Over the previous summer I was contacted by the sculptor John Pickford who was interested in having me paint a couple of pieces for him that he had recently sculpted for Four A miniatures. I was obviously very humbled to have a man of his talent ask me to "pretty up" his sculpts for him so I gladly accepted. (it had nothing to do with the other lead he offered me as payment...I swear!) :)
A couple of weeks after our initial discussions a box full of goodies arrived from John in my mail box. Amongst the assorted treasures therein were three brand new Chaos Dwarf sculpts... Though these aren't you normal chaos dwarfs...more of a kind of blend of Chaos Dwarf and Beastman/Werewolf. Suffice to say they looked fantastic and I couldn't wait to get down to work on them. But as you know the last summer was a rough one for old Blue....that whole broken ankle thing threw a monkey wrench into many of my plans. So they weren't really finished until well into the fall. As the release date for these figures is now drawing nigh (they should be out toward the end of February) I thought it would be a good time to post up some detailed pictures of them.
First up lets look at them as a group and then we can talk about them each in more detail....
As you can see we have three very interesting characters here. I find the combination of Beastman and heavy armor with dwarf proportions to be very effective for these guys. I could see this small group of figures inspiring an entire line of excellent sculpts....why not a Ram, or Lion, or Bull, or Hippo....you could even get away from the mammals a include a Catfish! or a Buzzard! ...then you have the insects as possible inspiration! The mind boggles with ideas...and I'm sure that John P. would be able to pull them off with amazing results.
As a general note the castings that I received were exceptionally clean and the detail superb! I did VERY minimal clean up of mold lines...which can be a real bitch on large areas of armor plating like these guys have. For the Boar and the Lizard the shields were separate but fit onto their arms very easily and securely even without glue. The Boar's hammer and associated hand were also separate but fit together perfectly and without need of any gap filling. The same is true for the Were(Dwarf)Wolfs Tail.
Speaking of the Werewolf...lets look at him in some more detail. This is a really spectacular figure with tons of character.
Next up is the Boar. this guy has my favorite face of the three...a perfectly toothy snout...and the idea of a boar with a beard just makes me laugh for some reason. The huge wooden mallet for a weapon is also a very unique but effective choice. I'm not 100% satisfied by how the purple armor came out...I find it to be one of the most difficult colors to highlight...but after a couple of tries I'm pleased with where it ended up.
And finally we have the figure that ended up being my favorite of the bunch...the Lizard/Dwarf. I wasn't sure how the orange armor would work out but in the end I think it worked out perfectly! I will certainly be duplicating this color on a couple of my own Chaos Dwarf/MM90s in the coming months. I think I also like the fact that this guy has a helmet...its a nice change from the bare heads of the other two and will add a nice variety to a unit. He also has my favorite beard of the three...it is amazingly detailed and easy to paint. I find his flayed face shield to be disturbing and creepy but also very effective...I'm not sure what kind of creature this "face" was peeled off of...but a putrid green is always a good color for such things.
So...there you have them! Wonderful figures all around and I highly recommend that you all buy some...in hopes that this range can be expanded and we can have more excellent sculpts like these to game with.
According to Andy at Four A Miniatures these figures will be available toward the end of February...so keep an eye out for them to hit the shelves.
Cheers for now!