Time for another game of Q13, so time to get the space Dwarves back onto the tabletop to battle another of my so-far-untested forces: the Tah-Sig.
This would be an encounter battle fought across a battlefield consisting of crop fields separated by a series of access roads and narrow strips of open ground. The storyline was that this time it was the Dwarves who were the aggressors: outnumbering the Tah-Sig by a fair amount and needing to get as many units as possible off the table on the Tah-Sig side.
Finally finished the last of the Boontown Space Dwarves: a platoon of Clansmen.
Now if you remember, when I started painting the Boontown figures, I was quite disparaging about the quality of the sculpting. I felt the Shaker cannon was, quite frankly, not a very good model, and the crew figures very average if not poor.
I changed my mind a bit about the range with their T-26 walkers, and a bit more with their Hearthguard, but the Clansmen have definitely reversed my opinion.
These are great fun figures with nice, clear definition, especially on the faces/beards and their Schwarzenegger-like arms. Okay, so the guns are still a bit crap, but overall I like them. Not “recommended”, but still a worthwhile addition to any Space Dwarf force.
And that, for the Space Dwarves, should be that. As far as I know, I now have every 15mm Space Dwarf/Squat/Grudd etc figure out there in the marketplace. If I haven’t, please let me know, and I will remedy the situation asap!
Right: onto the Yom Kippur war figures forming a significant layer of the lead mountain…
I’ve almost cleared all the 15mm sci-fi dwarves from my lead mountain! Just one more contingent to go, and I’m half way through them.
Meanwhile, here’s the last of the Grudd infantry from Onslaught Miniatures. They are the chaps who produce some really lovely (and complete) sci-fi ranges in 6mm, and a couple of lines of 15mm figures too.
One of those 15mm lines is the Grudd: effectively sci-fi dwarves. Regular readers will know that the basic infantry types (Clansmen, Demolishers, Siege Breakers) have already been finished and logged…so here are the Iron Lords in their superheavy armour and the Drudgers (militia types):
Iron Lords (left) and Drudgers (above)
I honestly can’t recommend these enough. Beautifully cast cubist space dwarves with a variety of very cool weaponry. Painting them as shown is easy: a metallic undercoat that becomes the top coat for the armour, then faces, beards and weapons in different colours. Highlight with some bright unit markings and you’re away.
As my recent painting has been almost wholly focused on clearing all the sci-fi dwarves from my lead mountain, I thought it was only right and proper to get them onto the table again for my next game of Quadrant 13. It would also be a good opportunity to give the Xar (six-legged “critters” from GZG) their first outing.
As you can see from my last few posts, I’m on a bit of a painting jag at the moment.
I’d like to say that this is gradually clearing my lead mountain but, of course, every time I complete a unit, I check the range it comes from and usually end up buying more figures to either fill in the gaps of what I’ve got or to cover new releases.
This is certainly true of this last week. I painted the Onslaught Miniatures engineers and promptly ordered the new Iron Lords. I painted the figures below, and promptly ordered the previously-out-of-stock battlebikes. And don’t even get me started on the boxes arriving from Battlefront as a result of their 25% off Arab-Israeli sale! I think I’ve just go to come to terms with the fact that for every figure I paint I add a few more to the lead mountain…but at least it means that I’ll live for ever!
So on to today’s offering.
As I’m trying to collect every type of 15mm sci-fi dwarf out there (I know: not a good way to reduce the lead mountain), I duly ordered a couple of units of the Boontown Miniatures range as soon as it launched.
Good service, but not the sort of figures I usually buy: I like my figures very crisp and clean (but hard to paint well, especially with my rudimentary skills!) rather than the more normal Boontown range. Leaving that aside, however, I eased myself into the range by painting the artillery (Shaker cannons) and the walkers (T-26 walkers).
The Shaker Cannons are typical of what I mean. I didn’t like these at all. You’ve got a hi-tech rear end (looks a bit like the front of a VW Beetle complete with headlights and bumper) then an awful wooden chassis, awful crude-iron wheels, and a screen that looks like it’s been knocked together by orcs!
