Sunday, February 11, 2018

The Marauder MM90 Chaos Dwarfs

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor marauder chaos dwarfsText Box:      Painted by Jaeckel 

Starting Warhammer Fantasy Battles back in the mid nintees, my first army were the Perry twins Big Hat Chaos Dwarfs. My brother and some of his friends were already playing Warhammer and I wanted to take up the game. Unfortunately the typical ‘cool’ armies, such as Orcs, Dark Elves and Chaos, were already taken. And with cool I mean, appealing to a 14 year old boy’s brain.

So there I was I was, stuck having to pick an army that nobody amongst our friends played and that wasn’t as boring as humans (spandex pants and puffy sleeves) or dwarfs (red cheeks, big noses and small weapons). So wandering through my local Wargames store (Magic Friends) I run into the Big Hat Chaos Dwarfs. They weren’t really your typical ‘cool’, as in big weapons, skullz, spiky attire and courageous poses, abut they were unique and as a bonus, they had tusks and bullcentaurs. Seeing that my star sign is Taurus and that they were on sale (because nobody wanted these little buggers back in the day) closed the deal.

Gerelateerde afbeelding a few months I was able to field a sizeable force of Big Hat Chaos Dwarfs, comprised of what I could find in the three or so local Games shops in my city in the Netherlands, supplemented with a unit or two of Orcs. Back in those day there was no internet and I was reluctant to use the Mail order trolls, meaning I would have to pay in advance for miniatures coming from overseas, scary stuff for a 14 year old on a budget.

Anyways after playing with my Big Hats for about a year, my brother bought the blue 1986-1991 Citadel Catalogue. Inside the sacred pages of that catalogue I was confronted with an magical sight, pictures of the Perry twins 3rd edition Chaos Dwarfs. Nasty looking, vicious, mutated real evil chaotic twins of the Dwarf kin and without silly Hats (boy, did I suffer a lot of abuse for my Big Hats by other players). These miniatures were so much cooler to my eye than the Big Hats that I had to have them. Part of their more viscous appearance can be explained by the fact that these miniatures were released as part of the main Chaos force in the third edition of WFB. They were meant to represent twisted, mutated, chaotic dwarfs, a completely different approached to what the Perry’s took with the Assyrian standalone look of the 5th edition chaos dwarfs.

Over the ensuing couple of years I only managed to collect a total of 6 of these little buggers. And even this was completely by chance. One of my local Wargames shop regulars, while watching me play my Big Hats, just happened to mentioned that he had a few of the old Chaos Dwarfs lying around somewhere, which I eagerly purchased off of him. This was kind of unique seeing that I live in the Netherlands were Warhammer only really became popular in the early nineties, so supply of 3rd edition miniatures was very very scarce.

Fast forward a few years and into a, by now, much more digital world, we were provided with resources such as Ebay! Finally I had a chance to expand my meagre collection of 6 Old Skool Chaos Dwarfs, which I did by diligently rummaging through page after page of Warhammer goodies on Ebay. One evening, whilst vigorously scrolling through Warhammer listings on Ebay, looking for more of the illustrious evil little buggers, I happend upon an auction for a Marauder Chaos Dwarf. Me, having little to no clue what I was looking at, could now, having embraced the wonders of the World Wide Web, easily figure out what this was, a Marauder Chaos Dwarf! And wow, was I impressed. Here we had real CHAOS Dwarfs, little, sturdy cousins of the Chaos Warriors my brother fields (of which I was always a little envious) and with the same huge weapons.

