Category Archives: Eldar

Work in Progress Titan Base

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The photos you can see here are the work of my regular opponent Capn Stoogey.  Incidentally, why don’t we call them “play-mates” instead of “opponents” I wonder?  I guess it doesn’t sound very tough.

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Anyway, he’s been working on a scenic base for his Reaver Titan.  This one has a grav-tank being crushed, and the Biel-Tan paint-job is in homage to the guy who first got him into 40k many years ago.  He also has a Warhound which will have a Wave Serpent being stepped on, and that Wave Serpent will be painted by Yours Truly in Iybraesil style.

I’ll put up more shots of this one when it’s finished.  And we’ll get a camera instead of using a phone…

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Talking About Army Background

This image comes from Tears of Istvaan, a blog that showcases a lot of beautiful and creepy art and some fantastic models. You can find it in my roll off to the right there.

Pretty soon the Invasion of St. Arkham campaign will finally come to an end, in a huge Apocalypse battle.  Because of this, I thought today I’d post up some brief background I’ve worked up for my Warhammer 40k collection.

I’m not really one for writing up encyclopeadic histories for my armies, but I do enjoy mentally placing them in the setting, and it’s about time I wrote down my floating thoughts seeing as I have a blog and all.  Speaking of that, sorry I seem to have stopped putting up many pictures lately – I’m very busy these days and don’t have much time to trawl for non-essential images unfortunately.

Anyway.  I think there are at least two ways to enjoy the background of the games we love.  One is what I call the historical approach, where you accurately re-create elements of the background.  I call it the historical approach because this is what historical gamers usually do.  They give their soldiers all the accurate insignia and details so that when the army is arrayed it becomes a realistic tableau of retreating Russian infantry at Stalingrad or whatever.

People can do this with 40k too.  The GW games have such well-established background that you can make an army that is, say, an accurate depiction of the Ultramarines 4th company during the Tyrannic Wars, or the Thousand Sons in the 31st millennium.  I can definitely see the fun and the challenge in that.

The other main approach (which is the one I just can’t seem to avoid taking), could be called the inventive approach.  This is where you invent your own take on an army, for example making up your own chapter of space marines or unique Ork warband.  The challenge is to make it fit into the established setting in a way that is believable and makes people say “hey that’s pretty cool.”  There is obviously limited scope for this in historical gaming – although I know that the inimitable SinSynn at House of Paincakes has aliens in his Flames of War army.  And that warms my heart.

So, I normally engage with the setting inventively, not historically.  Below, if you’re interested, you can read the little bits of lore I have invented over the last few years to get my imagination going between games.

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Rise of the Eldorks!

My son has started sleeping a bit better now so I’m really starting to feel like I can get back into gaming for real.  I’m not ready to take action just yet, but I know soon the time will come when I can paint or build or play for a few hours in a row.

As I wrote back here, I’ve been getting a bit excited for 40k 6th edition, what with the Allies Matrix and the Forging the Narrative and all that.  Hey, even Von’s getting curious.  And he’s not the biggest fan of everybody’s favourite grimdarkness-ness(ness).

I’m also getting really keen on Infinity.  I’ve managed to read the rulebook over the last few days, have some Yu Jing soldiers painted and now I’m planning my next faction.

Today’s post is about 40k though.  I’ve had a proper look at the 40k allies chart now, and naturally, most of the combinations I’d like to try out are illegal or difficult *sigh* Continue reading


Adesha – Iybraesil Eldar Wraithlord

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The Wraithlord towered above the Eldar warriors as they scanned the abandoned settlement.  Even ancient Balora the Farseer had been born on Iybraesil and did not remember the primaeval, vibrant worlds of her people that had been destroyed in the Fall.  These Crone worlds were all that remained of that unknown past.  

