[Archive] Why no 3rd party Chaos Dwarves?

Groznit Goregut:

Hello All,

Someone posted a link on Da Warpath to your webzine and I liked it so much I popped over. It even inspired me to try to build/buy some of Oglah Khan’s Wolfboyz in my army! Good work on the webzine and thanks for posting it on Da Warpath.

I do have a general question. Why hasn’t there been some 3rd party company that wants to make a whole chaos dwarf line? Is it that they don’t think there would be enough business? I would think that if some company started a whole line of CD products that were close enough to GW old minis and had decent quality, that they could really corner the market.

One of the reasons that CD aren’t played anymore is that there aren’t any minis for it. Maybe if there were minis around, more people would play Chaos Dwarves. It might receive a resurgence. Who knows? Maybe if enough people were fielding them, GW would pick them back up? I have to say that I admire you guys who play CD and hope they come back.

If some small-medium company that is trying to make it’s name comes out with a whole line of Chaos Dwarves, then I think they could do well. If they were done well enough, they would get people who wanted to play CD, but didn’t have the minis. Even if there wasn’t enough of an interest, I would assume that they would get a steady supply from die-hard Chaos Dwarf players. One wonders why not yet?

OK…I know that Avatars of War may come out with a Chaos Dwarf mini, but not a whole line. What I think someone should do is get a whole line of CD minis so that they can do a whole army of them! Or do you think that people who play CD should just be the converters or old school folk who have the old minis? Or maybe there is some company that I just don’t know about? Or is it that if the rules aren’t updated, not enough people want to play them? Or everyone goes to GW events and can’t use 3rd party minis? I’m just curious.


It basically has to do with copyrights. You can’t just make a line and call them Chaos Dwarfs. Evil or Dark Dwarfs might solve this but then there’s the issue of the look/concept. If you’d make them in the style of the Hell Cannon crew you violate intelectual property. The same goes for Big Hats.

Don’t know how that would go with miniatures ‘inspired’ by the third edition Chaos Dwarfs and Marauder line. Sjoerdo (aka Pulper) makes miniatures ‘inspired’ by the latter one so I think it’s possible as long as you don’t copy anything too obviously…

Avatarts of War has already made a Chaos Dwarf but had to re-name it. Dwarf Lord of Chaos it’s named



The idea of evil dwarves is outside the usual “fantasy canon” - most people prefer to think of dwarves as their Tolkien “inspiration” and can’t handle the idea of evil dwarves and I think this sort of thinking is reflected in what companies choose to sell.


i guess allot off ppl see dwarfs as incoruptable you know refusing to turn at any point, so no evil dwarfs…

i think that ral partha did some evil dwarfs, so does rakham as i remember

tho there sizes are well non compatable


The main issue is that GW bans other companies’ minis at their stores and events. if we all went out and bought someone else’s minis all that would happen is GW would notice a downturn in sales of BfSP and greenstuff. One of the problems is that as there are no chaos dwarf products being sold, there is no barometer of interest

Groznit Goregut:

@Obsidian: I fully expect that it wouldn’t be called “chaos dwarves” as that would be illegal. Lots of other companies, though, make minis geared towards the GW crowd and call them something slightly different. I’ve bought “wild orcs” instead of savage orcs. I just figured that was a given.

Dungeons and Dragons has had the concept of evil dwarves for many years. I think, but can’t recall exactly, that they actually have two types of evil dwarves…

As for other companies, I guess it goes to who they are marketing towards. I have seen some companies that make minis for their own game systems that I have never heard of, but most people buy them for their GW use. There are other companies, though, that make their minis purely for the GW market. Gamezone minis comes to mind. Avatars of War, as well. Avatars has done a CD hero, and I’m sure you guys are all happy for that.

I am thinking that anything that is too similar to GW intellectual property can be left off the list. As I mentioned previously, Gamezone minis have done quite a number of minis for a full range of army lists. You could make an almost complete Orcs and Goblin army out of their minis (think they are missing squigs, giants, and a couple of others). They have enough Empire and Chaos, as well. Now that I think about it, Gamezone would be a cool company to do some CD. They have the talent, the good minis, and the press to pull it off.


I don’t think anyone has approached Gamezone. I might bring this one up with the mods. I’d be happy to write the letter


Gamezone indeed has some ace miniatures that remind me of earlier edition GW stuff. Would be cool if they’d make some ‘evil’ ( :stuck_out_tongue: ) Dwarfs.


As has been said IP is the tricky part. In many ways I’m impressed Gamezone hasn’t been busted yet, because a lot of the stuff is very close to GW stuff. They really have nothing without GW’s IP to drive the sales. That being said I hope they don’t get shut down, they have quite interesting stuff. And a lot of nice things to fill gaps GW has left.


