Thursday 19 May 2016

The Return to Naggaroth

I have a confession to make...

...I don't really like the later 1980's Dark Elves.
I have never really been too happy with the C-series Citadel Dark Elves from 1985/6 as I don't like the sculpting, and next to Jes Goodwin's Elves they seemed patchy in quality, and just did'nt seem as good.

As for the Marauder Dark Elf range, I have a really never liked them. To me they were 'fat' Elves with roundish faces and big noses were not what I envisioned of a noble, capricious, and waspish evil looking Dark Elf. That they were larger than their Citadel counterparts, and that they never ranked up very easily with each other or Citadel Dark Elves did'nt help. The sculpting details were better, but I never liked the overall look of them. Bad 1980's hair too!
And don't get me get me started on the 1990's and onwards Dark Elves!

Why re-do my army? Well I have always preferred the Dark Elven artwork from the 2nd Edition of Warhammer, the Edition I started with. The look of the Dark Elves was more uniform and understated, and looked more evil without being over the top. The few 1st/2nd Edition Dark Elves I already had I really quite liked, and when I assembled my 3rd Edition Dark Army, I tried to keep the later C-series, and Marauder Miniatures to a minimum.

Recently I wanted to return to my Dark Elf army, but dreaded painting the Marauder Miniautres and so thought why not start the army again? This time with the early C-series solid based Dark Elves. I already had the compulsory 40 Warriors from the list, made up of Mengil Manhides regiment of Renown. I also had a few random warriors. So, as I have recently received my bonus from work, I would search e-bay for more.

In the Dark Elf army list in the Warhammer Armies book you require quite a lot of compulsory troops. You need 40 Warriors, 20 Crossbowmen, and 10 Witch Elves, meaning you have to have 70 miniatures even before you take any other options. I had about 44 solid based miniatures, and wanted to also include about 10 Shadows (Scouts) in the army. So I needed about 36 models, plus any odds and ends I wanted. No mean feat trying to collect them over 30 after they had been replaced!

Well, over the last 2 to 3 months I have done this, and a little more. I have collected the basis for an army, consisting of one Lord on a Dragon (I already owned the Dragon), 40 Warriors (which I already owned also), 20 Crossbowmen, 10 Witch Elves, 10 Shadow Socuts, 3 Mages, 10 Cold One Riders (well I had one already, but more on that later), two Ral Partha Gargoyles to use as Harpies, and a mounted Spectre. In all I think that the additions to the army cost me about £150.

So here is my 'new' very old Dark Elf army, all pre-slotta, with one exception. I intend to link all my do all the Dark Elf bases winter, with snow. This is part of my larger Elven plan, likning all the armies togather with a theme. I have a lot of Elves left after painting 3,000 point Wood Elf army. So I intend to work from the seasons. My Wood Elves are already Autumnal, my Dark Elves will be Winter based, my Sea Elves (using the High Elf list) will be based reminiscent of Spring (for the Spring Tides, as befitting Sea Elves), and the High Elves will be Summer, galloping through Summer Meadows.

As an aside, this is the start of me re-organising and sorting out the armies from the Warhammer Armies book. As I have noted before, I have (at least!) one of each of the main armies in the book, consisting of about 99% 1980's (Oldhammer era 1979-1992) miniatures. A small mail order to Wargames Foundry for some of their ex-Citadel ranges, will be filling in gaps in the Human armies (including my 3rd Edition Norse Army, which I have added to the Warhammer Armies grouping as well).

Enjoy :)

The pre-slotta C 09 Dark Elf range, sculpted by the Perry Twins.
A better look at the ranges can be found here:

Pre-Slotta Dark Elf army.
I am currently re-writing the army list for them. In fact I am currently re-writing all of the army lists for all of the armies in the Warhammer Armies book.
Dragon with Army General Rider.
This is the Dragon which was formally in my Bretonnian army, and painted gold. I have paint stripped him and will paint him, and the rider, based on the wonderful Rodney Mattews artwork below.
The Dragon is part of the Minifigs Aureola Rococo range. The Rider is a C 21Cold One rider, for which I will green stuff a saddle for.
'The Dragon Lord', by Rodney Matthews. 
This was also used for Citadel's Eternal Champion box set, and is of course Elric.

The one on the left is the 'Witch King'.
C21 Mounted Wizard.
Two Ral Partha Gargoyles, which I intend to use as stand-Harpies. I still have the scantily clad/naked Spyglass ones from the other Dark Elf Army, but they seem too large for the C Series pre-slotta Dark Elves.
Mounted Spectre, from the C21 Fantasy Cavalry range.