The embodied hero who loomed against the chaotic sky was another matter entirely.  Her wraithbone body creaked softly in the eerie silence.  Adesha remembered, had wept in horror and psychic shock as the fledgling craftworlders saw the birth of She Who Thirsts from space.  She had fought as one of the Goddess’s warriors for countless ages, had led her people in war, and now had been summoned again.  The ancient wraithbone body had been grown for her a long time ago.  A receptacle for her shade, drawn from Iybraesil’s Infinity circuit.  She could feel the hot blood of the infinity rune painted on the face of her helm.  It was one of the only things she could feel.

The ghost in the machine concentrated, drawing the strands of herself from within the lattice of the wraithbone core to form a point of awareness.  Adesha would speak.

*Do you sense enemies yet, Farseer?  My thoughts grow thin.  If I am not needed I would return to the Goddess.*  Communication was a burden.  Combat was not.

Balora cocked her head as the papery voice of the revenant hero entered her mind.  The Wraithlord sounded flat, as one would imagine the dead would sound.

*Soon, Adesha.*  She returned silently.  *Soon the enemy will come.*

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This is Adesha, the first of two Wraithlords I have planned for my Iybraesil Eldar warhost.  She’s armed for anti-tank as there’s no other anti-tank capability in my 500 point army, and I thought it would probably still be a good configuration later.

I’ve wanted a Wraithlord model for years and I finally got one.  It’s more difficult to make it dynamically posed than I expected.  I thought the arms and legs would be in two parts each but they’re only one, so the poses straight out of the box are a bit on the Frankenstein side.  I looked at a bunch of anime mecha pictures to get a good sense of how an elegant humanoid machine should look, and then I added the scythe from the Empire Wizard kit to the shoulder and it really balanced the pose.  I’ve been trying to use that piece for ages!

The painting was fun.  Again, I went for an organic, aged look, and if you’ve ever seen old chipped animal skulls (I grew up in the country) then you’ll agree it turned out pretty well.

Overall they’re a great-looking model.  It looks sort of spidery and almost Tyranid-like I think, but also like a mecha, which is cool.

Next up I’m painting my Domaru Butai for Infinity.  Should be fun.  You gotta love a cyberpunk samurai.


Iybraesil Farseer

Well, I finished my Farseer, and I have to say I’m really stoked at how well she came out.  I want my Iybraesil Eldar to look a bit different to most Eldar armies – more weathered and ancient-looking.  I also wanted to get across the organic nature of Eldar technology.  I think I managed it.

I also wanted to make the Farseer herself look eldritch and freaky, so I used bold and less realistic colours in places.  I was going to paint bloody runes on her body but the blood-smeared hair and the scar on her leg came out so nicely that I decided not to push my luck!  Sometimes I reckon you just have to abandon your plan if it no longer seems right.

I tried to mask the canopy with vegemite so I could do the freehand, but because I was using a lot of washes the vegemite just melted and uh . . . ended up being incorporated into the weathering.  I really wanted the wraithbone to look like ancient, pitted bone.  Basically it took a million washes in tan, brown and blue, and then at the end I dabbed little drops of very watery brown paint and blew on them so they ran backwards from the nose.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The last thing I did was grab a rough grade sand paper and just scrape it over the finished canopy.  It was a bit nerve-wracking scraping sandpaper over something you just spent three hours painting but it was worth it I think.

You might also notice that the photos are a lot better than usual.  That’s because I didn’t take them!  They’re by Rhebeka Stangret.


Iybraesil Farseer Ready for Painting

I’ve been working on my Iybraesil Eldar a bit lately.  Here is my Farseer on her jetbike, undercoated with grey primer, a blue-black wash with windex and a quick spray of white undercoat to create the highlights.  I’ll be using the same watery technique as I did on my Rangers.  I’m really looking forward to painting the bloody warpaint and an image of Morai-Heg the blind crone goddess on the canopy.  Apologies for the rough photos, I lack patience.

I was originally going to use this Reaper devil lady I had lying around, with the scythe from the Empire wizard kit, but encountered several problems.

The scythe was too gothic (much better suited to Sisters of Battle), the model’s metal head was extremely difficult to remove without damaging the really thin arms, and I didn’t like her boots.  Overall it just didn’t look right.

