The Red Host of Nir-Kezhar

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    • The Red Host of Nir-Kezhar

      Copied from the original log start:

      Welcome to this little log of my supposedly slow and rarely updated Chaos Dwarf army project. I've long had a soft spot for the 5th edition big hat models, and saluted the Hellcannon crew when they arrived. Now, with Forge World's new releases, the urge to collect Chaos Dwarfs went into action. I'm aiming for a 1000 pts counts-as Dwarfs army at the moment, built by converted Dwarfs (mainly BFSP) and one or two FW war machines. Various side-projects of making Chaos Dwarf miniatures for friends of mine will also be thrown into the log.

      Since I'm struggling with the camera and scanner, it will likely take a while before good pictures present themselves. In the meanwhile, don't expect a high standard. Here we go:


      Chaos Dwarf Woman



      "Daughter, kneel.
      As my mother told me at ripening age,
      so do I now tell you at ripening age.
      Tell you about your plight in life,
      as mother and ever oath-bound wife.

      At Zharr Naggrund the walls climb heights,
      and the Dark Lands crawl beneath our sights.
      Our slaves are legion, our warriors cruel.
      The Gods decree, the Blacksmiths rule.
      Our merchant men trade Hashut's wares,
      at Temple lies His greatest shares.

      Know, Dawi Zharr's our people's name,
      by Hashut's law we play this game.
      We live, we worship, toil and die.
      And never ask, the answer lie.
      Our race's creations reach out wide,
      that Chaos may in glory ride.

      The men enslave and work and fight,
      and build domain of rawest might.
      But power claims expense of blood.
      And always must we breathe in mud.
      The coal that burned must be replaced,
      or else our fate is be displaced.

      All womenfolk take men to lift,
      and bear their seed as Hashut's gift.
      Our people's fate lies in our wombs.
      To give us heirs to seal our tombs.
      Without our effort, be no clan,
      nor will wars see our solid man.

      So grab your husband, is Hashut's will,
      that we may thrive in battle's mill.
      Lash your offspring, whip your slaves.
      Give hardful lives, not softful graves.
      Know the duty, serve Him thus,
      and Zharr Naggrund be ruled by us."

      - What a Chaos Dwarf mother told her daughter




      This model was fun to sculpt. I glued a lot of cut-up plastic sprue into shape, let dry and then sculpted her in one or two small parts at a time. In usual style, a lot of thought went into the modelling. She have a lot of symbols attached to her, but better pictures (or a drawing) are required before we can have a little walk-through on these. Her skirt's pattern is washed out in darkness on the picture, though the suspiciously glossy Matt Varnish may have something to do with that. On her chainmail-clad cuddler, you can spot a round clan marker, which is something I'm adding to all Chaos Dwarfs in the army, preferably behind their necks.


      Chaos Dwarf head sketch



      A quick piece that I drew yesterday, intended for the bearers of a semi-petrified Sorcerer that I'm sculpting for a friend.


      Golden Hat XV entry: Chaos Dwarf Warrior with great weapon





      Thanks to Xander for compiling the entry picture! (No work-in-progress shots are available.) The model's head is a tad small, but otherwise I'm satisfied with it. Here you can see the army colours and general look that are aimed for: Red cloth trims, dark bronze scalemail, bronze masks along with studded leather, arm rings and tattooes. Black base sides and dark gravel studded with some small bushes, filthy water and lava pools. Trophies, pouches, shackles and other paraphernalia will be added to the Chaos Dwarfs' belts.

      I'll probably build one or two naval vessels to accompany the army later on, since great slaving expeditions are just too cool a theme to pass up. That'll require lots of slaves from every place and race in the Warhammer world, which should prove fun.


      EEJR's entry



      Painted by my brother, but modelled by me. Hence it's put here. Its head ended up too small, that's why he received it. He probably won't collect any CD force for a long while, since piles of unpainted Elves of every kind and game system are calling out to their owner.

      Comments and critiscism are appreciated. :)

      __________________________________
    • A Tale of Three Ships
      The Chaos Dwarfs' society is a ravenous one, ever hungry for more slaves to toil amongst its industries, mines and quarries. In order to supply all this labour, the Dawi Zharr takes to the sea in smoke-belching metal warships. This is a tale of three types of ship used by the Zharr-Naggrund navy, and a tale of the names that will linger with the vessels long after the infamous Chaos Dwarfs in question died.



      The Grappler boarding ship, and the greed of Kar-Zhul
      One of many variant vessels in the Chaos Dwarf navy, the Grappler is an ironclad ship designed for locking enemy ships in place by hammering large, clawed metal arms into their decks. With the arms in place, boarding teams of Chaos Dwarfs and Hobgoblin Sneaky Gits use the arms to attack the victim ship. Normally the arms are pulled into an upright position by heavy chains, drawn by Daemonic machines fuelled with slaves and ensorcelled coal. The Grappler also have frontal Magma Cannons and side cannons for armament, as well as Blunderbuss firing parapets at the fore. With little space to spare beneath deck, the Grappler's grand statuary shrine to Hashut is situated on top of a platform on the aft castle. From here, their god follow the Chaos Dwarfs' boarding actions with a judgemental glow in his eyes.


      There is much of value to salvage at sea. Especially for the Chaos Dwarfs, whose hunger for slaves, mine props, metal and other materials is never sated. Destroying ships would ruin their boarding value, so many Chaos Dwarf captains instead seek to claim victim ships by force and terror through boarding parties.

      The Grappler is built for this task of capturing ships, and few vessels have ever escaped its massive arms without them being winched back. The force of the arms' impact, however, is great enough to damage the Grappler's hull despite dampening timber blocks. The renowned Dawi Zharr enslaver Kar-Zhul once prowled the seas in search of coastal-sailing Indan dhows. During his long voyage, Kar-Zhul gathered a whole fleet of captured large merchant dhows, manned by their enslaved crew and commandeered by Chaos Dwarf and Hobgoblin taskmasters.



      The opulent Rajah Salihindi's royal dhow was amongst the captured ships, the Rajah's favourite elephant crushed beneath deck by the clawed arms of Kar-Zhul's Grappler Zhargon's Legacy. Having amassed dozens of captured dhows, Kar-Zhul set course for the mouth of the River Ruin. The Chaos Dwarf Grappler's metal hull was so weakened by the grappling arms' repeated impacts that it cracked during a monsoon storm, and was swallowed by the roaring waves. Seeing their enslaver drowned in the Lizard Sea, the Indan crewmen attacked their taskmasters, throwing the Hobgoblins and Chaos Dwarfs into the depths of the ocean.



      The Hellbarge, and how Itshnik was maimed
      A cheap, mass-produced ship, the Hellbarge is a simple freighter with a Daemonic ram at the fore, filthy slave pens beneath deck and a thoroughly chained Hellcannon on deck. Introduced lately into the Chaos Dwarf navy, the Hellbarge is used as a small but powerful artillery platform, well suited for bombarding fortified harbours or for battles in the narrow confines of archipelagos. Some Hellbarges include rocket ammunition that is fed into the Hellcannon's furnace just as the slaves are cast into it, providing the Hellcannon a greater firing impact but also higher risks for the Hellbarge.

      Despite some very heavy chains and powerful runes of control, the Hellbarge is a gamble, a short-sighted investment aimed at reaping great profit before its destruction. Perhaps all the ship's crew and slaves will be killed when the Daemon break loose, or perhaps it will thrust forward toward the enemy. In case of the latter eventuality, the Hellbarge is equipped with a Daemonic ram capable of capturing the Hellcannon's forward momentum to propel the vessel straight ahead at the foe. Sometimes the Hellcannon bypass the ram's grip, running through or even jumping over it into the ocean to thrash through the waves in search of prey. Indeed, the expendable Hellbarge is sometimes used as a boarding vessel, which rams an enemy ship and lets loose the furious Hellcannon.


