Turning It Up To Elven

I know I said that my next Blood Bowl project would be the humans (modified to make them feel a bit more “Warhammer” and a bit less like real world sportsmen) but I’ve only gone and been distracted by some elves. I’ve had this project in mind for ages, since way back before the Elven Union Blood Bowl team was even released in fact. Following the release of the 2016 edition of the game, but before the production of an official plastic elven team, many people used the Harlequin models from Warhammer 40k as able substitutes. I liked the concept but at time I wasn’t particularly enthused about Blood Bowl, and if I’m honest even less about filthy elves, so it looked likely that that would be that. Then GW launched the elf team and I found myself less excited still. The models didn’t seem terribly interesting and the colour-scheme used for the studio models has to rank amongst the most ghastly combinations they’ve ever come up with, which only served to put me off even further. I think it was safe to say I wouldn’t be buying a box of these guys, uh uh – no way!

Loud Elf

I mean just look at that, it’s enough to put anyone off their lunch. And yet, here we are, because despite deciding firmly that I wouldn’t be touching these with a bargepole I promptly became obsessed with how I’d do them differently. I started looking at other people’s models and the colour schemes they’d used and that in turn lead me back to those old Harlequin based conversions. The Elven Union, I came to realise, are actually really nice models, there’s a greater sense of speed and movement to them than almost anywhere else in GW’s stable. It’s just that, much like the aforementioned Human team, there’s not very much about them that looks like it belongs in a Warhammer universe. As sporting elves go they’re painfully generic.

Luckily I managed to get my mitts on some Harlequin heads and tried them out on a couple of models. The results look good to my eye, and feel more “Warhammer” than the untouched models, but without being able to figure out a good colour scheme they sat unpainted for a long time. Then, with the Orc team pretty much complete (for now) I got the itch to pick them up and start playing with paint – and I’m very pleased with the end results (if I do say so myself!).

Blood Bowl Wudugast ConvertOrDie Elves (12)Blood Bowl Wudugast ConvertOrDie Elves (8)Blood Bowl Wudugast ConvertOrDie Elves (11)Blood Bowl Wudugast ConvertOrDie Elves (9)Blood Bowl Wudugast ConvertOrDie Elves (10)Blood Bowl Wudugast ConvertOrDie Elves (5)Blood Bowl Wudugast ConvertOrDie Elves (7)Blood Bowl Wudugast ConvertOrDie Elves (6)

Now not all of the elves in the team will have Harlequin heads, I’ve already built a couple of them straight out of the box, but I’ll be going for a mix of the two styles and hopefully ending up with something that looks cohesive across the team.

Anyway, that’s not all the Blood Bowl activity I have to show today. Acting on advice I was given by several wise Blood Bowl gurus who frequent the comment’s section of this blog (thanks guys) I stuck the two turn markers I painted for the orc team onto bases to stop the damn things falling over all the time. To my eye it looks a lot better, gives me a chance to decorate them a bit further and of course makes them a lot more functional.

Blood Bowl Wudugast ConvertOrDie Elves (1)Blood Bowl Wudugast ConvertOrDie Elves (2)

Finally I’ve painted up my first Blood Bowl star player. He’s one part sporting titan, one part adorable forest creature – and his rules were free with November’s White Dwarf. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Akhorne the squirrel!

Blood Bowl Wudugast ConvertOrDie Elves (3)Blood Bowl Wudugast ConvertOrDie Elves (4)

For anyone wondering, you can get him for free if you buy one of the new treemen (or alternatively if you buy him you get a free treeman – it depends how you look at it). He’s quite the tiddly little dude as this comparison shot next to an Orc and a Goblin demonstrates.

Blood Bowl Wudugast ConvertOrDie Elves (13)

Anyway, that’s it for this time and probably everything for this year. Life is looking set to be busy over the next couple of weeks and although I’ll definitely be trying to find some time to paint I don’t know that I’ll manage to blog about it as well. I will however try to put together a round-up post before we lurch our way into a hopefully-slightly-less-apocalyptic 2021. In the meantime all that’s left is for me to wish all my readers a merry Christmas, wherever you and are and whatever you’re doing I hope you’re able to find a little time to sit back, relax and enjoy our hobby.

36 responses to “Turning It Up To Elven

  • imperialrebelork

    Ok I’m just gonna say it… I don’t like elves BUT I like what you’ve done here. They’re darker and more menacing and holy cow that squirrel is too bloody cute. True fact my Dad can say the word squirrel properly and I laugh at him every time he tries haha.

