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Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut






I think a big issue with this thread is that it seems to not be "old style sci-fi art" but old GW art.

I like a lot of the sci-fi art from the 1970s and 80s - but a lot of the early GW artwork is not something I recall fondly.

Artwork from TSR's sci-fi games (Gamma World, Star Frontiers, Amazing Engine), ICE sci-fi games (Armored Assault, Spacemaster, Star Strike), GDW (2300 AD and Traveller) as well as what was used for cover art for various books and in magazines (Heavy Metal and Epic for example).

Some of the GW art is OK, but just not my particular taste stylistically. Some of it though shows significant gaps in understanding of anatomy and resembles something akin to an Egyptian tomb painting (without actually trying to, as they might get some parts right and other parts just very, very wrong).

You saw the same issues though with other companies like early FASA artwork, early R. Talsorian artwork and what not. Those companies would generally hire out an established artist to do cover work and perhaps a few color plates within the book - while the bulk would be done by newer artists who are still becoming technically proficient.

Of course it doesn't help too much when you have content which isn't very appealing (to me at least). The Hive War image linked to above is technically quite good - but the content is god awful. Especially if you compare it to contemporary artwork for comparable content (say the Kryomek rulebook - available for free from the Scotia Grendel website).

Though that is more a matter of preference as there are some people who seem to think that the old tyranids are great.
   
Made in us
Ambitious Acothyst With Agonizer




Boston, MA

I feel like a lot of the love the new art gets is pretty misplaced. I've read people here talking about its "technical" superiority, and I honestly think a lot of the new stuff has just as many wonky problems from an artistic standpoint. The new stuff has fewer excuses too, considering that all of it is digitally manipulated.




Like, what the heck is going on here? On first blush, its a gorgeous and opulent image, with a lot to drink in. I love it, but when you look at it for more than a minute or so, its problems are glaring. What is the emperor doing with his bent leg? Resting it on the extreme outer edge of his boot? Did he break it? And why does Sanguinius start small and get smaller as you follow his body down the steps? This artist in particular (can't recall the name) is just totally egregious with the proportion screw-ups. He's worse than a Liefield. Does that mean it sucks? Hell no

Kabal of the Slit Throat ~2000pts
Elect of the Plaguefather 4500pts

 
   
Made in us
Thunderhawk Pilot Dropping From Orbit






Man, this is all so subjective. I like almost all of this stuff and for several reasons.

Nostalgia is a big part, when I was a kid, with no internet, all you had was in the few precious books you could afford with your paper route or beg your parents to buy or inherit from friends. It was all you could get, and if you're like me, you eagerly consumed every detail of every illustration.

Second was the wording and lore behind the illustrations, which I also consumed rabidly. It required imagination, and fertilized imaginations of kids like us in the 80s and 90s.

Now, I've got money, I could buy artbooks all day on Amazon if I wished. Or just download the pictures online. It somewhat cheapens the experience.

Computer illustration has also made this somewhat cheaper, but at the same time has allowed artists to reach new heights of technical perfection. There is no Ctrl-Z when you're making an oil/acrylic/airbrush illustration IRL.

I really, really, down to my core admire and am inspired by the old stuff just because of the skill level it took to execute imagery the likes of Jim Burns et al made in that heyday of sci-fi/fantasy illustration. Heady days, man. Peter Elson to this day is my favorite sci fi illustrator of all time. They were breaking new grounds and paving the way for future artists, and fueling all our of collective nerdy imaginations.

That being said, I bought the new Chaos Space Marines codex, and it has some artwork I've found to be very enjoyable, despite how many people lambasted it. It's not about the scale, or proportions. It's how the image makes you feel, and its atmosphere and ambiance.

A lot of that early artwork is not very good, but you can really feel the inspiration the artists had, and it's great fuel for the imagination. I get inspired by their inspiration and enthusiasm, even after all these years.

Oh and the Rob Liefield reference, hilarious. That guy always drew messed up ankles and tiny little deformed feet, still I enjoyed some of his comics. Guy could do no wrong in the 90s and had many imitators.

