Saturday, May 11, 2024

Square based and unfazed: my Dwarven army will stomp through The Old World again

My Dwarven army is finished and ready to stomp through The Old World again. To be fully honest I took them out for a spin already (most of them bare-based and some unpainted (heresy, I know)). But having them all lined up and fully painted is just a wonderful sight I wanted to share (and brag about, I'll be honest here ;). Without further ado, here's the lot:

Owning a fully painted army is a Warhammer dream well worth chasing.

Taking pictures of a full army is not as easy as it sounds. In this case I instantly regretted taking a tile from the old 'battlefield in a big bag' that had a mandatory hill on it. That is a bad idea with round bases and crazy folly with squares. Being high on my own success made me persevere though. I also made 'whee! sounds as my unit of warriors kept sliding down the hill on its movement tray.

Ironbreakers ready for action (I still haven't gotten around to reading the actual background for them, what are Ironbreakers?)

On to some unit shots and a bit of blabbering about my army list. You can read a zillion articles about smart lists or (heaven's forbid) 'the meta' (dun dun dun!). On the other end of the scale is the Stillman (Nigel) way of working also known as Stillmania. Personally I try to be in Stillman's camp but - to humble brag a bit here - my output is a bit of a handicap in trying to follow his guidelines. I tend to have more models available then points (or hours in an evening). Instead I tend to just add units I like to bring for the evening to a list until I (vastly) exceed the points limit, then I remove units until I am within the points limit. On club gaming nights this gives you two added bonuses. One meta players really freak out if you bring anything outside 'the list'. Two it opens up vast opportunities to give cheeky answers to 'Followers of the Meta'.


To add to the randomness: a lot of the models I own have rolled out of second hand lots I bought when angry mobs sold everything they had in response to Age of Sigmar. Most of my armies either started out with some old metal models I had left over from my youth, a bunch of models from a second hand lot or that one model GW launched that I really, absolutely needed to have now (I still love the Orc Orruk Kruleboy Vulture and I am quite happy I have my own version in the display case for instance). 

Orange adorned Dwarves taking the field! No Dutch army can function without a bit of orange after all ;)

My Dwarves mostly gestated around plastic models from the Battle for Skull Pass set that rolled out of many lot boxes. To this I added a bunch of metal models I kept from other lots, like this small bunch of Dwarf Slayers. 

Thunderers at the ready!

There are some models I really, really would love to own like the old Flame Cannon with the huge wooden barrel as a body. Unfortunately everyone likes Dwarves (excepting Orcs, Elves and a lot of humanoids of course (not to mention Hobgoblins, the Lost and the Damned, Lizardmen and Skaven (and assorted other creatures, but aside from those everyone!))). As a result of all this love, the prices for second hand Dwarves tend to veer towards 'eye-watering'. 

Thwoppa Thwoppa Thwoppa

On the up-side embracing 3D-printing and designers publishing old school style models, offers an alternative route to building a Dwarven army. Aside from that I have had a few lucky buys on second hand sites and dear friends donating some Dwarves to me. Thanks for the Ironbreakers Piet!

Unfortunately I'm not including this one in the army, partly because I will not switch it to a 50x75 base.

On the down-side other models get lost by the wayside. I haven't rebased or included one of the models in my collection I'm most proud of because it lacks rules (and I really don't want to ruin the base). My Gob Lobber sits on a lonely space aside from the square based army. For a chuckle I held a 50x75 square base next to it. It is dwarfed (no pun intended) by the Gob Lobber.

Some characters in front of a classic cottage.

The fun part of this Dwarf throng is that it is the culmination of a few years of on-and-off painting. I splashed paint on a model here, painted a unit there and now it all suddenly comes together (and all it took was a lot of apprehensive rebasing (and a bit of manic Gyrocopter painting)).

More thunderers!

While painting the Stunties I occasionally wondered if blue and white where the best choices, and if the blue wouldn't get boring when carried over to an entire army. Most of the old army books tend to add in green cloaked groups to break the monotony. I opted to ignore that option and just stubbornly stuck with blue (I must have a bit of Dwarf in me somewhere (right next to my Oricsh side)). In the end I'm happy I stuck with blue, it may be a bit boring, but it also really ties everyone together quite nicely.

Miners getting ready to get lost (underground).

The miners where one of the first units I painted for this army. I still get a good chuckle every time I see the candles stuck to the helmets. It makes me want to paint more miners, or perhaps try finishing that incredibly hard to paint pony cart that was in the Battle for Skull Pass set.

And a final top down shot from the army.

With that I can safely say that this around (by now above) 2000 points army is finished and ready to cause some mayhem (mostly within it's own ranks, considering the general leading them). I also have to admit that there are more Slayers on my paint station, some extra characters and I a bunch of Dwarf Rangers from Avatars of War just arrived. I felt like sticking some plastic models together as a break from metal and printed resin (and I really like that box (and almost everything else Avatars of War makes and designs)). Having said that, let's call this army complete (for now). More Dwarves to come or wait, what is that?  A vision of Goblins, Trolls and Nightgoblins dancing around?


  1. Amazing. This has to be the nicest looking Dwarf throng I've ever seen.

  2. Well that escalated quickly (a common problem throughout Old World history when dealing with Dwarfs). A painted warhammer army, or any mass battle game, is an impressive sight and a thing of beauty I can fall into whenever I get the chance to see one on display. I'd still use the oval based war machine, it doesn't move, its a diorama base .. ok so its not square but its so nice, you could always disguise its roundness with a piece of seafoam nestled against a base edge if that helps with any ocd hehe.

    Look forward to seeing your Avatars of War Rangers, one of the best kits GW didn't make, lovely sculpts and fit in well unlike some third party oversized steroid abusing 'lil guys' that could probably be House Goliath gangers with fake beards.

    1. I might just use the Gob Lobber if I get the chance. It's not so much OCD as my rather cavalier attitude when it comes to transporting miniatures (I stick them in box with some sound proof foam to absorb the worst of the blows (I always bring glue)). The Gob Lobber is one of the few models I really fear damaging. Plus it has a crew of six (counting the cook) and the size of two regular Grudge Throwers. It should have some extra rules to be properly represented. Here's to hoping it will be Made to Order when the Dwarves get GW love (which should be somewhere around now I guess).

      The rangers arrived and I should be assembling them. But there's an influx of Night Goblins that worries me. Where are these sneaky little gits coming from, and what should I do about them? Even worse: how can you properly base these small guys on a 25x25mm dinner plate? ;)