Nicodemus' Forge of Unfinished Business

As some of you may recall, I’m terrible at finishing projects, so I can’t promise a lot of painted models. Things only get finished if there’s a deadline like a game coming up. Haven’t had any Warhammer battles since 2015 or so, but there have been a few Warhammer Quest (classic '95 version) which has required me to complete terrain pieces and extra characters in the last few years.

Here’s a pic of where things stand at the moment with my little army:

Kind of hard to see… I know. Here’s part, anyway:

Not in the pic are unassembled models (two more Hellcannons, 7 of the FW Bull Centaurs, a FW Skullcracker, ~10 Fireglaive, old metal Lammasu). I also left out a couple of Heroes in original packaging, 25 plastic CD Warriors (some sill on sprues, others I got cheap because they look like someone’s kid was painting them). None of my MM90 models or my Hobgoblins are here either - There’s just no room more :wink:

Now if I can only find time to paint during this pandemic I’ll be all set!


Welcome back Nico!
Thats a treassure horde you have there… The whole HeroQuest board should have an honor place in the Showcase section, together with all the rules you created along with it! Would be tempted to give it a go in 15mm… :blush:


Hail our Grand Imperious Sorcerer of the Forge!

Yay, nice to see your wondrous (WIP) collection. Marvellous builds as always. Fingers crossed for updates from you in the close future. Welcome back, master! :slight_smile:

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Very impressive troop you have collected there, but as you rightly said… it lacks color! :upside_down_face:
Good that you found your way back here again!

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This is as jaw dropping a collection as if expect from @Nicodemus gets off my friend amazing collection!


So pleased to see this thread, and more importantly yourself, migrate over to the new site! Look forward to seeing many wonders!

P.S. it took me over a year (maybe more than two), but I returned at the behest of an e-mail from yourself :slight_smile:


Had to go looking for the airship you mentioned. Holy shit dude! That’s most of Zharr Naggrund there on the table. What a sight!


I think we need to see an update for this blog nicodemus? Better get those brushes out!


No models or painting related updates, but I do have some MAJOR news.

It’s only been 17 years (2006) since the Chaos Dwarf Mining Complex was first shared on the Warhammer Empire forum… and the most major progress on the project last occurred in 2009… although the person doing the artistic and design direction stopped posting around this time as well.

So, this is a bit of an archaeological expedition of sorts for the Chaos Dwarf Community:

While the Photobucket images of the project are still online all of the drawings and concept images were hosted on a separate server and are just dead links in that forum now. I had backed up most of the concept drawings back when this was happening and started on an expedition last year to try and track down the two principle people involved: Teb (artistic design) and Marcus (model building).

I tracked down Teb last October and was able to get most of the missing concept images from him, which he recovered off an old drive. Marcus, however, was much harder to track down… until YESTERDAY. I spoke to Marcus on the phone yesterday and we chatted briefly about the mining complex. We are now communicating via text message. He still has the project components in storage and would very much like to get back to to the project - it was just getting very large and wieldy, plus there were job changes and moves over the years. He and I are going to coordinate on the project with the intent of posting further progress updates over the coming year.

Anyway, there’s till hope, so stay tuned!


Wow, that sounds so cool! Hope to see this project get to life again… :smiley:
This was very much the inspiration for me creating the Obsidian Fortress!


Holy Hashut, I remember this amazing project. It inspired me so much, I own a lot to this iconography. It’s pretty obvious if you watch some of my creations… awesome to hear you find it. Please tell Teb and Marcus how much I admired their work.


A few of my avatars from over the years:

The Acumancer, created back in 2002 and used primarily for my Nicodemus account over on

My original CDO avatar

My April Fool’s version of the same avatar.



Probably my longest-lived CDO avatar, based on my Daemonsmith that was part of my Arcane Fulcrum for our Storm of Magic-themed competition.

A short-lived bonus for the Hobgoblin take-over of CDO :wink:

Current Discourse avatar.

