Sunday, February 8, 2015

'Hot' from BurkhardS - 'The Balrog'

Reading the topic for this theme round I had many ideas going through my mind. From flamethrower tanks, men sitting around a camp fire. In the end I decided to do a French Napoleonic field forge. But as they say… no plan survives contact with the enemy. In this case the enemy was life. I had to prepare a number of minis for a tournament in Hamburg last weekend and by spontaneous decision my better half decided we should visit her family this week. So this left me a mere two days to paint my entry. Not enough time to paint more then 10 men, two horses and number of carts for this vignette. So something else had to be found. Looking Moria deep under my lead pile I found the first version of Games Workshops Balrog from the Lord of the Rings range and honestly… what can be hotter than a Balrog? (Yes I know… naked ladies! ;-)) So in the words of Tolkin himself:

“The Balrog reached the bridge. Gandalf stood in the middle of the span, leaning on the staff in his left hand, but in his other hand Glamdring gleamed, cold and white. His enemy halted again, facing him, and the shadow about it reached out like two vast wings. It raised the whip, and the thongs whined and cracked. Fire came from its nostrils. But Gandalf stood firm.

'You cannot pass,' he said. The orcs stood still, and a dead silence fell. 'I am a servant of the Secret Fire, wielder of the flame of Anor. You cannot pass. The dark fire will not avail you, flame of Udûn. Go back to the Shadow! You cannot pass.'

The Balrog made no answer. The fire in it seemed to die, but the darkness grew. It stepped forward slowly onto the bridge, and suddenly it drew itself up to a great height, and its wings were spread from wall to wall; but still Gandalf could be seen, glimmering in the gloom; he seemed small, and altogether alone: grey and bent, like a wizened tree before the onset of a storm.

From out of the shadow a red sword leaped flaming.

Glamdring glittered white in answer.

There was a ringing clash and a stab of white fire. The Balrog fell back and its sword flew up in molten fragments. The wizard swayed on the bridge, stepped back a pace, and then again stood still.

'You cannot pass!' he said.

With a bound the Balrog leaped full upon the bridge. Its whip whirled and hissed.

'He cannot stand alone!' cried Aragorn suddenly and ran back along the bridge. 'Elendil!' he shouted. 'I am with you, Gandalf!'

'Gondor!' cried Boromir and leaped after him.

At that moment Gandalf lifted his staff, and crying aloud he smote the bridge before him. The staff broke asunder and fell from his hand. A blinding sheet of white flame sprang up. The bridge cracked. Right at the Balrog's feet it broke, and the stone upon which it stood crashed into the gulf, while the rest remained, poised, quivering like a tongue of rock thrust out into emptiness.

With a terrible cry the Balrog fell forward, and its shadow plunged down and vanished. But even as it fell it swung its whip, and the thongs lashed and curled about the wizard's knees, dragging him to the brink. He staggered and fell, grasped vainly at the stone, and slid into the abyss. 'Fly, you fools!' he cried, and was gone.


  1. One of my favorite passages form the book (and brilliantly realized in the movie). The figure is wonderful and your paint job is out standing I especially like the effect you managed on the arms and shoulders.

    1. It is funny it is one of my favourite passages as well and the execution was one of the memorable moments in The Fellowship movie!

  2. An incredibly hot beasty. An iconic film moment. Really nice job. cheers

  3. Thank you guys! I was really happy with it, too. It is a lovely Model to paint and allowed for a lot of detail with heat shimmering through on the arms and wings.

  4. An awesome model and a paint job that does justice to it.
    Well done, Burkhard !

  5. Bravo, you've done the fiery fella proud!

  6. Bravo, you've done the fiery fella proud!

  7. Great job on this massive beasty!

  8. My favorite LotR miniature. Some years ago I painted two of these beasts, so I can appreciate the great painted work you have put here. Very nice.

  9. I wondered if one of these would make an appearance. Super work Burkhard.

  10. Lovely stuff Burkhard. I have him as well and he was a real beast to get done. You've done him great justice.

  11. Thank you all (and sorry for replying only now… spend most of yesterday on the road).

    Together with Sauron this has always been one of my favourite minis from the range, so it was great to finally paint him up!
    I personally was a bit surprised, that this was the only Balrog to make an appearance.