The thing is that so much of GW’s stuff is themed around Tolkein and other old fantasy stuff that unless someone starts putting Aquilas andrunes of Khorne or refering to things as Bretonians then there’s not a lot they can do. It’s how Avatars of War gets by


GW actually owns "Dwarfs’ and ‘Chaos Dwarfs’ not ‘Dwarves’. I believe they changed the plural of Dwarf to enable them to copyright the term. Dirty bar stewards.

There are examples of evil dwarfs, (The Dark Irons in wow for example) just not many.


The thing is that so much of GW's stuff is themed around Tolkein and other old fantasy stuff that unless someone starts putting Aquilas andrunes of Khorne or refering to things as Bretonians then there's not a lot they can do. It's how Avatars of War gets by

I wouldn't bet on that myself.

I must say if I was a judge and it was brought before me I'd have to say GZ were clearly making if not replicas then clearly using GW's IP as a base.
I remember how there was even a Undead Cart out before Gw released their own, and now I find a bunch of huntresses on demonic steeds, blatantly meant to sell as Demonettes on Steeds.
And remove the model in it's claws and the griffon is almost a dead ringer for GW's version.
Tolkien did not mention elf cavalry on raptor like dinosaurs, GZ did. 15 years after GW... Grail Knights? Errant Knights? the list seems endless...
I'm not saying they are making exact copies, and they might be just squeezing in under outright copying but they are clearly selling an alternate and compatible range to GW's own miniatures.


GW actually owns "Dwarfs' and 'Chaos Dwarfs' not 'Dwarves'. I believe they changed the plural of Dwarf to enable them to copyright the term. Dirty bar stewards.

There are examples of evil dwarfs, (The Dark Irons in wow for example) just not many.

Actually I think you hit on it pretty well. Gw claims under it's copyright all miniatures made specifically for it's games. However, if you, like felix, market them as "Heroes for your armies" you're not stating that it's specifically for any one game or IP.

Games workshop doesn't own a copyright on orcs on boars, goblins on wolves, undead on horses, or demons on steeds. You just can't copyright an image like that, os unless they make it look like GW's artwork, or call it something GW has the rights on then you're in the clear.

Thommy H:

There are loads of evil Dwarf figures out there. Rackham had a whole army of them.

Groznit Goregut:

How close can you get to the old GW minis without breaking IP laws?


i said that!

gamezone has nice stuff but im unsure how they react to imput, , there dark elf stuff was really beautifull


How close can you get to the old GW minis without breaking IP laws?
If you just sculpt a very short guy with a beard in lots of armour, there's nothing they can or would do. If you sculpt a very short guy with a beard in lots of armour with a Chaos star, there's also nothing they can do (I believe the Chaos Star is not an invention of GW). If you sculpt a very short guy with a Mesopotamian beard, there's still nothing they can or would do. If however you give him a Chaos Star, a mesopotamian beard and a metal hockey mask, then you're getting close. I believe if it actually gets to court, they are required to prove x amount of points of difference/similarity but I don't really know that much about it. Truthfully, unless you're making a killing I very much doubt GW would do anything, as the negative press that suing someone small generates is worse than the (probably meagre) loss of profit.
I think Hasslefree have done some Chaos Dwarves, presumably with no negative effects.

Pyro Stick:

Sjoerd has made a few chaos dwarfs. They are sold on http://www.twisted-tales.com/ and Hasslefree Miniatures - Shop -. He has sculpted more than are available but hopefully they will be available at hasslefree eventually.

Kera foehunter:

I think the Gamezone would be a cool group that would do the figure right

or reaper figures !!! these two group have such a better line of figures than G w


Also, you are forgetting that GW only has 3 models of stunted Mesopotamian-bearded chaos-star wielding characters (not even sure if they have chaos stars on them). It would be hard for them to go to court with only 3 models and say that another company ripped them off. Ecspecially when they didn’t invent the concept of evil wearing hockey masks nor mespotamian-beards nor dwarves… but maybe they did invent dwarfs! :wink:

bottom line, the current look of the chaos dwarfs is steampunk-ish (they can’t copyright steampunk… or even steampunk stunties), evil (nope), dread-beards (nope… it’s a hairstyle!)… so what DID they invent?.. The Hellcannon.

but the crew are pretty much standard archetypes and stereotypes. chaos dwarves are totally public domain.

@ Snowblizz. If you were a judge on this, you would be making a biased and bad judgement call… because your entire opinion would be based on what Gamezone seems-to-be intending to do, rather than what styles, archetypes, and stereotypes GW does and doesn’t own.

In most cases, copyright law only serves to stunt creative growth. This is especially evident in the music and sampling community, of which I am a part of. (note: I said in MOST cases)

maybe dwarves/dwarfs are a metaphor for stunted creative growth :wink: