Hasslefree Dwarf Spearblock
Hasslefree Miniatures (http://www.hfminis.co.uk/) make some of my favorite figures in every genre they produce but especially their dwarfs. Big surprise to any who have been following me along this journey. I have wanted to build a unit of spear using Kev White’s wonderful sculpts since the first time I saw them. I would like to build an entire force with HF dwarfs but that’s another conversation entirely. The only problem I saw was that I wanted much longer shafts for their weapons. Kings of War offered an opportunity for building a unit of twenty with fewer figures and to add the Scibor Miniatures statues and bases I’m so fond of unifying my mixed manufacturer dwarf force. So, I broke out the pin vise, brass rod, and super glue to begin assembling figures and base.
I do want to say that I don’t find anything wrong with the original spear length, I just wanted more of a phalanx look to the unit. I’m actually now considering a unit or two in future using the shorter length. I began by drilling a hole in the forearm to pin the hand. It was only by the third hand I had finished that I realized that it is much easier to drill the wrist in the hand before cutting off the spear shaft, gives you something to hold. The real fiddly bit was drilling out the spearheads. Super Glue Gel with a spray of Zip Kicker to instantly set it makes up for errors. I drilled the hole for the spear shaft all the way through the hand for the brass rod to slide through before gluing all the pieces together.
The base was built on one of the old unit bases recently given to me by a fellow dwarf lord. I used two of the larger size Scibor bases as they had stacked pieces that would add a little height to the back ranks. I had to have an ancestor head as well because I like the look and it gives me a handle for moving or lifting the unit rather than the figures. I covered the base with light weight spackling into which I then pressed a mixed texture. Most of which came out of exhausted Brita filters. Once it had dried it was ready for primer.
I didn’t assemble all the individual dwarfs at once. I think all that drilling with a pin vise would rive me crazy. No, I assembled them much as I paint them, in small groups, which helps both my attention span and arthritis.
I did need to make my own standard bearer and musician to join the commander I had picked out. The standard was nothing complex, just a longer brass rod topped with an anvil from my bits box. The banner was painted on a piece of printmaking paper and glued onto the pole. The easiest conversion I could think of was to add a drum from the previously mentioned bits box to one of my warriors and put drumsticks in his hands. It actually came out better than I had anticipated.
Once I had the command group finished and a few more to back them up I began gluing them to the finished base. I have found these unit bases are easier to assemble if I start attaching troops at the front and work back in rows.
I really like working with these Scibor bases as they allow me to arrange the figures at various levels, adding movement and height. The fact Hasslefree Miniatures are so beautifully sculpted doesn’t hurt either. I painted the shields separately and glued them onto each figure before attaching his feet to the base.
As I glued each row of troops on I added flocking and tufts of grass. I even have some growing in the ancestor stone. It has been there a very long time after all.
I already loved the figures but I am very happy with how the unit came out. Have a Hasslefree Dwarf King waiting to lead them but think I’ll save him for a future post. I am happy to report that the unit served bravely in a recent Kings of War tournament Black Cavalier hosted at his birthday party. They survived two of the three battles they fought in and helped secure victory in all three! I do believe I see two units of Hasslefree crossbow armed dwarfs making their way to my prep table. Just in time because we are beginning a Kings of War campaign and I know these Bulwarkers will need their flanks covered.