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.


  1. Terrific post but more importantly awesome blog as a whole. I have been following silently for quiet a wwhile now as I was unable to post comments on non pop up comment blogs. That time is over now.

    What I most enjoy about your blog is your colour pallette; bright yet sinster at the same time. The models are always a surprise and your post are well thought out. I tip my hat to you and your dwarfs. Keep up the great work.

  2. Thank you for the complements. Bright yet sinister is exactly what I was going for. When starting up on the army, I decided that I wanted them to look like they might have been torn from the pages of a comic book. For me this meant a couple of things.

    First was that I wanted to use the base as an opportunity to create a mini-scene, or at least enhance or contrast some of the elements of the miniature's design. I also used Chaos mutations for the same end. Citadel has done a good job over the decades at filling this need, but the more static positioning that was necessary 20 years ago can really be improved by the addition of some appropriate bits.

    Second was that I use a wide color palette, using both black and white and almost every major color in between somewhere on the mini. Khorne makes this pretty easy, since red, black, and gold provide distinctive color boundaries.

    But red gives you reason to use purple and browns as shading and orange for highlights. The gold mixes well with yellow or browns. And the black gets dark blue and light grays as highlights if I'm trying for a glossy black, or dark browns for dull or worn black surfaces. Use green or blue as a contrasting color to the red, and you've used just about every color.

    But just to be sure, I made the Hungry Ghosts zombies so I could paint their skin any color I wanted, and have tended toward light blues and greens.