Thursday, January 13, 2011

Lord of the Rings Dwarf Army Finished!

In a frenzy of a day's painting, I finished off the batch! It only took three weeks, which isn't too bad given the small amount of time per day I spent on them.

Anyway, since last time, the first thing I did was the beards and some washing of the brown areas. I did a little detail here and there, fixed up some accidental splodges and whited the eyes.

I tend to think of them as zombie dwarves at this stage, you'll see why...

The redheads got some Red Gore followed by a little Blood Red in highlights. The Brown Beards had some various browns layered on. The greys had some fortress grey, a wash, then some more fortress grey. The belts, boots etc. had some Devlan Mud washed over them. Blondie got some snakebite leather and vomit brown all over his head.

And here are the zombie kings to compare to last time...

That was where they stood as of last night.  This morning I woke up early and decided to finish them off. Got up at about six o'clock and it's a little after midday now, so pretty much six hours today (although there was breakfast, second breakfast and photography as well).

First I dotted the eyes, then I had to fix them up. Some of them took two or three tries to do. Fortunately the Khazad Guard have those masks, so you don't have to do theirs =) Next I mixed some dwarf flesh and elf flesh to do little highlights on noses, cheeks and any other skin. Then a flesh wash in the recesses really pops out the detail.

Next I mixed up some codex grey and liche purple for a largish highlight. Then a little more codex is added for a final purple highlight just on the tips of things and the highest ridges of the cloaks.

Lastly it was detail work. Some patterns on the cloaks and shields finished them off!

And now I'm the proud commander of even more dwarves!

Here's the finished group (I turned half of them to face backwards so you could see that side of them), you might need to click on this one to see them properly.

And the Kings:

And from the back...

And here are the archers:

All of the Khazads (new ones and old ones):

And a close up of a few of them:

All of my shielded dwarves:

And the heroes:

And before you get totally bored (if not too late already!)...

The army before...

And the new, improved army...

So in all there are:

Five proper heroes (Etako, Brynmor and the three new Kings)
A Shieldbearer (Boggle)
Two banners
Five Vault Warden Teams
Six Iron Guard
Twenty Khazad Guard
Ten warriors with 2-Handed Axes
Fourteen warriors with shield
Twenty warriors with dwarven bow
Eight rangers with dwarven longbow
Eight rangers with 2-Handed Axes
Eight rangers with Throwing Axes.

In terms of points, giving the rangers with 2-Handed axes some throwing axes as well...
Base troops: 1137 points.
Heroes: depends on what you play them as I guess.
My usual loadout, Etako (Balin), Brynmor (Gimli) and Boggle (Shieldbearer), are 245 points. 
If the other three are Dain (125 points) and two Kings (75-85 each), that adds another 275 - 295 points.

So with everything together... 1657 - 1677 points.

Pretty cool, huh =)

Anyway, I'm super happy that I finished them before the baby came, due in a week from now! 

It can be quite disheartening when painting in a batch like this, it often seems like you spend hours to make no progress, but in the end you do get there, and it's worth it!

Thanks for all your forum feedback and messages, always happy to answer more questions, and hope you enjoyed following along!


  1. that is the biggest dwarf arm I've every seen truly insprirational

  2. hi how do you recomend using Vault Wardens on the open battle field? Thanks in advance

  3. Hi Joe,
    A couple of the battle reports on this blog have Vault Wardens doing their thing, so feel free to check them out.
    Basically, they're great for holding strategic points. If you're playing scenarios, that is, they're probably less useful in a boring old death match!
    On a bridge, in a doorway, on top of a ramp, spearheading an advance down a corridor, these are all great for them.
    They're also great for blocking enemy heroes, or at least getting them to use up valuable might!
    Screen valuable targets with them if the enemy has lots of bows, strength 2 bow vs. vault warden defence = lots of laughs.
    A banner nearby makes them even better if you want to kill stuff with them, so I'd heartily recommend that.
    The November "Evacuate" Battle Report has VWs in it.
    So does the August one.

  4. Oh, the May "Battle for the hill" has a great VW defending a hill against overwhelming odds and doing a great job!

  5. This is a perfectly painted army! I'm from holland and I'm starting my own dwarf army too, this is a lot of inspiration. Thanks for sharing!

  6. about the VWs, i use them in a seige to hold the gate when its been breached, the only problem is, the gate is where ur opponent will send their trolls so make sure u have a banner close by

  7. Hey, fantastic painting. Im gonna start painting a dwarf army myself, and im wondering where you got your terrain board? Did you make it yourself or did you buy it?
    Cheers :)

  8. Thanks for all the nice comments =)
    The board is a Games Workshop Realm of Battle Board. The very first few posts in this blog are all about how I turned it from flat plastic with lots of skull pits into the board you see above, with lots of WIP shots and things I did right and wrong! Most of which would be suitable for making any sort of game board.
    Enjoy =)

  9. Great stuff Man, love the paint scheme! And who is that guy with the Khazad Guard mask and the massive shield? He's seriously cool.. I'm Painting up my old Dwarves at the moment, just wondering what you're views on Iron Guard are? Cause I've always found that they are obscenely expensive and die very quickly compared to their lesser warriors..