    • Wudugast

      Cheers man. 🙂 I think too often when we think of elves we think of snooty aristocratic types who go around singing, being fair and melancholic and dreaming wistfully of their tumbled realm, which now passes into memory as cruder races spread across the world. Whereas I prefer the spiteful, woodland dwellers that fatten up unwary travellers for winter feasts, cast unholy magics that lead to blighted crops and three-headed calves and replace your kids with wicked changelings. Tolkien did wonders for elven PR but in a lot of myths they were right bastards.

      Haha – your poor old dad, you need to send him a picture of Akhorne there and ask him from me what kind of animal it is. 😀 To be fair, when you stop and think about it, it’s a hell of a word – all those “s”s and “q”s.

      • imperialrebelork

        I don’t think I’ll ever be 100% convinced that elves aren’t limp wristed foppish namby pamby fairies but I like your spin. I like the look of dark elder too but I still haven’t bought any. Haha squirrel is a bastard of a word. Anyone with a speech impediment would struggle. My dad doesn’t have a speech impediment but just can’t say that word. I think what I like is that he’s the type of bloke that is never wrong so it’s the one thing I’ve got over him. As a loyal and loving son it’s my duty to remind him of this every time I see him haha.

  • Mark A. Morin

    Nice squirrel! And I like the others to be sure. We have two types here – red and gray, until the hawks, eagles, coyotes, bobcats, or owls get them.

    • Wudugast

      Cheers! Yeah, two types here too – red and grey. The greys aren’t native though, they’re bigger than our reds and they carry diseases that they’re immune to but which kill the reds so they’ve taken over in a lot of places. I’m far enough north that it’s still all reds around us but further south it’s all greys.

  • caseyrog

    Great looking elves! I must say I rather like the Elven Union team as is because they reference the classic Jes Goodwin metal elves from Blood Bowl 2nd edition. Back then there were no high elves or wood elves, just elves and dark elves. In 3rd edition the elf team split into high and wood. And somewhere along the way between 4th and 5th editions Jervis Johnson wanted to eliminate all three elf teams and merge them into just one elf team. That made a lot of players angry so instead they kept high, wood and dark elves and added the generic Elven Union team. The lore behind it is kind of wonky, but that’s where we are.

    Also the 2nd edition elf team featured some mohawks so it’s awesome the harlequin heads bring that back in.

    It’s funny that you mention the human team and this elf team aren’t “Warhammer” enough when I have friends who complain the new Imperial Noble team are too “Warhammer” and not enough like generic sportspeople. Goes to show, you can’t please everybody!

    • Faust

      Ha, not sure if I had read that about the Elves before. But I know that’s how we got the three Undead teams as well. Honestly, I like the difference in the Undead but I kinda feel like the High Elves and Elven Union kinda cover the same ground. Maybe they will get some changes in 2020.

    • Wudugast

      That’s really interesting, I didn’t know all that about the history of the elven teams but I do remember those crazy mohawks now you mention it, they must have lodged in my subconscious somewhere. Does Eldril Sidewinder not call back to that era as well or is my memory playing tricks on me?

      I always think Blood Bowl has quite a tricky balance to strike. On the one hand it has emerged from Warhammer and leans very heavily on that setting. For a lot of us who miss the Old World Blood Bowl is really the only way that GW is keeping it alive these days. On the other hand it’s very much its own game and has fans who’re not necessarily interested in Warhammer, and who deserve to be acknowledged with the models they want – not the models us those of us who’re nostalgic for Warhammer want them to want. Likewise it needs to strike a balance between being a game with a highly regarded ruleset which people can, if they wish, play in quite a serious way, whilst at the same time it features chainsaw wielding loonies and pogo-ing goblins! Most of the time I think they pull it off nicely mind you, but it must be quite a challenge to get right at times.

  • Alex

    Man, those Elvequins are frickin’ amazeballs!! What a superb idea dude, totally sticking that in the old data banks for future reference. Lovely colour scheme as well, much much better 🙂

    Oh, and good to see Akhorne painted as a proper red (rather than a dirty invasion-monkey grey 🙂 )

    • Wudugast

      Cheers man! I know I’m supposed to be all modest and all that but I’m really rather proud of them, and I’m much more excited about tackling this team than I would have been otherwise.

      Aye, bloody grey squirrels, coming over here and eating our nuts! I’ve heard they make good pies though. 😉

  • theimperfectmodeller

    OK lets start by putting to one side that you lied to us!

