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The Enemies And Allies Of Karak Zhufdrin - Undead, Empire, Elves, Orcs...long Overdue!

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#1 Lord Alisk

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Posted 15 May 2015 - 01:56 PM

Hello all.


Well, over the last months I've hardly had any time to get much painting done, what with the exams coming up and all. Anyway, now most of my students are through that particular hurdle, giving me a bit more time to mess around with toy soldiers (and do much neglected household tasks - there is that too...)


Anyway, I've always wanted my dwarf hold, Karak Zhufdrin, to have a bit more of a 'presence' in the Warhammer World. The idea is that they are descended from the dwarfs of Karak Varn (their king, Grettir, styles himself, among other things, as 'True King of Karak Varn'), but at present they're making the best of it in the Grey Mountains, in the Grey Lady Pass area between Ubersreik and Parravon (more-or-less where Karak Azgaraz is, in the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay setting, if anyone knows that).


Part of wanting to flesh out the world around my hold was to build up small collections of models to represent the locals - both the antagonists, allies, and neutrals, who live around Karak Zhufdrin. I'm hoping to build up 1000-1500 point armies for these forces so as to vary my own games, and to lend out to friends. 


Also, I guess painting nothing but beards and mail can get a bit tedious...


Anyway, at present, I've got 3 side-projects ongoing, of varying stages of completeness - the night goblins, the undead, and the Empire. I might get some Bretonnians down the line, but I think I've got enough to be going along with.


Anyway, first up, we have the Night Goblins.


Like most dwarf holds, Karak Zhufdrin is plagued by Night Goblins, and the local tribe, the Skabby Handz, are more troublesome than most. Though very badly organised, they're constantly infiltrating the hold, trying to seize off prisoners and loot. Their chief, Skratchitt, and his pet squig Gnippa, are frequently seen marshalling his forces to try and break into the hold. Though he's never succeeded yet, that is only through the constant vigilance of the dwarf wardens below the hold.


Anyway, here's the chief of the Skabby Handz, Skratchitt and Gnippa:
















Skratchitt has a few ladz to boss around, though it is rumoured that he's mustering his reinforcements for another attack (basically, there's an embarrassingly large number of plastic coloured goblins sitting around in a box looking forlorn). Oh, and though the troll has been posted before, I thought I'd put him up again (I posted him on another thread ages ago), because I'm still fairly happy with him, and he has some more friends/minders/food now .














Secondly, I've got a few undead on the go. These aren't really fleshed out (oooh what a horrible pun....), with the vague idea that they're under the sway of a Bretonnian marquis-turned-vampire (marquises always seem depraved for some reason). I've gone for a fairly standard red and black colour scheme for them, and most of the characters will be the '90s vampires (though I do like the modern skeletons and wights). Basically, when I think vampire, I think Christopher Lee, and I just can't cope with the newfangled vampire look GW are pushing these days. It is opera cloaks all the way! Anyway, retro vampires with a faux-French name will be incoming soon.


Now, however, there's just a rather pathetic shamble of skeletons for the dwarfs of Karak Zhufdrin to deal with.
















I'm fairly pleased with these guys. They're a faff to assemble, but they look great. In retrospect, I think the banner would have been better being black with red fleur de leys, but it looks OK as it is, I'd say. I'm very pleased with the round shields on the champion and the 'undead viking' model. I'll be doing more 'freehand' shields, I'd say - I think they look kind of spiffy, and aren't that hard to do, to be honest.


However, help is at hand! 


The dwarfs of Karak Zhufdrin have very close relations with the Empire, and especially with the border city of Ubersreik. Many dwarfs make a living in the city, and even sit on the city's council (there's some fun stuff on the dwarfs in Ubersreik according to the old Warhammer Fantasty Roleplay book Sigmar's Heirs). The humans have various outposts throughout the mountains, which, no doubt, this solitary infantryman wound up.


He was a joy to paint, actually. I love the great swords kit (at present it is my favourite Warhammer plastic kit, actually). The model painted up really easily, and I think a force of these guys will look stunning alongside the throng of Karak Zhufdrin. At present, however, it is just one guy wandering around (I wanted to test the colour scheme before getting too involved).












Anyway, I've really enjoyed doing all these guys, and it has been nice to break up the painting routine a bit. I'm still doing plenty of dwarfs, of course, and these are very much meant as the 'other' project - but they are a lot of fun (and they do make me depressed about how mediocre the basic dwarf infantry are, to be honest).


Comments and criticism eagerly sought!


All best,





Edited by Lord Alisk, 30 October 2019 - 11:39 AM.

#2 Dal Ok Thrund

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Posted 15 May 2015 - 10:19 PM

I like it! Impressive shield decorations on the undead. And though I love painting dwarfs/dwarves I often tend to paint other models to get some variation. I've placed my own clan/hold somewhere along the Averland borders of the Worlds Edge Mountains as I have a lot of old Empire/halfling miniatures I'd like to paint one day. And as you I also have a band of greenskins since I find them to be the perfect opponent in what i think is the quintessential warhammer battle for me.

