Monday, May 24, 2010

Iron Guard and Brynmor Deepminer

Well, after our little holiday it's back to painting for me. Just before we went away I ordered some minis from Maelstrom Games in the UK. Sure, it's a really long way away from here, but the exchange rate just can't be beat, and we seem to pay a lot for stuff here in Oz, so I got about $100 worth of stuff for less than $45.

Picked up some Vault Wardens because I think they look cool, also a commander and the Khazad-Dum sourcebook.

In the process of doing the cleaning and basing etc. for the wardens, but have converted the commander a little for my Gimli replacement.

Firstly, though, here are the Iron Guard. You've seen my process enough already, so have just taken a few shots instead of every single stage.

Here they are with the first basecoat layer. 

And here they are currently. Have almost finished, just got a bit of work on highlights to go, primarily the purple and beards.

Because they are made up of two identical sets of three, I've done a few painting differences to separate them a little. I didn't convert because I don't think it'll be too noticeable that they each have a twin unless you put them next to each other in a similar line.

Pretty much the differences are like with the Khazad Guards, just an inversion of the silver and bronze colours. So half of them have bronze masks, the others have silver and similarly with the shoulders. For the sleeves (when they have them) one will have turquoise, the other purple.

As for my Gimli replacement, here's the story of Brynmor Deepminer...

Brynmor Deepminer.

Well, everybody knows the story of how Etako and his descendents took their people, the Ironfist clan, from the far North-east to the far South. How did they come upon such metal riches in such an unusual place?
The sunken canyons in which they live are naturally rich in many metals and gemstones, washed in by the numerous rivers, both above and below ground. Mithril, however, is not so easy to come by, yet is essential for the quality of armour that the Kings and Captains desire.

To obtain mithril is always an exercise in exploring the depths of Middle Earth. The Deepminer kinband of the Ironfist dwarves are well known for their explorative abilities. The current ruler of the Deepminers is a dwarf named Brynmor. He led an expedition further underground than any previous in the region –not so deep as those fated in Khazad-dum, though almost as fatal.

Brynmor set off with twelve of his kin, tough warriors, canny rangers and all of them artisans and experts in mining. They had enough hardtack and supplies to last at least three years, the last expedition, over a hundred years previously, had taken a year and a half and they expected to go further than that.

They knew that there was more mithril down there somewhere, in the past small enough deposits had been found to allow some armour and a weapon or two to be forged, but nowhere near in the quantities required for a full regiment of guards, let alone to keep up with repairs. Even mithril armour and weapons need repairs when in regular use for, quite literally, centuries.

Brynmor himself had trained as an Iron Guard and was already proficient in a number of weapons, having earned his mask at the tender age of 40 due to his exceptional skill. He also inherited the hammer Lemya, a Deepminer heirloom. Able to be wielded both to craft and to kill, Lemya was one of the mithril imbued weapons of his ancestors. It had been used in the construction of the Ironfist Gauntlet, and was imbued with power. It was so perfectly balanced that it could be thrown with incredible accuracy and crush even troll-skull.

Very little is known of the expedition itself. Brynmor refuses to talk about it, except for the occasional hint or part of a story that sometimes comes out when he’s had more ale than his sensibilities allow. What is known is that the expedition took more than thirty years.

Brynmor returned alone, battle weary, travel stained and near death. He was pulling a hand-cart with a supply of mithril that caused every jaw to drop. He himself was wearing mithril armour, that looked as though it had seen a lot of use. Not only that but with Lemya strapped to his waist, he carried a shovel. A mithril imbued shovel. Gjel-grava it is called and it can dig through the hardest granite, of course it is also sharp enough to lop off goblin heads with ease.

It is clear that Brynmor has fought numerous goblins, trolls and other beasts of the underworld. It is not known precisely what happened to his kin. Did mithril-lust burn him to slay the others? It had been so many years, among so much wealth? It would not have been the first time that the blood of a dwarf had burned in such a way. Perhaps they were lost to the natural hazards of the deeps, or in the numerous battles they must have faced, perils beyond description.

