Scattered through various WFRP1 books are hidden likenesses of famous figures and GW staffers. Graeme Davis has previously highlighted many of them in his excellent article ‘Secrets of the Warhammer Artists’ in Warpstone 6. Drawing on his article, I have pulled together illustrations of these visual puns. This post covers those in the WFRP1 rulebook, and the next post will contain those in WFRP1 adventures.

The cover of the WFRP1 rulebook features two likenesses of then GW Managing Director Bryan Ansell.

Warrior and wizard (cover)
Bryan Ansell

On the back cover there is also a self-portrait by artist John Sibbick.

Severed head (cover)
John Sibbick

The careers drawings by Tony Ackland feature a host of GW employees. The Bawd is Warhammer writer Richard Halliwell.

Bawd (p22)
Richard Halliwell

Artist John Blanche is the Beggar. He also appears in an illustration of the disorder Megalomania. It may not be a coincidence that he is portrayed in unflattering circumstances: Graeme Davis comments that there was “occasional friction” between Ackland and Blanche.

Beggar (p22) and Megalomania (p85)
John Blanche

The Scribe, Charlatan and Cleric are all GW figures.

Scribe (p37)
Rick Priestley

Charlatan (p96)
Bryan Ansell

Cleric (p96)
Richard Ellard

The Cleric’s religious symbols are based on the logo of Volkswagen cars, which Ellard drove.

The Illusionist is Steve Jackson, co-founder of GW.

Illusionist (p147)
Steve Jackson

There are also some homages to movie characters, namely Indiana Jones and The Man With No Name.

Tomb Robber (p41) and Spot Trap (p57)
Harrison Ford in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Bounty Hunter (p23)
Clint Eastwood in The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (1966)

Finally, the zombie in the ‘Evil Races’ colour plate bears a resemblance to former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, or at least her Spitting Image caricature.

Zombie (‘Evil Races’ colour plate)
Margaret Thatcher puppet from Spitting Image

There is one more lookalike that I have not been able to show. Tony Ackland has stated that there is a likeness of GW staffer John Stallard somewhere in the rulebook, but I have been unable to identify it.


John Stallard


In the comments below Pariah has suggested that the illustration of the Student might be John Stallard. There is some resemblance and it seems to me the most promising candidate for the drawing Tony Ackland mentioned.

Student (p39)
John Stallard

The second part of this post looks at resemblances in the art of WFRP1 adventures.

Thanks to Tom, Hallucyon and Pariah for providing copies of the ‘Evil Races’ colour plate.

Title art from Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Internal art by John Sibbick and Tony Ackland. Used without permission. No challenge intended to the rights holders.

19 thoughts on “FAMOUS FACES, PART ONE

    1. Thanks. Graeme Davis did write “ghoul” in the Warpstone article, but it must have been a slip. Thanks for pointing out the error.

      Since I already have the C7 PDF from the Humble Bundle, I’m afraid I’m loth to pay again just for the plates. (I’m cheap!)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Is it a zombie? It definitely looks like a plastic zombie from HeroQuest, in which i think the same colour plate appears, but it would pass for a ghoul too.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I’ve got the edition with colour plates and could send you the image of Maggy.

    You can also find it in the PDF version of the rulebook released by Cubicle 7 Entertainment on DTRPG.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Excellent article, as always.
    If the severed head on the back cover is Sibbick than the one on the 1986 poster should be Blanche.
    Regarding John Stallard, I would bet on the Student (page 39).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I presume you mean the 1984 WFB2 cover, which had a similar banner and severed head. I think you are right that the head is John Blanche. A good spot!

      I had wondered if the Trader (p41) might be John Stallard, or maybe even the Druidic Priest (p97). Another suggestion made to me was the Escapology skill illustration (p50, top right). I think, though, the Student (page 39) is the most like him. (Can anyone make out the full text on the box of wine the Student is carrying?)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, the 1984 WFB2 cover.
        On the right it is clearly written “BEER WINE”, on the left is nearly unreadable (maybe a four-letters word, the third one K or X).

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I thought John Stallard might be the Scholar (page 103), but it’s a bit of stretch (the scholar has glasses, Stallard doesn’t, at least in the photo you posted). Student, as suggested by Pariah also seems like a good guess.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Awesome! I had no idea of any of that puns! 🙂 Thank you! Good to know that Bounty Hunter is Clint Eastwood, my first character was a Bounty Hunter! 🙂 PS. At first glance, I thought on the second image is Jes Goodwin. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Source: WFRP 1st Edition Fans Facebook Group
    Graeme Davis:
    John was mentioned in Warhammer City (Johannes Stallart, landlord of The Drowned rat), but I never heard of there being a picture of him anywhere.
    Anthony Ackland:
    There was one of John amongst the original illustrations of the professions. Can’t recall if it was used because the number was reduced after they had all been illustrated. Rick, Richard Ellard, John Blanche, and Richard Halliwell definitely made it into the book. Dean Edwards now has the originals of John Stallard and Bryan Ansell, but I can’t recall if they were used. John was amused at seeing the original one of himself when we met up at the BOYL Oldhammer event this year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for cross-posting. It would be interesting to see the illustration. Perhaps Dean Edwards or Tony Ackland could confirm whether it is one of those we’ve talked about here.

      Liked by 1 person

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