Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Slow progress on Skarloc's Wood Elf Archers

How typical, after finishing my five year blog-birthday post I can't find the time to blog. Well the (non-existent) rumors about my blog's demise have been greatly exaggerated (although quite a bit of lost hobby time can be described as 'Rimworld related'). No matter, I've finally picked up my brushes and started painting again. First order of business: add more splotches of color to Skarloc's Wood Elf Archers. I've finished five (actually six) of the twenty members (actually twenty-one) of the unit on my paint station.

Come on guys, I've applied paint to you, stop glaring at me. The rest of the unit will follow soon...

These Elves have been glaring at me while I was wasting my spare time behind a gaming pc. Then again, Elves are very good at glaring. It did motivate me to finally put the finishing touches on them. I remember buying the original box of these back at the end of the eighties and painting them. The disparity between the models on the back of the box and my globbed on attempt to paint elven flesh using Bronzed Flesh (from the unstable white lidded pots) almost made me give up on the hobby. I still hold elves in awe when it comes to painting. Even the modern Lumineth Realm Lords have tiny, tiny details that need to be (more or less) properly painted to make the models come together. As I'm mentioning the Realm Lords here anyway, that's where these guys are headed. They will serve as a twenty strong unit of archers (Vanari something or other). The Wardancer (model twenty-one in my collection, twenty-two has sadly gone missing over the decades) will serve as a blademaster type hero. 

My relationship with shields can best be described as 'overtly ambitious when starting out, and rather minimalistic at the finish'. 

I tend to spend a lot of time fantasizing about freehands only to downgrade to decals when it comes to shields. I was planning to go for a round Celtic knot type freehand here, but two problems cropped up. First of: the shields are very small and my (shrinking) collection of eighties shields forced me to go for two separate shield types. This left even less room for a unified symbol. Two: my prototype small round Celtic type knot looked like a wavy swastika. And though I make a lot of in-game and over the tabletop jokes about suspicious similarities between nazi's and High Elves, I do not want an army waving that vile symbol around. Not on my gaming table and not in my display case. While I was screwing around trying different smallish designs the basic green color and wash on the shields dried and I realized simply going for green looks way cooler than my scribbling. 

Freeeeeeeeeedoooooommmmmmmmmmm (extend death scream for two years....)

On to some individual models. Here's the unit champion, a wardancer named Glam (I really need a unit of classic wardancers in my collection). I shared Glam on the Oldhammer Community over on Facebook a while back (I painted him first). In the message I mentioned my reticence to paint tattoos on him. Tim Prow suggested I should go ahead, challenge myself and paint some tattoos on him anyway. Who am I to argue? I added blue facepaint and a few squigly blue lines as my first 'painting tattoos' attempt. I'm actually quite happy with the result. If it does nothing else, I think it will give Glam the ability to lie about Scottish history, its given him a brave heart so to speak...

I should take the time to post a rant about painting blonde hair someday soon, as I'm about to paint more elves I should generate plenty of material on that subject.

The other five models currently finished are rank and file archers. I (tried to) pick an autumn color palette for the unit. Mixing yellow, red and green with browns. As these are elves I have no compunction against using bright silver and gold for their ornamentation and armor. It may nog help you hide in the forest all that well, but you'll look damn good when the enemy spots you. I like this model in the half coat. It has so much detail and gave me a chance to play around with a different colors on the inside and outside of the coat. 

I've been trying for minutes to come up with a better caption that 'an Elf archer'. I've failed.

Next up is an archer with a hood over his eyes. I had a real challenge dotting in his eyes and as a reward they don't (hardly) show up in the picture at all. I should add that I first painted the hoods of the models Iosian Green (by P3). I hated how it looked. It was way too bright next to the other colors. Switching to Deathworld Forest was a bit of a gamble that paid off in the end. 

An eyepatch may ruin your depth perception, but it doubles the effectiveness of your intimidating glare. 

