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Posts tagged ‘Scibor Miniatures’

25
Nov

The Beast of Blood Hill

RightFlank

Dwarf right flank lead by the Rangers.

 

“Trolls? They’re hiring trolls?”, asked the Dwarf king incredulously,” I find that hard to believe even for this human oath breaker.”  In response the wizened Ranger said,”All our reports show them camped near the orc village.  What else could they want there?  Doubt they want anything to do with those pig riders and there’s been no sounds of fighting.”  The king didn’t like it, didn’t like this at all.  If it wasn’t undead clawing at the borders it was orcs and goblins terrorizing villages.  Now, to make things worse, the fractious human kingdoms, who had previously been happy to peacefully kill each other, had been united by an upstart prince with dreams of conquest and his sites on dwarf lands.  Rinn Ursula had clashed with his forces more than once already so the dwarfs were keeping their eyes on him.  Unfortunately she was busy elsewhere as were much of her cavalry so fast recon was out of the question.  No, if he was going to get any answers it was going to be handled the old way; Guns, Stone, and Steel.  Besides, it sent a clear message.  The king turned, looking his old friend in the eye, “Alright, here’s what we’re going to do…”

 

HFDuke1

Hasslefree Miniatures figure

HFDuke2

I didn’t actually have a place for him in this army list.

HFDuke3

But he makes such a nice visual for the narrative he insisted on being included.

 

I recently took advantage of a day off, packed up my dwarfs, and met my buddy, Ryan, on the field of battle (okay, his living room).  Once again we chose Kings of War by Mantic Games as our rules system and picked forces of 2200 points simply because we had heard that is a popular tournament choice. I was excited to be fielding TWO newly trained units, my new Greater Elemental from Reaper Bones and Regiment of Hasslefree Miniatures Ironwatch armed with crossbows.  The latter looking much more complete with the two more minis recently glued to the base.

 

NatureEle1

My new Greater Elemental ready for his first fight.

ReadyAim1

Fresh from the last post and my painting table, the Ironwatch Crossbow are ready to prove their courage though photographed before recruiting two more troopers.

 

With a new Elemental to field there were fewer points for mounted dwarfs so Rinn Ursula and some of her Brock Riders were patrolling the northern borders instead of investigating this rumored alliance.  What this force lacked in speed it made up for in bang, fielding two bombards and an Organ Gun.  Despite claims of the scouts, there were no trolls in the human force. In fact, the entire orc village at the river’s fork had been cleared out for some time.  There was some strange, smoke belching machine parked among the trees but no greenskin mercenaries.  Oh good, nothing to worry about.  The two armies lined up facing each other across the river which was relatively low this time of year.

 

LinesDrawn

Two forces that are becoming quite familiar with one another prepare to face off once again.  That is an awfully big armored horseless wagon.

 

Once the troops had deployed the Rangers used their Vanguard rule to move up into the woods.  While this gave them a commanding view of the ford it also made them a prime target for the human guns. On the first turn they were wavered, ducking down as mortar shells burst overhead, shredding the tree tops, and the second turn they routed off the table.  Sigh, not a good start for my bearded force.

 

Rangers move into forward position

Rangers move into forward position

Fire on the Rangers!

Only to be targeted by the human left flank and the Beast.

 

They were around long enough to report seeing a strange contraption in the enemy lines.  Ryan was running a Citadel Steam Tank as his Kingdoms of Men Beast of War unit.  I just call it the Beast.

 

What is that thing? Think it will be a problem?

What is that thing? Think it will be a problem?

 

There seemed to be a tank in the human army and I was worried it was going to take more than two Greater Elementals to deal with.  It would take a lot more in the end and take even more down with it.  Beast.

 

WallofSteelandHorses

Mounted Scouts lead the way firing into the dwarf line.

MenCrossLeftFlank

The human right flank moves across the river.

 

Both sides moved their flanks forward to engage the enemy and fired every cannon, mortar, ballista, handgun, and crossbow at each other any chance we got.  While the human Mounted Scouts scored some early wounds it was the Brock Riders and Elementals that scored the first kills with Mounted Scouts and Heavy Infantry crushed in the opening turns.  The cannon, Ironwatch with handguns, and organ gun blasting the regiment of knights in the center helped soothe the pain of my poor Rangers shelled out of the forest by mortar and gun fire.  The fifteen attacks of the organ gun got a lot of unwanted attention even without a Warsmith to make them elite.  A unit of Mounted Scouts charged straight up the hill to try and silence the deadly war machine.  Now they were in my deployment zone!

