As you might have noticed recently my hobby taste (and thus the source material for this blog) has deviated somewhat from its usual comfort zone of retro Rogue Trader stuff. This has led to me dabbling in various other genres including modern fantasy such as Frostgrave and Historical miniatures such as my Norman Knights.
To tell you the truth I just needed a change and a bit of a break from my usual interests (come on... We all need a break sometimes); however I've recently been getting that retro itch again and I wanted to get back into that 1980s/1990s Oldhammer way of doing business! After all...this blog is called Oldhammer 40k, so there is only so far you can deviate before you feel like you are cheating the readership.
Anyway I felt I needed some source material to get me back into the swing of things...now I own and have read every single book that came out for Rogue Trader and the same goes for every White Dwarf that was published between 1987 and 1998 (Rogue Trader and WH40K second edition eras)...so finding fresh reading material can be a bit of a challenge!
Thus it was with some glee that I found the following publication on eBay whilst trawling through multiple listings one day last week.
This Citadel publication entitled Fantasy Miniatures is a wonderful hardback tome that focuses on all the preparation ands subsequent entries from Games Day '89, that's right...1989!!
I'll be honest I had no idea such a marvellous book existed and I am pretty sure that I have never heard of it before! So with much trepidation I threw in a bid and was pleasantly surprised to find I had won the item. I did pay quite a bit for this book, but it was still a lot less than Games Workshop currently charge for their modern Codexes so I wasn't too upset... especially as this fine tome is nearly 30 years old!
Within a couple of days the book had arrived and I rushed upstairs to my man cave like an eager schoolboy and tore off the bubble wrap to reveal the treasure hidden beneath! It did not disappoint and I was greeted by the wonderful cover art and that nostalgic smell that accompanies books from this epoch!
Upon opening the cover I saw this contents page that is so reminiscent of all Citadel books from this time and I knew I was home again!
There is a wonderful intro page from Andy Jones that really sets the scene for readers and outlines the process of setting up and running such a massive event as Games Day '89..it is nice to see such a wordy piece rather than the two liners GW churn out these days!
As per every page throughout this book it is gloriously illustrated with wonderful colour photos of superbly painted miniatures! They all have that unique late 1980s feel to them.
The first few pages are full of beautiful models that have been painted by GW Staff from the time and they are everything you would expect... Colourful, characterful and just beautiful!!
The next section has photos from the day itself and highlights the many other activities that were on offer to attendees including Live Action Roleplay, re-enactor displays; WH40K/WFB games and the Blood Bowl and Dark Future National Championships!!
Then of course there's the bit everyone's been waiting for.... Page after page of photographs of the various entries and winners for each category!
These are literally mind-blowingly fantastic and I have lost hours of my life just staring lovingly at these works of art from a golden period of gaming!
Just look at those banners....exquisite!!!
As a nice extra touch there is a full multi-page modelling and painting guide at the back of the book that is designed to help readers create their own Golden Demon entries! Whilst I doubt sticking to these guides is guaranteed to snatch you the slayer sword it does look like some sound painting advice that would give you a classic retro force..... Hmmmmm I might follow it just for fun and see what I can come up with!
Finally no publication of the time would be complete without some input from the painting maestro himself and so there is another entire section dedicated to the wise words of Mr John Blanche (you may have heard of him)!
Well this book has made my week, and it is literally turning out to be the best purchase of 2017 so far!
However I have just sourced and purchased a copy of the same publication from Games Day 1990... Hopefully it will be just as good!!!