Seventeen Years Ago Today

Seventeen years ago today I went into the Games Workshop on Winchester Street, Salisbury and bought some Codex Grey paint for £1.50.

This was during the mid point of my teenage Warhammer kick, which lasted from 1998 until 2001 or early 2002. When I got back into the hobby last year my parents were keen to unload two boxes of stuff that had been taking up space in my teenage bedroom for the last fifteen years. This weekend, I finally went through both of them – turning up, among many other things, that receipt.

I’ve ended up with a pretty vast bits box comprising all of the projects I started and never finished as a kid, which is no bad thing – I’ll never want for plastic barrels, spare lasguns, Space Marine shoulder pads, or 90s-era decal sheets again. In and among the piles of grey plastic, however, were loads of old painted models. I picked out a few of them, along with some of the other things I found, and took pictures.

Loads of old copies of Inferno! and White Dwarf and a stack of 5th edition rulebooks. Add some old copies of PC Gamer and PC Zone to this picture and you’ve got everything I read between 1998 and 2001.

There were a few unopened boxes in the pile – mostly stuff that’ll go in my bits box. This stood out, however: a unit of Empire Knights signed by the designers – Michael and Alan Perry. I have no idea when, where or how I got this.

My introduction to Warhammer was the 5th edition box for Fantasy Battle, which featured Bretonnians and Lizardmen. That means that these are probably some of the first miniatures I ever painted. Trying to cheat with thin paints over white from day one.

My first Space Marine. Christ.

At some point I decided that I liked Blood Angels and hated thinning paints. Not pictured: my competing obsession with Dark Angels.

I laughed out loud when I found this early attempt at dynamic posing. Do you love the Emperor enough to put a grenade all the way up your ass? This Blood Angel does.

Mordheim came out during my first year of Warhammer and was hugely influential. Pictured are all the models I could find for two of my warbands: dwarves and Reiklanders.

Mordheim got me into Empire, and at some point I started doing highlights. I did not start thinning my paints.

One day I discovered drybrushing and a whole world of laziness opened up to me.

I’ve got quite a lot of Catachan jungle warriors and other Imperial Guard from the early noughties. Washes! Highlighting! Extremely thick paint!

I can’t remember when I started painting orks (and orcs) but I don’t have very many. I think this colour scheme holds up, mind.

I entered this guy into Golden Demon Young Bloods in 1999 or 2000. I remember working really, really hard on it – the holes in the base are from decorative arrows. I didn’t win anything, but I was really proud of him at the time. Everything else I found is going into storage, but this guy’s going to get to stay on my painting table.

17 years later: WIP on the first part of my Shadow War killteam.