      Since the Hellcannon is expected to eventually tear its fetters and run amok, the Hellbarge has but a skeleton crew of low-caste Chaos Dwarf cannoneers, mariners and warriors. The warriors' task is to provide a backbone to possible boarding actions. Most of the crew consist of Hobgoblins, wicked jailers who does not shy away from slashing the live Hellcannon fuel with their curved knives, often letting the slaves bleed half dry before a battle. As long as there is no unexpected shortage of ammunition, their even more cruel Chaos Dwarf overlords do not bother with noticing the agony games of the Greenskins.

      One Hellbarge captain was Zakuresh the Harsh, who almost got to join the ranks of the Infernal Guard after slaying a rival in an unorthodox torch duel. Zakuresh barely escaped disgrace by taking to the sea in the Hellbarge Bloodcast in search of plunder and slaves to appease his sorcerous master. An unforgiving captain, Zakuresh was known to regularly subject slaves to water torture and roast Hobgoblins alive at the merest hint of disobedience or slow wits. Apart from ordinary physical punishment, wrong-doing crewmen were forced to bear not a high hat or a metal mask, but instead a low hat of humiliation. Truly, Zakuresh was unforgiving like few others.


      It was Zakuresh who blasted apart the great Bretonnian Galleon Heart of Valour, saving much of its crew only to reload his Hellcannon with it for some high shots against determined Pegasus Knights. It was Zakuresh who denied the Dreadfleet the rich loot in bodies aboard the Dark Elf Death Fortress Nilyran's Claw by unleshing the Hellcannon upon the Sea Hydra's towers to devour the whole live cargo while barely escaping Count Noctilus' pursuit with his Hellbarge. It was Zakuresh who let steer Bloodcast and two other Hellbarges into a closed Nipponese harbour during night, capturing the great Marienburger vessel Aterdhame whilst simultaneously causing havoc amongst the armoured turtle ships that rowed out to stop them.

      Through brutality and lucky recklessness, Zakuresh became infamous for carrying through suicidal attacks and surviving them. He also survived several rampaging Hellcannons, once even destroying such a bloodthirsty warmachine by cutting off its heavy wheels with his Daemonic rune axe before rolling the struggling barrel into a raging sea. There, the wounded Daemon and a blood-crazed Megalodon fought each other to death.

      The Chaos Dwarf captain's most daring act was carried out at his demise. He was searching for warpstone, a dangerous material often mixed into the coal bins of the Dawi Zharr. With only Bloodcast and the Hull Destroyers Chaos' Fury and Death's Gaol at his command, Zakuresh knew that the chance of successfully completing his mission in time was nil unless allies were found. Striking a pact with the Skaven of Clan Tyzzkrafft, Zakuresh made Warlord Itshnik the Backstabber agree to supply him with warpstone in exchange for the Chaos Dwarf warships' services.

      During a three-year long naval campaign across the seas, Zakuresh's squadron earned its payment twice over. Rival Warlord fleets were teared asunder as the brunt of the Dawi Zharr onslaught was released, spearheading Clan Tyzzkrafft's strikes into the enemy's heart. Sleek Elven ships and dozens of merchant vessels were caught, and several vengeful man-things flotillas were sunk by the Hull Destroyers and pulverised by the Hellbarge. Death's Gaol was lost during the great hunt for the Black Leviathan Sindra, swallowed whole by the sea monster yet buying time for the Skaven Warpraiders to broil her.

      Zakuresh's single-minded determination to fulfil his mission was demonstrated when he once had to return to Zharr-Naggrund to replace his lost Hellcannon. During the voyage, his ships boarded the great Cathayan merchantman Zin-Lao close to the High Elf Tower of the Sun, finding a treasure of jade, spices, ivory and exotic furs in its vast cargohold. Most importantly, however, was the thousands of high-quality Cathayan cast iron ingots discovered in the junk's aft section. Such a load of valuable raw material would have fetched thousands of slaves and plenty of prestige in Zharr-Naggrund, yet Zakuresh sent Chaos' Fury to escort the Zin-Lao to Clan Tyzzkrafft's secret harbour. No sacrifice was too great to fulfil his assigned duty.

      When the three years of settled service to the ratmen were drawing to their end, Warlord Itshnik led his entire fleet against the rival Clan Skiss' rocky coastal bolthole. Zakuresh the Harsh's warships played a pivotal role in the part siege, part sea battle. Loading the Hellcannon to the maximum with slaves, the Hellbarge Bloodcast roared and rocked as a mighty shot of shrieking souls cracked the heavy wooden gate to Clan Skiss' sea cave open. The gate, which had been fashioned by Greenskin slaves to make the fortress appear Orcish as a way of feinting, collapsed into the sea as tormented souls broke every tree log and iron nail in it. Through the cave opening, great portions of the recently expanded fleet of Clan Tyzzkrafft moved in for the kill. However, as Skiss and Tyzzkrafft ships made battle in the gloom inside, Warlord Itshnik released his trap in the open day outside.

      Not wanting to part with any precious warpstone, Itshnik the Backstabber once again upheld his name by turning on his allies. As seven Deathburner warships hired from Clan Pestilence simultaneously turned against the two remaining Chaos Dwarf vessels, Zakuresh realized that he had been double-crossed. Fuming with black wrath, the Dawi Zharr captain reacted instantly. Chaos' Fury was sent toward the assailants, sinking one with its great ram before all of the crew lay dead from the poisonous gasses secreted by the Deathburners. This sacrifice won enough time for Bloodcast to escape the toxic air. With its Hellcannon already heaving with anger and bloodlust after the massive shot, Zakuresh ordered all remaining slaves to be shuffled into its furnace. This produced an outburst from the Daemonic warmachine, who broke its schackles and crashed into the Hellbarge's reinforced fore. The Daemonic ram caught the Hellcannon, sending Bloodcast dashing across the waves, aimed at Itshnik's flagship, the Doombringer Itshnik II. The force of the ramming attack sent the huge Skaven vessel careening portside.

      With every Chaos Dwarf and Hobgoblin from Bloodcast rounded up behind him, Zakuresh the Harsh led the charge onto Itshnik II. With axes, blunderbusses and knives in their hands, the ten Chaos Dwarfs and twentyeight Hobgoblins carved a bloody path to the Skaven warship's command deck. Skavenslaves and Clanrats were massacred in the cramped confines until they turned tail and trampled their comrades. The Chaos Dwarf boarding was vicious in the extreme, and even expensive Moulder creatures proved insufficient to stop Zakuresh's advance. Meanwhile, the Hellcannon was on a bloody tour of its own, smashing its way below deck and slaughtering everything as it went.

      As the few surviving Chaos Dwarfs and Hobgoblins reached the command deck, they found Itshnik hiding behind a massive throne of bone, iron and wood, a masquerading Clanrat sitting on it in his place. The Hobgoblins spread out and knifed down the Eshin Nightrunners hiding about the command deck. Cutting down the Clanrat, Zakuresh pulled out Itshnik by his tail, severing it from the ratman's body and forcing him against a wall. With his axe to the Skaven Warlord's throat, Zakuresh asked his former ally:


      "Do you wish a swift death, Vermin?"
      "Y-yes-yes, by the Horned One I do," replied Itshnik.
      "Such is not the punishment for your crime," Zakuresh informed him.

