Lords of the Mountains

I’ve done a few Dwarf characters for a client’s Kings of War Dwarf army. The rank and file of the army was done by another painter, but the owner turned to me after the work was apparently less than satisfactory. He could abide by the army itself looking like it did, but he wanted his characters to really shine.

As the army is built for Kings of War, it’s a hodgepodge of company minies, the majority being Roman-esque Dwarf infantry and bear-riders from some company (maybe Black Tree Designs?). Sprinkled in are unit champions and characters from other companies. I’ve done Dwarf armies in the past, but I always find them pretty boring over the course of several dozen models. The beard/armor combination wears thin fast, and the miniatures soon lack any personality. Characters help break up this monotony.

The Dwarf Lord on foot is a GW model, with no conversion. He’s a great model with lots of grim personality. The brooding glare over his long mustache and solid stance make him really come alive. He’s not over-detailed, which is always a plus in my opinion. The color red is associated with the infantry in the army, so the foot-slogging Lord got the same color. His ‘common’ color marks him as lower level royalty. An element of color was the haft of his axe. I painted it in a pink marble effect, shot through with streaks of light and dark, to push it out from the background of black beard and steel.

The Bear Rider on the other hand is high royalty, exhibited by his purple clack and saddle. His armor is more elaborate, studded with runes, and his axe is held aloft directing his army. The model is from Reaper. His cape and bronze scale armor mirrors the bear pelt he wears, as well as the fur of his mount. One touch I like is the pipe tucked behind his ear for later. Even almost faceless in beard and helmet, he has a humanizing element.

The bear is nicely done, with subtle fur sculpting, even parts where the harness cuts into the fur. I painted it to resemble a Kodiak brown bear; I felt the realism would ground it on the table (its proportions in particular being realistic compared to the dwarf’s heroic proportions). It’s fun to paint a softer, less table-top contrast paint scheme, even if the rider himself follows all the rules for miniature painting of this scale.

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4 Responses to “Lords of the Mountains”

  1. These are very well done. The champion on bear is definitly an eyecatcher. The other one is well painted, but obviously a bit static due to its pose. Reminds me actually of one of the WotC prepaints, a Duergar warrior, who has a very similar pose.

    • The foot model is very static, yeah, but I think it shows proper Dwarf character, solid and unmoving, with the look like he’s staring down a challenger.

      • I do like it as a single character, but I think an entire unite like that would be too much. I think I imagined that the other minis you are working on had a similar pose, but I might have misunderstood you.

      • The rest of the unit has a little more animation, most in a sort of lock-step marching pose, weapons and shields raised. Thus his static pose is more individualized.

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