Squat Cyber-Slayer

Ursa Miner Cyber Slayer

Ursa Miner Cyber Slayer

Ostensibly an addition to my Sensei crew for some upcoming games, this lovely Bob Olley sculpt will end in in a number of other games too I suspect. 

“Fantastic Miniatures” commissioned Bob Olley to sculpt a number of space dwarf miniatures about a decade ago.  As Olley also sculpted many of the iconic GW squat miniatures in the eighties and early nineties, the style of those sculpts also tie in to the old Citadel ranges rather well.


An image supplied on the numbered certificate associated with this Futuristic Dwarf Berserker model.

The miniatures were out of production for a number of years but a selection was made available again recently.  I only picked up this model, but after painting it I am going to have to go and get some more of these guys: this guy was very pleasant to paint.  I rushed the camo pattern on the trousers late last night while enjoying a few glasses of rosé in front of the TV, so they could be a little sharper to be honest, but I figure that the rest of the model is fun and vibrant enough that most people wont notice.  It can be our little secret.



A recent mini-campaign played with PB featured a space dwarf Huscarl of the Ursa Miners acting honourably but losing face to the evil machinations of the Tenebrainian Enslavers.  At the end of that series of games Maximilian Reactorsmith (last in a long line of traditional plasma reactor manufacturers) was forced by his code of honour to abandon his former life and take up the role of the cyber-slayer, and this miniature will represent that character from now on.  At time of writing it is unknown if his cyber-mastiff “Freeway” will accompany his on his quest for vengeance, but it seems likely.


Although I was tempted to give Max a brand new colour scheme, I decided to tie him visually to the Ursa Miners anyway.  I was also tempted to avoid the outlandish orange hairdos that slayers in Warhammer Fantasy have, but seeing as the Ursa Miners have red and yellow in their palette anyway, I figured that adding orange hair wouldnt confuse the scheme too much.









17 Responses

  1. Awesome paintjob! Best one I have ever seen on this model!


    • Thanks Jonas!

      I didnt have the cash to pick up the other Berserkers available at the time, so I settled on getting this one. I do wish that I had the others now though 😦

      Olley miniatures are slightly peculiar in design and wonderful to paint. I have yet to come across other miniatures like his. Cool stuff.


  2. Still not started on my Sci Fi stuff yet, but posts like this are making me very itchy. Lovely, lovely stuff.


    • Im glad that you like it Gareth.

      It took me a while to get to the tipping point with this stuff too – I was talking about painting Inquisitorial retinue types for years before I finally got stuck in. Hopefully something similar will happen with you.

      Thanks for the feedback 🙂


  3. The warband is coming along quite nicely there. Good fun to see it develop over time. 🙂


    • These warband projects are very satisfying and a lot of fun, although they do cut down on my total output in terms of numbers, due to having to paint them all individually. Not much of a hardship really though 🙂

      The Sensei band is what prompted me to paint both the noseless space elf and this rugged little guy, but I see them getting used in multiple games and roles. Bearing the old Realm of Chaos warband generation charts in mind is fun while doing something like this, although I dont feel tied to it. For example, a ratling isnt a “legal” choice for these guys for example, but I am definitely painting up my ratling cook for inclusion with these guys in the medium term.

      Thanks for the feedback Azazel.


  4. He’s a wee cracker, isn’t he? Nice paint work, I do love the hair. Bob Olley really is the marmite of sculptors, isn’t he? For my part, I’m a fan.


    • Its a great little figure alright. I was wary about going for the conformist orange hair, particularly alongside the eldars pink coiffure, but it did work out well.

      When I first got into RT way back I liked some of the Olley sculpts (the robed Tech Priest) and disliked some of the others, particularly when they have the weird eyes that he sometimes sculpts (BB ogres, Servitors).

      Nostalgia fuels some of what I like about his sculpts now, but painting this figure clinched exactly what I like about his sculpts: the heavy definition makes them fun and quick to paint. By way of contrast, Kev Whites sculpts, while almost all beautiful are often quite tough to paint due to the subtle, shallow and delicate detailing. I find the painting process more fun with Olley sculpts.

