The Red Host of Nir-Kezhar

Other work by Admiral:

Chaos Dwarf Stories & Background (everything marked Admiral)

40k: Descendant Degeneration

Deviantart Gallery

Hobby Group Auxilia Work

Miscellaneous Commercial Sculpts

Squattish Shooters Ahoy!


Copied from the original log start. The rest of the project log will be running updates:

Welcome to this little log of my supposedly slow and rarely updated Chaos Dwarf army project. I’ve long had a soft spot for the 5th edition big hat models, and saluted the Hellcannon crew when they arrived. Now, with Forge World’s new releases, the urge to collect Chaos Dwarfs went into action. I’m aiming for a 1000 pts counts-as Dwarfs army at the moment, built by converted Dwarfs (mainly BFSP) and one or two FW war machines. Various side-projects of making Chaos Dwarf miniatures for friends of mine will also be thrown into the log.

Since I’m struggling with the camera and scanner, it will likely take a while before good pictures present themselves. In the meanwhile, don’t expect a high standard. Here we go:

Chaos Dwarf Woman

"Daughter, kneel.
As my mother told me at ripening age,
so do I now tell you at ripening age.
Tell you about your plight in life,
as mother and ever oath-bound wife.

At Zharr Naggrund the walls climb heights,
and the Dark Lands crawl beneath our sights.
Our slaves are legion, our warriors cruel.
The Gods decree, the Blacksmiths rule.
Our merchant men trade Hashut’s wares,
at Temple lies His greatest shares.

Know, Dawi Zharr’s our people’s name,
by Hashut’s law we play this game.
We live, we worship, toil and die.
And never ask, the answer lie.
Our race’s creations reach out wide,
that Chaos may in glory ride.

The men enslave and work and fight,
and build domain of rawest might.
But power claims expense of blood.
And always must we breathe in mud.
The coal that burned must be replaced,
or else our fate is be displaced.

All womenfolk take men to lift,
and bear their seed as Hashut’s gift.
Our people’s fate lies in our wombs.
To give us heirs to seal our tombs.
Without our effort, be no clan,
nor will wars see our solid man.

So grab your husband, is Hashut’s will,
that we may thrive in battle’s mill.
Lash your offspring, whip your slaves.
Give hardful lives, not softful graves.
Know the duty, serve Him thus,
and Zharr Naggrund be ruled by us."

- What a Chaos Dwarf mother told her daughter

This model was fun to sculpt. I glued a lot of cut-up plastic sprue into shape, let dry and then sculpted her in one or two small parts at a time. In usual style, a lot of thought went into the modelling. She have a lot of symbols attached to her, but better pictures (or a drawing) are required before we can have a little walk-through on these. Her skirt’s pattern is washed out in darkness on the picture, though the suspiciously glossy Matt Varnish may have something to do with that. On her chainmail-clad cuddler, you can spot a round clan marker, which is something I’m adding to all Chaos Dwarfs in the army, preferably behind their necks.

Chaos Dwarf head sketch

A quick piece that I drew yesterday, intended for the bearers of a semi-petrified Sorcerer that I’m sculpting for a friend.

Golden Hat XV entry: Chaos Dwarf Warrior with great weapon

Thanks to Xander for compiling the entry picture! (No work-in-progress shots are available.) The model’s head is a tad small, but otherwise I’m satisfied with it. Here you can see the army colours and general look that are aimed for: Red cloth trims, dark bronze scalemail, bronze masks along with studded leather, arm rings and tattooes. Black base sides and dark gravel studded with some small bushes, filthy water and lava pools. Trophies, pouches, shackles and other paraphernalia will be added to the Chaos Dwarfs’ belts.

I’ll probably build one or two naval vessels to accompany the army later on, since great slaving expeditions are just too cool a theme to pass up. That’ll require lots of slaves from every place and race in the Warhammer world, which should prove fun.

EEJR’s entry

Painted by my brother, but modelled by me. Hence it’s put here. Its head ended up too small, that’s why he received it. He probably won’t collect any CD force for a long while, since piles of unpainted Elves of every kind and game system are calling out to their owner.

Comments and critiscism are appreciated. :slight_smile:


A Tale of Three Ships

The Chaos Dwarfs’ society is a ravenous one, ever hungry for more slaves to toil amongst its industries, mines and quarries. In order to supply all this labour, the Dawi Zharr takes to the sea in smoke-belching metal warships. This is a tale of three types of ship used by the Zharr-Naggrund navy, and a tale of the names that will linger with the vessels long after the infamous Chaos Dwarfs in question died.

The Grappler boarding ship, and the greed of Kar-Zhul

One of many variant vessels in the Chaos Dwarf navy, the Grappler is an ironclad ship designed for locking enemy ships in place by hammering large, clawed metal arms into their decks. With the arms in place, boarding teams of Chaos Dwarfs and Hobgoblin Sneaky Gits use the arms to attack the victim ship. Normally the arms are pulled into an upright position by heavy chains, drawn by Daemonic machines fuelled with slaves and ensorcelled coal. The Grappler also have frontal Magma Cannons and side cannons for armament, as well as Blunderbuss firing parapets at the fore. With little space to spare beneath deck, the Grappler’s grand statuary shrine to Hashut is situated on top of a platform on the aft castle. From here, their god follow the Chaos Dwarfs’ boarding actions with a judgemental glow in his eyes.

There is much of value to salvage at sea. Especially for the Chaos Dwarfs, whose hunger for slaves, mine props, metal and other materials is never sated. Destroying ships would ruin their boarding value, so many Chaos Dwarf captains instead seek to claim victim ships by force and terror through boarding parties.

The Grappler is built for this task of capturing ships, and few vessels have ever escaped its massive arms without them being winched back. The force of the arms’ impact, however, is great enough to damage the Grappler’s hull despite dampening timber blocks. The renowned Dawi Zharr enslaver Kar-Zhul once prowled the seas in search of coastal-sailing Indan dhows. During his long voyage, Kar-Zhul gathered a whole fleet of captured large merchant dhows, manned by their enslaved crew and commandeered by Chaos Dwarf and Hobgoblin taskmasters.

The opulent Rajah Salihindi’s royal dhow was amongst the captured ships, the Rajah’s favourite elephant crushed beneath deck by the clawed arms of Kar-Zhul’s Grappler Zhargon’s Legacy. Having amassed dozens of captured dhows, Kar-Zhul set course for the mouth of the River Ruin. The Chaos Dwarf Grappler’s metal hull was so weakened by the grappling arms’ repeated impacts that it cracked during a monsoon storm, and was swallowed by the roaring waves. Seeing their enslaver drowned in the Lizard Sea, the Indan crewmen attacked their taskmasters, throwing the Hobgoblins and Chaos Dwarfs into the depths of the ocean.

The Hellbarge, and how Itshnik was maimed

A cheap, mass-produced ship, the Hellbarge is a simple freighter with a Daemonic ram at the fore, filthy slave pens beneath deck and a thoroughly chained Hellcannon on deck. Introduced lately into the Chaos Dwarf navy, the Hellbarge is used as a small but powerful artillery platform, well suited for bombarding fortified harbours or for battles in the narrow confines of archipelagos. Some Hellbarges include rocket ammunition that is fed into the Hellcannon’s furnace just as the slaves are cast into it, providing the Hellcannon a greater firing impact but also higher risks for the Hellbarge.

Despite some very heavy chains and powerful runes of control, the Hellbarge is a gamble, a short-sighted investment aimed at reaping great profit before its destruction. Perhaps all the ship’s crew and slaves will be killed when the Daemon break loose, or perhaps it will thrust forward toward the enemy. In case of the latter eventuality, the Hellbarge is equipped with a Daemonic ram capable of capturing the Hellcannon’s forward momentum to propel the vessel straight ahead at the foe. Sometimes the Hellcannon bypass the ram’s grip, running through or even jumping over it into the ocean to thrash through the waves in search of prey. Indeed, the expendable Hellbarge is sometimes used as a boarding vessel, which rams an enemy ship and lets loose the furious Hellcannon.

Since the Hellcannon is expected to eventually tear its fetters and run amok, the Hellbarge has but a skeleton crew of low-caste Chaos Dwarf cannoneers, mariners and warriors. The warriors’ task is to provide a backbone to possible boarding actions. Most of the crew consist of Hobgoblins, wicked jailers who does not shy away from slashing the live Hellcannon fuel with their curved knives, often letting the slaves bleed half dry before a battle. As long as there is no unexpected shortage of ammunition, their even more cruel Chaos Dwarf overlords do not bother with noticing the agony games of the Greenskins.

One Hellbarge captain was Zakuresh the Harsh, who almost got to join the ranks of the Infernal Guard after slaying a rival in an unorthodox torch duel. Zakuresh barely escaped disgrace by taking to the sea in the Hellbarge Bloodcast in search of plunder and slaves to appease his sorcerous master. An unforgiving captain, Zakuresh was known to regularly subject slaves to water torture and roast Hobgoblins alive at the merest hint of disobedience or slow wits. Apart from ordinary physical punishment, wrong-doing crewmen were forced to bear not a high hat or a metal mask, but instead a low hat of humiliation. Truly, Zakuresh was unforgiving like few others.

It was Zakuresh who blasted apart the great Bretonnian Galleon Heart of Valour, saving much of its crew only to reload his Hellcannon with it for some high shots against determined Pegasus Knights. It was Zakuresh who denied the Dreadfleet the rich loot in bodies aboard the Dark Elf Death Fortress Nilyran’s Claw by unleshing the Hellcannon upon the Sea Hydra’s towers to devour the whole live cargo while barely escaping Count Noctilus’ pursuit with his Hellbarge. It was Zakuresh who let steer Bloodcast and two other Hellbarges into a closed Nipponese harbour during night, capturing the great Marienburger vessel Aterdhame whilst simultaneously causing havoc amongst the armoured turtle ships that rowed out to stop them.

Through brutality and lucky recklessness, Zakuresh became infamous for carrying through suicidal attacks and surviving them. He also survived several rampaging Hellcannons, once even destroying such a bloodthirsty warmachine by cutting off its heavy wheels with his Daemonic rune axe before rolling the struggling barrel into a raging sea. There, the wounded Daemon and a blood-crazed Megalodon fought each other to death.

The Chaos Dwarf captain’s most daring act was carried out at his demise. He was searching for warpstone, a dangerous material often mixed into the coal bins of the Dawi Zharr. With only Bloodcast and the Hull Destroyers Chaos’ Fury and Death’s Gaol at his command, Zakuresh knew that the chance of successfully completing his mission in time was nil unless allies were found. Striking a pact with the Skaven of Clan Tyzzkrafft, Zakuresh made Warlord Itshnik the Backstabber agree to supply him with warpstone in exchange for the Chaos Dwarf warships’ services.

During a three-year long naval campaign across the seas, Zakuresh’s squadron earned its payment twice over. Rival Warlord fleets were teared asunder as the brunt of the Dawi Zharr onslaught was released, spearheading Clan Tyzzkrafft’s strikes into the enemy’s heart. Sleek Elven ships and dozens of merchant vessels were caught, and several vengeful man-things flotillas were sunk by the Hull Destroyers and pulverised by the Hellbarge. Death’s Gaol was lost during the great hunt for the Black Leviathan Sindra, swallowed whole by the sea monster yet buying time for the Skaven Warpraiders to broil her.

Zakuresh’s single-minded determination to fulfil his mission was demonstrated when he once had to return to Zharr-Naggrund to replace his lost Hellcannon. During the voyage, his ships boarded the great Cathayan merchantman Zin-Lao close to the High Elf Tower of the Sun, finding a treasure of jade, spices, ivory and exotic furs in its vast cargohold. Most importantly, however, was the thousands of high-quality Cathayan cast iron ingots discovered in the junk’s aft section. Such a load of valuable raw material would have fetched thousands of slaves and plenty of prestige in Zharr-Naggrund, yet Zakuresh sent Chaos’ Fury to escort the Zin-Lao to Clan Tyzzkrafft’s secret harbour. No sacrifice was too great to fulfil his assigned duty.

When the three years of settled service to the ratmen were drawing to their end, Warlord Itshnik led his entire fleet against the rival Clan Skiss’ rocky coastal bolthole. Zakuresh the Harsh’s warships played a pivotal role in the part siege, part sea battle. Loading the Hellcannon to the maximum with slaves, the Hellbarge Bloodcast roared and rocked as a mighty shot of shrieking souls cracked the heavy wooden gate to Clan Skiss’ sea cave open. The gate, which had been fashioned by Greenskin slaves to make the fortress appear Orcish as a way of feinting, collapsed into the sea as tormented souls broke every tree log and iron nail in it. Through the cave opening, great portions of the recently expanded fleet of Clan Tyzzkrafft moved in for the kill. However, as Skiss and Tyzzkrafft ships made battle in the gloom inside, Warlord Itshnik released his trap in the open day outside.

