[Archive] Danek's Dawi Zharr project


Been on this Site for awhile now. Thought I would get to this.

First allow me to introduce myself fully and explain exactly WHY I chose the Dawi Zharr for my most recent project.

I haven’t played fantasy in years. I’ve mainly been involved in 40K. Those who also play 40K may recognise me from the B&C (where I’m known as ][Danek][) or even from my own site, The Night Lords Forums, where I go by Knightmare.

Some time ago, I began to suffer from burnout, and an all around artistic block. My Night Lords (for the time being) had run their course, and I grew weary of bolters and the trappings of 40K in general.

I needed a change, and I needed a challenge at the same time.

Fantasy was the logical choice. Initially I considered the Druchii, but TBH I find the majority of the models lacking. The same went for a Slayer army. Besides the Doomseekers and a few other sculpts, I think they look horrible and cartoony.

Then I stumbled upon the Hellcannon in my catalogue, and remembered how impressed I was with it and the crew when they were released during the SoC. Looking into updated info on the Dawi Zharr intrigued me, and I was set. The mental image of these cold, rational monsters was too much to resist.

As an artist, I saw the chance to expand my skills. Here was the exact opposite of what I grew comfortable with. The chance to experiment with warm, earthy tones appealed to me.

Finally, I found them fascinating because I could relate to them more than any other army. I could bring my real life knowledge to use in them. Let me explain that.

I live in Tucson, Arizona. A dry, blisteringly hot place. triple digit temps are common here.
On top of that, I work in a factory. Without going into details too much, we make expansion joints and flanges for Nuclear Power Plants and Hydro-Electric systems. My place of work is, quite simply, the real world equivalent of the “industrial hell” that the Dawi Zharr inhabit.

Massive furnaces that reach 600 degrees farenheit, well-worn tools used by filthy sweating men, and tons of tarnished metal.

In the Dawi Zharr, I hope to translate the truths of factory work to my art.

That’s all for now. Up next I’ll discuss my “check list” of things to touch upon in my project, in regards to how Aesthetics and Fluff will mesh together, and how I view the Dawi Zharr.



Looking foward greatly to seeing any and all pics you may produce!

As for your switch to Fantasy, well, what can I say?

Welcome to the Dark Side… :hashut


Thanks for the reply, Revlid. I admire your work and vision greatly.

I’ve heard many refer to WFB as the more tactical of the two primary GW games. The idea of testing my battle techniques in a different way appeals to me.

Mind you, this won’t be a full on army right now. I’m patient and will wait to see how the model line eventually looks. For now this is a diorama involving the Hellcannon, it’s crew and a few slaves for flavor.

Now when I start a new project, I tend to write out a checklist of things to touch up aestheticly. This applies to conversions as well as painting. This helps me achieve the definitive look I’m attempting to capture, as well as creating some form of uniformity.

I think it’s our attempt to balance aesthetics and fluff that seperates us from other forms of artists. We have guidelines set by fluff we can follow, while staying true to ourselves. While we may ignore these guidelines completely, we tend to get more kudos from our peers for following them, and capturing the “essence” of a race. After all, I’ve never seen a red-skinned Orc I like.:sick

Here is the list of touch points I’m following, drawn from modern fluff, my interpretation of it and my knowledge of real life factory work.


Skin - Kissed by the heat and sun. Darker and more leathery in nature than standard dwarfs. Thoroughly grimy and filthy as well.

Clothes - No cloths, nor dyed fabrics. Dawi Zharr care not about beauty, but functionality; what works. This is something I feel is essential to their cultural identity, and something I plan to touch upon in a number of ways.

If you’re looking for vibrant dyed fabrics and polished bronze and silver, look to those fools in the mountains.

That said, Leather and tanned pelts from various sources will be the order of the day. Dark and suitably oiled, mostly earthy stained browns. The boots will deviate from this, as I’m going for the engineer boot look; oily and black leather.

Metals - Again, functionality is key. At work, rust is almost non-existant due to the lack of humidity. One of the main tools we work with is mandrels; steel cylinders ranging from 2 inches in diameter to 112 inches, and 6 inches in length to 96. These mandrels are used as a base to build upon. They are continously lubricated with liquid silicone, built upon, exposed to the massive furnaces and then quenched in pools of water, all to start the process over again. This results in a slick and tarnished appearance, stained brown and black. Only the corners, edges and raised areas retain the shine, from being grinded upon and exposed to various tools. This look is what I’m aiming for. Tools and instruments of torture will be stained with dried blood.

The Hellcannon itself will be framed in brass, and I plan to continue the oiled and stained appearance with it as well.


Slaves - There will be three in all, each from a diffent species. One Orc, Human and Ogre.

All will be obvious victims of torture. Scar tissue, filth and emaciation will be prevelant. Especially with the human, I’m aiming for the haunted look of a concentration camp survivor.

That’s all for now. The project is nearing completion, and I’ll be posting pictures as I upload them of each part of the whole, as well as paint recipes for those interested.


hey ho :hat off

i like the way you think about this great project. This is the best aspect of collecting CDs, not much fluff and pretty much freedom…

my CDs have a dark skin, because i had the same thoughts like you… but, i thought about it… why should CD skin be so dark? dirty is okay, because of the industry but there is not much sun in Zharr-Naggrund, because of the smoke… and the dwarfs outsinde of the city work in mines… not much sun, too ^^. nevertheless i will keep the dark skin, because it looks fine with the black dreadlock beards

the clothes: i totally agree with your opinion but… it’s your’s ^^. the CDs are slavers, industrials and exploiters and much gold and bronze would underline their status, as these hats do :hat :~

CDs are different to the other dwarfs… they life in mountains, we in a hole ^^. but i think, this is an aspect of the nature of dwarfs they didn’t lose, the greed for metal and ressources.

but hey, this is only my opinion, your ideas are quite possible, too… that’s why i love Chaos Dwarfs :hat off

and… i have seen two red skinned orc armies, one for fantasy, one for 40k… i like red orcs ^^


Yea, great to see another slaver in the ranks of the Dawi Zarr. I like the idea you are going with you army. I can see also some fluff behind ogre slaves. Dawi Zarr hel one tribe of ogres against another and keep some of them, the rest are eaten by the ogres. I hope you create your owen unique army and that it will give you the satisfaction my own Dawi Zarr army give me. Uniqueness is always your own.