Homeworld for Wayward Space Dwarfs

Devoted to the Preservation, Collection, Conversion, Painting, and Resurrection of Space Dwarfs.
Beards for the Beard God!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Underdeepers Lasgun Troopers: More from the Rotted Hearth

The first of five Underdeepers Lasgunners is Lewis Gunn, from the RT03 series. He is in a classic shooting pose so I didn't do too much with his base to distract from it. Just a Beakie Marine beak rusting on the base.
Trooper Gunn displaying regimental and chaos symbols on his gear. It's very considerate how the Perry brothers turned the caps backwards for all the smokers.

The Lasgunners of the Underdeepers squad come from a variety of the early Space Dwarfs releases. This one is Trooper Doc Winkleman, from the RT701 Medics series, released in June 1988. It is a good thing he looks much more like a sniper than a medic, since I have banned the medic option from the Hungry Ghosts army list as Khorne does not approve of the healing arts.
Imperial Guard on the front, Space Marine on the back. The GW designers squirted a little bit of every theme at the early Squats. His shoulder pad is the size of a small moon.

We take a break from Perry brothers Space Dwarfs with Trooper Pubert Oorlog. Designed by Bob Olley for the Squat Warriors series released in White Dwarf 108. He is one of 6 from the series that went out of production around 1991 (420204), perhaps related to his particularly curious body proportions.

Pubert has had his tiny Bolt Pistol turned into a Lasgun with the addition of the front bit of an Imperial Guard Lasgun and a bit of a chainsword hilt stuck to the top, with circular patterns to go with his round beltbuckle and buttons. I also chopped off one leg and replacing it with a bionic one, making an area of metallic bronze on the lower left to balance the bronze on the upper right. The leg is made from the base bit of an old Epic scale Tarantula artillery piece.

Tpr Oorlog is accompanied by a wee robo-pet. It's one of the old Chaos Androids from the Epic Stompas box. He was lurking in the vast Bits Mountains, tossed aside because he is slightly miscast (missing the blade at the end of the gun), but is in a similar pose as Oorlog, and so plucked him from the wilderlands and I gave him a new home.
Oorlog and mini-bot from the back, more clearly showing his four-toed cyberleg. This mini is an odd sculpt, somewhere between the greasy biker look and the short Imperial Guard look. And just a little bit of John Travolta in the Saturday Night Fever position.

Next is Trooper Rerun Renim, the Squat Miner from the RT601 Adventurers series, released in March 1988. Since our Miner has turned to Chaos, I turned his name backwards. His snappy and alliterative first name is in homage to the 70s television show "What's Happening!!", which I enjoyed as a beardling.

To hint at Trooper Renim's origins as a miner, I tied together his metal bits and his fleshy bits by using a yellowish-green skin tone and putting a dark green wash over the brassy metallic shoulder pads and his giant screw. Though not so easy to see from the picture, I also gave him a mouth full of gold teeth.

When working with minis that are relatively static in their posture like Rerun, I usually like to glue them toward one edge of the base or the other. This positioning can be used to create a more pleasing balance of positive-space and negative-space, compared to centering the mini on the base. It can also be used to draw more attention to the parts of the static pose that stand out, in this case Rerun's right arm. I also tried to paint him so that he seems to be looking toward the viewer rather than toward his screw-arm, providing two horizontal lines of focus.
Trooper Renim from the back. Since he is a Lasgunner who did not come sculpted with a visible firearm, I modified his small backpack to look like he has his Lasgun strapped diagonally across his back. I painted it in a light yellow-tan color, similar to his metal bits. I used the top of a WFB Dwarf or Empire rifle, not sure which anymore, but created the stock of the gun from the haft of a fantasy close-combat weapon because the pattern of the leather wrapping echoed the appearance of his screw.

