As you may or may not know I have a thing about Free Dwarfs I have built up several armies worth of the little chaps and some of them have even been seen on this forum. I did however decide to have a change for next season and I embarked upon a Northern Alliance Army, That said the first unit I chose to paint for this new army was a Regiment of Dwarf Clansmen to take advantage of the "Ordered March " rule ( this was before I properly read the list and realised that all Infantry can be given the same rule via an aura) I wanted the Clansmen to fit in with the Northern Alliance aesthetic but also be able to sneak them back into a Free Dwarf Army as Ironclad as well.
So initially I scoured my bits box for spare Dwarfs , I managed to gather quite a handful when I noticed that the Clansmen had the option of upgrading to CS(1) with Ice Hammers ! Cool , I stuck a couple of 2 handed Hammer Blokes into the mix so the Unit can be used as either normal Def 5 Clansmen or Def 4 CS(1) Dudes. I then had the idea of Northerning them via big Furry scarfs a La Starks from Game of Thrones , so Out came the Green Stuff and a couple of test models to see if they looked overly dumb
As they were more on the “Wierd” scale than “Dumb” I went with it, things like this do grow on me the more I look and the less I think.
Then I decided to paint one of them to try and decide my Colour scheme, I usually paint my Free Dwarfs with an “earthy” natural color with Brass Armour and dark shades but , as these models were destined to be a part of a new vibrant Northern Alliance army I tried a different more icey and crisp color scheme, like this
As these dwarfs are either going to be Northern or Free and in no way shape or form will they want to be associated with the soft Southern Lackeys of the Pompus Pretender Golloch, I decided that they would need shields that made sure people knew they were not feckless Imperials , Luckily a nice man in Nottingham 3D prints some lovely Wooden Round ( and kite shaped- more of that in the future) Shield that are ideal replacements for the staid and boring Heater shield the Mantic Dwarf come with , so these were dug out of my “these will be useful in the future” pile and painted to match the new scheme.
This having been decided, the new unit were Green Stuffed and then prepped for priming ready to start full scale production
You may notice the inclusion of a GW standard (again from my bits heap) and two Armada Ravens in this picture , this was another wave of inspiration after having seen a Viking Raven banner in one of my Historical Wargames reference books and I thought it would be cool to have a raven flying over the advancing Dwarf infantry on the finished base and a Raven banner leading them into battle , we shall see if that works out soon
Once they were primed I then proceeded to duplicate the first color scheme on the rest of the models , while waiting for the various coats of paint to dry I set about building a base for them. I had also done something new (for me anyway) in that I took the round bases off the models before I painted them and it was a steep learning curve in so many ways ( I am glad I wear glasses to paint lol) and I will probably be finding small pieces of base in the spare bedroom for a good long time to come.
I tested out the layout of the unit on the bare base (in case anyone is interested the base was made from 5mm XPS foam cut to shape then coated in fine grain wall filler which had been slightly watered down, the Rune stone is a 3D print) and this gave me an idea of making the unit look like it was advancing past the Runestone down the hill to fight. once this was decided the base was textured and then “Snowed” I used AK scenics Snow texture which had been mixed 2-1 with water and then I sprinkled Woodland scenics Snow Scatter over the top to simulate various ages of snow fall, it was an experiment but I had watched a bunch of Youtube tutorials on snow basing and was moderately confident it would look ok. I think I went a bit too snowy on this base , something I have endeavoured to adjust in subsequent efforts.
Once the base was done I then added the Painted Dwarfs and used a bit of brass rod to add the Raven and the Raven Banner I had painted. Also at the last minute I added a Snow Fox from the NA Clansman sprue to tie the unit in with the Northern Alliance theme.
After this unit was finished I sort of got carried away with the Northern Dwarf Theme I painted a Frostclaw Rider as a Champion, he is currently NA only but I fervently hope he will be “Free” in the not too distant future
I also painted a FrostFang Lord but with a difference - I added a Dwarf Rider to the Frostfang so it could be used as a Dwarf Lord on Large Beast as well , Clever huh
I then sat and pondered what to do next , I have painted some Northern Alliance Tribesmen - honestly I have - but I then hit on the idea of using more of my spare Dwarf models to make a second Regiment of Ironclad Clansmen and modelling the base so it could be matched to the first one as a horde ! Genius ! so I painted another unit and used the second Raven you saw to tie it into the theme
The base is matched to the first so a horde of Ironclad Clansmen can be fielded in my Free Dwarf Army , but the basing won’t match the rest of my Earthy toned Free Dwarfs I hear you cry ! No problem ! I will continue to paint my Surplus Dwarfs and Mastiffs and Brock Riders with a snowy theme so they can be used in my Northern Allia… Oh Nevermind I am sure the Northern Alliance will turn up someday