Archive for June, 2014

Big guns never tire

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 13, 2014 by krautscientist

Good news, everyone: Since the stifling heat has let up a bit, I am back to my usual state of semi-productivity 😉 Anyway, I promised you a more substantial update in my last post, and you shall have it!

I mentioned that a couple of fellow hobbyists have recently sent me some pretty nifty stuff, and today’s update will deal with the first of the projects to come out of this latest supply drop.

First up, PDH provided me with an absolutely massive package of bitz and left me truly staggered by so much generosity! Ungrateful git that I am, I only have a fairly meagre first project to show for it yet: I finally started building the last Dreadnought/Helbrute weapon still missing from my collection, transforming a stock Dreadnought rocket launcer Peter had sent me into its suitably chaotic counterpart:

Rocket Launcher WIP (1)

Rocket Launcher WIP (2)
Certainly nothing mind blowing, but rather a nice and simple bit of kitbashing that eased me back into the regular flow of things — still, having an entire set of fully exchangeable weapons for my Chaos Helbrutes will feel enormously pleasing once it has finally been accomplished 😉

 

But the rocket launcher is not really the star of the show today. That role falls to the second model I would like to show you. So, what is this about?

You may remember that my attempt at coming up with some Obliterators that didn’t look like Chaos Terminators covered in meat wastes turned into a rather protracted conversion project (chronicled, for instance, here and here). I ended up with three custom Obliterators that I was reasonably happy with. These:

Behemoths WIP (47)
Behemoths WIP (52)

Some of you may already have been wondering why I hadn’t yet managed to get these painted. The reason, apart from my egregious lack of painting discipline, is that fate intervened and I discovered a recipe for building Obliterators that I liked even better:

Thamier’s wonderful Balefire Legion has been a constant source of inspiration. But what really blew me away more than anything else was his approach to sculpting and kitbashing his own, completely customised Obliterators (whose creation you can witness starting here)!

Maybe the best part about these is that while they are perfectly in line with the look and feel of GW’s other chaos models (almost moreso than the official Obliterators, in fact), they forego the fleshy, mutated look in favour of something more mechanical and imposing. Take a look:

Obliterator built and painted by Thamier

Obliterator built and painted by Thamier

I was really blown away by the sheer awesomness of these models, but alas I could only gaze at them from afar and hope that one day I might be able to come up with something just as cool.

Well, that day may have come, because – while Thamier only made these awesome bitz for use in his own army – I was actually lucky enough to get my hands on some of them as part of a bitz swap between the two of us. This is a really exciting opportunity, of course, so it goes without saying that I immediately started assembling my very own “Thamier pattern” Obliterator.

Now Thamier had warned me in advance that the castings weren’t of the best quality, and that the parts would require some work. And indeed, there was quite a bit of flash to be scraped off. But all in all, the parts really cleaned up rather nicely. Here’s a look at the cleaned and prepared parts for the Obliterator:

custom Obliterator parts sculpted by Thamier

custom Obliterator parts sculpted by Thamier

As you can see, a full set consists of a torso (in two halves, in fact), a pelvis, two thighs, two (rather massive) lower legs and two feet. The parts were cast from Thamier’s original master model, as far as I am aware, and considering the pieces have been entirely sculpted from scratch, the amount of detail is rather nice. Of course these are not as crisp and cutting edge as a factory-made GW kit, but I am in fact even more impressed with the sculpting that went into these after having made some first hand experiences with the parts: Not only do they take all the right design cues from GW’s own chaos models, but they also come with amazing little touches like the profile on the Obliterator’s armoured boot:

custom Obliterator parts sculpted by Thamier

custom Obliterator parts sculpted by Thamier

That is true dedication, ladies and gentlemen 😉

Like I said, scraping off the flash wasn’t a big problem, and even a bit of rough texture or damage here and there actually work towards the effect that these guys are ancient veterans of the Long War, so no problem there.

