Monday, April 24, 2017

Second hand high-elves join me for the Grudge of Drong

With the first game of Armageddon behind me and the first Age of Sigmar tournament I've organised in our region coming up, I decided to put a bit more focus on my High Elves for the Grudge of Drong. Getting every single model in the original armies poses a challenge as Games Workshop has silently canceled a large part of the plastic High Elf line. Luckily I had some models in the plastic/resin/lead pile in the shed. So let's start with some finished models.

Quite a satisfying addition to my glittering High Elf/Aelf Highborn force.
The chariot in the center is a truly ancient piece that I should post to the Oldhammer community on Facebook (note to self, don't forget to do that). I painted the chariot and its riders a few years back, but the horses where languishing in the unfinished box as my love for the project left just before finishing it. I channeled some of my enthusiasm for the Grudge project to quickly finish the four of these. For some reason I have a fifth horse from this set left over, I put that one in the bits box.

I love this ancient model, and after about thirty years on the lead-pile it is finally assembled, painted and based.
In my humble opinion this model embodies everything that was cool about wargaming in the eighties. It is very dynamic and has a full cast of characters on board (warrior, wizard, archer in addition to the guy driving the chariot). As opposed to the later plastic chariots this one seems to speed over the battlefield. All in all I'm quite satisfied that I finally finished and based it. It is a proud part of my display cabinet.

I looked up the current AoS stats for a chariot and had to laugh. It will probably be an under-performing embarrassment on the battlefield unless the enemy is so scared by the model that it gets more attention then it deserves.
I had the eight archers to the left still on sprue in one of the 'ignore this I will never paint it and selling it will not work'-boxes (I know, long label). 

These archers look a lot better painted then I expected. I'd almost wish for more of these old plastics.
As I needed them for 'Grudge' I cleaned them up and gave them a fast paint job with the grey/white coming from an airbrush. Seeing them painted I have to admit that I actually rather like them in all their static appeal. 

Just like the archers these spearmen hold up well, even next to modern plastics.
The spearman where from the same sprue. I think these are from 1992. No airbrush was needed to give these a quick paint job. One of the things that is rather pleasant about eighties and nineties plastic is the lack of detail in the form of pouches, straps, flags, etc. You can quickly block in basic colors, wash, drybrush or highlight and be done with it. This is a plus when painting large blobs of infantry. 

S'un Th'an, wizard of the highest order and inventor of the sun-tan spell.
The wizard in the center was also hanging around the shed after I failed to be satisfied by the galaxy paint job on the horse. It started out with purple and black only. After adding some orange and blue to it I rather liked it, finished the wizard (skin color is a bit darker than intended but I'll just assume he has a sun-tan spell) and I like it. 

The horse was stolen from Tyrion (the High Elf, not the Lannister).
Only after finishing the model I discovered that the horse actually belongs to another High Elf: Tyrion. The model is looking at me accusingly from the painting table right now. Luckily I had some ugly Bretonnians around So I'm converting a horse to put Tyrion on right now. My painting table is currently covered in metal Sword Masters and five metal Dragon Princess (I have another one ready to assemble and two upper bodies lacking legs, but I think five will do). 

Assembly line painting of Sword Masters and (old) Dragon Prince horses. 

These Dragon Prince models (and the current ones) are so overly covered in details that I'm genuinely stumped as to how to paint them. I went for 'when in doubt go for steel' solution to armour painting.
I got a message that my order of Great Eagles is on the way. In the meantime I managed to buy a second hand plastic Repeater Bolt Thrower to complement my two metal ones. That gave me a chance to convert an extra crew member as one of the metal crew members has gone missing.

My third repeater bolt thrower and the new plastic crew.
Through second hand sites I managed to get enough High Elf archers to fill out the requirements for Grudge of Drong. Most of the second hand ones were covered in ultra thick layers of paint.

Second hand miniatures in bad need of paint stripper.
I snapped the models apart where possible (luckily the previous owner used superglue).

I feel like a Vandal.
And followed up with a bath in Biostrip-20 getting the models mostly clean.

Goop! It's what's for dinner!
I then spent a rather unpleasant time gluing the old models back together again. The remains of superglue make it harder to use plastic glue and these models are not very good from a quality point of view. On the plus side I got a few old metal models along with the second hand plastic ones. And here are 22 (or 23) extra archers with banners, musicians and leaders so I can assemble two units of 15 (and for later games 1 whopping big unit of 30).

Stripped and reassembled.
The spearman are a bit more problematic. I sourced 16 old spearman but the models seem to have suffered from inverse scale creep. Their predecessors and their followups are both bigger and scale well together, but the 16 2002 spearmen look like a bit of a failed investment for now.

The spearman to the right (left of the archer) suffers from an off sort of inverse scale creep. (left to right: Island of Blood/Spire of Dawn Lothern Seaguard/Spireguard (2010), High-Elf Spearman (1992), High Elf Warrior (2001/2002), High-Elf Archer (2002).
Luckily I accidentally bought 20 Spireguard (Lother Sea Guard) from the Spire of Dawn set (miscommunication can be positive). These come without the command set which means I have 40 of the 48 required spearmen. I think a solution for the final 8 will present itself (maybe an extra sprue from Spire of Dawn or perhaps I'll get lucky and I'll find some more of the '92 spearmen online). That leaves me 1 Elf Lord on steed, 1 Battle Banner carrier on steed and 7 Dragon Princess short of the full army. I think that will be easily solved. But lets paint the current lot first before wasting more cash on bare metal and plastic.


  1. There are some great looking models in this army, and having it be part of an ARMY really makes even some of the more questionable figures look good. Maybe not the Morely spearmen though.

    1. Yes it is a pity that those spearmen don't work in the whole. On the other hand I never expected the ancient plastics to hold up so well.