Friday, April 8, 2011

From Humble Origins

Having taken the plunge and started my Dark Eldar, I have decided to chronicle the progress made so far. I stopped by my local G.W. and picked up the very first unit for my army, an Kabalite Warrior squad and their Raider. I've been reading up on the Dark Eldar background to get me into the mood to paint up these insidious warriors, and so I just couldn't wait to get home to bust open the box.

Luckily I have a slow job, where come 9:00 or so at night there are a total of maybe five or six people who come past my desk. This gave me an opportunity to crack open the Kabalite's box and check out what's inside. I'm pretty impressed at all the detail in the miniatures, but I must say I was disappointed in one thing. There are only five sets of legs repeated twice. Now, I know that Space Marine players would kill to have that much variety in their army, but this was a minor annoyance. The bigger issue for me came up during assembly.

Each set of legs comes in a front and back half, all of which have to be matched up. I, like an idiot, just began clipping and filing models without checking the instructions. Whoops. Luckily I had only gotten through three sets of legs by the time I realized this. Having corrected my mistake I managed to assemble all the pairs of legs and attach them to their bases before having to pack up to go home.

The next day I found the same issue with the arms that I had with the legs- each was specifically paired. This time, however, I had checked the frame's numbering before hand. For the most part the arms went onto the now assembled torsos easily, though I did have some issues with the Splinter Cannon.

This brings up another issue I have with the kit- not enough Splinter Rifles. When assembling your models it seems that you must include at least a single heavy and special weapon trooper in the squad, which makes me glad I didn't go with my original squad loadout of ten warriors with only a Dark Lance. I'm just glad I wasn't forced to put together a Sybarite to lead the squad.

After putting together the relatively agreeable Kabalite Warriors came the rough part- the Raider. This little beauty was a hassle to put together from start to finish. It seems that Dark Eldar vehicles are universally made of fiddly little bits. I think the only part of the model that didn't give me some sort of hassle was the ram, because that came as one big piece.

Basing the warriors was a breeze. A little slightly thinned Elmer's Glue-All, a dip in the ballast, and voila! The Raider (of course) gave me some issues. The glue didn't want to coat the base of the flight stand evenly, giving me spotty coverage, so I had to spend quite a while applying several passes of glue before the base was evenly coated. Once this was accomplished I sprinkled ballast across the base and luckily got a perfect coat the first time. Hooray for small miracles!

Having completed assembly of the miniatures, it was outside to prime the miniatures. I have a can of Krylon Indoor/Outdoor Primer I used on a previous project with great success, so I sprayed down the minis. The primer worked perfectly with one exception- it didn't get absorbed into the ballast. It coated the tips just fine, but I ended up having to go back and coat the bases with thinned Chaos Black.

Now it was on to some quality time with my miniatures. I had intentionally saved up several podcasts, including the latest D6 Generation in order to have plenty to listen to while painting. As it was a day off from work, I figured I could put a dent into the minis. Turns out I almost finished them!

It's taken me the last three days to put the finishing touches on them, but I hope you'll agree they turned out well. I wanted the models to be from my Batttlefleet Gothic fleet, which I painted in the same colors, so they're pretty bright. You may also notice that their skin is brown instead o the usual pallid color described in the book. This is because I took the color scheme directly from a Dark Elf army I have in storage. I based the skin color on the Dark Elves in Record of Lodoss War. Since Dark Eldar are just Dark Elves in space...

In the end I'm happy with the way the squad turned out. I'm not looking forward to painting that Raider, but at the end of that black rainbow is the pot of gold that is the Incubi I just mail-ordered. Here's hoping for a great looking army in the end!


  1. Twice I've lost my comment now, so here's the highlights.

    Lack of options is weird. BA stuff comes with everything you could want, or close enough, as do GK boxes. Orks handcuff you a little more though. You'd think that the option to arm everyone as a basic dude would be available, but I guess not. Almost lost my comment again looking at the picture, but saved it just in time. You know I have extra splinter rifles that look close enough to the new ones should you so desire.

    Painting is looking nice. It should be a striking force on the table when you get it all together, though I wonder if all the cyan on the vehicles might be a bit much. I guess we'll find out.

  2. Well, the jade green is really toned down on the Raider, so it won't look all that garish. It's almost done (just some touch-up and basing remains) so expect to see a picture or two soon. The painting process wasn't as painful as I thought, but I had a Mike O'Meara show and an episode of Bad Dice saved up, so the time went by a bit quicker. I really should find a good 40k podcast though, as I've not really been playing Fantasy all that much recently...