Not wanting to part with any precious warpstone, Itshnik the Backstabber once again upheld his name by turning on his allies. As seven Deathburner warships hired from Clan Pestilence simultaneously turned against the two remaining Chaos Dwarf vessels, Zakuresh realized that he had been double-crossed. Fuming with black wrath, the Dawi Zharr captain reacted instantly. Chaos’ Fury was sent toward the assailants, sinking one with its great ram before all of the crew lay dead from the poisonous gasses secreted by the Deathburners. This sacrifice won enough time for Bloodcast to escape the toxic air. With its Hellcannon already heaving with anger and bloodlust after the massive shot, Zakuresh ordered all remaining slaves to be shuffled into its furnace. This produced an outburst from the Daemonic warmachine, who broke its schackles and crashed into the Hellbarge’s reinforced fore. The Daemonic ram caught the Hellcannon, sending Bloodcast dashing across the waves, aimed at Itshnik’s flagship, the Doombringer Itshnik II. The force of the ramming attack sent the huge Skaven vessel careening portside.

With every Chaos Dwarf and Hobgoblin from Bloodcast rounded up behind him, Zakuresh the Harsh led the charge onto Itshnik II. With axes, blunderbusses and knives in their hands, the ten Chaos Dwarfs and twentyeight Hobgoblins carved a bloody path to the Skaven warship’s command deck. Skavenslaves and Clanrats were massacred in the cramped confines until they turned tail and trampled their comrades. The Chaos Dwarf boarding was vicious in the extreme, and even expensive Moulder creatures proved insufficient to stop Zakuresh’s advance. Meanwhile, the Hellcannon was on a bloody tour of its own, smashing its way below deck and slaughtering everything as it went.

As the few surviving Chaos Dwarfs and Hobgoblins reached the command deck, they found Itshnik hiding behind a massive throne of bone, iron and wood, a masquerading Clanrat sitting on it in his place. The Hobgoblins spread out and knifed down the Eshin Nightrunners hiding about the command deck. Cutting down the Clanrat, Zakuresh pulled out Itshnik by his tail, severing it from the ratman’s body and forcing him against a wall. With his axe to the Skaven Warlord’s throat, Zakuresh asked his former ally:

“Do you wish a swift death, Vermin?”
“Y-yes-yes, by the Horned One I do,” replied Itshnik.
“Such is not the punishment for your crime,” Zakuresh informed him.

The four remaining Dawi Zharr crewmen seized Itshnik by his arms and legs, and stretched him out between them. With savage swipes, Zakuresh severed the Skaven’s feet from his legs, then his lower legs from his knees, and then his thighs from his hips. Then Itshnik was cast down onto the wooden deck, whereupon the Chaos Dwarf captain first cut off his hands, then his elbows, and then his shoulders. By the time Zakuresh had finished cutting up the Warlord’s torso, Itshnik the Backstabber was long dead.

A single Chaos Dwarf warrior escaped the bloodshed and managed to return home to Zharr-Naggrund through years of hardship. Limping on one good leg, he told the Sorcerers of how Itshnik was maimed. He told them how the frenzied Hellcannon eventually sank Clan Tyzzkrafft’s flagship, and how Zakuresh the Harsh disappeared beneath a tide of Giant Rats on the open command deck. With a nod, the Sorcerers accepted the disgraced survivor’s story and sent him to the barracks of the Infernal Guard.

The Chaos Dwarf tugboat, and the wonder of Azhnerek the Visionary

Traditionally, there have been few if any dedicated tugboats in the Chaos Dwarf navy. When large, salvaged vessels or sea monsters had to be tugged, the warships anchored chains and tugged the booty back to port. Occasionally, this could be hazardous if enemy flottillas appeared, or if the sealing work done proved insufficient.

Once, fully half of a Dawi Zharr battleflett was sunk during a major towing operation after a raid against Cathay’s southern navy. As the Chaos Dwarfs tugged hundreds of junks filled with slaves and plunder across the ocean, a Dark Elven fleet appeared at the horizon. Though vastly outnumbered and outgunned, the commander of the Dark Elf force, Lokhir Fellheart, seized the golden opportunity to strike when most of the Chaos Dwarf ships were locked in towing service. Sinking many ships, both Cathayan and Chaos Dwarfen, and capturing one quarter of the junks, the Dark Elf captain left the battle as rapidly as he had entered it.

In response to this audacious act, Hellsmith Azhnerek (the husband of three, the father of twelve and an ambitious engineer) constructed his tugboat, which found a place in most larger raiding parties since few Sorcerers wanted to be caught off guard at sea again. Amassing slaves, prestige and metal as payment, Azhnerek the Visionary began his next work.

Having observed the need to resupply fuel and ammunition as a hindrance to the Chaos Dwarf navy’s long range capabilities, Azhnerek let construct a mobile port and storehouse of immense size. It is built upon a mighty Daemonic rock calfed from the Southern Wastes, and it is shaped akin to Zharr-Naggrund itself. As an engineer’s sacrifice to Hashut, the floating base is intentionally oversized and lack mechanized transportation for all but the largest of supply wares. Its battlements bristles with weaponry, and thousands of slaves labour day and night to transport wares up and down its great stairs. A fleet of tugboats is required to move the naval fortress, and it is constantly watched over by at least two Battlebarges plus escort ships. Beneath the water line, docking caves for submersible vessels have been created. In the skies, Great Taurus riders can be seen flying. Through a great investment of slave lives and materials, Azhnerek the Visionary’s plans have seen fruitition. Although its practical value for the navy is disputed, the Ziggurat of the Seas is one of the true wonders of the Chaos Dwarfs.

The Ziggurat of the Seas

Key list for Ziggurat top surface overview map
1 = Great Leveller Cannon
2 = Thunderfire Rocket Launcher
3 = Minor artillery battery
4 = Crane
5 = Railroad
6 = Stairway
7 = Surface storehouse
8 = Barracks
9 = Great Taurus stables
10 = Shrine of Hashut
* Battlebarge, for size comparison

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There’s still a lot of work to show other than that which is covered here, but…

Can you spell A-T-R-O-C-I-T-Y?

And do you know why the “Deathshrieker” is known by that name? See for yourselves my humble hypothesis in WIP pictures.

Let me introduce you to psychological warfare on steroids, Chaos Dwarf style. Chains, green stuff decorations, cogwheels and general Hellcannonification of FW warmachines are part of that ethos. As well as gutted Goblin troublemakers. It’s a pleasure to teach those pesky Greenskins a lesson as a vanilla Dwarf player, by the way.

Next up are two of three crew counters/assistants to the Chaos Dwarf warmachine crew. I had planned to build earthworks in front of the Deathshriker, but upon discovering how bloody big it was I has to abandon that plan. Still, here we have a Gnoblar shuffling dirt with his bare hands. A kinsman will carry it in a wicker basket and a human slave will dig with a spade (not shown here). A Hobgoblin taskmaster with a pathetic whip-protese makes sure everything goes according to plan. Slavery is, as a general rule, not for the sensitive! Shown here with the flayed man for size comparison.

Enough daggers on that Hobgobbo?

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.

It’s a unit filler. Like this Avatars of War Minotaur with sculpted demi-mask. Bulls are very Chaos Dwarfen after all, and everyone like Minotaurs in Blood Bowl CD teams, so why not in WHFB as well?

Specifically, it’s a unit filler for this growing horde of 50 or so great weapon-armed, glow-eye ensorcelled, elite headtaker Chaos Dwarfs. Heads dangling in chains on their cloaked backs, pictures of that later…

As for unit fillers we have also this work in progress volunteer from my army in a Wood Elf unit filler of a friend’s. It will show a Wood Elf archer stretching for a new arrow as this blinded fellow bull-charge at her. Here shown with some other pointy-ears, with bowstrings and simple needle-superglue-greenstuff-feather arrows I make for my hobby group’s Elf armies.

Do you think he’ll make it? He’s T4, after all!

Chaos gang, featuring a sheep from the bagage train (fresh meat!), a digging Gnoblar, a Hobgoblin taskmaster and Feth the Flyface, a once human ally of the Red Host. The latter is part of a friend’s army and was converted by me from plastic sprue bits, wall filler, superglue and green stuff. Staff must get more bling.

Skin grotesque included for size comparison. Background texts will be added when the war machines of these crew markers are completed.

Rajah Dasamejri was once the bright star amongst the leaders of northern Ind, both a talented poet, master fencer and experimental metallurgist attempting to advance the Indan mastery of steel-making. His army of twenty thousand men counted dozens of cannons, several mystic wizards and seventy elephants, including bagage train animals used to clear paths through the thick jungles. A husband of nine and father of thirty at the age of thirty six, the man was destined to be remembered as one of the great lords of Ind.

Dasamejri was succesful in his campaigns against rival neighbours, Greenskins and feral children of Chaos. In commemoration of his victories he began to construct a triumphal arch of yellow marble roofed by three onion domes. Yet all his glory, all his resources and all his skill proved to be worth nil when weird, stunted men destroyed his coastal patrol dhows and made landfall but seven miles from his stronghold.

These bearded worshippers of a fell Chaos god of fire quickly entrenched their position instead of advancing immediately inland. This proved an efficient strategy as the forces of the local Rajah Dasamejri converged on the invaders and began to lay siege to their fort.

The besiegers’ artillery was suddenly blasted apart by prepared volleys of hellfire and Daemon-rockets. Under the cover of smoke, the cacophony of panic and confusion, the Chaos Dwarfs of the Red Host of Nir-Kezhar advanced from their positions in columns, spreading out in a bulls-horn battleline with cavalry and Daemon-engines on the flanks. The order to advance was sounded by agony screams from a Goblin slave being mutilated by sorcerous acolytes.

Rajah Dasamejri had however regained control of his shocked men. Closing ranks, the warriors of Ind marched out to meet the enemy, a wedge of elephants at the army’s centre. The leading beast was the royal war elephant of the ruler, and on it Dasamejri beckoned his men forward, leading the thundering advance into what looked like a foe out of hell. Archers drew arrows to loose whilst handgunners ran forward and kneeled in firing ranks. Their Chaos Dwarf counterparts did likewise.

The scene was set for a great battle which could have swung any way, but such a thing was not to be. Out of the smoky skies dove a winged monster bull with a short warrior on its back. The men of Ind barely had time to register what happened as the diving Bale Taurus crashed horns-first into the general’s elephant, crushing both rider and mount into pulp on the dry plain.

A drawn-out moment of silent horror ruled the battlefield for what seemed an hour to the stunned defenders. Then the leaderless rout began as panic set in, encouraged by fearsome sights in the Dawi Zharr ranks. Regiment after regiment fled before the stampeding foe. The day turned into utter carnage as bloodshed and slave hunts began, followed by looting and burning before a withdrawal within three days.

The mangled corpse of Rajah Dasamejri was recovered and flayed by the Chaos Dwarfs after the battle. Skilled craftsmen treated the skin to make it endure the test of time like leather, and then it was drawn and tied to two flat metal poles forming the silhouette of a bull’s head. The warlord’s tounge was hung on a string and his skull stuck on a short pole alongside the grotesque and a cuneiform stone boasting about his demise.

To this day, the Red Host of Nir-Kezhar employs a slave gang to constantly dig up and dig down again the sadistic decoration as the army travels to new battlefields, the fear it inspires as much a weapon as any axe.

"Darkness be. The ashes of humiliation have been swallowed. The preparations have been made. The sacrifices are ready. Let the ritual of binding commence.

I, Merhanzibul Eyegouger, son of Grazhik and Aekra of clan Himzhul, summon thee.

I, who am the Dark Father’s slave and fodder, summon high god Hashut as judge of this ritual.

Oh, you Lord of fire and greed. I prostrate myself before your idol. May you accept this mutilation sacrifice of a live thrall’s limb. My dedication is yours. Your fire devour!

I, most craven of creatures, summon the three vigilant Daemons of myth, Urnak, Irzak and Mralfubaal, as witnesses of this ritual.

Hear me, see me, know me, heinous watchers. Receive this rune-scarring sacrifice upon the whipped backs of three thralls. Drink deep of it as payment for your service.

Yet beware, Daemonkin, for my kin owns your souls and possess everlasting mastery of your fickle bodies. Vigiliance be mutual. You may not betray, lie or close your eyes to this ritual. Your humiliation endures!

I, who am but a slave to darkness, invoke the power of the sorcerous wards and obsidian cages, and beseech thee to enslave and trample the living will out of your victim. May this splattering of thrall blood guide hunger.

I, blacksmith of Chaos, reach into the mysteries beyond matter and spirit and calls out to the Daemon known as Lugg-Hazh and command you thrice to answer my summoning!

Answer! Answer! Answer!

I, breaker of backs, crusher of heads, see you, mighty Lugg-Hazh. Your name is known to me and your name is written on this cage which now falls onto your strong form and traps it.

In the name of Hashut the Father of Darkness I hereby cripple and enslave your being into a bound existence in ash and chains. Hear my nine commandments!

You will not betray your masters.

You will not rebel against your masters.

You will not protest against your masters.

You will not lie to your masters.

You will not refuse your masters’ will.

You will not destroy the property of your masters.

You will not plot against your masters.

You will not escape from your masters.

You will not seek vengeance against your masters.

Know that my lord Sorcerer-Prophet Nir-Kezhar is now your first master. Know that I, enslaver of souls, is now your second master. Know that the Red Host is now your third master. Know that your masters are now Dawi Zharr.