I quite like the idea of a hedgehog-like piece of artillery, but none of the four barrels are the same. Add in a couple of crew members that are not of the crisp and clean variety, and you have…yuk!
Anyhow, I’ve done my best and decided that these are knocked-together mining tools (presumably for lobbing explosives somewhere when strip mining or something) hence the reason for the crude construction and very bright white and red warning stripes.
In my humble opinion, these would do better as part of a low-tech sci-fi range, and don’t mix very well with the walkers:
These I like much more than the Shakers. Not quite sure why half the firepower points backwards, and why the gunner is unprotected in any way, but I do like the basic shape and stance, and the decided “chicken” look about them.
As I’ve decided that the Boontown dwarf base colour is brown, these are sprayed Mournfang Brown, then washed and highlighted, and with certain bits of equipment painted separately. I then added some decals I found in the bits box and off we go.
These are much more the thing, and have inspired me to have a go at the Hearthguard platoon, now drying after it’s undercoat.
This is really a post about the latest units that I’ve painted, but a post that also comes with two bits of advice.
The first piece of advice is “always buy those miniatures when you see them…as they might not be there later”.
This applies to the gruntling range from Cactus Games: space dwarves in 15mm. The standard infantry are okay: maybe a bit crude by some standards but at least they are properly dwarvish i.e. short. What are really nice, however, are the chaps in powered armour: very cubist in nature and some of my favourite 15mm sci-fi dwarf figures.
Cubist Exo-Skeletons from Cactus
I’m using the present tense here but, alas, Cactus have disappeared, taking their range with them. I mention this because searching through the lead mountain for something to paint whilst I waited for my latest Arab-Israeli figures to arrive, I came across two packs of Cactus miniatures that I hadn’t painted when I did the basic infantry and powered armour types: a set of motor-tricycles and a set of light support weapons.
The motor-trikes are great fun: very silly but full of character. They come in three bits: the front wheel and handlebars; the main body; and the chap in the turret with the gun. It was a little fiddly to get the front to glue properly to the back, but otherwise no probs.
And why is the lesson relevant? Well because I almost didn’t buy these when I bought the infantry. If I hadn’t gone for it then, then I wouldn’t have had these…ever.
The second lesson is “always put all your spare parts in a ‘bits box’”. This is because the light support weapon packs came with two crew figures but a very weedy-looking LSW on a very flimsy bipod. No matter: a quick dip into my bits box and I came up with enough meaty looking weapons to outfit the three teams. The guns are spare turret-mounted weapons from sci-fi vehicles, but I can’t remember the manufacturer. They do nicely as mining lasers adapted for combat.
The stands for the guns, btw, are hama beads. Always good to raid your children’s hama bead collection: they make very useful stands, dividers etc!
So there you have it: two more units for the space dwarves and two important lessons for wargamers everywhere.
Let me hear you say them again:
always buy those miniatures when you see them…as they might not be there later
If I played my sci-fi in 6mm, then Onslaught Miniatures would be my first port of call. A nice variety of figures with some quite deep ranges i.e. more than just one type of infantry and a support weapon: most of their ranges have got 20+ codes in them.
But I don’t: I play in 15mm…which is why it is so great that Onslaught have now expanded their collection to include 15mm versions of a limited number of their 6mm ranges.
Although I really liked the 15mm Sisterhood range (big women with big guns), they never really got going with it: releasing only a couple of codes and then seeming to go no further.
One 15mm range, however, that does have more than a couple of codes in it is their Grudd range. Whatever the official background, it’s obvious that these are normal-human-sized space dwarves.
The four-squad platoon above is a combination of their Grudd Clansmen, Siege Breakers and Demolishers and looks pretty spectacular, especially with all those outrageous power tools.
What I’m now hoping is that they expand their entire 6mm Grudd range into 15mm…
Some of you may wonder why so much of my own painting recently has been 15mm sci-fi rather than adding to my WW2 collection, the period I play most often.