Ten C21 Cold One Riders.
I am technically one sort, but added a pre-slotta Lizardman to be a Standard Bearer as bit of difference. Perhaps he can be a helper in catching and helping the Dark Elves with their Cold One mounts?
I might paint the Cold One's a muted grey colour. 
Side view.
Forty Warriors.
These are the first Edition of the Regiment of Renown RR4 Mengil Manhide' Dark Elf Company.
I did'nt include the later slotta Champion Ean Hawkbane as he did'nt really seem to fit.
Command Group.
Ten Witch Elves.
I'm not really that fussed with Witch Elves as a unit. They don't go into Frenzy very often, and have a limited range of weapon options. They are however a compulsaory troop choice, and are embelmatic of the Dark Elves.
As befitting Dark Elves the range as a whole has a good balance of male-female troopers, as does the composition of my army, excluding the Mengil Manhides whose ordinary trooper miniature is male. I don't see them as matriarchal like the D&D Drow, but just more gender equal than the other Elves and races.
One good thing about the Witch Elves is that you can give them posioned attacks (+1 strength to living creatures) and one unit can have crossbows. This means that they can shoot strength 5 shots, which can be a nasty suprise! I intend to give the leader a Hail of Doom arrow (bolt) too. :) 
Crossbowmen (and women).
The leader is the only slotta based Dark Elf in the army. He seemed to fit with the rest of the range, and is seperate from the C09 Series being the Evil Dark Elf Captain from the BC2 Monster Starter Box from 1985.
The other crossbow unit.
The unit leader is a broken Mengil Manhide miniature, repaired using a plastic sword fron the 1980's Skeleton Horde sprue.
Shadows (Dark Elf Scouts).
As is often with the vagaries of e-bay you one can end up with a lot of one particular sculpt when buying batches of miniatures or random bargins.
I ended up with ten of this sculpt, and so it would make sense to have them as my scout company. I will split them into two units of five.
The early C09 sculpts were in design and background slighly different from the later Dark Elves which followed. These Dark Elves still used bows as well as crossbows, and were (in 1st Edition) more likely to live in dark, dank, forests. I like to think of this range as the Dark Elves just post the Elven Civil war, still having ascpects of High Elven culture (such as the bows, and Elven looking helmets and shields).
I count any Dark Elves with these bows as having crossbows for ease of collecting, and to give a slightly different feel to the army.

 The next update might be on some painting of the Dark Elves. I have made a start, but due to working lots of overtime this week, I did'nt get very far. I am also, as mentioned above, sorting out my armies and re-writing army lists, and so there may be some photogrpahs of WIP armies.

Friday 6 May 2016

The Fiend, a Hill Troll, and a Spectre.

Recently I have wanted to get back to painting items from my wider collection, and also just painting things I have wanted to for the pure enjoyment of it. I also dohave a plan to return to my Warhammer Armies project.

This entailed sorting out an army from each of the army list entries in the 3rd Edition Warhammer Fantasy Battle supplement, 'Warhammer Armies'. I have all the miniatures required, and have painted up nine out of the eleven armies, but I intend to go back and tinker with the ones already done, as well as finish the other two.  For example, I have removed many of the solid based Dwarves to put into my Fantasy Tribes Dwarf collection, or into the fledgling Norse army. So with this, and with my wish to alter the composition of a couple of the armies, means that they will be receiving some addition and extra miniatures here and there.

I have also a major plan to re-do my Dark Elf army, but more on that in the next update.

What follows are three seemingly random old miniatures from my collection (and two others I have painted a while ago but not added to the blog), two of which I have wanted to paint for a while. However, I have painted the Hill Troll after painting the Orcs from the 'Blood Bath at Orcs Drift' last week, the Fiend to add to my Fantasy Tribes collection, and the Spectre for the 'new' Dark Elves.
Enjoy :)

 The Fiend!!
One of the early Citdael miniatures, the Fiend is from 1979, and part of the Fiend Factory range. He is listed as FF1 The Fiend. 
I wanted to paint him with 1950's B-Movies in mind, and so went for green-ish swamp monster look, with glowing eyes.
 Close up of the eyes.
 Rear view.
I painted him with a a base Vallejo Viloet Green on a black undercoat, and higlighted with a much lighter Vallejo Lime Green. I then blended a little in certain edged areas with flesh colour. 
The eyes were white basecoat, with a watered down bright red and dabbling of bright orange.
 The Citadel Giant Hill Troll, part of the C31 Giant Monsters range and
 was sculpted by Kev Adams in about 1985.
He was also used in the 'Blood Bath at Orcs Drift' scenario as 'Guthrum Mane'. 
Even for a Troll he is quite tall, that is a 50mm round base he is standing on, hence I assume his inclusion into the C31 Giant Monsters range! He is not solid based or slotta, but had a peg on each foot. In order to give him even more height and to look like he was climibing in hill country I built up a litte mound for him to stand on from Milliput.
 Clos up, shwoing the lovely level of detail, and that Kev Adams addition or a Goblinoid face on his knee pad armour.
His face reminds me of Kev Adams early Goblins from the C12 range he sculpted in the same year.
 Rear view, showing his cloak.
 This miniature is a solid based Citadel Miniature from the C21 Fantasy Cavalry range, listed as the 'Undead King', from the early/mid 1980's. 
I already have one of these which I used as the commander for my Chaos Army, The Soulflayer.
He can be seen here:

I managed to pick this other one from e-bay (for £5), and decided to paint him up as a mounted Spectre. I plan to use him in my re-vamped Dark Elf army, as a bound Ethereal Host. 
I have gone for a desolate mountain/volcanic black-grey base, with snow, to suggest the wastlands of  Naggaroth.
 I undercoated the model white, then gave him a watered down green ink wash. Once dry, I did a light highlight of white. Once that was dry I applied a watered down wash of Vallejo Fluorescent Green, to give an Ethereal look.
 Spectre and the Soulflayer.
 A couple of weeks ago I managed to paint up the Toad Shaman I bought from Salute 2016, made by Oathsworn Miniatures.
I do love this miniature. He (or she?) is full of character and details, and is going to end up lurking about in my Slann collection.
 Rear view.
 Undead Ogre!
This miniature has been sculpted by my friend Justin, who is looking to produce them in conjunction with Ral Partha Europe.
The Undead Ogre is loosely based on the 1980's Citadel C23 Ogre 'Hrothyogg', and is very well sculpted.
 Rear view.
Side by side comparison with Hrothyogg. 

Next weeks will be an update will be on Dark Elves!