Heed our will, Lugg-Hazh. Carry our burdens and swallow our foes.

You will know the cruelty of torture and the ashes of humiliation as punishment should you fail in your tasks. You will know the drink of blood and the food of flesh should you succeed in your tasks.

Rise, slave, and be forever our slave.

I, bringer of sacrifices, end this ritual which Hashut has judged and the three Daemons of myth have witnessed. Darkness be."

- Binding of the Daemon Lugg-Hazh


It’s not such a completely mad unit filler if you think of Chaos on the one hand, and the greed of Chaos Dwarfs on the other. You need somewhere to store those precious objects when on campaigns.

Preferably something that bite. :hashut

Painting in progress gobbo gallows:

Some WIP Warmachine support crew. The Hobgoblin will if possible wack people with his knife from the Iron Daemon:

Phrygian Hat Hobgoblin Head Sculpts (too large, but some progress toward re-sizing them by 3D means is taking place by a volunteer in the US)

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WIP Daemonically Possessed Cannon Sculpt

WIP Chaos Dwarf Emissaries

Some of the WIP Chaos Dwarf Headtakers (great weapon horde)

WIP Commission K’daai Rocketeers (client went silent after Age of Sigmar hit, but they will be finished once he’s back - these are prize donations, and would be pointless to complete in his absence)

Chaos Dwarf Headtaker Standard Bearer (stand in BSB)

Artisan’s Contest XIX is over and here’s my quick-sculpted entry:

A smelly and primitive pack animal, as well as an omnivore to survive in the bleak Dark Lands, the tuskbeak is suited to the harsh environment in which it lives, being tough and sporting both beak and tusks to dig up roots and crack through bark as well as the scaly hides of monster carcasses and thick monster egg shells in abandoned nests. The facial equipment is also its main defensive weapon in this hostile landscape. Roaming the ashen Dark Lands among the lethal mammals and stranger creatures still, the tuskbeak packs make favoured prey for giant wolves and Greenskins alike, and have remained a staple part of their diet for thousands upon thousands of years, along with aurochs, goats and other Greenskins.


Possibly called tuskbeak, rocklizard, tusker, boarlizard, wrinklebeast or ashpig, it is simply a Placerias, a common herbivore during the late Triassic age. It’s a mammal-like reptile, a Therapsid whose kin dominated the Earth during the Permian but didn’t make it into the Jurassic, when the Dinosaurs had taken over solidly. The one exception is the distinctly evolved mammalian ancestors of the Triassic, who went on to become us after the fall of the Dinosaurs.

It would have been possible to instead make a wolf, a jackal, an ash condor, some ferocious ram, spider, aurochs or similar creature for the flora & fauna in the Dark Lands contest, but there is a special reason why I struck out for something out of the ordinary here. The Old Ones and their Lizardmen and hosts of reptiles are all familiar, yet they often seem confined to Lustria and in a lesser degree the Southlands, with only turtles, crocodiles, dragons, hydras, merwyrms and the like to show for reptilian creatures elsewhere. The ancient reptiles shine with their absence outside of the southern jungles, and that won’t do. I considered adding some scales and spines akin to GW’s lizardmen, but I like the sleek natural look better as a life-long Jurassic Park fan.

The thinking here is that the tuskbeak was one of many prototype reptilian experiments by the Old Ones spread across the world, and using a Placerias seemed obvious given its fame from Walking with Dinosaurs on the one hand, and its clumsy primitive nature on the other. The Dark Lands are primeval, and you don’t often associate its creatures with agility and refinement. After all, Orcs and boars live there!

Animated Dwarf Statue of Ancient Times

Out now! Delayed at caster’s, but finally here:

Cast by Custom Made Minis. Here’s a fluff piece to go with it:


Up in the rocky hills, a tiny creature climbed a steep cliff with his bare hands and feet, and nothing else to aid him. Whirling dust and the heat of the sun dried out Grozlob’s throat and pinched his sore eyeballs, yet still the Goblin pressed on.

“Scumlock!” he swore as his feet dislodged yet another crumbling sun-dried brick and sent it tumbling down the precipice with resounding thwacks. He kicked out with his feet and somehow found a foothold in the cliff face. If he hadn’t, that falling brick could as well have been him.

Bricks! Why were there bricks in the cliff face? The whole hill looked like it was made up of packed dirt and layers upon layers of bricks, as though they had amassed on top of one another throughout many centuries. Was the whole hill a ruin? Or had the bricks been piled high in the wilderness by demons stealing away building materials from the mortal folk when they didn’t set their charms correctly? Grozlob had been but a lowly slave all his life, knowing neither father nor mother nor tribe. He wasn’t blessed with a surname, and he sure as hell wasn’t blessed with cleverness. Grozlob didn’t care.

“Gotcha,” he panted as he clambered over the top of the cliff face, rolling onto the flat top of the hill to gather his breath while he stared into the sky. Up there, gods dwelt. The Goblin slave couldn’t tell one omen from another, yet he decided that the cloudless sky was a favourable portent.

Grozlob got on his feet and started searching amid scattered bones and the brick piles of toppled walls, searching for that thing his master had told him to fetch. Damn it. Where was it…? There!

“Hi, buddy!” he cheered at the statue which still stood up amid the rubble. The stone Dwarf didn’t answer. It was cracked and weather-beaten. It looked like a priest, with a high hat and curly beard. And with a stone staff in one hand, the staff which Grozlob’s master Urzhalik, son of Harrnippur, wanted for himself. It looked expensive.

“Care to lend me a hand?” Grozlob said to the statue, and drew his rusty tools. He then started to saw and hammer off the thick hand holding the staff, whistling as he went. It was tough work, but still the Goblin enjoyed it. When else would he have a chance to cut off the hand of a Dwarf master? A hand which had beaten slaves like him countless times. A hand which had held whips and blades. Time for some payback.

Grozlob attacked the granite hand with renewed vigour. He hadn’t done more than chip it in all this time, but it was fine. He could stand out here all day, away from his cruel owner. He had even found a rat to eat. Life couldn’t be much better.

The Goblin lifted his tunic and relieved himself on the Dwarf after a couple of hours’ labour. He grinned and aimed for the beard. Served 'em right, the fat swines! At least here was a blockbeard who couldn’t defend himself…

The statue creaked as a thick stone hand gripped Grozlob by his right arm and ripped it from his feeble body in one brutal motion. What the hell! Pain flared up in the Goblin’s head. Blood gushed from the severed limb. He screamed and fell to the ground.

The stone dwarf proceeded to bow down and break the slave’s left foot with a crunching sound. The pain! The unbearable pain! Grozlob howled, and could do nothing when the statue twisted his foot and tore it from the leg with unbelievable strength.

“Aaah! Nyeeh… Gods!” screamed the Goblin. His mind was on feverish fire and throbbed all over with acute pain. He was bleeding dry fast. He could feel his lifeblood flowing away into the sand. No…

The stone fist seized Grozlob by his scrawny throat and lifted him up into the air. The slave’s remaining foot pumped without finding ground. He beat the thick stone arm weakly with his only hand. It didn’t help at all. It was like punching granite.

“I will break your bones and curse your soul,” said a gravelly voice. The statue’s voice, Grozlob realized through the agony. He stared into the glowing eyes of a stone demon. “I will throttle you dead and bar the gate into the afterlife. I will tear your corpse asunder and cast the pieces into the river, and even vultures will spurn you.”

There was no mercy in those eyes. The fist of stone squeezed harder, and Grozlob shook. The Goblin slave tried to protest, tried to writhe out of the stranglehold, tried to scream. To no avail. He couldn’t breathe… He couldn’t breathe! He couldn’t brea-

Darkness seized him.

And the statue fulfilled its promise.

War Booty of Ancient Times and Taming of the Wildman are out now! Get them here.

War Booty of Ancient Times

Tog the thrall heaved, strained and stumbled under the burdens laid upon his scarred frame. A basket of root lumps balanced precariously upon his bald, green head, weighing it down and aching his neck. He could not steady the basket, for his hands were both occupied with carrying a heavy amphora under which his back buckled. So heavy! Tog did not know what the big pot contained, except for a liquid of some sort. It sloshed inside the ceramic. Was it wine? Mayhaps olive oil? Or congealing blood? It might as well be swine piss for all he knew.

Tog the thrall, too lowly to even know the nature of his burdens. Once he had been Tog the Raker, a fierce spearman and raider who liked to think of himself as feared by other Goblins and weird folks alike. That was before one tribe of weird folk had trapped his warband, slain his chieftain and broken his will by whip and claw and blade and tusk, and had visited upon him never-ending hardship and thirst and hunger under a scorching sun, on a death march along with thousands upon thousands of other captives.

This weird folk was not the pointy-eared variety with their biting bows and evil horses, nor was it the manling kin either, with their seething multitudes and sheep flocks. No, this weird folk was the short but strong kind, the tough and hard-bitten, with big, blocky beards for armour and metal scales for even more protection under that. Conical helmets they wore, or towering hats, with spikes and horns and brutal images festooned about their wargear. At first, a know-nothing gruntling might think them funny, with their hats making the most silly of silhouettes in the sunlight, yet soon mirth turned to ashes on their tongues, and even the most hardened and grizzled of backstabbers and childslayers feared the blockbeards to the marrow of their bones. All Goblins knew that to be captured by those Dwarfs meant pain, toil and death.

Oh, how that fear was well-founded! Tog the thrall would have wished it otherwise, but no seven wishes would ever relieve him of the blockbeards’ devil glare, nor would it save him from their capricious cruelties and punishments. Maimings, flayings, quarterings, impalings… He thought he had seen it all in the serive of chief Krakk Vileclaw, yet he had seen nothing before the yoke of the blockbeards was loaded onto his shoulders. He, and thousands more, had gnawed upon the famished remains of the Dwarfs’ victims, though never the sacrificial ones. Those committed to the gods above and below would never see their flesh swallowed down slave throats. Any thrall desperate enough to steal offerings from the burning altars would find himself broken, flayed and compressed into a miniscule bronze cage, bent impossibly back up on himself in a solid package while awaiting the most forbidden of rites practised by the blockbeard priests.

And there was no escape from the misery! Foul outriders, green lackeys and spiteful to their dark hearts, ranged about the snaking column of slaves, pack animals and blockbeard slavers. Anyone they caught disappeared, likely eaten by the outriders themselves. Those who did manage to escape wouldn’t last long in the wasteland heat anyway, as evident in the old, desiccated bones strewn about their blistered feet…

Tog the thrall glanced up, hoping against hope for an abysmal monster to emerge and gobble down his tormentors. Instead, he did see a monster and a tormentor, yet they were one and the same. Some captives ahead of him, a stolid blockbeard scribe stood by the stinking slave parade and scribbled on a tablet of wet clay, impressing mystical signs for the memory of eternities to follow. Writing, it was called, a dark and dangerous art. A mystery, for sure. But Tog knew all about writing. Sometimes, a blockbeard scribe would accompany a bunch of warriors in camp, taking the lead as he looked the slaves and pack animals up and down and in and out, inspecting their teeth, eyes and hands, pinching hard on their arms and legs and staring at thralls with eyes not caring one iota for their fates. The scribes would say a few words sometimes, in that harsh tongue of theirs, and the fate of slaves and beasts of burden alike would be decided with a quick doodle in clay.

Were they counting their war booty? Maybe deciding what the slaves and animals were good for? Or discarding the useless ones? Perhaps all at once, judging by the results. Some slaves would just be marked down, and nothing more would come of it. Others would switch places in the column, find themselves loaded with heavier burdens or pulling asse-s, camels, oxen and pack horses along. Some slaves would be cut down were they stood by the warriors, while the scribe wrote them off for good in his clay. Others would be dragged away to the cookpots or altars. Whatever they wrote, the scribes held powers of life and death over slaves. They could kill by marking their clay. One mark, and your life ended. The magic of it all made Tog’s skin crawl at the back of his neck.

He had once been a plundering warrior. Now he was a piece of plunder, walking loot and nothing more. Tog the thrall looked again on the scribe. Didn’t he know that smug face? Let’s see… Yes. It was the bastard who had killed his chieftain Krakk with a single mark in clay. That kill had belonged to Tog for years! He had dreamt of doing his boss in, sneaking up in the dark of night or thrusting his spear out in the chaos of fighting, yet that dream had been robbed from him. Instead, Krakk had died like a dog at the hands of a scribbling blockbeard. Tog could still remember the awkward name of that scribe. Adad-Nirkartunabamer. That’s it! That name had etched itself into his mind, and remained there a stark fire while every other part of him, his memories and his will wasted away in apathy, hardship and oppression.