Here’s my first mockup of the whole model:

Thamier_pattern_Obliterator_WIP (3)
Thamier_pattern_Obliterator_WIP (4)
As you can see, the model is really rather massive, which makes it clear that this guy is not just any standard chaos Terminator. And while the overall shape and construction may recall Tactical Dreadnought Armour, there are several visual shout outs to the new Helbrute design, like the armour panels to the side of the head, the slightly more elaborate armour trim and, of course, the pelvis area that looks very similar to that of the Helbrute.

I used a Warp Talon head as a placeholder, which should show you that the sculpted torso will accept pretty much any (Chaos) Space Marine or Chaos Warrior head without a hitch. The comparison should also give you a rather good idea of the model’s rather impressive size and bulk!

Working from there, I had to get a bit creative, because – unlike Thamier – I cannot sculpt for toffee. So where Thamier sculpted his own upper arms and shoulder pads, I defaulted back to my usual approach and solution to any hobby problem — glorious kitbashing! 😉

In this case, though, the task of actually finding suitable arms that scaled correctly with the rest of the body almost drove me crazy: While natural looking proportions are not exactly a priority for a hulking monster like this, many arm setups that seemed promising ended up looking too short and undermining the sense of threat given off by the model.

In the end, the solution was found in the most unlikely of places: I was messing around with the magma cutter bitz from the fiend kit when I realised that these could actually work as arms for the Obliterator! So I combined them with some Chaos Terminator fists and a couple of leftover Centurion weapons (it’s a good thing you get LOTS of leftover weapons with the Centurion kit), and my Obliterator really took shape. Take a look:

Thamier_pattern-Obliterator_WIP (5)
As you can plainly see, I took a lot of inspiration from Thamier’s painted model shown further up in this post, but then I thought it looked really awesome and wanted to replicate some of that coolness 😉

For the shoulder pads, I chose Centurion pads, as you can see. I also added some Ogre armour plates to the hips to bulk out the model’s middle a bit. As an added benefit, these will also create some visual consistency if I ever want to use this big guy alongside my converted Centurions, as they are using the same armour plates for decoration.

I still needed to bulk out the upper arms, since they were looking a little scrawny. Plus the clean and loyalist shoulder pads needed some chaotic love as well. So I added another round of bitz, and here’s where the model stands at the moment:

Thamier_pattern_Obliterator_WIP (12)
Thamier_pattern_Obliterator_WIP (17)
Thamier_pattern_Obliterator_WIP (16)
Thamier_pattern_Obliterator_WIP (15)
Thamier_pattern_Obliterator_WIP (14)
Thamier_pattern_Obliterator_WIP (13)
While some additional cleanup along with a spiky bit here and there may be required, I am really rather happy with this guy! I think the design works really well as a less-mutated but really impressive and utterly chaotic Obliterator! And I am also reasonably pleased with the solution I came up with for the arms!

One thing I need to point out again is that this guy is absolutely MASSIVE, with much more bulk than a regular Terminator. In fact, like I said, he’s the perfect missing link between Terminators and Helbrutes, not only in design but also in height and bulk.

Provided the temperature outside stays agreeable enough, I hope to be able to paint his guy rather soon. Afterwards, I’ll have to consider which way to go with my overall strategy for the Obliterators: Will this veritable beast be used as a “unit champion” of sorts, leading the other, Centurion-based Obliterators into battle? Or will I become so addicted to the Thamier-pattern that any other kind of Obliterator just seems like a cheap travesty to me?

 

For now, I’ll just try to build the biggest, baddest Obliterator imaginable. Thanks so much to Thamier for letting me have some of those bitz to mess around with! And if any of you have any suggestions or criticism about this guy, let me know!

And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Thamier_pattern_Obliterator_WIP (12)

Monkey Wrench

Posted in 40k, Blood Bowl, Conversions, Inquisitor, paintjob, Pointless ramblings with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 11, 2014 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, just a smallish update for today: Even though the combination of a couple of days off and a massive bitz drop (courtesy of several fellow hobbyists) should have provided the perfect circumstances for a rather productive building and painting spree, the exceptionally warm weather has managed to throw a monkey wrench into the works, so to speak: It’s so warm outside that my modelling putty isn’t holding together at all (or too well, in places), my paint is drying on the brush, and even typing this already makes me break a sweat. Awesome, huh?