The final Underdeeper is Trooper Eeg Niner, who anagramomologists will recognize as the Squat Engineer from the RT601 Adventurers series. He originally had some sort of tool in his hand instead of a gun, so I lengthened it into a Lasgun with a dragon patterned plastic barrel. I can't remember what Fantasy Battle army sprue it came from. I provided a contrasting line of view by placing a leaking pipe across the base, at the same angle as Tpr Niner's line of sight.

My copy of the Engineer came to me in a bent position, making Eeg lean forward like he is walking. In contrast, the mini as shown in the WD 99 ad is standing straight and looking up at something taller. So I gave him a miscast Sisters of Battle backpack to step over, and painted it so the miscasting looks like battle damage. The rounded patterns of the SoB pack go well with the rounded patterns of the trooper.
The back of Trooper Niner, with brown leaky pipe ooze accenting his the tone of his spacesuit. Though they are both in rather static positions, I think these two Squat Adventurers are nicely designed, providing a strong sense of individual character for the models. The individuality of the Miner and Engineer provide a welcome contrast to the swap-a-head themes of the Space Dwarfs & SD Command releases. The RT601 Adventurers series was full of interesting characters, many providing the earliest examples of popular troop types later expanded upon by the Army Codices of the 1990s, others lone weirdos lost in the beyond the flickering of the light of the Astronomicon.

Today's bonus miniature, for those who made it to the bottom, is also from the RT601 Adventurers series. This is the Ventolin Pirate, a test release for a line of minis sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline. I went through a few hundred Ventolin inhalers in my younger years, and also wore a pointy silver helmet.
Another view of the Ventolin Pirate, wearing an integral variant of the early Rogue Trader Space Marine style backpacks. Someday I will get around to giving him some Nurgle mutations.

The Underdeepers Autocannon Team

Here is the Heavy Weapon team from The Underdeepers squad, Gunner Lyle Karl and Loader Hondo Grigg. They are from the RT303 Space Dwarfs Heavy Weapons Crews released in February 1988. Their dead Dark Eldar is from the 40K 3rd edition set released a decade later.

Gunner Karl is using the first version of the Heavy Bolter released for 40K, which did not last long before being replaced by the larger version used by Gunner Keif. Since it no longer looks like a Bolter, is counts as an Autocannon. That is a partially destroyed Necron Scarab clinging to the side of the base.
Gunner Karl and his Autocannon from the other side. He is pretty much Gunner Keif with a different head. The second version of the Heavy Bolter that Keif is using is much better than this "let's stick some rectangles together" weapon Karl has.

Loader Hondo Grigg is the second member of the Autocannon team, though he seems to be carrying ammunition for a variety of weapons. He also has one of those tiny early Rogue Trader Plasma Pistols that is being counted as his las weapon instead.
Loader Grigg turned around, carrying even more ammo on his back. It's a good thing he no longer officially has a Plasma Pistol with that mountain of ammo he is hauling about, could make quite the explosion with the wrong dice roll.

Bonus picture for those who made it all the way to the bottom: A quattro of Rogue Trader Ork Boyz with Heavy Weapons. From the Realm of Chaos days, when Orkses and Stunties could get along alright as long as they all followed the same flavor of Chaos. Orks want the teef, Squats want the gold, they all want to explode tanks. They all also think Blood Thirsters are right mean killing machines who should be followed where ever they may lead.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Underdeepers: Rotted Hearth Infantry Squad 2

The second squadron of infantry troopers belonging to the Rotted Hearth Platoon are known as The Underdeepers. The name refers back to the part of Khazad-dûm from whence the Balrog was awakened. It was also selected because saying it aloud makes you sound like The Swedish Chef from The Muppet Show. The miniatures are from a variety of Squats releases, but were selected for this unit because they are all wearing caps, distinguishing them from the Blood Eagles with their bare heads.

Squad Commander Sergeant Mauser von Dreyse, from the RT03 Space Dwarfs series. He has been given the Bolt Pistol upgrade, but I couldn't bring myself to shrink down Mauser's Boltgun. I did paint it rusty, so it only has the firepower of the Bolt Pistol. He has a bit of Imperial tank tread on his base.

