123 - Bifur! (tutorial)

Mae govannen, mellon nín!

Another post about how to paint a miniature dwarf from Thorin's Company, and this time it's Bifur!

Funny thing about this character is that, for Peter Jackson's film adaptation, they used his name as a short for "bifurcation", hence the axe carved in his head (much like Óin being deaf).

About the miniature, it was a very enjoyable painting session. I decided not to paint the eyes (as they're pretty much shut), tried for the very first time the zenital priming, and finally, overall, I'm really happy with how his beard turned out!

Now, as usual, let us get to the lore...

Assembled and unprimed miniature of Bifur.
Who is Bifur?

"Dwarf of Thorin and Company.

Bifur went on the Quest for Erebor which, in 2941 of the Third Age, resulted in the death of Smaug the Dragon and the re-establishment of the Dwarf-kingdom under the Mountain.

He survived the Battle of Five Armies, thereafter he settled in Erebor."

Source of description: David Day, Tolkien, the Illustrated Encyclopaedia.


This process follows the previously painted dwarves (i.e. Glóin, Óin, Fíli and Kíli), with one small exception: the extreme highlights of step IV.
Dwarves have naturally darker skin (when compared to elves or Fallohide hobbits), and I've generally avoided using light skin tones. Well, the thing here is that without the eyes, which I deliberately didn't paint, I needed to give Bifur a different kind of depth, so the lighter skin highlights appeared as natural problem solvers. 
V. In this step I basecoated black the entire hair and beard. I also painted over the metallic parts in order to better use the silvers later.
VI. With the dark grey I aimed at the majority of the hair strands, just to get a hint of highlight. This colour is perfect to highlight most black parts of any mini.
VII. Finally, the highlights were managed by picking every prominent strands and also by designing the beard pattern, which ended up being my favourite part of this miniature.

VIII. For the cloth and boots the basecoat colour I was looking for was of a dark leathery brown.
IX. The first/medium highlights were applied in the deep recesses of the main cloth part and in the sleeves of his shirt.
X. The lighter highlights were applied in the same places as the previous step, but in a smaller area. Just be sure to have a steady hand.
XI. Highlighting the boots, I decided to give them a sandy tone, to be discernible from the browns of the cloth (this one was also used for the lower strands of the cloth piece). Then, I used the dark silver to paint all those "black metallic" parts mentioned in step V (spear, belt, sword and sword sheat).
XII. The shades of the spear were done with a brown wash. I believe this works best than black for this particular miniature.
XIII. And the final step, the highlights of the silver parts with the lightest silver I have. Be sure to thin it down and work the different shapes of the sculpt at taste.


After basing and varnishing, here's Bifur.

And that's all for now my friends!
The next tutorial will probably take a bit since I didn't yet paint more dwarves.
I really hope you find this tutorial useful!
Until next time! Keep on Painting and Wargaming!



  1. Another excellent miniature. Nice painting despite not painting the eyes. I kid of course, because I’m terrible at painting eyes and gave up trying. 😀

    1. Thanks Stew!
      Ahah it felt right to skip that part with this one.
      Well, eyes is that one thing that we have to practice frequently, and even then they come wrong sometimes lol



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