A word to the wise

"Ask not the Eldar a question, for they will give you three answers, all of which are true and terrifying to know." - Inquisitor Czevak Turns out, the answers are; "Oh, just a few days", "Our friends will be here shortly" and "We have quite the appetite".

Monday 28 April 2014

Some days you just have to bite the bullet

And that day has come - don't worry, i'm not abandoning this Eldar project. Instead, i've come to the realisation that the Space Marines and Tyranids just aren't going to get the love they deserve, and in a bid to keep this Eldar Warhost moving along... well... they just have to go.

... Seriously, the poor buggers are just sitting brand new in boxes collecting dust.

The Marines were bought to get a cousin of mine into the hobby, however the interest waned and times just never lined up so it fell through. The Nids however, were a pet project I was looking forward to seeing completed one day as they just looked "fun" to mess about with, while being diverse enough to hold my interest (having grown used to the versatility the Eldar offered).

We all have those months (or sometimes years) where the cost of the hobby and being able to afford a cup of boiled rice becomes more of a mission than something enjoyable, especially when the credit card bills rock up (all at once). Rest assured though, that nothing short of divorce (well, kinda have to get married first) or a complete mental breakdown, will budge my resolve in getting the crazy Eldar on their way to a new Craftworld - Noah's Ark has sweet *&%$ all on these guys.

Thankfully, 90% of the paint work has already been paid for, with a small amount over the next two years before everything is all happy days. A small level of assurance that things will continue to progress on this project blog :)

On that note, below is an update of where the project currently stands;

Matt - With ten regular flyers of various makes, there are an additional ten almost ready for shipping. These are going to start in the next couple of weeks i'd say.

Adam - Formerly of The Sound of Machines, now running Adpaint, Adam has the two remaining Warlocks and Corsair Jetbikes (20 of) scheduled for the end of June, early July.

Navin - Now that the first batch is almost done, with only the Swooping Hawks left, the next lot of 500+ miniatures is about to be posted off to Sri Lanka (Guardians, Corsairs, Wraithguard and a mix of Aspects).

Elliot - Last week Elliot mentioned he is in the works creating the terrain pieces for the Planetscape, so I expect there will be a few happy snaps soonish.

Clinton - I have heard the Wave Serpents (first batch of 11) are almost complete, with some touches left to go before the next batch of tanks kick off. Photos when these are complete in the coming week or so.

Steve - Currently has the three Super Heavy Flyers, which are almost finished. Next batch are the Titans, first six Forgeworld versions, followed by the Armorcast batch. And on that note... here is a recent image of the Vampire Raiders mounted, with bases ready for painting.

Friday 25 April 2014

Reaper of Souls - Vampire Hunter WIP #2

Now this truly pays homage to the Dras'Volharr namesake. Steve from Third Fate Creations has just emailed me the recent update (formerly 30% done, now id' say closer to 75%) for the Eldar Vampire Hunter. With the three flying stands on their way to mount the trio of winged death on, it won't be long before I have to get the next wave of super heavies out the door on their way for similar outstanding results! Ok, i'll shut up and allow the drooling to commence.

* Click here for the twin Vampire Raiders

Stay tuned, I hear Elliot also has some updates on the Planetscape progress in the works soon!

EDIT: So Steve doesn't stuff about... at about 90% done... just the underside, gems etc left.

Tuesday 22 April 2014


I've had a few queries now as to this horde of miniatures that has kept me out of trouble all these years. I thought it was about time in between updates, to answer those questions as a small FAQ as it were.

So without further ado;

1. Why did you decide to only collect one army?

Well I never intended it to start out that way, back in 1996/97 I had what was known as a Crusade army, comprising of all four primary loyalist chapters back then (that Codex material was available for) - Ultramarines, Blood Angels, Dark Angels and Space Wolves. It wasn't until late in 1997 that I bought a bunch of Eldar as part of an allied contingent I thought I needed, as they were the fastest cats on the block.

As for why I chose to collect them, well I found their play style to be "my style", as I didn't care much for crazy armour or forgiving dice rolls - I wanted my tactical prowess to do the safe keeping, and not be reliant on dice rolls. The aesthetics were nicer than the blocky looking Marines... frankly, the models offered a substantial amount of diversity in both looks and play style. In a word - Addiction.

2. With so many models, how did you prepare or figure out what you needed?

To be honest, it was half driven by Epic, half driven by the Force Organisation Chart (FOC). I knew for super heavies, most of those in Epic came in detachments of three or so, which is what I worked from and why there are so many now. As for the general Eldar miniatures, it was a case of taking each type and buying as many as I could take per FOC... then when I found I had extras, decided to fill those out as squads. It didn't help that I found extra model types (such as the Jetbikes I have) which meant there would be multiples of those eventually.