 

Charge those guns!

Charge those guns!

With the heavy infantry gone the elementals are obvious targets.

With the heavy infantry gone the elementals are obvious targets.

SnappingLumber

And the new guy takes the hit!

 

The Greater Elementals on the dwarf right flank proved why they are to be feared taking down the heavy infantry in their charge only to see the new guy crushed beneath the steam powered wheels of the Beast. Duane charged it in retaliation only to bounce off, bracing for the counter charge.  The Arquebusiers kept the Ironwatch Wavered which their Headstrong roll failed to shake.

 

The Ironwatch Waver but can't break the Mounted Scouts

The Ironwatch Waver but can’t break the Mounted Scouts

Being just inside their charge arc the Mounted Scouts found themselves charged in the flank but the rookie Ironwatch were only able to Waver the accursed riders. and the Berserker Lord was too far away to help.

 

LeftFlankScrum

The dwarf left flank becomes a giant scrum.

 

The Beast crossed the river, crossbow bolts bouncing off its armored hull and cannon balls flying overhead.  It quickly ran down the crossbow wielding dwarfs before backing up to home in on the regiment of gunners.  Now they were in two of my flanks.  Arghhhh!

 

TankCrosses

Having survived Duane’s charge and crushed the new guy, the manling tank moves across the river.

 

The human infantry on the dwarf left flank, unshaken by the deaths of the Mounted Scouts in front of them, crossed the river and slammed into the Brock Riders destroying them.  The Shieldbreakers and IronGuard charged the two human units in retribution hurting them but not worrying them in the least.  Thus began the back and forth on the river’s edge, neither side seeking nor offering quarter.  We were both able to roll well in combat but seemed unable to do more than Waver the other (Ryan’s Nerve Checks were uncharacteristically bad) and I actually made my Headstrong rolls so we just slammed back and forth.

 

MenSurroundLeft

Mounted Scouts dead or otherwise engaged it is up to the human infantry to charge the dwarf left flank.

BrocksSlain2

The Inspiration of the Berserker Lord isn’t enough to overcome the massive amounts of damage meted out by the two units of men.

ManoAMano

The human general wounds the Berserker Lord but can’t slow his attacks on the infantry.

 

In the end the combined efforts of the Ironguard and Berserker Lord were just able to take down the Elite, Ensnaring Phalanx regiment while the Shieldbreakers went down fighting. They inflicted almost a dozen wounds on the horde of heavy infantry before succumbing to their superior numbers.

 

DodgetheHorde

Phalanx finally killed the two dwarf units are able to advance just out of the horde’s charge arc.

 

After he survived the Beast’s counter charge (Ryan rolled a three!) Duane charged into the Arquebussiers mostly to keep them from shooting him and did astounding damage.  To give me hope I rolled boxcars on the Nerve Check!  I was so excited, glad it had at least caused the Waver  not realizing it was actually enough to destroy them.  Unfortunately, Ryan’s Standard Bearer caused a reroll which was just shy of even the Waver.  Crap, at least they wouldn’t be firing those Piercing(2) handguns at point blank range.

 

DuaneAngry

Frustrated by the tank, Duane charges the arquebusiers.

Meanwhile, in the center the horde of Bulwarkers advanced across the river under a steady hail of fire from the horde of arquebusiers and sporadic cannon fire.  They were saved some grief when their own artillery took out the enemy mortar while the human canon had to focus on the organ gun whose crew had just reloaded and were preparing to enfilade the stubborn cavalry.  Sadly they never got to fire the shot as an enemy shell landed directly on them leaving nothing but their boots.  Damn, change of plans…again.  Despite mounting casualties (and my own forgetting they could Move At the Double at the ford) the dwarf Phalanx horde slammed into the human horde and another back and forth began.  As with Duane, the Bulwarkers were just glad to slow the gun fire.

 

HordesClash

Advancing through constant fire the Bulwarker horde finally hits the horde of arquibusiers.

