Old School Elves

The Elven trio – Marauder Miniatures 1990s classics with a lick of new paint. The background is, as ever, one of the fab downloads available from Jon Hodgson Maps

I’ve managed to resist the ‘Oldhammer’ wave that seems to be sweeping the social media of middle-aged gamers at the moment, although I really enjoy seeing people producing much better painted versions of the old 80s and 90s miniatures. Piers Brand (better known for his incredible 20mm WW2 collections) is turning out some inspirational paint jobs of old classics right now. I happen to be a member of several Oldhammer groups and, while I have fond memories of gaming ‘McDeath’ and ‘Bloodbath at Rorke’s Drift’ as a teenager, I don’t really want to go down that particular rabbit hole at the moment – I have enough distractions already!

However, my gaming chum Paul W has managed to retain many of his original figures, including an impressive 1990s GW Elven force that frequently slays my Orcs on club nights. When Paul recently celebrated a ‘big’ birthday, I felt that the only suitable present was some vintage minis.

Hunting around on eBay, I experienced the usual emotions: “Wow, I remember that!” and ‘How much? I wish I’d kept mine.” Finally I settled on a rather nice Elf command trio from Marauder Miniatures – the side project run by Citadel’s Ali Morrison and Trish Morrison (now Carden). These 1990s veterans arrived rapidly, in great nick, and I got to work getting some original GW slottabases on them and an undercoat in place.

As per my Saxons that I posted earlier this week, I’ve been experimenting with using GW Contrast paints plus selected highlights, so this was the method I used here. Cloaks were GW Contrast Dark Angels Green with highlights from various acrylics pulled off my paint rack. The highly-stylised detail of these models really lends itself to these techniques. Some tunics and trousers were painted with GW Contrast Snakebite Leather before having Vallejo Iraqi Sand highlights. The leather work was largely done with the most excellent GW Gore Grunta Fur before having a variety of light brown highlights.

I left the metallic layers until after the matt varnish as it has a habit of killing the shine, especially as I’m still using up my stash of Testor’s Dullcote. Generally, the metal was basecoated black before painting with either Vallejo Brass or AP Gunmetal, an ink wash and a final top layer of Vallejo Gold or AP Shining Silver. Paul likes painted spear shafts in his armies, so I did these one grey with white highlights to match his current forces.

Finally, I added a flag, again copying one of Paul’s from his existing army. This is just printer paper cut to size, painted with acrylics and them glued in place with PVA. Fortunately, the birthday boy was pleased with his gift and I may now be further tempted into more ‘Oldhammer’…maybe.

2 thoughts on “Old School Elves

  1. Glad you have been bitten by the old hammer bug. I’ve been interested in oldhammer for much of the last few years and have my ongoing Skaven army which is based on Andy Chambers iconic army. Also gone in heavy for chaos and got the realm of chaos books. James you would great at doing some crazy chaotic mutations with your modelling skills. Also check out Andy Hawes blog for some old school elven goodness. Realm of chaos would be perfect for you if you want a small varied warband and skirmish games.


    1. Hi Andy, I wouldn’t say I’ve been bitten but I’ve enjoyed painting these up for Paul. Must try to resist! 🙂 I have seen Andy H’s stuff, rather wonderful all round.


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