Greetings Wargamers and Hobbyists, and thank you for joining me after what seems like an age. I am afraid I have been off the boil for a little while following a very busy few months at work, and a fairly serious car accident that thankfully was not as bad as it could have been. On the mend, and hopefully back to normal before Christmas.
Today I wanted to bring you something cool and hopefully useful if you are looking for an awesome miniature with the flexibility to fit into a range of games or projects. This is a quick review of putting together the Dwarf Runic Golem model from Alternative Armies.
This was originally a model a friend of mine came across in his search for a something to use in his Dwarf army for Kings of War. Although it may not have quite the depth of back story and flavour of the old Warhammer Fantasy setting (yet, it is still quite a new setting by comparison after all), it is a game that allows tremendous flexibility when it comes to choosing models for your army. As long as a model fits the rules and looks more or less the part, it is fine to use.
He was justifiably pleased when he found this model. They offer a slight discount for purchasing multiple minis. So, he ended up ordering a few, and I bought one from him.
What’s a Dwarf Runic Golem?
Simply put, this is a 65mm tall steampunk-esque war construct. It is a product of the combined efforts of Dwarf smithing and magic. In turn creating a towering, clanking beast equipped to lay into the enemies of the Dwarfs with a pair of immense axes! Suitably Dwarfish, but providing something that many Dwarf ranges seem to lack.
The model is a nice crisp casting, and does include a lot of nice Dwarfish details, such as the beard and runes, as well as armour and some mechanical gubbins in the recesses and joints.
This is a resin model, and although I haven’t dealt with more than a half a dozen resin models in my hobby career (mainly metals and plastics so far in my 24 years) I know enough to know what to expect and how to prepare them. By its nature however this model comes in relatively few components. Those that there are have smooth faces for the most part.
Checking for damage
As a resin kit, the first thing I wanted to do was check for any damaged components, bubbles in the resin or warping. Thankfully as a pretty chunky model, there didn’t seem to be any warping, and no obvious damage to any of the components. However, I did find one small hole on the back of a leg, which I will fill with putty very easily as it is on an area of smooth armour plating and not on an area of detail.
Other than the one hole, all I found was a little over casting or miscasting in the back of one knee-joint where some cogs should be visible. It might be tricky to get all of that out, but it is a small area, and not very visible, being behind the knee-joint.
Preparing the components
In order to prepare the model for assembly, there were a few things I needed to do to make sure it would all fit together as easily as possible. First, I took a sharp hobby knife and a fine file, and carefully cut away and file down any excess resin and feeder spurs from the casting process, and filed smooth any left over protrusions that might cause an obstruction when assembling the model. This obviously has to be done with care, both to avoid any damage to the model, as many resin models include much thinner parts than this one which could easily be cut off by mistake, and of course to minimise the risk of damage to your fingers while using a sharp implement!
While I was shaving off excess resin and filing pieces, especially in the areas of the joints, I took the opportunity to test fit pieces together as I went, to try to ensure the best fit of the pieces before any gluing, and filling just a little more where necessary to get a good fit.
Once all of the cutting, shaving and filing was done, I did what is always recommended for resin miniatures and I washed the components in warm soapy water, using an old tooth brush to lightly scrub them, to remove any release agent used in the casting process. This is essential with resin miniatures I have found, because any release agent still on the model when it comes to painting can cause problems with the paint adhering to the surface of the components.
After the washing was done, I laid out all the pieces to dry thoroughly, as I was planning to use superglue to put the model together, and superglue and water do not mix. I did take a pic of the parts all laid out on a paper towel, but I am guessing you don’t really need to see that!
Finally, the fun part – putting the model together! Now that all of the components were cleaned up, filed, shaved (!), washed and properly dried, the model was ready to assemble.
Not the most complex model in the world, because it only comes in five pieces plus the base, but at the same time did need a tiny bit of thought. It is a fairly large model for the 50mm base that it comes with. Although I could of course put it on a bigger base, 50mm square is the standard size for Monsters in Kings of War.
I took the right leg and positioned it on the edge of the base where I knew it needed to go. I then used the main body in position to make sure it was in the right place before gluing with small amounts of superglue. Once the right leg was solid, I took both the body and the left leg together and did some dry fitting to get the positioning right. Before putting superglue on the joints of both legs, and the left foot. Before carefully placing the body and left leg into position, ensuring that the joints of both legs were pushed firmly into the recesses on the body; and that the left foot was flat down on the base.
Once the legs and body were solid, the arms could be glued into position with no problems.
Strangely, gluing this model together reminded me of assembling the old metal GW Carnifex model from 2nd Edition 40K. It also had legs that had to be carefully positioned to meet both the body section and the base all at the same time before the superglue dried.
Here are some photos from the Alternative Armies website of the assembled and painted miniature to show you what it will look like by the time it is all finished.
So, what am I going to use this model for? I did kind of buy it because I liked the look of it, but also because I am a fan of Dwarfs and play them in both in Age of Sigmar and in Kings of War. Also, I don’t already have anything like this in my collection.
My friend has been using his as a ‘Steel Behemoth’ in Kings of War, but I think it also has potential as a ‘Greater Earth Elemental’ and even a ‘King on Large Beast’. I also plan to use it as a ‘Large Construct’ in games of Frostgrave as well; I think it will look just as cool. It has even been suggested as a base for some kind of K’Daai conversion for a Chaos Dwarf army. Finally, after consulting with group members, it is agreed that this would make a good substitute for a Dwarf Death Roller for Blood Bowl!
I would be interested to hear what anyone else has or would like to use this model for. Feel free to post your thoughts or photos below!
That is all for this article. I hope it is of use to anyone wanting to know about this model in particular, or who is looking for a clanking magic driven monstrosity to fill a gap in their Dwarfish collection.
Thanks for reading,
Dwarf Runic Golem by Alternative Armies
Appearance - 8/108/10
Quality - 7/107/10
Ease of Use/Assembly - 8/108/10
Cost - 8/108/10
Eternal Wargamer Rating
I rated appearance on how cool I think the model looks, and it was certainly the look that got my attention in the first place and made me decide I wanted one.
Quality is primarily based on the material – it is a nice cast, but resin is resin and most resin I have dealt with has its flaws.
Assembling the model was fairly straight forward, not overly complex, but did require some dry fitting to get the pose right before gluing.
Finally, the cost is fair for what you get, but gets better with multiple purchases. If they had a half price sale this model would be a steal.
Remember, this is all my personal view. The views of others may be different and equally valid.