31 May 2015

Right place, right time

That's right, Caslon Antique and a skull!
I was pootling online earlier today (prepping for a new term, honest) when the fab pencil sketch above appeared on the Oldhammer Community FB page with the challenge to turn it into a header image for the group for a while. Well, it was either that or double check my lesson plans for tomorrow, so I fired up Photoshop and quickly slapped some Caslon Antique lettering on. Sometimes getting there first is more important than being actually artistic, and simple can be best! It now graces the top of the page, which was a nice little geeky fillip at the end of the holiday.

Being told you've done something well is always pleasant, but what made this all especially cool is who the original artist is - Wayne England. True Oldhammerers among you will recognise that name straight away, probably for this:

The iconic blue/black/white dwarf army from White Dwarf 144, filled with luvverly Perry-sculpted Imperial Dwarfs, and straddling the change between 3rd and 4th Edition - exactly when I got properly into gaming. That double-bannered unit; how medieval is that?! Personal and allegiance-demonstrating heraldry is the perfect historical fit for the style of these vertically-challenged warriors. Well worth a closer look, eh?

Aaah, memories and inspiration...

But it's not just these dwarves, lovely as they are, that we have Mr England to thank for. No, there's a whole raft of artwork that forms part of the collective visual consciousness of those of us who've been involved in tabletop gaming for at least a couple of decades. As just one example, here's the cover of White Dwarf 110, the first I ever owned. I can't quite remember if I bought it, or if I was given it by the quieter one of the cool and sophisticated twins up the road (They must have been, what, fourteen? Practically adults! And their mum always had lit joss-sticks about the house. The epitome of alt-cool in 1989...), but I read and reread it until it disintegrated.

Looking back, aside from the content of the picture, I think it was the first time I'd looked closely at a painting which broke out of its frame, overlapping into the white (okay, creamish) space around. It broke the rules, man, and hypnotised the nearly-teen-me utterly.

Which is a long-winded way of me trying to explain how geekily excited I was to be praised for scrawling all over a sketch by Wayne England!!!

There was another sketch he also gave (electronically) to the Oldhammer community:

I prefer the orcs (actually, what I'd really prefer is to be able to draw like this), but the reason behind the donations is the cool bit. They're to be used to spread the word and further increase the profile of the Oldhammer day this August which falls slap-bang on my wedding anniversary, so I won't be going (I like gaming, but I like marriage more!) but there's no reason you shouldn't. Go and read this post over at Orlygg's blog for the fine detail of the event and the other sculptors, artists and games designers from the golden age (lead age?) who will be there along with Wayne.

If you do go, I expect manymanymany photos.


  1. Great post! Your attitude and enthusiasm for Oldhammer shines through. Caslon Antique is the gift that keeps on giving right? :-)

    1. It certainly is! It takes distortion nicely as well so you can fit it into any image you want. I'm glad you enjoyed the read; nostalgia is a strangely powerful thing, isn't it?

  2. I like it, simple and effective and already nabbed and used as a sidebanner on my bloggywog. :)

    1. Glad you like it! Looks good on your blog, although I'm trying to avoid reading your Star Wars posts because my will is weak....