Well, fortunately, it’s not all bad: I’ve soldiered on regardless, so you can expect a more substantial look at my current projects in the near future. For now, let me just share two models I have recently painted:

First up, speaking of monkey wrenches reminds me of monkey, and maybe you’ll recall this little guy:

PeeDee the Monkey WIP (1)
I already told you that PeeDee, named for none other than PDH, would be next on the painting table — and indeed he was! Here’s the finished model for you:

PeeDee (1)
PeeDee (2)
PeeDee (3)
Even though it’s a very small model, I still took my time painting it, and I think it was well worth the effort. Since PeeDee is the favourite pet of Rogue Trader Iskander Gagarin, I felt that bright and vibrant colours were the right choice for his little uniform — Rogue Traders do like to show off, after all 😉

The thing I am really pleased with is PeeDee’s face, though, complete with a pupil in his right eye. This may have been the first and only well executed pupil I have painted for about a decade, so I am really stupidly happy with it — and good thing I gave PeeDee a bionic left eye, because otherwise I would have had to paint two eyes and make sure the pupils were correctly lined up. And, as we all know, that way madness lies…

All in all, though PeeDee’s only a familiar on par with a servo-skull or psyber-eagle, I couldn’t be any happier with the paintjob — and painting this little guy was a blast, too!

And it goes without saying that, even though PeeDee may be small, he certainly isn’t too small for a few lines of background 😉

PeeDee (5)
PeeDee the Monkey

Many Rogue Traders like to flaunt their wealth, dressing in the finest clothes and carrying priceless artifacts. Iskander Gagarin is no exception to this rule, always cutting a dashing figure in his sharply cut uniforms and rare furs, armed with weapons that are either highly exotic or priceless family heirlooms. However, one of Gagarin’s favourite trophies is a living being: A small, excessively augmeticised monkey going by the name of PeeDee. This small creature is a highly complex familiar, possessed of an uncanny intelligence and capable of completing complex tasks that would baffle any servitor. Usually dressed in the same vibrant colours as his master, PeeDee isa sign of the Rogue Trader’s wealth and taste, but also a highly useful retainer in his own right. Indeeed, creating a familiar of such complexity is a task for the brightest minds amongs the Genetors and Magi Biologis of the Adeptus Mechanicus. And, as a matter of fact,  it is rumoured that Gagarin won his favourite pet during a protracted game of Regicide against a particularly eccentric member of that secretive order…

 

So yeah, so much for PeeDee the Monkey! Like I said, I am really happy with the finished model, and I hope that PDH, as his namesake, likes him as well 😉 After all, he was the one to give me the model in the first place. Thanks again, mate!

The other model I would like to show you today is a bit of a departure from my usual projects: Some of you might remember my various forays into the world of Blood Bowl, prompted by my colleague Annie (whose wonderful Lustria Team I also featured on this blog).

Anyway, Annie has been hard at work on a truly stunning new team, full of clever conversions and great models, for a while now. The team will be pirate-themed, and I certainly hope that I’ll be able to share it with you, once it is finished.

Now when Annie’s birthday recently came up, it was absolutely clear to me that I would have to build a model for her team, codenamed the Piratz, so I gathered up all the slightly pirate-y bitz I had and tried to come up with something. Unfortunately, I had already scoured my bitzbox for anything looking like it might fit a pirate team earlier in order to provide her with a small bitz collection. As a consequence, I really had to make ends meet this time around, but in the end I came up with this model, intended to serve as a cheerleader for the Piratz:

Piratz Cheerleader (1)
Nothing too fancy, as you’ll agree: Some WFB Empire bitz gave me the right base to work from, and adding a Marauder head, a peg leg and some suitable weapons were enough to come up with a fairly convincing pirate. While painting the model, I tried to channel all the fond memories I had of the Pirates of the Carribean films 😉

Anyway, I only had two evenings to build and paint this model, so I was a bit pressed for time. In the end, though, I managed to finish the model in time. Take a look:

Piratz Cheerleader (2)
I used a fairly limited palette of colours, making sure the model looked unkempt enough to read as a pirate. Still, going for lighter and more vibrant colours was a nice bit of contrast when compared to my usual, darker painting style.

