Dirty Dwarves Done Dirt(ish) Cheap


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Post Tue Feb 27, 2018 10:40 am

Dirty Dwarves Done Dirt(ish) Cheap

One of the armies I've always liked the idea of playing with in various systems but never got around to collecting was dwarves. Last year, I decided to rectify that. I picked up the em4 ex-Grenadier dwarves, 150 of each and a load of bases... and promptly put them in the cupboard promising myself I'd do something with them later, but never got around to it.

I've got some free time now and decided that now is the time to finally get these little buggers cleaned up and on the table, and that's what I've been doing this last week, as well as adding some more miniatures to the army.

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Here's as far as i got last year. Just a test to see if the idea was going to work; and it was. I've been becoming more and more in love with monopose miniatures over the last year; they just have this character to them and an aesthetic appeal that makes me smile inside.

However now things are speeding up a bit more.

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This is where I was at about a week ago; I've ordered some new primer as my old stuff has expired, same for the paints as well. I'll try refreshing them later, but I can't be bothered to spend hours trying to turn that hardened gunk in the old paint pots into something usable at the moment.

At this stage I was going to just paint it up as you see here, but the primer needed ordering and I thought I might as well crack on with the rest. Then some other thoughts came to mind. A quick jump on ebay and a few days later...

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I originally was going to use one of the Foundry medieval bombards and convert some of the dwarves to artillery crew, but seeing these giant crossbow miniatures made me pause. It's also a nice change from the whole dwarves=guns thing so many companies do. As you can probably tell, Nick Lund's work is going to be a rather prominent feature with this army.

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A brief word on the basing system I'm using. I don't know what I want to use these miniatures for, by and large, but I do know I want to have them useable for as many systems as possible, while also getting rid of some of the hassle; sure, movement trays could also be a thing, but this system should be a nice compromise (and cheap, and I also like the way it looks. The dwarves will mostly be based on these 40mm MDF bases, but I know there's a few systems out there where you need precise basing sizes (KoW comes to mind), so with that, I also bought a load of these 20x40mm MDF bases too; these will have some characterful things on them; maybe some old miniatures, items, terrain pieces, etc when I'm done to bring the ranks up when I need precisely 5 in a rank.

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And here's yesterday's work added to the growing pile of lead and plastic; Grenadier sculpted axe dwarves and a command stand. Perhaps not the most original addition, but the price was good and the miniatures will add a little character to the front rank of the axe dwarves.

My biggest problem at the moment is dealing with the enthusiasm I'm feeling for the hobby again. I've already bought some terrain supplies to make up some forests and other terrain and I've been tempted to expand an old Mantic force I have to reach the Lichmaster campaign force. Just forcing myself right now to not bUy the em4 plastic orcs (at least until I'm done with these dwarves...)
Last edited by Outsider on Mon Jun 11, 2018 6:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Posts: 44

Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:57 am

Post Wed Feb 28, 2018 6:01 pm

Re: Dirty Dwarves Done Cheap

And here we are. Everything cleaned up, washed and ready to be primed. I might add more spear and crossbow later on and of course, there's the side bases to consider model wise but for now this is fine. Now just to wait for the primer to get these ready for painting.

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Posts: 44

Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:57 am

Post Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:43 pm

Re: Dirty Dwarves Done Cheap

I'm considering adding a unit of gunners to the army; I've been growing fond of the existing ex-Grendier 'Hand Gonne' style dwarves that Mirliton still make; that 14th century esque look is pefect for the general visual appeal of the army.

However, they do cost a fair bit of cash plus delivery so unless I make a big order, it's not really worth my time for what will be a novelty regiment.

I am however debating doing the classic thing done with the em4 plastics and converting them to my needs. Thanks to those metals, I have 12 axe dwarves that are currently somewhat surplus to requirements. I also could mix in five or so of the spear dwarves.

I'd have to make a casting or sculpt and make a casting of a reasonably decent tube section for the firearm part of the miniature, then a simple snip, sand and glue to put it in place. I'm just debating whether to do this or not.

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Posts: 44

Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:57 am

Post Thu Mar 01, 2018 10:34 pm

Re: Dirty Dwarves Done Cheap

I had a crack at it just to see how it would look, and I'm pretty happy with the results.

First step was to prepare a dwarf normally, clean it up, etc, but then to clip off the spear point on the polearm.

After that it was time to make the gonne; a little tricky to get a decent cone and but a little rim on the edge. But managed to get there after a while.

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Next up was letting it dry for a bit, then to cut it down so it matches the spear point and glue it in place. I still need to drill the hole in it and put a touchhole in it, but I think it turned out rather well. Need to clean up the join a bit, but I'll just smear some pva over the gaps tomorrow.

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Does this look convincing enough, by the way?
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Post Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:21 am

Re: Dirty Dwarves Done Cheap

That's a very cool army project - I'm looking forward to seeing where this goes.

The gunner also looks nice so far. Maybe I would add some additional gun-related item to him, like a powder horn for example.

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Post Fri Mar 02, 2018 1:16 pm

Re: Dirty Dwarves Done Cheap

LilBroGrendel wrote:That's a very cool army project - I'm looking forward to seeing where this goes.

The gunner also looks nice so far. Maybe I would add some additional gun-related item to him, like a powder horn for example.


Good idea; I also added a little wick to the other hand for him to hold that will be painted up as smouldering away.

I'll not replicate this by hand each time; I'll make some push molds and copy the detail to help speed things up with the others, but this miniature is definitely looking more like a gunner now. It'll look more like their own miniature as well once the spear dwarves have their shields on.

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The glue looks a bit messy but it's smooth to the touch and I've given it a light sand. Should vanish under the primer.

I also drilled out the top to get it to look less like a cudgel on a stick and more like a gun.

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Also you can't see it, but there's a little touch-hole pressed in on the back.

Posts: 44

Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:57 am

Post Fri Mar 02, 2018 4:11 pm

Re: Dirty Dwarves Done Cheap

Got to say that collapsible spray booth was a great investment; spraying inside without being gassed out by the fumes and getting a nice smooth finish with snow on the ground outside.

here they are; all ready to go. I'll likely wait for the paint to cure properly before tackling the basecoats.

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Posts: 44

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Post Tue Mar 06, 2018 5:49 pm

Re: Dirty Dwarves Done Cheap

Little bit of an update; didn't want to post after every brush stroke, but enough progress has been made to justify it now I think.

The beards and flesh have all been done; the plastic beards are a little shallow but they seem to have turned out alright. The faces actually painted up pretty nice and easily so that was quite nice.

Now onto the bulk of these dwarves... the metals.

Going over them with a a basecoat, probably will just wash and maybe highlight a few things, weapons, etc.

Done about a quarter of them so far. The push mold is an experiment for another project. Might do a thread on it when these are done.

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And what's left to sort out.

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Posts: 44

Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:57 am

Post Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:20 am

Re: Dirty Dwarves Done Cheap

Got the metals done; it's a bit of a relief to finally be able to paint something that isn't silvery!

Blue trim going on now; a bit stereotypical perhaps but it does look good on the miniatures.

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Posts: 44

Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:57 am

Post Fri Mar 16, 2018 2:17 am

Re: Dirty Dwarves Done Cheap

Still chipping away at the dwarves. Just got the leather and embellishments to do after the fabric is done. I'll take a shot of them before and after basing next.

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