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The army I have began making is, a vampiric / undead themed dwarf force. The fluff is there was a dwarf mercenary unit named the hot heads (all beards are a shade of red) that took a contract with a Vampire Count. After the contract was complete the Vampire lord betrayed them, casting a spell that turned them all to vampires. Now they use their new found curse as an ability by calling on the dead when the situation calls for it.
Basically I was wondering what to do, for my models so far I have been painting them black and purple, with grey skin and red eyes. But I want to add some character to the army.
One thing I am definatly going to do is take the Duel gun weilding hero models and put wings on them to be gyro copters.
My big question is how to do my cannon. I was thinking either have a zombie giant throwing or kicking a cannon ball or carrying the cannon, or having a vargulf with a leadbealcher or something.
Help me make my fluff come to life guys!
It would be much easier to make a Vampire army that looks like dwarves, than to make a dwarf army that looks like vampires. How are you going to explain that unlike every other Undead unit in the game, your Undead do no cause fear? If your Dwarves can now command the legions of the dead, why not give them a book which allows them to raise legions of zombies to their aid?
I'm not going to shoot down your fluff, I'm quite intrigued by the idea and I'd like to see how you choose to flesh it out, I'm just saying that in my experience, it's easier to make a Vampire army look like something else, than it is to make something else look like Vampires.
On to your questions though:
Adding character to the army-
Such a mass number of vampires would take over the world. Quite plainly. Blood Keep is a prime example, for as soon as they gathered in force, they became a MAJOR problem and were split apart by war. Vampires are tough models, all with WS5+ S5, most with T4-5 and they're utterly fearless.
Perhaps much of your dwarf throng is comprised of skeletal dwarves instead, with unit champions being pseudo-vampires. This would prove interesting, and the "head swap" could be as detailed as you like.
You could use skeleton frames to get the skulls, cut them above the brow and affix dwarf helmets, and cut them below the nose to affix rotting dwarven beards. Or you could use greenstuff for the same effect, or even just field them bare.
rather than leading people to believe that you have a flying character, why not use FelBat models with Skaven guns attached? This will give the model a rusting, baroque appearance, an obvious excuse to fly, and a distinction between character and warmachine.
Cannons would likely stay the same. Undead have no Ballistic Skill, and do not create cannons for their own. However, if the crew were still present to 'recall' how to man the gun, they could certainly do so. I would try to make the cannons look very aged though, and worn down. Using Chaos Marine vehicle sprues can get you snarling mouths and such for the barrels, to give them a more creepy baroque feel. Just make the crew look like zombies with some GS work.
I can absolutely see getting some of the more 'animated' zombie bits, instead of the shambling looking ones which are dragging their legs. Try to make it look more like a half-starved crazy person, who has had weapons attached to it, and driven into the battle. Think of an Ogre Gorger. Just a big, necromantically-charged dwarf "giant" with a severe mental disorder.
I hope that helps somewhat, and remember- write out your fluff so we can see it. I'm at least interested in the story!
how about making it an ethereal ghost cannon!
painting it all white with black washing, or however you paint ghosts, nice and simple =D
I am going to go nuts with the skeletal dwarves idea. I think that it would be great looking.
Which skaven guns would you suggest? do you think jezzails (sp) or rattling gun, or another?
Can you think of a good way to differentiate between longbeards and dwarf warriors? Maybe use the banners I figure.
Also, tons of great ideas, iv been fiddling with a ton of them.
I've found that the proper application of a pin-vise and knife can turn a dwarf face into a skeleton face with a beard. Just cut the nose of, carve a little niche where it used to be, vise out the eyes (graphic, i kept blinking as a sympathetic reaction lol) and then square the sockets off with the knife for a bit of shape.
This would work well for Longbeards- leave the beards on for them. The others are just skeletal heads. Remember- longbards make good grave-guard.