      The four remaining Dawi Zharr crewmen seized Itshnik by his arms and legs, and stretched him out between them. With savage swipes, Zakuresh severed the Skaven's feet from his legs, then his lower legs from his knees, and then his thighs from his hips. Then Itshnik was cast down onto the wooden deck, whereupon the Chaos Dwarf captain first cut off his hands, then his elbows, and then his shoulders. By the time Zakuresh had finished cutting up the Warlord's torso, Itshnik the Backstabber was long dead.

      A single Chaos Dwarf warrior escaped the bloodshed and managed to return home to Zharr-Naggrund through years of hardship. Limping on one good leg, he told the Sorcerers of how Itshnik was maimed. He told them how the frenzied Hellcannon eventually sank Clan Tyzzkrafft's flagship, and how Zakuresh the Harsh disappeared beneath a tide of Giant Rats on the open command deck. With a nod, the Sorcerers accepted the disgraced survivor's story and sent him to the barracks of the Infernal Guard.



      The Chaos Dwarf tugboat, and the wonder of Azhnerek the Visionary


      Traditionally, there have been few if any dedicated tugboats in the Chaos Dwarf navy. When large, salvaged vessels or sea monsters had to be tugged, the warships anchored chains and tugged the booty back to port. Occasionally, this could be hazardous if enemy flottillas appeared, or if the sealing work done proved insufficient.

      Once, fully half of a Dawi Zharr battleflett was sunk during a major towing operation after a raid against Cathay's southern navy. As the Chaos Dwarfs tugged hundreds of junks filled with slaves and plunder across the ocean, a Dark Elven fleet appeared at the horizon. Though vastly outnumbered and outgunned, the commander of the Dark Elf force, Lokhir Fellheart, seized the golden opportunity to strike when most of the Chaos Dwarf ships were locked in towing service. Sinking many ships, both Cathayan and Chaos Dwarfen, and capturing one quarter of the junks, the Dark Elf captain left the battle as rapidly as he had entered it.

      In response to this audacious act, Hellsmith Azhnerek (the husband of three, the father of twelve and an ambitious engineer) constructed his tugboat, which found a place in most larger raiding parties since few Sorcerers wanted to be caught off guard at sea again. Amassing slaves, prestige and metal as payment, Azhnerek the Visionary began his next work.


      Having observed the need to resupply fuel and ammunition as a hindrance to the Chaos Dwarf navy's long range capabilities, Azhnerek let construct a mobile port and storehouse of immense size. It is built upon a mighty Daemonic rock calfed from the Southern Wastes, and it is shaped akin to Zharr-Naggrund itself. As an engineer's sacrifice to Hashut, the floating base is intentionally oversized and lack mechanized transportation for all but the largest of supply wares. Its battlements bristles with weaponry, and thousands of slaves labour day and night to transport wares up and down its great stairs. A fleet of tugboats is required to move the naval fortress, and it is constantly watched over by at least two Battlebarges plus escort ships. Beneath the water line, docking caves for submersible vessels have been created. In the skies, Great Taurus riders can be seen flying. Through a great investment of slave lives and materials, Azhnerek the Visionary's plans have seen fruitition. Although its practical value for the navy is disputed, the Ziggurat of the Seas is one of the true wonders of the Chaos Dwarfs.



      The Ziggurat of the Seas


      Key list for Ziggurat top surface overview map
      1 = Great Leveller Cannon
      2 = Thunderfire Rocket Launcher
      3 = Minor artillery battery
      4 = Crane
      5 = Railroad
      6 = Stairway
      7 = Surface storehouse
      8 = Barracks
      9 = Great Taurus stables
      10 = Shrine of Hashut
      * Battlebarge, for size comparison


    • There's still a lot of work to show other than that which is covered here, but...

      Can you spell A-T-R-O-C-I-T-Y?

      And do you know why the "Deathshrieker" is known by that name? See for yourselves my humble hypothesis in WIP pictures.

      Let me introduce you to psychological warfare on steroids, Chaos Dwarf style. Chains, green stuff decorations, cogwheels and general Hellcannonification of FW warmachines are part of that ethos. As well as gutted Goblin troublemakers. It's a pleasure to teach those pesky Greenskins a lesson as a vanilla Dwarf player, by the way.





      Next up are two of three crew counters/assistants to the Chaos Dwarf warmachine crew. I had planned to build earthworks in front of the Deathshriker, but upon discovering how bloody big it was I has to abandon that plan. Still, here we have a Gnoblar shuffling dirt with his bare hands. A kinsman will carry it in a wicker basket and a human slave will dig with a spade (not shown here). A Hobgoblin taskmaster with a pathetic whip-protese makes sure everything goes according to plan. Slavery is, as a general rule, not for the sensitive! Shown here with the flayed man for size comparison.











      Enough daggers on that Hobgobbo?

      Speaking of brutality, we also have this ritual Goblin-gallows, with the face of a mythical strangler-Daemon which is believed to haunt Slaves and insubordinate minions from the dark corners of the earth. This is simple work, simply plastic sprue bits clobbed together with some thread, brickabrack details and a hanged victim.

      The platform is made up of three layers of plastic sprue, with grey stuff brickwork. As you might spot, the Goblin isn't whole and sale. In a mutilation rite his right ear was cut off, his left lower leg axed and put in a pot (footwear thrown aside) and his scalp scalped and thrown like rubbish on the staircase. When death arrives, all body functions cease as corpse go limp. That's why there's a spot of Gobbo dung, somewhat to the left, implying even before hanging or violent swaying to the sides in the hemp rope.









      It's a unit filler. Like this Avatars of War Minotaur with sculpted demi-mask. Bulls are very Chaos Dwarfen after all, and everyone like Minotaurs in Blood Bowl CD teams, so why not in WHFB as well?





      Specifically, it's a unit filler for this growing horde of 50 or so great weapon-armed, glow-eye ensorcelled, elite headtaker Chaos Dwarfs. Heads dangling in chains on their cloaked backs, pictures of that later...







      As for unit fillers we have also this work in progress volunteer from my army in a Wood Elf unit filler of a friend's. It will show a Wood Elf archer stretching for a new arrow as this blinded fellow bull-charge at her. Here shown with some other pointy-ears, with bowstrings and simple needle-superglue-greenstuff-feather arrows I make for my hobby group's Elf armies.

      Do you think he'll make it? He's T4, after all!



    • Chaos gang, featuring a sheep from the bagage train (fresh meat!), a digging Gnoblar, a Hobgoblin taskmaster and Feth the Flyface, a once human ally of the Red Host. The latter is part of a friend's army and was converted by me from plastic sprue bits, wall filler, superglue and green stuff. Staff must get more bling.

      Skin grotesque included for size comparison. Background texts will be added when the war machines of these crew markers are completed.









      Rajah Dasamejri was once the bright star amongst the leaders of northern Ind, both a talented poet, master fencer and experimental metallurgist attempting to advance the Indan mastery of steel-making. His army of twenty thousand men counted dozens of cannons, several mystic wizards and seventy elephants, including bagage train animals used to clear paths through the thick jungles. A husband of nine and father of thirty at the age of thirty six, the man was destined to be remembered as one of the great lords of Ind.

      Dasamejri was succesful in his campaigns against rival neighbours, Greenskins and feral children of Chaos. In commemoration of his victories he began to construct a triumphal arch of yellow marble roofed by three onion domes. Yet all his glory, all his resources and all his skill proved to be worth nil when weird, stunted men destroyed his coastal patrol dhows and made landfall but seven miles from his stronghold.