      I have most of the old Iron Claw Mercs/Pirates waiting for paint and this little guy has made me more inclined to bump them up the queue… once some of the more pressing projects get dealt with at least.

      Thanks for the feedback.


  5. The space dwarf is really good and I really like the double contrast between the colourful and full of energy dwarf and the dark and moody elf.
    Just add these 2 to Ramirez and his scottish Zap Branniganesque side and you have one killer trio !


    • Thanks asslessman. The visual shorthand suggests to me that the Eldar and the Squat dont like each other very much and that Ramirez may well be functionally oblivious to that fact. Its interesting to note how much we project on to the little guys.

      I have a suitable ogryn model that I was tempted to add to these guys, but I think that I have to leave these three as they are until after BOYL now. I have too many other things to work on for the next few weeks.

      I am happy with how the Sensei trio has worked out though. Lots of fun.


  6. Great paintjob Paul! Where can one get one’s hands on this model? I tried a bit of a search but the only references I found were to a non-existant eBay shop.

    Does he have the classic Olley ringlet eyes or did you depart from your regular methodology and painted his eyes proper?


    • The model doesnt have the weird fried egg/cross section of pipe eyes actually, more the usual sort of fare. The eyeballs were so large as to be a bit odd if I didnt paint in the pupils this time, although I could have easily justified a “rolled to the back of his head in berserker rage”.

      Thats the second miniature in a row whose pupils I have painted actually. both because I couldnt really get away with leaving them out. The Eunuchs eyes reminded me of why I tend not to bother too as they ended up looking a bit goofy. Pupils are rarely worth the bother.

      Bad news on the figure purchase front. Firstly, I only found out after posting that the miniature above was a Limited Edition, so its not coming back AFAIK. Secondly, the guy who commissioned them (the Ebay shop that you mentioned) did so about a decade ago and made that run available. He got another bout of enthusiasm for doing that and got a number spun again last year or early this year, which is when I bought this model, but the seller seems to be off the grid again. I heard that he works “abroad” for large chunks of time and doesnt like to engage in hobby sales unless he has a lot of time at home scheduled, which is fair enough.

      Bad news for fans of Bob Olley space dwarfs though. This model presses a lot of my buttons and I really enjoyed painting it, even if its a bit slipshod in places. I am looking forward to a game or three with the little hairy guy.

      Some general info on Fantastic Miniatures HERE.


  7. I didn’t even know about that model, but now I am amazed! You managed damn well to integrate him into the rest of the bunch, which is really surprising; I mean, you give them individual character, as the minis are quite different, but somehow they really do have that sensation of coherence. Nicely done, really nicely done!


    • Its a cool little figure isnt it? Memorable.

      Although I tend to be quite obsessive about keeping palettes limited when putting together military types (like my orks or Necrons) or DreadBall teams and the like, the aim with the retinue project is different. For these guys I am trying to generate a pool of characters, often without any palette link.

      Although I did consider how some of the colours on these models would look alongside others (the eldar hair in conjunction with the squats hair did concern me. Potentially clashing colours and different application techniques to paint the same subject (hair)) I mostly just went with colours that would work well on the miniature when solitary.

      I think what ties these figures together is just the consistent basing style (which I use on everything these days, for this very reason) and the simple fact that they are painted by the same person. I think whatever system of techniques/style that I have ties them together in some ways.

      Thanks for the kind feedback Suber.


  8. Beautiful paintjob. Your skill really shows with all the miniatures on display. Even the small or non-characte rminis get a paintjob full of attention to detail. It seems you are pretty fast, too. Always looking foward to new stuff, so keep it up :).


    • Thanks very much daggerandbrush, very kind. Genuinely, I am not a fast painter, the opposite really. I get distracted easily and struggle to finish many projects. The output volume comes from putting in an hour or two as many weekdays as I can manage and trying to get in a longer session on Saturday and/or Sunday, real life permitting.

      Painting toy soldiers is one of a few things in life that I thoroughly enjoy, so I put as much time into it as I can.


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