Wednesday, June 7, 2023

John Blanche: a new beginning!

The Broken Road - John Blanche, 2016

After an illustrious career defining and shaping the world's of Games Workshop, John Blanche retired last week. It is impossible to overstate how important John was in helping Games Workshop become what it is today. His boundless creativity and vision has touched all aspects of Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000, epitomizing the dark style that now defines it. For the three of us, his artwork literally brought us into the hobby. A large cardboard standee featuring the central Blood Angel Space Marine from John's cover for the 2nd edition of Warhammer 40,000 beckoned to us from the window of a local hobby shop. This led to us getting a few blister packs (we recently repainted one of the first trio of models we got from that very store) and eventually the 40k boxed game, and the rest was history. His evocative artwork kept us engaged in the hobby since that time, and his Blanchistsu articles in White Dwarf helped inspire us to push ourselves beyond what is featured on the box art and create our own sliver of the Warhammer 40,000 universe. To our continued amazement, this creative journey led us to the Inq28 movement and John Blanche himself, when we participated in Iron Sleet's Pilgrym event in 2016. When starting the hobby, we would have never imagined meeting John, let alone playing Warhammer 40k (or Mordheim!) with him. We feel incredibly blessed to count John as a friend, and want to wish him a wonderful retirement and are excited to see what he does next!

Below are some photos with John from some of the events we were fortunate enough to attend.

The Pilgrym crew at Warhammer World, 2016.

We had the pleasure of paging through a binder of some of John’s original artwork during the Pilgrym event.

The day before the Pilgrym game, Adam, John, and Kari marvel at each other’s miniature creations in Bugman’s.

Our Pilgrym warband, the Church of the Red Athenæum advances through the underside of the Daylight Wall.

A trio of Spyreheads created by Stygian_Thorne, as a gift for John, climb the stairs of the Daylight Wall.

Quintus and Quercus from John’s Pilgrym warband push their way up the stairs.

John advances a few models during the Pilgrym game, next to Peter, and Greg.

Samael Urkston, Lord of Bones - a model that we created as a tribute to the late Wayne England and gifted to John during the Pilgrym event.

We were fortunate to be gifted one of John’s pieces of Pilgrym artwork, the Broken Road. It is next to a piece by Kari.

The Mordheim 2019 group!

One of John’s models from the Mordheim 2019, part of his Wild Hunt.

Greg and Johan’s warbands fight to the death in the outskirts of Mordheim, as John’s spectral Wild Hunt causes additional chaos.

The Wild Hunt continues to cause mayhem at the Mordheim 2019 event.

Consider getting a copy of John’s Voodoo Forest, a beautiful collection of non-GW pieces he has been working on for years, published by Hollow Press!

Again we want to wish John a relaxing and productive retirement. You deserve it John!

- Eric, Adam, and Greg Wier


  1. An amazing career. Much as it pains me to say I think the definitive 40K artwork is the Black Templars piece used as the cover for the 3rd edition boxset and rulebook, but the 2nd ed pieces will always be my favourites...the Blood Angels covers for 2nd ed 40K and Epic 40K, and the Sisters of Battle Codex cover are so iconic. You guys were all very lucky to get to meet himand have a few games!

    1. All of those pieces of artworks are iconic to Warhammer 40k, and were released right around the time we got into the hobby. As such they have really latched into our consciousness, ha ha.