And so with this trip down memory lane I must now break for some solemn news:

The Indefatigable - flagship of the mighty Dawi Zharr sky fleet is no more. I first posted it on CDO on Oct 31, 2013 following the end of Golden Hat XX. I was in the process of rearranging and cleaning and moved the airship up high out of the way while I installed new shelving and it must not have been as steady as I thought. It just slowly tilted from `6ft up at the top of a bookshelf and then fell. The force was strong enough to break some of the main support structures that were intended to withstand a fall. LOTS of small parts broke off as well and lots of paint chipped and broke away too. Too much breakage to salvage. It was also just days shy of turning a decade old. Not sure I’ll have time to build another. Luckily the crew were being stored elsewhere, so the ship is survived by her crew:
Sorcerer of the Furnace (Daemonsmith),
Planesman (who kept the airship upright during flight)
the 4 Infernal Guard Bridge Officers,
2 Chaos Dwarf Warrior Main Deck Guards,
10 Hobgoblin Crew,
a Black Orc Furnace Slave Worker and an Exalted Flamer of Tzeentch inside the boiler as the heat source,
16 mixed Chaos Dwarf and Hobgoblin crew for the Main Deck Anchor Cannon, the 2 Earthshaker Cannons and the 8 Death Rockets.

There were 7 additional slave prisoners (a Dwarf, Snotling, Skaven, 2 Humans, and 2 Gnoblars) who only receive mention because they did indeed go down with the ship when she crashed in the Darklands.

After the firing of the 8 Death Rockets, the 2 Earth Shaker Cannons, and the main deck cannon we will observe a moment of silence while we listen to the wails from the cowed masses in the slave pits who will be sacrificed in recognition of the service and memory of The Indefatigable this night.



Sorry for your loss, big breakages are rough…

Maybe hashut guides you to fill its space on the shelf with other engineering projects


Back when the Tamurkhan book was first being talked about and snippets of details about the Chaos Dwarf land trains were starting to make the rounds we had some discussions about how this might be realized in-game with models and how it was going to be a way to address mobility issues with painfully slow CD units. … that never really happened. My dreams of a troop transport never came to fruition and such an idea wasn’t really even a ‘thing’.

Back at the height of creativity on CDO I made a large number of models that are still sitting in various stages of completion: K’daai Fireborn, a K’daai Destroyer, some cool elite CD units, and within the year from all of that I completed my airship and then only had updates in fits and starts.

On Oct 14, 2012 I posted a big update that included the first steps of my Daemonic Locomotive and finished the build, but then it sat unpainted for over 13 years.

In 2018 I posted a related update detailing my imagined Chaos Dwarf troop transport and how they never came to fruition… and tonight as I post this I just realized that I had given a shoutout to Bloodbeard’s 2013 comment:

Bloodbeard Wrote:
Can’t wait for the coal wagon, troop wagon, dread quake wagon and AA-gun wagon.

Holy crap that’s eerie because I never went back to look at that old post, but remembered that I had the wheels I took photos of still sitting in a bitz box when I was thinking about entering something for GH LXII.

Step 1: pull the old girl out of mothballs

Step 2: start taking measurements of the Dreadquake Mortar

I had enough wheels for 3 equal-sized carriages and a few extra wheels for something separate… so now in hindsight what I was mapping out with my bits was the four:
coal wagon, troop wagon, “dreadquake wagon” and a “AA-gun wagon”. … uhhhhh thanks Bloodbeard!!!

I even had some of the old material I had used for ensorcelled coal back in 2012 :hatoff: haha

Troop transport:

Testing the retractable walkway:

Further progress a few nights later:

Checking the final height relative to the reference… looks good!

So far so good!

First reference photos for the next steps… Hmmmmmm



Holy hell mate :exploding_head: this is the grandest project of all time. Absolutely floored.


Absolutely agree with jasko here. This is the biggest scratch build ive seen. Many plasticard trees have been cut down for this project.

Love the moveable barrier on the troop transport and all the decorating details.