      These bearded worshippers of a fell Chaos god of fire quickly entrenched their position instead of advancing immediately inland. This proved an efficient strategy as the forces of the local Rajah Dasamejri converged on the invaders and began to lay siege to their fort.

      The besiegers' artillery was suddenly blasted apart by prepared volleys of hellfire and Daemon-rockets. Under the cover of smoke, the cacophony of panic and confusion, the Chaos Dwarfs of the Red Host of Nir-Kezhar advanced from their positions in columns, spreading out in a bulls-horn battleline with cavalry and Daemon-engines on the flanks. The order to advance was sounded by agony screams from a Goblin slave being mutilated by sorcerous acolytes.

      Rajah Dasamejri had however regained control of his shocked men. Closing ranks, the warriors of Ind marched out to meet the enemy, a wedge of elephants at the army's centre. The leading beast was the royal war elephant of the ruler, and on it Dasamejri beckoned his men forward, leading the thundering advance into what looked like a foe out of hell. Archers drew arrows to loose whilst handgunners ran forward and kneeled in firing ranks. Their Chaos Dwarf counterparts did likewise.

      The scene was set for a great battle which could have swung any way, but such a thing was not to be. Out of the smoky skies dove a winged monster bull with a short warrior on its back. The men of Ind barely had time to register what happened as the diving Bale Taurus crashed horns-first into the general's elephant, crushing both rider and mount into pulp on the dry plain.

      A drawn-out moment of silent horror ruled the battlefield for what seemed an hour to the stunned defenders. Then the leaderless rout began as panic set in, encouraged by fearsome sights in the Dawi Zharr ranks. Regiment after regiment fled before the stampeding foe. The day turned into utter carnage as bloodshed and slave hunts began, followed by looting and burning before a withdrawal within three days.

      The mangled corpse of Rajah Dasamejri was recovered and flayed by the Chaos Dwarfs after the battle. Skilled craftsmen treated the skin to make it endure the test of time like leather, and then it was drawn and tied to two flat metal poles forming the silhouette of a bull's head. The warlord's tounge was hung on a string and his skull stuck on a short pole alongside the grotesque and a cuneiform stone boasting about his demise.

      To this day, the Red Host of Nir-Kezhar employs a slave gang to constantly dig up and dig down again the sadistic decoration as the army travels to new battlefields, the fear it inspires as much a weapon as any axe.






      "Darkness be. The ashes of humiliation have been swallowed. The preparations have been made. The sacrifices are ready. Let the ritual of binding commence.

      I, Merhanzibul Eyegouger, son of Grazhik and Aekra of clan Himzhul, summon thee.

      I, who am the Dark Father's slave and fodder, summon high god Hashut as judge of this ritual.

      Oh, you Lord of fire and greed. I prostrate myself before your idol. May you accept this mutilation sacrifice of a live thrall's limb. My dedication is yours. Your fire devour!

      I, most craven of creatures, summon the three vigilant Daemons of myth, Urnak, Irzak and Mralfubaal, as witnesses of this ritual.

      Hear me, see me, know me, heinous watchers. Receive this rune-scarring sacrifice upon the whipped backs of three thralls. Drink deep of it as payment for your service.

      Yet beware, Daemonkin, for my kin owns your souls and possess everlasting mastery of your fickle bodies. Vigiliance be mutual. You may not betray, lie or close your eyes to this ritual. Your humiliation endures!

      I, who am but a slave to darkness, invoke the power of the sorcerous wards and obsidian cages, and beseech thee to enslave and trample the living will out of your victim. May this splattering of thrall blood guide hunger.

      I, blacksmith of Chaos, reach into the mysteries beyond matter and spirit and calls out to the Daemon known as Lugg-Hazh and command you thrice to answer my summoning!

      Answer! Answer! Answer!

      I, breaker of backs, crusher of heads, see you, mighty Lugg-Hazh. Your name is known to me and your name is written on this cage which now falls onto your strong form and traps it.

      In the name of Hashut the Father of Darkness I hereby cripple and enslave your being into a bound existence in ash and chains. Hear my nine commandments!

      You will not betray your masters.

      You will not rebel against your masters.

      You will not protest against your masters.

      You will not lie to your masters.

      You will not refuse your masters' will.

      You will not destroy the property of your masters.

      You will not plot against your masters.

      You will not escape from your masters.

      You will not seek vengeance against your masters.

      Know that my lord Sorcerer-Prophet Nir-Kezhar is now your first master. Know that I, enslaver of souls, is now your second master. Know that the Red Host is now your third master. Know that your masters are now Dawi Zharr.

      Heed our will, Lugg-Hazh. Carry our burdens and swallow our foes.

      You will know the cruelty of torture and the ashes of humiliation as punishment should you fail in your tasks. You will know the drink of blood and the food of flesh should you succeed in your tasks.

      Rise, slave, and be forever our slave.

      I, bringer of sacrifices, end this ritual which Hashut has judged and the three Daemons of myth have witnessed. Darkness be."

      - Binding of the Daemon Lugg-Hazh


      _____________________________________________

      It's not such a completely mad unit filler if you think of Chaos on the one hand, and the greed of Chaos Dwarfs on the other. You need somewhere to store those precious objects when on campaigns.

      Preferably something that bite. :hashut









      Painting in progress gobbo gallows:







      Some WIP Warmachine support crew. The Hobgoblin will if possible wack people with his knife from the Iron Daemon:

    • Phrygian Hat Hobgoblin Head Sculpts (too large, but some progress toward re-sizing them by 3D means is taking place by a volunteer in the US)




      WIP Daemonically Possessed Cannon Sculpt








      WIP Chaos Dwarf Emissaries




      Some of the WIP Chaos Dwarf Headtakers (great weapon horde)


















      WIP Commission K'daai Rocketeers (client went silent after Age of Sigmar hit, but they will be finished once he's back - these are prize donations, and would be pointless to complete in his absence)




      Chaos Dwarf Headtaker Standard Bearer (stand in BSB)





      Artisan's Contest XIX is over and here's my quick-sculpted entry:


      A smelly and primitive pack animal, as well as an omnivore to survive in the bleak Dark Lands, the tuskbeak is suited to the harsh environment in which it lives, being tough and sporting both beak and tusks to dig up roots and crack through bark as well as the scaly hides of monster carcasses and thick monster egg shells in abandoned nests. The facial equipment is also its main defensive weapon in this hostile landscape. Roaming the ashen Dark Lands among the lethal mammals and stranger creatures still, the tuskbeak packs make favoured prey for giant wolves and Greenskins alike, and have remained a staple part of their diet for thousands upon thousands of years, along with aurochs, goats and other Greenskins.

      _____________________________

      Possibly called tuskbeak, rocklizard, tusker, boarlizard, wrinklebeast or ashpig, it is simply a Placerias, a common herbivore during the late Triassic age. It's a mammal-like reptile, a Therapsid whose kin dominated the Earth during the Permian but didn't make it into the Jurassic, when the Dinosaurs had taken over solidly. The one exception is the distinctly evolved mammalian ancestors of the Triassic, who went on to become us after the fall of the Dinosaurs.

      It would have been possible to instead make a wolf, a jackal, an ash condor, some ferocious ram, spider, aurochs or similar creature for the flora & fauna in the Dark Lands contest, but there is a special reason why I struck out for something out of the ordinary here. The Old Ones and their Lizardmen and hosts of reptiles are all familiar, yet they often seem confined to Lustria and in a lesser degree the Southlands, with only turtles, crocodiles, dragons, hydras, merwyrms and the like to show for reptilian creatures elsewhere. The ancient reptiles shine with their absence outside of the southern jungles, and that won't do. I considered adding some scales and spines akin to GW's lizardmen, but I like the sleek natural look better as a life-long Jurassic Park fan.

