Under the Brush: Gulavhar, Terror of Arnor

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As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve started an Angmar force for the Middle-earth Strategy Battle Game. There’s a profile that has intrigued me in the Angmar army list for a while and now it has received a big boost in the new edition. And that would be Gulavhar, Terror of Arnor!

Gulavhar is a purely made-up creation by Games Workshop and not found anywhere in the Tolkien canon. I find it odd that while I generally prefer to stick to canon characters and monsters, that I found Gulavhar so appealing. For those unfamiliar with the game, Gulavhar is basically a giant vampire-demon monster. His Courage and Attacks stats are tied directly to his Wounds, which start at 4. As he gets wounded he gets weaker and more likely to flee the battlefield or more hesitant to attack other terror causing creatures. However he regains a wound for each enemy model he slays in combat. Gulavhar also boasts some cool rules, he is a spirit model which grants Angmar orcs the terror ability. He causes terror himself and has the Harbinger of Evil special rule that gives a -1 courage penalty to opposing models. He also has resistance to magic, monstrous charge and all the normal brutal power attacks monsters have in MESBG.

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While Gulavhar is non-canonical, there’s definitely precedent for vampire-like creatures in Middle-earth.  They are mostly described as bat-like creatures in the Silmarillion, and only one is named, Thuringwethil, who appears in the tale of Beren and Luthien. Luthien uses the cloak of Thuringwethil to sneak into Morgoth’s stronghold Angband under disguise as the vampire.

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It happened that I received my model just as I heard about the Make a Trish challenge in the Oldhammer Facebook group. If you don’t know, legendary sculptor Trish Carden has a page on Facebook where she posts pics of the greens for models she has sculpted and shares tidbits and anecdotes from her days working at Games Workshop. It’s really fun stuff! A challenge was created in the Oldhammer Facebook group to paint a Trish Carden sculpt and the sculptor herself would pick a winner. I’ve admired the oldhammer movement from afar for a long time, however my old collection got sold off or lost a long time ago and I haven’t really acquired anything oldhammer since. I really wanted to participate in the challenge though and I posted if Trish had sculpted anything in the Lord of the Rings range. Turns out she sculpted Gulavhar! Perfect! While the mini is still in production from GW it’s only available in finecast resin. However I bought mine second hand in metal. That’s got to earn me some oldhammer bonus points, right? To complete the challenge, participants had to post a pic of the selected model next to this illustration of Trish.

As you can see, when I received the model, he was very … red. Perhaps he didn’t apply enough suncreen and got a nasty sunburn. Or he was just going for the Hellboy look, I dunno. After a bath in LA’s Totally Awesome, he was ready for reassembly. I added some cork bits to the base of the pillar thing he’s standing on as I felt it looked a bit awkward just rising up out of the middle of nowhere.

And then it was a matter of painting him up! Honestly I was hoping for more of a light grey, but it wasn’t looking great so I went a bit darker. Then I tried putting him in front of a background.

Cheers, everyone. Please share your comments and criticisms below.

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