3. I love those Jetbikes (The Jes Goodwin resculpts and the Warlocks), where can I get them?!

This is asked ALOT, and honestly, I drip feed this information out as to protect the people that do make them. I don't want my mates being compromised because their kits are too widely in the public eye. From time to time I will be notified if more are being cast up (the guys get busy with daily life) and dish out the information in kind. Please don't ask here or post details to their where abouts, as I will remove it from the comments - I would imagine its better to drip feed than see the guys close up shop due to GWs IP hammer no?

4. Do you have a full army shot?

Short answer, no. This blog is to log the progress of the Warhost, so no, it isn't finished yet. I expect it will be pretty close in about 18-24 months from now. Yep, there is alot to go, i'm only 1/3rd of the way through roughly.

5. What other plans do you have for the army?

Glad you asked, I have a list of unique features I want to add in addition to the models;

A) A full leather bound history of the Craftworld, including commissioned artwork and photos of the painted miniatures of the Warhost.
B) Enough display case room to house the full army.
C) A one off sculpt for the army based on the Craftworld background - until this is well underway I won't be divulging the details except to prospective sculptors :) sorry kids.
D) A full video detailing the Craftworld miniatures and how I managed to come across them over the years, including details of theme selection etc.
E) Customised templates and dice (ok, got the dice, and I know a guy who knows a guy for the templates).

6. Will you ever stop?

Well, to be honest, i've kind of stopped now, with the exception of a few rare items that will be picked up over time and of course any new kits that are released to keep the collection complete. My hope is that in two years time the Warhost will be as complete as it can be at that point in time.

7. Have you thought about adding Exodites?

*snickers* Yes, yes I have. And I do plan on adding a 5k contingent force of them in the future. If places like Forgeworld keep releasing kits like that Lizardmen Dino recently, i'll be more inspired to complete the project... after I get the current Warhost under control :)

8. What about Dark Eldar?

Never say never. In all honesty, the models are gorgeous, and I may add them later on if I find someone ditching their collection cheaply. As I have a hate of Finecast, I would only be persuaded to buy them if mostly metal or plastic. A 5k force would be nice, which isn't hard to obtain these days.

Food for thought, including the Exodites, that would take the full collection to 100k.

9. Will you ever play using the entire Warhost?

I would like to one day, however i'd need a good dozen Eldar veterans to assist, moving well over 2000 miniatures is no small task. We will see though... if it does happen, i'll be sure to get a good videographer in to record the whole thing to say it actually happened ;)

10. How much did all this cost you?

For the sake of saving my parents and significant other a heart attack, i'll just say that i've only paid a fraction of the RRP over the years by buying from overseas discounters, second hand sites and 3rd party sellers. Even adding in the cost of commission painting, I dare say the full Warhost is much less than the standard RRP. There is a lot of complaining about prices, and I do agree they (GW) have dug themselves a hole by their trade practice, there are most definitely ways around it if you want to protect your investment (if already a collector) or start up an army if just getting into the game.

11. Is this the worlds largest Eldar collection?

To be honest, I don't know. I think anyone can proclaim to have a large army, or even that theirs is the worlds largest - honestly, anyone who claims this themselves has quite an ego. I'd like to think it definitely is up there, and I do have a feeling it is one of the few documented as such. Over the years i've looked around and heard chatter about 80k+ Warhosts, however i've never seen photos or anything other than lip service. That's fine though, I don't expect anyone to prove themselves, although it does make such a claim very difficult to believe (refer to previous ego boosting comment).

12. What do you think about the recent Eldar domination at tournaments?

Over the years i've noticed a trend, there are the players who enjoy an army's play style because that's how they roll, and there are the competitive players who will play what ever the current meta offers in terms of a "nuke button". As the editions roll over, and new Codex books drop, this will change - it just so happens that Eldar are having a second hay day. The last time they were this powerful was back in 2nd Edition, where an Eldar army could reliably roll any enemy force without so much as a scratch... believe me I had a few battles like this. It doesn't bother me, except for the bad press Eldar get as an army, just give it a couple of years and there will be something new to hate on.

Monday 14 April 2014

Vampire Hunter WIP - Winged Death Incarnate

The latest in the trio of Winged Harbingers is now at the WIP stage. Keeping in mind this is just the very beginning for this Vampire variant, probably about a third done, with other colours to come with which to bind it in theme. Steve has gone for a Giger style theme, combining the skeleton of an mythical Eldar beast from the former  Maiden world, now turned desolate, of the Dras'Volharr. In essence, the resurrected Sun Dragon that the Craftworld rune is based on. Stay tuned for more of Steve's very fine work :)

And now, the pretties;

With the trio now well on their way to being complete, and bases en route to mount these beasts on... time to send off a wave of six Titans, for their turn of painted glory.

Saturday 5 April 2014

Craftworld Dras'Volharr Rune - Coloured in

Steve has taken the Craftworld rune and applied it to the Vampire Raiders, in the process making an image that could very easily turn into a stencil/transfer. I love the way this has turned out with the NMM effect, which I think will work very well overall.

