By David Kuijt
Elements I've got (painted):
Note that all the elements are 2-pt elements right now. I thought about making the DwarfKing a Hero, but I don't think that is a proper thing for a DwarfKing most of the time -- a Blade General fits better.
As soon as I make another order from Vendel I'll also add 2x Dwarven Spear (4Sp). In the long run I will also have a Dragon for this army -- even though Tolkein purists (in which club I belong, in some moods) object to the idea of a Dragon in a Dwarf army, it is perfectly in accord with the Norse mythos from whence Dwarves and Dragons both sprang -- in the Sigurd story cycle, Fafnir is a Dwarf who transforms himself into a Dragon in order to protect his hoard and deprive his brother (Regin) of his share, which leads Regin to trick Sigurd into killing Fafnir, etc. etc.. So a Dragon in a Dwarf army is perfectly appropriate. And if you disagree, poo on you! I'm doing it anyway, so there.
The major enemies of the Dwarves are the goblins and orcs, of course. I'm planning to put together a Goblin army that can either be run as Goblins in Moria (for Balin's Last Stand, or the Fall of Durin) or Goblins Outside (for Battle of the Five Armies).
Tolkein mentions the Dwarves fighting battles against the Elves (in the Silmarillion) and against the Northmen who eventually became Rohan (in the Lord of the Rings, the Appendices on Rohan), plus against a mix of Mordor and Easterlings (the fall of Dain and Brand in front of the Lonely Mountain).
The DwarfKing really has to be a blade element.
The bannerdude's banner pole is brass rod. For the banner I designed a flag based upon Tolkein's image of the Hollingate of Moria (with the star of the house of Feanor and the hollies of Hollin removed, of course). Then I printed it out at 300dpi on my truster inkjet printer. Since the art is black and white, I put it up against a window and used a very fine-point permanent pen to ink the reverse side outlines, then I painted the black areas in with a brush. That got me a very nice two-sided flag that you could see the light through (which makes it look much less fake). Finally I painted the flag with slightly reduced white glue, one part at a time, curving the flag and holding it curved until the glue dried enough for it to hold its shape. This was an experimental technique, but it worked really well, so I'm going to use it again.
Dwarves are very tough and heavily armored -- perfect Blades. These figures are all Vendel Dwarves -- absolutely without question the best Dwarves available if you are a Tolkein purist. These are surly little bearded bastards in Dark Ages/Viking armor and equipment. Nothing else comes close! Every single figure is different, too -- no copies. Shields are mostly separate (I think the DwarfKing is the only guy who has a cast-on shield). Weapons are all cast-on, except the bannerdude's banner pole. I don't know if the spears and polearms in the pack with them are cast on or not because I didn't get that pack (yet).
The one place I go away from the Tolkein-purist model is that I like my Dwarf army to have crossbows, not bows. I might have chosen differently, except Vendel's bow Dwarves are unarmored, and the crossbow dudes are wearing proper Dwarven hauberks.
Eagles don't always fight on the side of the Dwarves, but they are an ally in the Battle of the Five Armies, and add a cool bit of variety to an army that needs it. This same eagle also subs into my Gondor army. After all, it would be the same Eagles from the Misty Mountains that would be wanking on Orcs in both cases, eh?
Another bit of variety based upon the Battle of the Five Armies -- the Bears of Beorn. Beorn himself should be a Behemoth, but his friends and stuff are perfect for Beasts. This also gives the Dwarves a bit of bad-going ability, which is pretty important for a heavy-foot army without much in the way of bad-going troops. One element of Beasts and two of Shooters is probably enough to work on enemy boards with bunches of bad going.
All the Dwarves are by Vendel.
The Eagle is GW, from their Warhammer range.
The Bears are a mix of things, mostly from Wild West figures of various manufacturers. I'm afraid I can't remember the details.
Last Updated: October 13, 2005. Another half-dozen pictures added and some more text.
October 12, 2005. Page created.
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