 
   
Made in ca
[DCM]
Acolyte of Goodwin






Sunny SoCal

No one is worse than Liefield. Come on. Lol

   
Made in us
Fixture of Dakka




Now this thread is full of the stuff that originaly got me into playing 40k. The background fluff and art were mythic and pretty much seemed a labor of love.
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut






Relapse wrote:
Now this thread is full of the stuff that originaly got me into playing 40k. The background fluff and art were mythic and pretty much seemed a labor of love.


I must have missed that...

What attracted me to 40K back in the early 1990s wasn't the "fluff" or the "art". The fluff was all derivative and badly ripped from everything which was pop culture at the time (and since). The artwork was unimpressive (to me at least). The miniatures were uninspiring. What was nice though was that because it was so derivative - you could stuff pretty much anything into the system and it was fine. The rules definitely seemed to be written by people who had that same thing in mind (and in fact were based on the interviews done by people like Rick Priestly).

The problem with GW now though is so many of the true believers (both in and out of the company) seem to actually believe that 40K and Fantasy were unique in some way.
   
Made in us
Fixture of Dakka




 Sean_OBrien wrote:
Relapse wrote:
Now this thread is full of the stuff that originaly got me into playing 40k. The background fluff and art were mythic and pretty much seemed a labor of love.


I must have missed that...

What attracted me to 40K back in the early 1990s wasn't the "fluff" or the "art". The fluff was all derivative and badly ripped from everything which was pop culture at the time (and since). The artwork was unimpressive (to me at least). The miniatures were uninspiring. What was nice though was that because it was so derivative - you could stuff pretty much anything into the system and it was fine. The rules definitely seemed to be written by people who had that same thing in mind (and in fact were based on the interviews done by people like Rick Priestly).

The problem with GW now though is so many of the true believers (both in and out of the company) seem to actually believe that 40K and Fantasy were unique in some way.


Maybe I just encountered it at the right time of my life, but that's the way it seemed. A good example of what I liked about the fluff are the stories if how the Death Guard and Legion of the Damned (originally the Fire Hawks)came into existance. Both encountered similar difficulties, trapped in the warp, diseased and dying but survived to become two very different types.
The Death Guard became slaves to Nurgle in exchange for their survival while the Fire Hawks held on to resist the effects of the warp enough
become saviours for those loyal to the Imperium when all hope was lost. Both chapters are condemned, but are opposite sides of a coin in the way they deal with it.
   
Made in gb
Lieutenant Colonel







Relapse wrote:
The background fluff and art were mythic and pretty much seemed a labor of love.


Look at our CGI culture, it happened mid-90's when Digital started taking over with things like Jurassic Park and Pixar etc, last week I saw a Kelloggs Crunchy nut cornflake ad




I remember being astounded by the Dinosaurs in Jurassic park, I didn't even bat an eyelid at this Advert. Commercialism destroys Art, it subverts it. Jurassic Park was a film, which is an art form, and yes it has to make money not unlike Early GW. Spielberg made what he wanted in his minds eye, then over time the amazing Art is made mundane, just like GW Art, once it was special and a labour of love. Now it's done simply because it is expected/ demanded by the fans, there is no creativity or innovation, it becomes Formulaic and rote. It becomes a mechanism for Sales men and advertisers and detracts from the merit of the Art by trying to make buy an unrelated product.

A modern Codex looks little different to one of previous editions, the art work is on the things that changes but never too much never outlandish change just small incremental, prosaic and dull evolutions. (and minor changes to points, equipment and fluff) . The Art work becomes Staid, lacks dynamism, and becomes mundane.

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2013/02/14 21:49:24


Collecting Forge World 30k????? If you prefix any Thread Subject line on 30k or Pre-heresy or Horus Heresy with [30K] we can convince LEGO and the Admin team to create a 30K mini board if we can show there is enough interest! 
   
Made in au
Longtime Dakkanaut





Melbourne, Australia

God, I just found this thread after googling for something else entirely and lost two hours. Bravo on all on the posts (old as they are).

I do hold a fondness for much of the old GW art, but as many have said some peices are better than others, as is still the case with the stuf GW puts out today. But for me what makes the older stuff stand out is the possibility they, and the world they represented, held.

