Thursday 31 December 2020

Seventh day of Beardmas


On the seventh day of Beardmas....

Dwarf miners of Oakenheim, lovely old Marauder Miniatures from the early 90s. Quite possibly the dwarfiest dwarfs ever made. The most recent unit added to the Oakenheim force, painted entirely in the month of Beardmas. An old unit, newly painted. Probably the finest selection of beards gathered together in one place, a bit like a World’s Strongest Man competition.

🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄 🎄

What’s the difference between a hippo and a zippo?

One’s very heavy and one’s a little lighter

Wednesday 30 December 2020

Sixth day of Beardmas


On the sixth day of Beardmas....

The Oakenguard of Oakenheim. These are the elite warriors of the hold, those who have proven themselves time and again on the field of battle. Kitted out with finely wrought armour and huge axes, they are a formidable force to be reckoned with. Built from plastic long beards kit in the main, the pointing captain was made by Russian Alternative Miniatures.


Why do Xmas elves dislike Russian dolls?

Because they are so full of themselves

Tuesday 29 December 2020

Fifth day of Beardmas


On the fifth day of Beardmas....

Five dwarf gunners. I originally had some modern plastics (iron drakes) in use as gunners, but I am slowly replacing them with these golden oldies. There are five painted, with another three to come at some point. Longer term it would be nice to have all twelve of the old sculpts, though I am not sure my wallet can stretch to the price of metals nowadays.


Why are advent calendars on the endangered list?

Because their days are numbered.

Monday 28 December 2020

Fourth day of Beardmas


On the fourth day of Beardmas....

Warriors of Oakenheim. Quite a diverse bunch, reflecting my frustration in finding models I like to represent the basic warriors of the hold. There’s about twenty five years between the oldest and newest model in this unit. Building units of decent looking dwarf warriors has been the biggest challenge of this project, I still struggle to find models that look good. Ideally I would have at least two more units filling this role. The struggle continues.


What do you call a really old snowman?

A puddle

Sunday 27 December 2020

Third day of Beardmas

On the third day of Beardmas....

After the slayer slog, I needed to chill with something a bit more relaxing. I switched to gunners and used the relatively recent plastic set, I forget their name. After building and painting ten of them, I decided they did not really fit in with the aesthetic and they were canned. On the plus side, the master gunner is a lovely metal thane model, and one of the nicest painted figures in the throng.

The other model is, of course, the gyrocopter, another of those iconic dwarf models. This is my favourite of the various incarnations, c 1993, the pilot sculpted by Michael Perry. Most of my all time favourite dwarf sculpts were made by the Perry twins. 


Why did the gingerbread man go to the gym?

He wanted to work on his crumby body.

Saturday 26 December 2020

Second day of Beardmas


On the second day of Beardmas....

A unit of dwarf berserkears. These are an odd choice for me because for years I never really liked the concept of the slayer cult. But then I always liked the sculpts, especially the daemon slayers. I am still struggling to fit them into the Oakenheim narrative, other than copying the GW story.

This unit took such a long time, I spent far too long  sweating over the beards and skin. The first seven models took me about five months off and on. After that, I must have been worn out because I dropped the project for about two years! The three in the centre of the front rank are my favourites in this unit.


How much does Santa pay to park his sleigh?

Nothing, it’s on the house.

Friday 25 December 2020

First day of Beardmas

On the first day of Beardmas...

Dwarf rangers of Oakenheim. These were the models that started it all, a slow burn project using the best dwarf models I could find, started back in 2015. The captain with eye patch and wooden leg is a favourite of mine. There’s a good mix of all sorts in this unit, metal Bugman’s rangers, plastic conversions and a couple of Heartbreaker (I think) vintage models.

Let’s pull our first Christmas cracker, put on a paper hat and read the hilarious joke. 


Why does Santa have three gardens?  

Because he likes to hoe, hoe, hoe.

Wednesday 23 December 2020

Dwarf Miners of Oakenheim

The wealth of Oakenheim was not in gold and gemstones, nor in iron or coal, but in salt. It has been used by dwarfs for thousands of years, for seasoning of course, but most importantly for food preservation. The dwarfs could not survive the bleak midwinter months if they relied on hunted game and foraged berries. It is the vast larder of salted (preserved) foodstuffs that gets them through the lean winter months. That, and copious barrels of beer. It was the discovery of salt deposits under the mountains that first led to the founding of the hold of Oakenheim, and transportation of the valuable commodity that enabled the kingdom to spread. Dwarf Miners are the bedrock of dwarf society.

This has been my main focus in the month of Decembeard, a unit of dwarf miners from around 1992. They are possibly the dwarfiest  dwarfs of this era. I think most people associate miners with coal or metals, I know I certainly did. But after a holiday in Krakow and a visit to the Mines of Moria, I discovered the significance of humble salt to human civilisation, and translated this into my Oakenheim history. Travel is a wonderful thing !