And the graphic for transfers...

Certainly stands out to as a unique rune to identify the Craftworld, can't wait to roll it out to other units... including the Avatar of Khaine.

Wednesday 2 April 2014

How to pick a Commissioned Artist

Previously, I wrote about how best to manage the expectations through employing a Commissioned Artist. I thought given I have at least eight artists currently working on the Warhost that now would be a good time (a year on from when all this started) to provide some insights into utilising the industry.

If you're considering this route, much like myself, you're time poor, unskilled creatively (stick men defeat me) or a combination of both. I'm going to break this down into aspects; Types of artists, scale of business, time economy, skill sets, price/performance, quality and communications.

These are all factors that should be considered when doing business, especially if you have set expectations and wish to manage them appropriately. So let's start off with the premise;

1. Getting your house in order - Decide on what you want as the paint theme, what your budget is, how flexible you can be with it and a rough time frame. Ask on forums as to what has been experienced previously by others, that way you will validate whether your expectations are reasonable or not.

2. Creating a list, checking it twice - So you know what you want, now to find someone that can deliver. The list of potentials will require some match making. Decide on the type of skills required to carry out the look you're after. This could be purely brushwork, airbrushing or a combination of the two.

Other factors include what medium the artist is familiar working with. Metal, plastic and resin are the main ones, and each can pose their own unique hurdles if the artist is building them. Metal will require pinning, plastic can carry mold lines and resin can require heavy scrubbing/sanding/reshaping (often these are expensive luxury kits).

3. Down to business - So you know what you want, identified the skills required and have a list of potential candidates. Now it is time to unleash your inner "Spanish Inquisition". In your opening email/message/conversation, make certain the following questions are asked;

A) Do you have a price list or an hourly rate?
B) How large is your operation? How long have you been operational?
C) Please provide an example army/model that you/your studio have completed
D) What was the turn around time involved for the project?
E) What was the cost of the project?
F) How does the business work schedule look presently and for the next 6 months?
G) Where is the company based? (do not be afraid to seek artists abroad)

Asking these questions will give you a fair idea of the time it will take and quality produced. Further to this, you can then get an idea of whether the studio is snowed under (delaying things, including communications), out of budget or under staffed. The response can be broken down further from these details - for example; A studio charging $20/hr that takes twice as long to do a miniature will end up costing $40, compared to another studio which may charge $30/hr that can do the same quality in half the time.

4. Assessing the field of play - You now have a list of artists, have ranked them in order of preference (skill/cost/performance/turnaround). Find out where they advertise, and query those who have had work done. This will be a good indicator as to whether the answers you have marry up with reality. If nothing suits, keep shopping around.

As an example, I spent a month looking for someone capable of doing high end work on my War Machines. I will use Steve in this instance; His communications were quick (and still are), quality of work displayed in a portfolio (CMON, Blogger, Website), good references, very affordable (compared to other quotes - one extreme was $4500 for a Revenant!?) and manages his workload extremely well. So the talent is out there folks, it is just up to you to do a bit of research :)

Tuesday 1 April 2014

Don't Hassle the Hoff - Unless you're a Corsair

So it seems +David Hasselhoff  has been enjoying a spot of photo bombing, with the help of Google. Yep, it's a real thing - http://googleblog.blogspot.com.au/2014/03/introducing-auto-awesome-photobombs.html

And this is the image alert I just had pop up...

Well played Google. Although it certainly seems the Hoff isn't keen on sticking around.

EDIT: Ok, seriously Google, you just photobombed the photobombed photo...

+David Hasselhoff must be enjoying himself right about now.

Eldar Corsairs PDF - Update #2

I'm a couple of days late with this post. Forge World have replied to an update email regarding the status of an updated Corsair Army list. This was their reply;

"Hi, thank you for your email.  At this current time, we do not have any information as to when a new corsair list will appear on our downloads section.  The main issue is that it requires a total re-write and not just an update.  We would hope to see it make an appearance at some point this year, we just can't be more specific than this."

As we currently know, the update is currently underway (as of February this year), meaning there will be a fair bit of writing/play testing happening currently. Further to this, another reply came back in this form, only a few hours after the response to my email;

"We are still hoping to publish an updated version of the Corsairs list at some point soon but how and in what capacity it will be published is currently up for debate."

Perhaps they are considering that there is indeed a strong enough market to warrant a hardback full release? Or maybe a paid eBook similar to the current formations available. With any luck, this update will be released sooner rather than later - perhaps once the hype over Imperial Knights has subsided (Also, why are people calling them Knight Titans? They aren't Titan class machines /rant).

I guess we shall have to wait and see, however it does sound promising, especially with the internal changes that occurred in the first half of last year - One request though (Forge World, if you're reading this), please don't let Talima Fox do the rules. Having the collective might of the Eldar fall to a wet nose Imperial Guard mon'keigh was upsetting enough.