I wanted the flag carried by the pirate to do double duty as both a variation of the venerable Jolly Roger and also work as a banner supporting the team. So here’s what I came up with:

Piratz Cheerleader (3)
Piratz Cheerleader (6)
While the motto on the front of the flag needed to be freehanded, one of my chaos decal sheets luckily provided me with a suitable skull! As you can see, I also built a suitable base for the model, in line with the bases Annie is building for her team. Let’s take a closer look at that part of the model:

Piratz Cheerleader (8)
What would a true pirate be without a drink, right? 😉

One thing that is a bit of a recurring visual motif in Annie’s team is that each model features a rat — hence the name Piratz, I suppose. Anyway, it was clear that I would have to do the same, so I used one of the venerable old HeroQuest rats for that role. Take a look at the rat in its hidey hole:

Piratz Cheerleader (7)
Definitely not award-winning stuff, but Annie was still very happy with her new cheerleader. And I can already imagine this jolly guy waving that flag of his and singing bawdy songs as my own Orkheim Ultraz are pounded into the ground by the Piratz. We shall see…

So yeah, that’s it for today. Let it not be said that the head totally killed my productivity 😉 And like I said, stay tuned for some serious WIP action very soon! 🙂

As always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Lost in the woods – a look at the new Wood Elves

Posted in Conversions, Pointless ramblings with tags , , , , , , , on June 4, 2014 by krautscientist

I realise that the next release is already rolling – or rather stomping, as it were – around, but let’s still take a moment for a look back at a release that has been sligthly overshadowed by the advent of the 7th edition: Today I would like to talk about the new Wood Elves.

Almost exactly one year after a sizeable High Elves release and about eight months after a rather spectacular relaunch/redesign of the Dark Elves, the Wood Elves are the final elven faction in WFB to receive an update. And after many fears that the army might be going the way of the dodo (or, indeed, the Squats), I guess seeing an update must have been a pretty huge relief for Wood Elf players! But what about the models themselves? Are they any good? Will they be able to keep up with the revamped Dark Elves? And what about the conversion potential?

Wood_Elves_release (1)
A newcomer to the world of Warhammer might question the need for three distinct elven factions, but in all honesty, I’ve always felt that GW has done a pretty good job of visually distinguishing these armies from one another so far: The High Elves are an orderly, clean and highly stylised army with lots of bright colours and elegant lines. The Dark Elves are no less elegant, but they function as a dark mirror of their High Elf brethren, spiky and sinister, yet with a depraved sense of beauty. So what about the Wood Elves?

As all Warhammer Elves, they do certainly have a healthy dose of Tolkien in them, and at their worst, they are very reminiscent of the archetypal image you’d have of the Elves of Lothlórien — all the more so after seeing the Lord of the Rings films. But there’s also something wild and untamed about them, and that’s where it gets interesting: Their symbiotic relationship with the forest of Athel Loren goes beyond the usual tree-hugging tropes, recalling instead the capricious and often dangerous nature of faeries and spirits in folk tales, with myths like the Wild Hunt thrown in for good measure. In fact, when at their best, GW’s Wood Elves remind me of what might be one of my favourite illustrated books ever, the 1970s classic Faeries by Brian Froud and Alan Lee (on a related note, hobby prodigy Jeff Vader’s beautifully illustrated book Nordiska Väsen seems very reminiscent of the Brian Froud’s work at times — I’ll definitely have to pick up a copy at some point!).

Anyway, while I am not the owner of a Wood Elf army, I was nevertheless happy to see that wild, ultimately slightly alien, element brought to the fore with models like the plastic Dryads and the strange faeries crawling over various Wood Elf models, adorning their bases etc, because this influence from classic mythology is what ultimately transforms the Wood Elves into something more interesting than just “pointy eared guys wearing green”.

