+ inload: Painting with initiative 5 +

+ inload: Painting with initiative 5 +

+ Ah, the heady days of panic painting. It got me quite nostalgic for the road trip summer campaigns our gang used to do. Anyway, staying up late a few days before a big game to get some miniatures to an acceptable state to field has a long and infamous history in our group, and I imagine in quite a few others, too. +

+ Still, all done now. The first unit has had grey-black crests and their ribbons/tags picked out in purple. A soft feathery highlight on the helms using GW's layering approach gives a nice subtle effect to the swell of the helms. All of the soulstones are blue (following the background from WD127), with the exception of the ex-Commorraghite (helmless, near the centre of the picture), who has received a purple gemstone here. Whether this is a genuine soulstone that's picked up something of the owner's soul (a bit like a mood ring), or simply a pretty gem to keep the fellow on-side until he's proved himself genuinely dedicated to the Craftworld, I'm not sure. Nevertheless, it's a fun little detail that I think adds to the character of the unit. +

+ With the exception of one or two, such as the leaping/pointing Avenger on the right, all of these models were salvage from the moon of De'bay. As a result, there's some rather static posing and odd assembly choices. I should have spent more time hunting down mouldlines and repairing things like awkward gun grips (see front right Avenger), but unless you're looking closely, I don't think anything's really jarring. +

+ The gems and bases are very basic, and I think the crests and faces would benefit from some further detailing, but I won't be ashamed to pop 'em on the field of battle now. Since the scenario mainly focusses on how a Craftworld dies, I imagine they're going to be swept off fairly unceremoniously anyway! +

+ The second unit was more enjoyable to paint, as I think I picked a better livery for the Shrine. The blue arm and leg simple to do, with the texture of the lovely model design making shading and highlighting easy. Again, one or two are from the same eBay haul as the unit above (the seller had made two Exarchs for the unit, for some reason), so one bears a standard Avenger catapult (see above), which I kept because I don't think I've ever seen anyone take that option before! The second is here. I kept the basic pose and equipment, but changed the head to a bare one to help distinguish him from the other two Exarchs. I think the older background had exarchs as bound to their suits, but I think that idea's largely been subsumed into the Wraithguard and Phoenix Lords, so I was happy to have a bare-headed one. +

+ The remainder of the unit were given to me by the ever-generous warmtamale, who snagged one of the last ten-man boxes before they were repacked into fives. The Exarch head's interesting. The hair is pretty awful – suffering from the usual problem of designing for undercuts. I think one works in the unit – the shorn military look works oddly well for a disciplined Exarch, but it looks odd in multiples, in my opinion. As a result, I trimmed the hair using a craftknife when I decided to use the head on the guy at the back. A little greenstuff gave him a more suitable haircut – half manga antihero, half 80s popstar – perfect for Eldar. +

+ So, twenty Dire Avengers down, along with an Autarch (more on him later, as  I also finished him last night) and some... secret other bits. With everything playable, I've now got a chance to either continue titivating the army – improving the paintjob on the wraithguard or jetbikes, for example – or return to other things. I'll see where the muse takes me. +

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