The bat weapons, Jezzails. They're smaller barrels. Maybe attach two, banded onto the belly or back of the bat. Not under the wings like modern missiles, as that would impede the bat's flight and just look stupid.
Cannon: buy a kit of zombies, and bitz or trade for the corpses off of a corpse cart, and the barrel of an empire great cannon. Grab the Chaos Dwarves from the Hellcannon and a chariot base and some GS.
1) Using Greenstuff, build up a mound on your base on top of which you will mount the cannon. Take a good look at step 2 though first (I know, it's weird)
2) Get into that Zombie frame, and start gluing completed bodies and parts of bodies to the GS mound. Having legs and hands sticking out onto the ground would look good as a 'brace' for the movement of the cannon. The rest of the mound should just look like a surge of zombies. Leave an open trough for the cannon barrel.
3) assemble the two halves of the zombie pile from the corpse cart, and glue it over top of the cannon barrel, being sure to leave enough of the cannon showing to make it apparent that yes, there's a gun in there. You might need some GS to fill in any gaps between the barrel and the bodies.
4) put your chaos dwarf crew near the cannon, paint them up like muscular zombies, and then paint the rest of the gun.
Yay, you now have a zombie-artillery piece. Imagine how graphic a weapon that would be- every time it fires, bones are shattered, rotted flesh and gribbly-bits are tossed around from the shockwave, and then the zombies crawl and drag themselves back into position to fire the weapon again and again. Misfires would be utterly hellish.
And to further add to that instead of a mound of cannonballs, use skulls or zombie heads instead.
Dovie'andi se tovya sagain (It's time to roll the dice)- Mattrim Cauthon
it is pretty expensive, but I get to mix and match and end up not wasting much. I finally finished my first 20 Longbeards, If i ever get a digital camera ill get them up so you guys can get a better idea of what I am after.
Awesome, it's good to see that you've stuck with the army! I know how you feel, not having a camera. I have my little cell-phone camera, but it can't show off all the work that goes into each model.
The Bearded One: he did ask for suggestions. The army probably would be pretty pricey if he used every single idea for a conversion. However, I've never let cost stand in the way of my ideas, just my execution of them, haha. Plus, the zombie heads and the likes wouldn't be too bad. A lot of my original ideas were pretty cheap, just a matter of painting and using 'counts-as' stuff.
A friend and I have build some pretty good vampire armies. Mine is the always-over-used Bretonian Vampires, but his is modeled after Harkon's Vampire coast and uses all manner of swaps and classic bits. Neither army was really that much more expensive than a regular army. Just try to work out some kind of trade agreement with a local player, or find a good bitz company. I've used a couple of bags of skulls from third-party sculptors and GW couldn't really tell the difference.
So far what I have done is:
Longbeards: I use the bottom half of the dwarf armor (the skirt), I cut it off and then attach the upper half of a skeleton from the skeleton warrior box. I use all dwarf weapons and dwarf shields and made a undead/dwarf standard.
Warriors: Using the skeletons that you can get 5 for $8 from GW website. They are a bit stockier so work better. They have no armor, legs cut on top and bottem so they still have proportioned but very short legs, spine is cut shorter and they have dwarf weapons and a mix of undead/dwarf shields.
IronBreakers: Regular models all painted scab red, which is the main color scheme of my army.
Slayers: Havnt started yet, but I think I will get the regular models and paint there skin to look zombie ish. The models are to cool to ignore.
Organ Gun: Im thinking of getting a box of Ogre Lead belchers and making one body with all the gun arms and maybe two heads. I want to attatch them and green stuff to look like they are all sewn together like a frankenstien.
Gyro: Still not sure between Felbat Rider, or 2x pistol weilding engineer with dark pegasus wings.
Lord on Shield Bearers: The model with the great axe and holding his helm, with dark pegasis wings.
And as of right now thats what Im looking like. As of late my list has changed some to introduce bolt throwers, might stick with regular models unless something really amazing comes to mind.
So what do you guys think?