BEN’S ZONE: Oldhammer – Returning to Space Hulk

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Welcome to a weekly feature on my blog – Ben’s Zone. Written by husband… Ben. A foodie, coffee obsessed, ex-smoking, ex-drinking and Ridgeback loving Dad. Who is also seriously into his fitness.  You can find him on the blog (mostly) on Sundays. Enjoy!

Oldhammer – Returning to Space Hulk

As a kid, my first introduction to the exciting world of Warhammer 40K was a game called Space Hulk.  The game is relatively simple, pitting heavily armoured Space Marines against dastardly Genestealers in the bowels of a wrecked starship in the silent depths of space.  I would have been about 10 or 11 and remember being immediately hooked.  The heavily armoured marines radiated strength and sci-fi cool and the Genestealers were highly reminiscent of another famous xenomorph, but not so much as to invite legal action.

The game itself was fun.  The rules were simple, the play was fast and it seemed a million miles away from any board game I had played before.  Not only that, the playing pieces were super detailed and you were encouraged to paint them!  I was never a very artistic child but this had me hooked from the off.  Soon enough we got our own copy of Space Hulk and paints with which to get the models looking good.  After that many birthdays and Christmases had a 40K theme, much to the chagrin of relatives who, pre-internet, were forced to venture to the shops themselves to find the various bits and bobs to compliment my expanding armies.

When Logan and I got back into the hobby a few months ago, a number of boxes returned from the loft at my parent’s house containing most of those past treasures.  We’d decided to get the models cleaned up and see if we could find a spot in our nascent army but had written the games themselves off as lost to the mists of time.

Imagine our surprise when the final box to appear from the mists of the loft was not in fact more miniatures but the original boxed games from my distant youth.  I had already toyed with the idea of purchasing a copy of Space Hulk on eBay but it’s well known as a classic in the 40k world and sets go for anywhere between £200 and £500.

Still, with all the bits and a very excited 10 year old, it seemed obvious that we had a new project on our hands, not that we really needed one.

With the board pieces and rules intact, the first job was to check out the models.  We got really lucky here having located all but one of the original plastic marines and a sizable group of genestealer enemies.  Where we did not get lucky was the painting.  In the absence of the internet, decent brushes or really any kind of clue, the job I’d done in painting was not good.  I would say that Logan is already a better painter than my best efforts here.

So, how to strip models then?  It’s not hard.  Metal models are by far the easiest.  For these, all you need is a jam jar and some acetone.  Simply place the models into the jam jar and cover with acetone.  Soak overnight and then remove the paint with a gentle brushing from a toothbrush.

Plastic models can be slightly trickier as acetone will melt them.  For that reason, a similar method is used but the solvent is denatured alcohol.  I did find that it was necessary with the denatured alcohol to continually re-dip the toothbrush in the alcohol to keep the paint loose.

It was a relatively time-consuming process but at the end of it, we had a full complement of Space Marines and their scary alien foes.  With all that in order, and a son desperate to start playing the next task was to paint the minis but that will have to wait until next month as I’ve already blown my paint budget for this month.

Stay tuned for more Oldhammer action in future blogs!

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