    I have nothing bad to say about elves but I will say your suitably modified ones, including the paint job, are by far and away superior. You are wasted what your doing for a living Wudugast old chap, you could be earning far less money working for GW but being inside in the warm and dry.

    Hope you don’t have to work to hard over Christmas mate and that you get to find time to paint, blog and enjoy the festivities. Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas.

    • Wudugast

      Merry Christmas to you too mate!

      Oh dear, I think you grossly overestimate how much ecologists are paid! Then again, after today being warm and dry on any wage sounds appealing..!

      Glad you like the elves (and have forgiven my lies) – just a few more days at the old coal face and then I’ll be able to get out and party, socialise, catch-up with friends and family and… oh no, wait a moment… Looks like staying home and painting is back on eh! At least I’ll be able to decorate the tree with social baubles…

  • Pete S/ SP

    Those are fantastic elves… I’m not a bloodbowl player but I could help but imagine what the same aesthjetic would look like when applied to Craftworld stuff….?



    • Wudugast

      Cheers! You know, that’s a good idea, I can see this scheme working nicely with craftworld eldar. As it happens I’ve got a bunch of metal eldar stored away somewhere, I’ll dig them out and give that some serious thought.

  • Kuribo

    Happy holidays and all that but I really can’t stand for the slander of elves going on in this post! I think the color scheme GW put together is nice, even if it isn’t quite what I think of with elves (its almost more Harlequin-ish, if you think about it). With that said, the conversions look awesome and the Harlequin masks fit Blood Bowl much better than I would have ever guessed. Very clever work (as usual!) and you may have fired me up enough to go paint some elves and prove you wrong 🙂

    • Wudugast

      I can’t help it I’m afraid, I started out as a fan of orcs and my disgust for elves is baked in. Cut me open and you’ll find elf slander written through me like the message in a stick of rock! Now get out there, paint some elves and prove me wrong (if you dare!).

      Anyway, glad you like the harlequin-elves, despite what I just said I really enjoyed painting them. Have a great time over the holidays. 🙂

  • Faust

    Nice work man. Refreshing to see something new. I’m curious what the whole team will look like together. Also those Orc Tokens look pretty sweet based. I guess a cheaper option for Akhorne, is to use the Halfling bit. I’ll probably give it a try, since I already have the Trees.

    • Faust

      Happy Holidays too, I knew i forgot something!

    • Wudugast

      Thanks mate! I’m also quite excited to see the team done, especially now I’ve seen these two finished. I’ve got a few other projects I’m “meant” to be working on first, but this one has me quite excited so I’ll see if I can bump it up the queue (damn hobby butterfly mind!)

      I reckon you could make Akhorne using the bit off the halfling’s head with a bit of trimming. Might need a bit of greenstuff to cover up the halfling’s face but you could turn it into a tree stump or something.

  • lordcommandereloth

    Those Elves look great, well done.

  • mellis1644

    Funny that you comment of elven models not being I. The old world style. These days I suspect GW and most players have BB on its own little parallel universe, unrelated to anything else. I know I do. Great model and paint job all the same though

    • Wudugast

      Most likely the Blood Bowl world is some mirror version of the Old World that exists in whichever corner of the warp Nuffle controls. In my mind the Blood Bowl world is the real version of the Old World. It used to be an alternative version but now that the other version has been blown up only the Blood Bowl version survives – therefore it’s the only real one. My logic is that because everyone was playing Blood Bowl the forces of Chaos never got around to destroying the world and therefore the Age of Sigmar never happened.

      (I also really liked the Blood Bowl short story in which some wizard opens a portal to the 40k universe and the players end up sprinting across a battlefield between Space Marines and Tyranids. A genestealer bursts back out of the portal with the ball impaled on one of its claws and runs away through the end zone, killing everything in its path and accidentally scoring a goal, to the delight of the crowd).

      When I first got into Warhammer I thought WHFB and Blood Bowl all existed in the same world concurrently and that a Blood Bowl match might be being played just round the corner from whatever battle was taking place (hey don’t blame me, I was young, that wasn’t even close to the stupidest thing I believed!). 🙂

  • daggerandbrush

    Really like the look of the head swaps. Definitely more interesting and less generic. The colour scheme is also great. The true star is, obviously, the squirrel.

  • Page

    I imagine the Harlequin playbook consisting of many trick plays combined with the occasional simple straight forward play to show their speed and agility. That combined with an elven version of Payton Manning at the line welding a million repetitions of play plus a keen passion for the game into a torrent of prognostication about the next play, how it’s going to work out and a few verbal jabs about the other teams players that many don’t realize are insults until days later.

Speak, damn you!

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