In any case, Brynmor Deepminer, to start with an exceptional warrior, has been forged alike to his weapons and is now a warrior with no peer. Taciturn and withdrawn, he drowned himself in ale every night, never far from a keg of his favourite brew.  Etako is the only dwarf who has managed to get personally close to him, drawing out secrets, but holding them fast himself.

Etako trusts him to watch his back and lead the way into battle, and that’s enough for the other dwarves too. Besides, the mithril he brought back has allowed for a contingent of Khazad Guard, Iron Guard and work has begun on the tower shields required for Vault Wardens.

Master forger, master warrior, Brynmor Deepminer is always glad to lose himself in the tide of battle, and woe to those who stand in his way!

(Lemya – to strike or throw hard, Gjel – narrow valley or ravine, Grava – to dig.)

Same as Gimli – but will hopefully be painted better than my current Gimli! And instead of the Axes of the Dwarves he wields Lemya the hammer and Gjel-grava the shovel.

The shovel I made by cutting a kite-shaped bit of greenstuff, then lopped off the top and bottom of it. I then rolled it slightly around a brush handle to curve it. A tiny bit of greenstuff was rolled into an oval, left to cure, then cut in half lengthwise and then crosswise to get the little bit near the handle. The axe of the captain was removed, then the handle filed back to about half thickness so that the shovel sits down "into" the handle a bit, rather than on the end of it or just on top of it. 

The bits on the helmet were randomish shapes added just to give his helmet a bit of panache. The hammer was a bit of an orc sword (from a warg rider sprue, seeing as how I only use the wargs without riders) and another couple of tiny bits of greenstuff. The head of the hammer was a cylinder of greenstuff that I let sit overnight then chopped a segment out of it. The bit the head of the hammer attaches to was shaped by hand then squashed a little flat in one direction to keep curve on the top and bottom but straight sides. The strap it's buckled on with was just a flat strip that I trimmed and curved around.

I'm still new to greenstuff sculpting, but I'm pretty happy with the results, as always a bit of paint on top will make it look a lot better (I hope). I made the mistake of attaching the hammer, then trying to get the little strap on, as soon as I'd glued the hammer on I realised I should have just wrapped the strap around it first, then glued the whole thing in place. Duh. Oh well, live and learn =)

The keg of brew he's standing on is from an old GW dwarf bitz that I've had lying around for ages, and the itty bitty rocks are just itty bitty rocks. I like to elevate my commanders, not just by using a bit of gold on the paint job, but by standing them up a little higher.

Anyway, will WIP as I go.

Oh, and a big thanks to all your forum comments, it was nice to come back after a week and see so many nice things said =) 

The next battle will take place this week and, as always, I'll try to get it written up and posted soon after. We're doing things a little differently this time. Now my brother has a slightly bigger Harad army (and will have a Rohan/Minas Tirith army one day as well as he's started painting them now too

So this week, I got to choose the scenario: "The high ground".
He chose the points: 400. (To be revised before Friday if he gets more painting done.)

We also think we'll start adding "commander might points" to our games. A major victory will give you 3 points for your next match, a minor victory 2 and otherwise you just get 1 for participating. These work exactly like normal might points, but can be used by us at any time for anybody, including for priority.

So our everyday rank and file troops may, in the course of a battle, be inspired or rise to their full potential and perform something epic. Or perhaps after having lost priority six times in a row (as seems to happen a lot in our games) a sudden change in fortunes may happen.

Who knows! Also we might limit the number of points you can spend in a single match, but you can bank them for future matches or trade them in for some extra points in your army, maybe 10 points per might point or something. 

Anyway, will see how it goes =)


  1. hmmm, a hammer and a shovel... Are you sure you got his clothing correct? Shouldn't it be a tank top, shorts and desert boots?? (a mithril tank top would be acceptable of course)

  2. you have some awesome dwarves!