The Brewers had long been a guild as secretive and respected as the Engineers in Dwarf society and the two guilds found themselves often working together. When the vast plains with all their crops, towns, cities, workshops, villages, and breweries had been destroyed in civil wars followed by volcanic eruption and floods, they were forced to join their brethren in abandoning the ancient homelands, scattering into the wooded mountains of the southern borderlands or the trackless deserts of the east. Only the dark hearted ones went north but that is a different tale. Many clans and their brewing secrets were lost in the wilds before survivors began finding their way to the lush fields and valleys of the Crescent Bay. Like the other surviving dwarf clans here they were able to rebuild, even flourish, creating vast terraced farms of hops and barley, linked by trails and tunnels both to each other and the quickly growing underground cities.
Dwarfs have long memories to match their beards and lifespans so no matter how well they were doing, no matter how fine a barrel they brewed, there was always talk of the lost clans and their legendary recipes. Soon stories began to circulate of wandering brewmasters or hidden caches of ancient ale or, best of all, a written recipe of a long lost brew. As is usually the case, most of these turned out to be hopeful speculation but enough of them proved to be true that the Brewers Guild formed the Rangers to seek out the lost clans and their secrets. Now every Brewers clan send units out into the wild lands, mountains, and even tunnels on that very quest. No one knows exactly how many there are or even where their missions take them but it must be a considerable number because it is never a surprise to find them in the armies of the borderlands where wise commanders take heed of their counsel.
One of the best parts of Kings of War, from a modeler and painter’s perspective, is the opportunity presented by unit size bases. With the Bulwarkers it really aided in setup and storage as well as movement on the table, and, as seems all too often to be the case, removal from the table. With the Rangers I wanted the base to look like the wilds of the borderlands while still tying in with the rest of the army. I had a set of Games Workshop Bugman’s Brewers (I believe they are the second version of that legendary regiment, easily my favorite) sitting in my unpainted collection and demanding attention for over a decade.
I used one of the plastic unit bases that used to come with Mantic sets, upside down Mantic bases, some Scibor dwarf statues, Scibor Ancient Ruins bases as well as Secret Weapon Tree Stumps. The Scibor Ancient Ruins bases look a lot like the floor tiles around the statues so make a good pairing and can be used in future unit bases to help unify a force that will be assembled from models made by multiple manufacturers. Mixing a number of the different sizes together means I only need a couple on each base to look like the troops were moving through similar long abandoned structures on the very edge of the kingdom. The Scibor Dwarf Statues made it clear who had built those structures and still laid claim to the lands around them. This was going to be fun.
Part of prepping each figure became cutting off the base and drilling out a foot for a pin before temporarily attaching it to a base for primer. Being of the ancient line of actual lead figures, the drilling was rather easy if time consuming. I planned to assembled the painted figures on the base after painting so wanted to minimize the handling of them post sealant.
After assembly, the base was covered in textured acrylic medium which, when dry, was coated with super glue and dipped in charcoal taken from water filters. I had so much fun with it I built another, smaller one (1×5) from scraps and two Scibor bases for a planned Berserker unit. Once dry these were sprayed with primer. As I had already started using some of the Ancient Ruins Cavalry bases for my Brockriders I painted the new ones to match.
When the figures were all painted and sealed, they were removed from their temporary bases (Elmers glue is what I use to tack them in place). The unit base was not only painted and sealed but then I weathered the statues using Secret Weapon pigments finished off with their brush on pigment sealant. I liked the idea of the unit carefully making its way through long overgrown ruins so added undergrowth around their feet as I glued in each row navigating around the trees and statues. I stuck the champion out on the corner in front of the ancestor stone in part because he is one of my all time favorite sculpts but also because it looks like he is peering into the shadows, watching for attack.