#3 Lord Alisk

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Posted 16 May 2015 - 04:43 AM

I like it! Impressive shield decorations on the undead. And though I love painting dwarfs/dwarves I often tend to paint other models to get some variation. I've placed my own clan/hold somewhere along the Averland borders of the Worlds Edge Mountains as I have a lot of old Empire/halfling miniatures I'd like to paint one day. And as you I also have a band of greenskins since I find them to be the perfect opponent in what i think is the quintessential warhammer battle for me.


Many thanks! Good of you to say (my photos are still rubbish though - I don't mean to 'blow my own trumpet', but the figures are nicer in person).


I've really enjoyed working out my hold, and where it is, and all that, so I really understand why you seem to be doing the same thing. I have to say I'm a big fan of most of the Empire plastics, and I'm looking forward to building up a proper allied contingent of them. I just with the dwarf update got as much new fancy stuff as the Empire got (I demand a Zeppelin!).


I agree with you on the Greenskins - for me Orcs and Goblins against men and/or dwarfs is pretty much *the* pinnacle of Warhammer Fantasy, and a great match up. 


Anyway, thanks for dropping by, and all best,



#4 Lord Alisk

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Posted 03 August 2015 - 06:58 PM

Hello everybody.


I've been beavering away as best I can on various painting projects - a fair few dwarfs, but also some undead and Empire forces. Not that many figures, to be honest, but I'm happy with how they've turned out (the pictures are, as always, pretty naff). 


Anyway, we've got a vampire lord (affectionately known as Christopher Lee, but his in game name is Marquis Enguerrand de Morbihan). I do quite like the old-school GW vampire look - I can't really cope with how they look these days - I like over-the-top capes and the like (on Vampires, anyway), and I found this guy a lot of fun to paint:






Then we've got the wight king, Fritigern the Unyielding (at least that's his 'name in progress', as it were). Also, I'm sorry that static grass got on him before the photos. That stuff gets everywhere!










Now we've got some reinforcements for my Empire army (an army of 9 models right now, but nevermind...)


Firstly, I've chewed through most of a box of great swords, but I haven't plucked up the courage to do the banner yet. That will probably be very involved, and, to be honest, I haven't decided what I'll put on it. The 'theme' for my Empire army is that they're based in Ubersreik (or at least that's the nearest town of any size), and are charged with guarding/patrolling the Grey Lady Pass. The details will come! But as soon as I start painting banners, the details need fleshing out fairly soon.


Anyway, here's the first seven of them:


















Then I've got a captain (as yet unnamed), who'll either be a proper captain, or be demoted to great sword champion.












Finally, because we need some basic infantry, we've got the start (count 'em - 1!) of a unit of halberdiers. To be honest, I'm not that keen on these figures, and have been working out how best to convert great swords into state troops (it'll be easy). Anyway, they're not bad figures by any means, but they just aren't as lovely as great swords!






Anyway, as always, I'd love to hear (gentle) criticism and feedback - I do want to get better at painting, anyway.


Thanks for dropping by, and all best,



#5 Pellegrim


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Posted 03 August 2015 - 07:43 PM

wow those great swords are fine

#6 Fanai Glimmerclaw

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Posted 03 August 2015 - 10:07 PM

Love the colours of the Great swords

#7 hoegaarden


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Posted 03 August 2015 - 10:43 PM

Cool looking wight king too. Like the storyline thread and the well painted minis

Thanks for sharing

#8 Oridur


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Posted 04 August 2015 - 01:16 AM

Very nice! Quality workmanship indeed!  :thumbup:

#9 Lord Alisk

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 06:00 AM

Hi everybody.


Many thanks indeed for all the kind replies. They're a lot of fun to paint and are a bit of a change from my dwarfs (which are still very much my first love). 


The next big project for my non-dwarfs will be a celestial hurricanum model. It is actually my 3rd wedding anniversary today, and my good lady wife bought me one of these as a present (which was lovely of her), so that's getting shunted to the top of the painting queue. 


It is one thing which makes me a bit sad for dwarfs, not having these really engaging big kits which can be real centre pieces for other armies. And when the new book landed 18 months ago, there was a guy on the internet, who knew for definite, who said we'd get a zeppelin....


Anyway, thanks again for dropping by. I'll be working on the fluff for my combined dwarf/Empire versus goblins and undead armies going forward, so thanks for all the encouragement.


Cheers everybody,



Edited by Lord Alisk, 04 August 2015 - 06:01 AM.

#10 Krudd Kraggsson

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 11:11 PM

The cream colour for the empire troops is great. Your choice of colours and the balance between them is excellent.

#11 Thorgrimmir


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Posted 23 August 2015 - 08:54 AM

The pattern on the skeletons champion shield is wonderful !

#12 Lord Alisk

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Posted 23 August 2015 - 09:02 AM

Hello everyone again - many thanks for all the kind words thus far about my various side projects.


