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Converting a Dwarf Ballista Team
For people who don't have the $$ to buy them
By Neldoreth
Jan 28th, 2008

The following is a step-by-step guide to convert some of your plastic dwarf warriors into a dwarf ballista team. All you need is super glue, white glue, balsa wood, and greenstuff. The stanrdard hobby tools are also required such as a hobby knife, some sculpting tools, a file, and some little experience!

Pick your dwarf archer first. I wanted one that I could make into a captain, and captains love to point and order people around, so it was an archer holding the bow out. Then I chopped all the archer related bits off. That included the entire right arm, the arrows, the bow, and the index finger. Then I sculped a bag over the messy part where the arrows were. I put the new arm on top of the bag to make it easier for me. I then put the finger in place, used super glue to fill the gaps and keep it in place, and then after the glue was dry, filed it flat. I will fix any other blemishes with paint when I paint it. The conversion was easy, but there is an issue with the way this fig is standing, so it doesn't look perfectly natural, but good enough!

Again, pick your figure. I love the unmotivated sculpts the best! This one was also the one that would require the least shaving and sculpting work. Cut the archer bits off again. Shaving the bow is not too bad here, but try not to damage the hair too much. Cut off the hand as well, it will be replaced with a hand that is holding the ballista ball there. Sculpt a bag where the arrows were and then make a small sphere out og green stuff, let it cure completely. Super glue the sphere to where it should be. Let the glue dry completely. Then put the hand on and sculpt it. Finally, cover up the spot where you shaved the arrow by adding some beard details... I was going to do a braid, but my green stuff was almost cured so I just went with more hair. This conversion was super easy!

Once the figs are converted it is time to paint them up. Pick your favourite colour scheme and go crazy. Or whatever, but remember, the ballista is supposed to throw stones, not metal cannon balls!

Now it's time to build the ballista itself. First we cut the balsa into the appropriate shapes for the main parts. First, the front part, cut the top and bottom of the structure and the two side boards. Glue with white glue. Then cut a plank with a groove along the top for the projectile and a groove along the bottom that will fit it into place. Once the glue dries, glue the plank into the from piece. Cut two more side boards and place them beside the plank there.

Now, using an already cured cylinder of green stuff, cut the spinning axles. Using super glue glue them to the back of the plank. Cut a small projectile holder from balsa and glue using white glue. Finally, take one of the projectiles that you sculpted previously and cut it in half. Glue each half to a side of the fron piece.

Drill holes into the axles and put in some paper clips to act as the levers. Glue one of the projectile balls you made into the holder. For both of these, use super glue.

Cut a stand fr the ballista and glue it onto the base.. Then, cut a post to hold the ballista. Drill through the entire length of the post and put a piece of paperclip to pin it in place. Drill through the stand and the base. Glue the pin and the post into the hole. Drill a hole into the ballista itself and glue the other side of the pin into it. Use super glue here.

Paint the ballista with your favourite wood scheme. And now you have a proper ballista! but it isn't quite done yet...

We still need to add the torsion ropes. Basically, clip six piece of paperclip that are about the right size to fit in the spot where the ropes would go. Get one the perfect length and use it as a guide to do the rest. Glue them together in threes with superglue. Once that glue is dry, glue the three clip strips into the proper place on the ballista. And yes, straight torsion ropes are perfectly acceptable and historically sound.

Paint the paper clip strips like ropes and now you are done! Go destroy some goblins!