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.

Back into the game

As my history will once be the subject of school books, I decided to give our readers a head start by going over a few moments in my limited, and yet not so brief history with Warhammer. We mark this era as the time when 6th ed Warhammer Fantasy Battles was brand new.

The bad start

It sounds like a familiar story: people get gripped by the game, buy a few items, and a few setbacks in the game or the financial demands people’s interest dies out. I started in a similar fashion. I made the call to start my own army, whilst being on a limited budget. With the BRB and the army book, I hit a phenomenal cost before even acquiring my first model. The financial drain slowed my acquisition of my army. The picture on the right shows my army after three months into the hobby.

My inexistant Warhammer Army

My inexistant Warhammer Army

The financial weight of the hobby drove me to perfectionism: waste was unaffordable so my aims became unrealistically high. After a year, I had an army background, colour scheme, painting techniques, character names… and painted only 4 models total. I hadn’t played the game once, as I lacked the models. And slowly, the hobby was being pushed into the background.

Paper wars!

When more players found their way to us (Hey Dourin! *wave*), we grouped up weekly for the game. Practical and financial challenges were looming about to put a stop to our youthful enthusiasm but with our superior minds, we outwitted those challenges! Behold below, the mighty sprues from which we made armies of legendary power!

Paperhammer equipment

It’s nothing to be proud off… But it got us on our way!

We printed out 20mm and 25mm bases, cutting out units in the desired formations. With a brand new 2000 points army costing only a few cents, we had the means to play the game. We even nicked chalks and borrowed tables from the classrooms to draw the battlefields. Gnarled woods, rivers, ponds, world’s tallest mountains and world’s deepest chasm: we had it all with the twist of a crayon! And the armies were easy to transport too, right between the army book’s pages.

It was awesome for the game… and awful for the hobby. Slowly, we acquired our armies and got into the game properly, up until our graduation.

The return!

Graduation took us different ways for a while, but we found our way back. The past taught me some pitfalls of the hobby so I came prepared. I made a financial plan and manage the hobby around “1 hour per evening, during weeks”. I have plans for terrain, models, extras, always keeping it focused around a strict time frame and regulated budget.

I did lack a monthly painting plan at first, but when I heard of the 200pts Painting Club at the Warhammer.org site (thanks to the reference from Bad Dice Podcast), I joined it and made that plan.

Long story short: I’m back! Better than ever. And this time, I will be taking prisoners. For the altars of Khaine!

So it begins…

Welcome fellow Generals to our warhammer blog of incredible importance! Together we return to hasten the demise of our foes… And non-high elves too. Once more we shall rule the mightiest battlefields of plastic soldiers!

I’m Dourin

Ha-ha, welcome one and all, but mostly the Dwarfs of course! I’m kidding, everyone is welcome. Except grobi. Stay out. I mean it! Being a Dwarf General from the day I got into Warhammer (it was a choice between Lizzies and Dwarfs, and lets be honest, that’s no choice at all.) I’ve done my fair share of casual and tournament play. Lately though I’ve been getting more into the background of it all, writing the background of my own hold, Karak Wyr or the Ice Hold, way up in the Grey Mountains. In this blog, I’ll be talking my painting adventures, my battles to avenge grudges and other miscellaneous stuff having to do with Warhammer. So until then, have a pint on Daeron’s tab, the pointy eared git. 😉

I’m Daeron

I’m the dark-ish, elf-ish, evil-ish, old-ish, odd part of the pair. Sporting 31 summers, being father of a terrific kid and maintaining a chateau (it just looks like a house), I’m a busy man who spends the last hour of each day making plastic bits conquer the world. I’ll be blogging about Warhammer! A real surprise there. I’ll try to share my misadventures through:

  • Battle reports
  • Pictures of painted minis
  • Pictures of the most fascinating wargame terrain imaginable… sort of
  • Managing the hobby… because we have to
  • Theoryhammering to infinity

About the latter… I enjoy and perform a great deal of theorycrafting as well as bit of programming. Quite likely, I’ll be combining both in building calculation and simulation tools to explore different aspects of the game.

Dourin and Daeron