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KS focus: "Warden"

I would describe "Warden" as a quattro stagioni kit. Quattro stagioni (four seasons) is a type of pizza that I liked a lot when I was a kid and it is basically a Margherita with a rich topping made with olives, ham, artichokes, and mushrooms. The topping is carefully divided up into 4 segments, so you have 4 slices each of them covered with a thematic topping. It is the perfect pizza for those who want to change flavor in every bite and it is always very practical to share: for example, my brother didn't like mushrooms and I didn't like artichokes, so I used to eat the mushrooms part and my brother the artichokes one. Then we fiercely disputed concerning who would eat the ham part (the best one), but this is another story.

What I'm trying to say, with this long digression on pizza, is that "Warden" has a rich design made with a lot of tasty tropes that all those who love Dwarves will appreciate: a classic yet mighty hero pose, that won't ever go out of fashion, a highly detailed and 200% dwarfy armor and axe, a grim and brooding longbeard and a majestic crow who's majestically landing on his o owner's arm.

I didn't try to reinvent the wheel, with this kit: instead, I just wanted to take the classic Dwarf archetype and I tried to portray it in the best way I could imagine.

Compared to the other kits I designed for this new range, "Warden" pushes more on the raw detail: this range is more painter-oriented than the other ones I made, and each kit has been imagined to give the hobbyists a different experience, as much as possible.

I wanted you to be encouraged to test your skills in many ways. "Chilling" and "Lunchtime", for example, are kits that I design with "environment" in mind, they invite you to think about how the characters interact with the surrounding environment, and they try to narrate a story that you are asked to complete with your personal taste and creativity.

"Warden", on the other hand, is more oriented to give you a more technical canvas to train (for example), your NMM/TM skills. In fact, metal and hard surfaces in general represent the vast majority of this character, with the only organic elements made by the Dwarf face, the fur/cloak and the Imperial Crow. I think you can really enjoy experimenting with this kit, maybe you can exasperate the contrast between organic and non-organic parts, for example pushing with textures and brushstrokes on the organic surfaces, and painting the armor with clean and smooth transitions!

Despite being a portrayal of a classic archetype, "Warden" is not a generic Dwarf but it still represents a proper Dwarf of Kazhuk Izril, sharing many iconic details with the other stunties of the main 32mm range. The shield (there will be also a plain shield version, so you can have fun with freehands) displays the boar theme of the Thunderbeard clan (the same clan as Galarr and Durgin) and shows with pride many Orcs' fangs, classic war trophies of the warriors of Kazhuk Izril (do you remember this guy?). The Dwarf's beard is adorned with gemstone and trinkets, like those of the Iron Crow Veteran: they are not only an aesthetic fashion, they are real medals of honor for Dwarves (each gemstone is earned in battle and represents a specific success of a Dwarf's the more of them you see on a Dwarf's beard, the more you should carefully think about engaging fight with him or not...).

Last, but not least, is the Imperial Crow itself, which is basically the bat signal of the Iron Crows organization.

With this scene, I wanted to portray the mightiness of Dwarves. It's not easy as it seems, despite Dwarves being handsome by nature, because the extreme proportions of these subjects make it difficult to obtain a proper vertical composition, which usually helps to enhance the stage presence of a character. For this reason, I thought about this particular composition, with a kind of mountain staircase and the landing crow, in order to extend as much as possible the oblique axis of the scene: this way, despite the character still being a kind of armored panettone with extremely short legs, the final result has the same a majestic vibe and towering effect on the viewer.

to achieve that I had to add a massive scenic base (it's a separate part, so you can easily create your scene and replace it if you want a different environment), which will add some extra costs and weight, but I think that the final result is worth this effort.

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Love the whole thing, but the shield design just takes the prize for me. Beautiful sculpt! And the other detail that gets me is the beard beads, I just think the way you sculpt those makes the whole thing less about common golden/silver rings and more about a cultural expression, more artisan, and it's never a "been there done that" experience. This reminds me, I have a few ironcrows to paint.

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