool as well as a blog report on the place for those of us who will likely never get to go there!

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      2. Somet Post author

        I realise that what follows is Oldhammer heresy and I’ll have my ceremonial paintbrush snapped for this but I’ve never been fond of Kev Adams Orcs and Goblins *listens to the gasps and sees the open mouthed stares* They’re often too ‘cute’ looking and a bit ‘cartoony’ for my liking. I do know I’m in the minority with that one!
        I shall attempt a trip to the Scythe & Teacup in the near future and report back, I need to start my RPE list for that one first though.

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      3. Azazel

        I’m a big fan of Kev’s older stuff I think largely because that’s where I started – O&G were one of my first WHFB armies and the only one I kept through the great WHFB cull of my mate teens – so they have a lot of character and nostalgia in many ways to me. Even so, I think Nelson’s work in Orc/kdom is bigger, meaner and nastier – in so many ways a more “Orky” take on Kev’s work that is very much built on Kev’s legacy. I paint my Adams Orc/ks in the “old” way with bright green skin because in so many ways that’s how *those* orcs should be done for *me*. Even though more Olive green-skinned orcs look a lot more realistic in many ways, and so my LotR Orcs and Goblins are painted with a more “realistic” greenish hue.

        I had a similar discussion on Dakka about “Goblins”. To me, GW’s Goblins are a very different race to the LotR Moria Goblins, that just happen to share the same name and not all that much else. Same deal with the two IP’s “Orcs” and so on. I like both as the two very different things that they are.

        Funny thing is I’ve seen his newer orcs on the RoC ’80’s site a few times, and they’re not doing much for me. It’s the weird necks on the newer ones, I think.

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      4. Somet Post author

        Like a lot of things in life everyone’s first experiences in this hobby tend to stick with them. The Orcs that first got me (and I owned a fair few of them!) were part of the C15 range designed by Alan and Michael Perry around 1985. Not usual names people associate with Goblinoids but I loved these sculpts. I did own the occasional Adams and Nelson miniature later on but never in the same quantities.

        Back then I painted both my GW Orcs and Goblins using ‘goblin green’ as the mid tone. When GW released their slightly fluorescent lime green paint (was it Bilious Green?) it had a big impact on most people’s painting of Goblinoids at the time. Just about every GW Orc, Goblin (or Snotling!) I saw for the next 5 years was highlighted using it.

        Since my return to painting I’ve only painted 2 Goblins – pre slotta GW ones which did get the bright green skin treatment using VGC Livery Green (which is probably their equivalent to the original GW paint) for old time’s sake. I don’t plan to buy anymore GW Goblinoids – things are bound to change at some point, you know how these things goes!

        As you note the standard nowadays is for a darker green skin which although is certainly more ‘realistic’ I don’t feel particularly inspired by it.
        I’m slowly building a force of Nick Lund Orcs (another designer not to everyone’s tastes) that I think will be treated to a darker paint scheme for the skin, based on either brown or grey. It would be interesting though to see if they would paint up well using the modern dark green tones.

        I definitely agree with your reasoning behind using two completely different paint palettes for LofR and GW Goblin skin shades. They share the same name but are literally worlds apart in gaming genres and IP so should be treated as such under the brush.

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  2. Azazel

    I’ve got one of those Perry Goblins, and I’ve actually been working on him in the past week with a few others. I might have another one or two, actually, but those would be in the unpainted lead pile while this one was in a figure case of half-painted goblins and so qualifies for the current “Finish these figures in 2015” push.
    My goblinoid palette is generally the same. I’ve done some darker ones that I quite like, but it takes a lot more work, so it’s not my preferred option given the number of greenskins I have to paint. Livery Green is one of the colours in rotation right now for them, in fact – along with “Escorpena Green”. I might pick up the odd extra greenskin here and there right now, but nothing serious until I get around to focusing on rebuilding them as a proper army for KoW. For the time being they’ll be the odd rare unit and warmachine that can be allied to a focus army. I’ve got Nick Lund’s old GW Black Orc regiment here, and also had a chariot in the same style, though that may have been a Grenadier release. I even painted the command. Shame about the grunts, of course…

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