He was nearing Adad-Nirkartunabamer now. The blockeard ticked off some foreign Dwarf wench, all bare and scarred and unflowered before the death march had even begun. She didn’t have to carry anything but her shame and pain, with eyes downcast and voice silent as she stumbled on during day for yet another night of shrieks and violation at the hands of the victors. Then, the accursed scribe made another mark as a humpbacked pegleg of a Goblin struggled with a heavy sack in his arms, while an even heavier burlap bag crushed down on his skull. Finally, Tog the thrall passed by Adad-Nirkartunabamer, who marked him off just like that. This time, the writing didn’t kill. Yet next time, the spell might work…

Tog the thrall brooded on his petty plan of hopeless revenge for long hours after he had left the blockbeard behind. He had become a beast of burden among others, and nothing more. And for long hours afterwards, downtrodden slaves and pack animals defiled past the scribe, each one a little wedge impression on a clay tablet, and nothing more. The writing would remain forgotten in an archive vault for long ages to come, witnessing dust and darkness and nothing more. Such was the legacy of the war booty of ancient times.


Taming of the Wildman of Ancient Times

Priestess based on this sketch by Jackswift:

Among the tribal Dwarfs, black of heart, was told in ancient times the myth of the taming of the Wildman. It is a tale without heroes, and a saga bereft of soothing power, for it is a story of fell deeds and dark fate, a legend all too familiar from real life experience for the numberless hordes of slaves toiling beneath the whips of these malignant Dwarfs.

Once upon a time, the city of Zhurninnuk prospered and grew, and its wealth was increased every year by its artisans and traders, and the offerings of its priests grew ever more rich. Its scribes were many, its slaves legions, its farmers and herdsmen almost beyond counting. It was a mighty city, a place of power, where high lorded it over low, and order lorded it over chaos. And thus it was that Zhurninnuk ever grasped for more and more land, more and more water, of everything more and more. Its woodsmen hewed down strong oaks and cedars with axes of bronze. Its peasants dredged marches, built thick banks around the river Harrnuk and tamed the floods for their fields in their irrigation canals. Its hunters felled lion, gazelle and ibis alike, its gatherers plundered the nests of birds, and its fishers caught the life of the waters.

Long and strong was the reach of great Zhurninnuk of the three walls and twelve ziggurats, and in strength the city-state conquered the wild and sought to extinguish its flame, just as it waged war against enemy cities and tribes. Yet the wild responded in violence, and caused the mighty Wildman to come forth, and forth he came, naked and horned, strong of limb and covered in fur, walking on two cloven hooves yet possessing hands with which to strangle, tear and destroy. And destroy he did. The Wildman ravaged the livestock and bred bastard races of Satyrs and Minotaurs upon the flocks of the cowherds and goatherds. Soon his offspring roamed the wilds, and they laid waste to many a village, yet none of his children surpassed their raw father in might and deeds.

The harrowed shepherds brought complaints to the city of Zhurninnuk, bringing word of a Wildman who deprived them food and slept under the sky, knowing neither father nor gods and breeding in full sight of sun and stars like a lowly beast. In response, the city elders drew from their wisdom a cunning plan, and sent out the Temple Harlot Zhamshet to lure the Wildman into the tamed lands. Lust overtook the rage in the heart of the Wildman upon sighting Zhamshet, for she seduced him and was mounted by him for twelve days and twelve nights, thereby teaching him the ways of men and women. After this, Zhamshet weakened the Wildman with food and drink, and taught him to eat bread and drink beer in the manner of men and women. Exhausted after all his labours, Zhamshet then taught the Wildman to sleep under covered roof and blanket in the manner of men and women.

Thus drained of primal strength, the once-ferocious Wildman was taken to the city, where the Temple Harlot promised to marry him in sight of the divine idols, yet the Wildman was met by blades not incense at the temple, his trust in her promises repaid by treachery not truth, by lies not love. At the foot of the ziggurat stairs, the High Priestess and the Stricken Dwarf stood awaiting, the latter struck by the lightning and thunder of the gods for his sins, now serving the temple alone and heeding no other mistress. The High Priestess uttered but one command, and the strong warrior fell upon the Wildman in full armour. Long did they battle, yet in the end hoof and fist and fang and horn proved no match for axe and shield and ironshod boot, and the Wildman was kicked to the ground, bearing scars from his combat. On his knees, the ferocious half-beast was subdued by the Stricken Dwarf, who shackled him and left the Wildman kneeling before the altar, exposed and helpless, with neither friends nor kin to save him.

At the sight of her lover’s defeat, the Temple Harlot sipped beer through a straw after her exhaustive work, while the Stricken Dwarf taunted the Wildman. Then, the High Priestess drew her sharp knife, numbering the various offenses of the Wildman and recalling his forbidden breeding with the livestock of men and women, and she raised the blade high, about to sacrifice the offending member of the Wildman to the gods…

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Evil Dwarf Escort Vessels of Ancient Times

Available now!

Shading his eyes against the fiery glare below, captain Uhr-Maduknezhar stood astride up in the commanding archer tower of the slave galley Grasp of Lidunammu. The scarred and grizzled seaman observed the chaotic battle scene in the archipelago below while smoke columns obscured his view. He gripped one pointy merlon to counter the worst rockings of the crenellated tower as the frantic sea waves tossed the narrow ship about. The sounds of blackpowder blasts, creakingIn the accursed salty wet, debris and bodies both alive and dead littered the surroundings, picked at by bloodthirsty sharks and yet worse behemoths of the depths, some of them a danger to the unharmed vessels. The situation was difficult to assess, for behind the smoke, the flimsy wooden masts and sails of the enemy fleet had become an indecipherable tangle.

“Our fire ships shouldn’t ever have let loose at such an angle,” groaned decksofficer Bel-Ninridu, gesticulating madly at the unquenchable flames dancing across waves and wrecks below. “Just look at it! It’s a bloody mess of firewalls down there, smokescreens shielding their escape. Gallows!”

Without glancing at his subordinate, Uhr-Marduknezhar replied: “Our metal hulls have passed through seas of molten rock. Our rams have licked the waves of hell. What’s a little flame to that?”

“With our ship unenchanted, without the preparatory rites, the rowers will perish at oars. We’ll be stranded at great cost,” said Bel-Ninridu.

“Then let the slaves broil and burn in their shackles if they wish to succumb to a little heat,” said Uhr-Marduknezhar. "The roasted thralls will make for fine steaks. The omens are right, I am sure of it. Signal the helmsman, bring the Grasp of Lidunammuabout and aim her at the largest pillar of smoke, right there. Then signal the taskmaster: Breakneck speed, full ahead. The gods will it! And brace for impact."

“Aye, aye, cap’n!”

Sculpting for casting means that the army is on the backburner. Still, for each or every second tournament we usually wish to finish converting or even painting something new for our armies, and for the weekend’s tourney I’ve prepared a couple more K’daai Fireborn. The taller K’daai is a Dungeons & Dragons Elemental Evil: Fire Myrmidon, and the smaller one a Djinn of Fire from Shieldwolf miniatures. Also, a petard with crew from AtomTaylor (9th Age light artillery on 40mm round base with indirect fire) has been on the workbench. Soon to be glued together. I’d hoped to have the latter fully painted come tournament and log update, but will not have time and directly after the tourney it’s back to commercial sculpting. Maybe for next tournament. Fingers crossed the new army list will lift ranking from the bottom-most place. :yar

AtomTaylor sculpts Oldhammer miniatures, true to the originals’ style and nice looking. I recommend them particularly for their sheer character. They’re full of it! Plus every single crewman comes with a weapon in hand or at belt.

Me and my brother liked the jolly petard and crew a lot on first sight, and were immediately inspired to do some conversions (almost no mini in my collections are immune to green stuff). I wanted to add a few details to the petard and tie in the crew with the rest of the army, so curlybeards and some extra armour was the order of the day.

I had planned to give the petard some Chaotic segmented goat horns, but my little brother pointed out that the bare petard resembled a bull well enough with its face, so bull horns it was. I had originally planned a quite monotone and probably dull paint scheme for it, but my brother immediately saw its resemblance to something called a weeping bell, which will vagually be carried over in metallics and oxidized bronze and red teeth dags in the paintjob. Also added some slime drool because of that odd reference.

The skull mask crewman were originally intended for only minor conversions, but my brother spotted it for a candidate as some 80s thing called Skeleton, and then for a potential Sandy Claws. The latter option was surprisingly fitting, given how FW gave their artillery officers pointy hats with a little skull on top, so he won the day. I guess it’s only right that the little brother gets to decide how the little cannon shall look in the army.

Here’s my entry from the concept art contest. Had hoped to paint a picture for it as well, but time ran out. It’s a concept for some planned evil Dwarf sculpts, Faceless Ones, infernal torturers, slavers and terror troops for psychological warfare on steroids. I needed to map out potential tools, equipment and weapons to be used on the models, and included one or two Bronze Age ones such as the boarding pike:

Next up, Slave Orcs!

Orc Slaves of Ancient Times

Based on a lot of valuable feedback from here.

Heads have been sculpted first, since they’ll be handy to have finished for posing and sculpting the bodies. 12 head variants for 6 bodies will give space for choice. I do not have the materials to swiftly photograph the heads sufficiently well together (also besides a WHFB Orc head for scale) and size comparison. Will have to fix something soon. In the meanwhile, here we have some ugly, warty, scarred slaves, with hides sculpted to hint at roughness and weather-bitten skin. Notes per head.

Enjoy, or get disgusted as you see fit. :slight_smile:

1: Face cage with lock for key placed at nose. Roughly hammered iron bands riveted together. Nailed into head. Angry face and upright ears tell us why his head is locked in.

2: Face bars.

3: Mix between scold’s bridle and dirt-eater mask. Head is the smallest of the bunch. Will need some jaw inflation.

4: Evil dwarf fantasy version of owner stamp to the forehead. Runic plate riveted to forehead, with chainmail veil and sewn-shut lips.

5: Stitched lips with bull nose ring. Slaves are like cattle, pull them along! Swollen bruise on top of head.

6: Head in a sack. My brother’s idea.

7: Bandaged eye, half a red smile.

8: Jawless head. Stark cruelty. Based on WWI wounded without jaws.

9: Limp hair head. A nest for lice, sure, but it’s intended to convey the pathetic look.

10: Open mouth face. Tongue sticking out with both tusks broken off. Raised scar on one cheek.

11: 1/3 flayed head. Transition head to go along with the one below. There will be some few flayed or partially flayed body parts, and one very unlucky sod who at least have both arms unshackled and both hands intact…

12: Flayed head. Small skin patches remaining at the back of the head, for transition to bodies with skin.

Below are reference pictures for sculpting the bodies:

Hobgoblin Slavedrivers

As per Carcearion’s advice, here are two taskmasters to herd the Orcs along. Scale is still a bit off from ideal, but the size in the sculpts might be on the right track. Their feet and legs are not as lively as one could have hoped for, but they’ll have to do. The first Orc pilot sculpt is a lot livelier, so the big eye-catchers should hold more movement in them.

These slavedrivers will be released as a small kit on their own, and way ahead of the Orc slaves. Will probably include a couple of small pots as kit extras depending on mould space, to make use of the reject excess Zealot sculpts. You’ll see a lot of this practice in future kits, small bits and bobs that should help lend character to the whole tabletop setting.

As per Bloodbeard’s advice, these Slavedrivers will not include Chaos Dwarf bitz, such as a hand with whip, hand with decapitated Orc head or the like. Such bitz will almost certainly show up later, either with a dedicated slave butcher/torturer hero sculpt, or as optional hands for the planned rank and file torturer/crewmen kit.

The armour and clothes are based on some Persian warrior garb seen in the second picture below. Note the chubby whipper. If you wonder where the amputated thrall parts went, he probably ate them! The prodder’s spearhead breaks the regional inspiration, sort of, since it’s based on a British bronze age spear head, not Middle Eastern/eastern Mediterranean ones, but what the heck, I just went with what looked most interesting on a quick picture search. Also note the prodder’s eyepatch.

Fuggit Khan’s emissary stands for size comparison:

Evil Dwarf Cylinder Seal Rolling Pin Flatsculpts

Technical: This quick project was done at the request of Enjoysrandom, as one of several planned little breaks from the ongoing Orc slave sculpts.

This is an experiment. It’s a couple of 5x10 cm flatsculpts intended to be translated into rolling pins (see also cylinder seals). Good advice was gathered from Enjoysrandom and Jackswift in particular, but I’ve come to realize that my steadiness of hands, eye-measurement and sense of straight symmetrical lines will not be up to the challenge of producing a cylindrical negative of the flatsculpts for resin casting. (Diameter of the cylinders will be 3 cm, take away possibly 1-2 mm.) As such I’ll attempt to ask a few moulding companies, including Green Stuff World, if they have the expertise and will to carry it out on commission, and to what price. The resin moulds at Zealot will be surprisingly cheap, yet a steep commission cost could ruin the end product’s price.

Should any volunteer wish to do it, then shout out! We’ll see how it all turns out, but if these flatsculpts won’t be turned into succesful cylinder seals soon, then perhaps the flatsculpts themselves could be cast. Either as negatives for green stuff stamps, or as resin wall pieces as the sculpts themselves are. Investigations to take place.

First of all, my sense of straight lines and symmetry are about as shaky as my sense of scale and measurement. A bit odd, given how almost all hobbies and interests involving handiwork I have had since early childhood years revolve around these, and I’ve also worked some with tasks requiring precision measurements (which I repeatedly failed at due to inherent weakness at this area).

