Balin's expedition corps by Tankred

Translated by SkYlaX

The idea for Tankred's Grand Tournament army

During the Grand Tournament in 2005 where I could win the Best Painted Army Award, Glorfunzel lead me to the idea of buliding Balin's expedition corps and their enemies, the goblins of Moria, as interacting armies.

He also made me aware that Balin was killed at the Mirrormere by an arrow from a goblin which ambushed him. So I decided to create Balin on his bier as centerpiece for the whole arrangement.

In the Sommer of 2005 I began to paint the first 8 prototypes and developed the color scheme at that time with the help of Marla.

Over the year I worked at the army, completed the goblins for the Kauzenburg Convention and painted the army just up to the departure to Nottingham.

I put a lot of love, sweat and tears into the bravest of the braves, the faithful dwarves which wanted to gain their realm back and who finally died in honours for their leader.

The heroes

As I wanted to represent Balin's expedition corps and take part in the Grand Tournament, I added Balin equipped with Durin's Axe and, influenced by an idea of Simmerhammer and T-Shadow, the adventurers Murin and Drar. These two guys are really worth their points and with their bagpacks they slot perfectly into the army. So my dwarven army has 9 points of might. Funny, but I had already been working on the army for half a year when the two were released. 

Look at the "D"-rune which I engraved into the rock to distinguish Drar from the  other bowmen.

The banner

The banner was one of the first eight conversions I made for the army. It's based on the dwarf warrior with two-handed axe of which one has quite a lot after buying so many metal blisters. The banner itself is made of Greenstuff and was  perforated by the heavy battles in Moria. The torch bearers were the last conversions, they were created as escort for the centerpiece.

Thorin Oakenshield from Mithril Miniatures

I already had this miniature in my box for years. I reserved it for a long time to make a statue from it. But I decided that the miniature was much to nice to end as a statue and so after surely 10 years I tried to paint Mithril Miniatures. I'm quite happy with the result and it can be combined with the rest of the army if you are not too accurate.

The shield bearers

Shield bearers are in the recent rule book a very importan pillar for a dwarven army. On the one hand they help against S4 uruks and heroes which need a 6 to wound them. On the other hand they can obstruct a lot by using shield block as dwarves have a high fight value.

I tried to convert every dwarf to look unique. So I added some classics. The dwarf with the lantern is my first miniature where I tried Source Lighting (simulating a light source). I'm quite happy with the first try, but the next time I want to paint deeper shadows.

It was important to me that every dwarf has a different pattern on his clothes and shield because on the one hand I had to build the shield bearers from only 3 (!) different miniatures and on the other hand I wanted to present the family patterns and the artifice of the Khâzad.

The cook

Dwarves with two-handed weapons

I converted one dwarf's two-handed axe into a warhammer. Anyway, GW must have forgotten to create hammers. (What was again the name of they well known product?)

Balin's bier

By a hint from Glorfunzel concerning the place of death of Balin, the Mirrormere, I created this centerpiece: The bier of Balin. This piece shows the blind faith of the dwarves who want to give their captain Balin a worthy funeral in Khazad Dûm. Of course, they neither fear goblins nor death.

The complete bier is flanked by dwarves with torches on normal bases.

I converted the miniature of Balin by bedding him on a bear fur made of Green Stuff, closing his mouth and putting the whole thing on a bier made of wooden poles and goblin spears. Of course, I had to recreate the arm with the axe and reposition some cuttlings of his clothes so that they fit to his horizontal position.

The archers

The archers were the last miniatures I converted. That's why they include the most spectacular conversions. My friend Michael inspired me to create those huge bunches of arrows which the dwarves carry around with them.  One of the archers began his life as a dwarf with a two-handed weapon. In the following I want to portray my two favourite archers.

Ein wenig Tark gefällig?

The bearer of the book of Marzabul and the old, wounded man

My army necessarily had to include the bearer and writer of the book of Marzabul. Many thanks to Bea who researched those marvellous pictures. I chose a kneeling position to show that the dwarf is trying to protect the precious book.

In a game with Xawa one miniature was especially in the spotlight: The old, wounded man is a miniature which was tenacious enough to cheat death again and again. That's why the old man is wounded. I'm quite sure that he also survived the GT.

Khâzad guards

The Khâzad guards are, thanks to Balin, available in 8 positions, so that I only converted two of them. Look at the dead goblins on one of the bases. More of them in my goblin army...

Iron guards

Tankreds Eisenwachen

Since the new add-on Khâzad Dum dwarves can send iron guards to war. These guys with their two attacks and their throwing weapons can bring great chaos to the enemy's army, at the Dagor Aglareb Tournament for of them did a good job. To make the iron guards stand out of the rest of the army I painted them in a very bright color scheme.

The mission marker

This small unimposing thing with dwarven stonemasonry is a quite practical objective to mark the middle in "Take and Hold" and "Cornered". But it isn't big enough to present the whole target area. But as a measuring point it is quite useful and it's nice to look at. Of course there is a counter piece ...

Greens

Conclusion

This work fulfilled me with great satisfaction when it was done. Of course, here and there one could invest even more time, but it was the biggest effort I have ever done for an army. Stupidly enough my work wasn't regarded for the Best Painted Army Contest because the jury didn't recognize the guys or didn't consider them worthy enough for the contest.

What a pity! I was very disappointed to be not one of the eight best.
But I received a lot of nice feedback so that I decided to write this large documentation.

Thanks a lot to all the people who helped me with inspiration, research, review, tips and motivation!

Have fun with the beards,

your Tankred

 

Translated by SkYlaX

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