So, in order to find out whether the new release actually manages to embrace those rather interesting elements, let’s take a look at the actual models, shall we?

 

Araloth

Wood_Elves_release (2)
What would a new GW release be without at least one new clamshell plastic character? For the Wood Elves, Araloth fulfils this role, and he is another beautiful miniature. What really gets me every time with these mono-pose plastic models is the amount of depth and three-dimensionality GW manages to get out of them (albeit at the cost of customisability).

Araloth is a great example of this, and he also hits all the right cues for a Wood Elf character: Flowing clothes, check. Antlered helmet giving him a slightly mystical appearance, check. He even has a bird. God, how I love birds on Wood Elf models 😉

At the same time, a look at the sprue reveals that Araloth is indeed quite a bit more modular than one would have expected, so a couple of conversions with this model as a base would definitely be an option — but more on that later.

Wood_Elves_release (3)All in all, a competent Wood Elf character with some very nice visual touches. Nothing more, but also nothing less.

 

Eternal Guard/Wildwood Rangers

Wood_Elves_release (4)
The first combi-kit to come out of this release gives us two types of elite infantry.

First up, the Eternal Guard: These look more ostentatious and formal than the Glade Guard, which only seems appropriate. At the same time, they share clear similarities, both with their less armoured and regimented Wood Elf kin as well as with other elven infantry: A couple of visual elements like the basic helmet and shield shapes still hint at a common cultural heritage with the High Elves and Dark Elves.

All in all, these are well made models, similar enough to other elven infantry to read as the same species, but still with enough clearly Wood-Elven flourishes to make them visually distinct. Good job!

Wood_Elves_release (5)
The kit can alternatly be assembled to make a unit of Wildwood Rangers, leading to a slightly different outcome:

Wood_Elves_release (6)While using the same base models, the Wildwood Rangers are distinguished by their cowled heads and their two-handed glaives. The hoods once again recall some of the heads in the Glade Guard kit, which strengthens the visual consistency across the army, while the glaives are a really nice touch. As an aside, while it seems that these are used pretty much exactly like the Dark Eldar Incubi’s Klaives, the Rangers’ weapons somehow seem a tad more plausible to me…

All in all, the cowls and equipment lead to a somewhat more shadowy, mystical look, which I guess was the whole point. If I have one gripe, it’s the fact that the unit champion looks somewhat less impressive than I would have liked:

Wood_Elves_release (7)
All in all, this looks like a pretty versatile kit for two types of elite infantry. Both options seem equally interesting from a visual standpoint, and the kit should provide some rather interesting conversion bitz — but we’ll be getting to that…

 

Wild Riders/Sisters of the Thorn

Wood_Elves_release (8)Another combi-kit, this cavalry clearly embraces the mystical, faerie-like aspect of the Wood Elves. This is evident in the magical deer serving as their mounts (it seems that these can become Steeds of Kurnous or Steeds of Isha, simply by virtue of a different paintjob) as well as in the riders, whose design makes it delightfully ambiguous whether they are/were regular Wood Elves or are rather something more ethereal, like spirits of the forest.

The male Wild Riders carry forward a kind of beautiful, yet subtly sinister helmet design seen before on a certain Glade Lord model, and indeed their helmets might be one of my favourite things about the models. I also really like their capes, covered in ivy and briars, and the deer make for some rather dyamic posing, with the champion’s pose possibly my favourite:

Wood_Elves_release (9)
All in all, these models embody rather nicely what is interesting and original about the Wood Elves — with the Wild Hunt connotations obviously turned up to eleven on these guys.

The bad news is that, precisely as has been the case with the last elven male/female combi-kit, the girls definitely get the short end of the stick once more. But I am getting ahead of myself. Let’s take a look at the Sisters of the Thorn first:

Wood_Elves_release (10)The magical deer stay the same, so no objections there. However, I think that from a design standpoint, these models are really far inferior to their male counterparts — which is just a shame! Maybe it’s just me, but the models have that “She-Ra, Princess of Power” look that makes it really hard to take them seriously. And, once again, the faces (the part that will make or break a female model for me) just seem like something from really bad 80s’ fantasy art.

