Thursday, April 1, 2021

Sword Masters of Hoeth or Vanari Bladelords? You decide!

New High Elf Lumineth models keep pouring out of GW, and my brand new army book has been rendered obsolete faster than actual play was possible. A new record. Anyway, with the new wave of models a unit called Vanari Bladelords has appeared. I have to admit I'm rather enamored by the new models, but I did have these Sword Masters of Hoeth on the paint station already. So I painted them up anyway. Bladelords or Sword Masters, they've been painted and that's what really counts.

"What are we?" 
"Sword Masters!" "Bladmasters!"
"No Sword Masters!!!" "No not at all!!!!" 
"Just shut up and wave your blades around like you mean it!!!"
For those of you not keeping up with any of the Age of Sigmar background and releases. The Lumineth Realm Lords fill a similar position to the High Elves of old. These Elves Aelves used to inhabited highly magical (for a high fantasy setting) realms that collapsed due to their arrogance. Think Eldar meet High Elves and spawn a high fantasy love child that summons nature spirits and doubles the arrogance (who knew it could be done) and you're in the right direction. With the first release the designers went all in for humongous horns on helmets, including a giant Aelf mountain daemon spirit that promptly got the entire faction nicknamed cow-elves (without the characteristic hats and boots you'd expect from cowboys (no all hats, no cattle jokes I'm afraid)). With my previously documented disdain for horned helmets (see my Chaos Warriors here) that posed a problem. So I decided to completely forego the heavy horned helmets and just use my old Sword Masters of Hoeth to take the place of the way too big horned helmet Aelves. Little did I know that GW would actually release Lumineth Vanari Bladelords. Ah well, now they can fill their proper place on the battlefield I guess. Even though I really, really want those awesome new Bladelord models...

I had a lot of fun playing around with shades and highlights on this model's cloak. I may not be ready for the 'Eavy Metal team, but I still see progress every time I paint.

I was in a bit of doubt as to the colors. After a first go and a dip in Biostrip I decided to give the lot orange robes and white torso armor to go with the rest of my new army. I added metal hauberk skirts to these Sword Masters beause I thought it would look cool. But what to do with the plumes and the captain's cloak? On my first attempt I went for a deep Khorne Red cloak, but I did not like the look of it. For this second attempt I decided to go for yellow as this would tie in with the rest of the army. So how did I end up with pink? Well pink is the ultimate color to apply if you want to get an excellent looking yellow. Just paint the area pink (this color has good and easy coverage) then highlight and shade the pink. When its don finish up with one thin layer of whatever hateful 'one milion layers needed' yellow you have in mind. It will look good with that one layer. Honestly. So that was the plan.  But I love the bold pink look on this cloak so I decided to keep it. Pink is another color that can symbolizes dawn so it fits perfectly with my army.  

 I should add some interesting burn marks to this banner and make up a silly backstory about burned down temples around it. Maybe next time my airbrush has some browns left in the cup. 

The next challenge was posed by my lack of a standard bearer. Snipping of a metal blade was no real effort, but what to replace it with? At first I used the discarded cavalry flag I had left from my Vanari Dawn Riders. It was a hassle to paint with it attached to a model as it was too high and too long and just looked wrong. Then I managed to utterly ruin the paint job of the banner as well. In the end I snapped it off and found this Khornate banner in my bits box. I removed the rather suspicious (for Aelves) Khorne skull rune (smile and wave Sword Masters (and claim you don't know anyone named Khaine)). I gave the banner a nice bold pink coating with a few decals that seemed proper enough (it's a map to the temple of the flame, just past the thorn bushes). Maybe I'll get back to it at a later stage to give it a bit of extra character. To be honest I like the frayed edges, it makes it look like a truly ancient holy relic and I like the banner in this unit.

I added a small plastic ring to the top of the horn of the Sword Master musician. I don't think these photos quite convey how much the horn looks now. 

Last but not least where the swords. I did not want to paint these a simple (or not so simple) silver metal. I felt like giving them a serious magical blade look. At first I decided to airbrush them power sword style. I wasted a lot of time getting the first two covered with mini masking tape. During this proces I cursed the existence of mini masking tape. Then I spent some time railing against the gods about my inability to find the center of these swords. This made me realise why people only apply this trick to character model's swords (preferably the modern ones with a nice line modeled exactly through the center). After a bit of humming and hawing, I simply painted the swords Caledor Sky and then carefully layered the same color with white added on top in an interesting pattern. Giving the swords proper clear edge highlights helped pull this slightly sloppy work together. To be honest I should add a few more details and go over the gold once more, but I don't feel like it, so I'll just call them finished. Whatever role this lot will fulfil on the battlefield, I'm quite happy to have them painted up and ready to go.


  1. Really like the elves you've been finishing. Very striking colors. The blue magical swords were fantastic choice. Also, thank you for painting the cloaks pink. I've got some classic Space Elves in the works with pink highlights. Now I know they can look great!

    1. Thanks. I can't wait to see some classic Space Elves. Will they have wings as jump packs?

    2. No plans for wings... yet. That could change.

  2. Thems some fancy elves ya got there, yes sir, right fancy. Lovely cloak, it'll be the envy of Hedonites everywhere.

    1. It will confuse them at the very least :D