This means that the plasticard panels themselves were cut to 5x10,6 or something centimetres (the extra width millimetres are there in case they would be needed for the cylinder), but I couldn’t achieve perfectly straight lines after cleaning. This won’t matter if the flatsculpts makes it through to cylinders, but will matter and require some hobbyist filing if the flatsculpts themselves would be cast as resin wall pieces. Furthermore, while their ends align a tad better than can be seen in the photos and they are not as wavy as they might appear, no line is perfectly straight with the wall adornments. It’s all measured and very much sculpted with a ruler, but perfection it is not.

To hide these and other sculpting flaws, I went for a rougher stone texture with a less perfect finish than you would find in actual palace wall carvings in real ancient history. It should probably all come together well enough when painted, is my guess, but the customers will have to decide for themselves once they see pictures of the end products.

Reference:

Aesthetics: The top and bottom decoration borders are sculpted so as to be cross-compatible between wall sections, and this will almost certainly hold true in any potential future wall relief sculpts that might get released if these prove popular enough. The borders are there to show a mortal world caught between a rock and a hard place, with stormy lightning-ridden skies above, and hellfire and dreary underworld below, with demons and capricious gods playing cruel games with the fates of mortals in the region in-between.

Triumph & Thralldom

Sculpted with excessive, mayhap bewildering detail, these scenes and my tastes have something in common with the original Assyrian wall reliefs which inspired it: A belief in that more is more. Possibly it is just a jolly mass of chaos, and possibly it rewards the patient viewer who takes a longer look at the scenes.

The small scale of it and the original purpose of serving as a rolling pin meant that detail couldn’t be taken down too intensely in the small figures, as will be obvious with the faces in particular.

The relief is divided into two halves, mimicking the Standard of Ur with its war and peace halves. For grimdark purposes, we instead have triumph and thralldom, i.e. the half to the left of the erupting volcano sporting evil Dwarf cruelty against a defeated Human tribe while the right side shows masses of slaves labouring at moving a stone lamassu, and the logistics involved in such an operation (simplified version of the second reference picture’s two reliefs above).

Four Reliefs

The second flatsculpt is done in a different way. At the request of Enjoysrandom, this was quartered into four parts which could be rolled out all at once producing a line of scenes, but could also be used one quarted at a time, anywhere you wish on a terrain piece, i.e. producing an isolated quarter of the rolling pin and nothing else wherever you wish.

First panel based somewhat on this story, with the fourth panel sporting the burning cow from this one.

First off, Zealot Miniatures doing the resin casting of the plates have been swamped by orders, and are first now getting to cast them. And Custom Made Miniatures casting the Hobgoblin slavedrivers met some harsh problems when their vaccuum pump broke down and the delivery guy ran off with its highly expensive replacement (they found an old one, and have just started casting).

Hopefully those kits can get released during the summer months.

Also, Zealot Miniatures needed to drill holes through undetailed areas due to mould suction in the flat plates. Should be easy to fill-in:


Next, the Orc slave heads have recently been sent to Custom Made Miniatures for whitemetal casting. I ran into some anatomy sculpting issues with a slave orc pilot sculpt. This was expected and was the reason why I wanted to practice on a pilot first, but it was not what was needed at the time (contributed to the hobby downtime until now). So, as the bodies will be picked up again later after some more practice, the heads have been sent off to become a bitz kit. They’re intentionally a bit bigger than normal GW Orc heads because they’re made for bigger and bulkier bodies, but the millimeter difference was smaller than I remembered. Scale shots to come after casting.

After some hobby downtime with sporadic minor work it’s back to business. First up, a newly arrived emissary of Karagazkar, courtesy of Carcearion! (Need to get some proper terrain done for background.)

Taking aim at the stranger, the guards recognize the emblem of the Red Host emblazoned upon his unfurled scroll. The sentries stay wary of the fire Daemoness. After some questions and inspection of seals, he is let into the fortress.

Left waiting for long hours in a forechamber, the diplomat comes face to face with the dastardly ambassador from da Khan of Khans. Clandestine backroom dealings ensue, determining the fates of thousands of lesser souls and exchanging precious bribes. The shady event is reported upon by a specially trained Sneaky Git, skulking in the shadows, who has his hands chained together behind his back to prevent instinctive stabbing actions. Routine intrigue among the corridors of power of Mingol Zharr-Naggrund the Great and all her holdings.

After endless waiting, an audience is at last granted the patient emissary… That is, an audience with the seventh wife of Sorcerer-Prophet Nir-Kezhar. Many more arduous and time-consuming steps of protocol and fiery purification rites must be waded through before an actual audience with the sought Sorcerer-Prophet may be arranged. The Hobgoblin diplomat, having been denied even the lowliest audience so far on account of his slave blood, is attached to the Chaos Dwarf of Karagazkar as retinue to clear adamant formalities and at last allow diplomatic exchange with the court of Nir-Kezhar.

As you can see, Carcearion cooked up a great conversion for his emissary! He even asked me for my army’s emblem. It didn’t have any previously, so this one featuring lightning horns was made up on the spot:

Next up in the painting queue stands the emissaries for Fuggit Khan and Carcearion. Converted and basecoated, to be painted as soon as the brush itch hits.

Also, as per Enjoysrandom’s idea work has started on a Grand Admiral or evil dwarf pirate lord sculpt, based upon Jackswift’s inventive sketch. Check out the slave rowers on top of the hat!

This miniature will feature many optional parts. If you have ideas for things to change or for bits you wish to see included in the kit, then by all means shout out! Feedback from Enjoysrandom and Fuggit Khan has already helped steer the plans of this project.

Wall Relief Plates of Ancient Times are out now.


Hunger gnawed in his gut, and his eyes were dry like desert sand, yet still Hamukk bore a smile on his hollow-cheeked face. He had done it! He had outsmarted the stunted masters with their log-thick arms and coiled beards. He had outran their stumped feet and cruel hands. He had hid, and he had sneaked. He had covered his tracks and kept one step ahead of their vicious lackeys all of the time. The jackals! The dogs! All outwitted. His long plight of labour and hardship was at long last over. Freedom would be his, and slavery but a rotten memory with which to scare his future grandchildren. Praise the gods!

Hamukk, son of Bernu and Ishya, of the Human tribe Lakash, ran a calloused hand through his dirty, straight black hair. That hand had only three and a half fingers left. He shivered at the thought, yet smirked triumphantly at the certain knowledge that his captors would never set their brands and blades and tongs to him again. The thrill ran through him, blood rushing in his veins and feeding his hopes. And all thanks to a chance overhearing!

That sun-scorched day would stay with him forever. That moment, when he stood chest-deep in the muddy river waters and harvested reeds with a burnt clay sickle, and the priestly acolytes walked past slothfully. Their conversation had for some reason raised his interest from the very start, and he had memorized every word of theirs. They had talked of a labyrinth, a place of darkness through which no man not chosen by the gods or anointed in blood by demons could pass. They had named the location, and it was not far off. Most importantly, they discussed rumours of long maze tunnels leading out to hostile tribal grounds with gates wide open and undefended. Thereupon the short, bulky acolytes had reaffirmed their faith in their foul gods by praising the deities for watching over the labyrinth.

A labyrinth! He had trekked through mountain ravines all his life before being caught by the devious blockbeards from the lowlands, and he would take his chances with a mere handmade maze any day. The trick was to not walk in circles, he had decided. Hamukk had then and there determined that this was a sign from his people’s gods, and had acted quickly, stealing provisions and torches in the night, running off into the windy wastelands, zigzagging through nigh-on lifeless terrain and walking in a long crescent toward the spot mentioned by the acolytes.

It was indeed undefended, except for by some scorpions just inside the entrance. They had nearly been the end of him, but he had glimpsed them in the ruddy light and brought his flaming torch down upon the venomous critters, scaring off the scorpions and clearing the way. Fire truly was a stolen gift from the gods. It gave man power over beast, and man power over darkness. With his torches he had already made it through most of the maze, he was sure.

There were costly relief carvings everywhere on the walls, painted in gaudy colours and covered with figures. The relief carvings seldom repeated and thus he had good reason to think that he had not gone in small circles more than thrice. In the light of his flame he could spot the accursed Dwarfs’ conception of gods, goddesses, demons and myths. He spotted historical scenes of slavery, warfare and hardship, as well as great works undertaken, sorcery and above all atrocities. There was flaying and maiming and crushing, done by malevolent Dwarfs, usually against Humans and Goblins. They did indeed like to brag about their cruelties, didn’t they? But those scenes no longer concerned him. He was no longer part of their malice and torture. His trusty torches would carry him through, like a beacon of the gods. Yet there was only one torch left now, and still there was no end in sight of the maze…

The cocky smile vanished. Hamukk swallowed, and moved faster, more rashly than before. He stopped memorizing relief scenes for the sake of speed. The exit must be here somewhere! As the flames burned out their oily fuel, he ripped off his bandages, his headband, his loincloth and even loose hair to feed the fire. He could get other clothes later, but not another life. Steps clattered and echoed through the cool labyrinth, faster and faster. He blowed as much air as he dared into the dying embers, blowing up small flame tongues anew. Hamukk saw less and less of the richly carved stone walls around him, and relied ever more on his hands to guide him along the walls. The darkness was closing in. Damn…!

The torch went out with a sputter and sizzle. Hamukk blinked at the coloured lights dancing across his retina. When they were gone, nothing remained. There was not even moonlight reflected in the corridor. Everything went solid black.

Teeth clattered as the escaped slave fought a wild panic welling up from within. He began scrambling down corridors, hands shaking on walls to his left and right as he sought guidance. He slid past corners in a stumbling jog, panting and whining. He fell and rose, unseen bruises already aching on all limbs. He had to get out! He ran for it, ran hard, and crashed into a stone wall. The violent impact stole away his breath and senses, for how long he did not know.

Hamukk eventually woke up on the smooth floor, or was he perhaps still asleep? It was impossible to tell the difference. His eyes gave the same report whether they were shut or open. Blackness, and nothing more.

The man’s head was strangely numb yet at the same time beset with sharp pangs of pain. Hamukk suspected that his headlong collision with the wall had damaged his mind. His nose was broken, and he had lost two of his teeth, worn by millstone flakes as they were. He prayed to three gods and seven goddesses, yet heard no response. Was he already in the netherworld? Was this the place of dust and darkness that all men feared to enter? How would the other spirits react to a living man among themselves? Or was he even still alive?

Hamukk had no way to tell. For untold hours he sat on his haunches while his head spinned worse and worse. His thoughts turned into a maelstrom of confusion. At last, he reached the bewildered conclusion that demons were stealing away his mind. He rose up and swore heinously at them, uttering such foul words that men would have killed him for the insult. Yes. Demons! It was the demons! The former slave fell silent for a while. Then he whispered: “Reveal yourselves.”

And in the darkness, the eyes of all the relief figures on the walls lit up, like a nightsky of red embers. Watching him, uncaring. It was as if all the gods had convened to judge his soul, and found him a subject unworthy to even assemble court for. They stared at him. Forever.

It was the final straw. Hamukk fell hard to his knees, warm blood trickling across the cold obsidian floor. He clawed at his eyes in madness. And screamed until his lungs burst.

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MadHatter’s K’daai Fireborn

Once upon a time on Chaos Dwarfs Online before the End Times, MadHatter and I conducted a special miniature trade. I had bid for some Squat Exoarmour suits on Swedish Ebay, but that headgear fanatic bidded higher! When this was discovered, he offered me the uncorrupted Squat Exoarmours for my 40k army, if I converted the Chaos Squat Exoarmours into K’daai rocketjumpers for him. Said and done.

This might turn out to be both the first and last commission sculpt not intended for casting that I’ll ever do outside my circle of close friends (except for some odd small quickjobs). As a principle, I don’t accept unique commissions. If lots of work shall be poured into something, it should better get available for lots of collectors in the end by casting and selling. If I sculpt for only one customer, only that one benefits from all work. If I sculpt for casting, dozens or hundreds can benefit from the fruits of one’s labour. Easy equation.

Ladies and gentlemen, let me reveal to you the exception that proves the above rule: The hot, the soaring, the crazy K’daai unit of Madhatter!

The explosive powder fuel of the Rocketrisen contain a critical ingredient, namely distilled souls of mortals. As the exhaust flames shoots out, anyone beholding the spectacle of the volatile Daemonjets may catch glimpses of faces shrieking in agony, quickly come, quickly gone in the impossible stream of powerful flames.

The leader of the nigh-on suicidal Rocketrisen is a living testament to the lethal dangers to both body and soul of these maniac warriors. Having lost both sanity and feet to baleful accidents, the Daemonsmiths have replaced his legs with large exhaust ports shaped like rune-carved cloven hooves. Thus the infamous, cackling madman continues to lead his handpicked brethren, seeming to live only for the pyromaniac slaughter of foes and innocents alike. Truly the terror of the battlefield.

Twin fuel hoses hang from the lips of the grisly metal mask which adorns the clumsy fullplate armour suit. When properly activated, the union of their flames may produce sorcerous bolts which the bearer, assisted by fell Daemonic runes in his arcane armour, may direct with some rudimentary grasp of magic. “Spitting firebulls” is starting to become a common proverb in some parts of the dark empire of the Dawi Zharr. Needless to say, the inherent risks to the bearer would make uncorrupted Dwarfs recoil in horror at the mere thought of the insane rashness.