Take this piece for example:



It holds a story, one to which we will never know, and therefore also a secret. The Rogue Trader era was so open and empty it could literally mean anything. GW and all its writers and artists have done a great job scultping 40K into what it is today, and I really like what Space Marines are now, but that nailign down of character comes at a price. What we see in 40k now is it. That's it, the story's been told and we're left to fight the same battles over and over ad infinitum, and by extension those battles mean nothing. It's a shame. It's still fun, but it's a shame.

Anyway, back to being mugged down memory lane. Who here played the Drachenfels WFRP expansion?



Here come the Dwarfs:



And much as been said of the Scarface face from Space Marine, but why has no one asked why Wesley Snipes is leading the Dark Angels?


The galaxy is littered with the single-planet graveyards of civilisations which made the economically sensible decision not to explore space. 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut





Of course the "older" stuff is always better.

Why do you think the ME-TV Cable Channel is so popular?

MB
   
Made in gb
[DCM]
Battlefield Tourist





On an Express Elevator to Hell!!

Brilliant, thanks for necro-ing this thread I had forgotten about it!

I had some other pics from scans of some old mags, will see if I can find them to post here..

Epic 30K&40K! A new players guide, contributors welcome https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/751316.page
Small but perfectly formed! A Great Crusade Epic 6mm project: https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/694411.page
Excellent discussion forum & information collection for Epic and other small scale miniatures: http://www.tacticalwargames.net/taccmd/index.php
 
   
Made in nl
[MOD]
Decrepit Dakkanaut






Cozy cockpit of an Imperial Knight

Not really game-related, but a great source of classic sci-fi art: http://70sscifiart.tumblr.com/

My Imperial Guard Crusade force plog

Featuring tanks, (not) Mordians and the odd greenskin.


Be ash and cinder forevermore!
 
   
Made in us
Haughty Harad Serpent Rider





Richmond, VA

Best sci fi art ever.

SPACE INFANTRY the role playing game

[Thumb - spaceinfantry1.jpg]


"...and special thanks to Judgedoug!" - Alessio Cavatore "Now you've gone too far Doug! ... Too far... " - Rick Priestley "I've decided that I'd rather not have you as a member of TMP." - Editor, The Miniatures Page "I'd rather put my testicles through a mangle than spend any time gaming with you." - Richard, TooFatLardies "We need a Doug Craig in every store." - Warlord Games "Thank you for being here, Judge Doug!" - Adam Troke 
   
Made in gb
Land Raider Pilot on Cruise Control





Twickenham, London

Best necro ever. All that old art is so energetic and alive compared to much of what I see today.

"If you don't have Funzo, you're nothin'!"
"I'm cancelling you out of shame, like my subscription to white dwarf"
Never use a long word where a short one will do. 
   
Made in au
Longtime Dakkanaut





Melbourne, Australia

I wouldn't go so far as to say all. Some of the recent GW output is awesome, the Prospero Burns cover for example. But for me too much of the recent batch is too clinical and soulless.

I'm also glad to see I'm not the only one who's not the biggest fan of John Blanche. At least, not post 40k 2nd ed. His early fantasy stuff is iconic, and so full of character, but his style didn't translate to the established 40k universe post 2nd ed.

The galaxy is littered with the single-planet graveyards of civilisations which made the economically sensible decision not to explore space. 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut





The new art is fine, actually one of the few things I don't mind from modern GW.

My Armies:
5,500pts
2,700pts
2,000pts


 
   
Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut






Thank you for this necro...

http://dylangould.blogspot.com

Check out my blog, full of Rogue Trader models and art, as well as new Orks...

dorkamorka - mixing 40K and beer before it was cool.  
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut





 Harriticus wrote:
The new art is fine, actually one of the few things I don't mind from modern GW.
f

I don't think GW's 2D Art has EVER been a problem.

It has always been among the best art in the industry.

I think where the nostalgia plays such a big part is in being when the games were young, and GW and Citadel were seen as taking on the board gaming and RPG Giants of Avaon Hill and TSR, which both tended to "look down" on us miniature players.

