Of mountains cold – Khael Stonekindle
Khael Stonekindle, a sculpt by Jason Wiebe, is one of my favourite dwarf miniatures. He has enough character for three dwarfs and being a dwarven wizard, he is also a rare sight. Traditionally dwarves are not know to follow this profession, at least in the classic D&D universe.
Wiebe’s style is quite different to Klocke’s comic-book dwarves, giving Khael a more realistic, yet jolly enough appearance to be immediately recognised as a dwarf. His face and beard are well sculpted and surprise with subtle details. May it be the wrinkles on his forehead or the beads braided in his beard. Unfortunately his eyes are not entirely even, which makes it harder to get the eyes right and not make him look slightly odd.
His robe is mostly unadorned, but offers an opportunity to either add free-hand decorations or to pick out different parts of the robe in contrasting colours. His hat is a true classic.
The belt offers a nice selection of pouches and bottles. While not highly detailed, they look the part and add some interest to the sculpt. The sword he carries might seem comically large, but he is after all a dwarf, so why not a broad sword? I made a second version with sword removed. It was easy to cut it off, but I had to add some detailing with greenstuff.
Finally, his staff and pipe are very thoughtful additions to the miniature, both conveying something about his character. The staffs head being shaped like a bear or maybe even a rodent – for instance a weasel – provides some good ideas for a familiar.
He is depicted in a “contemplative” pose, as if looking at a closed door surrounded by unintelligible runes, lost in a century old riddle.
Deep Duera’s spawn
Carefully he stuffed his modest pipe of red oak, expertly assessing the fill of good Stonecutter tobacco. He looked up, still his slippers on and his beard dishevelled.
“Well, what is so important that it could not wait untill I finished my afternoon nap lass?”, Khael asked a breathless Bailey.
“Master Stonekindle, please forgive me my intrusion”, she responded bashfully, “but the matter at hand is of great importance for the hold.”
Holding a match cord close to his pipe he smiled at her through his white beard. “Bailey, is it not? I remember you having quite a nose for precious stones even when you where just a little lassie.”
She nodded timidly. “Master Stonekindle, it is Deep Duera’s spawn just under our feet.”
Khael inhaled the aromatic smoke and puffed it over the scrolls and trinkets on his desk. “By Moradin’s hammer. Duergar amidst our hold?” His eyes wandered over his desk, resting for some seconds on a book, but then he looked up. “Lass, would you be so kind and reach me that folio over there?”, he mumbled pointing on a stack of books behind her. “It seems I was right all along. We built our hold on the dusty remains of Norund. You know the tale, don’t you? Your mother should have told you sitting around the hearth.”
Passing him the folio she smiled. “I asked her to a hundred times Master Stonekindle.”
He opened the old yellowed pages. “Then let us find out if the legend is true, shall we?”
Khael took paint easily, given all the details can be reached without effort and the details really pop when painted. I found the hat band and cloak rim a bit bland, so I added a simple geometric pattern. For Khael I used a mix of Reaper Master Series paints, Vallejo Model Colour and GW washes.
Robe: Basecoat of Vallejo London Grey with a hint of Vallejo Chocolate Brown and successive amounts of RMS Pure White for the highlights, RMS Pure Black for the shadows.
Robe and hat band decorations: Basecoat of RMS Grass Green, followed by a wash with GW Agrax Earthshade. The pattern is then drawn on with Vallejo Golden Yellow and washed with GW Reikland Flesh Shade. The green is highlighted adding small amounts of Vallejo Golden Yellow, the pattern adding small amounts of RMS Pure White.
Linen cuffs and pants: Basecoat of RMS Pure White with a hint of RMS Muddy Brown, wash with GW Agrax Earthshade and highlights with 50:50 RMS Tanned Leather and RMS Pure White.
Dark leather parts and sword hilt: RMS Muddy Brown with a bit of RMS Blood Red as base colour. Vallejo Deep Yellow mixed in for the highlights.
Light leather parts: RMS Tanned Leather with a wash of Agrax Earthshade, followed by highlights with successive amounts of Vallejo Gold Yellow.
Sword sheath: RMS Blood Red followed by a wash with GW Agrax Earthshade. Successive highlights with Vallejo Golden Yellow.
Bronze parts: Brown Base Coat (RMS Muddy Brown) followed by Vallejo Bronze and a wash with GW Reikland Flesh. I then mixed some Vallejo Bright Bronze in for the first and the second highlight, finishing off with some Vallejo Silver. Vallejo Smoke was then applied to add again more depth in some places.
Face and skin
Face: 50:50 of Vallejo Medium Fleshtone and Vallejo Basic Skintone for the basecoat followed by a wash with GW Reikland Flesh. Successive highlights with Vallejo Basic Skintone and RMS Pure White.
Hair: Vallejo London Grey with a hint of RMS Pure Black as base colour, highlights with successive amounts of RMS Pure White.
Pipe smoke: A small piece of cotton from a cotton bud, stiffened with fixative and glued to the pipe bowl.
Wooden parts: RMS Muddy Brown with a bit of RMS Blood Red as base colour. Vallejo Deep Yellow mixed in for the highlights, but taken higher than the dark leather parts.
Base: The cobblestone base is home-brewed. You can find a step-by-step tutorial here.
I just came across your site. Really nice work! I will be using your approach to making cobblestone bases and walls. Thanks for sharing. 🙂
Thank you for commenting. You are very welcome to give it a go. If you have some silicon on hand you could also make a mold from the master and cast stuff in resin. However, that would be only the better approach if accuracy is important for you. The press mold can introduce some inaccuracies depending on how much pressure is applied, but it works great for bases.
[…] his super detailed and easy to follow tutorials or delightful, story and character-infused reviews, a Dagger and Brush post in my WordPress reader feed makes me click with particular vigor! […]
[…] is your passion? Want to paint, but don’t know how? The daggerandbrush blog is the way to […]
Great job on this little guy and I do love the presentation you use. I’m tempted to look for my Gandwarf in my Bones box to paint him up myself now….
Thank you very much. I would love to see your version!
I really like the band on the wizard’s hat. I remember you suggesting doing something with the band on one of my own models, and this is a great showcase of how working on the band can really help bring out the best in the model, so thanks for the example!
Thank you. I’ll use this simple design more often from now on as it is easy to paint, but offers enough for the eye to be drawn, too. I’ll be interested in your creations, too.
Love the story, love the painting, love the review, and especially love that epic skeleton battle photo at the end! 😀
Glad you like all of it. I will experiment a bit more with the atmospheric Dungeon shots. They look really cool, but obviosuly don’t show the colours as they appear in daylight. I guess I keep it as a feature pic in upcoming posts ;).
Atmospheric, entertaining and even educational – great post. Oh, and not to forget inspirational – I just got some unpainted pieces of dungeon terrain out of storage and onto my painting desk.
Thank you for your comment. I look forward to see the dungeon terrain painted up. I am always pleased if I can get more people into some good old Dungeon Crawling.
These figure reviews you’re doing are great! Very entertaining. I love the little vignettes you set up.
Thank you. It is good fun to set them up and make up some stories surrounding them. On the gaming table the miniatures often blend in with terrain, monsters etc., this way they can shine on a photo.
I like the way you’re folding the stories of the three dwarves into each other-it’s a lot more interesting than the typical ‘here’s some stuff’ approach that most blogs (including mine) take.
Thank you for your kind words. Given the guys will be featured in some RPG adventure in some point it is quite nice to make some backstory for them up and get a feeling for roles they could have. Also makes them grow more on me which adds to the fun while painting them and keeps up my motivation to finish them.