Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Why Chaos Dwarves? And Why Not Red?

When I first started visiting Games Workshop my early purchases included several fantasy games: Advanced Heroquest, Man-O-War, Warhammer Fantasy Battles 4th Edition and Blood Bowl 3rd Edition.   Despite that, though, I eventually drifted away into 40K and after 1999 or so it was the only one of the big wargames I expressed much interest in.  (Though Blood Bowl remains awesome.)

However, my girlfriend prompted to me to consider restarting Warhammer Fantasy.  While I still have the core of a High Elf force restarting them didn't appeal so much as going to the Chaos Dwarves.  When I've re-read old Fantasy items or looked up stuff for WFRP, the Chaos Dwarves have been an odd draw.

A lot of this is a sort of nostalgia - I owned a small amount of Chaos Dwarf figures and White Dwarf #161, debutting the redesigned Chaos Dwarves, was one of my first issues of the magazine.  (I still remember getting it from a newsagents while on a family holiday in Newcastle, and pouring over both the history of the Chaos Dwarves and the Warmaster board game.)  Therefore, I trawled eBay and a got copies of both the current Warhammer Fantasy Battles book, and the Tamurkhan campaign book with it's Chaos Dwarf army list.

However, I was a bit iffy on how to paint them.  One of the joys for me of wargaming is being able to choose how to paint up your little plastic/metal/resin soldiers and producing something unique.  I'm not the best painter in the world - I've gotten better in the past couple of years but I just don't have great hand/eye co-ordination and I'll never be a master of art.  Being able to choose colour schemes and designs, though, means that a figure might be rough but it can still be unique or special... but what would I paint my Chaos Dwarves, when the examples in White Dwarves down the ages have been the same red/black/brass combination since time immemorial? 

Space Marines have always had the luxury of exotic custom paint schemes but the pickings are a bit slimmer here.

Thankfully, the internet's small but die-hard Chaos Dwarf fanbase includes many more pallete combos.  Through trawling Chaos Dwarves Online, In particular, I found many who went for an icy blue motif:

But in the end, it was another classic scheme that interested me.... albeit one older even than White Dwarf #161.  Before the Chaos Dwarf redesign that saw the "big hats, tusks & curly beards" become their defining feature they had some other more generic "Chaos Warrior" type figures.  Several of these appear on my old Citadel Combat Cards and when looking for colour scheme ideas, they came to mind...

A Dark Angels-style darker green, still with black/brass/red for some highlighting and contrast.  A dark wash over that, perhaps something like the Nuln Oil GW do these days, might help to keep it metallic looking while still clearly green.

When I do my Chaos Dwarves I'm going to try this and apply this colour scheme and see how it turns out on my figures.  We shall see how it goes....

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