      The thinking here is that the tuskbeak was one of many prototype reptilian experiments by the Old Ones spread across the world, and using a Placerias seemed obvious given its fame from Walking with Dinosaurs on the one hand, and its clumsy primitive nature on the other. The Dark Lands are primeval, and you don't often associate its creatures with agility and refinement. After all, Orcs and boars live there!

      The post was edited 2 times, last by Karak Norn Clansman ().

    • Animated Dwarf Statue of Ancient Times

      Out now! Delayed at caster's, but finally here:



      Cast by Custom Made Minis. Here's a fluff piece to go with it:

      _________________________________________________________________________________

      Up in the rocky hills, a tiny creature climbed a steep cliff with his bare hands and feet, and nothing else to aid him. Whirling dust and the heat of the sun dried out Grozlob's throat and pinched his sore eyeballs, yet still the Goblin pressed on.

      "Scumlock!" he swore as his feet dislodged yet another crumbling sun-dried brick and sent it tumbling down the precipice with resounding thwacks. He kicked out with his feet and somehow found a foothold in the cliff face. If he hadn't, that falling brick could as well have been him.

      Bricks! Why were there bricks in the cliff face? The whole hill looked like it was made up of packed dirt and layers upon layers of bricks, as though they had amassed on top of one another throughout many centuries. Was the whole hill a ruin? Or had the bricks been piled high in the wilderness by demons stealing away building materials from the mortal folk when they didn't set their charms correctly? Grozlob had been but a lowly slave all his life, knowing neither father nor mother nor tribe. He wasn't blessed with a surname, and he sure as hell wasn't blessed with cleverness. Grozlob didn't care.

      "Gotcha," he panted as he clambered over the top of the cliff face, rolling onto the flat top of the hill to gather his breath while he stared into the sky. Up there, gods dwelt. The Goblin slave couldn't tell one omen from another, yet he decided that the cloudless sky was a favourable portent.

      Grozlob got on his feet and started searching amid scattered bones and the brick piles of toppled walls, searching for that thing his master had told him to fetch. Damn it. Where was it...? There!

      "Hi, buddy!" he cheered at the statue which still stood up amid the rubble. The stone Dwarf didn't answer. It was cracked and weather-beaten. It looked like a priest, with a high hat and curly beard. And with a stone staff in one hand, the staff which Grozlob's master Urzhalik, son of Harrnippur, wanted for himself. It looked expensive.

      "Care to lend me a hand?" Grozlob said to the statue, and drew his rusty tools. He then started to saw and hammer off the thick hand holding the staff, whistling as he went. It was tough work, but still the Goblin enjoyed it. When else would he have a chance to cut off the hand of a Dwarf master? A hand which had beaten slaves like him countless times. A hand which had held whips and blades. Time for some payback.

      Grozlob attacked the granite hand with renewed vigour. He hadn't done more than chip it in all this time, but it was fine. He could stand out here all day, away from his cruel owner. He had even found a rat to eat. Life couldn't be much better.

      The Goblin lifted his tunic and relieved himself on the Dwarf after a couple of hours' labour. He grinned and aimed for the beard. Served 'em right, the fat swines! At least here was a blockbeard who couldn't defend himself...

      The statue creaked as a thick stone hand gripped Grozlob by his right arm and ripped it from his feeble body in one brutal motion. What the hell! Pain flared up in the Goblin's head. Blood gushed from the severed limb. He screamed and fell to the ground.

      The stone dwarf proceeded to bow down and break the slave's left foot with a crunching sound. The pain! The unbearable pain! Grozlob howled, and could do nothing when the statue twisted his foot and tore it from the leg with unbelievable strength.

      "Aaah! Nyeeh... Gods!" screamed the Goblin. His mind was on feverish fire and throbbed all over with acute pain. He was bleeding dry fast. He could feel his lifeblood flowing away into the sand. No...

      The stone fist seized Grozlob by his scrawny throat and lifted him up into the air. The slave's remaining foot pumped without finding ground. He beat the thick stone arm weakly with his only hand. It didn't help at all. It was like punching granite.

      "I will break your bones and curse your soul," said a gravelly voice. The statue's voice, Grozlob realized through the agony. He stared into the glowing eyes of a stone demon. "I will throttle you dead and bar the gate into the afterlife. I will tear your corpse asunder and cast the pieces into the river, and even vultures will spurn you."

      There was no mercy in those eyes. The fist of stone squeezed harder, and Grozlob shook. The Goblin slave tried to protest, tried to writhe out of the stranglehold, tried to scream. To no avail. He couldn't breathe... He couldn't breathe! He couldn't brea-

      Darkness seized him.

      And the statue fulfilled its promise.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Karak Norn Clansman ().

    • War Booty of Ancient Times and Taming of the Wildman are out now! Get them here.


      War Booty of Ancient Times





      Tog the thrall heaved, strained and stumbled under the burdens laid upon his scarred frame. A basket of root lumps balanced precariously upon his bald, green head, weighing it down and aching his neck. He could not steady the basket, for his hands were both occupied with carrying a heavy amphora under which his back buckled. So heavy! Tog did not know what the big pot contained, except for a liquid of some sort. It sloshed inside the ceramic. Was it wine? Mayhaps olive oil? Or congealing blood? It might as well be swine piss for all he knew.

      Tog the thrall, too lowly to even know the nature of his burdens. Once he had been Tog the Raker, a fierce spearman and raider who liked to think of himself as feared by other Goblins and weird folks alike. That was before one tribe of weird folk had trapped his warband, slain his chieftain and broken his will by whip and claw and blade and tusk, and had visited upon him never-ending hardship and thirst and hunger under a scorching sun, on a death march along with thousands upon thousands of other captives.

      This weird folk was not the pointy-eared variety with their biting bows and evil horses, nor was it the manling kin either, with their seething multitudes and sheep flocks. No, this weird folk was the short but strong kind, the tough and hard-bitten, with big, blocky beards for armour and metal scales for even more protection under that. Conical helmets they wore, or towering hats, with spikes and horns and brutal images festooned about their wargear. At first, a know-nothing gruntling might think them funny, with their hats making the most silly of silhouettes in the sunlight, yet soon mirth turned to ashes on their tongues, and even the most hardened and grizzled of backstabbers and childslayers feared the blockbeards to the marrow of their bones. All Goblins knew that to be captured by those Dwarfs meant pain, toil and death.

      Oh, how that fear was well-founded! Tog the thrall would have wished it otherwise, but no seven wishes would ever relieve him of the blockbeards' devil glare, nor would it save him from their capricious cruelties and punishments. Maimings, flayings, quarterings, impalings... He thought he had seen it all in the serive of chief Krakk Vileclaw, yet he had seen nothing before the yoke of the blockbeards was loaded onto his shoulders. He, and thousands more, had gnawed upon the famished remains of the Dwarfs' victims, though never the sacrificial ones. Those committed to the gods above and below would never see their flesh swallowed down slave throats. Any thrall desperate enough to steal offerings from the burning altars would find himself broken, flayed and compressed into a miniscule bronze cage, bent impossibly back up on himself in a solid package while awaiting the most forbidden of rites practised by the blockbeard priests.