When I started to paint the minis I had very few choices to make. The mail shirts would be metal colours and the leather gloves would be browns and tans. The only thing to decide on was the beards. I thought white or grey would give the most contrast, and these three are probably my favourites of the unit. The dwarf in the centre of this trio is hands down the best sculpt in the unit in my eyes.

With the command group I wanted to add some variety of beard tones. I figured that the banner, horn, etc would draw the eye and thus the beard could take a slightly more background role. At some stage I might add a flag to the banner pole.

For completeness, the final pair of dwarfs from the unit. Nothing particularly spectacular, but sometimes the sum is greater than the parts.

With the gunners from the previous post, that’s my sum total of achievement for Decembeard, as far as the Dwarfs of Oakenheim are concerned. I am very happy with this result, painting has not come easy to me in the past few months and these were certainly completed much quicker than earlier units. The miners took around ten hours in total including prep, and I reckon that’s a very good result at just over an hour a figure. 

Stay tuned for the Twelve Days of Beardmas 🎅🏻

Tuesday 22 December 2020

Dwarf Gunners of Oakenheim

A brace of dwarf gunners, hastily finished as part of Decembeard. These two are fairly muted in colour, I figure that they would spend much of their time hunting for game and would want to blend into a forest background. They are, of course, from the marauder miniatures range from around 1992, the year I started  in Warhammer. I have to say I am not that keen on the strange grin of the sniper dwarf.

And with those two added to the unit I now have five gunners ready for battle. That’s enough to make a unit for games of Erehwon, which has become my favourite way to play fantasy battles, on the very rare occasion I roll dice. Hopefully they will see some action over the midwinter break.

Sunday 13 December 2020

Dwarf Miners Painting Part 2

The second half of the painting guide is where all the good stuff happens. The focal point of the models is the face and beards, and those two areas are covered first. I did write an in depth guide to painting flesh which might be useful (I certainly referred to it)! Beards I might cover in a video tutorial at some stage in the future. For the time being, these photos will have to suffice. As before, each photo is taken at the end of a one hour session of painting.

Faces and stones on bases

Base coating beards and candles and trim

More work on beards, candles and gloves

Finishing the beards and candles, matt varnished

After eight sessions of roughly an hour each, the miners are nearly complete. I have to finish the base edges and addd a little metal highlighting. In total, around ten hours including preparation and basing. When they are photographed under decent lighting you can see if that was time well spent.

Tuesday 8 December 2020

Dwarf Miners Painting Part 1

 This is a brief description of the way I painted the dwarf miners. It’s not a detailed step by step, more a summary of how I tackled the unit. Each photo shows the state of the figures at the end of an hour long session. I tend to paint one hour at a time and, these days, seldom have more than one session in a day. So the time taken stretches over several days.

Primed white, then metals base coated

Metals shaded

Leathers base coated, using artists acrylic paint in this case

Shading leather, base colours and flesh started

That’s four hours work on this unit and now they are finally coming together. They are moving from the ugly duckling stage and starting to look a bit dwarfish. When the beards and faces are painted the  unit will really come to life, that will happen in the next part.

Friday 4 December 2020

Dwarf Miners preparation stage

The first step in getting the miners painted is to get them cleaned and primed. Some of these were previously painted and have been cleaned in a bath of biostrip. I have blogged on stripping paint from minis before (post here). They were then glued to the bases, which for me are coins. If the mini has no tab, I usually glue them on to coffee stirrers and then glue the stirrer on to the coin. I then add sand and basing material. For a fuller explanation on this process, I have a handy video guide. Once the base texture is dry, I prime the figures in white. Not the most exciting of stages, but certainly one of the most important.

Old timers will recognise these minis, but if you did not start the hobby in the previous century, you might be wondering what they are. These are dwarf miners from Marauder Miniatures, a small independent company that ran alongside Citadel for a few years in the 1990s I think - I am no expert on the exact details. These figures were released in 1992/3, I am pretty confident about that date as that was when I started in the hobby. Here’s a catalogue page from that time. I have one of each of the miners and the full command group, though my leader is pointing a finger rather than shaking his fist. I think this was released at a later date as part of the Grudge of Drong campaign release, though as I say I do not claim to be a reliable source.

Tuesday 1 December 2020

It’s Decembeard

It’s that time of year, when thoughts turn to partridges in pear trees, mince pies, and rotund bearded visitors. The perfect time to dig out some old dwarfs and get them painted up. Though in this case, they may well have dug themselves out from a deep, dark hole where minis lie for years, yearning to be discovered. It’s time to get some dwarf miners painted!

It’s the first day of the month that I am calling Decembeard. It’s a thing, like Orctober, but for dwarfs (and maybe wizards and gnomes). My aim is to paint as many bearded figures as I can in the next month. It’s been a lean few months for me in hobby terms, and with Cyberpunk 2077 looming on the horizon, I could be heading for an embarrassing failure here, but let’s be positive and hope for the best. I have a lovely little group sitting in a bath of bio strip - dwarfs are always happy to strip in a communal tub. But that window will be opened another day.

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