The Berserker Dwarf of Fire Canyon #1 and #2 (Russian Alternative)

Russian Alternative - The Berserker Dwarf of Fire Canyon #1Russian Alternative - The Berserker Dwarf of Fire Canyon #1

Back in April, I reviewed a pair of Russian Alternative’s Fire Canyon Berserker Dwarfs – essentially Chaos Dwarf Slayers. At the time I was very happy with the sculpts and their quality. Recently, I managed to finish off painting that pair, and so I present them to you today.

The palette I’ve chosen to use is influenced both by previous Chaos Dwarfs – as I’ll explain – and also GW’s Dwarf Slayers with a few tweaks, as I want them to be immediately recognisable as a mutation of the Slayer Cult, while also being distinct in their own right. So I’ve gone for deep red hair and beards rather than orangey-ginger. The tattoos on these Berserkers are in a different, angular style rather than the rounded, Maori/Tribal/Celtic style of my Slayers, and the colour used is a deep turquoise/sea green (Vallejo Panzer Colours “Periscopes”) rather than the deep blues used on the Slayers.

Russian Alternative - The Berserker Dwarf of Fire Canyon #1

Russian Alternative - The Berserker Dwarf of Fire Canyon #1

Similarly, both the Berserkers’ weapons and their bling are done in a cold brass, shaded with a hint of green rather than the warmer tones I use on the Slayers. The green is carried across to their pants, as I decided that going for stripey trousers was just too close, and too jaunty for Chaos Dwarfs. I could have gone for other patterns, triangles or whatnot, but again – I decided against it on these guys. Simple, grim and functional.

NOT MY WORK! – Khazek Doomlord painted by Qiao Zhong

While the Chaos Dwarfs of the past few decades have had very much an “official” scheme of Red, Black and Brass, I have a strong and influential memory of a Model from the old Chaos Dwarf Renegades box, released in 1986, that has stuck with me. Specifically Khazek Doomlord, in his deep green armour. I can’t locate the decent-quality ‘eavy Metal White Dwarf pic right now, and the SoL image is unfortunately poor quality, but Qiao Zhong’s modern interpretation of the original scheme shows the overall “feel” pretty well.

The original really has stuck with me through all these years, and was echoed in my Chaos Ogre that I painted a couple of years ago (link to be inserted after I fix those posts), and the vision I have for my Chaos Dwarf army is one that will incorporate both the red/black/brass of modern Chaos Dwarfs and the red/green/brass typified by Khazek.

Russian Alternative - The Berserker Dwarf of Fire Canyon #2

Russian Alternative - The Berserker Dwarf of Fire Canyon #2

The second of the two Berserker Dwarfs of Fire Canyon is painted in pretty much the same scheme as his fellow. With his more “open” back, there was space to go a little further with his tattoos, which, as with his fellow, are a mixture of the various dwarven runes conveniently compiled over at Chaos Dwarf Online.

Basing was done with GW’s “Martian” basing paints, and slate painted dark grey/black to represent obsidian. I felt that the parched grass was needed to add a little bit of additional contrast in texture. The skulls on both figures provide interest, and also direction when they get used as champions in our games of Gorechosen.

L-R: Warhammer Quest Slayer, Daemonslayer, Fire Canyon #2, Skull Pass Warrior, Fire Canyon #1, Giant Slayer.

To finish up, a scale shot comparing them to some of the most appropriate and one of the most common figures from the Dwarf range. Unfortunately, I only have one other Chaos Dwarf painted, and he’s one that dates from that Renegades boxed set, so he’s useless for modern scale pics. I’ve been slowly working on this pair alongside my regular dwarf Slayers, as it seemed the easiest way to do it. Unfortunately, I appear to have misplaced the box with the unit of regular Bersekers – as well as their awesome looking trolls, both of which I intended to review and then paint next. D’oh!

Edit – Found ’em! WOOT!

