Howdy, let’s pull together every cheap and simple rankfiller trick thematically suitable for a Chaos Dwarf army.
Come with your own tips and concepts. Pictures are welcome!
The reason to why I start this thread is because with my latest conversion jobs I’ve had reason to ponder a lot on the cruelty and slavery of the Dawi Zharr.
It started with some “decorating” of a Deathshrieker (pictures when camera is available…) and grew into a slavery scene around it with thralls shovelling dirt, whipped by a Hobgobbo overseer. It grew further into some rankfillers which I’m eager to show once they’re finished.
Those rankfillers are not the simplest, so I started to think about simple tricks for filling the ranks in expensive CD and Hobgoblin units. The obvious ones are raiding the bitz box to make…
…a pile of severed heads and limbs from your favourite enemy army, perhaps supervised by a chap with bloodied blade.
…a field of heads on sticks, a little bit like reality’s Dracula.
…an enemy corpse on the ground, its head decapitated.
…a brazier from the Bretonnia archer box with a Chaos icon and some skulls close by as a field altar to gain Hashut’s favour in the midst of battle.
…a warrior from your army, face down in the dust, maybe with an arrow in his back.
…a converted Hobgoblin with a whip (from Rat Ogre sprues perhaps?) and one of those overloaded Gnoblars on a 40 mm base.
…some bloke or statue close to a lava pool.
Now add ideas of your own!
...a field of heads on sticks, a little bit like reality's Dracula.
I second that but with impaled bodies, such that would make Vlad proud!
I'd like to use a sorcerer who has succumbed to the curse as a unit filler. I think i've seen it before on this site.
For slave units (assuming you’re using a fan book that allows slave units that is) maybe have an ogre, rat ogre or troll. Not a unit filler in the diarama sense, but does take up the space of four slaves
@Sticklander: Impaled bodies might be tricky to pull off convincingly with simple conversions given the combat-ready stances of most kits, but you’re right. A head is a good start, but for full score you need the complete set on a stick!
@Dînadan: Yes, that’s a classic! Good thing you mentioned it. You’ll also have plenty of space to paint a slave brand on those big beasts. A Minotaur in a Chaos Dwarf unit could also work, since they’re bovine and Chaotic to start with.
Just count slaves as a unit of Hobgoblins in Legion of Azgorh, because a CD army is better with slave rabble beneath the cruel Chaos Dwarf overlords and their Hobgoblin underlings.
Edit: Besides severed body parts one could also fill a 40mm base with booty, like a barrel, pouches, armour and weapons captured from the enemy. Chaos Dwarfs are greedy, and if their overlords are kind that day one could imagine warriors (or slaves) from their shieldwalls darting out to snatch up battlefield loot whenever an enemy regiment crumbled or retreated, piling it inside the unit’s ranks.
Another idea - anyone whose got the old 3rd ed bazooka and/or swivel gun teams could mount them on 20x40 or 40x40 bases and stick them in a unit of blunderbusses. Anyone with later ed armies could convert up bazookas/swivel guns to match their ed’s style for the same effect.
I’ve done one for O&G (20mm 4 x 4), and a single 25mm practice one for WoC.
I’m looking at doing a Petrified Sorcerer from Thommy’s rules and it will do fine for a Unit Filler in LoA as well.
I like unitfillers. First i used them because I simply didn’t have enough models and my budget was small. Now I’ll put them anywhere, because I like the way they can add life to a unit.
* Make unitfillers that fit the unit it has to be in. Thematic unitfillers are great.
* Try to add miniatures, because it brings life and movement.
* Unitfiller must have equal og higher height than models in the unit. Otherwise it seems like “holes” in the unit.
Stuff I’ve done
Made from dwarf bits, BfSP slayer, maches, cardboard and beastmen shields. Will fit into any unit of CD.
Powder monkey and slave
Made from empire, beastmen and dwarfs bits. Captured slave beastmen carrying gunpowder. A few extra fireglaives made to, make it fit the unit. Made for fireglaive IG. Put on a 20x80 base because fireglaives will fight in two ranks.
Beasthandler and beast
Beasthandler and beast. Made for my infernal guard w. handweapons/shields. Could be made with any kind of monster, here a spare warhound. Will make another beasthandler, that has same shoulderpads as the regiment.
