Tuesday, 30 November 2021

Dwarf Comparison

Somebody asked if I would post a photo of the Crooked Dice dwarf alongside others from my collection. Thinking that others might find this useful, and to spread a little beardy love, here is the result. As you can see, I have lined him up with old GW dwarfs from the 90s, since these are the ones that fit best in my collection. In height, they are all similar, the GW figures are bulkier in the body and facial features. A finer band of stout adventurers I cannot imagine.

Saturday, 21 August 2021

Mom Miniatures Dwarfs review

Mom Miniatures are a Spanish company with a fair sized range of resin fantasy miniatures. I was particularly drawn to the dwarfs, so made a small order to get an idea of their quality and suitability. The photo above I grabbed from their website, showing the unit I ordered fully assembled and ranked up on 20mm squares. On placing the order I received a confirmation email telling me I would receive another email when they had been shipped. Eight days later, the postman delivered them. That’s quite impressive given the current circumstances. I am UK based, there was no hassle with VAT, import duties or such like, I am still unsure what is supposed to happen in the brexit set up?

Here’s how they look out of the blister pack.There are ten unique head sculpts on one body pose, five axes, five hammers and ten shields. The shield arms have a slot to receive the back of the shields, which you can see at the bottom of the picture. You could, of course, use your own shield here.I have not assembled them as yet, so here’s another photo from their website to show how they would look.

The quality of the casting is good. There are no holes or bubbles that I could see. There is a mould line but it was easily removed with a craft knife. I would be tempted, maybe, to paint them without the shield fixed, to allow access to face and beards.

How do they compare with other minis? I have lined up a selection of my own minis and put them into height descending order. The metal GW slayer is probably tallest due to his big hair! The next figure along is a modern GW plastic hammerer/iron breaker. Then we have the Mom figure, and the next one along, the mystery ivory coloured specimen, is a resin Iron Crow dwarf by Durgin Paint Forge. Finally, a couple more metal GW dwarfs from the 90s.

In size and bulk, the Mom Miniatures dwarf is probably nearer to 35mm than any other scale. Stylistically, it’s a good match for the Iron Crow dwarf, with bigger flatter nose, similar styled beards and a slightly less serious aesthetic. I will certainly be happy to mix them into my collection, I base on rounds and tend to play skirmish games so scale issues are less of a concern to me. There are bigger difference between my older and newer GW figures who happily fight alongside each other. Stylistically, it’s a personal opinion of course. I absolutely love them! So much so that I am hoping to build a new warband using the Mom and Durgin figures together. Just a small band of course, a few clan warriors, some handgunners maybe, the berserkers of course are a must, maybe some miners to dig up the salt, and a handful of characters. And maybe a war machine for good luck. Yeah, that’s definitely a small warband.

Tuesday, 17 August 2021

Hammer time

It’s been such a long time since I played or painted any Lord of the Rings, but having recently got a copy of Oathmark, I have been dusting off my Mordor collection. We have played just one game so far, using basic blocks of troops to get a handle on the rules. The next step is to introduce characters and more specialised units, which for Mordor means trolls. 

I only have one painted troll, so it was the perfect time to dig out that plastic troll languishing in a cave somewhere at the back of the drawer. I made it straight from the sprue to begin with, but decided it looked a bit similar to my old metal figure. So I changed the helmet a little by chopping off the horns and putting one back in the centre, rhino style. Then I replaced the plastic hammer head with a metal bit, from an ogre butcher I think. Two small changes which make a nice, unique model.

I must have painted the first troll about 15 years ago. At the time I made some changes to the pose, to calm it down a little, rather than wildly swinging the hammer. I entered this figure in Golden Daemon, and though it made the final cut, it was easily vanquished. It’s not hard to see why. It’s a brown blob with very little contrast. I always said I would remedy this at some time, it’s only taken 15 years or so to get round to it.

At the time I was influenced by the film palette, but this time around I want to go back to the original source. In the books, trolls are usually described as black or dark skinned, so that’s a potential palette. I will probably go for a grey skin with blackened  armour, but am still pondering. It’s good to be back in Middle Earth again, with the fire of Morgoth in my belly!

