Wednesday, January 2, 2013

John Blanche did it

Ok as Im painting up these old Orcs I just couldn't get over the nagging feeling I'd seen them some place else.  That sent me routing around my old warhammer literature and I rediscovered my old copy of Heroes for Wargames by Stewart Parkinson (I actually have two copies).

Despite the generic title the book itself is a window into the machination of Games Workshop/Citadel miniatures circa 1986.  A must have for anybody into that nostalgic Golden age of Citadel miniatures.

But I digress.  Within its hallowed pages they have several concept drawings for miniatures... and there they are the Armoured Orcs by John Blanche.  No wonder these little guys have such a different feel to them.  This is one of the rare occasions were John's imagination actually made it past the concept board and allowed to live as something more then just a bizarre painting tucked in the footer of an Army Book.

John Blanche is a bit of anomaly for me, I can't quite grasp what he does at GW.  As far as I know he's been the head art guy down at GW since forever.  You would think more of his influences would be noticeable on the Warhammer world but yet I just can't think of much, at least not outside the 80's.  His art is chalk full of bizarre and exaggerated landscapes crazy and exotic looking peoples. He can leave nothing well enough alone, if you ask him to draw a Warhammer horse he'll turn out a steroid laced zebra breathing fire.  But yet at the end of the day after all the imagination spent the only thing that has trickled down from him to main stream Warhammer is the leering Evil Sun and the servo skull.  Its as if all his ideas are processed, scrubbed, neutered and made sanitary for public consumption. We only get the occasional glimpse of his mad artwork sprinkled in rulebooks and White Dwarf, presented as 'artwork' when it should be presented as the reality of the Warhammer world.

Oh dear I ranted I'm not sure where I was going with that.

Anyways at the end of the day all things warhammer were just so much cooler back in the 80's.

Here's a bit of John's concept art for the Armoured Orcs.

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic Stuff here Tartar...I'm learning lots already!