“The idea for this month’s theme is to paint mechanical models.”
For more details regarding this Community Miniature painting challenge, please check out Azazel’s site: https://azazelx.com/2018/10/27/mechanical-november-18-monthly-hobby-challenge/
If you’ve been following my site and haven’t checked out Azazel’s Bit Box yet, then shame on you! Seriously, great painter, puts out fun challenges which also end up showcasing lots of peoples work from all over the globe.
So, let’s get…
I had a tough time coming up with a song tribute for Dwarves (coming soon!), let alone a Dwarf Deathroller. Then “Mr Roboto” popped into my head while typing up this “Mechanical Challenge” blog post. So Enjoy!
The Main Course
I’ve had my sights on this Dwarf Deathroller for awhile now. I think he was targeted for a few of Azazel’s past challenges, but other miniatures took priority or I just didn’t have the time. A few weeks back, I ‘dusted’ off the Blood bowl Dwarves and while I was at it, got back to finishing the Deathroller too.
At the time I originally made this Deathroller, Blood Bowl minis were not being produced. You had to hope for the best on Ebay. I would search around, but either things were too expensive or I didn’t like the looks of them. This is likely what prompted me to make my own. A fun excursion and my biggest conversion to date.
Sadly I don’t have any old pictures to share of the old conversion process. I’ve searched and searched for pics I took (or forgot to take) of when he was first constructed. Its a complete custom, cobbled together from kid’s toys and various electric/construction doodads. Originally, the pilot was a 2nd edition Blood Bowl Dwarf.
When Games Workshop relaunched Blood Bowl in 2016, I pulled out the old Deathroller and thought of how I could convert one of the new Dwarf minis into a pilot. I also decided I needed to touch up the paint that had not stuck to some of the plastic parts. A ‘gas tank’ got added to the back, from a Mantic bit that seemed just about perfect, shifting/steering handles got remade, and some foot pedals got made out of green stuff.
While redoing the Dwarf bases, I also got the wild idea to remove his old base. I replaced it with a new weighted GW base, painted the same as the rest of the team. I managed to keep the little green stuff squished body/hand sticking out bit that I had put under the roller part.
Next I decided to repaint the ‘roller to match the new team colors and apply some decals. In the end, what was going to be a ‘touch-up paint and replace pilot’ job, ended up being a lot more. A complete repaint and some minor additions, and I end up with a pretty new Deathroller for the team.
The lighting is a bit harsh in some of the photos, and I noticed things like the contract in his beard doesn’t really show up. New phone takes really nice pics though, but I’ll have to work at getting better pics in the future.
The only thing I missed out on, was a removable (magnetized) pilot. This wasn’t very feasible with the steering/shifting handles. My idea was to remove the pilot during gameplay and add a note or flag “Out to Lunch”, if he got “Stunned” during the game. Usually you flip the mini down when they are knocked down/stunned, but it isn’t feasible with the size and shape of this mini. I might end up adding a ‘smoke effect’ of some sort instead. Something that could attach/detach easy during the game. But it probably also needs letters like “Stunned”. Something to ponder, for sure.
Would have loved to do more behind the scenes show and tell, but without the pics, it’s pretty tough. The roller part was a barrel from a kid’s toy set, that I added chopped sprue bits for spikes (gluing pieces to a rounded surface is not easy!). The ‘smoke stack’ part on the back is actually the top of a street light from the kid’s toy set once again. But interesting enough, you put it all together and paint it up, and people don’t notice. Most people think it’s a mini from a company.
When playing Blood Bowl, a number of Dwarf Coaches don’t take the Deathroller as it’s not cost effective. Especially for a starter team. It’s an “illegal weapon” and the Ref will eventually call it off the field. Which means you pay a lot for a piece that might not get used much at all.
However, I find it just too cool not to take. Especially whenever I see a Deathroller mini. This happened to be the case in our league too. I helped a new Coach build his Dwarf team, letting him know about the pitfall of taking a Deathroller. When he saw the mini though, he just had to have it. Haha!
Not too much else to tell in the wrap up. The repaint went pretty smoothly. The rebase wasn’t as harrowing as it could have been. It was certainly nice to return to this old mini, revise it with a few bits and add a new pilot. Hope you enjoyed the trip!