Painting the Bugman’s forum mini

Back in 2011 a few members of the Bugmans Brewery forum (the best virtual brewery this side of the Old World, shameless plug) decided to organise a Grudge Match event at Warhammer World. Two sides, two armies that have repeatedly clashed throughout Warhammer History would fight it out in Nottingham with the winner taking all the glory and the loser all the shame.

Since this was a Brewery initiative, one of the first armies that would participate would be the Dwarfs. Finding an ancestral enemy to fight wasn’t that hard either. Sure, greenskins or skaven made for good choices but nothing epitomised true dwarfish grudgebearing like the War of Vengeance or the War of the Beard. And so the scene was set for a present day recreation of one of the largest battles of the war, the final or 16th Siege of Tor Alessi.

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Turning the shield wall into a killing machine 3

Picking up where we last left of.

I’ve steadily been working on my little spiky death machine horde unit. Working with an assembly line sure is efficient – there is something to be said of repeating the same task over and over and over and over and over –  but by Grungni is it boring.

There are various different things that need to be done though. The 40 strong unit was originally  made up of two different units both with subtle differences with regards to how they were painted. The first 20 are the very first models I ever painted so they are (or were) poorly highlighted,  amongst other things as I started painted for the first time. The later unit or units were painted with more experience and in a more uniform style which forms the basis for how I’m painting them now.

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Turning the shield wall into a killing machine part 2

Last time I started debasing my shield dwarfs. With that finished, I could start removing the arms that held normal hand weapons and start to attach the great weapons. I also cleaned and filed down the bases and sprayed them all with chaos black. Right, ready to glue down  the new GW dwarfs.

Bad quality pic: 40 new GW Dwarfs, ready for paint and base.

Bad quality pic: 40 new GW Dwarfs, ready for paint and base.

They are already usable on the table but far from finished. I still need to paint these guys, drybrush the chainmail of their new right arms, paint the axes themselves and touch up on their hands. Like I said earlier, some hands came of with the shields; these are easy to fix. Just glue on some of the ale mugs of the newer plastics. Those and the pipes go well with the older plastics.

Others have damage on their knuckles from the way that plastic glue works: it melts the plastic and forms a bond of melted plastic, which is generally quite solid but makes for messy damage to try and clean up. Some of the liquid green stuff works wonders here. An easy way to fix it and fill up the little holes left by removing the solidified glue.

Other then that, removing the basing which consisted of rather large stones removed some of the paint on the boots as well so I had to repair that as well.

More progress!

With the bases cleaned and the minis glued down, it became time for the paint job itself. Using this guy as an example (one of the GW warriors I already had) I’ll be painting my soon to be 40 gw warriors to a decent tabletop standard.

20 or so are already half way. With their helmets painted Dark Angels Green, their sleeves as well and the leather of their frocks in brown, they are starting to look more and more the part.

Progress as I continue.

Turning the shield wall into a killing machine

What goes before

It’s no secret that 8th edition favours huge blocks of troops and this goes double for Dwarfs. With our high toughness and high leadership, even lowly warriors have always had a lot of staying power in combat. Sadly, our low initiative means that even if we find ourselves getting off a charge, we still don’t get to strike first as combats are resolved in initiative order. Most Dwarf Generals have therefor found themselves make peace with the way combat works and have ditched Shields for Great Weapons. With the step up rule, we’ll be using bodies anyway so the extra little bit of protection from the shield is outperformed by the killing power of the great weapon. Great swatches of enemies are now piled up around GW wielding dwarf troops. At least, that’s the theory…

Getting it to look right

 Theory, schmeory. What matters most, absolutely most, 100% of the time is how good your little dudes look on the battlefield. So, the first principle of miniature warfare is: make your mini’s look good, or at least make them look the part. It’s a well known fact that dice favour painted mini’s, don’t you know?

Since I started late in 6th edition my first models where the so-called “gorrillaback” plastics. I have about 100 or so of these guys, 40 with shields, 13 or so with crossbows and the rest with either a standard or with great weapons, standing in for either gw troops or rangers. With GW’s become unbelievably more useful, I found myself in need of more models with them. But, as a fan of a coherent looking army, I was reluctant to mix up the 6th edition and the 7th edition plastics. The difference in style between the two is too big (and not in an old style marauder-dwarf model kind of way which I find to be very acceptable) for me to be happy with it. So, only one solution presented itself: convert all my 6th edition plastics to two horde blocks of 40 GW’s. Two big blocks of great axe wielding Dawi is a thing of killing beauty. And if I feel the need to field shield dwarfs again (for example a new dwarf army book…?) I’ll stick to the 7th edition plastic ones.

The hard work

First thing I had to do was separate the shields from the dwarfs. Problem is, these old plastics don’t have the ball-hole kind of connection between torso and arm, rather a flat surface so putting to much pressure on these shields resulted in more then a few arms that got removed, not counting the hands that broke of.

Shield Dwarfs in various states of deconstruction

Bad quality pic: Shield Dwarfs in various states of deconstruction

As you can see, not only did some of the shields take of the hands holding them, or did some of the arms come with as well, the bases themselves broke of. I decided to use this and rather then try and repair it, I removed all of the mini’s from their base, removed the basing (which was rudimentary anyway) and prepared to do the ultimate miniature make over.

So I find myself now with 40 baseless dwarfs, ready to get new bases, new weapons and perhaps even a new or updated paintjob. Updates as they so stay tuned.