Painting eyepatches is always a challenge. It all looks like fun and games until you accidentally hit the face and ruin the skin color. The eyepatch vaguely puts the old Elfquest comic series to mind. I should pull the old albums out of the book case one of these days. It also reminds me of the 'eye patch of doom' in the revamped X-Com series. Whenever I stick an eyepatch on a member of my squad, he or she will definitely be killed in the next mission. I think I'll use it as an excuse to remove this guy first in any battle. A bit of a shame as he came out of the painting process rather nicely.

This will go into the books as one of the worst shots I took of a miniature in my collection (didn't stop me from using it I note.).

Next up is mr. Helmet. Painting his leather armor flaps was a bit of an exercise in silly futility. I started going for metallic silver as this made it possible to paint both the leather and the chainmail at the same time (efficiency!). Trying to apply brown in between the studs tested my patience. I failed the test. So I had to redo all the studs after painting the entire vest brown anyway. All this matters little as I did not pick a very good angle to shoot his picture from. You'll have to take my word that he looks quite ok in real life (well better than this picture anyway).

I might have gotten away with cutting the metal between the arrow and the arm, but knowing the gentle way I treat my miniatures that arrow would've snapped of before I reached my first battlefield. 

Last but  not least is yet another archer (not very surprising, given that this is a unit of archers). I painted the metal between his knocked arrow and the arm black. I reasoned it safer than trying (and failing) to cut it off the model. You can also see my rather lazy 'here it looks a bit like' wood paint on the back of the shields. As a final note I picked a white color for the bows and arrows. For some reason having white bows makes it looks like these elves know what they are doing. There's that reason, and the fact that white and orange (on the scabbards in this unit) are the main colors of my Lumineth army (in progress). Hopefully it'll tie these Elves Aelves in with that lot. 

Ah the game and edition that started it all for me (I've imbibed enough by now to forget all about Advanced Dungeons&Dragons Battlesystem (except the carboard cards for models (I saw them somewhere quite recently(....to the liquor cabinet!))))

I'll leave it at that for this post. On a side note here's my copy of third edition Warhammer Fantasy next to the recently released third edition of Warhammer Age of Sigmar (I got my first game in last Friday). How time flies. I've got the Dominion box begging me to assemble the new Orcs Orruks. I also really want to get cracking on the new Stormcast. GW has slimmed down and reshaped these models. My first impression: they look like fantasy knights instead of American Football players now. I like them. I also lucked into getting a copy of the Cursed City box (what on earth happened there? We'll probably never know, but the models are awesome). Aside from that, my gaming group has made characters for a Soulbound (AoS rpg by Cubicle7) campaign. As the worst Covid restrictions have been lifted here I can pick that part of the hobby up again. I've prepared a campaign for Soulbound and I think that deserves a post on here too. So little time, so much hobby fun to be had. Here's me trying not to restart Rimworld for a while so I can get more non-digital hobby time in...Also I should shoot a better picture of the two rulebooks than the one above. But the mace wielding warrior is so awesome. He demands the full frame ;)


  1. These are really good. I like the colour scheme, especially the red and tan. I've got a set of Scarloc's elves (minus Scarloc sadly) and I've been wondering how to paint them for a while. One day I'll get around to it! Good luck with the rest of them!

    1. Oh no, missing Skarloc is a bit big in a band named after him. My group lacked the banner bearer, but with a bit of luck I managed to exchange her for an old Iron Claw goblin through the Oldhammer Trading Group on Facebook. That might give you a lead on replacing Skarloc.

  2. A very cool looking bunch! I really like how you tied them together; yet painted then each an an individual. I don’t think we see enough of this outside skirmish forces. The red particularly pops. I’m also glad to see the tattoo guy, he came out great!

    1. Thanks. The tattoo guy was really outside my comfort zone. Its way too tempting to think 'ah this looks up to my standard lets not take the risk to destroy all the work'. As to the unruly Skirmish forces. I quite agree. My orcs have a tendency to look way too uniform and I'm considering switching away from that with the new AoS models (when I get around to painting them).

    2. Some armies look good uniform, like marines and guard. Some look better as a mixed batch, like these archers!

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  3. I always liked these models, sadly I never owned any.