Monday 3 March 2014

Original Art - Part 4: The Tony Ackland Acquisition

I always like it when big special delivery boxes arrive at my door!
But what's inside?

One or two of you might have seen seven pieces of original GW artwork on ebay last week. Not too many of you though, as after nearly a week of being up for sale, only one had a bid. All seven pieces appeared to be by Tony Ackland, as one auction showed Tony's name on the protective cover, and all the others had reference codes e.g. 'TAxxxx'

I was quite keen on picking up one or two of the pieces, and decided to contact the seller to see if he would sell direct (I know, not entirely the most ethical way of ebay buying). Not only was the seller happy to do this, but it turned out he had 23 Tony Ackland originals he also wanted to sell. After a little bit of negotiation, I purchased all 23, and here are the contents of the box:

23 pieces of GW history

Most of the pieces still have the protective sleeves, as well as the following stamp on the reverse:

As for the origin, here's what the seller had to say:

"I acquired then when GW first opened the store at Lenton HQ and the initial Warhammer World Marine display used to be upstairs in the dark and gloom!
The art was divvied up by the guys who worked there at the time and I traded for them as I was collecting all and sundry Citadel at the time, so early 2000's I think?"
I know there's a lot of resentment from many ex-GW artists regarding the treatment of their artwork - this just seems to reinforce the lack of value that was placed upon the pieces, if there was a free-for-all to get rid of it all.
As for the pieces themselves, several I recognised immediately, but there are many others that I cannot ID. If you know where the pieces were published, please let me know. Tony - if you happen to read this blogpost, any information you may recollect would be very helpful!
Warhammer 3rd edition
#1 Wizard, WH 3rd ed p171
#2 Chaos Warriors, WH3rd ed p227 / ROC p62

#3 - Skaven, WH 3rd ed p230

#16 Summoning Pentagram Template, Warhammer Armies (rear pink pages)

 Realms of Chaos
#4 Daemons, ROC p18

Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay

#6 Spell 'Identify Magic Object', WFRP p183

#8 Rustler starting career portrait, WFRP p37

#14 Skill 'Magical Awareness', WFRP p53

#17 Spell 'Illusionary Army', WFRP p174

#19 Spell 'Wall Shaker', WFRP p171
#12 Citadel Christmas Card (interior)

#22 Published alongside Confrontation rules, WD??
#9 Rogue Trader Jetbike, unpublished
#13 Rogue Trader terrain, unpublished
Please let me know if you can help ID the below (note, Tony has provided some leads for some of the images below - let me know if you happen to have volume / page references):

#5 Chimera
#10 Stream Flame publications. Warhammer Role Play supplement, Doomstones

#11 Levitating Terrain. Flame publications. Warhammer Role Play supplement, Doomstones

#15 Orc Portrait. Flame publications. Warhammer Role Play supplement, Doomstones

#18 Sorceress

#20 Page Border, Runequest


#21 Possession, WFRP
Not Tony Ackland Pieces
Tony has helpfully let me know that the pieces below are not his:
#7 40k Orks & Imperial Guard. Code reads PGORK266...Phil Gallagher perhaps?
#23 'Champions of the Gods'. Penmanship and stylistically, this is remarkably close to the John Blanche Chaos Warrior/Knight illustrations from Heroes for Wargames. What do you think?

Thanks for any help you might be able to give!



  1. Fantastic stuff! what a haul!

  2. "#12 Orc & Dwarf?" is from an old Citadel Christmas card

    1. Lovely - thanks Steve. Don't suppose there's a pictorial reference anywhere?

    2. Yes I have the card in question. PM me with a reminder if I dont get a scan for you by the end of the week.

  3. Just splendid !
    Sorry I can't help you with any ID though...

  4. Thanks to Steve & Daniel (via FB), we have some IDs - I've edited accordingly. I've kept the numbers the same in order to avoid any confusion for future IDs!

  5. #10 is I think from Doomstones fire in the mountain.
    #11 is also Doomstones but I'd need to look at my books for which one.
    #15 less sure but I think also Doomstones

    #16 is the pentagram summoning circle template from Warhammer Armies.

    #20 is I think Rhya from WHFRP ( edit unless it is something similar from GWs version of Runequest-would need to look)

    1. Oh and I'm rather jealous...

    2. Thanks Erny. Tony has given me similar references to yours. I've updated accordingly :)

    3. #20 is the Agricultural Goddess on pg 60 of the 3d ed Advanced Runequest rule book.

  6. The "Champions of the Gods" is almost certainly a Blanche - at a guess I'd say it was a header for an unpublished 1st / 2nd Ed. version of Realms of Chaos, in style and composition it fits very well with the Forces of Fantasy, uses the same letraset font (Blackletter) as the "Eldritch Epistles" heading used in the 84 compendium, and Lichemaster (86), and as you say fits well with the JB peices in HfW

    Have to say the Khorne helmet looks by a completely different hand (I'd guess Jes).

    Nice haul!

    1. Blackletter? I meant Blackmoor.

    2. Excellent I just need to check out those sources for comparison (I don't have anything earlier than Warhammer 3rd ed on my bookshelf!).

      As for the helmet - it's a random photocopied A4 backing sheet that the 'John Blanche' piece is glued to sadly!

  7. #7 40k Orks & Imperial Guard. Code reads PGORK266 looks like it's form Paul Bonner

    1. Thanks Toco - it's actually by Paul Green - he did a bunch of art in 1989 and 1990. A lot of the illustrations in the 40k Compilation are his :)

  8. Is that what happened to the art work divided up randomly? Awesome post!