Episode 12 (Part 2) Games Workshop & Citadel (with Tim Olsen)


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INTRO – We’re still taken aback at the scale of response to the first part of this episode, but we’re conscious enough to issue a warning about Hob Nob balls.

POTTED HISTORY (3.49) – Kindly provided by @hobgoblinorange  who provides an overview of the major players and developments in the miniature figure art in the early 80s. He recommends the site The Stuff of Legends which features lots of images of Citadel miniatures from back in the day.

GMSCREEN (11.29) We return to the wonderful Las O Gowrie in Manchester to continue the interview with Tim Olsen, the former manager of Dalling Road branch of Games Workshop. TV and ZZ Top emerge as he faces the annecdotamator.

If you want to see Tim’s TV AM appearance you’ll find it here from 16:00 (John Noakes!)

THE WHITE DWARF (25.45) @dailydwarf returns with the second part of his Small but Perfectly Formed essay, examining miniatures in White Dwarf before it became all about miniatures.

ATTIC ATTACK (37.14) We climb into the attic of the all-new Dirk Towers to look at some of the interesting minis from our collection.

POSTBAG (01.06.34) There’s been a great response from listeners to the last episode, share some of the game shop memories from all over the UK. Including Alegis Downport who did a great piece on Tunnels and Trolls on his blog. There’s also the last word from Tim Olsen.

Thanks to everyone who joined the Patreon campaign this month. You’ll get a name check next time when I’ll share the details of the next ‘zine.



10 thoughts on “Episode 12 (Part 2) Games Workshop & Citadel (with Tim Olsen)

  1. I was interested in what you were saying about getting your son into roleplaying as I’m currently dealing with that myself. I’ve dabbled in the past, first of all running My son, Dafydd* and his sister, Delyth** through the Forest of Doom as a 2-player scenario – We even managed to split the party!!!!
    Dafydd enjoyed it and played through a couple of the other Fighting Fantasy books by himself.
    They both enjoyed playing Lego Heroica too – a sort of simplified Heroquest (if that’s possible) boardgame that Lego made a few years back. Seeing that they could cope with that I decided to run them through Heroquest. To keep it fun for them, I allowed them to make up their own characters using Lego minifigs. Dafydd loved it. Delyth seemed to enjoy it but as she gets older, I get the distinct impression that it’s not really her bag. They were both around 6-8 years old at that point.
    I’ve since run Heroquest for Dafydd and a couple of his friends and according to one of the boys’ parents he still talks about it to this day. I also ran a 1-on-1 D&D Redbox game for Dafydd whilst we were kicking our heels in the Caravan on holiday last summer which he seemed to enjoy but I think it’ll be more fun with a group of his friends.
    So, with this in mind I’ve been thinking of inviting a few of his friends around one Sunday afternoon for a session of D&D. I’ll be interested to see how they cope. They are all around 10 years old and in year 5 in school (What we used to call third year of the juniors). Markedly younger than I was when I started playing at 14. That’s kind of reassuring because if it’s a disaster, there’s still plenty of time to try again when they’re a bit older.


    *Dahvith – the ‘th’ is soft as in ‘this’ and ‘that’

  2. Another great podcast… like always, lots of similar experiences. Although I enjoyed using figures I only had a handful of my own, perhaps it was due to a lack of cash, or that other people at the game club always seemed to have them – and I was rubbish at painting the ones I had. We never seemed to have a problem with using the same small set of figures for a wide variety of character types, particularly with fantasy games. Where figures were most effective was playing Cthulhu… I remember the first time a Byakhee was placed on the table, I’m sure I had nightmares for days.

    On getting your kids into RPG’s, I wish you all the best of luck (good on you Wayne for getting them started early). My kids are older now, but I’ve found that their hobbies are more influenced by their friends than by us parents; despite lots of encouragement they tend to go their own way. However, I was delighted, nay, filled with an overwhelming joy, when just a couple of days ago my 15 year old daughter said she would like to try D&D. She is an anime/manga geek with a love for video games, and enjoys playing Neverwinter, a game I introduced her too many years ago before I got back into RPGs. I’d like to think that was some clever planning, but I think it’s just a bit of luck. Fingers crossed I’ll actually get her to the table to try it out at least.

    Finally, Dirk, I thought you had my accent down perfectly there… even after meeting me only once! I can sense your inner scouser struggling to get out, you should have kept it up.

    Can’t wait for the next one.

  3. To be honest, Neil, she sounds like a prime candidate and the right age too 😀

    I know what you mean about their interests being influenced by their friends. I try always not to force my interests on them. In spite of that, though about the only thing I like that Dafydd doesn’t is Star Trek. I failed there. Apparently there’s just too much talking. 😀

  4. I remember owning a Balrog figure. It was fantastic. In fact, it was so good that I was frightened to paint it it in case it turned out crap. But one day I mustered up the courage, and sat down with brush and Humbrol. It was crap.

    Still feel bad for the Balrog.

  5. I was enjoying this Cast driving home from work tonight. While waiting at a red light, I noticed a sticker in the rear window of the car in front; Squig on Board.

    On another matter, I had the dubious pleasure of working for GW for many years, though later than Tim. For a while I was the manager of the Hammersmith store, once it had relocated around the corner. In the back room had been collected some relics of the original store including signs saying “we buy painted miniatures”. Try that in your modern GW, see what they offer you!

  6. It’s been a real joy to discover your podcast. I was a keen wargamer and RPGer back in the day. I lapsed in my late 20s and then in recent years came back into action as a wargamer but I think it’s probably 20 years since I last role played. I spotted your podcast due to the recent Games Workshop episode which sounded interesting – and now I am hooked!

    The classic RPGs that you are uncovering shaped my teenage years, inspired my imagination, defined my friends, developed my creativity and, in some cases allowed me to demonstrate my abject stupidity. One moment is still burnt on my memory 35 years later,

    DM: “You come to a junction. On the opposite wall the bricks seem to blur and move, slowly shaping themselves into the outline of a pair of lips – glowing slightly”

    Me: “Oh Magic Mouth what is your purpose?”

    Magic Mouth: “To answer one question”

    ….Magic Mouth disappears…

    I don’t need to write down the reaction of the other party members…..

    Anyway – I really enjoyed your overview of Games Workshop and Citadel Miniatures. There is though perhaps one use of miniatures that you have overlooked….

    Our gaming club was played on Saturdays in a school hall. For lunch the options were few at the local parade of shops. Main course was inevitably bag of chips from the dodgy chippy known to us affectionately as The Greasy Lich. Pudding was usually a packet of biscuits from the mini-supermarket next door. One week one of the lads decided that he was going to invest in a more sumptuous dessert option and bought himself a battenburg cake. On returning to the hall we realised we had a problem – how to slice up the cake – no one had any sort of knife. We all stared at each other and then slowly at the centre of the table where – sitting alone – was the Citadel slime beast. A very strange model that resembled an overweight marshmallow garden gnome that had stood too close to a radiator and had slightly melted. It was a fairly useless figure and one of our generic “represents anything” models. It did have one distinctive feature though – a very large and robust curved sword. The slime beast was duly put to use hacking its way into the battenburg cake to feed our craving for marzipan. I try not to think about the lead content of Citadel figures in those days though and whether they could really be recommended as cutlery substitutes but thought I would record it for completeness sake.

  7. Dirk, don’t you dare melt down your damsels in bondage! That’s part of the history of the hobby! My own grief at having lost my set of ‘sultan with belly dancing harem girl’ figures is only mitigated by the fact that I did a totally crap job of painting them.

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