Thursday, March 01, 2012

Old School Squats and Space Marines

After reading some of these posts about Warhammer's 25th Anniversary and old school Citadel miniatures over at Bleaseworld, I could not help but want to play along.  It took me a good while to locate the box containing some of my old minis but the effort was worth the reward....well....kinda.  Though I did find what I was looking for, in some respects I wish I had not.  Wow!  I was a really bad painter back then.  Not only that, I had a terrible knack for picking out horrid color combos.  If you can keep from laughing long enough, scroll down and read the rest. 

Space Dwarves!  Um, I mean Squats.  One has to be politically correct these days or risk offending someone and possibly inviting a law suit.  I've always liked the Squats.  They reminded me of short stunted biker dudes.  The photo above shows a handful that were either finished, or close to it.  I can't remember what my mindset was way back then and if I thought flock was even important for finalizing a miniature.

What the photo also shows is what I considered highlighting back then.  Compared to the very flat tones that marked my earliest miniatures, drybrushing a bit of white over, well...just about everything, was a huge improvement for me.  Had I continued painting I might have discovered proper highlighting techniques but it was not to be.  The year was 1988 and I was a junior in High School.  Suddenly gaming and painting were no longer important to me and I completely dropped the hobby for nearly 15 years until the release of Peter Jackson's The Fellowship of the Ring reignited my love of fantasy and everything associated with it. 

I believe the Space Marines in the photo above were painted in early 1988.  They represent my first foray out of the fantasy world (mainly Dungeons and Dragons and Middle-earth) and into a whole new realm.  Not only were the Space Marines an entirely new genre as far as miniatures were concerned, they also introduced me to wargaming in general.  Before painting these fellows, every game I played was pen and paper.  Though I had painted hundreds of miniatures in the years before (though not very well), they were only used as an accessory in our D&D or MERP sessions.  Now the miniatures were at the very heart of the game.

At the time of their painting, I was very much inspired by the Colonial Space Marines from the movie Aliens and decided to add graffiti all over their uniforms.  Unfortunately, as a teenage boy, I went by the adage that "if a little is good, then a lot must be better" and proceeded to write all over these poor miniatures.  I had to turn some of the Space Marines a certain way, strategically place them behind others, or simply leave them out of the photo because some of the things I wrote on their armor would not be appropriate to show on this blog.  Ha!  The mind of a teenage boy at work again.

These guys saw quite a bit of action against Orks and other evil entities back in the day.  I have such fond memories of playing Rogue Trader over at my friends house.  His Dad was into wargaming long before I really knew what it meant and allowed us to use his custom game table in the spare room to play out our battles.  I'm sure we really didn't follow the rules back then but we sure had a good time.  Unfortunately my memories of 40K seem to be more intact that my poor old rulebook.  The cover still looks amazingly good for its age but the insides have all detached from the binding.  It has definitely seen better days.

If looking at old Citadel miniatures brings happiness and a flood of nostalgia, you may want to check out this great site I found.  The Stuff of Legends compiles miniatures, catalogs, and info from the early days of many miniature companies into a wonderful walk down memory lane.  Here is the link to the Citadel section.


  1. Nice to see the Squats again, ... wonder if I should dig out mine for a photo session some time...

  2. Of course you should Scott. I dug out the from my closet you should do the same. Ha!

  3. Unfortunately my repainting of the Imperial Guard has sent me on a nostalgia fest and I'm now revisiting my old fantasy army!