  10. Thanks =)
    The guy with the shield was a Khazad Guard that I converted into a shieldbearer, November 25th last year has the details on how I did that.
    As for the Iron Guard, good question. I really do like them, just don't use them defensively like with other dwarves. On a charge with throwing axes they are really quite good.
    December 7 last year has a few short battle reports, the first one has some good Iron Guard action towards the end of it.
    They often only have to kill two or three guys (or one mounted troop) to make their points back. So be aggressive with them. Having said that it's how much they cost money-wise that stops me from having more!
    And as with all dwarves, a banner makes them even better!

  11. Will you be paiting any more in the future ? I love watching your pics and reading how you paint them :)

  12. I think I've pretty much finished my LotR armies for now. My wife and brother are setting me up with a starter Warhammer 40k Space Wolves army for my birthday. I've never played it before, so am looking forward to some sci-fi and more modelling and mini painting.
    Probably still a month away from that though!
    Oscar, my new baby boy, is taking pretty much all of my time at the moment, hence the lack of anything recently!

  13. Is that a Gandalf the (very) Grey in the back?

    Also, I noticed you said, regarding Vault Wardens, "Screen valuable targets with them if the enemy has lots of bows, strength 2 bow vs. vault warden defence = lots of laughs."

    The other day with our mini-fortress battle, my friend and I did have a lot of laughs. Well, mostly me. One of my Rohan Outriders with a S2 bow shot down a VW shield bearer in the very first round of volley-fire! And my friend was the one who allocated the shot onto him. It was quite amazing, rolling 3 sixes in a row (to hit, and then double to wound). Pretty hilarious too.

    Of course the game before, his dwarf ballista blew up the howdah on one of my sister's Mumaks on its first shot (howdah unfortunately counts as a battlefield target, so killed outright). The (homemade, Kleenex-box-with-accessories) Mumak then proceeded to get in the way the entire rest of the game, as it stampeded half the time. It didn't actually kill anyone, but it made it hard for her second Mumak and my large Rohan army to get by. Yay for lucky shots. =D

  14. Would it be too much to ask if i wanted a list of all the paintings you use when you paint your dwarves? :)

  15. You should find all the colours listed as I go step by step. I only use GW paints too, so it should be pretty easy to get a hold of them all.

  16. Oh, and yes that's a very grey Gandalf in the background. I already have one, so I can't see myself painting him any time in the near future!

    And we've never played a siege game, how do you work out the points? Do attackers get bonus army to make up for defenders?

  17. The army is fantastic, and full of character, as well as being really nicely painted/converted. However, I'm interested as to why you chose to have so many Khazad Guard. I mean, they are very expensive in the game, and are only at their full potential when being used as bodyguard. If you are using them as bodyguard, I would have less of them (maybe 5 for Etako and then 2 for the kings) and spent the points on more dwarf warriors and maybe some more iron guard (2 attacks and throwing axes is not to be laughed at). I'm not criticising, as your Khazad guard are painted fantastically, but I think they are supposed to be the crème de la crème and there should be less of them than Iron Guard and certain warriors (i.e ones with shields). REALLY well done though, this is truly fantastic. =)

  18. Hi Anonymous,
    Not sure if you've played with dwarves or not, so hard to really answer your question specifically.
    Yes, Khazads are worth taking, I would be happy with an army almost entirely of them.
    They're not actually expensive, nor are they only at their full potential when bodyguards.
    They're strength 4 and only 2 points more than regular dwarves with shields, have the same armour as a dwarven warrior with shield, but have the option of the two handed weapon at strength 4!
    A warrior with shield is 9 points, KG is 11. So it doesn't affect your numbers much either, five KG or six warriors with shield.
    The bodyguard rule is gravy, but essential when taking on wraiths, mumak, balrogs and the other beasties my brother fields.
    Iron Guard are great, but they really are quite expensive given that they are far more fragile.
    Have you read some of the battle reports?
    My ideal army would be:
    1/3 archers
    The rest KG, IG and heroes. I love Iron Guard, and would have more if I could afford them! Much easier to find cheap e-bay KG than IG so far =)
    Fluffwise I agree with you, they should be rarer but gamewise I'll stick to as many KG as I can get!

  19. Great work on your dwarfs, iv been a Dwarf player from the start and yours are the best iv seen so far. i just set myself a painting goal of 6,000 points for war of the ring by the time the hobbit is released. I agree that Kazad Guard and Iron Guard are the core of a Dwarf army (i dont enter battle with less than 32 Iron Guard) Keep up the good work.

  20. Wow, I never responded. Sorry!
    Yes, in a siege game, the attackers get more points than the defenders. Depending on the scenario, the attackers might even have unlimited troops (dead ones come back in as reinforcements on a roll) where the defenders have to hold off for a certain number of turns, etc., or until their own reinforcement army arrives.

    We played a very basic game with only two wall sections and a tower in the middle, and the objective was to get an attacker as the only person in the top tower. The defender had to prevent this. I think the attacker had about 3x the amount of points, but we still have to play around with the specific ratio, and it really depends on the scenario. The only siege equipment we had were siege ladders (I haven't made a gate section yet). It was a pretty fun game, and dwarves are pretty good at holding the top, though with so many enemy troops, it's hard to fight through them all. We switched roles in the game after.