Here we see a dreaded Rocketrisen during steeplechase exercise.

Obviously, the experimental rocketsuits are dangerous in the extreme to the user, and the slightest malfunction or mishandling can lead to severe injury, maiming, madness or death for the bearer. Here we see a Rocketrisen flailing and swearing as he spins skyhigh out of control, a common occurrence. Note the head spike, which transform Rocketrisen flight mishaps into armour-penetrating projectiles capable of felling huge monsters.

And together with the flayman Elfskin which MadHatter won at a random prize draw in a previous contest.

The Chaos Siege Giant of C.W.

Been to a tournament during the weekend, the most fun yet! Didn’t make it to top 10, though, in a tourney of 12 participants. Someone else claimed my traditional last place!

I got to the tournament in the same car as a couple of other guys. We had a test game on friday. For fun, I told them both to bring some modelling project, green stuff and sculpting tool and I’d fix some quicksculpted parts for them during downtime and evening. The driver, who shall be known as C.W. from Skintaxmountain, did.

After the pilot game on friday, the converting started. He wanted scalemail between the segmented plate rows on the frontside of his armoured giant. Also, both he and the other guy insisted on an unusual anatomical detail. I thought they were joking, but they were dead serious. Said and done.

On saturday, the back plate decorations got sculpted. Mimicked Forgeworld’s armour trim style on e.g. their Chaos Warhound Titan.

On sunday, chains got sculpted, yet they had another idea for an unusual anatomical detail, higher up this time. And as we packed our things into the car, C.W. glued a dice and a small pebble onto the empty throat of the Gorgon, and I burnt through all his green stuff making the head in the car while C.W drove us home (first thing sculpted in a car for me).

Now, before you click the spoiler button, beware that this was sculpted for a Swede in Sweden, in a very rural area. You have been warned.

I present to you the Kuthuvud of Skintaxmountain, held by its proud owner:

[spoiler][/spoiler]

2017 Image Salvage





























Elf Slave of Ancient Times

A quick little retinue sculpt for the admiral/pirate captain. Having just finished quick-salvaging and uploading a huge load of pictures of others’ Chaos Dwarf hobby work (concentrated and prolonged waking-to-sleeping desktop work), I’ve gone physically exhausted like rarely before, in a way which hard labour hasn’t managed to produce. Tired through the day no matter what one do. Ah well, some rest and relaxation and juice should be up again. Still, managed to put in some finishing touches on this slave victim.

From his neck iron, a lock and a metal slave plate dangles. The unlucky Elf have met a grisly fate almost on par with the Orc slaves. Maimed, partially flayed, branded and cut and cut again, he has some blood drops flowing down his left arm. They’ve barely touched his face, because Elven ears and eyes are seen as very valuable alchemical and sorcerous ingredients. Perhaps Elven hair is, too? In that case, that proud mane has already been harvested. The Elf is scalped, and his exposed skull is cracked from blunt violence. Yet this is no lowly Human who would cave in to deepest despair in the face of such utter misery. His facial expression is pained, but an iron will and burning desire to avenge his wrongs (“I’ll strangle you with your own beard, foul Dwarf!”) leaves a determined glare as he bites back a wail, or at least that was the theory behind the sculpt.

The pose of this miniature made photography a challenge. It was hard to get any good angles at all of the sculpt, and areas such as the eyes kept losing all details on camera. So to compensate, a lot of pictures were taken instead, with contrast turned up in Imgur to aid dodgy focus in areas:

A WIP matron in the grand admiral’s retinue. Ideas are welcome, but frontal shots will not be taken until the sculpt is finished.

The Kuthuvud of Skintaxmountain did evolve during last SM tournament. Managed some shoulder pad sculpting during the evening. Its owner has started to arm it.

Harbour Skulker of Ancient Times

Since a slave, a lord and a lady will be in the same kit, better include a middling sort of scum as well. This one was done mostly as a quicker exercise in posing and anatomy. I am sure the pose came out clumsy, but cast it will be regardless. Likewise, the knives came out thicker, broader and shorter than intended. Will try and get longer, sleeker and more curved blades for similar sculpts in the future. It’s a tad big. Aside from that, does anything look awry?

Equipped with a boar’s tusk helmet, this lice-ridden bastard sneaks and stabs with glee, slitting purse strings and throats alike. The helmet is certainly a luxurious trophy from a previous victim of higher standing. Small chains wrap around one of his wrists. A warty scourge of the rowdy port and an unsavoury fellow on any vessel, this Hobgoblin still has his uses in boarding actions, particularly if he can sneak upon the enemy captain and deprive his crew of leadership in the midst of critical combat. The intended pose is tiptoeing forward, torso bent back, sneaky-like. However, it seem simple enough to tilt the model on a slottabase to achieve a different impression.

“Just one more cut…”

Dress inspired by Robbie McSweeney’s depiction of Akkadian warriors:

Matron of Ancient Times

Dressed modestly in multi-layered fringed cloth draped diagonally around her pregnant body, this horned matron is no breaker of custom, as her decently chainmail-veiled face profess (bared flesh in public is the lot of concubines, temple harlots and women captured as war booty, and finally priestesses - held in awe - whose mysterious female powers are expressed through an assertive sensuality in their manners and appearance alike). Rings in the ears and around the fingers of the matron add a glitter to her rotund person, while a towering hat underscores her married status. Her prestigious position as a fertile mother is visible in the nine pteruges hanging from the backside of her hat, and indeed a similar triangular end decoration as on the family pteruges is strung on a necklace hanging from the throat of each of her children who has not yet passed into adulthood as per the ancestral rites. Note the childhood hat of her son, and the beard which is uncoiled since it is a privilege of adults only to curl their hair and whiskers.

The headgear of the matron is large, yet its form is different from male hats, and likewise unlike the masculine (and priestess) counterparts the feminine headgear is not proudly erect, standing straight up on the head, but is instead softer, backbending and receptive in shape. Her hat sports zigzag decor and pearlwork alike, and flanked by lightning bolts striking the ground rise a stylized palm ornament, in flames. This bears connotations of fertility, growth and plenty, but also of destruction, ashes and power.

The frontside of her hat is starkly adorned by a cracked skull, a constant reminder of both mortality, the work that needs to be done and the children that needs to be bred and raised. The cranial ornament upon the head of this lady is likewise a symbolic reminder for all men of the importance of defending one’s tribe and precious womenfolk. It is also a mark of warning to any slave who would think of assaulting her. Behind the skull rise a a metal plate, inscribed with incantations, frequently replaced with different bronze plates bearing script as the seasonal ceremonies require. Above the runic plate sits the flat face of a potent demon of myth, bound to her will and facing the sky in order to ward off fell spirits and criminal hat-snatchers alike. The crenellated wall sitting above the demonic visage is not accidentally placed that way, for it is in fact an invocation in images for any assailant of the city walls to perish, a baleful curse upon both attackers outside the fortifications and revolting slaves within. The stretch of miniature walls and towers is likewise a proclamation of her kin’s strength and endurance, as well as an announcement of the harshness needed for order to keep out chaos if civilized life is to survive.

And last but not least the crowning fortifications act as a reminder for all menfolk that should the towers be toppled and the walls fall like a downstruck hat, then their wives and concubines will become nothing but spoil for the conqueror, and their mothers and daughters will also be ravished, as is the way of mortals since time immemorial.

"You hit them hard over their heads like this, little Kralbuknezhur."

“Yes, ma’!”


Breaking news: Slavery products out now!

Slave Orc Heads of Ancient Times

Hobgoblin Slavedrivers of Ancient Times


Scarred feet trundled across the ashen wastes to the constant rattle of chains. Many of those feet had less then their usual number of toes. On high, the sun glared hot and dry, its blistering gaze only interrupted by billowing volcanic plumes from a distant stretch of young mountains. The land was ruthless, and so were its inhabitants. A whip coiled through the dusty air and lashed, yet again, hard across lumbering green backs that quickly were becoming flayed to the bone. Hardly a whimper escaped from the captives. Skylxys Wartface was not content with the response, so he struck once more, but this time aimed the whip at a single bastard Orc. The iron tip of the long, braided lash bit into the raw, crimson mass which was all that was left of the sod’s muscles that covered his exposed scapulae. Bloody droplets flew from the impact and the eternal cloud of flies scattered from the sudden violence.

This time, the lashing action got its deserved reply, and the hulking wretch stumbled to his knees and yelped in agony, grunting and panting. The hands of the Orc lost grip of his shovel and instead flew out sideways to cover his pained back, yet the shackles which bound the thrall’s wrists together arrested the hands pathetically in mid-air. The sight bemused the grizzled Hobgoblin slavdriver, and Skylxus drank in the sight with all the glee that a weaker creature can muster at the utter subjugation of someone greater and stronger than himself.

“My, my. Me knees be damned if it isn’t Qurluk the great himself who grovels in the dust,” snarled Skylxus with a leer that twisted his kife-cut face. He reeled in the whip and nonchalantly juggled with a fat knife in one hand, tossing and spinning it with disregard for his own fingers’ health.

“Noo! Uh! NO!” wailed the slave Orc in protest. The high pitch was unbefitting for such a mighty creature, whose dark and gruff tones usually were the dread of settlers, nomads and beasts alike. Though the wretch’s hands and feet between them only had enough digits for one full hand and one full foot, he scrambled to rise, knowing where such special attention from the overseers would land him.

A savage kick in the small of his back sent the large Orc grabbling to the ground, flying flat on his starved belly. That violence was sweet to Skylxus, and he wanted no one to miss his moment of supremacy.

“HALT! Hold yer steps you maggots, or I’ll gut yer lousy skinbags and strangle you all with yer own intestines!” roared the Hobgoblin and planted his sandalled foot on Qurluk’s messy back, pinning the brute more by fear than by weight.

The slavedriver’s few colleagues dealt out strikes, prods, pinches, kicks and lashes and yelled at their slave flock to turn about and face the head whipper. As always, the sight of the measly gang of Hobgoblins with spears and whips lording it over the many more and much stronger Orcs was an offense to the order of things as set down by the gods who had shaped the world. The situation was surreal and unthinkable, had not those devil tribes of Ashen Dwarfs figured out ways to make the most unbending, proud and wild berzerkers in all of the inhabited world yield under their yoke. Of course, to break the spirit of something as strong and independent as an Orc required a degree of crushing brutality and cruel finesse that very nearly broke the body unto death, but the lardy stunted ones had figured out just the right balance, as was evident in the enslaved Orcs’ starved, shackled, torn and mutilated bodies…

The miserable view of the slave Orc throng herded by the gangly Hobgoblins made Skylxus Wartface cackle with hoarse and rasping laughter. The imbecilles! Just look at their wretchedness!

“As I said, if ye had the sense to listen, this here on the ground is THE great Manstomper heeself,” spat the slavedriver and performed a theatrical mock bow to his audience. “Ladeez and gentle-Orcs, may I present to you the mighty warlord, the fear of Humans and Orcs alike and the thunder of the steppes? The cleaver of two thousand skulls and the ripper of tents. The drinker of blood, oh my! The puller of monster claws and the crusher of families, the one and only Orc king Qurluk!”

The other Hobgoblins sniggered and grinned between themselves. The watching Orcs stood dumb and lost in their shackles staring at the world from a little corner of their minds which their essence had retreated into when cruel oppressors wrecked their pride, their sanity and sense of self. Some drooled, some had jaws hanging slack from excessive blows, while some few sported no jaws at all after some punishment or capricious whim. Such a pathetic gaggle of broken ones hardly cared to see one of their own, and a leader at that, sprawled on the sand and gravel like a heap of filth. For filth he was, and so were they, and they wished nothing but to be left alone, caring not for others and being still alive only because the gods had made the will for life strong indeed in all mortals. Oh, the degradation on display was sweet like honey to Skylxus’ red eyes.

“But is he truly your king?” asked the slavedriver harshly. The whistling of the wind, the snickering of Hobgoblins and the clink of chain links was the only answer. Skylxus set his whip and knife in his belt, bowed down and picked up a huge tool, holding it with trembling arms over his hat-crowned head.

“No! He is Shovel the slave, property of the Temple of Kardrunnak in Zuppar and part of canal-digging gang Fifty-Four! and this dungfly has dropped his tool. Bloody useless! Mayhap he has pretensions of royalty to distract himself? Could that be why Shovel forgets himself? How can you be Shovel without yer shovel?”

Upon raising this question, Skylxyus flicked the heavy tool down onto the head of once-Qurluk. The Orcish skull cracked audibly at the impact, and his head collapsed feebly to the ground.

“But let’s be understanding for once, shall we? The mistake is easy to make. For Shovel do look like Qurluk the great, but this cannot be! Shovel is Shovel, and no more than a tool.”

The band of slave Orcs stood limply with hanging arms, blinking at the bewildering speech. The Hobgoblin slavedrivers, on the other hand, started to cackle among themselves. They were more clever than some dumb Orcs and caught that drift all right. All of them stepped forth, surrounding the lying slave on the ground, grabbing hold of him and turning him over so that all in attendance could see properly.