      And there was no escape from the misery! Foul outriders, green lackeys and spiteful to their dark hearts, ranged about the snaking column of slaves, pack animals and blockbeard slavers. Anyone they caught disappeared, likely eaten by the outriders themselves. Those who did manage to escape wouldn't last long in the wasteland heat anyway, as evident in the old, desiccated bones strewn about their blistered feet...

      Tog the thrall glanced up, hoping against hope for an abysmal monster to emerge and gobble down his tormentors. Instead, he did see a monster and a tormentor, yet they were one and the same. Some captives ahead of him, a stolid blockbeard scribe stood by the stinking slave parade and scribbled on a tablet of wet clay, impressing mystical signs for the memory of eternities to follow. Writing, it was called, a dark and dangerous art. A mystery, for sure. But Tog knew all about writing. Sometimes, a blockbeard scribe would accompany a bunch of warriors in camp, taking the lead as he looked the slaves and pack animals up and down and in and out, inspecting their teeth, eyes and hands, pinching hard on their arms and legs and staring at thralls with eyes not caring one iota for their fates. The scribes would say a few words sometimes, in that harsh tongue of theirs, and the fate of slaves and beasts of burden alike would be decided with a quick doodle in clay.

      Were they counting their war booty? Maybe deciding what the slaves and animals were good for? Or discarding the useless ones? Perhaps all at once, judging by the results. Some slaves would just be marked down, and nothing more would come of it. Others would switch places in the column, find themselves loaded with heavier burdens or pulling asse-s, camels, oxen and pack horses along. Some slaves would be cut down were they stood by the warriors, while the scribe wrote them off for good in his clay. Others would be dragged away to the cookpots or altars. Whatever they wrote, the scribes held powers of life and death over slaves. They could kill by marking their clay. One mark, and your life ended. The magic of it all made Tog's skin crawl at the back of his neck.

      He had once been a plundering warrior. Now he was a piece of plunder, walking loot and nothing more. Tog the thrall looked again on the scribe. Didn't he know that smug face? Let's see... Yes. It was the bastard who had killed his chieftain Krakk with a single mark in clay. That kill had belonged to Tog for years! He had dreamt of doing his boss in, sneaking up in the dark of night or thrusting his spear out in the chaos of fighting, yet that dream had been robbed from him. Instead, Krakk had died like a dog at the hands of a scribbling blockbeard. Tog could still remember the awkward name of that scribe. Adad-Nirkartunabamer. That's it! That name had etched itself into his mind, and remained there a stark fire while every other part of him, his memories and his will wasted away in apathy, hardship and oppression.

      He was nearing Adad-Nirkartunabamer now. The blockeard ticked off some foreign Dwarf wench, all bare and scarred and unflowered before the death march had even begun. She didn't have to carry anything but her shame and pain, with eyes downcast and voice silent as she stumbled on during day for yet another night of shrieks and violation at the hands of the victors. Then, the accursed scribe made another mark as a humpbacked pegleg of a Goblin struggled with a heavy sack in his arms, while an even heavier burlap bag crushed down on his skull. Finally, Tog the thrall passed by Adad-Nirkartunabamer, who marked him off just like that. This time, the writing didn't kill. Yet next time, the spell might work...

      Tog the thrall brooded on his petty plan of hopeless revenge for long hours after he had left the blockbeard behind. He had become a beast of burden among others, and nothing more. And for long hours afterwards, downtrodden slaves and pack animals defiled past the scribe, each one a little wedge impression on a clay tablet, and nothing more. The writing would remain forgotten in an archive vault for long ages to come, witnessing dust and darkness and nothing more. Such was the legacy of the war booty of ancient times.

      _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

      Taming of the Wildman of Ancient Times

      Priestess based on this sketch by Jackswift:





      Among the tribal Dwarfs, black of heart, was told in ancient times the myth of the taming of the Wildman. It is a tale without heroes, and a saga bereft of soothing power, for it is a story of fell deeds and dark fate, a legend all too familiar from real life experience for the numberless hordes of slaves toiling beneath the whips of these malignant Dwarfs.

      Once upon a time, the city of Zhurninnuk prospered and grew, and its wealth was increased every year by its artisans and traders, and the offerings of its priests grew ever more rich. Its scribes were many, its slaves legions, its farmers and herdsmen almost beyond counting. It was a mighty city, a place of power, where high lorded it over low, and order lorded it over chaos. And thus it was that Zhurninnuk ever grasped for more and more land, more and more water, of everything more and more. Its woodsmen hewed down strong oaks and cedars with axes of bronze. Its peasants dredged marches, built thick banks around the river Harrnuk and tamed the floods for their fields in their irrigation canals. Its hunters felled lion, gazelle and ibis alike, its gatherers plundered the nests of birds, and its fishers caught the life of the waters.

      Long and strong was the reach of great Zhurninnuk of the three walls and twelve ziggurats, and in strength the city-state conquered the wild and sought to extinguish its flame, just as it waged war against enemy cities and tribes. Yet the wild responded in violence, and caused the mighty Wildman to come forth, and forth he came, naked and horned, strong of limb and covered in fur, walking on two cloven hooves yet possessing hands with which to strangle, tear and destroy. And destroy he did. The Wildman ravaged the livestock and bred bastard races of Satyrs and Minotaurs upon the flocks of the cowherds and goatherds. Soon his offspring roamed the wilds, and they laid waste to many a village, yet none of his children surpassed their raw father in might and deeds.

      The harrowed shepherds brought complaints to the city of Zhurninnuk, bringing word of a Wildman who deprived them food and slept under the sky, knowing neither father nor gods and breeding in full sight of sun and stars like a lowly beast. In response, the city elders drew from their wisdom a cunning plan, and sent out the Temple Harlot Zhamshet to lure the Wildman into the tamed lands. Lust overtook the rage in the heart of the Wildman upon sighting Zhamshet, for she seduced him and was mounted by him for twelve days and twelve nights, thereby teaching him the ways of men and women. After this, Zhamshet weakened the Wildman with food and drink, and taught him to eat bread and drink beer in the manner of men and women. Exhausted after all his labours, Zhamshet then taught the Wildman to sleep under covered roof and blanket in the manner of men and women.

      Thus drained of primal strength, the once-ferocious Wildman was taken to the city, where the Temple Harlot promised to marry him in sight of the divine idols, yet the Wildman was met by blades not incense at the temple, his trust in her promises repaid by treachery not truth, by lies not love. At the foot of the ziggurat stairs, the High Priestess and the Stricken Dwarf stood awaiting, the latter struck by the lightning and thunder of the gods for his sins, now serving the temple alone and heeding no other mistress. The High Priestess uttered but one command, and the strong warrior fell upon the Wildman in full armour. Long did they battle, yet in the end hoof and fist and fang and horn proved no match for axe and shield and ironshod boot, and the Wildman was kicked to the ground, bearing scars from his combat. On his knees, the ferocious half-beast was subdued by the Stricken Dwarf, who shackled him and left the Wildman kneeling before the altar, exposed and helpless, with neither friends nor kin to save him.

      At the sight of her lover's defeat, the Temple Harlot sipped beer through a straw after her exhaustive work, while the Stricken Dwarf taunted the Wildman. Then, the High Priestess drew her sharp knife, numbering the various offenses of the Wildman and recalling his forbidden breeding with the livestock of men and women, and she raised the blade high, about to sacrifice the offending member of the Wildman to the gods...

      The post was edited 2 times, last by Karak Norn Clansman ().

    • Evil Dwarf Escort Vessels of Ancient Times

      Available now!



