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A few weeks ago I did this piece for a charity project.

Let’s talk charity. Wait, don’t close the browser tab just now, there’s amazing stuff to be won.

In a collaboration of greatness the Oldhammer community and Collecting Citadel Miniatures have set up a charity project to raise money for UNICEF.

The Oldhammer movement of course has been around for quite a few years and is a community which is rather close to my heart. Rather than just enjoying and sharing old GW figures and books the whole idea is to propagate a way of playing fantasy and sci-fi miniature wargames in a style which does not submit to the ‘hamster wheel’ of the latest release or the current metagame of what is perceived as strong or weak. Which is a kind of gaming I can subscribe to (I actually bought the t-shirt too). It boils down to the usual thing: Play what you enjoy. If people don’t like the way their wargames are taken by the publishing company just play the incarnation you enjoy. If of course you enjoy the games are they are that’s great too. No need to fix what’s not broken.

Collecting Citadel Miniatures is an immensely handy wiki-style website which works as an archive of past GW models. Over the past many years I used it a lot to identify miniatures and just browse.

The charity project is called Project Alchemy (‘turning old lead into gold for charity’) and already you can view some of the amazing prizes which are going to be raffled away in September on their site. They include such gems are unreleased GW figures, resin production masters, original artwork, signed publications and even cufflinks and there is more to come.

I am very honoured to add to this list a special little piece – the Battle Brush Studios version of classic Citadel figure Banzai Jones from the 1987 Space Pirates range from Iron Claw:

The model of course sprung from the talented hands of Mr.Bob Olley.

I aimed for recreating the style of classic GW vignettes whilst also adding a little contemporary touch. To me the multi-layered and slightly sinister look of old GW vignettes was the most appealing thing. There always was a something inexplicable and uncontrolable lurking in a small cavern, a dark corner or underground levels. Alien, mischievous, funny and dangerous at the same time.

Now I had this extremely stern-looking guy with this big guy and combat outfit with big, important badges on it. He’s the perfect fit for what I had in mind with this project. He’s standing guard, patrolling, keeping things in order, looking very much like he’s on top of things (literally). 

Right underneath his boots stomping the surface though there are these little snotlings/gremlins/wotsits, having a good time. I sculpted the bigger guy sitting on some old rusty wheel, smiling, relaxing. His right leg is just dangling off the wheel, teetering a little.

The other little guy is holding on to one of the numerous roots coming through from the plants on the surface. That of course works pretty well as a little nod to these underground dwellers messing around with the stuff that goes on on the surface. And of course the little guy was a good opportunity to show some cheek. Somehow old-school goblins and exposed bottoms go together perfectly well. Blame Kev Adams I guess. Anyway, both these little green fellas were much fun to sculpt.

Charity Jones (as I renamed him) was good fun to paint too. Very straightforward and pretty much from the get-go I knew I would go with an adaption of the colour scheme of the 8th Necromunda regiment, ‘the Spiders’. These huge badges on his helmet and back work perfectly well for making him look a bit more like he’s an employee of a “private military contractor” or some sort of security guard, again reinforcing the contrast between Jones on the surface and the different world underneath him. 

The sculpt was a lot of fun to paint, I had a blast designing the whole vignette and of course my favourites are the little green guys.

If you go to Project Alchemy’s page have a look at the prizes which are being raffled away. Really amazing stuff across the ages, so not just bits and pieces for the dyed in the wool Oldhammerer. The raffle lasts until the end of November if I remember correctly.