So I green-stuffed the new Dark Elf Sorceress to some jetbike legs and shaved the thighs down. Now she’s completely under-equipped for battle in her armoured boots and bikini top, in the time-honoured tradition of fantasy heroines.

Meh.  Who needs pants when you have psychically attuned warpaint eh?


Iybraesil Rangers ready for battle

I’ve finally finished off my last three Iybraesil Rangers.  They came out pretty well I think.

I read in some Rogue Trader-era background that Eldar warriors wear warpaint under their armour as part of their whole adopting the warrior aspect thing, so I thought I’d try painting the ranger’s rune in blood on one of the elf’s foreheads.  I think it looks neat, plus it’ll be good practice for my Farseer and warlocks whose rune-armour is going to be body-paint.

The completed squad.

Now to build the jetbikes.  But first . . . I have to finish painting Lord General Drake, my counts-as Straken.  I can’t have him still undercoated in the final apocalyptic battle of the campaign.  Plus my Infinity guys will be arriving soon too.

So many projects, so little hobby time.


Iybraesil Rangers

This photo is a little dark . . . but it gives them the moonlight effect I wanted in a cheaty photoshop way!

Here are the first completed models for my Iybraesil Eldar warhost: a couple of Rangers.  I want to try to paint my new Eldar army in a completely different style from my Imperial Guard, not just in different colours, so in the spirit of painting outside the lines I really went to town on these guys with techniques, tools and wild colour theories I’ve never used before.  I even used flock/static grass for the first time.

The crackle effect failed miserably on the bloody trophies.

This is a great model.

First I undercoated them with grey primer, then washed them thickly all over with dark blue-black.  Then I held a can of white spray-paint above them and blasted straight down.  I wanted it to look like the Eldar are in moonlight on a spooky Crone World, not just highlight the raised areas like I usually do.

Next I blocked in the main colours with really thin washes so that the spray highlight showed through naturally and the effect was more like water-colour than solid paint.  Iybraesil’s colours are blue and white so that’s what I went with: blue armour and bone helmets and weapons.  I then picked out the details like straps, buttons and talismans with solid colours.  I deliberately avoided using any pure white or black at all on the models, hoping for a soft light effect.  Finally I washed the models again all over with blue-black mixed with a bit of windex, which left an unplanned grainy effect that I really like.

I tried non-metallic metal for the first time on this elf's captured kroot weapons. And no, you didn't see those bits of flash.

Overall I think they were a success, though as with any experimental process things will go wrong.  I tried out some crackle medium on one elf’s rifle strap trophy, hoping for a dried blood effect, but it didn’t do anything.  I think maybe the area was too small. Also, the subtle shades and highlights look a bit too subtle, especially in photos.  And last but not least, they have white pointy heads . . . and I seem to have stumbled upon the precise paint recipe for Smurf Skin Blue.  So that’s kind of funny.

I’m stoked with how these dudes turned out, and I’m really looking forward to painting my jetbikes now.  They just arrived as part of the final Maelstrom order I made before the announcement of Evil GW’s™ shipping embargo.


Heroes of Iybraesil

Farseer by Jes Goodwin, Rogue Trader era.

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Balora rose from her spirit-trance and floated softly from the Wave Serpent, towards the tiny knot of Eldar warriors gathered below.  

The Seers of the other peoples wove delicate rune-lattices from wraithbone to bear the protective wards that they wore in battle.  But the Ancient Mothers of Iybraesil knew that the most primal and eldritch of ways were ways of blood and sacrifice.  Balora’s slim body had been marked by the handmaidens with runes of blood, wept from the living branches of the Tree of Woe that sulked in the heart of Iybraesil.  These were her Runes of Witnessing and Warding, turning aside weapons and evil intent with equal efficacy.  Her staff was wound with dark blossoms from the same tree.  Her cruel witchblade lurked in it’s charm-shackled sheath on her back.