      Shading his eyes against the fiery glare below, captain Uhr-Maduknezhar stood astride up in the commanding archer tower of the slave galley Grasp of Lidunammu. The scarred and grizzled seaman observed the chaotic battle scene in the archipelago below while smoke columns obscured his view. He gripped one pointy merlon to counter the worst rockings of the crenellated tower as the frantic sea waves tossed the narrow ship about. The sounds of blackpowder blasts, creakingIn the accursed salty wet, debris and bodies both alive and dead littered the surroundings, picked at by bloodthirsty sharks and yet worse behemoths of the depths, some of them a danger to the unharmed vessels. The situation was difficult to assess, for behind the smoke, the flimsy wooden masts and sails of the enemy fleet had become an indecipherable tangle.

      "Our fire ships shouldn't ever have let loose at such an angle," groaned decksofficer Bel-Ninridu, gesticulating madly at the unquenchable flames dancing across waves and wrecks below. "Just look at it! It's a bloody mess of firewalls down there, smokescreens shielding their escape. Gallows!"

      Without glancing at his subordinate, Uhr-Marduknezhar replied: "Our metal hulls have passed through seas of molten rock. Our rams have licked the waves of hell. What's a little flame to that?"

      "With our ship unenchanted, without the preparatory rites, the rowers will perish at oars. We'll be stranded at great cost," said Bel-Ninridu.

      "Then let the slaves broil and burn in their shackles if they wish to succumb to a little heat," said Uhr-Marduknezhar. "The roasted thralls will make for fine steaks. The omens are right, I am sure of it. Signal the helmsman, bring the Grasp of Lidunammuabout and aim her at the largest pillar of smoke, right there. Then signal the taskmaster: Breakneck speed, full ahead. The gods will it! And brace for impact."

      "Aye, aye, cap'n!"
    • Sculpting for casting means that the army is on the backburner. Still, for each or every second tournament we usually wish to finish converting or even painting something new for our armies, and for the weekend's tourney I've prepared a couple more K'daai Fireborn. The taller K'daai is a Dungeons & Dragons Elemental Evil: Fire Myrmidon, and the smaller one a Djinn of Fire from Shieldwolf miniatures. Also, a petard with crew from AtomTaylor (9th Age light artillery on 40mm round base with indirect fire) has been on the workbench. Soon to be glued together. I'd hoped to have the latter fully painted come tournament and log update, but will not have time and directly after the tourney it's back to commercial sculpting. Maybe for next tournament. Fingers crossed the new army list will lift ranking from the bottom-most place. :yar



      AtomTaylor sculpts Oldhammer miniatures, true to the originals' style and nice looking. I recommend them particularly for their sheer character. They're full of it! Plus every single crewman comes with a weapon in hand or at belt.

      Me and my brother liked the jolly petard and crew a lot on first sight, and were immediately inspired to do some conversions (almost no mini in my collections are immune to green stuff). I wanted to add a few details to the petard and tie in the crew with the rest of the army, so curlybeards and some extra armour was the order of the day.

      I had planned to give the petard some Chaotic segmented goat horns, but my little brother pointed out that the bare petard resembled a bull well enough with its face, so bull horns it was. I had originally planned a quite monotone and probably dull paint scheme for it, but my brother immediately saw its resemblance to something called a weeping bell, which will vagually be carried over in metallics and oxidized bronze and red teeth dags in the paintjob. Also added some slime drool because of that odd reference.



      The skull mask crewman were originally intended for only minor conversions, but my brother spotted it for a candidate as some 80s thing called Skeleton, and then for a potential Sandy Claws. The latter option was surprisingly fitting, given how FW gave their artillery officers pointy hats with a little skull on top, so he won the day. I guess it's only right that the little brother gets to decide how the little cannon shall look in the army.




      Here's my entry from the concept art contest. Had hoped to paint a picture for it as well, but time ran out. It's a concept for some planned evil Dwarf sculpts, Faceless Ones, infernal torturers, slavers and terror troops for psychological warfare on steroids. I needed to map out potential tools, equipment and weapons to be used on the models, and included one or two Bronze Age ones such as the boarding pike:





      Next up, Slave Orcs!

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Karak Norn Clansman ().

    • @dirtywulf: Thank you kindly!

      @ROTTEN_FACTORY: Thank you very much! Updated you'll be kept. :)

      @Henrypmiller: Thanks!


      Orc Slaves of Ancient Times

      Based on a lot of valuable feedback from here.

      Heads have been sculpted first, since they'll be handy to have finished for posing and sculpting the bodies. 12 head variants for 6 bodies will give space for choice. I do not have the materials to swiftly photograph the heads sufficiently well together (also besides a WHFB Orc head for scale) and size comparison. Will have to fix something soon. In the meanwhile, here we have some ugly, warty, scarred slaves, with hides sculpted to hint at roughness and weather-bitten skin. Notes per head.

      Enjoy, or get disgusted as you see fit. :)

      1: Face cage with lock for key placed at nose. Roughly hammered iron bands riveted together. Nailed into head. Angry face and upright ears tell us why his head is locked in.

      2: Face bars.

      3: Mix between scold's bridle and dirt-eater mask. Head is the smallest of the bunch. Will need some jaw inflation.

      4: Evil dwarf fantasy version of owner stamp to the forehead. Runic plate riveted to forehead, with chainmail veil and sewn-shut lips.

      5: Stitched lips with bull nose ring. Slaves are like cattle, pull them along! Swollen bruise on top of head.

      6: Head in a sack. My brother's idea.



      7: Bandaged eye, half a red smile.

      8: Jawless head. Stark cruelty. Based on WWI wounded without jaws.

      9: Limp hair head. A nest for lice, sure, but it's intended to convey the pathetic look.

      10: Open mouth face. Tongue sticking out with both tusks broken off. Raised scar on one cheek.

      11: 1/3 flayed head. Transition head to go along with the one below. There will be some few flayed or partially flayed body parts, and one very unlucky sod who at least have both arms unshackled and both hands intact...

      12: Flayed head. Small skin patches remaining at the back of the head, for transition to bodies with skin.




      Below are reference pictures for sculpting the bodies:

    • @alltaken: No, they're too big by consensus. As mentioned above, they're currently at an American volunteer for 3D scanning and resizing. We'll see where it leads. I'll keep everyone updated loud enough should it lead to fruition.

      @ROTTEN_FACTORY: Thank you kindly!


      Hobgoblin Slavedrivers

      As per Carcearion's advice, here are two taskmasters to herd the Orcs along. Scale is still a bit off from ideal, but the size in the sculpts might be on the right track. Their feet and legs are not as lively as one could have hoped for, but they'll have to do. The first Orc pilot sculpt is a lot livelier, so the big eye-catchers should hold more movement in them.

      These slavedrivers will be released as a small kit on their own, and way ahead of the Orc slaves. Will probably include a couple of small pots as kit extras depending on mould space, to make use of the reject excess Zealot sculpts. You'll see a lot of this practice in future kits, small bits and bobs that should help lend character to the whole tabletop setting.

      As per Bloodbeard's advice, these Slavedrivers will not include Chaos Dwarf bitz, such as a hand with whip, hand with decapitated Orc head or the like. Such bitz will almost certainly show up later, either with a dedicated slave butcher/torturer hero sculpt, or as optional hands for the planned rank and file torturer/crewmen kit.

      The armour and clothes are based on some Persian warrior garb seen in the second picture below. Note the chubby whipper. If you wonder where the amputated thrall parts went, he probably ate them! The prodder's spearhead breaks the regional inspiration, sort of, since it's based on a British bronze age spear head, not Middle Eastern/eastern Mediterranean ones, but what the heck, I just went with what looked most interesting on a quick picture search. Also note the prodder's eyepatch.