Taken 12yrs to finish…crazy time scale. Love it

How the hell are you going to top this for the next project ! Haha :cd1991gif:

You did some of the things i wanted to do for my train but i lacked the right wheels

4 earthshakers was OTT :hatoff:


LOL, probably top it by going smaller scale and finishing something in a reasonable time frame :wink: Honestly, after the siege tower years ago, then the airship (may her hull rest in pieces in the Darklands after her untimely demise) and now this big train, my next big project to get completed needs to be my Warhammer Quest diorama cabinet. Currently commissioned an artist to create some work for me in relation to it… as long as I don’t croak before it’s done it’ll get posted in the fullness of time :wink:

OK, on to part 2 of the big GHLXII build:

Infernal Balefire Cannon
That old terribly cast Hellcannon from the God-awful days of Finecast was really only useable for something like this project. I heated up a pot of water and immersed the two halves of the Hellcannon body until they were flexible, then I had the back together and splayed the front halves apart. I had these mechanical tentacle type pieces from a 40K Chaos Space Marines Forgefiend, the head of a GW Zombie Dragon and a 40K Tyranid. With some GS I made it look like whatever daemonic creature was bound within the Hellcannon was bursting forth - like a misfire had just occurred. I even added a skewered crewman for effect. Wasn’t a fan of the tentacles but they were what I had.

I also decided I wanted the entire base to swivel, like the Dreadquake Mortar, so that the carriage car could remain stationary.

Not that you can see much in the finished piece, but there’s a gear that’s made to mesh with the Hellcannon piece when it’s raised.

Making hinged support struts for raising the Hellcannon

Thinking about how I may want to place pieces around the base. The concept was that this carriage collects bodies from the battlefield and the crew shovels them into the back of the Hellcannon. I wanted the carriage fully loaded with a wide range of victims, but I also decided to totally lean into the impaled crewman and have the rest of the crew lying dead with their big hats knocked off too :open_mouth:

Bottom of the carriage. Central portion still retains the dropped centre section, although in this case I wanted it enclosed to imply some of the mechanisms for turning and raising the cannon were housed within.

Wife thinks I’ve lost my mind…
I also used some left over expanding insulation foam to make billowing smoke. I find it’s a little too random a process so I always made tons extra. I think my wife thought I lost my mind when she saw this in our basement storage room…

Earthshaker Battery
After just a stupid amount of fussing around with my resin printer and wondering if I’d have to scrap some of my plans I finally got the thing working (I now have to set the start height manually as it no longer goes to the correct height automatically… ugh!!). Let it be known - no metal Earthshaker cannons were harmed in the making of the Earthshaker Battery :wink:

Because I had so many wheels from those kits, I also had extra parts from the 40K Daemons of Khorne Skull Cannons, a couple of which worked nicely as bracing for the sides of the twin linked Earthshaker cannons. I also needed to dress up the 3D printed swivel gear base (it’s fixed, but looks good in the model) and again a few parts from that Skull Cannon kit worked a treat to make a platform out of.

A little trimming and mounting on a round base did the trick. I also put a pin through the base and drilled out the centre of the geared base so that the platform could swivel freely to sell the effect.

I decided I wanted something that looked like a screw left for altering the height of the twin cannons, but didn’t have anything remotely close to this. My solution, after a lot of slow gentle coaxing, was to wrap some thin plastic rod around a larger plastic rod. Holding it in place with glue at one end to start did not work. Instead I took the metal workers approach and drilled a hole through the larger rod, fed the smaller rod through it to hold it and started to turn…

Once it stays wrapped for a minute or so I turn the larger rod to tighten the turns on the smaller rod until I had everything bunched up tightly. Once I got to this stage I held it for 3-4 minutes.

Once I relaxed my hold on it I was able to pull it back out with fairly even spacing and added glue as I went to hold it’s final position.

I added some trim to the carriage, put the swivel bases on and also added a bit of extra “W” support for the base of the cannons

With the screw pieces in place… you can see just enough to sell the effect at the table.

