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Dwarf Artillery Pieces




Since they are such a good price I had picked up two of Mantic Games’ Dwarf artillery pieces, planning to assemble one of each the Organ Gun and Cannon.  Once my friends and I started playing Kings of War I knew I needed to base them as complete units, besides, the Undead catapults had been so much fun to make and paint.  I started with the same wooden discs I had picked up for the Balefire bases I had made previously and the assembled miniatures to draw the outline of the siege works I wanted my dwarfs to be entrenched in.  I tried to plan for some of the extra bits like powder boxes and beer tankards.  I decided this project was the perfect opportunity to paint and use the ancient flame cannon and crew I’d been saving for years so added them to the queue.



The whole team fits with room for fortifications.


Love the extra bits and details Mantic include on the sprue.


Been looking for an excuse to paint this team for decades now. Good thing they are a perfect fit.


Look even better painted.


Drawing the outline of the siege works


While the machines and crews were being painted it was time to start building defensive positions.  Back in the day, dwarf armies had engineers that could build fortifications so I’ve always liked the idea of hiding my fragile artillery behind defensive works. Yet another project for using up the scraps and clutter on my desk is always a good thing.  I assembled the walls first out of bits of wood and glued planking down where the war machine would be seated.  When the walls were dry, I attached them to the base using cork to help hold them in place. This would also be the foundation for the piled up dirt.



Cork holds up the walls while it all dries.


Trying to keep the planking from looking too neat and even


Double checking that the wheels fit on the boards.


Once the glue had all dried I applied light weight spackling to fill in gaps and add texture.  Then the extra details were glued into place before priming everything white.



Thought the boots with leg bones would work well with the flame cannon considering how many times mine had exploded in the Warhammer days.


Got great hammers ready for trouble.


Lots of room for crewmen.


Cannon balls are the heads of straight pins pushed into the base


Then I painted them up and textured the bases with mixed flocking.  It was while they were drying a thought began forming in the back of my mind.


Ready for habitation

Ready for habitation


Ready for the base


Still needing crew


The units had been through the regular painting process and were waiting to take up residence in their new homes.  The flame cannon crew had been finished before I even started their base as I was so excited to have a reason to work on them.  I had cut the disc bases off of the feet of the miniatures so they could be glued directly to the base.


First the cannon and crew


Move it into place, Lads.

Move it into place, Lads.


Time for drills


Looks pretty good


Mashed the tops of the posts to make them look hammered into the ground


Ready to shoot enemies


Then the Organ Gun and crew were ready to take their posts


Our turn, Boys.

Our turn, Boys.


Like it was custom made


I think they deserve to count as in cover


Taking a range reading




First unit painted and the last base finished but finally it was time for the Flame Cannon crew to move their advanced weaponry into place, preferably without any explosions.


Carefully, carefully! That's volatile stuff.

Carefully, carefully! That ammo’s volatile stuff.


Those boots are what’s left of a clumsier crewman.


The barrel looks suitably singed


Can’t be too careful with these engineer guild contraptions


Looking forward to seeing what this does on the field


Now that I had one of each of the artillery pieces available to my army (the Driller and Behemoth are both Monsters) the earlier thought came to the front of my mind.  What about all the war machines I had already painted? Wouldn’t it be nice to have a couple of empty emplacements for pieces from my finished collection? So I built a couple more siege works with beer steins and weapons handy for any crewman I temporarily assign duty there.


We need to bring in the veteran crews.

We need to bring in the veteran crews.


Accidentally used slightly larger circles but that makes them more versatile.


Beer tankards handy because it is thirsty work.


Even room for figure bases.


Left space open in front as some of my old cannons are low to the ground


More cannon balls


Hmmmm, about the right size for a bombard now that I think about it


So once I saw the power of Indirect Fire used against me by the Kingdoms of Men I knew I was going to need some dwarf bombards of my own and rather than make more bases I think these two will be drafted into use.  Of course that means I have to get and paint some Mantic Jarrun Bombards.  I’m sure I will end up making more of these especially as Kings of War Second Edition recommends 50mm square bases for war machines.  Then again, my attention is already shifting toward Berserkers and Hordes of Bulwarkers so it might not be right away.


Nothing to see over here...

Nothing to see over here, not even sure whose boots those are…

Now go and paint some Bombards, Lad.

Now go and paint some Bombards, Lad.


Going a Little Mental Over Elementals


Reaper Bones bare plastic after a good scrubbing and being attached to a base.


Looks sort of like a Snow Elemental right now.


Now that I’ve seen what Duane, my Greater Earth Elemental, can do in Kings of War it is clear I need another of these guys.  Heck, I need a Horde of Lesser Earth Elementals but am still seeking the right minis. Until then Duane and the guy above will have to hold their own.  I am really pleased with these castings and it just reinforces my belief that big things with shallow details is what Bones plastic is best at.  Even though they tower over the rest of the army (not hard as they are dwarfs) they are light weight.  Add their low cost and they are the perfect choice to add some punch to my dwarf army.



Duane the Earth Elemental


Despite being made of rock the miniature has nice movement.


Tried to mix up the earth tones of the figure while blending them with the base.


That’s some serious reach on the guy.


I love the fossil embedded in the stone of his shoulder.


Duane was a fun one to paint and fairly easy to prep not to mention very fast paint job.  As with other Bones figures I find it easiest to shave along mold lines with a brand new x-acto blade.  The rocky surface made it easy to see most of the imperfections. The new guy on the other hand is all textures and shapes.  Of course that also made him quite the enjoyable undertaking.  Too bad I don’t have any 25mm squirrels to add on to him.



No name yet but he’s ready to go


Those big fists are going to bring the smack down.


Like Duane, this fellow is covered in tiny details and natural textures.


Like the forest floor just got up and started walking.


I’ll need more Stone Priests to help them shamble faster.


I added some Army Painter grass tufts and flowers


Be seeing you on the battle field.


Micro Arts Bases Update

Finished painting Belit and her first officer.  They have other names on the Hasslefree website but they currently escape my memory.  I also finished the two dwarf spearmen I glued to my new plastic Micro Arts bases.  I have to say I am so pleased with them I am looking to purchase more especially the Graveyard line I skipped first time around.




Belit's back

Belit’s back

Nubian Guard goes to sea

Nubian Guard goes to sea

Back of first mate

Back of first mate


The last two Hasslefree dwarfs I had armed with my extended spears were finished so got glued down to two more of the Ancient bases.  I like how scattered bits of masonry and tile work look a little like my Kings of War army bases.  Ties them all together even though they aren’t for the same game system.  All from one great kingdom no matter what system or scale.  I’m a bit odd that way.



top view


Adds nice bit of height to the base


Without distracting from the mini


The fallen leaves are a nice detail



They are also great fun to paint.


I went with Autumn colors to echo the decline of the ruins


Ready for action and matching his comrade.


Not only am I going to need to some of the Graveyard bases they just released but will need more of the Ancient for my growing dwarf force.  Then there is the Frostgrave gang that will need to go on the Enchanted bases so I’m sure there will be more pictures in future.



The Battle at the Travelers’ Inn or The Beer is Mine!

Bugman's Ranger Advance

It’s OUR Beer and we ain’t been paid yet!

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Some More Finished Reaper Bones

The patina begins

The patina begins


Some of the first figures I tackled when my box of rewards from Reaper Miniatures second Bones campaign on Kickstart arrived were what I called the Hero-on-Big-Base figures.  Very characterful figures mounted on large, sculpted bases. Fairly easy to see why they appealed to me right away.  The names I use are entirely of my own making so don’t try looking them up in the catalog.

Ghoul Lord

The first was a ghoul like character whose visage was miscast to the point of offending the camera.  No, really, it is a terrible casting with a concave face that I was able to build a bit of a nose onto with green stuff.  Came out alright but the rock is my favorite part, truth be told.  I don’t see him leading my Kings of War Undead anytime soon.


Ugly with a capitol Uggg

Ugly with a capitol Uggg

Better in Profile

Better in Profile

Even Better from behind

Even Better from behind

The Rook

Since this guy is covered in pieces of castle and appears to be standing on a tiny tower I thought of him as The Rook. There is just something fun, goofy really, about the exaggeration of these minis and wearing big bits of architecture seems perfectly acceptable. Sort of medieval meets anime’ really. Just look at the size of the blades. Despite all the masonry, Rook is a fairly simple figure so I kept the paint job simple and finished in just under an hour.



Who uses that tiny door?


Nice how the arch and portcullis fit over his upper arm.


Blade is almost as wide as he is.


He does look vigilant


He’s wondering who is going to help him out of this parade float of an outfit.


I’m no sure why all the male knights in this set are bald but it is what it is. Must have something to do with the helmets none of them are wearing. Demonblade ,or DB to his friends, has lots of fancy armor so I figured the shoulder plates should be differentiated and went with bronze. Weathering them was half the fun. Like Rook this fellow was kept simple and finished in just under an hour.



Probably trying to figure out where to set the sword


The runes and diagrams cut into the rock are a nice touch.


The cape was fun.


Another nice view of the wards he’s standing in.


Such a fun anime’ pose.


He said what about my sword?


If there was any doubt as to the influence of anime’ on these sculpts then this cleric’s hammer should banish them. I’m guessing it would weigh more than the holy warrior and his armor combined. Must be some divine inspiration or magic that makes up for the physics. It was the rough stairs of the base that first drew my attention to this miniature and where I started work. A dunk in a mug of hot water before a bath of cold to straighten the shaft of his weapon and he was ready for painting. I had such fun with his various layers and materials that I went well over my self imposed time limit. The shoulder pad was especially useful for some heraldry.



I had such fun painting the steps.


Okay, the fabric was fun too.


The metal bits turned out to be very engaging because a hammer that large has to look like it’s been around.


…and the heraldry. I like the heraldry.


Silly weapon or not, this was a blast to paint.


Can’t go wrong with fleur de lile.


Rather pleased with how he came out. Bet he ends up in a Kings of War army or part of a RPG.

Chaosgrrrl! and Rojo.

One of the last ones I painted from this set as I really wanted to spend some time working on her charming shield. Another massive weapon but at least she has some armor covering the side of her not protected by the tower shield. With the anime’ influence it seems that female costumes can often be as small as the weapons are large so this was a step in the right direction. Her navel maybe exposed but those spiked plates on her armor aren’t just for show. I named her shield Rojo and saved the bound demon for last. I liked the idea of him having opinions, arguments, and conversations with the lithe chaos warrior so tried to paint them eyeing each other. Sort of a twist on the whole Elric/Stormbringer relationship.


She does not look happy.


She’s slender but strong.


I said we should have turned left…


I’m not having this discussion.


The plinth would make a great base for minis used as chess pieces


Might be her best side as well


ChaosGrrl and Rojo



The heavily armored warrior woman looked rather Greek in her crested helm so I opted for a Spartan color scheme besides, I had intended to patina her armor when I saw her picture in the campaign and there was already a lot of red on my wet pallet from working on Rojo.  That I got to play with the natural aspects of stone and ivy was a bonus really.



Basic paint job done


Now to make it ancient


Looking better but not finished


Crest is…okay


But something is still missing


Maybe another polish to the armor…


Maybe some plants?


She was looking pretty good but just not complete and it wasn’t just the bad photos.  She needed something else but I decided against adding any outside materials.  I was also trying to keep each Bones mini under an hour but regularly stretch that on fun figures like this one so I compromised and put her aside over night.  After coffee and breakfast I picked her up and just began painting.  The wet pallet I’ve started using was very helpful with this I can tell you.  It is super useful for unit painting but that’s a whole different post.  I might still add a red gem to the hilt of her sword but all in all I think she really came out well.



Now that’s looking finished!


The two tone crest looks much more dramatic


Even the statue needed more work.


No spit but definitely polish.


Some more highlighting, a couple of horizontal stripes, and it’s working.


Now to find her a heavy pike block to command. Heck, give her an army.


Having painted a fair number of Reaper Bones to date I have formed a few opinions.  While the material has short comings it definitely has some big benefits.  First problem issue I’ve found is that fine detail (like women’s noses, fingers, the Ghoul Lord’s nose and eye) can be mashed up or missing.  The second is the mold release used sticks around and messes with paint adherence.  The latter issue is solved by my better cleaning the minis beforehand while the former is harder to solve.  Now the positives begin with the price of figures being downright cheap. So cheap I don’t mind taking chances on color schemes or painting techniques as well as picking up figures I might not otherwise (I’m looking at you Bugbear and Gnoll troops) so now have a big collection of dungeon dwellers ready to go When Dungeon Saga arrives.  Another plus is the wide variety of minis Reaper has already produced so one is spoiled for choice regardless of genre’.  Storing them before or after painting is aided by the fact that they are light weight and when you start collecting miniature war gaming armies that starts to matter.  My favorite aspect, so far, is that once finished the acrylic paint seems to bond with the bendy plastic and flexes rather than chips.  I do love how the terrain pieces paint up with the bases in the above post as examples.  Honestly, I’m more excited about working on the ruins included in Dragons Don’t Share than either the adventurers or the dragon.  All in all, I like the material though I think I may limit future Bones purchases to architecture and BIG monsters.  Those come out wonderfully and really benefit from the light weight.