[Archive] [mini-blog] Going Mantic - Heavy Rocker update




A first look

1. Three ‘straight out of the box’ Chaos Dwarfs

2. Let do something about the heads, shall we?

3. So, Mantic�?Ts can�?Tt be turned into Big Hats?

4. Beasts of Dwarfs


In July 2010 Mantic Games started releasing their first plastic fantasy dwarfs in their Kings at War range. First release was their core dwarf unit called Ironclads, but in their plastic range, you will also find dwarf sharpshooters �?" called Ironwatch (can be armed with either rifles or crossbows) and a plastic Ironbelcher Cannon. Mantic will also add metal miniatures to their range as well.

Some of you might have seen me posting in various Mantic threads about their potential being converted into Chaos Dwarfs. Till day, our greatest resource for converting cheap Chaos Dwarf �?" has been the GW BfSP-starter set - that gave you both a whole bunch of dwarfs but also horde of greenskins to play with. With 8th edition Warhammer out �?" and a new starter set in the horizon �?" it�?Ts time to start looking into alternatives.

So I set out to find out what Mantic had to offer �?" so I�?Tve picked up some Ironclads.

I�?Tll be focusing on their plastics (for a start), because they are cheap and much more �?~conversion friendly�?T.

The regular plastic warrior dwarfs comes I various sizes of boxes �?" all at different prices. Most expensive are the small troop packs with 10 models at £8. Cheapest offer is the big Regiment deal with a 60/100 models, at £30/£50. So you can�?Tt complain about price - £0.50 - £0.80 each (RRP). Pretty fair, looking at the alternatives.

I�?Tve picked up a regular regiment box set �?" that comes with both trooper and command alternatives. This box comes at £12.50.

And before anyone gets to excited about this - a few disclaimers:

1. No, I�?Tm not giving up my old school citadel stuff over this.

2. Nope, I�?Tm not turning into a plastic fanatic �?" miniatures should still be made in metal (IMO) �?" but I have to admit, that being forced into converting you own miniatures �?" plastics are more friendly.

3. If you are looking for big ranked units and a hole army of evil Mantic dwarfs �?" please leave :smiley: �?" cause this isn�?Tt the place to look.

4. Paints, did I hear anyone says �?opaints�?�? Don�?Tt expect to see them all painted. Will probably try painting a few of them, to give you a review about how they take paints - but as said I�?Tm not here to do an Mantic army
So, what is this �?~Going Mantic�?T then? It�?Ts just an appetizer �?" merely to give you an idea what might be possible �?" and maybe inspire those of you - thinking about starting a (new) evil dwarf army. And do remember that this �?~blog�?T will be so limited by my inhibit imagination. There will be 100s of ideas and alternatives that will never see daylight here �?" so use your imagination and feel free to post any comments and/or ideas.


A first look

Before we are getting started let�?Ts have a look at the Mantic Games King of War Ironclad Dwarfs Regiment.

The Mantic miniatures comes in that well known VHS (video) �?" looking plastic cassette with the (in)famous two pieces of foam�?" wouldn�?Tt you just buy these miniatures to get hold on one of those? - and I almost forgot �?" the �?~Poster Guide�?T and two �?~Mantic points�?T :smiley:

When you get over all the excitement you�?Tll then find out what it�?Ts all about!

Inside you�?Tll find 4 sprues of miniatures (1 command and 3 trooper sprues) and 2 base sprues.

Like you can see it�?Ts solely heads and arms/weapons/armoury alternatives you get in the box.

The core body part is limited to 4x2 almost single part bodies (optional weapon/shield), 4 identical bodies with optional head and weapon arm (for heads, you have 4 different to pick from (4x2 regular warrior heads and 2 command heads) and another 4x2 bodies �?" but with optional torsos (a cloaked body and … an un-cloaked one). There are 3x2 torsos with fixed head and shield �?" one of them gives you an optional weapon hand and the other one comes with a fixed hand weapon. From the command sprue you get 2 identical torsos with optional head and arms (musician and unit commander, I guess). So, the body/torso optional dwarfs - gives you 5 different builds to choose from.