I recall being told by Gary Gygax that he did not really care if D&D ever got a miniatures line, because he said "Most people don't really care about miniatures with their games."

And Avalon Hill.... Well, they just never bothered with the gaming industry at all, not even showing up at Gencon or Origins until they noticed that GW and Wizards of the Coast were kicking their F***ing asses.

So... Of course we have sentimental attachments to the art of GW at that period, because they were like the Punk Rockers of the game world.

MB
   
Made in us
Krazed Killa Kan






State of Jefferson

Thanks guys. This is great! GW needs a coffee table book.
   
Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka






 .Mikes. wrote:
Who here played the Drachenfels WFRP expansion?


I never played it, but the novel is one of the best Warhammer novels ever published. Nagash is just a pale imitation of the Great Enchanter. Sadly I've got the Boxtree reprint from 1993, not the slightly larger-format original from 1989, with all those illustrations.

Here come the Dwarfs:



Am I the only one who misses photo displays like that? This lazy modern way of having visible bases everywhere looks nasty. Forge World do it well, even if some of the shots look like they were set up by Rob Liefeld, and some of the AoS photos try to hide the bases with copious dry ice. Rackham removed the bases in their "action" shots, but other than that, ugly bases everywhere the eye can see. :(

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2015/11/19 10:33:53


 
   
Made in ie
Buttons Should Be Brass, Not Gold!




Kildare, Ireland

Gimme the old art any day...

Like the old miniatures it has that air of originality and character that later stuff lacks for me. Also its what drew me in as a kid and set my imagination alight...


 Strombones wrote:
Battlegroup - Because its tits.
 
   
Made in gb
Regular Dakkanaut




Lincoln, UK

BeAfraid wrote:
 Harriticus wrote:
The new art is fine, actually one of the few things I don't mind from modern GW.
f

I don't think GW's 2D Art has EVER been a problem.

It has always been among the best art in the industry.

I think where the nostalgia plays such a big part is in being when the games were young, and GW and Citadel were seen as taking on the board gaming and RPG Giants of Avaon Hill and TSR, which both tended to "look down" on us miniature players.

I recall being told by Gary Gygax that he did not really care if D&D ever got a miniatures line, because he said "Most people don't really care about miniatures with their games."

And Avalon Hill.... Well, they just never bothered with the gaming industry at all, not even showing up at Gencon or Origins until they noticed that GW and Wizards of the Coast were kicking their F***ing asses.

So... Of course we have sentimental attachments to the art of GW at that period, because they were like the Punk Rockers of the game world.

MB


Yes and no. There was a period in the mid to late 80s when GW was a bit like that - they put out some cracking fun games back then too. By the time WotC was on the scene, GW was already seen by many in the UK scene as a soulless corporate entity. Their reputation for squeezing out small independent shops by pretty underhand means (usually combining their role as rival games shop, publisher and distributor) was bot undeserved.

As for the artwork, Ian Miller remains one of my favourites and I came across his work first in The Tolkien Bestiary. A bit like going through my bookshelf in 1983 and realising I had been reading Lovecraft for years before I played Call of Cthulhu.

A trawl through GW's Runequest 3rd Edition or WHFB 3rd (they share a lot of the same art pieces) reveals that when they were good they were very, very good, but...

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2015/11/19 13:04:09


 
   
Made in ca
Preacher of the Emperor




At a Place, Making Dolls Great Again

Yeah I love that old style stuff, a sort of crazy 80s/90s sci fi look to it all, before the cgi polished look everything has now.
Fantasy has the same problems to me.
Which is why companies like Old Glory are my saviour in gaming lol.

Make Dolls Great Again
Clover/Trump 2016
For the United Shelves of America! 
   
Made in gb
[DCM]
Battlefield Tourist





On an Express Elevator to Hell!!

 AndrewGPaul wrote:
 .Mikes. wrote:
Who here played the Drachenfels WFRP expansion?


I never played it, but the novel is one of the best Warhammer novels ever published. Nagash is just a pale imitation of the Great Enchanter. Sadly I've got the Boxtree reprint from 1993, not the slightly larger-format original from 1989, with all those illustrations.