Time to make more bogies

Checking in on the Infernal Balefire Cannon
I pinned the centre of the round base plate and the centre of the carriage and did another test fit with the wheels in place to see the scale. I’m happy with this!

Checking everything so far together
I’m already getting an inkling that taking photos for GH LXII is not going to go well. Clearly long and linear is not a format conducive to showy photos…

Back to the Infernal Balefire Cannon
I added the supports to the swivel base, started marking out the circumference of the base on the carriage platform to get it framed in, and also added exhaust pipes to the lower section of the carriage below the swivel platform.

Cut down a LOT of skulls and glued them into place covering over the lower section of the carriage on both sides.

Added some framing around the base (and some rods that will be concealed to help hold the curved pieces while they set in position) and also made the back end of the feed trough for the Hellcannon a little larger for holding bodies, etc.

Starting to frame in some of the carriage and checking the shape for this end - This is where one of the crew would normally help operate the device used to collect the bodies and because of this he needs some cover, hence the higher sides. I also want the entire base of the piece covered in skulls, bodies, and other battlefield detritus so I started scouring my bitz box for anything that would help sell the effect… hence the base in there :wink:

Adding suitable Chaos Dwarfy tusks and some beard chains to the front of the carriage on the outside.

Claw machine time!!

I hate CA glue… but sometimes you just gotta… like gluing metal and plastic together. Ugh.

Support for the crane, with the maw of an extra large skull used for disgorging the needed length chain :wink:

Some of the body parts and detritus I collected for the base. You can also see the small chain wheel and lever mechanism beside the carriage I made for controlling the claw hoist. I feel like it needs a better name… Battlefield Dredger? The Hand of Hahsut? Hmmm…

OK, again that’s probably enough for now. It’s late. I’ll update more again!


Continuing the updates…

Still working on the Infernal Balefire Cannon
Sorting out details for the swivel base and adding detritus to see what looks good while constantly checking the Hellcannon placement to make sure it still fits

Checking placement of the crane, swivel base and some of the extra details, but you can also see some of the pieces being fed into the back of the Hellcannon as well as how splayed open the barrel is.

Adding pieces to the swivel base, and you can also see where the chain feeds through the control lever part.

Adding more pieces to the back…

More details… so many parts. I was able to put to use a lot of spare bodies, limbs, etc. for this piece, which was a great way to use up some bitz that have been sitting unused for over a decade.

Adding details to the claw machine support

Checking everything in place so far, which shows a good view down into the barrel of the Hellcannon.

Making hitches for the carriages
I wanted each of the components to actually hook up to one another and opted for a dual hitch setup, with each carriage presenting a hook and a chain. When sitting as a standalone piece the chain can be slung over its adjacent hook.

I put the large ring over a small peg and then capped the peg with a larger piece to stop the ring from slipping off.

Final piece…

Nice! now to make a bunch more!

The locomotive needed some extra support as the attachment site was fairly small. In the end I attached a piece of brass rod through an anchor under the main body and ran it out the back for the hook and chain to be supported on.


Checking over progress so far at this point:

More work on the Hand of Hashut
I decided the claw needed to have a collection of bodies that it has scooped up from the battlefield, as though it’s about to dump it on the carriage for the crew to shovel into the back of the Hellcannon. I wasn’t happy with any of my bitz as I wanted it to look like dead bodies that are flopped over. I found some good 3D print files, one for an undead Orc, the other for an undead Dwarf that had them both looking suitably unfit for combat and printed them out. While they’re not a perfect fit I can pack the rest of the space with various other bitz

Wouldn’t be a Chaos creation without mixing some blood into the model!!

The spot where the chain comes out of the larger skull was cut with an opening just large enough for a pulley wheel to wedge in there without the need for glue. The friction fit means I can pull these pieces apart easily and adjust the height of the claw.

With the pulley wheel in place (made from a couple of old round shields)

And everything together so far:

Miscellaneous details
After some careful trimming to get them to nest together I used some epoxy to glue compatible pieces of expanding insulation foam together for the Earthshaker Battery and used painter’s tape to hold them while the epoxy dried.

