Monday, 28 January 2013

The Hounds of Ch'Ihll (shades)

These pathetic beasts, mockingly referred to as ‘the toothless wolves’, are the house retainers of the Ch'Ihll household in Naggarond. Upon entry to the service of the Ch'ihll's the enslaved elves are made into eunuchs and given a copper plate medallion, as was the tradition in the courts of old Nagarythe. The retainers duties include the upkeep of the Black estate, its fortress spires, citadels and multifarious workshops, shrines and minor holdings. However, the majority of these rangers will be used to hunt the beasts that inhabit the grounds.

Each hound will have a role to play within the hunting group. The berserker will distract the head of a beast and attack it front on. The berserker is usually drugged before battle subsequently caring nothing for their own survival. Indeed it is considered bad form if a berserker returns unharmed from a hunt, reasoning that the prey they sought was not fierce enough to warrant their attention. The leader will direct action, another armed with a shard- net and impaler will dance with the beast to ensnare it, all the while being harassed by a relentless torrent of poisoned crossbow bolts. Dogs often accompany these groups of rangers to track down prey and bring them down if they break and flee.

Barvek Varr has a stylised tattoo of a crown upon his head, a symbol of his former status as leader within the rangers. The self styled ‘king of dogs' went four seasons in the fighting pits undefeated with his dire wolf Charger. Varr earned such emmity amongst his own kin that the dire wolf was poisoned after a pit fight against his brother's pet monster. Varr has two pups in training; Flesh Tearer and Talon and hopes to breed a fiend fierce enough to rest control of the clan away from his brother once more.

Barvek Varr


Flesh Tearer and Talon

The inspiration behind these and my dark rider conversions came from the classic marauder Dark Elf scouts and artwork from the 4th edition army book. Unlike the very sleek shades, Dark Elf scouts had a much more feral look to them that I wanted to update. The Dark Eldar Hellion kit afforded me the perfect opportunity of creating feral elves earning a meagre living from the harsh, barren landscape of Naggarond. 

I painted the miniatures in dark earthy tones to contrast with the lustrous purple of my warriors. The weapons were painted with tiny chips covering their surface, a sign of misuse and ill discipline. I also managed to squeeze in a couple of the old marauder dogs into the pack to represent the smaller breed of dog used for hunting and pit fighting. These were dry brushed and washed to give a dirty and unkept look, fitting for such base born mongrels. 



  1. Loving the paint job on these man, the restricted colour paler works awesomely with the back story you've created for these guys! The snow on the bases looks wicked too. How did you manage to get the more 'icy' look of the snow?


  2. Beautiful patin job. The skin tones are awesome and I enjoy the overall muted palette.

  3. Very Nice Job ! What is your secret to paint the skin ?