Here come the Dwarfs:



Am I the only one who misses photo displays like that? This lazy modern way of having visible bases everywhere looks nasty. Forge World do it well, even if some of the shots look like they were set up by Rob Liefeld, and some of the AoS photos try to hide the bases with copious dry ice. Rackham removed the bases in their "action" shots, but other than that, ugly bases everywhere the eye can see. :(


That's actually a really nice component of the new Gates of Antares rulebook, all of the miniatures displayed in studio shots have their bases covered by the terrain. I really like it as well!

Perhaps not surprising though in terms of who is behind the book!

Epic 30K&40K! A new players guide, contributors welcome https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/751316.page
Small but perfectly formed! A Great Crusade Epic 6mm project: https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/694411.page
Excellent discussion forum & information collection for Epic and other small scale miniatures: http://www.tacticalwargames.net/taccmd/index.php
 
   
Made in au
Longtime Dakkanaut





Melbourne, Australia

 AndrewGPaul wrote:
 .Mikes. wrote:
Who here played the Drachenfels WFRP expansion?


I never played it, but the novel is one of the best Warhammer novels ever published.


With you there. It was written under a pen name by Kim Newman, he of Anno Dracula fame, when the authors still had some creative elbow room. Shame those days are gone.

The galaxy is littered with the single-planet graveyards of civilisations which made the economically sensible decision not to explore space. 
   
Made in nl
[MOD]
Decrepit Dakkanaut






Cozy cockpit of an Imperial Knight

Ah yes, Genevieve the Vampire.

Though to be fair, one story revolved around a Dirty Harry rip-off with a Magnim (that's what it was called) silver throwing knife and another idea of his revolved around a not-Dirty Dozen.

My Imperial Guard Crusade force plog

Featuring tanks, (not) Mordians and the odd greenskin.


Be ash and cinder forevermore!
 
   
Made in us
[MOD]
Dankhold Troggoth






Shadeglass Maze

While this thread is old, it's also awesome and due to its very nature, can't really go out of date

Love some of the art here! My favorite is always those epic "battle line" shots that fade into the distance... love the implied scale and almost a "space opera" feel (massive scale / events but focusing on a few key characters). I feel like we don't get that in current art as much.
   
Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka






 BrookM wrote:
Ah yes, Genevieve the Vampire.

Though to be fair, one story revolved around a Dirty Harry rip-off with a Magnim (that's what it was called) silver throwing knife and another idea of his revolved around a not-Dirty Dozen.


Beasts in Velvet is second only to Drachenfels. Dirty Harry is far from the only cop show shout out in it.
   
Made in nl
[MOD]
Decrepit Dakkanaut






Cozy cockpit of an Imperial Knight

However, calling the character Filthy Harald and giving him a big ass throwing knife named like that was paaaaaaainfully obvious.

My Imperial Guard Crusade force plog

Featuring tanks, (not) Mordians and the odd greenskin.


Be ash and cinder forevermore!
 
   
Made in gb
[DCM]
Battlefield Tourist





On an Express Elevator to Hell!!

Can't believe how long it has been since this thread was updated, I'm hoping the content of it will stop it getting an auto-lock

Or could it be made into an article?

Some really old Ork artwork from 1st edition (before they got made into angry mushrooms that couldn't hold a conversation). In the background at this time Ork mercenaries used to fight as part of Imperial armies. I think this one is by Paul Bonner who illustrated a lot of the cool bits of art in both of the Rogue Trader Ork sourcebooks


Everyone I'm sure will know this is John Blanch's work, from the forerunner to Necromunda called Confrontation.


Not seen this one before and couldn't tell you the source - looks like Genestealer cultists fighting Harlequins? Must be a very early GW work by Adrian Smith


Not sure of the artist here, but looks damn similar to the work of an artist that used to do 2000AD/Judge Dredd



Epic 30K&40K! A new players guide, contributors welcome https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/751316.page
Small but perfectly formed! A Great Crusade Epic 6mm project: https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/694411.page
Excellent discussion forum & information collection for Epic and other small scale miniatures: http://www.tacticalwargames.net/taccmd/index.php
 
   
 
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