Tuesday 4 June 2024

Dwarves from "back in the day"



Sometime in the early 90's I bought a couple of packs of dwarves to crew my dwarf juggernaut which for such a hefty lump of a war machine was woefully under crewed and ridiculously under gunned. I went for a set of crossbow armed dwarves which seemed a good idea and a set of random fighters in the hope that there'd be something interesting to add to the mix. Unfortunately the dwarves proved a little too chunky to fit comfortably on the deck of the juggernaut so they got based up as normal and saw limited use as allies to my Bretonnians that I went on to collect. 

As time went by some of the fighters got slight repaints and one of them got converted to a standard bearer (far right with sword and shield). This was long before I acquired the much fabled "pin vice" which to my mind probably looked like a miniature bench vice which was my only point of reference. So, any holes that needed to be drilled were done by hammering a drawing pin into the metal and in this case through the dwarf's fist. Fixed Hawkmoon's broken ankles that way too. 

Anyway, the years passed by and in the early 2000's when I was painting for Foundry I repainted two of the fighters to sell. The first (centre with cleaver) I think I hassled Steve Dean into selling for me as I had no idea how to sell anything. He directed me shortly after to Ebay which is where I sold the second (far left with axe and shield) for probably less than a tenner and developed a buying addiction that has blighted my finances ever since. The remaining models remained rattling around in various boxes until last year.

What I'd been doing for possibly two years was focusing on painting models I'd owned "back in the day" to get some of the more meaningful figures in my collection repainted. These are after all models that date back to my formative years of collecting and painting, and gaming. As such I decided to give these two sets of dwarves a new lease of life. Years ago I acquired a duplicate of my mangled standard bearer model so I replaced that one (still have my original) and the other two of course had to be sourced on Ebay for the sake of completion. Not the highest of priorities in life, but they were! Lead addict thinking.

When it came to painting the models I carried on with the idea I'd been following for a little while at the time which was to use my old colour schemes as inspiration, or at least what I could remember anyway. The crossbow dwarves were probably originally inspired by Wayne England's dwarves from White Dwarf which were blue and white. Although it's always possible my colour choices may have pre-dated seeing that article. I'm not sure anymore. The fighters colours mostly stuck in my memory. The two that are mostly metallics were a no brainer in general. Matched the beard colours and then it was just the shields to figure out. I don't recall what I first did with them but they did get replaced with the plain wooden shields from the fantasy regiments box which I did in purple and white halves. I didn't want to follow those colours though so decided on different designs for each. Red tabard dwarf and cleaver wielding hero were colour schemes that stuck in my memory ever since so were easy to reproduce. The shield design is a crude homemade decal overpainted. The only one I struggled with was the pistol firing dwarf. I remembered painting him in the purple and white scheme but was sure that was a repaint. Had a vague feeling I might have originally done him in yellow but may have been confusing that with a pic from a rule book or White Dwarf. Either way the yellow won and his shield is also an overpainted decal.

So there we are, ten dwarves renewed, painted mostly in the colours a younger me chose but to a standard I could never have achieved at the time. At some point I'll re-do more of the dwarves I had. The Marauder giant slayers are very tempting but also the war machines, the goblobber and Marauder artillery pieces.


  1. Lovely job. Is the nervous pistolier’s shield a nod to his Dragon Company extra origins?

    1. Just a vague recollection of perhaps seeing a yellow a green dragon shield on a dwarf again maybe in WD or a rulebook. I forgot, I did consider doing him in red this time around to match Ulther's lads if I ever get them. Yellow won though.