Notice Sgt von Dreyse's cigar, one of many to be found in the mouths of our intrepid Space Dwarfs. The Squats had the greatest rate of smoking among all the Warhammer 40K factions. Perhaps lung cancer ate them from within, instead of marauding Tyranids.
Sergeant Mauser von Dreyse from the back, lots of pouches and metal backpack. I think the metal backpacks are where they keep their gold, but the Squats maintain their silence on the subject. Blood for the Blood God, Skulls and all that, but Gold for the Dwarfs.

Next up is Vox Corporal Galil Lankhester, from the RT203 Space Dwarfs Command series, whom I mixed names up with Grom Atchison from the same series. Corporal Lankhester was given a Bird-Crossbreed mutation by adding a lengthy yellow beak from a Bretonian standard bit and painting his hands and face to match. I also increased the size of his Las Pistol with part of a second Las Pistol to make it look more like a Lasgun. More lasbits lay scattered at his feet.
Vox Corporal Lankhester from the back, displaying his devotion to Khorne on his music maker.

The special weapons trooper for The Underdeepers is Koch Wesson, with Meltagun. Another from the first Space Dwarfs series, with studded shoulder pad from a dead Ultramarine laying at his feet.
Trooper Wesson from the rear, looks like Squat Meltaguns require larger ammunition canisters than the Eldar versions. That, or one side is filled with beer.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Blood Eagles Lasgunners: Rotted Hearth Infantry Squad 1

Our tour of the Blood Eagles Squad concludes with the 5 Lasgunners. First up is Krag Jorgensen, another of the RT03 Space Dwarfs to be dropped out of production before the compilation of the 1991 Blue Catalog.

Trooper Jorgensen was originally armed with a puny Bolt Pistol which I converted into a Lasgun by cutting off the clip and lengthening it with a small dragon head from a WFB musician of some sort.
Jorgensen is another of the first series of Space Dwarfs to have a very boring back side. I gave him a plastic backpack from the WFB Dwarf warriors sprues, and have repurposed some Zombie Guts to serve as a length of rope. The empty area of the base was filled in a bit with a Chaos Skull symbol from the WFB Chaos Warriors accessory sprue and a broken bit of steel girder made from a leftover bit of sprue.

Sharing a hair stylist with Trooper Jorgensen is Trooper Owen Garand. He is one of my oldest Squats, bought in back in 1988 in a pack of 5 of the Bolter-armed RT03 Space Dwarfs. The extensive cutting that would be required (the Bolter is attached to his arm, shoulder pad, and boot) and a bit of sentimentality led me to leave the Bolters on all 5 of these Squats.

Once again, the static pose of the early Space Dwarfs left a lot of empty space on the base. I filled in a bit of green modeling grass just to have a little bit of vegetation clinging to life in the grimdark battlefield motif of the bases I use for the Hungry Ghosts. I also added half of a WFB rifle to create the appearance of a small exhaust pipe rising from an underground chamber, but am not too happy with it. It looks too much like the original rifle bit, so I may need to replace it.
This is the second version of Trooper Garand released by Citadel. The first came with a separate jump-pack and nub on the back to attach it, but did not have a very long production life. As we can see, the second Garand replaced the nub with a cloth backpack. It is rather similar to Jorgensen's backpack despite the 20 or so years between production of the pieces.

Trooper Colt Stoner is another of my 5 original RT03 Space Dwarfs, though in this case it is not entirely clear what his weapon is supposed to be. It seems to be a hybrid of Bolter, Lasgun, and Battle-Axe. He fills the base well for such an old model, so I haven't added much beyond my standard black fish bowl gravel to the base. I've been using the same bag of gravel for over 20 years now.
On the other way round, we can see that Trooper Stoner is carrying his own kidney dialysis machine on his back. The blades rising from the base provide a rare glimpse of the burrowing landshark of the Zardoz Omicron system. Quite the endangered species, as it is prized for its scales made of Unobtanium (how else is it going to burrow through stone?).

