Friday 4 April 2014

Original Art - Part 5: Fangorn's Epic Painting

Back in June last year (before I'd started this blog), I sent across some info to Orlygg over at Realm of Chaos 80s on some of my original GW artwork, as part of his 'Where are they now' series.
The largest piece in my collection of artwork, and indeed the only colour piece, is the artwork used for the Epic Eldar Legion and Ork Horde boxed sets, painted by Chris Baker AKA Fangorn:

To reblog what I said on Realm of Chaos 80s, I happened on this piece on ebay - simply labelled "Eldar Artwork". When I saw the auction, there were very few details in the listing, only a couple of days left and no bids. The starting bid was £120, but I recognised the image from the Epic Eldar Legion and Ork Hordes box sets. Either through lack of interest or simply going under the radar, mine was the only bid. I was delighted when I received the painting (which looks suspiciously like it has been painted using Citadel paints) - it's pretty big (67x28cm) and has a wealth of little details which you can't make out in the cropped and resized box artwork. I spoke with the seller and asked for a few details - it turns out he was Chris Baker's son and was selling the artwork to help fund a gap year. One my mates who has a fine art degree says this painting goes against all the rules of composition - the focal point (in the middle of the painting), actually has no detail or points of interest. This makes me wonder whether the painting was originally conceived as two separate pieces for use as the box art.
So why repeat information that has already been posted on another blog? Its primarily because after over a year of searching, I have managed to track down a pair of the boxes that the artwork was used on, and I thought you might like to see the comparison shots of the original artwork against the printed versions.
The whole painting with the cropped and shrunk box covers.

Eldar Legion

Ork Horde

Whilst I had the painting out, I though you might like to see some of the stunning detail in close up.

Eldar Guardians and the entirety of Fangorn's signature; it was cropped in half on the printed box!

Mean looking Space Elves. You can see that some of the painted figures are direct copies of the early Jes Goodwin sculpts.

Left handed Orks - were there any left handed models made?

Pretty sure the guy with the power axe is also based on an actual miniature.
Hope you enjoyed refreshing your memories. They don't do box art like the used to!


  1. Replies
    1. Or a sign of too much time throwing random searches into ebay to see what pops up! For reference, the boxes cost 25% of the cost of the original artwork!!!

  2. I'd be very interested in getting a high resolution scan of this.

    1. Unfortunately I don't have access to a scanner big enough :-(

  3. That is just lovely.
    I love the vibrant colours and the tattoos on the Eldar are just great.

    Brings back memories :)

  4. There's work from Gary Chalk up on eBay right now. You might be interested.

  5. Sell it!!! Sell it to me :)

    Seriously lovely catch and I'm glad it found a real home.

  6. Wow! Really something to see this, always wondered what the Eldar of the Void Watchers merc army was shooting at, now I see the "big picture"! Yeah, it does break the rules of composition but I think that was done for packaging reasons. Thanks for the close up pics of the Eldar, this helps as I have some old skool Eldar minis and the very early ones always work best as mercenaries and corsairs until GW homogenized the aesthetics of the Eldar armor and weapons and expanded their story back in 1990.