First Impressions: Dark Eldar

For the past several months, I have been eagerly awaiting the new Dark Eldar miniatures. One of the things that has intrigued me over the years is that the Eldar a painters army and that a new version of the Dark Eldar could spark a great number of painting opportunities for the average gamer.

Thanks to Games Workshop's daily blog, we have some great pictures of the new DE as well as some bitchin' concept art! However, my first impressions of the models have me less than excited for the new range. First off, the sculpting is very good. However, the warriors don't have any special pizzaz that make me want to run out and get them. Secondly, the paint scheme is very average. Black armor with sharp, bright highlights. Kinda boring to be honest, and it does nothing to make me want to paint up pirate space elves. Sure painting the armor will be a skill challenge, it will probably feel like a chore on the twelve warrior.

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The warriors squad have too many static poses. While I like the squad leader and the reflection of Eldar iconography on the suits, the warrior squad looks awfully bland for new plastic box that is over ten years in the making.

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However, in today's update we get some Witches. Now, we are talking. Dynamic posses, pirate elf skin, and some cool armor elements. Jess Godwin on the site talks about the gladiator style armor, and I like it. No, I love it. Giving the witches a gladiator feel makes them feel gritty, dirty, feral, and deadly in combat. Which is what these models ooze, especially with the studio paint scheme. Still not a fan of the black armor with sharp highlights. However, we will have to see what the painting community does once we get these models in our hands. 

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At the moment, I am neutral on the new models. I am waiting for the vehicles before I make a final decision. The leaked photos from Games Day UK showed me a lot of promise- Jaba's Barge with pirate flags, which is what I have been wanting for sometime. 
Oh, and the rules. Who cares... this is a painting and modeling blog, not some silly tournament blog. :)

WiP: Sanguinary Guard

Its been a blast to paint these Sanguinary Guard and the new Blood Angles for a commission project. These are amazing plastic sculpts. My client (i.e. gaming buddy) wanted them painted according to the codex, and he doesn't like NMM. So pretty basic colors on the SG's. Oh yeah, there are 20 of them total, and they are going to be a pain in the butt to deal with on the battle field!

My painting table is bombarded by flying Angels of Death. 
A couple of things on painting these models- the camera doesn't reflect the shade and highlights of the gold real well, but it is hard to get good highlights with gold. Adding silver to your gold mix tends to desaturate the color a lot which I personally don't like on models that have tons of gold (like these models). I'll add more washes before I'm done to give the models more depth and create some false highlights to it. Also the wings were a bit of a pain. My client assembled the models and attached the wings prior to delivering them to me. It would have been so much easier to prime them white and go from there. But the gold needs a black primer... and thus the white needs lots of layers of white.

Small tip:  use a dowel for painting, you won't rub the paint off of your minis. 

All that is left is the second half of the S. Guards, and then go back and paint the power weapons. I am working on some custom bases for the army, more on that later.

The 721st Black Jacks

I guess it was only a matter of time before it hit me that the regiment number to the Cadian Black Jack's would be a combination of the target number 21 and lucky 7. So obvious. 

I have started a new project while the Black Jacks get put on hold for a bit- my first commission project. A friend of mine (henceforth named the client) asked me to paint up his new Blood Angles. Loving the new plastics, I said sure!  It was a bit of a surprise when 20 Sanguinary Guard landed in my painting room. The good news is that I had plenty of Shining Gold on hand! Pictures coming in soon. 

The Black Jacks

Its taken some time, but I finally have a name for my Cadian Imperial Guard- The Black Jacks.  The name is taken from their use of 'spades' and 'diamonds' on their armor. I suppose that some units also carry the 'hearts' and 'clubs' as well. But those would be regular infantry, saving the 'spades' and 'diamonds' for the veteran troops.

The Black Jacks incorporate both black and red into their armor, breaking the typical Cadian green and khaki coloring. I hope to also tie in the red belts into the bases when they are completed. 

The army is coming close to completion- still 2 chimeras, one manticore, some more vet troops, and the psyker battle squad.