Next up is Lasgunner Enfield Chambers, another of the RT03 Space Dwarfs who somehow obtained the STC for the ancient Ak-47. Overall, not a very interesting mini in my opinion. I added a small antenna from a Battlefleet Gothic ship to the base, its thin pointy shape goes well with the thin pointy end of his gun.
Trooper Chambers from behind, wearing his daypack and wrench.

The last Blood Eagles Lasgun Trooper is Brew Ithica, from the RT302 Space Dwarfs Command series. I decided to go with a reptilian look for him, and painted his skin a drab green. I also removed his Chainsword blade, since our Las Trooper shouldn't have one, and added some greenstuff to fashion spiked brass knuckles to better bash the enemy. Or friends. Rabbits. Whatever, Blood for the Blood God. Speaking of blood, do Necrons have any? And if not, can Khorne see them? Circuits for the Circuits God?
Continuing the reptile scheme, I added a mottled green and yellow tail to his rear, a bit from the plastic Chaos Spawn sprues. As can be seen from both views, I've loaded his base up more than usual, with leftover Imperial Guard bits and some bits of wire screen and tube I found laying around. His lizard tail has been surrounded by as many opposing colors as possible to make it stand out even more.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Blood Eagles Heavy Bolter Team: Rotted Hearth Part 5

Your Chaos Scribe is really feeling the Nurgle today; ok, this whole week. So this post will be short. That was not a dwarf pun. In the grim darkness of the future, there are no puns: It is the Space Puns that were all eaten by Tyranids, not the Space Dwarfs. On the other hand, the Pigs in Space were all eaten by the Squats.

The Blood Eagles Heavy Bolter gunner is from the RT303 Space Dwarfs Heavy Weapons series. Originally known only as Gunner Keif, decades of research have revealed his first name to be Nermal. Also known as Gunner 1, he is probably one of the most common Squats out there. Gunner Keif is wielding a very large Rogue Trader era Heavy Bolter, anti-grav suspensors included. Since the best thing to do with a very large gun is to embiggen it, Keif's heavy bolter has been made more impressive with the addition of a long antenna from a Battlefleet Gothic Imperial battleship.
Another view of Gunner Keif, displaying the full grandeur of his antenna. One might suggest he is over-compensating for an inadequacy closer to his belt, but one might also not enjoy the heavy bolter fire offered as a riposte.

As we can see from the base rubble, the bloodthirst of the Hungry Ghosts of Khorne exceeds even that of the Blood Angels. All that remains of the Emperor's lackey is a lone shoulder pad, discarded like a snail's shell after the meat has been sucked out.

Heavy Bolter duties are shared with Loader Darth Khyrk, also from the RT303 series. Khyrk's skin is especially fetid, even for a Hungry Ghost. He was swallowed by a Tyranid, but ate his way out from the inside. I've added a drippy pipe section to the base, hollowing out part of a building wall section from the recent Imperial Cities of Death range.
Darth Khyrk from the back, carrying a Bolter no longer allowed under the current rules. Removing it would have been annoyingly difficult, so let's just say it's an unloaded souvenir from the Blood Angel whose shoulder pad lies on Gunner Karl's base.

Gunner Keif and Loader Khyrk together and ready to blast Greenskins and Point-Ears.

Let's take a moment to introduce the unofficial mascot for the Blood Eagles, Corporal Corpsey, He is number 16 from the Iron Claw Squats series. A wee winged demon pecks at his remains. I think he may be part of the C22 Wizard's Familiars range, or maybe the early 80s F series. I've had him since I was a mere Beardling, and can't remember exactly where he came from.

Finally, for historical curiosity value, here is the first picture of the Squats in Epic scale 40K, from White Dwarf 110. It is obvious Eldar propaganda, as the Thudd Gun is facing away from the Titan and toward our bearded friends. Even Squats who have been blinded by the light of the Lich on the Golden Throne know enough to point their guns at the Xenos.