Truth of the matter is, when I did a little add up on my lead mountain a year or so ago, I discovered that I had thirteen companies (yes, companies i.e. three platoons plus supports or around 100 figures) of different sci-fi figures lurking in the cupboard.
This seemed a bit excessive, even for me, so 2017 has been the year when I reduced that figure.
How am I doing? Well, so far I have painted the Xar, the Hura, the Tah-Sig, filled in the gaps in my Chuhuac, and added three platoons to my Dwarves i.e. have knocked five or so companies off the list.
That only leaves me with the Praesentia (ex Critical Mass), the Astagar (ex Critical Mass), the Foreign Legion (Khurasan), the Martians from AQOTMF (not sure now), the Alien Invasion aliens (Khurasan) plus assorted other platoons to add to my existing armies.
Here's the latest bit of sci-fi goodness to emerge from the painting table: Clear Horizon's hi grav space mercenaries or sci-fi dwarves to the rest of us.
Nice figures, plenty of character. Very dwarvish, but not very small (they tower above last week's Sons of Thunder from Rebel). And no separate platoon command figure, so I either buy another pack of eight and waste seven, or use a figure from someone else.
I'm still waiting for my twenty-two Polish 7TP tanks to arrive, so still picking at bits of the lead mountain to pass the time.
Today's offering is a couple of units that have been waiting for paint for some time. First up is the last of the Thrainites (space dwarves) from Khurasan: a squad of light mortar teams. Nice models that paint up well, but they are a slightly different size to the rest of the Thrainite figures. Not enough to stand out too much, but enough that I noticed!
Next up are more space dwarves, but this time from Rebel Miniatures. These are the two packs they have in their Sons of Thunder range: a basic infantry platoon, and then a smaller pack with some command figures and heavier weapons.
I mixed the two packs together and achieved three eight-dwarf squads, each with two Light Support Weapons, and a couple of Big Men. I even have five left over to man some kind of support weapon.
Now these figures are properly, dwarvishly small. Whereas Khurasan's Thrainites are easily approaching the normal height for a 15mm figure (and their command figure is more like 20mm), the Rebel Sons of Thunder are each only about a centimetre tall, if that. Seeing them in their sabot bases as in the photo, above, reminded me of playing with 10mm figures...but maybe that's exactly what space dwarves should look like. The clue is in the name!
Anyway, nice looking figures, just a shame the range isn't bigger.
It's hard to keep track of all the manufacturers of 15mm sci-fi figures: old ones keep disappearing or being acquired by other people, new ones spring up all the time.
Here's one new one whose website went live only about a week ago: Boon Town Metals.
Describing themselves as a niche figure manufacturer, they currently have two ranges: cyberpunk orcs (with a few other bits and pieces included) and sci-fi dwarves.
I have, of course, immediately purchased some of their dwarves. As you all know, my opinion is that, whenever you see miniatures that you like, you should buy them immediately as, if you don't, they can disappear from the scene without warning (e.g. Cactus dwarves where are you now?) so we'll see what these are like in the flesh.
Anyway, good luck to Boon Town, and hopefully they will be around for a long time.
Following on from yesterday's post, here's the second of the 'big' things I've finished despite now having the black paint needed for my Israeli infantry: an X-14A Raven Class VTOL from Clear Horizon Miniatures.
This is a cracking little kit that is really easy to put together: literally you just stick on the engine nacelles and the weapon pods and then paint. I modified the kit slightly by using a spare twin-MG turret from a Khurasan tank as the under-nose weapon.
As for painting, I sprayed the whole thing desert yellow, then covered patches of it with blue tac and then sprayed the whole thing again, this time in army green. This wasn't entirely successful, as the paint peeled away with the blue tac in a couple of places, but these were tiny little patches and a bit of a re-paint over the top with a brush just gave the thing a bit of a worn-in look.
I then washed the model in a light brown wash, painted the weapons in the pods, and then blacked in all the intakes. The cockpit was done in a dark green, and then given a shine with white lines...which also hasn't worked quite how I wanted it too, but looks okay.
I then used spare transfers from the Egyptian 6DW set from Battlefront to dress the Raven, and Bob's your uncle.
