Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Finished the Spire of Dawn Aelfs

As I mentioned in my previous post, returning to Warhammer Fantasy at 8th edition was not a pleasant experience. As a result I never finished painting the High Elfs or Skaven in te box. I did paint a Dragon Lord as a fun project and a Dark Elf Sorceress because that miniature is awesome. But it took Age of Sigmar to get me fully back into the hobby. I focused on my old Skaven then got into Death and Destruction until finally landing on my old High Elfs or Aelfs as they are called now. Last week I decided to rebase the old miniatures and started painting the last unpainted unit from my box: the Lothern Sea Guard, now known as Spireguard. And with some pride I can report that they have been painted. Here is my small Aelf army as it stands.

The warriors of the Spire of Dawn (and friends) stand ready to defend it against the insidious Skaven.
To get to this point I first had to rebase my Archmage on Dragon. I was lucky enough to still have a big oval base in my bits box, so I set to work cutting off the old base.

The old square base for the dragon lord (and Spireguard in the stages of being painted in the background).
This gave me a chance to discover why my dragon has a real talen for remaining upright (and also the strange ability to make rattling noises when shaken).

Only you can help prevent wobbly model syndrome!
Stones! Of course, when you get a chance, weigh down the bases and prevent wobbly model syndrome. One of the stones inside this base was not glued down, causing it to rattle. I poured more super glue in in to solve this.

I was working on automatic pilot and covered the entire base in PVA as if for sanding (completely forgetting I was going to use Dark Earth paste on it.
I reattached the Archmage on Dragon to a bigger oval base, cut off most of the plastics covering the old base and glued these in PVA to the new one. Somewhere slightly earlier I also got myself to the model building store and picked up a large tub of Vallejo Dark Earth. My hope was (and some internet pictures made it seem like) it was about as dark and brown as Stirland Mud by Games Workshop. It isn't. Here is a side by side comparison of Vallejo Dark Earth and Games Workshop Stirland Mud.

A side by side comparison of Vallejo Dark Earth (left) and Citadel Stirland Mud (right).
Vallejo Dark Earth (on the left) is light greyish-brown (and clashes with Steel Legion Drab base edging) Stirland Mud is the deep dark brwon on the right. Luckily this army is completely on new bases and a dollop of Agrax or Army Painter Strong Tone followed by a drybrush with Zamesi Desert does wonders for the Dark Earth. Here is a side by side of two bases after washing with Agrax Earth and drybrushing with Tyrant Skull (my method of basing for my chaos army).

Vallejo Dark Earth with Agrax Earthshade (left), Stirland Mud with Agrax Earthshade and a Tyrant Skull drybrush (right).
With the rebasing out of the way I could focus on finishing the Spireguard. There were some problems with this unit after such a long period of abuse. One of the men has lost the tip of his spear and the commanders sword has broken off so many times it is now encased in a blob of greenstuff painted gold (don't get near the model). I also decided to stop making all those Aelfs blond. They have been slumming around in Azyrheim long enough to get a hair color that provides better contrast. For my Spireguard I decided on Vallejo Smoke, an oily transparant color that requires no further work on hair (if applied to rank&file models). With that done here is my small army on parade, incidentally giving me a nice sight of improved painting skills over a period spanning about seven years.

Remember to defend that Spire of Dawn, and as soon as we find out what it is, we'll share it with the group.

Here is the group al together. A nice bonus to using round bases is that lining up remains possible but no longer gives you an ulcer (because of models poking each other out of position).

The Spireguard lined up and ready for action.
The Spireguard in there yellow, white and blue glory stand ready to defend the Spire of Dawn. If only I had a pdf of the new version of Island of Blood, I would have a clue what the Spire of Dawn is.

A small group of Swordmasters on loan from the Eldritch council. 
The Swordmasters are temporarily detailed to the Swifthawk faction of Order. As I have not found any more information in the fluff on these factions I have no clue what that means (aside from giving them a keyword).

I'm still quite happy with the leopard spots I painted on this monster. 
The High Warden sits ready to pounce on enemies. I forgot to mention that I've did not find appropriate tufts to stick to the bases of these guys. That detail will be finished when my latest order at Gamer's Grass arrives.

The wizard probably hums 'great balls of fire' a lot.
Here is the wizard. I remember being quite happy with this model way back when, right now I feel I can do a bit better. Still with my plastic and lead pile still way too high I'm not going to be stripping him down to the bare plastic any time soon.

Getting dressed to go to battle? Yeah you go ahead and do that, you wimp.
I love this model and almost ordered a second one yesterday. I decided on Warhamer 40K's Lelith Hesperax instead. I suspect I can use that miniature if I ever get round to building some Daughters of Khaine (this will probably be somewhere around the time that they get better rules, a nice formation or an offer you can't refuse starter box).

The Archnage on Dragon (and I assume his friends Drakeseer and Dragonlord) are quite formidable enemies on the battlefield.
I've always liked the dragon model and I had a couple of the original metal dragon masters from way back in the eighties. I sold those when I found out that in size (head to tail) they where about as long as the neck on the newer plastic one. That did not work for me, so I made someone else happy with them.

I should look up what they call the horizon meter thingy in airplanes, I still get a kick out of Easter egging that on any flying model if given half a chance.

In Warhammer 40K I can never resist painting a horizon gyroscope meter in cockpits. These tell you how your planes is positioned relative to the ground. You see these in flight simulators (and I assume in real fighter planes/airplanes). I could not resist painting one on the book of the Archmage on Dragon as a little in joke to point out during games.

A top down view of my fledgling Aelf army, now please hurry up with an Battle Tome GW...:D
With these guys done I have to make a decision. I have a few boxes of Shadow Warriors/Sisters of Avelorn I could stick together to add to this army and a partially build dragon rider I picked up in a second hand lot. Or I could just focus on finishing what's on my paint tray right now (ugh Blood Reavers). Ah we'll see, maybe it is time to do the space ship interior build I've been dreaming about for rather a long time...


  1. Excellent job, I have to resume my Warhammer Fantasy painting job, I have three river trolls needing a Little bit of Paint in their plastic bodies ;)

  2. Those models are excellent. I say go for it!