Sunday, January 7, 2018

'Flight' from HerrRobert: Doomdiver Hunt

Way back in the mists of time, there was a goblin lord who announced he posessed "the most potent of all War Machines:" the Doom Divers! Needless to say, removing said puissance from the field was of vital import to the dwarves of the Grey Mountains. Fortunately, the dwarf arsenal has an ideal weapon to counter enemy war machines: the GYROCOPTER!

Armed with proven Dwarven steam cannon technology and at least five hand-thrown bombs, brave pilot Snorri Thunderbraids weaves his gyrocopter through the woods lining the slopes of the Grey Mountains, on a doomdiver hunt.
Snorri Thunderbraids
This model is the 4th/5th edition version of the gyrocopter (unlike the DH-2 looking one they debuted in 6th Ed), and I bought it sometime in 1998 (right about the time I got a driver's license). Being very young and inexperienced, I was barely able to glue the gyrocopter together and, given how fiddly the mounting bracket is, absolutely did not have it on a flying base of any kind. It was certainly one of my first dwarf models, after playing around with Empire (too fiddly for a sixteen year old to build well) and Bretonnians (no guns, agahst!), some of which you will see later. To give you an idea of my painting skill, here's my runemaster of that era:
Not bad for a teen, but very basic. Not part of the Challenge - yet.
 I blame the Challenge for inspiring me to get the Warhammer stuff back out, stripping it down, and repainting. So into the Simple Clean the gyrocopter went:
Gratuitous yet obligatory butt shot
As described in the Warhammer Armies Dwarfs supplement, dwarves of the Grey Mountains (known as grey dwarves) are poor and rather simple in their tastes, so I went with a relatively simple paint scheme for the unit. Naturally, I made grey the central color of the uniform. Sleeves and pants on Snorri, and all cloth on the gyrocopter (wings and main rotorblade) were done in my usual grey palate: Delta Ceramcoat Charcoal Grey, then Delta Ceramcoat Hippo Grey, then Vallejo Neutral Gray (70.992).
Good shot of the blade and wings
Because the Grey Mountains lie next to Bretonnia, and because my old dwarf paint job had a distinct Second Empire theme, I chose to do a French artillery green for the body of the gyrocopter. Since my Howard Hughes French Artillery Green I used with the original dwarves. 
The last GW figures I painted before the gyrocopter. You can see the homage. Not part of the Challenge
So, I leapt into the dark, and tried using Americana Light Avocado, highlighted by Americana Celery Green. My major concern was to make sure I brought out all the lovely wood grain detail in the gyrocopter body. I'm rather pleased with how that turned out, especially on the tail. 

I was afraid that going with a metallic chainmail over grey clothes would be too much, so I tried bluing the mail and axe blade with Vallejo Blue Wash 73.207 over Reaper's tarnished steel 09206. I'm not happy with how it turned out. I was going for the blue I got on this guy's armor, when experimenting at ConQuest Sac 2016's:

A Reaper figure, and a sweet paint job if I do say so myself - also not part of the Challenge
Next time, I think I'll mix metallic blue with a metallic silver and see if that works better. 

Gyrocopters come on Games Workshop's standard 30mm flight base, or the old clear hexagons. However, I was frankly concerned the mini would tip easier, and/or get damaged, so I replaced it with a big GW flight base, the 60mm round ones. Groundwork is glued railroad ballast, washed with Games Workshop Nuln Oil (not a success), then drybrushed with Delta Ceramcoat Deep Taupe, Apple Barrel Country Grey, and Apple Barrel Granite Gray. 

I tried adding additional rock to the base, but it got lost in the winter static grass and the snow. I've a few spots left on the base, so I might add a few winter shrubs if they arrive. I used Army Painter's Anti-Shine Matt Varnish to seal, which frosted up the flight stand. At first, I was not happy, but now I like it.

So there ya go. One Dwarf Gyrocopter, fifteen points for the vehicle, and another five for the pilot. Twenty in total. Not bad for my first entry, and one day of painting (I painted this all Friday, and finished the basework this afternoon). It also gets me on the board for the Fantasy Challenge!

Now to find Iannick's Doom Divers and steam them clean off the table.

Artist: Robert Miles

Song: Landscape

I had the Pandora Trance Channel on while painting and writing up the post, so I chose the last song playing.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks! The 4th edition gyrocopters have serious charm, and it was a joy to paint.

  2. It looks really good on that larger base.

    1. Agreed. The larger base gives some scope for diorama work, which is otherwise lacking in Warhammer.

      I picked up the 60mm bases as a pack of three, so have two left. Hmmmmmm . . .

  3. Nice work! I faced many of those in my life, so I know how to deal! ;-)

    I like the simple colour scheme

    1. There will be more anti-doom in the future. We may not win the battle, but we shall dedoom the Gobbos!

      Thanks. I agree, dwarves definitely reward simple color schemes executed well. it suits their dour but dutiful natures. Plus, grey is a very fun color to paint.

  4. Great work, Robert! Now for the doom-diver-gyro slamdown...Is that on Pay-Per-View ? :)

    1. Nah, it's on QVC, right after the OxyClean and ShamWow infomercials. For extremely stubborn goblin stains.

  5. Nice brushwork on the gyrocopter!
    I never did get this model, but it sure is an iconic warmachine of the dwarves!

  6. Thanks. I am rather pleased with it myself. The GW metals of that age had some excellent details that reward good brushwork.