Azazel’s November Mechanical Challenge

Azazel’s November Mechanical Challenge

The Challenge

“The idea for this month’s theme is to paint mechanical models.”

For more details regarding this Community Miniature painting challenge, please check out Azazel’s site:

If you’ve been following my site and haven’t checked out Azazel’s Bit Box yet, then shame on you! Seriously, great painter, puts out fun challenges which also end up showcasing lots of peoples work from all over the globe.

So, let’s get…


I had a tough time coming up with a song tribute for Dwarves (coming soon!), let alone a Dwarf Deathroller. Then “Mr Roboto” popped into my head while typing up this “Mechanical Challenge” blog post. So Enjoy!

The Main Course

I’ve had my sights on this Dwarf Deathroller for awhile now. I think he was targeted for a few of Azazel’s past challenges, but other miniatures took priority or I just didn’t have the time. A few weeks back, I ‘dusted’ off the Blood bowl Dwarves and while I was at it, got back to finishing the Deathroller too.

At the time I originally made this Deathroller, Blood Bowl minis were not being produced. You had to hope for the best on Ebay. I would search around, but either things were too expensive or I didn’t like the looks of them. This is likely what prompted me to make my own. A fun excursion and my biggest conversion to date.

Sadly I don’t have any old pictures to share of the old conversion process. I’ve searched and searched for pics I took (or forgot to take) of when he was first constructed. Its a complete custom, cobbled together from kid’s toys and various electric/construction doodads. Originally, the pilot was a 2nd edition Blood Bowl Dwarf.

When Games Workshop relaunched Blood Bowl in 2016, I pulled out the old Deathroller and thought of how I could convert one of the new Dwarf minis into a pilot. I also decided I needed to touch up the paint that had not stuck to some of the plastic parts. A ‘gas tank’ got added to the back, from a Mantic bit that seemed just about perfect, shifting/steering handles got remade, and some foot pedals got made out of green stuff. 

While redoing the Dwarf bases, I also got the wild idea to remove his old base. I replaced it with a new weighted GW base, painted the same as the rest of the team. I managed to keep the little green stuff squished body/hand sticking out bit that I had put under the roller part.

Next I decided to repaint the ‘roller to match the new team colors and apply some decals. In the end, what was going to be a ‘touch-up paint and replace pilot’ job, ended up being a lot more. A complete repaint and some minor additions, and I end up with a pretty new Deathroller for the team.

Yep, I even painted the tiny eyes.
Born to be Wild!!
Keep on Truckin!

The lighting is a bit harsh in some of the photos, and I noticed things like the contract in his beard doesn’t really show up. New phone takes really nice pics though, but I’ll have to work at getting better pics in the future.

The only thing I missed out on, was a removable (magnetized) pilot. This wasn’t very feasible with the steering/shifting handles. My idea was to remove the pilot during gameplay and add a note or flag  “Out to Lunch”, if he got “Stunned” during the game. Usually you flip the mini down when they are knocked down/stunned, but it isn’t feasible with the size and shape of this mini. I might end up adding a ‘smoke effect’ of some sort instead. Something that could attach/detach easy during the game. But it probably also needs letters like “Stunned”. Something to ponder, for sure.

Wrap up

Would have loved to do more behind the scenes show and tell, but without the pics, it’s pretty tough. The roller part was a barrel from a kid’s toy set, that I added chopped sprue bits for spikes (gluing pieces to a rounded surface is not easy!). The ‘smoke stack’ part on the back is actually the top of a street light from the kid’s toy set once again. But interesting enough, you put it all together and paint it up, and people don’t notice. Most people think it’s a mini from a company.

When playing Blood Bowl, a number of Dwarf Coaches don’t take the Deathroller as it’s not cost effective. Especially for a starter team. It’s an “illegal weapon” and the Ref will eventually call it off the field. Which means you pay a lot for a piece that might not get used much at all.

However, I find it just too cool not to take. Especially whenever I see a Deathroller mini. This happened to be the case in our league too. I helped a new Coach build his Dwarf team, letting him know about the pitfall of taking a Deathroller. When he saw the mini though, he just had to have it. Haha!