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor marauder chaos dwarfsSo now my Chaos Dwarf collecting quest gained a whole new chapter, 24 mini Chaos Warriors. Thanks to the wonders of the internet I also could investigate the background of Marauder Miniatures a bit. In short, Marauder Miniatures was founded by Aly and Trish Morrison, two very prominent sculptors from the Citadel stable back in the 80’s. There are a lot rumours surrounding their departure and the establishing of Marauder miniatures (tax evasion, internal disputes etc.), but from what I have managed to figured out is that it was just a difference in sculpting style that made them pursue their own range of miniatures, all the while whilst still working very close with Games Workshop (Citadel would cast their miniatures and White Dwarf would promote them). This had happended before with Ironclaw Miniatures (Bob Olley) and to some level with the Chronicle line (Nick Lund). For the full story I recommend this amazing blog:

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor marauder chaos dwarfsFast forward another couple of years and I had managed to complete my set of 24 Marauder Chaos Dwarfs (around 2004 I’m guessing), whilst at the same time learning more and more about the history of the 3rd edition Chaos Dwarfs. And now, looking back from 2018, this really was a great era for Chaos Dwarfs, with a huge range of individual metal miniatures made available by two different manufacturers.  Evil twisted machines at our disposal such as the Juggernaut, the Whirlwind and the Tenderizer and amazing background info (fluff) telling us about Thymbrin Snakebeard. Back then we had exposure in multiple White Dwarf Issues, we were featured in the Warhammer Fantasy Armies Book and the Slaves to Darkness book. While around the same time I was busy collecting these little lads, Games Workshop basically had pronounced us dead (noooo not the way of the Squats). If there ever was a time that I wished I was 10 years younger it was back in the early noughties. Even though Games Workshop made up for it, first by releasing the Hell Cannon and later giving us a real army even, with wonderful Forgeworld miniatures, the creativity and uniqueness of the 3rd edition Chaos Dwarfs can never be topped.

And if you are not very familiar with these Chaos Dwarfs and wonder why I keep referring to them as little Chaos Warriors, have a look at this site:

Text Box: Painted by Blue in VTNow the problem with collecting gaming miniatures is that on the one hand you want to keep your specimens as mint and original as possible, but on the other hand they are, well, gaming miniatures, destined to be painted up and deployed on the field of battle. For me there is an added level of complexity, I am madly in love with the paint job from the Marauder advert in White Dwarf nr. 117 and I really want to paint mine up in the same fashion. But I also want a complete naked set on the side. So even though I have one set complete my quest continues, and unfortunately prices have only gone up more and more.

Many years I have wondered what happened to the original painted Marauder Chaos Dwarfs, until recently, by chance, I stumbled upon an blog entry by Orlygg Jafnakolon on, I come across a post of his visit to Wargames Foundry. There he was let into the mancave of Bryan Ansell, and took some pictures. Lo and behold:

I should have known they ended up in Bryan Ansell’s collection, everything oldhammer ends up with him for some reason or the other.

So there we have it, the red line that Chaos Dwarfs have played in a large part of my life and in particular the Marauder ones. From my first Big Hat army, which I stupidly sold for peanuts many years ago, to my almost complete collection of 3rd edition Chaos Dwarfs. I have to confess I did own at one point a Vampire Counts army (which I sold), an Orc army (which I sold) and a Nurgle army (which I sold). But the angry little buggers have always been around.


  1. Dude, amazing story, and I can recognize myself on it A LOT!!
    The time when we all started to flirt, get some girlfriends, some pub time.... was the time to shold our little men, as you said, for peanuts. Then we grew older,set back and missed them so much so yes, the quest to gather them all started again.
    I managed to finish the entire collection of Chaos Champions and the Jess Godwin ogres (among many others, but this ones being especially hard) just last year, and right now I'm looking for some of the Perry Chaos Dwarves while trying to complete the marauder set, so reading this it was like reading an alter ego of myself :D
    Cheers and congrats on such a nice paintjobs! A family pic of all of them together with some scenery around would be epic thouhg!

  2. Hi mate, great to hear, good to know im not alone :)
    You can find a new painted group shot in my recent blog post called: filling Aly's gaps part 2

  3. Love this post! I found Oldhammer along the very same lines. Looking for chaos dwarves around 2006 I discovered the MM90 and their bigger counterparts and fell in love with the Dark Gawds! Awesome stuff man. Really enjoyed poking around your blog in between work today.

  4. Thanks mate, I know the audience for this topic is small, but really appreciate people takiing the time to have a read :)


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