Then there are those spears on the models’ backs: Maybe they were supposed to recall butterfly wings, underlining the faerie motif, and maybe they weren’t –whatever they were supposed to do, it  just doesn’t work, if you ask me.

Wood_Elves_release (11)

You’d think that, after the female portion of the last “equal opportunities” combi-kit turned out pretty lacklustre, GW would have learned their lesson and make it work this time around. But once again, the female models just look slightly goofy. A crying shame and definitely the weakest part of the release for me! Come on, GW! Give us some well-made female faces already. I know your designers are up to it!

 

Treeman / Treeman Ancient / Durthu

Wood_Elves_release (13)
Can I just say, right off the bat, that I really dislike the older Treeman models: The old, early 90s metal models may have a corny charm today, but they were pretty terrible. And the slightly updated Treeman released along the last batch of Wood Elves was just neither here nor there: He didn’t have the goofiness of the older “Look, I am a walking tree” models, but ended up looking like a strange cross between a tree and an alien-dinosaur…thing in return. So a new Treeman kit was overdue, and it makes a lot of sense that GW chose this particular unit type as their “huge” kit for this release.

The kit gives us three alternate builds, which is pretty cool. All three Treeman variants look a lot like bigger Dryads, as can be seen in this comparison:

Wood_Elves_release (15)
Now I really think the Dryads are a brilliant (and hugely underappreciated) plastic kit, so it won’t surprise you to learn that I am a fan of the overall new Treeman design: I think even the (comparatively) lowly standard Treeman looks like a awe-inspiring mythical creature, with its wooden, masklike face a great chance for painters to bring out the eerie quality of the sculpt. I am not perfectly sold on that slightly strange vine whip, to be honest, because it almost looks like something you’d see on a Tyranid model, but at the very least, it’s an interesting idea.

The Treeman Ancient uses the same kit and base model to give us a pretty different looking character:

Wood_Elves_release (16)What I really like about this guy is that he does indeed look like a more senior Treeman and also like an object of worship, with a carefully braided beard and loincloth, huge “antlers” growing from the branches on his head, and a rather different, more proactive pose.

And finally, there’s also the Treeman named character, Durthu:

Wood_Elves_release (17)
This guy’s background is that he has been terribly damaged and deeply scarred, both in body and soul, and has become a pretty angry guy as a consequence. And it definitely shows, from the damaged and partly caved-in face to the lots and lots of skulls woven into the ivy hanging from Durthu’s limbs and into his branches. The branches on the model’s head also nicely add to its dynamism, and there’s also the huge (yet elegant) sword, of course.

All in all, I think the Treeman kit is a rather great success: It will produce a standout piece, no matter which configuration you choose. But the truly stunning fact is the amount of customisability evident in the kit, with the finished models sharing a clear common heritage but still looking fairly distinct. Take a look:

Wood_Elves_release (18)
Seeing these guys in a row like that, it also seems to me like Treemen get progressively more pissed off the more ancient they get — which actually makes a lot of sense, considering they get to see more and more damage done to their forest over the course of their long lives! However, this also makes for a pretty neat bit of visual storytelling over the different configurations of the kit!

An honourable mention must also go to the myriad of forest spirits you get as conversion bitz in the Treeman kit. The three-eyed owl, partcularly, continues the wonderful tradition of awesome birds hidden away in Wood Elf kits:

Wood_Elves_release (19)
If there is one negative aspect about these new Treemen, it’s that, well, to be honest, they don’t look all that much like actual trees. But one need look no further than the old metal Treemen to see that GW made a good call here: I’d rather have a stunning model than a biologically accurate one. And these are not Tolkien’s Ents, but rather more visceral, for lack of a better word, Treemen that seem perfectly at home in the dark world of Warhammer. In any case, the Treeman kit is certainly one of the high points of the release for me!

