Monday, June 25, 2012

Hammer Time!

One of the best units for dwarfs in WHFB is the hammerers.  They are stubborn, have great weapons, WS 5, St 4, and have the Bodyguard special rule.  Unfortunately they are expensive metal models at $25 for 5!  So in order to save a little money for my fellow dwarf players, here is a quick tutorial on how to model up some hammers as great weapons for some cheap hammerers as an alternative to sinking lots of money into metal models that are all the same pose and have generally the same looking hammer.

First, take the great weapon axes from the sprue and cut off the axe head while leaving plenty of shaft so you and have what looks like a sledge hammer.

Next you'll need something to make a hammer head with, which can be any shape you can imagine, just so long as it's flat on one end.  Here are a couple of shapes I threw together last minute, one from a round 1/4" piece of plastic rod, the other from a piece of square tubing.

The square tubing was more of a challenge given that I had to plug both ends and make it look more like a hammer.

After both ends were capped with flat pieces of plastic, I was able to mount and embellish the hammers some, adding little bits of detail to make them less boring. 

An important note is the direction in which the hammer head is facing relative to the shaft, you will want the head of the hammer positioned on the model as though they might actually be about to swing said hammer as opposed to looking like they just picked up the hammer to carry it somewhere.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Painting Dwarf Beards

My process for painting beards starts with randomizing which dwarfs get which color of beard.  I usually use a d6 and a list of easily painted hair colors and pick out each dwarf individually and determine which hair color is going to be randomly assigned to each one.
1. Black 2. Blond 3. Light Brown 4. Dark brown(brunette) 5. Red 6. Gray

My randomization didn't work out quite like I have hoped and I ended up with a lot in the light brown and red, and not many in any other color so I had to redistribute a few models to balance things out, so after randomization there are at least 2 models for each hair color.

The paints that I use for each are going to be a mixed naming convention because I've upgraded a few of my colors to the new GW paint line while still having a number that are from the old paint line. 

1. Black - Base Abaddon Black; Drybrush Codex Gray
2. Blond - Base Zamesi Desert; Drybrush Bleached Bone
3. Light Brown - Base Bestial Brown; Drybrush Zamesi Desert
4. Dark Brown - Base Rhinox Hide; Drybrush Bestial Brown
5. Red - Base Blazing Orange; Drybrush Fiery Orange (good color scheme for Slayers also)
6. Gray - Base Codex Gray; Drybrush White Scar

The results:

From left to right; Blond, Light Brown, Dark Brown

From left to right; Black, Red, Gray

Fortunately for me this unit is just about ready for battle.  I've got a little bit of work to do on the weapon still, along with going through and doing some final cleanup and touch-ups to each individual model, but right now I wouldn't feel bad fielding these guys in battle, they have come a long way and are looking pretty good.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Dwarf Warrior Custom Standard

So I've always thought that the dwarf standards that coem with the stock models are rather boring.  Usually just an anvil or something small on top of a pole.  So I went about designing a new standard for the warriors with great weapons.

First step was just getting the pole, crossbars, and cloth set up.
So with a lot of plasticard, and a bit of greenstuff, the standard was born.  I'm really pleased with how the sculpting came out in the upper left hand corner, the upper right isn't bad, but the rest is just so-so.  Not bad for my skill level I suppose, but I will try to do better in the future.

I added some other imbellishments to help create a more dwarf feel (ax on top, rune on the banner) along with some pegs in the banner itself to hold it on the poles.

Overall I think it looks pretty decent once I put a bit of paint on it.  Overall, it meets my standard for a tabletop model, and it's nice to have something a little original in the army.


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Painting Dwarf Skin

So next up I decided to paint the skin all the dwarfs, which like many models doesn't involve much, but on Dwarfs involves even less due to the large beard covering a majority of their face.  I start with an old Vellejo paint that I've had for so long that the actual name has been worn off the bottle, so we'll just call it, medium skin tone.  I get a good base going, which in this case since I use black primer takes 2 coats.
The old style dwarfs, which I'm painting, are pretty ham-fisted, which while un-pleasant, isn't that noticeable once you get the rest of the dwarf painted.  The face, while small, is still an important feature on the model so a nice skin tone goes a long way to giving it some depth.  I'm not going for a pro-painted look by any means, but I am definitely going for a good tabletop quality.

Next up is a coating of chestnut ink, which will make the model look rather horrific while you are doing it, but don't sweat, it will improve with the next coats.
Finally I use another Vellejo color that I've had for ages, so lets just call it light skin tone.  I generally try to do a combination of dry brushing and highlighting with this step.
 This gives a nice depth to the face as well as distinguishing the gianormous fingers. 
Next up I'll start doing the cloth and trim, followed by the beards, weapon, and cleanup.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Dwarfs Emerge from hiding!

Since I have arrived in the Sacramento area, I've been fortunate enough to find a few games against some great opponents for Warhammer Fantasy.  I've slowly started to learn the 8th edition rules, and while I still don't like some of the changes, the fact that I'm having a great time playing again is making it a lot more tolerable.  Since I'm playing again, I've broken out my nearly-dried-out paints and have started putting some work into painting some neglected units. 

I've come to the conclusion that in this edition of WHFB, the dwarfs aren't going to survive in the unit blocks of 15 models anymore, it doesn't provide enough wounds to really be effective in close combat, especially against some of the hordes that I will be facing.  So I've decided to bulk up some of my favorite units to 20 models each, which includes hammerers, ironbreakers, longbeards, and warriors.  I'm considering getting some more thunderers in the future as well to have a bit more shooting offense. 

Along with all the changes to units comes some painting.  And an important factor to also consider is that troopers can no longer take great weapons in addition to hand weapon and shield.  I'm not finding this objectionable, rather, I've got all my dwarfs (aside from the hammerers) modeled with only hand weapon and shield, so I needed a unit of warriors at least with great weapons.  I'll eventually model up some longbeards with great weapons, but first I've got a batch of 16 warriors with command that I've got on the painting block.
Since on a dwarf you are going to be painting a lot of metal between the weapon and the chainmail, I start with a heavy drybrush of boltgun metal, followed by some black ink, then highlighted with a lighter drybrush of mithril silver (I'll try and convert over to the new paint names eventually).  The finished result is a clean looking armor that won't be hidden by the other paint or aspects of the model.

I was also able to start putting a base coat on the skin areas, which will be followed by a chesnut ink wash and a lighter flesh tone highlight.