I've done a few more Empire models (I've nearly finished a modest great swords unit, and some other oddments), which I'll be posting up soon, and I'm determined to finish my squig gobba which has been sitting around 80% painted for 10 months now, so these should be the next installments (Grungni willing, within a week or so).


Thanks for all the encouragements and kindness, it means a lot.


All best,


#13 lairsc00


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Posted 23 August 2015 - 11:32 AM

How big are you planning to make these sub forces to go along with your dwarfs?

#14 Lord Alisk

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Posted 23 August 2015 - 11:53 AM

How big are you planning to make these sub forces to go along with your dwarfs?


For the Goblins and Vampires, I'm going for game-legal armies of around 1,500 points or so (certainly no more than 2000).


For the Empire, it is a bit more complex. They appeal to me the most, and make good allies for my dwarfs - we'll see how they pan out! But at present, I'm still a long way from game-legal 1,500, so I guess that's an issue for the future.


For all 3 armies, they're what might be called 'fluff' armies - there's a strong theme going on, and they're more there for variety in play than anything, whilst my dwarfs (5000+ points fully painted) are the main battle army. So the night goblins are 'pure' night goblins (no Black Orcs coming around to boost their leadership, or anything like that), the vampires will have a strong barrow king/dark age aesthetic going on (lots of wights and skeletons), and the Empire is just based around the models I like with a lot of kit-bashing (so lots of state troops and great swords, even though they're both a bit rubbish in game).


I'm also having a lot of fun doing small 1-1,500 point games with these armies - you learn a lot more about the game using another army, and it certainly does break the painting up a bit. Though in game terms, I do on the whole prefer my dwarfs - the night goblins in particular are just so random that I never feel I either earn my victories or deserve my defeats. 


I guess one spanner in the works is what is going on with the armies re. Age of Sigmar (which I'm not keen on), especially if some of these armies become redundant (i.e. Empire gets re-branded from a 16th century aesthetic, to some weird space marine knock-off aesthetic). I guess I'll just sit in my old-hammer bunker and pretend a lot of it isn't happening.


Thanks for dropping by.

#15 Lord Alisk

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Posted 10 September 2015 - 09:14 AM

Hello everyone again.


I've been beavering away on various projects for the past few weeks, and there's been some progress.


Firstly, I've finished off a (still pretty tiny) unit of great swords:












I'm pretty happy with how these turned out, but if I were to do them again, I'd re-jig the shield on the banner, moving it down a little bit. As it is, the crest of the helmet is a bit crushed.


Still, for a first attempt at a complicated free-hand flag, it seems OK.


Secondly, I've finally finished my squig gobba - which has been 70-80% finished for about 10 months not (the gobba, minus one leg, had been done, but the squigs and crew weren't). Anyway, I've finally finished it off, tidied up the gobba a bit too (I've got better at painting since I started the model last Christmas), and I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. The idea was to try and get more 'colour' into the base, so I've got escaping squigs, caged snotlings, and other odds and ends on there. I'm not that keen on how the manky mushroom vase turned out - I liked the idea of goblins (being naturally scruffy beings) of befouling nice vases and the like, so the idea was to have a nice china vase covered in filth. I'm not sure I quite pulled it off - the filth looks very painted on rather than naturalistic - but then I didn't want to lose the nice white-blue pattern either. Anyway, I'm not 100% happy with how the little vase turned out. Otherwise, I think this model looks OK.


I've also begun a new basing style of using that fine turf stuff which railway modellers use, rather than static grass. It is a lot more fiddly to stick on, but I think it looks better. Any thoughts?


I went a bit shutter-happy, but I hope no-one minds. 


































Finally, just for something completely different, I've done a random ogre, one of Golgfag's mercenaries from 1998. I'm really pleased how he's turned out. I think he's annoyed with the provincial authorities of Reikland, looking at what he's patched the derrière of his pants with...














Anyway, it was a lot of fun to do something so different from everything else. I'm just sorry that my poor old dwarfs have been neglected a bit of late.


Thanks for dropping by everyone, and, as normal, advice for improvement eagerly sought.










#16 Thorgrimmir


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Posted 11 September 2015 - 09:28 AM

The painting is clean and nice, i like the freehand on the greatswords banner

#17 Dourin


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Posted 11 September 2015 - 11:49 AM

Incredible painting there, nice, crisp, detailed.


Hat off to you L.A, and a keg of Bugman's finest for your efforts!

#18 Lord Alisk

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Posted 11 September 2015 - 12:03 PM

Thanks for the kind words Thorgrimmir and Dourin - that's very much appreciated!





#19 Lembocha


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Posted 11 September 2015 - 01:49 PM

Talk about pic heavy! Totally worth the loading of the thread though, gotta love that Von Carstein vamp, A+ !!!

#20 Torendil Zharrgrund

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Posted 11 September 2015 - 05:08 PM

I like your painting style a lot. Clean and crisp on many models!


The cream on the imperials is indeed very nice.


Keep them coming!

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