 

The Beast was able to run over the dwarf hand gunners, again few shots could wound it and I couldn’t roll well. The damage 12 Attacks with Crushing Strength(2) AND Thunderous Charge (2) is overwhelming.  Even Ryan’s low rolls (though stubbornly not double 1’s) couldn’t fail.  In the end, literally on the bottom of turn Six the Bombard crew was able to blast the thing to pieces.  Fortunate as the game went to seven turns and they would have been left as wheel ruts.  The rookie Ironwatch regiment took down the Mounted Scouts before being overwhelmed by the badly wounded horde of Foot Guard who in turn were killed by the remaining Ironguard who had to go it alone as the Beserker Lord had finally succumb to the wizard’s fireball spells.  Really making it Blood Hill.  The Stonepriest Surged Duane into the Standard Bearer out of spite more than anything.  He was running away after all.

When turn Seven closed it was far easier to count the survivors especially as the Kingdoms of Men were left with nothing but characters.  Of course there wasn’t much more left on my side either, a horde, some guns, a Stonepriest, and Duane.  The difference was just under 500 points giving another very narrow victory to the dwarfs.  What a blast.  The more I play Kings of War the more I like it.  That all the rules and army lists are in one book mean we only have one place to look up questions and really don’t anticipate much of that in future given the simplicity of the system.  What I am seeing a lot of is trying out new forces.  The subtle differences in stats plus the scattered special rule really makes for characterful units and races without needing completely separate tomes.

 

ElementalsFord

“Uh, where did that heavy infantry go to? Perhaps I should wait back by the arquebusiers, way back, way, way back”

 

The king took another long pull on his tankard while re-reading the battle reports.  It had been a close run affair, probably closer than any of his commanders wanted to admit.  The Stonepriest and his rocky friends had again proven their worth as had the retooled organ gun.  It was the drawings of the steam powered human contraption remains that intrigued him most.  Even the broken and blasted bits showed amazing promise on the part of the human engineers.  They had missed, in the eyes of the king, a wonderful opportunity.  He finished off the stein of cold beer and reached for the speaking tube attached to his desk.  “Call in the Master Engineers,” he commanded his assistants on the other end,” tell them I have an idea I want explored immediately.”  The noble dwarf turned to the Stonepriest who had delivered the reports from Blood Hill. ” Tell me more about your friends the elementals. I have some ideas for them as well.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

13
Nov

Quarrelers, surly maybe but not quarrelsome.

Drummer

The drummer’s roll calls the regiment of Ironwatch to battle.

Hasslefree Miniatures’ dwarf hero Gromli had been sitting in my collection for quite a while now. As is often the case, I had liked him from first glance and picked him up with a random assortment during one of the company’s sales. I knew he would find a home in my collection one day and his stalwart stare and solid pose marked him as a dwarf possessing serious leadership skills.

 

Hasslefree Miniatures Gromli

Hasslefree Miniatures Gromli

 

Once I began thinking about building my regiment of crossbow armed Ironwatch I knew I wanted him to lead them, Gromli’s Gang. That he is armed with a great weapon and carrying a shield on his back rather than a crossbow seemed minor issues especially as Hasslefree has a great selection of bits and pieces for converting and personalizing miniatures. I’m still considering how I might best use the lovely sets of helmet wings they tossed into one of my orders last year. I try to add a couple crossbow armed dwarfs and some extra weapons packs to every order so have developed quite a little “bits box” of Hasslefree pieces as well as enough troopers to build another Kings of War regiment (twenty soldiers strong in the rules). It took little to no effort to shave down the nub on Gromli’s back, used for attaching the shield, and cover the spot with a crossbow and quiver of bolts.

 

LeaderPrime1

Looking frosty

LeaderPrime2

Can’t even tell he was supposed to have a shield.

 

The standard bearer was a pretty straight forward conversion being a weapon swap (for the banner pole) and removal of another shield nub from his left arm. That was just a matter of drilling out the hand when I drilled the wrist for a connector pin and gluing a griffin headed top on the pole. After he was finished and primed I realized the banner pole was way too tall to fit into the foam tray I already set aside for storing the unit so had to remove it from the hand, cut it down, and reattach it. That done, he was ready, again, for paint. The banner I drew onto a nice piece of 100% cotton paper then painted. After it and the bearer were dry and sealed I cut it out and attached the flag to the pole.

 

StBrr1

Shortened banner pole.

StBrr2

Better start designing the banner.

