“…and My Axe!” Battle for Skull Pass Dwarf Warriors

Battle for Skull Pass – AKA the Warhammer Fantasy Battle 7th Edition Starter Box.

In November last year, for some reason I got it into my head to delve into one of my figure boxes and paint up a bunch of Dwarves. Specifically, to go through and paint a bunch of the Battle for Skull pass plastics that I’d picked up from eBay, WargamerAU and my mate, Damo. I think the idea popped into my brain since I’d been painting and finishing a few Slayers around the time and getting stuck into other random dwarves (which I’ve been sharing recently).

Citadel Games Workshop Battle for Skull Pass Dwarf Warriors

Skull Pass Dwarves in Horde Mode.

By mid-November, I’d actually gathered them up, and selected the figures I was going to paint, and then got into them properly over December. Batch painted, they’re no works of art, but since there were 40 of them and work cranks itself up around November into December, I didn’t get them finished before work broke up for Christmas, as was the plan. All because of their overly-complex sculpted shields. After a few days of rest, I got stuck back into them again, but Marouda bought me Watch Dogs 2 which then proceeded to eat all of my time after I installed it and started playing it. I seriously played for near-17 hours the day I properly started it. From 8am until 1am. Sure, that’s with breaks, but still… I’m almost done with the game now, and I don’t even play it every day to get it done. A couple more hours and it should be done.

Citadel Games Workshop Battle for Skull Pass Dwarf Warriors

Skull Pass Dwarves ranked on movement trays. With a few spares for later…

These were a pretty quick and simple job for me, though every element is still highlighted and shaded, I did so with an intent of making a solid tabletop standard, rather than my usual care. At one point, I decided that I wanted them to look more work and war-weary than some of the others. Like they’ve been on campaign rather than having just left the keep in freshly washed uniforms. This was because I’d been looking at my unassembled boxes of Warlord’s Napoleonic French Line Lancers while washing my brushes (which I’d bought to turn into some sort of not-Brettonian army).

Napoleonics with helmets instead of big hats? Colour me slightly interested…

I got to thinking about how Napoleonic uniforms in miniature form always seem so bright, perfect and pristine when the actuality would have been much more filthy and worn. Like in that Napoleon show with Boromir Stark in it. With that percolating in my mind, I decided to hit them all with a brown wash, but then brighten up their axes, helms and paint the shields last – as I felt that Dwarves would always look after their wargear above all else.

Alec Trevelyan and friends, showing off the always-pristine uniforms of the period.

I mentioned the shields earlier. They were a hassle, and basically the reason these figures weren’t finished in December 2016, which would have broken my 2015 record/target and not caused me to fail to submit in the final month of the Tale of Gamers challenge I ran on Dakka. Of course there were other reasons. Watch Dogs 2 and burnout/exhaustion from working every day of the week for a period at the end of the year, but the shields were the final hurdle.

Citadel Games Workshop Battle for Skull Pass Dwarf Warriors, Oldhammer Norse Dwarf

The Old and the New, united by a colour scheme and shield design.

If I were painting these models with no “history”, I’d probably have simply painted the Hammer-and-Anvil motif a nice bronze, much like the Dwarf-Mask bling on the Standard bearers. The thing is, when I started to paint the models, I realised that the same design was much older, and is featured on the (Marauder Miniatures) Dwarf Shields that one of my old, Oldhammer Norse dwarves has (and I have a few of these shields left to break out). Since I wanted the new to fit in with the old, being from the same clan(s), I wanted to make sure that they matched. Which meant going from a simple paint/wash/drybrush scheme to one that needed 10 different colours/applications. While keeping it simple. When doing it to almost 40 models, that takes time. Bleugh.

Citadel Games Workshop Battle for Skull Pass Dwarf Warriors, Oldhammer Norse Dwarf

My freshly painted BFSP Dwarves, led by an Oldhammerer Dwarf.

What’s next for the Dorfs? Well, I appear to (almost) have a complete BFSP set between the various secondhand sets I’ve purchased. I’m just short the Dwarven rifles, so I’m going to see if I can get another unit or two painted before I burn out on Dwarves…

The Battle For Skull Pass Dwarves.

12 thoughts on ““…and My Axe!” Battle for Skull Pass Dwarf Warriors

    • Thanks Alex. I’ve taken to calling them “Instant Dwarf Army” which isn’t exactly accurate, but I find it funny. And with 12 to a unit multibased for KoW, it’s not all that inaccurate. Now I need to get some more done and they’ll be ready for small games/ally duties.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Fabulous looking horde! I think the extra effort on the shields paid off. With a bronze emblem, there would have been too many similar brownish tones. Also works nice as a line of silver, from the axe overhead, to the helmet and then the shield. Bigger photos would be nice though…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you mate. I do admit I’m happy with how they turned out in the end. Just don’t look too closely and you won’t see that they’re not up to the standard of my usual figures.
      I’ll get some bigger pics done soon. In the meantime, you can click to embiggen, and the shield comparison pic comes up to a reasonable size.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Sort of. At its core, KoW is like a 15mm type block game (like DBM/DBA) where the unit footprint is all that is important, and so you can officially or unofficially vary what is mounted on those bases as much as you like – or what your friends will let you get away with. As such, it’s very proxy-friendly as far as models go, since what changes in terms of unit size is simply the footprint. “Officially” dwarves are mounted on WHFB-style 20mm squares, but since I prefer the aesthetic of round bases and removing casualties isn’t a thing in KoW, I can fill a unit of “20” models with 12. And it’s even perfectly legal by the letter of the rules as it’s over 50% of the “official” number of models. So if you want to stick 4 models onto a base for your troop of “10” skirmishers and your opponent is cool with it, then you’re good to go.

      LOS and unit height is dealt with in an abstract fashion as well in the curent 2e rules, so it no longer matters that my wolves-without riders that I use as “red goblin wolf riders” have a slightly shorter profile than if they had gobboes on top.
      The core of the rules are available for free on Mantic’s site – sans army lists and magic items, etc. If you’re interested, I’d recommend checking them out. It’s a rather simple but elegant set of rules, and they’ve recently released a series of “historical” army lists as well. They’re not the be all and end-all of historical army lists by any means, but they fit the game and work well enough.


  2. Pingback: Another two Marauder MM16 Dwarf Slayers | Azazel's Bitz Box.

  3. Pingback: WHFB Battle For Skull Pass Dwarf Cannons & Crew (Neglected Orc-Slayer-Tober ’19) | Azazel's Bitz Box.

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