And then it�?Ts kind of a surprise that the box set doesn�?Tt allow you to do 20 models armed with great weapons. If you want a consistent force of 20 warriors, you can only arm them with hand weapons and shield. The box set �?~only�?T comes with 10 great weapons hammers �?" but 14 bodies that can wield them.

For future reference I�?Tve labelled the main body parts.

A lot has been said about Mantics �?" especially about their bulky look.

I�?Tm one of those that really liked the art work when presented �?" but wasn’t that excited when the actual sculpts and castings started to show. And now, holding them in my hand, they haven�?Tt really changed that impression. So, main focus - when we start the conversions - will probably be to tone down the bulky/heavy torso look.

So, here is a few views of a �?~straight of the box Mantic Dwarf�?T for you to judge.

Compared to a GW dwarf these dwarfs look more feral and rustic. They have heavy plated metal armoury, knee pads and massive helmets �?" even some face covering ones. Might not be that bad when you plan doing some Chaos Dwarfs conversions. Nowhere near the design of the chainmail coated GW plastics.

Next big issue (for scale fascist, like me) might be �?~their size�?T. Mantic�?Ts dwarfs are gigantic especially compared to regular GW dwarfs. Mantic�?Ts dwarfs are something like 20-21mm to the eye and about 25mm to the top of the head. You�?Tll probably find that a tart too big �?" if you are going to mix them in with regular GW stuff.

And for the scale fascist - here come a picture just to show you how big the Mantic�?Ts are.


1. Three ‘straight out of the box’ Chaos Dwarfs

So let�?Ts get started �?" shall we?

Dwarf #1.

First one out of the box is one of the dwarfs that I call �?~body 4�?T. This guy fit�?Ts the curly beard look from the 5th ed GW Big Hat Chaos Dwarfs pretty well �?" so why not just start and turn this one into a madhatter.

For this simple conversion we use an old classic push pin.

Just, flattens the top of the helmet and then glue the push pin in place.

From three bulbs of GS (Green/Grey/Brown stuff) and a piece of plastic card �?" details are added.

He turned out like this:

This method can probably be applied to all 20 models. It�?Ts so simple and easy to do �?" and will make you able to field a unit of big hats in no time.

Nothing done to make him look less �?~bulky�?T - quite the opposite, really.  The big hat extends the �?~humpback�?T look of the Mantic�?Ts. This one really looks like he is tipping over.

Dwarf #2:

Next one out is a body 2/torso 3. Again I tried with a minimum of work (simple conversion) to turn him into a Chaos Dwarf. Try out a method that should allow you to field a unit of dwarfs very fast.

First, I shave off all inappropriate details �?" so shield and face has to go �?" like this:

Observation 1:  
Hard, it�?Ts so darn hard clipping/cutting these plastics. The Mantic plastic is so much harder than the average GW plastic miniatures �?" so please be careful if/when you try this out.
Idea is to give him a face mask. For that purpose I pick a Marauder Warrior Shoulder pad (yes another classical conversion). So the face cut has to be done fairly precise.

This guy will also get a Marauder Warrior shield, so I shape the shield area �?" so the moulded shield wouldn�?Tt show beneath. I�?Tll keep the hand weapon �?" mainly because I want it to be a quick conversion �?" but it could be cut off and replaced if done carefully - as the axe head melts into his helmet.

The mask is then trimmed down to fit the slot, made in his face and glued on.
Observation 2:
Plastic glue takes a lot time longer to set on Mantic�?Ts. The glue don�?Tt seems to melt the plastics as much as when gluing softer plastics.

Might have to go over the joint between mask and helmet with a bit of GS �?" but it seems to fit nicely.

Again very simple and should work with all dwarfs

Still a rather bulky look �?" but just a matter of taste really.
You�?Tll need access to a �?~BIG�?T bit box if you are going to field two or three units of these.

Dwarf #3:

Last �?~straight out of the box�?T is a dwarf using the full face helmet guy (torso 2). This guy could go for an evil guy without much conversion. I still just don�?Tt like the imperial looking shield so it has to go �?" like this:

To extend the feral look I’ll give him a shield and a weapon from the beastmen regiment �?" but any chaos/marauder/VC bits would do the trick.

And just a small bulb of GS to fix the beard - where his new shield don’t cover.