Not too much else to tell in the wrap up. The repaint went pretty smoothly. The rebase wasn’t as harrowing as it could have been. It was certainly nice to return to this old mini, revise it with a few bits and add a new pilot. Hope you enjoyed the trip!

22 thoughts on “Azazel’s November Mechanical Challenge

    1. Thank you, thank you! It’s such an iconic piece for Blood Bowl and fit perfectly for Azazel’s November Mechanical Challenge. So much so, that he reminded me about 1 billion times, haha!

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  1. I’m too much of a (in-world) traditionalist* for the Deathroller myself, but that is a good one. I think I actually like it better than the FW one. My favourite aspect, tho, is that it has a Positional label marking it as a Deathroller, as if it could be mistaken for anything else!

    *Back when I had a Dwarf Army, it was all crossbows and Bolt/Stone throwers. No gunpowder weapons at all.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Alexis! I did have a short debate over the new FW one. It’s certainly more detailed, but I guess nostalgia and my wallet won me over. Haha, the positional labeling is a bit over the top for them all. But I’m usually playing games with friends who have never played Blood Bowl, and often converting non-gamers. I remember back when I was first learning the game, and couldn’t tell a Blocker from a Blitzer, etc. So I try to make it as easy as possible, even if it is silly.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Honestly, I wish the Tablet version marked the Positions. For a number of the Teams, the Linemen and Blitzers in particular can be pretty hard to tell apart, and in a game where time matters, wasting it trying to tell them apart can be a pretty big disadvantage. But for the Big Guys, it’s really not as big of a deal. Even a newbie should be able to tell a Troll from an Orc!

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        1. Oh yea, I played Humans, Undead, and High Elves on the computer and didn’t have much of a problem. Playing against other teams though, I sometimes couldn’t figure out which ones were which.

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  2. That’s a very clever kitbash, I like the way you’ve used a lot of “non-miniatures” parts to make it. I love the idea of the Deathroller (no idea how good it is in game, but as a concept it’s one of the coolest things I’ve ever heard of!) but the official model is a right gouge so building your own is a smart move.

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    1. Oh yea “kitbash”. That’s the proper term! Thanks Wudugast! I really didn’t have anything else to make it with at the time, so toys it was. I bought a few official Deathroller parts off Ebay over the years, but never seemed to find use for them. Yea, it’s a cool piece, along the lines of some of the very cool Skaven machinery. Would be interesting to see another piece or two make its way into Blood Bowl. Who knows?

      Game-wise, it’s a beast when it’s on the field. But it’s usually not on their for long, and very expensive. For a starting roster with a Deathroller, you likely can’t afford the Troll Slayers and are probably looking at only 2 Rerolls.

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  3. Not a Bloodbowl guy but gotta respect what you’ve done here. Nice conversion/resurrection, that’s right up my alley. I like the way it’s easier for the players to see and identify as even for newbies at a game that makes it more fun. A suggestion as to its status and marking, as I faced this issue with Combat Patrol. Make a placard for him that you could hang on him saying “out to lunch” or whatever. Would be funny in the game?

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    1. Thanks Mark! Appreciate the respect! Placard is a good idea. Along the lines of what I was thinking. Actually…maybe a sign saying Stunned, that has a lunch box or some sort of broken down symbol (wrench?). I was doing something similar with the Big Guy Ogre in the past, putting a little Dunce Cap on him that said “Dum Down”, for when he failed a Bonehead roll (loses the action that turn and all tackle zones). Good chance that I’ll be recreating various markers like that using Sculpey.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Nice work here, Faust. I especially like the orientation of the driver – so that it looks like he’s popping a wheelie…but obviously isn’t. Toys are often a great source of kitbash parts, along with model kits, obviously. But you can make some awesome stuff from them as you’ve shown here!

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    1. Thanks Azazel. Yea, it took a bit of work to get him positioned somewhat decently. Mostly limited by the big roller up front and what I had available. Still nice to get him all repainted for the new team though.

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