Battle for Skull Pass – AKA the Warhammer Fantasy Battle 7th Edition Starter Box.
In November last year, for some reason I got it into my head to delve into one of my figure boxes and paint up a bunch of Dwarves. Specifically, to go through and paint a bunch of the Battle for Skull pass plastics that I’d picked up from eBay, WargamerAU and my mate, Damo. I think the idea popped into my brain since I’d been painting and finishing a few Slayers around the time and getting stuck into other random dwarves (which I’ve been sharing recently).
Skull Pass Dwarves in Horde Mode.
By mid-November, I’d actually gathered them up, and selected the figures I was going to paint, and then got into them properly over December. Batch painted, they’re no works of art, but since there were 40 of them and work cranks itself up around November into December, I didn’t get them finished before work broke up for Christmas, as was the plan. All because of their overly-complex sculpted shields. After a few days of rest, I got stuck back into them again, but Marouda bought me Watch Dogs 2 which then proceeded to eat all of my time after I installed it and started playing it. I seriously played for near-17 hours the day I properly started it. From 8am until 1am. Sure, that’s with breaks, but still… I’m almost done with the game now, and I don’t even play it every day to get it done. A couple more hours and it should be done.
Skull Pass Dwarves ranked on movement trays. With a few spares for later…
These were a pretty quick and simple job for me, though every element is still highlighted and shaded, I did so with an intent of making a solid tabletop standard, rather than my usual care. At one point, I decided that I wanted them to look more work and war-weary than some of the others. Like they’ve been on campaign rather than having just left the keep in freshly washed uniforms. This was because I’d been looking at my unassembled boxes of Warlord’s Napoleonic French Line Lancers while washing my brushes (which I’d bought to turn into some sort of not-Brettonian army).
Napoleonics with helmets instead of big hats? Colour me slightly interested…
I got to thinking about how Napoleonic uniforms in miniature form always seem so bright, perfect and pristine when the actuality would have been much more filthy and worn. Like in that Napoleon show with Boromir Stark in it. With that percolating in my mind, I decided to hit them all with a brown wash, but then brighten up their axes, helms and paint the shields last – as I felt that Dwarves would always look after their wargear above all else.
Alec Trevelyan and friends, showing off the always-pristine uniforms of the period.
I mentioned the shields earlier. They were a hassle, and basically the reason these figures weren’t finished in December 2016, which would have broken my 2015 record/target and not caused me to fail to submit in the final month of the Tale of Gamers challenge I ran on Dakka. Of course there were other reasons. Watch Dogs 2 and burnout/exhaustion from working every day of the week for a period at the end of the year, but the shields were the final hurdle.
The Old and the New, united by a colour scheme and shield design.
If I were painting these models with no “history”, I’d probably have simply painted the Hammer-and-Anvil motif a nice bronze, much like the Dwarf-Mask bling on the Standard bearers. The thing is, when I started to paint the models, I realised that the same design was much older, and is featured on the (Marauder Miniatures) Dwarf Shields that one of my old, Oldhammer Norse dwarves has (and I have a few of these shields left to break out). Since I wanted the new to fit in with the old, being from the same clan(s), I wanted to make sure that they matched. Which meant going from a simple paint/wash/drybrush scheme to one that needed 10 different colours/applications. While keeping it simple. When doing it to almost 40 models, that takes time. Bleugh.
My freshly painted BFSP Dwarves, led by an Oldhammerer Dwarf.
What’s next for the Dorfs? Well, I appear to (almost) have a complete BFSP set between the various secondhand sets I’ve purchased. I’m just short the Dwarven rifles, so I’m going to see if I can get another unit or two painted before I burn out on Dwarves…
The Battle For Skull Pass Dwarves.