Fantasy wargaming has always been near and dear to my heart. Over the past six or seven years of skirmish gaming, I’ve had the opportunity to paint up hundreds of fantasy figures, representing the monsters, heroes and villains that thrilled me as a kid. And even though my attentions jumped around a bit over the years, I’ve tried to keep my eye on a few long-term projects, including my 28mm dwarf army.
Building this army has been a labor of love. It’s designed to be playable for any number of rulesets, including Kings of War, Saga, and good old Warhammer.
In true old-school fashion, this army is comprised of figures from at least 7 different manufacturers and/or game lines. I’ll try to identify them wherever possible.
Up first is Brynwulf, the Fallen King, an outcast from the dwarven city of Stonehill. Together with his army, he wanders the wilderlands in search of Hearthspire, a fabled dwarven kingdom that is his birthright.
For now, Brynwulf is a Warhammer dwarf lord. I’m planning to replace him with a slightly more epic figure once I find one that catches my eye.
Up next are two regiments of dwarf warriors — the stout, armored core of this army. As with all the figures here, they’re based on 25mm circles (for easier use in skirmish games), so I’m using laser-cut movement trays from Litko to create ranked units. These movement trays are really fantastic, and well worth the minor investment.
Most of the figures in the regiments are from Ral Partha, but we’ve also got a few minis from Alternative Armies in there as well. The bigger, thicker fellows in the front ranks are from Heartbreaker Hobbies.
Here’s another, smaller block of troops. They’re armed with a variety of light ranged weapons, so they’d work well as rangers, scouts or even veterans, depending on the ruleset. Look closely and you’ll see crossbows, black powder musketeers and even a flaming oil tosser.
This next fellow is my standard-bearer, and you’ll notice that he’s missing his standard! I’m still looking for a good printable dwarf-inspired battle flag to complete this model. The figure itself is from Heartbreaker.
Up next are two fairly new additions to my army: a frost giant (Reaper Bones) and a dwarf champion (Reaper metal). Both were a lot of fun to paint up.
This next figure is a Games Workshop demonslayer. From what I’ve been able to gather, he was apparently available in limited quantities at a convention or something, so he’s somewhat rare.
I actually got this figure painted by commission, and I’m very pleased with the results. He fits in perfectly with the rest of my army.
This next figure is one I’ve been coveting for most of my adult life. I actually waxed poetic over at my old game club blog about why I wanted a dwarf bear rider in my army. I’ll wait while you go read that missive. (The figure itself is a big hunk of metal from Reaper.)
My old game club back in Chicago organized a painting swap one year for Christmas. We’d draw names out of a hat, then select and paint up a figure for the person we drew. Josh got me and presented me with this fantastic addition to my dwarf army. It’s a heavily converted dwarf bard riding a capybara! What more does a dwarf lord want?!
Now we’re getting into the big guns. These first two heavy artillery pieces started life as prepainted siege weapons from MageKnight. Remember that game? It was produced in massive quantities back in the early 2000s, and I’m constantly finding nifty figures from that line in the 25-cent bin at game stores everywhere. I just snapped these guns off their plastic bases and rebased them onto rectangles, no repainting required.
The crew are mostly Ral Partha figures from the 1980s.
These next three guns are plastic kits from Mantic, produced for Kings of War. They’re very affordable and look great on the tabletop.
One of the stranger units in my dwarf army is this guy with his flame projector. It’s an old Grenadier figure, and the sculpt is actually kind of horrendous — so much so that I was forced to hide a lot of the figure with some, ah, creative basing.
I’ve got a unit of boar riders that I need to get photographed, but this should give you a pretty good idea of what I can muster for my dwarf army as it currently stands. And like any good gamer, I’ve got at least as many figures in my lead mountain, waiting to get painted!