 

The drummer was a slightly more involved conversion job but very basic in the skills and problem solving employed. The drum is part of a set of instruments I ordered from Reaper Miniatures online store and glued to his front . You can even order individual sprues from the set in the Boneyard section (thanks again, Necron99, for spotting that resource!). I cut the weapon from a right hand before drilling out both hands to hold drum sticks which I made from the discarded spear butts I had cut off to make my longer spears hafts. With a little cutting down they turned out to be perfect for the job at hand, so to speak. Again, a coat of white primer and he was almost ready to start the long roll.

 

Drummer3

The spear hafts make great drum sticks.

Drummer2

Might be a little long but I like them.

Drummer1

Ready for paint

 

While I was getting the command squad sorted out I was also working on the base. Yes, I am well aware of the fact that standards and musicians no longer serve any purpose other than aesthetic in Kings of War but I think units look much better, more complete, when they are included so will continue to do so in my constructions. Maybe it’s my Oldhammer roots showing, I don’t know, but it is too deeply ingrained for me to change now. So, as before, I used an old, plastic movement tray as the foundation of the unit and combined layers of cork with Scibor Miniatures bases and sculptural details from the same line as my previous units and characters. This helps tie all the units in my force together visually, despite being of mixed manufacture, and adds to the back story of my force patrolling the borders of a shattered dwarf realm.  I built up the back half of the base as I pictured the rear ranks aiming over the heads of the front.

 

Assembly1

Brought in a recently finished dwarf to check the size of the different parts.

Assembly2

Such nice details on the Scibor bases.

Assembly3

Made sure there was no overhang on the right side so I can set another regiment against it to create a horde.

Spackle1

Spackle in place and ready for texture.

 

After the glue had plenty of time to dry I began coating the surface with Light Weight Wall Spackle. This smooths out rough areas and hides the joins between parts. I also use it to cover details I don’t need, like a lot of the skulls that are scattered around the bases of the statues. Once I start my Abyssal Dwarf units I’m sure I’ll want more of them showing but prefer to keep them to a minimum with my traditional dwarfs. While the spackling was still wet I pressed in ground charcoal I harvest from water filters. It makes for great surface texture and when combined with the spackle creates a solid surface for painting and gluing to. Once everything has dried for twenty four hours I spray primed it white and began applying color.

 

Paint2

Back view waiting for stain.

Paint1

Stain will really bring out the details on the various statues

 

I am finding that these bases are less about painting and more about weathering, using washes and stains, rather than dry brushing and stippling. I did try to match the tiles and mosaics to what I have already completed but other than that go with my gut reactions for the rest of it. When it was done I flocked the base with an earth tone mix I make before spray sealing it. The plants and grasses would be added after the figures were glued down.

 

Painted1

Front view just waiting for some dwarfs.

Painted2

Back view shows lots of space for plants as well.

 

Breaking with my usual habit of only painting a couple figures from any project at once, I worked on six to eight crossbow armed dwarfs at a time as I was excited to get the unit assembled. Besides, my games of Kings of War so far had shown I needed more ranged attack regiments to deal with the hordes of cavalry and pike that Ryan usually fields. This had the side effect of really speeding up my painting through repetition. Now I can churn through four of the quarreler dwarfs in about two hours. That’s going to be helpful as I have a second regiment’s base ready for priming.

 

RtSideClose

The color scheme came out well and paints quickly.

 

Each miniature has the plug on their feet clipped off during prep, a hole is drilled in one of the heels, a wire is glued in place, and the entire thing is attached to an old plastic base with white glue. This holds the figure in place during painting yet comes right off before I attach them to the unit base. Much easier than trying to paint everything already attached to begin with. It was at the stage of gluing soldiers down that I realized I needed to paint two to three more to fill in some gaps. The unit just looked a little under manned, so to speak. I’ve got several minis on the table almost finished that I plan to attach as soon as they are done.

 

IronWatchclose1

Varied texture and plant life help with a natural look.

ReadyAim1

The assembled unit.

IronWatchReg2

Gromli is perched on a fallen statue keeping an eye on the lads.

IronWatchReg1

Woe to anyone they take aim at.

Got space for a couple more in the back.

Got space for a couple more in the back.

Right side

Right side of the unit

Left side of the unit

Left side of the unit

 

In addition to finishing up a few more troops to fill in some gaps I’m going to keep painting them for the second regiment so I can choose to combine them into a horde.  I’ve also started a regiment size base for a unit of berserkers I’ve had in mind for a while.  Then there are the brock riders I just primed oh and the Warsmiths.  Good thing my Abyssal army is still on a boat heading to the US because I have no idea when I would paint them.