Again, an easy conversion that should get you miniatures on the table in no time.

I actually like the look of this one even before trying to convert him. Think he is the best looking one in the box set.

Only 4 of these in the box

�?" but if you know to work with putty. It shouldn�?Tt be a problem turning others into dwarfs with a full covering helmet.

[align=center]Next time:

Let’s see what can be done with those bulky heads :smiley: [/align]


Now THAT’s a serious hat! I knew you had it in you, Clam.

The models don’t look as bad as I thought they did from their promo pics. They are a tad on the tall side, though, but I suppose everything is a dwarf to something else.

The conversions are quite nice too! Are you going to do any beard conversion tests?


I really like this. I may have to steal some of this for when I start my CDs again. Hope you don’t mind.


I didn’t like the mantic dwarfs until I saw them beside the other ones… now, I’m kind of liking them most of all.


Not half as bad as I thought! The one with the hat seems a bit tall imo, but the others looks great. With no BfSP around for new Chaos Dwarfers this might be one of the best ways to go… :slight_smile:


The one with the hat seems a bit tall imo



The one with the hat seems a bit tall imo


Uhm... I mean.... errr....:shy:


Thanks guys - and steal away.

Actually that’s the reason for doing the hole thing, anyway (the intention was actually to do an article for WoH - but it couldn’t be published until December. Guess, I couldn’t wait :D). Like said, I have no intention doing a Mantic army - I just need to play with some plastics - would love to see one/some of you finishing it.

Now THAT’s a serious hat! I knew you had it in you, Clam.

The models don’t look as bad as I thought they did from their promo pics. They are a tad on the tall side, though, but I suppose everything is a dwarf to something else.  

The conversions are quite nice too! Are you going to do any beard conversion tests?


Yeah, who would have thought that - and I let you in on a secret - there will be more :smiley:

And as for beard conversions? Like I said, first conversions was just 'straight out of the box - ones - I will (have already) advance(d) it a bit.

Hopefully, I can get the pictures done tonight, so I can post them soon.


Totally amazing work my friend, you have done such a great job on this, also great to see a big hat in there, well worth some slaves for all the work that you have put in :slight_smile:


Nice going Clam keep giving those ideas. Can’t wait to see what the advanced stuff is all about. :slight_smile:


Very nice. I’ve been tempted to give this a try, but I have too many projects at the time…


There is something you could do with the scale that would still sort of match in with GW stuff.  It would shave a few mm off.

It is a bit fiddly though

Basically you take a regular GW 20mm base and carefully cut out the whole of the top so you are left with just the outside rim.

Stick the rim down onto plasticard, cut it out and file around the edge until it is smooth.

Cut the mantic dwarf off his base and stick him down.  You could probably take 1mm off the feet without it looking bad, file them so they are flat before sticking down.  You could even take off just the back, to tilt the whole model so it is looking up a bit. :wink:

Texture base as normal.

I think what I would do with those models is just cut/drill out the head and beard and resculpt.

The one with the mask, could you not just twist the axe round a little?


I think what I would do with those models is just cut/drill out the head and beard and resculpt.

Have you hacked your way into my photobucket-account?

Cause, that's exactly what I've done with the next one :D


Awesome thread!

Loving the conversions. I am sensing some Dwarfs being cut in half at the torso… for shortening!


These guys are coming along great and looking really cool, but I gotta say, I’m not a fan of the hunchback almost cartoony look that Mantic’s dwarfs have. But as far as the conversions go, they are looking great! Keep up the good work.


I don’t like the Mantic models in general, but it is far more disappointing how similar they all are. A uniform is one thing, but in such similar poses and general things on the clothes in the same places. A bit more effort by the compay would have made a big difference. Not a problem with your conversions though, they look great so far.


Great blog. I pretty like Mantic dwarfs despite not being my favourite ever.
I think the big hat does not suit their “barbaric” feel. Much better the mask and, even, more the third one.

The third one is my favourite. Barbaric, sturdy, even nice as a “regular” dwarf if equipped with another shield.


2. Let do something about the heads, shall we?

So 3 more conversions done and ready for show.