Review: Russian Alternative – The Berserker Dwarf of Fire Canyon #1 and #2

About a month or so ago, I ordered a pile of Dwarfs from Russian Alternative via their eBay store. Mostly Chaos Dwarfs, the line being called “Fire Canyon”, and also a few of their “Regular” Dwarf line. Today, I’m giving an overview of the first two of the models, which I’ve just gotten ready for painting. As with all of my reviews, I purchased the products myself and there’s no quid pro quo going on here in exchange for a favourable review. I know I always appreciate being able to see clear photographs of models I’m considering purchasing, and it can be much harder to find that when we’re looking at non-Citadel product.

Packaging:

Russian Alternative - The Berserker Dwarf of Fire Canyon #1

Russian Alternative - The Berserker Dwarf of Fire Canyon #2

RA’s models all come inside a thin cardboard box, with a colour photograph on the front of the model inside. Sealed by a RA sticker which I guess also functions as a form of security sticker in the retail environment, the “plastic” sticker on the back refers to resin (which is a kind of plastic) as opposed to HIPS or ABS or Restic or any of the other plastics that we wargamers are accustomed to.

Inside, the figure is protected by being sandwiched between two layers of foam. I really like this. It’s not as “pretty” as a blister pack, but I’ve received SO many resin models from a variety of companies that have had the figures arrive damaged simply from bouncing around in a blister, with components smacking into each other. It’s simple, but the secure fit these figures had by being packaged in such a way is a big positive for me, especially as I buy so much of my stuff online. There’s also a little “thank you” card inside that provides contact details in case you have a miscast item or any issues.

Russian Alternative - The Berserker Dwarf of Fire Canyon #1

Russian Alternative - The Berserker Dwarf of Fire Canyon #1

The Sculpts:

Russian Alternative’s models used to be made soley in metal. In fact, many of the models I purchased were also available as metals, but I went entirely for resin with this order, one of the reasons being that their resin is extremely competitively priced. The sculpted detail is fine and, well, detailed. Certainly on a par with Forge World, for a fraction of the price. Very clean casts with almost no flash and minimal mold lines.

Russian Alternative - The Berserker Dwarf of Fire Canyon #2

Russian Alternative - The Berserker Dwarf of Fire Canyon #2

Russian Alternative - The Berserker Dwarf of Fire Canyon #2

One of the two Berserker heroes – the one with the greataxe – came with a slotta that fitted into the provided base, the other model – armed with hand blades – did not, and in fact his hooved feet aren’t even flat and don’t rest on the ground evenly. He’d need to be mounted differently, or have the heat treatment in order to flatten his stance.

Russian Alternative - The Berserker Dwarf of Fire Canyon #1 and #2

Russian Alternative - The Berserker Dwarf of Fire Canyon #1 and #2

Being resin, both figures got a soak in dishwashing liquid and a scrub in order to remove any mould release. There was a bit of sheen left in parts of the models, and so to be safe I gave both a coat of watered down Citadel Liquid Greenstuff. As I prefer the aesthetics of round bases, they both got those instead of squares, and as heroes, I gave them 32mm bases instead of 25mm ones.

I didn’t want to heat treat his legs, and so Berserker #1 got mounted onto a blob of greenstuff with super glue (and I smushed some skulls into it for good measure) and his friend simply had his tab clipped off and was superglued down. The separate arm and greataxe fit pretty well (I accidently clipped off more than I sould have from his arm – but I was able to fill the gap with putty. I then primed with grey and then zenithally primed with white. I did forget to glue some slate to their bases, so that’ll be next, then it’s time to paint!

Verdict:

I’m very happy with these models. The price was very reasonable, service was good, shipping fast, packaging safe and the models themselves are very nice. I’ve got a ton more of these to work through, and I honestly haven’t even opened any of the others yet. I figure I’ll try and work my way through these guys and paint them as I go. I might even get them all done by the end of the year!

These two will slot in with the many Dwarf Slayers I’ve been painting this year, and so hopefully I’ll have the finished product to share in a week or two. Wish me luck!