“Since Shovel’s face is such a source of trouble, let us relieve the poor fellow,” barked Skylxus Wartface harshly and drew his thick knife with impatience. His companions tightened their grips on Shovel and produced his head for ease of reach. And then, in that savage act of flaying, did the stark utter cruelty on public display finally reach through the apathy of Qurluk’s kinsfolk, and a glimmer of primal fear and recognition of their own brutish treatment struck a chord in the jaded hearts of broken slave Orcs. And they cringed and bayed and whimpered, not daring to move a foot unless they, too, would receive a similar treatment.

Yet the show was not over yet. When the slavedriver had finished carving into the weakly struggling head of Shovel, he grabbed hold of the skin and drew it off with both hands, planting a sandalled foot on the Orc’s shoulder to brace himself. Blood glistened on the Hobgoblin as he raised the slack hide of Shovel’s face to the skies and kicked the victim on his newly exposed face musculature.

“Haha! And now he’ll eat it!” cackled the slavedriver, and forced once-warlord Qurluk to devour his own visage and so become one of the faceless mass of slaves who laboured under the cruel dominion of the Ashen Dwarfs and their sadistic middlemen. Life was short and unforgiving and you had to enjoy what triumphs you could before someone ended you.

Then the march went on as if nothing had happened.

And that night, near the site of overlord Hashdrubael’s newly started irrigation canal, Skylxus Wartface slept very well indeed under his ragged blankets by the crackling campfire.

________________________________

“Chop-chop,

chop-fed!
Drop-drop,
drop-dead!
Lop-lop-lop,
lop off his head!

We’ve cut off the heads of a thousand mountain Ogres,
and the heads of a thousand-thousand sea Elves!

We now want the heads of a thousand-thousand-thousand hillmen,
and then the heads of a thousand-thousand-thousand-thousand steppe Orcs!

One man has cut off the heads of a thousand-thousand-thousand-thousand-thousand marsh Goblins,
for no man has ever drank so much wine as this man has of blood poured out!

Chop-chop,
chop-fed!
Drop-drop,
drop-dead!
Lop-lop-lop,
lop off his head!”

- The Beheading Song, a marching song also popular among Ashen Dwarf children.

Also, got an entry in for Artisan’s Contest XXII purely by accident. Had been painting Orc heads and Hobgoblins for display pictures, and while being bitten by the painting bug I took the opportunity to finish a couple of promised emissaries, a bull-masked one to Fuggit Khan (because he’s had enough hats in his hands to last three lifetimes) and a fire rune fellow to Carcearion. Both were quick-sculpted conversions over a Warhammer plastic Dwarf:

I’ve not gotten anything more sculpted on 28mm evil dwarfs since the matron. Exhaustion from lots of work (not least emergency courtesy of Photobucket) and a need to rest set in, and I merely doodled some instead. Steam is building up again, and it’ll be time for a long promised non-fantasy project to launch, updates soon I hope. As such, better post the current state of the admiral sculpt, since it may be many months before work on him is resumed and the character kit is finished:

Also, as can be seen here in greater detail, the Kuthuvud of Skintaxmountain (will serve as a Chaos slavedriver giant in an Infernal Dwarf army) is now finished as a conversion. Its proud owner has finished it by making a mechanical arm, a whip and some bandages. I helped him with this project by quick-sculpting bits during tournaments and when driving home from tournaments this year. The weirdest bits (the ones first thought to be jokes) were done to the specifications of him and a friend of his:

[spoiler][/spoiler]

In due time, updates will resume here, have no fear.

Deathspitter Blunderbusses of Ancient Times

These neat figures were sculpted by Jon Horsleben back in 2013, intended for casting. I was one of those on Warseer who waited to see them cast, and told the sculptor I’d purchase a lot, to which he replied he would make me make good on my word. Then healthy family life got in the way for this Danish sculptor, and radio silence descended.

A while ago, Bloodbeard saw Jon offering these sculpts along with some unfinished ones for sale, and gave me a tip about this opportunity. Having purchased the sculpts from mister Horsleben, I proceeded to carve out a shallow indentation into the blunderbuss mouths to avoid flat bongo drum syndrome. Better give a hint of depth, if ever so slight. Other quick realism details included sidearms for everyone (Jon had already equipped one with an axe, neat!) more rivets and armour straps. Shortly these are off to casting, and will be the first rank and file miniatures in the range.

There will have to be more practice before I can attempt several similar same-sized, symmetrical rank and files miniatures myself. In the meanwhile, we might see some fresh work from mister Horsleben, and see his unfinished old sculpts finished by me. But first, in the short future, will be a post-apocalyptic sculpting detour, then finishing the Grand Admiral figure.

While rummaging around for vases and bits and bobs to send off for casting, I stumbled across an old work in progress piece. You might recognize it from the sketch in the first post:

It is intended to be a prophet carried on a tiny platform by two crab-walking bearers. They are muscular and sorcerously and alchemically enlarged by brawn and girth to better carry their master around. The bearers’ hands are locked into tight iron boxes, yet to be finalized. It is on a 25mm base due to size and also because it is for a friend’s WoC/DoC army, to be used as a sorceror. It’s been on hold for years as more serious sculpting matters cropped up, mainly courtesy of Bloodbeard who got me into sculpting for casting.

Would you be interested in this miniature if it was finished? Meaning the bearers will not be greatly altered (only surface stuff like improved musculature and rivets). The prophet on top is however open for all manner of designs, including being semi-petrified.

I’d like to hear your thoughts, and indeed your ideas for the hat-crowned creature carried around!

Now, it will be a rather long while before I get back to Ashen Dwarf sculpting, and when I do the grand admiral sculpt needs to be finished first. But when the time comes, this project could very well make it into the queue. It would probably be sensible to base him on a 40mm square or 32mm round base depending on your game of choice.

W.I.P. 15mm Tjubling Artillery (On Hold or Aborted)

These pieces were worked on last autumn, courtesy of a very kind offer by CDO’s energetic enthusiast Carcearion (check out his bitz forge!). Tjub had originally just planned to buy warmachines from other producers for his own army, yet Carcearion whipped together some snazzy 3D-models, had them printed and shipped to me to complete into masters for casting. Note in particular the lightning bolt wheel spokes of Carcearion’s designs:

What especially hooked me for the project was the cheapness of 15mm models. In 28mm scale, having a metal team of draft animals, ammunition wagons and artillery paraphernalia would mean a hefty price rise. Yet in 15mm, things are rather small and cheap as is, so this was the perfect chance to get some realism stuff for artillery going that I long had wished for in other models. Note that ammunition sleds were chosen instead of wagons for pure simplicity over an amateur making spoked wheels.

However, Tjub changed his mind and have currently plans for warmachinery of his own. As such, my side project is on hold or aborted. Since Tjub is back and itching for more Tjublings (he’s got some crazy ideas brewing), I’ll send these over to him just in case anything would happen be of use in future projects of his. If not, it’s possible that I return to the artillery oxen teams in the distant future, or make some bull chariot and mobile altar out of them.

Whatever happens with these 15mm work pieces of mine in the future, I would like to thank Carcearion earnestly for his great help and enthusiastic volunteer offer to the Tjubling project!

Since long-term storage rather than realization soon is on the menu, here are the things:

Reference:

These models, sculpted by Jon Horsleben, are out now. They were fun to paint!


The sandstorm howled in the night, blasting all before it with a barrage of whirling sand clouds. It was said that sandstorms were whipped up by Nunkarba to conceal her romantic escapades with chosen creatures, male gods, spirits and men from the prying eyes of mortals. A veil of love. It was said that all the demigods, heroes and monsters were conceived during sandstorms, and were born during flooding of the river plains, and that the blowing sand was gulped up and spat into the air by Daemonic spirits. A veil of secrecy. It was said that the godess Nunkarba hated mortals who dared a sandstorm so much that she sought to blind, choke and bury anyone seeking to steal a glimpse of her rutting adventures. A veil of death.

These myths rang ominously inside the head of Yarlagab the hillman as he adjusted the linen marching veil that failed to ward off the worst teeth of the ravenous blasts of airborne sand and dust. How many men had not died the sand death before him? How many bones from desert creatures and stray plain beasts did not litter the wasteland after these storms? Yet brave it they did, the strapping human youth of Namulki, the proud hill tribe of Orc-slayers and cattle rustlers, for it was known that no sane folks stayed outside during a sandstorm. Thus only men of great daring and hardy endurance could struggle through the spitting Daemons to fall upon weak city people during a time when all sentries were guaranteed to huddle inside their huts and towers, hiding from the nightmare winds.

And fall upon, they would! For the warriors of Namulki would burn the wagon camp of the devil Dwarfs and strangle the hated foe with their own intestines after force-feeding the runts their own coiled beards! The blood ran hot in Yarlagab’s veins just from thinking of it, and so he gritted his teeth and pressed on, crawling up a stony hillside, just as dozens of fellow young men did all around the hillock. He could neither see, nor hear, nor smell anyone of them, for although they kept close by, the blowing sand obscured them from view and hearing. Yarlagab could as well have been left alone, yet he knew he was not abandoned, for he had many times trusted his poverty-stricken kinsmen with his life. They would make it through the hail of the sandspitters. They would slaughter the midgets in the dark of night. They would win, and they would carry off rich booty!

The ascent was arduously slow, yet Yarlagab persevered for a long time, clawing himself free from building sand dunes around his body and crawling on all four in the only clear direction: Upward. He clenched his eyelids together and ground his heels and elbows into the ground, scraping off hide and bleeding from stones and thorns. Occassionally he used his spear to help push himself forward. He could see nothing for all the sand and night, yet once, he could swear he glimpsed a scorpion dancing away from a sharp stone that his knees dislodged from the ground. He went through the warding gestures and spoke the enchanted words and trusted in the protection of the gods to keep him safe. All the gods, save from fair Namulki and the deities of deathly desolation. They were not to be trusted in this harsh place, in this veiling storm.

After a long while, Yarlagab discerned a broad shadow rising from the ground mere feet before his eyes. They had all scouted the Ashen Dwarf campsite before nightfall, shortly before the fortunate, yet oh so painful sandstorm had struck the desert wastes, so they all knew to huddle close to the makeshift barricades and silently search for other kinsmen nearby, circling the wagon fort. The bloody intruders knew the danger of raiders crawling beneath the wagons, so they had shut down hinged bronze plates from the underside of the vehicles, adorned with curse runes and spikes to keep attackers out, locked in place and unmoving. Yet for all this ingenuity, lithe men could easily climb inside the wagon fort. Such tricks would avail them nothing.

Yarlagab slowly crept alongside the barricade, deafened by the howling winds and assailed by a smattering of sand. It was not long before he discovered most of his fellow warriors and joined their gathering. Squinting and leaning in close, they were able to exchange hand motions, thereby passing on silent word from the raid leader, Toabekes the Scalped. He was obviously counting his followers, and soon he became content, for the signal to attack was passed down among the men. At last!

The sandstorm hit Yarlagab with full force as he straightened and rose up. He gripped his spear overhead and ran up close behind his friends and cousins, following their lead and darting around the corner of an iron wagon into the devil Dwarfs’ camp. Darting…

…into a trap.

The flared muzzles of the arcane metal devices loomed in lines before him, much obscured by billowing sand. Yarlagab first froze in his tracks, then caught his senses and charged straight at the foe, lunging with his spear at thick helmets. But he knew it was too late. He had glimpsed the eyes of the devil Dwarf right in front of him. There was no remorse in those eyes, only cruel delight in the ambush.

As sparks ignited amid the sandstorm and nightly darkness, Yarlagab learnt in a din and in a hail of lead that there was something worse in those howling winds than spiteful desert Daemons. Something worse than even the wrath of an uncloaked goddess:

Deathspitters!

As you can see over here, the new Rotten Circus brings with it something of possible interest to evil Dwarf collectors. Available through Kickstarter, and later also through Rotten Factory’s webstore. Sculpted by me on the fly, as it were:

Reference:

Painted one quarter of a wall relief plate for a quick and dirty Golden Hat entry. Blazing Taurus theme based upon this myth:

These are at long last up on Admiralty Miniatures now.

Hobgoblin Assassin of Ancient Times.

The harbour slums of Karzhukulti-Neppur were an unsavioury chaos of winding backstreets and dead ends, all ramshackle sheds and overcrowded brick houses built without a plan. Only some of its stinking streets were paved with cobblestones and leftover bricks, and yet the thick layers of filth would often give you the impression that you were walking down a dirt road. A very dirty one indeed.

Such was the unsentimental home of Kyssarka, the scarred harbour skulker that styled himself as a Hobgoblin assassin. His trade was the knifing down of people from behind. Their deaths fuelled his scrawny life. Everything he owned came from theft and murder. Kyssarka’s boar’s tusk helmet was the trophy from sneaking up behind a drunk warrior from the steppes one moonless night. His current garb and bronze breastplate came from a couple of other unattentive scum. Kyssarka was used to shed dress like a serpent shed its skin. It allowed him to switch persona and seem to be something he wasn’t.

