+ inload: Necrons, Eldar and Krell +

 + Elder races +

+ Dread species abound in the grim darkness of the far future; many of which pre-date (and predate upon...) humanity. With the Blood Angels polished off, it's time to have a look at some more xenos. Some will join the Alien Wars project, others will be coming into conflict with the Gatebreakers in the Endworlds. +

+ Necrontyr +


+ Primary antagonists of the Gatebreakers, the Necrons from the Indomitus boxed set will be serving as a subserviant group under K0rdhal's Urdimmu. My ones will be very straightforward – a typical zombie robot horde, to provide some contrast with K0rdhal's awesome conversions. +


+ Some of the unpainted Necrons are shown more clearly in an earlier inload [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+], and I'm pleased to say that they're painting up both quickly and effectively. Starting from a black undercoat, the batch above was cranked out in an evening using the following process:
  • Place small pools of black paint, dark brown paint, silver paint, pearlescent ink and sepia ink on your palette.
  • Muddle the colours together in the centre, leaving some areas of the pure colour still available.
  • Use a large brush to paint the figures semi-randomly. The idea is to create a varied underpainting, with some areas of brighter silver and duller browns and blacks.
  • Once dry, layer with Agrax Earthshade (or other dark wash).
  • Once dry, use a fine-tipped brush to selectively apply Stormhost silver (or other bright metallic) to the armour plates; emphasising the edges and leaving gaps and interesting shapes.
The scribbly, patchy effect that we're looking for.

+ This is a variation on my method for painting Iron Warriors [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+], though the result is brighter and cleaner – which suits the more high-tech aliens. +

+ The effect will be further refined with touches of green, yellow and purple washes, as per Designation Samaritan [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+], the Cryptek that's raising all of these warriors. After that, it's down to painting the purple that will – I hope – make everything pop. +

+++

+ Eldar +


+ Having built and painted an homage to the WD139 Blood Angels, it was all but inevitable that I'd end up creating the opposing force, wasn't it? I'm not anticipating these being ready anytime soon; but equally I'm hoping it won't be years and years before they're fit to grace the table. +

+ The modern Banshees are lovely models; and I hope to see the other Aspect Warriors receive updates in a timely manner. My prognostication/supposition-augurs suggest that Eldar infantry have been particularly slow to transition into plastic because of the distinctive background of the Aspects: offering alternative weapons etc. goes against the background principles of the units; and creating new units that share the same base body would dilute the supposed uniqueness of each aspect. +

+ The details above mean that Aspect Warrriors don't fit into GW's dual-build box structure. That's a problem, as I suspect the reason behind GW's decision to have most boxes building two distinct units (e.g. Ogryns and Bullgryns, Deathmarks and Immortals etc.) is twofold: minimising SKU codes and maximising shelf space; and helping to insure against a flop gaming release – if one unit is seen as uncompetitive, the other might still be worthwhile from a Match Play gamer's point of view. With the exception of the Dire Avengers, they're all specialist units, and therefore are unlikely to be taken multiple times in an army. All of these points weigh against the likely commercial success of a launch of an individual Aspect box. +

+ Part of me wonders if the Ynnari background is GW's way to sidestepping this issue. By making units like the Banshees available to two in-game armies – Craftworld and Ynnari, you're broadening the number of potential buyers – in the same way as having the same plastic kit serving multiple Space Marine forces, or allowing the Leman Russ tank to be taken by Genestealer cults. Having a 'year of the Eldar' or something, in which both Craftworld and Ynnari are released, would allow all the remaining aspects to be brought out in swift succession – but not so close together than they cannibalise each others' sales. +

+ To be clear, I don't have any insider knowledge on this – I just find it interesting to speculate, based on what GW have done in the past. It's not beyond the bounds of reason for an army to receive half a dozen kits at once – just look at the Sisters of Battle or orks – but I think GW are slightly more wary of the Eldar. They could easily go back to being hugely popular, but as-is, they strike me as in a uniquely awkward position in terms of the armies. + 

+++

+ Krell +


+ 40k, like a lot of sci-fi, has a lot of fairly similar protaganist species. With the exception of the Tyranids, almost all of the main factions are humanoid. Also known as the Enslavers, the Krell are the perfect example of a non-humanoid alien species that hasn't really been seen since Rogue Trader – and they're a species that, frankly, I think are pretty much the coolest thing since sliced bread. +

+ I created the Alien Wars project with the idea that it'd give me a space to play around with less familiar forces, like the Saharduin and the Fomn. The project stems from a simple concept: what would X model/faction look like if it were released today? +

The weird, warp-based, gribbly, mind-eating tentacle monsters have had some cool hints as to their continued existence in 40k – they appeared as the Psyren in a couple of short stories, and some concept sketches and conversions appeared in a Creature Feature article in White Dwarf. Had you asked me a few years back, I'd have said there's no chance of seeing GW re-release them; but we've now seen the release of models like the ambull and zoats. I don't think it's beyond the realm of possibility that we'll eventually see official GW models. +

+ For the moment, however, I'll be using the rather delightfully grotesque figures from Tagged Events [+noosphericexloadlink embedded+]. Drawing heavily on the White Dwarf concept sketches I mention above, I got these as part of a Kickstarter, and the quality of cast is lovely – judging by the box they arrived in, they were cast by the excellent Artel "W" [+noosphericexloadlink embedded+]. The design is slightly awkward, requiring quite a bit of hot water work (I'll try to get some shots when I build the remaining two), but I'm delighted with the results. +

+ The models are very fragile, and I'm very sceptical that the delicate tentacles would last any time at all in storage, let alone play. To help avoid (or at least minimise) damage, I've used wire to connect them to the bases to relieve the weight and pressure. I've also shifted them from the 40mm bases with which they were supplied to large 50mm bases. As well as helping to avoid overlapping the base edge, it also gives them a bit more table presence – fitting for these creepy invaders from being reality itself! +

+ As mentioned, I love the design. The only reservation I have is that there are no options, and the head on the portal/gate figure. I trimmed it off mine, and I think its loss is a substantial improvement. Other than that, it's classic 50s style B-movie monsters from space, and I'm really looking forward to painting them. +

3 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Ended up doing a much-delayed deep-dive into your whole blog, since I'm ramping up my own 40k-type posts. Really excellent stuff!

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