Bailey, a young servant of Vergadain, came upon a long forgotton passage leading deep into the mountain. The dust of centuries she found, but also a detachment of Duergar, the sworn enemy of any righteous dwarf. Alone she could not prevail, so she sought out one of the most revered members of her clan.
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?”
Sculpting quality and pose
Khael Stonekindle, a sculpt by Jason Wiebe, is my favourite of the entire Bones line. He is an outstanding miniature and almost bursts of character. Being a dwarven wizard he is also a seldom seen sculpt, as dwarves traditionally are not known 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 deformed.
His robe is mostly unadorned, but offers quite some 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 and with the hat band once again offers the opportunity to add some colour or decorations.
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 think it works, but if you can’t stand it, it should be easy enough to cut it off and replace it.
Finally his staff and pipe are very thoughtful additions to the miniature, both conveying to us 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. He might also just use the levity of old age to await any opponent and swiftly dispose of him with his rune magic.
Khael is well suited for any RPG, but might have too static a pose for skirmish enthusiasts. Given his presence and old age I don’t think he is suited for rank and file, but rather as a leader of a faction or a mighty spellcaster supporting your troops.
Generally speaking the casting is excellent and once again I was quite surprised that the face retained all its details.
The details on his belt are a bit soft, but they still paint up well.
His staff might be slightly bent when you take him out of his packaging, but some boiling water will help with that and make it revert back to its original shape.
Mold lines can be removed easily as they are following his cloak, hat and right hand. There was a bit of flash, but clean-up and preparation did not take too long. The miniature is just like Bailey a good example for an excellent Bones casts.
Khael retails for 2.49 $ US. A bit more expensive than some of the other dwarves, but still a fair price for an outstanding miniature, especially given that dwarven wizards are few and far between, when it comes to miniatures.
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.
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.
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 it for the first and the second highlight finishing of with some Vallejo Silver. Vallejo Smoke was then applied to add again more depth in some places.
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.
Sword sheath: RMS Blood Red followed by a wash with GW Agrax Earthshade. Successive highlights with Vallejo Golden Yellow.
Light leather parts: RMS Tanned Leather with a wash of Agrax Earthshade, followed by highlights with successive amounts of Vallejo Gold Yellow.
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.
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.
Hair: Vallejo London Grey with a hint of RMS Pure Black as base colour, highlights with successive amounts of RMS Pure White.
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.
Pipe smoke: A small piece of cotton from a cotton bud, stiffened with fixative and glued to the pipe bowl.
Base: The cobblestone base is home-brewed. You can find a step-by-step tutorial here.