The start of an Abyssal Dwarf army

Not the most inventive title, I know. Mantic have been running some “building an army” blog articles on the Mantic blog, where Zak, Rob and Dave document their progress collecting and painting some Kings of War armies for the Summer Campaign. After a quick wink and nudge to Rob, I soon found an Abyssal Dwarf army box landing on my doorstep! I’d originally written this article as my introduction for the blog, but rather went over the word limit. By a lot. So we decided that the Mantic guys would edit down the post and I’d put the full thing up here instead!

Abyssal Dwarfs? Why not!

I have a very successful Forces of the Abyss army and hey! Why not grab some great thematic allies for them?

I’ve always liked Mantics Abyssal Dwarfs and feel that they’re one of Mantics best ranges. I’ve dabbled here and there but I’m definitely not going to turn down the opportunity to make a full army of them!

I started with the Abyssal Dwarf Army set. It’s a very well rounded box set with a nice core set of infantry and some fast flankers for backup. Abyssal Dwarf halfbreeds are one of my favourite cavalry units in the game. Much like the Orc Gore Riders, the Crushing Strength (1) on them is fantastic, so even when disordered you’re going to deal a serious amount of damage. Paired with a troop of gargoyles as disposable chaff, you can nearly guarantee always getting first charge off with them.

I’ve started by (half) assembling my Immortal Guard. I actually just assembled the bodies, removed their base discs because I’m going to be multibasing, and glued them to a stick. Having multiple models on a single “stick” like this is a boon for speed painting. You’d be surprised how much quicker you paint when you’re not putting down and picking up each individual model.

The kicker is that I didn’t stick the heads on (well, I tell a lie – I did stick the heads on at first before settling on a colour scheme, then proceeded to rip them off). Instead I’ve glued them to separate sticks, What this allows me to do is basecoat the bodies with one colour using my airbrush, then basecoat the heads in a completely different colour without the two bleeding onto each other. Again this is a huge time saver since painting the heads “manually” would take far longer than it does with an airbrush. Especially since I’m going with very dark bodies and bone white heads; trying to paint bone white over near black would take a stupid amount of coats, whereas it can be done with just a couple of passes with an airbrush.

Here’s what they look like after the airbrushing:

I basecoated the bodies with Vallejo German Grey, then did some zenithal highlighting using a 50/50 mix of Dark Sea Blue and Heavy Bluegrey. This gives them a greeny-blue tint but the grey mixed in means that the colour isn’t overwhelming. Zenithal highlighting is where you spray a highlight from above the model, so the paint only collects on the exposed top edges and not in the crevices, so the shadows remain untouched.

The heads were first base coated with Minitaire Dark Saddle Brown, then highlighted with Ancient Bone. These two colours, the dark blue-green of the bodies and the bone of the heads gives a strong contrast in the colour scheme, and will likely draw the focus to the extravagantly detailed helmets that Abyssal Dwarfs wear.

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