Dwarf #4

The box set comes with 6 bodies without a sculpted in head �?" so why not just try with one of those first?

So, for the 4th conversion I�?Tve picked a �?~body 2�?T. In my bits box I have some Maxmini (www.maxmini.eu) skull tribe helmets, I bought back when I was thinking about doing a scratch build plastic Chaos Dwarf army �?" so this would be the perfect opportunity to try them out.

From Maxmini you get a random selection from these heads:

For this one I�?Tll use second head from the left. Then, cut of the �?~neck bulb�?T (probably fitting a chaos warrior torso) so the head will not stand to tall.

And then just a classic curly beard made from GS and a Mantic weapon hand with a weapon swap (Chaos Warrior axe).

Oh- and I nearly forgot - gave him a Beastmen Ungor wooden shield - but I think you would have figured that out :wink:

Pretty easy conversion �?" but a conversion that really change the �?~Mantic look�?T. And sorry for saying this about my own works, but this guy actually looks cool �?" and could see armies made from guys like this one.

The box set only comes with 6 bodies that makes an easy conversion.
Bits! You�?Tll need a prober bits box for doing an army of these. Or a big wallet :smiley:

Dwarf #5

Like I just said you only get 6 bodies without a �?~sculpted in head�?T. So if you want an army with �?~less bulky heads�?T you�?Tll have to try removing them.

So let�?Ts try that!

For the 5th one I picked the �?~cloaked body�?T (not my cup of tea, but let see if we can make him a Chaos Dwarf after all) and glued a �?~torso 2�?T onto the body. After �?~observation 1�?T it was pretty obvious that I couldn’t just cut/clip the head off �?" so it�?Ts time to find the heavy tools. So, on with the drill press and a 6mm auger.

Couldn�?Tt/wouldn�?Tt save the sculpted in hand, so he will need a new weapon as well.

A new torso and beard was done from GS and another Maxmini-head was attached (see picture above - first one on the left ).

A Chaos Marauder axe and a Marauder Horseman shield is then added.

Now what about the fancy cloak, then? Don�?Tt fit a Chaos Dwarf very well! … unless it�?Ts made ugly, torn and dirty.

So he turned out like this:

Sorry, that the dirt and mud don�?Tt show very well on these pictures.

If you are a �?~mini chaos�?T type of dwarf- guy �?" this conversion actually works. He could easily go for a Nurgle Herald.

This method will actually allow you to field 20 almost identical warriors from a single box set.

Time consuming! Cause, these heads won�?Tt come off easily.
And again you�?Tll need a big variety of evil bits.

Dwarf #6

6th ones is mainly done to try shorten these guys. So off the torso goes.

Observation 3

No surprise, that the Mantic torso is a lot bigger in scale compared to GW dwarf one. Here is a Mantic torso next to some torsos I�?Tve found in my bits box:

It�?Ts �?" from left to right �?" an Orc, a Mantic, 5th ed Chaos Warrior, 6th ed Chaos Knight, 6th ed dwarf, 7th ed dwarf.

Tons of separate torsos out there. This is just a few examples to show their size.

So, what replacement? I�?Tll try the knight torso for this �?" as it will give me a dwarf with his head up high �?" a lot like Willmark and others have tried.

To make the torso fit, I�?Tll need to trim it to it down to the its waist �?" mainly done to shorten the guy.

Then it�?Ts pretty straight forward: arms, Chaos Warrior head and a Marauder Warrior shield.

And the a GS beard.

One this one I also removed the loincloth. GS�?Ted a chainmail skirt on the front and a metal/leather plate on his back.

Turned out like this:

The Mantic�?Ts comes with a very bulky and humpbacked torso compared to the legs. So, almost any smaller separate torsos could work with the legs alone. This will give you both the possibility to shorten them �?" but also to change the overall look.

Again, your success depends on the size of you bitz box �?" and the Chaos knight is probably not the best choice for such conversion.
I still have a problem with this one �?" too stout if you ask me.

And was it successful �?�? Here is a scale shot for you to judge.

[align=center]Next time:

Bassman says: ‘I think the big hat does not suit their “barbaric” feel’. Was that a challenge? Think, so:D

Big Hats Mantic’s  - here I come  [/align]