This is what I hope is the start of a string of posts about the Imperial Army of Salsburg, Dwarf Corps. Today we start with a look at two units of missile support troops for the Corps...in this case Crossbows.
The Salsburg Dwarf Corps is composed of both troops from Salsburg proper (Guard) and also troops from the areas immediately surrounding the great city (Yeoman). While both regions produce excellent troops for the Corps there are often stylistic differences in dress between the two. The Guard troops from Salsburg itself have more thoroughly adopted the Puff and Slash influences of the Imperial style of dress. The Yeomanry troops from the surrounding towns and villages tend to employ the same colors as their city counterparts but with less flash and more practicality (at least to their mind).
It is between the two units of crossbow armed troops that this stylistic difference is most apparent.
The Salsburg Guard crossbows are decked out in the finest puff and slash kit that silver can buy and the troops are as proud of it as they are their own beards!
The Salsburg Yeoman crossbows are are often looked down upon by their guard counterparts for their rustic dress, but no one can deny that they are effective and dangerous troops on the battlefield. ...and besides, they take just as much pride in their simpler dress and characterful banner as the Guard shooters do their fancy clothes.
As you can see the Yeoman Crossbows banner is topped with a unique character...a mythical beast that many of the unit members have sworn to have had conversations with while in their cups...O'l Nick the lute playing devil pig....?
Don't try to figure it out...no one understands the joke except those bumkin shooters from the outer villages anyway...they obviously spend too much time in the woods...
Both of these units are composed entirely of Marauder Dwarfs of varying ages. While the majority of the puff and slash Guard Crossbow figures are from the early 90's there are a few of the Yeoman Crossbows that are from the very first Marauder releases in 1988...the MM10 Dwarfs which had this snazzy line drawing advert for its first campaign...
Both units also make use of the modular dwarfs that Marauder produced. These figures were sold with three separate weapons options that could be glued onto the handless base models. They could carry pikes (we will see some of them later), muskets, or crossbows.
The banner for the Guard unit is also a conversion. The base model for this figure is one of the oft sought after MM15 Dwarf Warrior figures.
The MM15 Dwarf Warriors are some of the finest figures ever produced, in my opinion, and they are the epitome of the Marauder Dwarf sculpts. But...the chap on the lower left there just didn't really fit any of my units very well. I'm not planning on having a unit of Dwarf Halberds...we isn't quite fancy enough to include with the pikes...he has just been sitting in one of my boxes for years...so I decided I might as well use him even if I had to modify the figure to get him on the table. Its not the end of the world, I can find another pristine copy if i feel the need to restock my collection...but I probably won't.
One of the weaknesses of the Marauder line was a lack of good command models for many of their units. Luckily, they have a fair number of models like this (and DW7 above) that make easy conversions to Standard Bearers.
The process for converting these was just as easy as you can imagine. After choosing my "victims" I used snips and a jewelers saw to remove their existing weapons heads and hafts.
I then used a 1/8in drill bit in my pin vice and drilled down through the hand of each model...passing all the way through the closed fist.
Banner poles were made from 1/8in brass rod that I found on amazon...
...and the banner toppers came from my bitz collection. The Guard Crossbows topper came from a spare that was included with some White Knight Dwarfs. The topper for the Yeoman Crossbows ...Ol' Nick ...is a rather uncommon John Pickford sculpt that struck my fancy (though I think it almost made my boy Clam's head explode) and I think it brings a bit of humor to play.
Close ups of Ol' Nick...
In both these cases I'm glad I made the decision to convert, and use, these figures rather than have them sit in storage any longer.
This last picture also brings up the subject of these units musicians. As you can see the Yeoman crossbow musician (and his Tuba!) comes from the 1988 release MM11 command models
and the musician for the Guard Crossbows I stole from the Marauder Dwarf Pike Blister box set (MB1)
The commanders of both units were selected from the Marauder Dwarf Crossbowman range themselves. I felt that both of these figures stood out from their fellows by the fact that they were carrying crossbows...but also had their hand weapons out and seemed like the types of dwarfs that should be in charge...both can be seen in this 90's catalog page.
Well...there you have it.
The first two units of the Dwarf Corps of the Imperial Army of Salsburg.
More to come soon.