This will serve with my Space Dwarves: either as roving ground support or as a means to 'battlefield' insert a couple of squads. What's also good about the model is that the back door opens on a hinge, so that you can actually have the model on the table with its ramp down.
A lovely little kit: highly recommended...especially as Clear Horizon also produce a bigger version called a Condor Heavy Lift VTOL, which will also shortly be added to the roster!
Been filling in some of the gaps in my Dwarves in Space army.
First up are the command figure and a sniper for Khurasan's Thrainites:
These are nice models, as you would expect from Khurasan, and paint up well. There's only one slight problem: the command figure stands easily taller than most 15mm figures, so unless his actual legs end at the figure's knees and the rest is battlesuit, he is about as un-dwarvish as you can get. Harold Hastrada the dwarf!
The sniper is better sized, and my painting hasn't really done the little devil justice.
Next up are some command figures and support platform for the Cactus Mine contingent:
The two figures come from CP Models' very limited line of space dwarves. The Armadillo support platform is from White Dragon and is a most unusual model. It is a quadruped walker with an armoured skirt on just one side. It mounts a gatling cannon on top, and has a couple of light mortar batteries on its armoured side. It's a unique model with just one drawback: the price. That little thing cost me £7 at Salute, which is why the little men will have to make do with just the one. I mean, that's as much as a whole tank...and one from Battlefront at that!
I've finally got around to basing and finishing my first platoon of not-powered-armour space dwarves: the Lethlings platoon from Khursasan.
These are lovely figures: as detailed (and just about as big!) as any other 15mm figures out there. These I painted as if they were full-size 15's i.e. basecoat, wash, then two highlights. Although the photography doesn't really do them justice, they look great.
As I work my way through painting my space dwarves, I find myself needing to tweak and amend their army list. This is all part of the natural evolution of a Q13 army list.
For simplicity, for example, I've now consolidated the space dwarf infantry into two basic types: squads of 8-10 in armour; and squads of six in powered armour. This should make managing them on the tabletop slightly easier.
I've also added a few bits and bobs. The Goanna tanks can now carry shield generators in their turrets (see previous post), with a platoon now consisting of two 'fighting' vehicles and one 'shielding' vehicle...something that really adds a bit of flavour to things.
Likewise on the flavour front, I've finally succumbed and added a couple of GZG's excellent civilian CLEM (Construction, Logistics and Engineering) Mecha to give the little fellas some engineering back-up, and I'm looking forward to seeing what one can do with a shearing laser and a chainsaw!
hercules "b" mecha from ground zero games (click on the image to go straight to gzg's website)
This is the great beauty of Q13: you can field anything you like provided it can be properly represented on the tabletop and fits in with the coherence and consistency of your army's story.
You can download the revised space dwarf army list from the Army Lists page of the Q13 section of this website, or by clicking here.
More infantry for my Dwarves in Space army, and the first contingent from Cactus Games: a platoon of Gruntlings in Exo-suits.
These are very cute figures indeed: squat, rounded, and with lots of relief to make painting easy. I undercoated in black, then a coat of metallic blue, then a dry-brush with a dull-metal colour to bring up the detail.
The only negative is that there are only two poses: one with a built-in gun in one hand and a warhammer in the other; one with just the gun.
The great thing about Ground Zero Games is the huge range of 15mm sci-fi kit they make that can be added to any sci-fi army.
Here, for example, I have decided to equip my "Dwarves in Space" with some spider drones with rotary cannon.
Thrainite Spider Drones
Now back to painting the legions of space dwarf infantry scattered all over my painting table!
Vis Lardica is a website devoted to wargaming and military history, with a special emphasis on the company-sized rulesets produced by the TooFatLardies: I Ain't Been Shot Mum (WW2); Charlie Don't Surf (Vietnam); and Quadrant 13 (science fiction)
Welcome to Vis Lardica, a not-for-profit website mostly dedicated to the company-sized wargaming rules produced by the TooFatLardies, but encompassing my other gaming interests as well.