      Fuggit Khan's emissary stands for size comparison:





    • Evil Dwarf Cylinder Seal Rolling Pin Flatsculpts



      Technical: This quick project was done at the request of Enjoysrandom, as one of several planned little breaks from the ongoing Orc slave sculpts.

      This is an experiment. It's a couple of 5x10 cm flatsculpts intended to be translated into rolling pins (see also cylinder seals). Good advice was gathered from Enjoysrandom and Jackswift in particular, but I've come to realize that my steadiness of hands, eye-measurement and sense of straight symmetrical lines will not be up to the challenge of producing a cylindrical negative of the flatsculpts for resin casting. (Diameter of the cylinders will be 3 cm, take away possibly 1-2 mm.) As such I'll attempt to ask a few moulding companies, including Green Stuff World, if they have the expertise and will to carry it out on commission, and to what price. The resin moulds at Zealot will be surprisingly cheap, yet a steep commission cost could ruin the end product's price.

      Should any volunteer wish to do it, then shout out! We'll see how it all turns out, but if these flatsculpts won't be turned into succesful cylinder seals soon, then perhaps the flatsculpts themselves could be cast. Either as negatives for green stuff stamps, or as resin wall pieces as the sculpts themselves are. Investigations to take place.

      First of all, my sense of straight lines and symmetry are about as shaky as my sense of scale and measurement. A bit odd, given how almost all hobbies and interests involving handiwork I have had since early childhood years revolve around these, and I've also worked some with tasks requiring precision measurements (which I repeatedly failed at due to inherent weakness at this area).

      This means that the plasticard panels themselves were cut to 5x10,6 or something centimetres (the extra width millimetres are there in case they would be needed for the cylinder), but I couldn't achieve perfectly straight lines after cleaning. This won't matter if the flatsculpts makes it through to cylinders, but will matter and require some hobbyist filing if the flatsculpts themselves would be cast as resin wall pieces. Furthermore, while their ends align a tad better than can be seen in the photos and they are not as wavy as they might appear, no line is perfectly straight with the wall adornments. It's all measured and very much sculpted with a ruler, but perfection it is not.

      To hide these and other sculpting flaws, I went for a rougher stone texture with a less perfect finish than you would find in actual palace wall carvings in real ancient history. It should probably all come together well enough when painted, is my guess, but the customers will have to decide for themselves once they see pictures of the end products.

      Reference:





      Aesthetics: The top and bottom decoration borders are sculpted so as to be cross-compatible between wall sections, and this will almost certainly hold true in any potential future wall relief sculpts that might get released if these prove popular enough. The borders are there to show a mortal world caught between a rock and a hard place, with stormy lightning-ridden skies above, and hellfire and dreary underworld below, with demons and capricious gods playing cruel games with the fates of mortals in the region in-between.


      Triumph & Thralldom

      Sculpted with excessive, mayhap bewildering detail, these scenes and my tastes have something in common with the original Assyrian wall reliefs which inspired it: A belief in that more is more. Possibly it is just a jolly mass of chaos, and possibly it rewards the patient viewer who takes a longer look at the scenes.

      The small scale of it and the original purpose of serving as a rolling pin meant that detail couldn't be taken down too intensely in the small figures, as will be obvious with the faces in particular.

      The relief is divided into two halves, mimicking the Standard of Ur with its war and peace halves. For grimdark purposes, we instead have triumph and thralldom, i.e. the half to the left of the erupting volcano sporting evil Dwarf cruelty against a defeated Human tribe while the right side shows masses of slaves labouring at moving a stone lamassu, and the logistics involved in such an operation (simplified version of the second reference picture's two reliefs above).






      Four Reliefs

      The second flatsculpt is done in a different way. At the request of Enjoysrandom, this was quartered into four parts which could be rolled out all at once producing a line of scenes, but could also be used one quarted at a time, anywhere you wish on a terrain piece, i.e. producing an isolated quarter of the rolling pin and nothing else wherever you wish.

      First panel based somewhat on this story, with the fourth panel sporting the burning cow from this one.




      The post was edited 1 time, last by Karak Norn Clansman ().

    • @alltaken : That's one possible area of use. I wonder how much would be visible between the feet and the armoured robes of the evil stunties, but it could be worth a try.

      @Vazquezvill : Thank you!


      First off, Zealot Miniatures doing the resin casting of the plates have been swamped by orders, and are first now getting to cast them. And Custom Made Miniatures casting the Hobgoblin slavedrivers met some harsh problems when their vaccuum pump broke down and the delivery guy ran off with its highly expensive replacement (they found an old one, and have just started casting).

      Hopefully those kits can get released during the summer months.

      Also, Zealot Miniatures needed to drill holes through undetailed areas due to mould suction in the flat plates. Should be easy to fill-in:





      Next, the Orc slave heads have recently been sent to Custom Made Miniatures for whitemetal casting. I ran into some anatomy sculpting issues with a slave orc pilot sculpt. This was expected and was the reason why I wanted to practice on a pilot first, but it was not what was needed at the time (contributed to the hobby downtime until now). So, as the bodies will be picked up again later after some more practice, the heads have been sent off to become a bitz kit. They're intentionally a bit bigger than normal GW Orc heads because they're made for bigger and bulkier bodies, but the millimeter difference was smaller than I remembered. Scale shots to come after casting.

      After some hobby downtime with sporadic minor work it's back to business. First up, a newly arrived emissary of Karagazkar, courtesy of Carcearion! (Need to get some proper terrain done for background.)

      Taking aim at the stranger, the guards recognize the emblem of the Red Host emblazoned upon his unfurled scroll. The sentries stay wary of the fire Daemoness. After some questions and inspection of seals, he is let into the fortress.



      Left waiting for long hours in a forechamber, the diplomat comes face to face with the dastardly ambassador from da Khan of Khans. Clandestine backroom dealings ensue, determining the fates of thousands of lesser souls and exchanging precious bribes. The shady event is reported upon by a specially trained Sneaky Git, skulking in the shadows, who has his hands chained together behind his back to prevent instinctive stabbing actions. Routine intrigue among the corridors of power of Mingol Zharr-Naggrund the Great and all her holdings.



      After endless waiting, an audience is at last granted the patient emissary... That is, an audience with the seventh wife of Sorcerer-Prophet Nir-Kezhar. Many more arduous and time-consuming steps of protocol and fiery purification rites must be waded through before an actual audience with the sought Sorcerer-Prophet may be arranged. The Hobgoblin diplomat, having been denied even the lowliest audience so far on account of his slave blood, is attached to the Chaos Dwarf of Karagazkar as retinue to clear adamant formalities and at last allow diplomatic exchange with the court of Nir-Kezhar.



      As you can see, Carcearion cooked up a great conversion for his emissary! He even asked me for my army's emblem. It didn't have any previously, so this one featuring lightning horns was made up on the spot:



      Next up in the painting queue stands the emissaries for Fuggit Khan and Carcearion. Converted and basecoated, to be painted as soon as the brush itch hits.

      Also, as per Enjoysrandom's idea work has started on a Grand Admiral or evil dwarf pirate lord sculpt, based upon Jackswift's inventive sketch. Check out the slave rowers on top of the hat!

      This miniature will feature many optional parts. If you have ideas for things to change or for bits you wish to see included in the kit, then by all means shout out! Feedback from Enjoysrandom and Fuggit Khan has already helped steer the plans of this project.



      The post was edited 2 times, last by Karak Norn Clansman ().