Saturday, 31 July 2021

A few random vikings

 I was ratching* about in my boxes the other day, when I came across this set of vikings, which were mostly painted but had never been finished. Always happy to get a result with little effort, I applied the last few touches and the shield transfers, adding another half dozen vikings to my collection. I have recently thinned my collection, offloading quite a few old painted figures to eBay, so I am happy to say that I now have got back to six points of painted figures for Saga.

The two central figures are by V&V miniatures, still my favourite manufacturer by a long chalk. The others are by Victrix Miniatures, which offer a decent, more affordable alternative. The shield transfers are by Little Big Men.

Here’s the single point of hearthguard, with the temporary leader (Thor is a busy guy and he can’t play this role forever). At some point he will be replaced by a suitable, more historical figure. I chose to restrict the shields to red, black and white to tie the unit together a little. I have another unit of hearthguard with great weapons that are not yet painted. 

*ratch is a Cumbrian/Scottish/northern dialect word, meaning search or looking for. I was hoping it was Norse in origin, but it seems to be medieval of unknown origin.

Wednesday, 7 July 2021

Hobgrot Slitta Conversions

It’s summer time, so there’s a new Warhammer box set in town. I thought that the new hobgrot slittas looked promising as conversion fodder, so I grabbed a set of ten from eBay. I wasn’t sure on the size, from the pictures online they looked bigger, but they are a perfect match for my Lord of the Rings collection. 

Here’s a picture of a converted hobgrot alongside a Mordor orc and a Morannon orc. As you can see they are a perfect match to the Morannon figure, or could easily be played as a Mordor orc. Or you could paint them in dark armour and use them as black orcs. I would think you could easily fit them into a Uruk hai tribe too. Good news if you are looking for some variety to your collection.

The conversions were relatively easy. I used plastic bits from the oathmark goblins set, with a few random historical plastic shields too, probably viking  in origin. You could swap with Lord of the Rings bits too I would guess. On the hobgrots, I trimmed away a lot of the extra bits, especially the ropes dangling from their armour, and I removed as many of the “grenades” as was easy to do, though I did keep one as a club. 

There were a fair few options available on the hobgrot figures. They are obviously a new incarnation of the old hobgoblin figures, and there are options to give them all helmets or keep them bare headed. The latter, in conjunction with the two dagger options, would give you a reasonable version of the old hobgoblin sneaky gits.

I originally bought the figures thinking they would make a good addition to my Warhammer goblins force, and I might still do this. But seeing them next to the LotR figures has given me a dilemma. One to ponder for a couple of months, as the annual summer hobby hibernation begins.

Thursday, 27 May 2021

Realm of Chaos Spawn

This is a figure I have had in my collection for a long time. I cannot remember the date it was bought, early to mid 2000s I would hazard a guess. Back in those days, I was an old fogey in the glass cabinet section of the Warhammer forum. I bought the pack and split it with [fiend], a fellow painter on the forum, the idea being we would paint half each. I never got round to it for whatever reason, until all these years later. It’s kinda sad that it took so long.

I did make a start back in the day, it was glued to a square base and I had a notion to paint it as a Nurgle spawn, so it was already based in light green and bone colours. But my painting style has moved on. I wanted to give it more interest and more contrast, so I started adding hues and they developed at random. The left head I thought looked a bit alienesque and was shooting for a silver grey look, like a shark, but overdid it with the blue, decided I liked it and stuck with it. The right hand head stayed green and yellow. The middle head I was trying for a flesh colour but it turned out angry pinks, but again I quite like it so stuck with it.

Finally, here’s the chaos sorceror of my warband, to give a sense of scale. I am hoping to play games of Warhammer using the old fourth or fifth edition chaos book, in which there is a possibility that a character will be turned to a spawn for the amusement of the chaos gods (and my opponent, no doubt). At the moment the warband contains just one character, this sorceror, so he had better make sure he impresses those fickle deities!

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