Thursday, August 5, 2010
Kingdom of the Dwarfs
The characteristics of mythological dwarves are often mixed with those of other mythological races such as elves and trolls. In Norse mythology, the beings called svartálfar (dark elves) are essentially dwarves. They live underground, fashion cunning artifacts, and are generally avaricious. They also bear a resemblance to trolls in that they turn to stone when exposed to sunlight.
Even their size can vary, with ancient images depicting dwarves being the same size as humans. In general though, modern fantasy has set the height of dwarves between 3-4 feet in height. This allows some lines of 15mm dwarves to be used with 1/72 scale figures. Described below, are examples of the various types of dwarves that I currently own.
The first group consists of five plastic dwarves from Caesar, and one from the Age of Mythology game by Eagle Games. The Caesar dwarves are just a tad too tall for my tastes, but they could be used as the taller race of mountain dwarves.
The next set of six images cover the The Shadow Corp/Blood Dawn dwarves sculpted by Rene Perez. They are solid and bulky without being too tall. Of all the dwarves in this entry, I think these are my favorite sculpts.
The next pair of images are of 18mm dwarves from Eureka. They match up very well with the Shadow Corp dwarves, though they seem a bit stiff in comparison.
The next four images are of 15mm dwarves from Black Raven Foundry. These dwarves are are smaller than the Shadow Corp and Eureka dwarves, and much lighter in build, though the height difference is not quite as apparent due to the thickness of their bases.
The next pair of images are of the dwarves produced by East Riding Miniatures. These are true 15mm dwarves with a nice stocky build.
The next images are of dwarven crossbowmen from the Warlords line produced by Grenadier. The bases on these miniatures are very small and uneven so that the figures tend to tip over at the drop of a feather.
Comparison of dwarves blowing horns: Shadow Corp, Eureka x 2, and ERM.
Comparison of dwarven sorcerers: Shadow Corp x 2, and Eureka x 2.
Comparison of dwarven arquebusiers: Caesar, and Shadow Corp x 2.
Comparison of dwarven crossbowmen: Caesar, Shadow Corp, Eureka, Grenadier Warlords, Alternative Armies HOT, and SLM.
Comparison of dwarven axemen: Caesar, Shadow Corp, Eureka, Eagle Games, and SLM. These are the best dwarves for use in 1/72 fantasy. The Caesar dwarves are somewhat too tall for me, and I'm not a big fan of the SLM dwarves sculpted by Bob Olley due to their oversized heads, but others may have a different opinion.
Comparison of smaller dwarven axemen: BRF, Alternative Armies HOT, Mongoose/Rebel, Alternative Armies TTF, ERM, SLM x 2, and Tin Soldier (I think). These dwarves are either too small, or too slender for me. One possibility is to use them as gnomes instead.