 

Leader1

We’ll be ready for those devils once they are painted, Lad. We’ll be ready.

 

 

 

29
Sep

Breaking Shields and Making Tall Banner Poles

Mac's lads are ready for action

Mac’s lads are ready for action

Though my Shieldbreakers didn’t survive their first Kings of War battle they proved to be both brave and effective.  You gotta love those high Nerve Scores combined with Headstrong and Crushing Strength (1).  Interesting that I never really looked at them as a first choice in my army lists before because they are quite a good value for their points.  Many thanks to Skrapwelder for trading his unpainted Hasslefree Dwarf collection for my unpainted Oldhammer Dark Elves as it made me readdress some of my original opinions.  That and I REALLY wanted the dwarfs! The smallest group in the collection were the dwarfs with great weapons (Nain is name given by Hasslefree Miniatures), provided with various heads and weapons they seemed the natural place to start to work.  After I’d cleaned up the flash and mold lines I removed the tab on their feet, drilled a hole in the heel of one of them, and super glued in a piece of brass rod before using white glue to temporarily attach the figure to an individual base.  I find the gel form of super glue easiest to work with and I’m less likely to get it everywhere.

 

Okay, banner is nearly done now I need a unit to stick it on.

Okay, banner is nearly done now I need a unit to stick it on.

TestPaints

Color scheme finalized

 

While I was prepping the miniatures I began assembling the unit base.  I actually built two bases at the same time as I knew I wanted to construct a regiment of crossbow armed dwarfs as well.  Working on both simultaneously also helped keep them looking like they were set on the same battlefield.  I used bases and decorative details from Scibor Miniatures just like my previous units as I love the appearance (they are second only to Secret Weapon Miniatures in my opinion) and want the army to look like a force that is reclaiming ancient dwarf lands. The mosaics and ruined statues go a long way toward that.

 

BaseBuild3

Test fitting pieces

BaseBuild2

I like the tiles to look like they are from the same floor

 

After playing miniatures games since Warhammer second edition and buying Mantic Games undead from their just about initial release (boxed sets used to come with Renedra movement trays), I have acquired quite a pile of standard size movement trays so find them the perfect starting place for building Kings of War units.  After experimenting with different materials from my scrap boxes I’ve settled on wood and cork as a great combination for strength, texture (yes it matters!), weight, and ease of use.  The wood is all reclaimed balsa and such leftover from various projects so each unit base cleans up a little of my workshop as well. Bonus!

 

Basebuild1

Looks like it meets with his approval

Yeah, put some paint on it and we'll take it.

Yeah, put some paint on it and we’ll take it.

 

I like to keep an appropriately sized miniature around to test the look and size of different parts and before I’d painted any of the actual Shieldbreakers I had a converted spear armed dwarf handy to do the job.  Doesn’t hurt to test fit a few of the actual inhabitants, once their glue dries of course. Can’t have their temporary bases attaching to their permanent one.

 

BasePaint3

First colors down, ready for stain

Back view though hard to tell at this point

Back view though hard to tell at this point

 

After deciding where the bigger parts would be placed and gluing them down I covered the base with Light Weight Drywall Patch.   While this was still moist I poured the charcoal mixture I get out of used up water filters.  This makes for a nice texture while blending the various bits and pieces with the cork rather nicely.  This also creates, after spray priming, a solid surface for painting and gluing whereas the filler alone can be a bit delicate and spongy. Just like the miniatures I base coat, wash, and highlight the piece before applying mixed flocking materials and spray sealant.  Lots of spray sealant.

 

BaseDone3

First scattering of flocking in place.

BaseDone4

Bit of narrative even without any minis.

BaseDone2

Even looks good from behind

BaseDone1

Gyrocopter’s view of the base

 

When I’ve finished painting and flocking the base it is time to start gluing down the finished individual soldiers. I suggest starting at the front and working back as it is easier to fit them that way. As I hadn’t finished the command crew yet I had to take a more freeform approach with the ones I had.  Once they are glued in place and had time to dry I go in and touch up the paint on their feet as well as add more flocking and tufts of grass.

 

Gluing1

Call the lads. We’re ready to move in!

