Monday, April 19, 2010

Enter the Dwarves

Well, it's been a month since I last constructed stuff and over a year since my last mini purchase, so it felt about right to stave off more boredom with more minis!

I've always preferred dwarves to other races in all fantasy games. So why have I got so many goblins? Well, I got a ton of them with the Mines of Moria original purchase! Who better to combat goblins than dwarves?!

So today we (my wife and I) headed over to the other side of the city for some bathroom tiles (a far more boring construction job) and on the way back I picked up two boxes of dwarves. I'll be batch-painting them, so they won't be awesomely painted like some people have done, but it'll be much, MUCH faster than individual painting! Well, for me, I think I'm a bit slower than many of you out there at this sort of work.

At some stage I'll get some of the metal minis (they're much better sculpted and detailed) but they're a lot pricier and they didn't have any in the store, so for now it'll just be the plastics. I already have a Gimli, so will still be able to field an army. I'd just like a Dwarf King and some of the tougher Khazad Guard and Iron Guard and maybe some Vault Wardens and... Eventually =)

As you can see in the above image I've got a bit of stuff lying around. There are four sprues of dwarves from Lord of the Rings and some leftover bits from some old Warhammer dwarves etc. that I might also play around with adding for some flavour.

One box of hardy, stoic, Dwarven warriors. 8 with bow, 8 with two handed axes, 8 with hand axe and shield.

And one box of stealthy, resourceful, Dwarven rangers. 8 with longbow, 8 with throwing axes and 8 with two handed axes.

You know I'm not a power gamer, so I'll be putting these together in a way I think is cool, rather than trying to get maximum effectiveness.

The gist of my plan? Glad you asked. I fight my brother's Haradrim often enough and so we talk about the goblins having come up from deep tunnels, having spread all the way from the far distant North. On the maps of Harad there are a couple of singular mountains or something like that.

So what we have here are a lost tribe of dwarves, that originally tracked down to the South in search of precious metals (what else) and were separated long ago by the hordes of goblins, some cave-ins etc. So they are Southern Dwarves and might not fit the traditions of their Northern brethren.

When Gimli and Legolas do their grand tour after the War of the Ring, I'm sure they encountered these guys =) So, what does this all mean? Well, I think I'll be adding some warhammers, some picks and some swords to the weapons the dwarves use. I really like all the extra bits and stuff in the warhammer kits, you get less minis per dollar, but a whole lot of extra stuff. Unfortunately the sizes are slightly different scale-wise so I guess we'll just see how it goes.

With the minis, there are 8 of each type, but it is two lots of four, so some customisation will help in not making them too similar. I know in practice it's not actually such a big deal, after all, I must have 5 or 6 of each type of goblin by now! But these guys cost almost twice as many points to play with, so you'll sort of see them more as individuals than the gobs.

These are the paint pots that I'll be using to stick the minis on as I batch paint them. That's right, 48 of them. A bit of blu-tac on the base of each mini and they'll be spending quite a bit of time perched up there. I'm sorry it won't be as comfortable for them, but they're dwarves, they can hack it!

Here are the colours I've selected for painting. When I batched the goblins I got out the main colours and a highlight then afterwards (if I could be bothered) I did more detailed touching up. So, what colours will I be using?

Well I put together this Mad Cat not long ago. I've always had a liking for purple, and my wife suggested perhaps a turquoise for a highlight rather than a more "traditional" yellow or gold. I figure that being way down south and nearer the coast, and a source of purple (which I believe back in the days of yore was obtained from crushing particular types of shellfish, hence its rarity) I would do similar (but a bit darker) purple for the dwarves.

I know most do red/blue or green for theirs so I just wanted to try something a little different.We'll see how it all goes anyway!

The rangers will have grey cloaks, I'm hoping to make them blend in with the game board and bases.

So purple clothing, silver/mithril armour. And, of course, a selection of greybeards, redbeards and brownbeards.

So spent the afternoon removing them from their sprues with clippers, then using a sharp craft knife to neaten up the inevitable bits left on them. Once that was done I got out the superglue and stuck them on their bases. Although it looks like they're all half up on rocks in the picture above, they're not, just five or six of them, but I did them near the end, so they're near the front of the group.

Dinner time now, so the glue will set overnight. Tomorrow I'll (hopefully) get on to using some PVA glue on the bases and getting the sand on them. That'll be fun. And hardly repetitive at all. It'll all be a little repetitive. Repetitive? Yes, a bit repetitive. That's what it'll be.

I remember with the goblins going through several stages.
1. Goblins, how awesome, gnash gnash, stab stab, gobliny goodness.
2. Ooh, look at them all, how cool will they look when they're all painted up on the board!
3. Clip - clip, wow, there are a lot of them aren't there.
4. I'm never going to finish.
5. Wow, after painting this layer they don't look anywhere near as good as I thought.
6. Repeat step 5 for each of the first layers of colour.
7. Well, this highlight colour will make the difference.
8. Repeat step 5 for each of the highlight colours.
9. What a waste of time and effort. Oh well, I guess I'll do the final touches anyway.
10. Hey (insert random visitor here) check out how much difference these final few touches make!
11. Woohoo! They're AWESOME!
12. I'm NEVER going to go through that again.
13. Hmm. I wonder how cool it would be to have an army of (insert other figure type here).


So stay tuned. I'll try and record them step by step for...
a) posterity
b) sanity - if I pretend I'm doing it for a) I'll be more inclined to keep on going =)

If you want to see how good ones are painted up head to TLA or One Ring and check out some of the pictures of those guys.
Or the games workshop ones


  1. A new army is always a blast to start, and a slog to finish.

    If you have any interest in some dwarven vault wardens and ballista I'd suggest you check theses out:

  2. Looks like you'll have some fun putting those together! I look forward to challenging the dwarves in battle!