Of course I love White Dwarf, who doesn’t? But you also know my love of Oldhammer, so imagine my excitement when I picked up 89 copies of White Dwarf ranging from ’91 to ’99.
WD135 – March 1991
I’m not sure which White Dwarf was the first we got as kids, but it was HeroQuest, Space Crusade and White Dwarf that got us into Warhammer 40k in the early 90s. The first one in this pile is issue 135 from March ’91 – classic 1st ed/Rogue Trader era. It looks familiar and must be one of the first issues we got. This has really got my nostalgia juices flowing!
The first thing to love is the art. Modern White Dwarves are all about showcasing the models (and nothing wrong with that), but back in the 90s is was all about the art, stimulating the imagination, telling a story. The front cover has orcs, goblins, knights and wizards and loads of detail and little stories. The back cover is Ork Freebooterz. There was also a large focus on modelling and customising, especially terrain, which has been lost in modern White Dwarves.
Inside we learn about D-Rok and their debut album, Oblivion, on the Warhammer record label. I need to check this out at some point! There’s also tickets to the ’91 Golden Demon Grand Finals. A bargain at £2.50!! 🙂
Included in this issue is Modelling Workshop – a regular feature back then, showing you how to make your own terrain. Something that’s been lost in favour of just buying expensive terrain from GW now! This month was ruined temples and the article goes as far as detailing where to source some of the materials. I used to love these articles and still have (somewhere) ruins, a tavern, a barn, some hills and a river – all made based on Modelling Workshop articles.
There’s also a modelling guide, showing you how to make and convert a Tzeentch warband. Quite a difference from today’s Tzeentch models! Again, this is quite a change compared to modern White Dwarves – conversions and modelling has been lost in favour of buying models and playing the game. That said, modern models and painting styles and standards are waaaay better. Let’s face it, this Tzeentch warband is pretty derpy now!
A rules article has the targeting diagram for some jetbikes (I think this was about the time the Vehicle Manual was released) and there are some Space Hulk missions, but the highlight of this issue is a big section on Ork Freebooterz and Kustom weapons. I know this was a great source of inspiration for my bro when we first got started and he still has all his converted Freebooterz where he’s tried to copy the models in this article as closely as possible. 24 years and he’s still not quite finished!
There’s loads of rules, army lists and points for Freebooterz, various odd models and units (like the Squig-brained dreadnought!) and even Ork Genestealer Hybrids – only in Rogue Trader! But the more I look at this the more I think there should be an 8th ed Freebooterz Codex! 🙂
The section on kustom weapons for Orks is incredible. There’s loads of detail, Orky sketches of the gunz, rules for including them – 10 pages in all and no less than 11 different randomising charts! It’s so very Rogue Trader! An insane way to play the game, but so very, very Orky!
Roll a dice to see if it’s a Kombi or Kustom weapon. Roll to see how many barrels your Kombi weapon has. Roll for each barrel – auto-cannon, flamer, las pistol? Who knows! Then we customise it – range, to hit, damage – all variable. We’re not done yet. Wanna snaz it up? Seriously, there’s a Snazzy Bitz chart where you can get “loudspeakers which amplifies the blast when fired” or “a spotted squigskin handle”. Amazing!
And then there’s the classic ‘Eavy Metal shots like this. It’s this kind of photo that really got me and my bro into the game initially.
WD136 – April 1991
I’ve also taken a look through issue 136. Some more lovely classic GW artwork on the front cover!
This has a great modelling article on how to build your own Ork vehicles – the Gobsmasha, Braincrusha, Bonecruncha and Lungbursta. It even has templates so you can make the vehicles out of card or plasticard. Maybe I’ll give it a try some day!
That’s all I’ve really had chance to look at so far. Only 87 more issues to go. So I might write a few more of these ‘love letters’ to White Dwarf. Watch this space!