Closeup

I think this place has prior tenants still in it.

 

The figure I chose as the unit leader is actually one I already owned but with his huge, two handed hammer thought he’d be perfect to lead Mac’s Lads. I’ll probably end up getting another for use as a role playing figure.  The standard bearer and musician were regular troopers with a bit of conversion work.  The musician simply involved gluing on one of the horns I got in a pack of instruments from Reaper Miniatures.  They have some great little bits and pieces and many of the sprues can be purchased separately.  After all those spearheads and gripping hands I’d dealt with it was no problem to cut off one of the weapons, drill out the hands, and glue in some brass rod as the banner pole.  I topped it off with a piece I cut off of an extra Iron Guard banner.  In previous posts I’ve mentioned the wisdom off planning for storage while working on terrain.  I didn’t take that into account with this banner pole and will have to add yet another thicker tray to my Army Transport bag.  Of course that means I have room to make some more tall units now.

 

Mac and the unit musician

Mac and the unit musician

BannerDone

Banner bearer done

After I had glued a couple of troopers on with Mac I waited until the rest of the command staff were finished so I could attach them in front before adding any more regular soldiers.  This matters if you make big flags like I do and don’t want to lose figures behind it or have bent unnaturally.  Once touch-up paint and secondary flocking were done I added tufts of grass to break up the surfaces and add a further overgrown quality.  As mentioned in the previous post, they weathered shelling, took a charge from heavy cavalry, and still helped take down said horsemen before succumbing to Ryan’s artillery and magic chicanery PLUS nothing needed re-gluing after the battle.  All in all, a most auspicious beginning for this unit which, by the way, I think came out quite well.  Now if you’ll excuse me, there are some crossbow armed dwarfs that need my attention… and another elemental.

 

ShieldBreakers1

The finished unit ready for inspection

Side2

Left Face!

TopView

About Face!

Side1

Right Face!

Closeup1

CHARGE!

 

8
Aug

Ready…Aim…

HFCrossbowsstarted

The color scheme has come together.

The second edition of Kings of War is getting closer to arriving and I need a lot more ranged units for my dwarf force.  I had seven Hasslefree dwarfs armed with crossbows and I figured with some Scibor bits that would be enough to form a Troop. Gave them a rough test fit and I started painting dwarfs and building a base for them.

 

Testing

Okay, it all fits, now let’s make it look good.

 

With only seven miniatures, the painting went rather quickly.  Hasslefree minis are such nice little sculpts they really are a joy to paint.  That’s probably good as I have a dream of assembling an entire army of them.

 

HFwantingsealant

Just waiting for the sealant

 

With the soldiers finished they needed their base.  I assembled it using a plastic movement tray (I’ve been collecting them for years), cork, mixed sands, and a resin fallen statue.  The texture is actually the carbon and other grains from used up water filters.  I glue it on the base after all the assembly is finished to add a natural texture and even out all my errors and odd shapes.  I use superglue to add strength.  Then it is simply a matter of primering, painting, and flocking like I would for any miniature.  I think they make nice pieces even without miniatures on them.

 

The finished base just waiting for inhabitants.

The finished base just waiting for inhabitants.

 

After sealant, each figure has a hole drilled in the heel of one foot in which a piece of brass wire is inserted to pin the miniature to the base.  I use the gel form of superglue as it is easier to control plus it is great for the lichen and grass tufts.  After the figures have been glued down I touch up the paint and add small tufts of grass and little clumps of lichen around their feet.

 

HFGluingbegins

I begin the gluing process

 

Again, being a small unit with neither standard nor musician they assembled quickly.  Being Kevin White sculpts they are quite dramatic and look great together.

 

HFCrossbows2

HFcrossbows1

HFCrossbows3

HFCrossbows4

 

They really make an attractive unit when all finished.  In fact, I like them so much I’ve already started planning the Regiment of crossbows I want to build next as well as the Regiment of shieldbreakers.  Then, if I can get those two units finished I’m already picturing a Horde of Bulwarkers that need to join my army.

 

 

11
Feb

Hasslefree Dwarf Spearblock

Commandready

 

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.

 

Drilled wrist now to take on the hand.

Drilled wrist now to take on the hand.

Finished spears next to original

Finished spears next to original

 

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.

 

Hands, shafts, and points glued in place. Now onto the primer tray.