And some exhaust effects for the Infernal Balefire Cannon

More work on the Earthshaker Battery
I didn’t like that each pair of Earthshaker cannons were resting loosely so I made a central cap of sorts that secures them down into the screw mechanism. In this pic you can also see one of the gear adjustment mechanisms sitting off to the right side of the gears, that eventually gets glued down and attached to the central lower deck.

Aaaaaandd… yep, I think this’ll work!

Awww yeah!

Checking the fitting of the brass rods for support, and you can also see the lower deck now has the control mechanisms for each battery as well as ladders for climbing up.

Two of my newly printed crew along with a hat that was cast back around the time the locomotive was made ~13 yrs ago!

Infernal Balefire Cannon crew
I had an old 3D printed Chaos Dwarf that was a misprint from ages ago and used one more new one to add to the base of the Infernal Balefire Cannon…

Since I wanted to convey how dire the misfiring of an Infernal Balefire Cannon is I figured it wasn’t enough for the Chaos Dwarf crew to just be dead, they also needed to have had their big hats knocked off as well! Good chance for me to go back to my roots with GS work and make some coiled Chaos Dwarf hair :wink:

I also started adding some chains to the Hellcannon so it was more in keeping with the restraints used for the original model… and you can also see that I started adding some whispy bits coming out the back from the Spirit Hosts kit. I love that kit and have used it in a wide range of places…

I liked the idea that the souls bound as fuel for the Hellcannon were escaping when the cannon misfired, so I added a bunch of these to the swivel base as well as to the feed trough at the back of the Hellcannon

Checking everything together again with the 3 dead crew, escaping spirits, and claw… Still not happy with those mechanical looking tendrils. Damn-it! … it was around this time I decided to bite the bullet and just order the pieces I had wanted to use all along. To my surprise the Slaughterbrute / Mutalith Vortex Beast kit is sold out on GWs site and it looks like more than a few folks have been asking around about it online. I can’ t find any 3rd party sellers online that have stock, none of our local stores have it. Ugghhhhhh. eBay it is. Ouch.

Making changes to the wheels
I didn’t like the centre piece of each of the wheels on the carriages, they looked too unfinished. Luckily, having the 3D printer working again meant I could just run off enough shields… I mean ‘hub caps’ for the project!!

This then required lots of cleaning…

Troop transport:

Infernal Balefire Cannon:

Several weeks after my last-minute eBay purchase for GH LXII…
The Slaughterbrute / Mutalith Vortex Beast sprues arrived!!!

Now the nerve-wracking process of taking apart the modified Hellcannon…
I’m SO uncomfortable!!!

After about 3 hours of trimming, fixing gaps and making more ichor and sinewy connections with Green Stuff I finally had something that looked more along the lines of what I wanted originally…

And I was able to re-create the impaled Chaos Dwarf crewman…

Final reference pic of the Infernal Balefire Cannon:

On to the priming
All of the components laid out after priming

And linked up

Reference Photos:
Chaos Dwarf Daemonic War Engine

Chaos Dwarf Ensorcelled Coal Carriage

Chaos Dwarf Troop Carriage

Chaos Dwarf Earthshaker Battery

Infernal Balefire Cannon

Final painted pieces collection:
Chaos Dwarf Daemonic War Engine Crew

Chaos Dwarf Ensorcelled Coal Carriage Crew

Chaos Dwarf Troop Carriage Troops

Chaos Dwarf Earthshaker Battery Crew

Infernal Balefire Cannon Crew

So THERE everyone! I finished a thing!!! I am not going to make a habit of it or anything. After all, this is Nicodemus’ Forge of Unfinished Business



I need to process this before replying properly but damn, Nicodemus, God damn.


Wow, wonderful work, Forgemaster. Just incredible! Had one of my votes.

The aesthetics are perfect.

Also, a silent moment for the Indefatigable. How sad an end. I hope you are able to reuse many of its parts for future projects. At least we have pictures of it.