Citadel WHFB Dwarven Giant Slayers (1993-4)

Citadel Giant Slayers 1993-1994

The first two of the new batch of Slayers.

While wandering around the house the other week while on the phone with my sister, I spotted a few Dwarven Slayer figures on a bookshelf, primed black as I’d gotten them from eBay and left them there a year or more ago. I had one of those “Huh, maybe I’ll paint these.” thoughts as I picked them up and looked at them, moving them to the painting desk. I hadn’t painted for a while, and just couldn’t stomach working on the Zombies that I showed last update. Looking at them, I figured that they’re mostly beards and flesh and axes, so not too hard – and most importantly, were something quite different to both the Undead and Gondor that I’ve been painting since January or February when I started the current painting challenge.

I got the first guy done – the one on the left with a single axe and open palm, and to be honest, I really enjoyed painting him so I pushed on and finished his mate. I then realised I hadn’t done done any warpaint/tattoos. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do them, since I was pretty happy with the figures as-is, but in the end decided to go with it – and so decided to do a bit of a melange of Celtic/Maori/Polynesian/90’s-style “tribal”. Mostly because “Braveheart”*-style woad is too easy/boring for models like these.

Citadel Giant Slayers 1993-1994

The first two Giant Slayers, reversed.

After painting the tattoos in with dark blue, I glazed over them with the paint base coat – a very old Dwarf Flesh (hex-style pots with white lids) to give that “tattoos under the skin” look. The bright orangey red is a little more muted than these photos indicate, but they’re still very bright. I considered adding some stubble at the shaved points of their heads, but went instead with a clean look under the tattooed skin. Besides, people who shave their heads regularly end up with normal-looking skin in that space anyway.

Citadel Giant Slayers 1993-1994

The second pair of Giant Slayers.

These models date from the 4th-5th edition period of WHFB. So after I’d stopped playing. They’re actually “Giant Slayers” – so from that point in time when GW decided to split them off from regular old Troll Slayers, and did so by giving them bigger hair, as opposed to “simple” old giant mohawks. Hence the 4-lane mohawks these guys have. To be quite honest, I never really liked these models. I wasn’t a big fan of the Marauder ones that pre-dated them either – really only being a fan of specific models in the range (like this guy) and of course, the original sometimes-norse dwarf berserkers from WHFB and before – sadly, I only have the one. As it happens, and just as with Denethor (who I finished after these guys) – after painting them, I’m now quite fond of them.

Citadel Giant Slayers 1993-1994

Rear view of the second two.

Despite all this, I picked these up a couple of years ago to paint one day for my Dwarven KoW army. Which I guess I’ve now started in some form – at least for a small, legal “ally” sized force. I’ve got some ideas for these guys once they become a unit, but I’ll talk about that later. I picked up a ton of plastics from a mate in Tasmania last year for this army, so they’ll finally be getting some love after I get more of these orange-haired guys done. Probably.

Citadel Giant Slayers 1993-1994, Dragon Slayer

My “modern” slayers so far, all together.

This pic perfectly demonstrates what happens when figures from a similar range are painted in different batches. Beard-shade variance!

Aside from that, they’re painted in a style evocative of the White Dwarf magazines from the period of when they were released, rather than especially realistically. Bright orangey-reddish hair and beards, clean, stripey trousers, dark blue tattoos. Let’s face it, these models are far from realistic in their proportions or gear. I’ve always appreciated the Perry’s style of dwarves, which these and pretty much all GW and GW-alike dwarves followed in – but the proportions are horribly deformed compared to anything realistic. I figure I’m happy to just embrace it!

Besides, it’s not like GW has moved on from the 90’s Dwarf Ethos, either. If anything they’ve just gone further over the top

*Yeah, I know Braveheart is an absolute mess of historical anachronism – but everyone knows what Mel Gibson looks like with half a blue face, so it’s an effective visual reference point.

17 thoughts on “Citadel WHFB Dwarven Giant Slayers (1993-4)

  1. I’m not a dwarf fan I’ve got to say, not yet at least. I never used to be a Tau or Chaos fan either but hey! I’ve got to say though that these look fantastic. Especially the tattoos on the faces, hands and arms. Amazing detail my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice work on these guys, striped trousers and tattoos ftw! I tend to shy away from such detail, need to take a leaf out of your book. I’m equally in two minds about these later sculpts in general, given their berserker background they shouldn’t really spend as much time on their hair I feel. But then, dwarfs are quite vain when it comes to their beards and like displaying wealth, so I am thinking they’d want to die looking their best – similar to the Spartans doing their hair before battle.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s very similar to my internal decision when I was painting them. I took the oft-overlooked vanity and cleanliness of the Vikings, combined with the pride of Dwarves, and the Spartan ethos of beautifying themselves before death in battle and it actually makes sense.
      The chance to paint tattoos is what really makes them for me, though it does take a bit of mental effort to start doing them over the top of their fleshtones when I’ve got them to a point where I’m really happy with the skin. I really need to get back to my ogres…


  3. I love the look of that bunch! I have two of those figures sitting here on my desk waiting to be finished. (I haven’t got much past painting flesh) There’s some inspiration there for me to finish them now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, they’re actually pretty easy to do. Pretty much just 4 components to them – beards & hair, flesh, pants & boots, axe!
      It’d be quite cool to see your take on them.


  4. Excellent paintjob and a nice classic paint scheme. They are honestly better than the GW studio paint job. Really like the striped pants and the tattoos. I am experimenting with tattoos myself and was wondering if you considered a thin skin toen glaze over them, as this would more resemble the “under” the skin look, rather than being painted on? Here my attempt at this, but I think I need to add some highlights and then maybe another glaze to get the design to stand out more just as on your dwarves:

    Goldar tattoo WIP

    In any case, a wonderful group of models, far superior – in my opinion – to the new dwarves. More character, cooler fluff and – as evidenced – models that really deserve a good paint job.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the very kind words. Your Goldar’s tattoos look more realistic than the slayers, especially as they have the greenish hue that real tattoos develop from being under the skin. I’ve considered doing that, but instead went with the less realistic but more often-used (on Slayers specifically and other GW models more generally) dark blue.

      What do you mean by skin tone glaze? I went over them with a very thinned Dwarf Flesh, which was the base colour of the flesh. Once I’ve shaded and highlighted my flesh tones to a point where I’m happy with them, I don’t really like the idea of using a typical “flesh wash” type glaze as it will darken the overall effect – at least for the slightly ruddy-to-pale skin of my dwarves. When I move onto more olive-based complexions for other models it could become a much more viable technique.

      I’ve finished the Daemon Slayer from the same vintage, and have some Troll Slayers I hope to finish tomorrow as well. I’ll just need some half-decent weather to give them a nice coat of varnish so I can show them off. Hopefully sometime this weekend…


      • Sounds very good, I’ll look forward to the next post.

        Skin glaze: I often use a glaze using the mid-tone to draw the highlights together. I think with skin a smoother transition is key. I did this too with the tattoos. Thinking about it (I painted Goldur more than a year ago, but never finished him…have to get around doing this finally) I also mixed a bit of the fleshtone in the colour of the tattoo. I might go for a compromise between your style and only highlighting the skin, not the tattoo, maybe some very light highlights just to emphasize the patterns.

        Liked by 1 person

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