Saturday, December 11, 2010

To Dark Eldar or Not to Dark Eldar: Part One, Conception

So the new Dark Eldar Models are nice, but I alrady have half an Eldar Army Sitting the the cupboard unassembled that really deserve some attention. But I wanted to paint a few Hellions and some of the plastic Witches will be converted into smick Dark Elf Witches for my fanatasy army. It goes without saying that I already bought the new Lilith miniature, as it is the first GW miniature that has made my list of must have figures in nearly ten years.
Those who know me know I buy a lot of GW miniatures will be crying "Subby, how did it make your must have list, and what is your must have list anyways?"

Truth is I enjoy painting and modelling more than gaming. And occasionally I will see a model that I must own, not to game with, but to paint up to a really high standard for the display case.
Very few Games Workshop miniatures make the cut. Not because they aren't good miniatures, but it is not often these days I see one of their miniatures and go "Wow, that is beautifully executed and will be a challenge to paint well."

Similarly when I saw the new Hellions I immediately like the kit, for the execution of the design of the plastics. So I resolved to get some eventually. Looking closely at the sprues when they landed at my FLGS I could see they were well detailed and would assemble remarkably well/easy. But in the back of my mind I knew I had some Eldar miniatures, bought cheap at auction and hidden away on my to-do list.

The thing is I really am not that enthused with the colours presented by Craftworld Eldar, having first come in contact with Eldar in the heady days of Rogue Trader. Time for the waaaay-back machine....

Image shamelessly borrowed from GW, courtesy of Collegia Titanica

The lurid colours and mercenary nature of the Old Eldar was appealing but at the time Marines were firmly in my grasp and at a young age where pocket money and moving lawns was the fuel behind my income I could only afford one army. So Eldar never happened.

Now I have some minis laying around I was thinking the other day about painting a few Eldar, or maybe the starting on Lilith to take a break from all the Tiny German tanks I have been cleaning and doing test painting on (FoW has landed at the club so I dug out my 10mm stuff for paint scheme testing). On top of that I was sick all week with little else to do so with my mind wandering I came upon this post by Dave T over at FTW. In the comments there was discussion over adapting it to different colour schemes. I was thinking of doing a couple of test miniatures in various colours when a little light appeared over my head and it was on like Konkey Kong!

See I have some Harlequins from the same auction where I obtained the Eldar, and I thought back to the RT days where whole Eldar armies were given lurid colour patterns. The idea that was spawned is as follows.
What if a Harlequin troupe turned their backs upon tradition, collected a motley assortment of like minded Eldar (both Normal and Dark), and turned to raiding as they started a descent towards chaos.

I didn't know if it was original or not, but it was cohesive enough that I wouldn't get blank looks of mental failure when/if I ever took them to a tournament. I aimed for a 1750pts list, randomly selected to my taste, because winning games is not the foremost worry in my hobby life but rather painting cool stuff. The list remains unwritten however but at the moment I have yet to dig out the minis and write up what I have.

In the end I could take my time and paint lots of different colours across the army, with the bases linking them all together. Additionally if I used counts as units of Eldar minis with suitable small conversions then more than half my army is already in my hands. While largely long term the project should be fun, and will give me something to break up the monotony of the other painting projects on the bench (notably 38 Grey Space Wolves, the Remaining 10 Novamarines, 30 10mm Scale German tanks with about 150 infantry, and my 300+ Skitarii in all their black and red finery, not counting all the other stuff hiding in the cupboard).

I did want to fill out the army with some suitable Dark Eldar miniatures and thought the best place to start would be some of the new Hellions. This was for several reasons. First they are really nice miniatures. Second the sky-boards would provide a large enough canvass to test out a few of the patterns and freehand stuff I wanted to do. Third regardless of if I used the Eldar of Dark Eldar Codex they would have a use as it is not a serious stretch of the imagination that they could substitute for Swooping Hawks.

So to this end I rang my favourite local place to buy hobby stuff Ace Comics and Games at Annerly to find out if they had some on shelf (a solid yes), and thus added them to my list of destinations while doing the road-trip Saturday to various places that need visiting for work and hobby. I started the assembly/painting of them last night while waiting for some work stuff to arrive via the interwebs.

Coming soon
Part Two: Painting Tutorial => Hellion Sky-boards
Aka: Alternate Colours and Easy Dark Eldar highlighting methods.

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