Hands, shafts, and points glued in place. Now onto the primer tray.

 

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.

 

Filler covered with texture and drying.

Filler covered with texture and drying.

 

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.

 

 

firstprimer

Look like armored Caspers

BW2WIP

Needing highlighting and details.

Finished spearmen accrue on the table.

Finished spearmen accrue on the table.

 

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.

 

Strap still too thick but coming along.

Strap still too thick but coming along.

 

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.

 

Gluingbegins

Brave commander in place

They look a little lonely

They look a little lonely

 

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.

 

Waiting for final cleanup and highlights

Waiting for final cleanup and highlights

Shields waiting to be sealed

Shields waiting to be sealed

 

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.

 

Top view

Top view showing the details

As seen from behind

As seen from behind

FinishedBW1

Ready for battle

 

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.

 

 

 

 

14
Jan

Slaying Berserkers or Berserk Slayers

Two berserkers on the table until the units are done.

Two berserkers on the table until the units are done.

I picked up a Troop (5) of Mantic’s Dwarf Berserkers recently. Once I realized the strips left over from my Warhammer unit trays were perfect bases for them I dove into my unpainted collection to create another one. Building them in strips of five Troops just makes sense as they can be combined to a Half Regiment and even if not playing Kings of War they are a full rank of five in Warhammer.  Slayers die in droves, if they are achieving their goals, and many are the battles when I have had to remove far more than five at a time.  Ryan’s Chaos Knights have a number of lines, okay… pages, in my Book of Grudges.

slayerfront

Tartan

Tartan

As is my habit now, I drilled (after clipping the tabs off) and pinned the feet of the Games Workshop figures onto temporary bases using white glue.  This gives me something solid to attach to my painting “handles” and quick and easy to attach once done.  The Mantic Berserkers, however, had smaller feet and bigger bases and as one of my goals is to keep any new projects moving across the table I decided expedience was the wisest choice and glued five of Mantic’s bases onto the unit strip leaving the circular tabs firmly attached.

itbegins

Each glued to the base as they come off of the table.

Each glued to the base as they come off of the table.

Stanley has accurately described our group as “Chipmunks on Crack” as we jump from one game system to another, trying out various genres, scales as well as materials (see my Wooden Wars posts if in doubt).  Truth be told, we just love games, especially if we get to paint and build stuff.  So my table is a scattered mix of things at any one time.  I have found though that if I have twenty of one thing in front of me all at once I can get frustrated so instead I keep two or three cycling through at all times until the group is complete.

Oooh, I think I can see the front of the line!

Oooh, I think I can see the front of the line!

Since I had used Scibor Miniature’s bases on my other recent dwarf units I decided to do the same on the strip of five Games Workshop figures as well.  To help tie into the Mantic strip, which had none, I only used two Scibor bases and it ended up looking as ancient and overgrown as the Rangers’ base.

Bases

Glued the standard bearer down because..why not?

I primed and painted the textured base just as I would a mini.  Since there wasn’t any detail to paint on the other I glued the standard bearer on before primer as it would be a more stable base to hold onto. Metal standards can be quite top heavy and I cringe remembering the number that have fallen off the Blu-taked handles in past. Always when most focused on final detail painting and never into the soft lap but rather the solid floor. Then it was simply a matter of gluing figures on as they came off the line or Finish Basic Training as I like to think of it.

Each glued to the base as they come off of the table.

Each glued to the base as they come off of the table.

 

All glued down

All glued down

unittwo2

I flocked the bases using green and brown mixtures of Woodland Scenics turfs and finished them off with some grass clumps. I’m so pleased with them I’m already going through the depths of my unpainted vaults to find more slayers.  I think two more strips of five should do it.  Haven’t decided whether I want another set with standard and musician or just crazed nutters.  Probably have enough unpainted that the answer will end up being both. Of course any those will have to wait for me to finish the Hasslefree Dwarf crossbows but that’s for an entirely different post.

To battle!

To battle!

Ready for action!

Ready for heroic deaths!

16
Dec

Rangers Assemble!