Of course, more than once the one-eyed Hobgoblin had awoken, slashed by blades and left to bleed out on some dung heap. Stripped of all possessions. Those were bad moments, but somehow he had survived thus far, and he had always been able to steal knives or strangle someone from behind to start all over again.

It had been a tumultuous life. And it would be a short one. That much Kyssarka knew as he tip-toed up behind yet another victim with drawn blades. He was still young, and likely wouldn’t live to suffer old age. Sooner or later luck would abandon him to a grissly end. There was nothing to it, he thought, but to trust that fortune would favour the bold.

He raised his knives to strike.

Admiral of the Dark Bell Tower, sculpted by Fuggit Khan.

Admiral Azhakur Grimclaw, son of Merdak son of Erzhannupar the Cruel, whirled around just in time to catch his would-be killer at point blank range. There was no escaping the murderous hailshot of his flared boarding pistol.

The Hobgoblin that had sneaked up on him froze mid-stride, its one beady eye staring down the black mouth of the handgun. Its unknown client would not have its will come true this day. Azhakur did not even bother with trying to capture and torture the wretch for information. Whoever wanted his life would know how to use middlemen and secrecy to throw off all attempts at tracing back to the source.

“The pleasure is mine,” barked the Admiral, and fired.

Only then did his scattered bodyguards emerge from the dark doorways of surrounding shanties. They had long ago ceased their protests at occassions like this. Their chief had his odd ways, and they knew he lived for the thrill of cheating death. Years of steaming at the high sea awaited them, and who knew how many months would pass in routine boredom on board before their first victims on the waves would give Azhakur Grimclaw his next violent encounter? They knew from experience that it was better for the dreaded Admiral to have his fun in the harbour slums before the voyage, rather than having him cut up too many of the fleet’s slave labour force out of restlessness.

Azhakur moved his big pistol close to his moustache and blew off the smoke before handing it to one of his retainers to reload. It was but one of many tasks which one-handed Grimclaw had to rely on his crew to accomplish.

The Ashen Dwarves left the messy remains of the assassin to the rats, and proceeded to the busy quays of Karzhukulti-Neppur where the flotilla made ready for departure. The Admiral would bid farewell to his first wife and firstborn son as tradition demanded, before scouring the ocean like a shark.

Mother and Child of Ancient Times & Enslaved Elf of Ancient Times.

“Father will not approve if you haven’t managed to learn how to punish slaves properly by the time he returns, son,” chided Zirabanit, daughter of Erkulla daughter of Mupallimat the Fertile. Her firstborn son Kalbuknezhar was all of twain dozen autumns old, and he did not yet ken how to handle the thralls! Respectable clans in Karzhukulti-Neppur would start to talk if this went on for longer.

“Yes, ma,” replied Kalbuknezhar son of Azhakur Grimclaw son of Merdak. Mother and child both stood in silence for a while on the docks, clasping hands and staring out across the dark waters at the vanishing smoke columns at the horizon. It was a dangerous life at sea, but her husband Azhakur had managed to survive so far, although not in one piece. His right hand apparently rested in the gut of some giant sea monster, against whom the Admiral had woved revenge.

“Luckily father bought this enslaved Elf for you to practice on, son,” said Zirabanit and nodded at the horrible lanky wretch who stood groaning at his knees beside her. “Elves are luxury slaves and cost a fortune when there hasn’t been a good catch recently. Do appreciate how much we lavish on your upbringing, son.”

“Yes, ma.”

She dragged her son around and lifted her rolling pin, symbol of lifegiving, of breadmaking and of mistresship of the household in her husband’s absence. She ignored her attendant slave servants and bodyguards out of lifelong habit.

The scalped Elf tried to bandage his stumped arm with one hand. Admiral Azhakur Grimclaw had decided to break the Elven spirit by breaking the Elven body. Zirabanit approved. Such vigour was becoming of her husband’s virile strength, and set a good example for their son to follow. But perhaps her child needed some more demonstration to learn how it was done? She raised her rolling pin.

“You hit them firmly on the head like THIS, little Kalbuknezhar!”

“Yes, ma!”

Standard Bearer of the Dark Bell Tower, sculpted by Fuggit Khan.

The roar of the enemy army overpowered the thunder of marching feet and cloven hooves in the ears of Turhak-Lunammu, son of Erzhamkar son of Zhargon. Dust billowed all around them, mixing with the smoke of gunpowder and fires to obscure the view. The screeching of the wounded and the sound of gunfire volleys played a tune that rose to a staccato as cohorts opened fire all along the battleline. This devil’s music deafened the ears when the next artillery salvo broke loose. It was hell on earth, and it was the most glorious sight he had ever beheld.

The warriors around Turhak-Lunammu formed a shield wall, presenting a front of steel and bronze to the incoming foe. Third and fourth ranks threw their naphtha grenades to break up the hostile charge.

His blood was boiling, pulsating in his ears and raising his spirit high. Standard bearer Turhak-Lunammu found himself hoisting the black script standard of Karzhukulti-Neppur high into the air. He took up a battle chant, into which his fellow soldiers soon joined in. As one creature, they all roared their commander’s name:

“Azhakur! Azhakur! Azhakur!”

The enemy warriors hit their shieldwall like a stampede, and slaughter ensued.

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Lothern Infiltrator 00L



Flaming light flickered between colonnaded shadows. The ruddy light was cast not only by torches and braziers, for it emanated also from molten metal, ensorcelled lava and far worse substances harvested from an otherworldly realm beyond the ken of mortals to comprehend. It was a glowering light, an angry light, a hungry light. If the snorting of a bull could ever come off as light, this would be it. And indeed, it was.

Through the dark halls of the Temple strode a majestic figure, bedecked in garb so ostentatious as to make any lesser acolyte prostrate themselves against the floor at the mere sight of it. Dawi Zharr thrust their countenances into the dirt on the obsidian floors, while Hobgoblin servants slunk back into the shadows of nooks and crannies, too wise of capricious overlord violence to ever wish to be seen by such a towering Dwarf of Fire. The striding figure was clearly a Dawi Zharr of His anointed priesthood, no doubt about it. A single glance at the regal paraphernalia of the venerable Sorcerer-Prophet struck fear into slaves and slavedrivers alike. Luxurious banner poles held aloft two lazily flapping pennants. Only the highest castes were allowed such items of office! Even other Sorcerer-Prophets instinctively bowed in respect to the strange gestalt, for how could they do otherwise when the mighty one sported a slave dedicated to supporting his giant crowning headgear? Not even they had a hat thrall!

All around, Bull Centaurs, the guardians of the Temple of Hashut, gave way, and even they seemed to be on the verge of trembling at the sight of the lordly Sorcerer-Prophet. Such an overmighty display of power and wealth walked there! Such a cruel overlord, ancient beyond the ken of lesser inductees into the Cult of Hashut! And amid all the loud brass clangs and hoof stomps and roaring fires of the inner sanctum of the holy Temple, no one realized that the great one moved without making so much as a whisper of a sound. Such a heavyset Sorcerer-Prophet ought to have made the ground shake at his tread, yet his nimble feet moved with the grace of swans. Had anyone been wise enough to notice the walk of the feet, they would have wondered at the undwarfish movements, yet they did not notice, for all they could see was the almighty grand hat on the head of the glaring Sorcerer-Prophet, for that hat was graced by a flame-snorting bull’s head, and that bull’s head had Daemonic eyes inside it that moved…

Inside the hot disguise, Lothern infiltrator 00L adjusted the shoulder rests for the giant onion hat inside which he walked. He had eschewed of gloves in order to not risk slipping on the sweaty handles of the fake arms that stuck out from beneath the hat. The disguise was a ludicrous creation, so audacious and so outlandish that it had actually worked. The Lothern artisans who had fashioned it had drawn the designs from hundreds of witness drawings and looted trophies found in the great Asur capital. The chief designer among them had concluded that these despicable fallen Dwarfs did not dabble in elegance, unlike the refined High Elves of Ulthuan. Instead, the haughty chief designer Nesrauti had concluded, they could get away with anything as long as they loaded the disguise with a garish amount of ostentation in layer upon layer. “Like an onion, indeed! Haha, onion, get it? For the headgear itself is shaped in such a way,” the chief designer had smirked.

And so it was. The smug urbanite who had headed the design of the disguise had been astonishingly correct in his insight. All they had needed was to find a plucky Halfling to dress up as a Hobgoblin of the Dark Lands to assist Agent 00L, and off they went. The intelligence steward of the eyes-and-ears Annex had insisted upon the Halfling companion: Apparently the thieving sneaks were experts at infiltrating such dark hearts of ashen empires of fire and slavery. He had been correct as well. Who could have believed that such a rotund little jolly creature could have endured the baleful hardships of such harsh realms steeped in mysticism and crushing hierarchy?

A full score of Bull Centaurs up ahead heaved and snorted as they slowly opened the enormous bronze gates to the Priestly Sanctum. Inside waited an entire conclave of the most powerful and ruthless warlords and semi-petrified magicians this misbegotten breed of beardos had ever produced. Matters of greatest importance would be discussed, and all the most valuable information would flow right into the ears of a High Elf infiltrator. Who could ever have thought that a towering Elf could ever had disguised himself as a Dwarf?! These foul midget worshippers of Chaos would come to rue the day that they had initiated their phallic arms race in headgear size.

Agent 00L indulged himself with a smirk inside the grand crown hat that he wore, and entered the sanctum with unbreakable confidence in the disguise.

The Bull Centaurs howled an unholy mantra, and the doors closed behind him with the clang of slain titans.


After 6 years of hobby hiatus, my brother has at last returned to Warhammer and gained some extra lifespark of vigour and initiative in the bargain. We have resumed work on all manner of High Elf projects of his. It’s great to have him back!

We also cooked up a new project, namely that of a model to poke fun at the hordes of Elf haters over on Chaos Dwarfs Online. It is a reference to the Byzantine spy network of the Asur in Warhammer Fantasy. The plan was to enter this miniature into Golden Hat XXXVIII, yet this the 29th entry was not finished in time since I am not a fast painter. It took something like 4 full days to paint it! I had half a mind to extend the contest again with a couple of days, but we were scheduled to go on a ski vacation very soon, and CDO members were eager to see the contest entries, so I had to drop out and make the voting thread since we would be away for a full week. Then, yesterday, it turned out that the ski holiday had to be pushed forward several days, leaving me with time to finish Agent 00L of Lothern anyway. Clearly, Hashut spotted the trickery and did not approve! :smiley:

The plan was to trick the good folk of Chaos Dwarfs Online by first making them think it was @tjub 's entry because of the face, and then see how many spotted the deception.

Did you see the ruse in the pictures?

Cheers!

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This is unbelievable, your sculpting is amazing, your old tutorials helped me alot in figuring out how to sculpt different textures and materials. Is all the artwork yours as well, because I love the black and white stuff. Can’t wait to see more mate, I’m in awe. :cd2010:

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Quite an amazing model Admiral. That hat is a wonder on it’s own! Would have been competition for the top spots I suspect, and worth the extra wait if needed to finish. I suspect no one would begrudge an extension when that close to the finish. The Tjub influence is clear and would have been a marvelous ruse indeed. Well done!

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Wonderful @Admiral! Smart plan there, I actually saw the face and thought that’s a very non Mathias way of sculpting… :grin: Great to see that you are back doing some big hat work!

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@Dedled : Wow, thank you kindly! It warms my heart to hear that the tutorials have been helpful. Hooray! :smiley:

Of course it’s mine, I wouldn’t post someone else’s artwork in my log, unless it was a commission, in which case I’d write out the artist’s name. Cheers!

@Jackswift : Thanks a lot! Glad to hear the ruse is appreciated, haha!

The extension rodeo came unexpectedly. We were going away on a full week’s ski vacation, and I thought it was too much for everyone to wait just for me to get home, and then finish my entry. Then plans changed after I had posted the voting thread, and the ski trip was pushed forward a couple of days, leaving me time to finish the miniature anyways. No matter. :smiley:

@tjub : Haha, take that face surprise, you Tjubling. :wink:

Thanks! There will be more in the future, just not too soon. The plan is to chew through several art commissions, reboot the anti-burnout exercise program (Christmas and New Year’s celebrations got in the way and overloaded me, leading to lengthy exhaustion; otherwise it was working really fine up until the happy holiday season), sculpt Imperial Guard parts for a friend, and then a non-big hat CD project will be tackled. After that, count on seeing more big hats, both sculpts and doodles and writing!

A hastily doodled entry into Artisan’s Contest XXXIX, where the theme was to come up with a new 1980s style Chaos Dwarf unit:

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Wax Seal Stamps by MichaelX

The very handy and skilled Chaos Dwarfs Online Daemonsmith MichaelX, of Asscannon infamy, was kind enough to whip up these wax seal stamps, print and send them to me prior the Christmas 2021 Anno Domini. The leftmost rune is a symbol I made up for my own Chaos Dwarf army. The middle symbol is that of Infernal Dwarves in the Ninth Age (note Babylonian god horns on the hat). The rightmost is the Rune of Hashut in Warhammer Fantasy.

Huge thanks to @MichaelX for these beauties.

Many homemade Christmas presents were sealed, in the name of Hashut!

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