* A 40x40 unitfiller for fireglaives. A rock, with a single fireglaive IG behind a wall/barricade. Khaas made something like this.
* Torches on 20mm bases. For fill in when a just need one guy more here and there. Made from sprue, with a pin, dwarf shield+dwarf buckler top and toiletpaper flame. Will add some colour to the regiment.
Will use torches generally. Put similar torches on warmachine bases, banner tops and other unitfillers.
* Slave big guy. An ogre/troll/slash spare big guy. Will have chained feet, a collar, maybe big hat. Add some height to a unit and fill out 4 slots.
I won’t make that many bone/corpse piles. Why would one drag those aroud? And I think it’s important (especially doing something like this), that a unitfiller has some height.
Great post, Bloodbeard. Have some slaves!
A Gorgon head makes a GREAT statue-icon of Hashut.
That's right! NoisyAssassin, have a slave.
Holy moly!!! That’s an awesome filler/statue - one of the best I have seen!!
@NoisyAssassin, that is epic! Idea officially stolen for my tournament display board.
One can also make something like this. Copied from my log:
The rank filler is the drawn skin of a flayed man, possibly a human warlord from Ind, both a talented poet, master fencer and experimental metallurgist. He died with his royal elephant as a Bale Taurus crashed into them from the skies. Now some of his earthly remains are suspended as a sick and sadistic decoration, constantly dug up and dug down again by a gang of slaves as the army travels to new battlefields.
The flat grotesque was easier to make than I had thought. It’s simply a plasticard man shape, ragged and torn by knife and drill, glued onto two bits from “plackers” (small plastic dental floss tools with curved ends) which was pinned into double 20mm bases. The bases are also pinned, sculpted and glued together. As you might notice I tried to get a sort of bull’s head silhouette from the plackers. The plasticard skin was given some coating of super glue for stability. The ropes are super glued thread with green stuff knots on the backside of the thing. Pictures of that when painted.
With thread in place the wrinkled and somewhat baggy skin was created through some hours of green stuff work. The cuneiform stone and the skull of the poor man were added to give some depth to the piece, which looked too flat without them.
Giblets and other brutalities will feature in the army as a way of psychological warfare, akin to reality’s Dracula. Now that’s a sick bastard! With Chaos Dwarfs being arguably evil, they should not have one iota more kindness than him. Gotta keep the army’s theme true.
Wow Admiral, that one is an awesome idea and executed;)
@Yodrin: Thank you! My Deathshrieker also have a live Goblin with ripped open gut nailed to its frame. It adds to that death shrieking, we’ve found.
Pictures of that later.
@Herby: Thanks. This is not a fairy fae army, these are Chaos Dwarfs, the shortest, baddest, toughest and most cruel people in the Warhammer world.
Having clearly visible signs of their war crimes in battle is logical for Dawi Zharr armies. They’re not that numerous and have to grasp every advantage they can get their callused hands on in order to survive and conquer in the embattled Warhammer world.
Striking at the enemies’ psychology is thus a given, and this psychological impact can crudely be said to, in combat, count instead of the warriors which the rank filler “replaces”.
Besides the historical reference point of Dracula we also have the Assyrians, which the 4th edition CDs were based upon. They were both brutally cruel to any enemies in order to scare neighbouring towns into submission, and they used propaganda to boast about it and drive home to point. Hard. It also made them hated like hell, which proved to be their empire’s undoing. They had crass depictions of humans flayed alive, of cut off hands, limbs and heads. Of impaled men and torture. Of burning cities and deportations.
Chaos Dwarfs are not kind. When you face them on the battlefield, you should instantly recognize them for what they are and want to destroy them. I’d never do such a thing like this with my Dwarf armies in Lotr, Warhammer or 40k.
Right. Something similarly brutal would be to have breaking wheels thrown in as a rank filler. Like in 16th century Europe. It shouldn’t be that hard to make.
WOW - the human skin is scary!!
That is creepy, awesome, and very well executed!
Admiral, that is hands down the best unit filler I have ever seen…it’s disturbingly brilliant!
Personally I think it should be a flayed high elf though
I’m sending you some well deserved slaves for this :cheers
Thank you very much, all! Maybe a High Elf will be next in line for some deserved flaying… :cheers
Simple gallows unit filler copied from my log:
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.