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"Carlos Ezquerra's Johnny Alpha, Strontium Dog" Topic


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467 hits since 4 Oct 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Ninjabread05 Oct 2018 3:22 a.m. PST

British comics lost an icon this week with the death of Carlos Ezquerra the creative genius behind Judge Dredd and Johnny Alpha. Carlos's character designs and universes underpin a lot of subsequent science fiction including Warhammer 40,000. Two years before Games Workshop gave birth to Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader, they were dabbling with science fiction miniatures such as this trio of Strontium Dog characters.

Left to right: Wulf Sternhammer, Johnny Alpha, Gronk.

I've been painting this triumverate of bounty hunters with an eye on Warlord Games' new Strontium Dog game. Excitingly they can also be shoehorned into modern Necromunda with the recent bounty hunter rules.

The miniatures are from Citadel's 2000AD range produced for the 1985 Judge Dredd: The Role-Playing Game. Though technically Johnny Alpha and Judge Dredd inhabit separate universes, they have crossed over several times for reasons of awesome.

Johnny Alpha and Judge Dredd, Judgement Day, 2000AD #799.

The Rogue Trader universe borrows a lot of its overall look from Carlos Ezquerra's artwork. The amount of time and artwork the Rogue Trader rulebook spends on the (non-Chaotic) random mutations tables is testament to Strontium Dog's influence. There's a lot of Strontium Dog wargear that pops up in the forty-first millennium too, such as gravchutes, stasis grenades and electro-mauls.

But wait there's more…

There was a mystery for almost thirty years about the miniature that appears in a single murky black-and-white photograph on page 11 of the Rogue Trader rulebook.

The mystery figure, top left corner.

The figure never made it into production, appearing only in this photo. Only in 2013 did details of the figure emerge thanks to Steve Casey's Eldritch Epistles it was a one of several Judge Dredd figures that had been converted and cast up in-house to playtest the upcoming Rogue Trader rules before actual miniatures had been made.

It was released a couple of years later by Wargames Foundry, so people like me and Rochie can paint and play with our own copies of this odd curio.

Inquisitor Ezquerra and Johnny Alpha.

I plumped for white and papal purple to spin the figure as an Imperial Inquisitor. (It was tempting to paint him in green and yellow trousers, as if it's Johnny improvising a disguise as an Imperial Inquisitor.) He's so wee. being from 1985 when sculptors tended to 25mm scale, that I built up his base to help him keep some sense of imposing Imperial authority over the rest of the Imperium's servants.

More vintage Crimson Fists coming soon!

More of my miniatures at: http://www.ninjabread.co.uk/
Tutorials at: https://www.patreon.com/ninjabread/

Silurian05 Oct 2018 5:27 a.m. PST

Great post, and well painted miniatures!

I was very saddened to hear of the death of Carlos Ezquerra. His artwork was a large part of my childhood, but perhaps for me Major Eazy from Battle was more of an influence. I don't think anyone has done a miniature of that character.

Jason O Mahony05 Oct 2018 5:52 a.m. PST

Very sad news and a great loss. One of my favourite artists from 2000ad and Battle.

Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP05 Oct 2018 6:55 a.m. PST

He's so wee. being from 1985 when sculptors tended to 25mm scale, that I built up his base to help him keep some sense of imposing Imperial authority over the rest of the Imperium's servants.

Napoleon didn't need to stand on a chair to impose authority!

Beautiful work on the figures. Thanks for the history lesson, too.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP05 Oct 2018 8:39 a.m. PST

Sad news – condolences to friends and family

Twoball Cane05 Oct 2018 9:02 a.m. PST

Sad news. Great story….

joedog06 Oct 2018 7:25 a.m. PST

Great post – informative, entertaining, and inspiring.

Jeffers08 Oct 2018 5:58 a.m. PST

The Airfix Modellers Club in Battle (yes, I was a member and had the letter from Dick Emery to prove it) had an article on converting the Airfix 1/32 Bently to Major Eazy's. All I can remember is that the driver had a DAK cap from the Multipose set! When they ran a series on Wargaming, the first scenario was Himself taking on a German tank.

I think Major Eazy was popular with many readers and most of that was down to the superb artwork. RIP Carlos…

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