 

Conversion options

Figuring out a way of using new bits and kits in various conversion and kitbashing projects  is obviously always my favourite part of any new release, so let’s look at the possible conversion options this time around:

First of all, it shouldn’t surprise you that players of elven or Eldar armies should get the most out of this release when it comes to useful bitz. Let me share just a couple of quick ideas with you:

To begin with, a fairly straightforward observation: I suppose the Eternal Guard could be transformed into pretty good High Elf spearmen with a bit of work and a change of shields — Lord knows the High Elves need some better spearmen…

Then there’s the Wildwood Rangers, with their shadowy, cowled look. I think their design would make them perfect as base models for kitbashed plastic Dark Elf Assassins, in case you don’t want to use Shadowblade multiple times. Come to think of it, the same qualities also make sure they are really promising conversion fodder for INQ28 Death Cultists, assassins or the like.

Aralor, as all clamshell plastic characters, will doubtlessly be at the centre of many, many conversions. While I have not yet figured out a cool way of making him into an INQ28 character, I am fairly confident one of my fellow hobbyists will blow me away with their imagination — Jeff Vader, Spiky Rats, PDH, anyone? He could of course be used as a base model for a rather interesting Farseer conversion, that much is certain…

In fact, this leads me to the two most promising conversion projects I can think of regarding this release:

The first one probably isn’t all that original to begin with: If someone were to build a characterful Eldar Exodite army, I believe some of the new models would be perfect conversion fodder for that: Just take some of the new infantry kits, some Eldar Guardians and happily kitbash away! For the more adventurous spirits, wouldn’t Durthu make a promising start for a truly stunning Exodite Avatar? Just sayin’…

The other option is to use parts from this release in a Dark Eldar army project: I can really see the stylised plant motif work enormously well with a Dark Eldar Kabal. Just keep in mind that the Dark Eldar have a depraved kind of elegance that should work exceptionally well with floral motifs 😉 And there’s also the fact that poisons feature prominently in Dark Eldar culture, so a bit of poison ivy here and there would look doubly at home.

 

All in all, this feels like a relatively small, but rather focused release to me. More models would have been nice, but the stuff we get is very well done, both in concept and execution. The only true disappointment is the lack of quality in the Sisters of the Thorn (well, and maybe a lack of plastic Wardancers), but this still seems like a rather strong release to me! It’s just a shame that it seems to have been rather overshadowed by all of the 7th edition shenanigans…

Another thing I realised: One of my main criticisms regarding the new Dwarf models was that, while pretty cool, the new models looked so different from some of the older kits in the catalogue that using armies composed of older and newer models might create a bit of a jarring contrast. No such contrast is evident in the Wood Elf kits — quite the opposite, actually: Not only will Wood Elf players be able to use older and newer models together without creating any visual “continuity errors”, but the new models also seem to have been created with the old models very much in mind, continuing much of the earlier design paradigms or even further developing them. Thumbs up for that!

One final question: Where does that leave this release in comparion with the High Elves and Dark Elves? If cou ask me, smack dab in the middle: The new Wood Elves obviously cannot compare with the Dark Elves release, because for the latter almost the entire line of models was spectacularly redesigned from scratch. However, both the Wood Elves release as well as their overall catalogue of models seem slightly more interesting to me than the High Elf offerings. Sure, there are standout kits in the High Elf catalogue that are some of the best models available for WFB, but their release not only contained some slightly wonky models, but also failed to address the parts that actually needed addressing (the hopelessly overaged core troops, for one). Plus the overall level of quality seems more even for the Wood Elf line of models, whereas the High Elves are held back by some pretty old (and rather clunky) kits.

So yeah, if you ask me, Dark Elves come in first, with Wood Elves on a safe second and High Elves bringing up the rear.

 

So, what do you think of the new models? Were you as pleasantly surprised as me, or are you rather disappointed? Have any cool ideas for possible conversions or kitbashes? Want to vent your anger? I’d love to hear any feedback you might have in the comments section!

As always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!