To one of the brute races the Farseer and the Autarch would have looked much the same – both slender, ethereal waifs, quick and terrifying.  To Skaia’s eyes though the Ancient Mother was old, her movements almost imperceptibly slower and more syrupy than the young warrior’s own.  She watched as Balora removed the pitted wraithbone ghosthelm that held the spirits of many Ancient Mothers of legend.  Tangled snakes of white hair tumbled over the old Eldar’s shoulders, glued with divinatory blood at the tips.  The Farseer turned her yellow eyes on Skaia, and the Autarch bowed her head, unwilling to look into the primeaval past within.  Balora’s voice coalesced in her mind.

*Autarch.  The Ancient Mothers have revealed to me the true name of this world.  The oldest among us has been here . . . before.  You will open your mind to the pathfinder Illia-Khai, and he will guide you.  There will be death, and I will follow in it’s wake, to claim what is ours from the corrupted ones.*

Skaia dropped to one knee and bowed, smiling to herself.  Her dagger hummed at her side, resonating with her own desire for war.  Her ancient scorpion armour shivered on her skin, as though coming to life.  It was only narrowly that Skaia had avoided the fate of the Exarch.

“Control yourself Autarch.”  The Farseer admonished gently, using her own thin voice for emphasis.  “Your Path is first to bring us to victory, not to bring the enemy to peace.”

*Yes, Ancient Mother.*  Skaia silently returned.  She would not forget her Path.  The will of the Goddess would be done. 

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I wrote this little bit to get myself in the mood for painting the first of my Eldar.  I’m really busy with everyday life at the moment (I’m trying to prepare a paper for my first academic conference in three weeks), and I’ve been spending a little more time than I’d like thinking and posting serious thoughts about the games industry, meta-gaming, etc.  Really, the actual hobby is the thing, so it’s time to get refocussed on that.

I guess I’m an RPGamer at heart, so I like to start with a character or two to get the inspiration going.  This story introduces the Farseer and Autarch of my Iybraesil Warhost.


Iybraesil Eldar: it begins

So, the first models just arrived to kick off my Iybraesil Eldar.  I got some rangers from eBay, and I have to mention how great the seller was. I’ve been scammed by sellers in the UK a few times when buying hobby stuff. This guy took ages to post the item and didn’t reply to my first message, so I was understandably getting worried.  But then he got back to me and said he’d had some computer trouble and would throw in a free gift to make amends. The rangers arrived a week or so later with a free striking scorpion! The most awesome thing about this is that I was planning to include a squad of Scorpions in my 500 points, and now I have an extra elf.  So there you go.  There are honest people out there.

I was a bit stuck on how I was going to base my army.  I want them to look like creepy, eldtritch night Eldar.  Not evil or sadistic like Dark Eldar, more a sort of bad faerie feel like WHFB Wood Elves and Dryads in their destructive aspect.  I think the bases will be an important part of getting this across, so I don’t just want to give them urban hive-city bases to match my table.  I want an evil forest look, to show that they are actually exploring a Crone World (I imagine quite a few Crone Worlds are creepy, corrupted forest planets).  I got some Dryad back branches because they have evil little spites on them and look crooked and mean.

Checking Google for “evil forest”pictures, I found something interesting.  I assumed that darker would be creepier, but most of the scariest images it seems to me are quite pale, or they have dark and light elements but are washed out.  Like these:

Apologies if this is your artwork - it shows up a fair bit on Google but I couldn't find the orginal anywhere.

OK so the hideous ghost in the foreground and the words "HAUNTED FOREST" probably help make this picture scary. But the trees do look a bit freaky.

I’m not sure why washed out, pale tones look scary when it comes to woodland scenes but they do. Maybe the lack of contrast reminds us of night time and wakes up animal instincts?  Or maybe Japanese horror movies and the Blair Witch Project have made us afraid of black and white! Whatever the reason, I think I’m going to go for pale branches and dark, almost black grass.  I’ll post pics when the first rangers are done.


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