But the pointy-eared artsy flower-farmers have always been known for their seductive lies: None of those keebish cookies are made in tree-factories, not a single one. Just another lie to lure hungry humans into the forest to be shredded by dryads.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Blood Eagles Squad: Rotted Hearth Platoon Part 4

The first infantry squadron from the Rotted Hearth Platoon is the Blood Eagles, named for a gruesome execution method used in northern Europe around a thousand years ago. To make this squad I again used all minis from the Rogue Trader Space Dwarfs and SD Command series, in this case the minis who had uncovered heads. Two Flesh Hounds of Khorne frolic in the background.

The NCO of the Blood Eagles is Sergeant Garr Metalhead, originally named Vikas Ingram and later known as Champion with Power Glove and Bolter 1. In 5th edition 40K, he is armed with a Power Fist and Bolt Pistol. I've left his Bolter alone because I hate the puny look of Bolt Pistols and wanted to keep the object in his left hand large to balance the impact of the large Power Fist on the overall composition of the figure.

The head of a Necron lies at his feet, which I've attempted to paint in a kind of ceramic sheen. I frequently use base debris to try out new painting techniques or designs. I also used it to create the illusion of a more dynamic striding pose. Garr's legs are actually parallel to each other and in line with his spine, while the only part of his body deviating from the standing straight position is his left arm. Placing the Necron head in front of his right leg makes it look like it is further back than the left leg.

Sgt Metalhead is my favorite of the three Space Dwarfs Champions, perhaps because because his metalhead reminds me of Robotech's Zentraedi Commander Breetai. Garr's skin is also painted in a light gray/blue to resemble Breetai, but I've also added an unhealthy pinkish tone since Sgt Metalhead is undead.
Zentraedi Commander Breetai

Sgt Metalhead from the back, with Space Marine style shoulder pads and jumbo size metal pack on his back. What are all those buttons for? Who is supposed to press them? What happens if he falls on his back? The mysteries of the Squats run deep. Edit 9 June 2010: I just noticed that the pictures are set up so they look like Sarge Garr and Breetai are having a lively conversation.

Next is Vox Trooper Grom Atchison, also known as Musician with Synthesizer 3. This Space Dwarf was sculpted with a deformed face to begin with, as if he were destined to succumb to Chaos. I painted him an unhealthy green, trying to give the suggestion that he spent some time drowned in a river. Since he is supposed to have a Lasgun under the current rules, I gave the appearance of additional length to his Las Pistol by adding a bayonet bit (it is a spike stolen from a Dark Eldar's helmet). He is another of the early Space Dwarfs with a rather static and planar positioning, so I put a small fence across the front of the base to create another axis at an acute angle and draw attention away from the static pose. The action on this mini is also in his midsection, where his hands are, and the fence reinforces that aspect by being about the same height. It's a metal bit from a Battlefleet Gothic ship.

To compensate Trooper Atchison for his missing front eyes, I added an Eye of Chaos to the back of his speaker so he can see behind him. Also because the area is otherwise entirely smooth and boring. The side is also smooth and boring so I added a round bit that I think was originally intended as a weapon scope. From both the front and back, Tpr Atchison has many pleasant small circles in the design of his equipment and bionics. When selecting the bits to add to him, I tried to pick bits that introduced still more small circles.

Corporal Montrose Moneybeak is the banner-bearer for the Blood Eagles, his banner providing reinforcement for the squad's name. This banner was grim enough that didn't feel the need to change it. I lengthened his gun with a small dragon head and greenstuff, to make it look more like a Lasgun and to create another longer straight line to balance the line created by the banner pole. It also continues the design theme of multiple faces on this mini.

Cpl Moneybeak from the back, I tried to paint areas of red so the would continue the diagonal line created by the red parts of his banner. I also put in a tiny oozing head wound to break up the uniformity of his bald spot. The posture of this mini is oriented on long straight lines, which left a rather large empty space on one side of his base To counteract this trend, I added a long piece of rusting chain snaking around his feet, originally from a Dark Eldar Jetbike.