Shields for my Kings of War Dwarf Rangers

Shields for my Kings of War Dwarf Rangers

The Brewers had long been a guild as secretive and respected as the Engineers in Dwarf society and the two guilds found themselves often working together. When the vast plains with all their crops, towns, cities, workshops, villages, and breweries had been destroyed in civil wars followed by volcanic eruption and floods, they were forced to join their brethren in abandoning the ancient homelands, scattering into the wooded mountains of the southern borderlands or the trackless deserts of the east. Only the dark hearted ones went north but that is a different tale. Many clans and their brewing secrets were lost in the wilds before survivors began finding their way to the lush fields and valleys of the Crescent Bay. Like the other surviving dwarf clans here they were able to rebuild, even flourish, creating vast terraced farms of hops and barley, linked by trails and tunnels both to each other and the quickly growing underground cities.

GluingBegins

Dwarfs have long memories to match their beards and lifespans so no matter how well they were doing, no matter how fine a barrel they brewed, there was always talk of the lost clans and their legendary recipes.  Soon stories began to circulate of wandering brewmasters or hidden caches of ancient ale or, best of all, a written recipe of a long lost brew. As is usually the case, most of these turned out to be hopeful speculation but enough of them proved to be true that the Brewers Guild formed the Rangers to seek out the lost clans and their secrets. Now every Brewers clan send units out into the wild lands, mountains, and even tunnels on that very quest. No one knows exactly how many there are or even where their missions take them but it must be a considerable number because it is never a surprise to find them in the armies of the borderlands where wise commanders take heed of their counsel.

Runes read "Take One Down, Hand It Around"

Runes read “Take One Down, Hand It Around”

One of the best parts of Kings of War, from a modeler and painter’s perspective, is the opportunity presented by unit size bases. With the Bulwarkers it really aided in setup and storage as well as movement on the table, and, as seems all too often to be the case, removal from the table. With the Rangers I wanted the base to look like the wilds of the borderlands while still tying in with the rest of the army. I had a set of Games Workshop Bugman’s Brewers (I believe they are the second version of that legendary regiment, easily my favorite) sitting in my unpainted collection and demanding attention for over a decade.

TexturedBaseTop TexturedBaseFr

I used one of the plastic unit bases that used to come with Mantic sets, upside down Mantic bases, some Scibor dwarf statues, Scibor Ancient Ruins bases as well as Secret Weapon Tree Stumps. The Scibor Ancient Ruins bases look a lot like the floor tiles around the statues so make a good pairing and can be used in future unit bases to help unify a force that will be assembled from models made by multiple manufacturers. Mixing a number of the different sizes together means I only need a couple on each base to look like the troops were moving through similar long abandoned structures on the very edge of the kingdom. The Scibor Dwarf Statues made it clear who had built those structures and still laid claim to the lands around them. This was going to be fun.

Just waiting for runes

Just waiting for runes

Part of prepping each figure became cutting off the base and drilling out a foot for a pin before temporarily attaching it to a base for primer.  Being of the ancient line of actual lead figures, the drilling was rather easy if time consuming. I planned to assembled the painted figures on the base after painting so wanted to minimize the handling of them post sealant.

Color hits the base

Color hits the base

WeatheringStone1

Weathering Finished

Weathering Finished

Waiting for Brocks

Waiting for Brocks

Matching bases

Matching Brock bases

After assembly, the base was covered in textured acrylic medium which, when dry, was coated with super glue and dipped in charcoal taken from water filters. I had so much fun with it I built another, smaller one (1×5) from scraps and two Scibor bases for a planned Berserker unit. Once dry these were sprayed with primer. As I had already started using some of the Ancient Ruins Cavalry bases for my Brockriders I painted the new ones to match.

Gluing the troops in from the front. Adding lichens and textures as I go.

Gluing the troops in from the front. Adding lichens and textures as I go.

Runes read "Take One Down, Hand It Around"

Runes read “Take One Down, Hand It Around”

When the figures were all painted and sealed, they were removed from their temporary bases (Elmers glue is what I use to tack them in place).  The unit base was not only painted and sealed but then I weathered the statues using Secret Weapon pigments finished off with their brush on pigment sealant. I liked the idea of the unit carefully making its way through long overgrown ruins so added undergrowth around their feet as I glued in each row navigating around the trees and statues.  I stuck the champion out on the corner in front of the ancestor stone in part because he is one of my all time favorite sculpts but also because it looks like he is peering into the shadows, watching for attack.

Brewers assembled and ready for action.

Brewers assembled and ready for action.

Left flank waiting for some ivy on the statue.

Left flank waiting for some ivy on the statue.