Custom Deathroller – A New Lease of Life for an Old Dwarf

SDT Blood on the Gridiron

I’m a long-time Blood Bowl player, and also really enjoy converting and scratch-building players to make them fit my idea of what the game is all about.

This week, I set to work on a project for a friend…building and painting a Deathroller for their Dwarf team. For those that may not know, the Deathroller is an illegal weapon fielded by the Dwarves to bolster their hitting power on the field, and in game terms it’s a real monster that can greatly help the Dwarven playstyle, both on offense and defence. The downside is it automatically gets sent off after it’s played a drive – unless you bribe the ref!

The basis for the model was the Warhammer Skull Pass minecart (the pony from which is also being utilised in another project), and the extra parts included some 40k bits: Ork spikes, a fuel barrel and struts from a tank kit.

I also used the old plastic dwarf bloodbowl player…who I think is a bit of a classic (along with the plastic elves that featured with them in the Dungeonbowl boxed game). These minis were way cooler than the humans and orcs from that era, and the accompanying metal dwarf and elf teams that were released in the 80s are still among my favourites.

The main parts for the build were provided and there was even a picture of an old conversion that my friend had seen to work off as a basis. Other than that I had free reign to make it look as beastly as possible!

The build was fairly simple overall, with the most complex part being making the dwarf player into a driver and giving him a seat, pedals and handles so it looked like he was actually in control! Luckily Warhammer Dwarfs have such daft proportions that it was pretty easy to repose him to be sat down – I basically just snipped the boots off and re-glued them in front rather than underneath!

Here’s the model about 95% built – the most interesting parts are probably:

  • The pilot’s hands, which I clipped off and spun around so he could hold two levers
  • The plasticard edging on the seat, which I think makes it look much more comfy!
  • The little round spacers I had to insert to make the roller actually attach to the hull
  • The skull attached to one of the spikes
  • The two foot pedals, which actually go down into the depths of the machine, connected to who knows what steam-driven madness!


My friend wanted the model to match his existing Dwarf team colour scheme of sky blue and off-white, so I used those as the main colours in combination with some good Dwarven silver and bronze. I added plenty of weathering to make it look like it had seen plenty of action on the field (just spots of Scorched Brown with a little highlighting underneath) and it was soon finished and match ready!

Toot toot! See you on the line of scrimmage!

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