Category Archives: Elves

God Of Murder – Part 5

One of my all time favourite Daughters of Khaine models, and one of the miniatures that attracted me to the faction in the first place, is the Slaughter Queen. I’ve been meaning to paint her for absolutely ages and the other day I thought “Why wait?” and cracked on at last.

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Her hairdo is a bit ridiculous, which should put me off, but somehow I still think she’s awesome.


God Of Murder – Part 4

We’re into the last week of Fembruary now so it’s time to put the finishing touches on my Daughters of Khaine Warcry warband. Just like the two Witch Elves I showed earlier in the month these two come from the Morgwaeth’s Blade-coven set. Of course this also means that I only need to paint up Morgwaeth herself to complete another Warhammer Underworld’s warband so at some point I’ll do that too. For now though let’s concentrate on the final Warcry recruits.

First of all here’s a savage Sister of Slaughter, the berserker she-elves so savage that even the Witch Elves must look at them from time to time and think “Steady on”.

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Alongside her we have a second snake-bodied Melusai, this time in the form of a Blood Stalker. I must confess that I was struggling a bit with this one but, very fittingly for Fembruary, my fiancée gave me some very helpful pointers and stopped me from making a hash of things. The benefits of having a professional artist in the house!

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Finally here’s a shot of the whole warband gathered together.

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Although the warband is finished for now I’ve got various other Daughters of Khaine models I’d like to add so at some point I’ll come back to this project and add a few more recruits. We’re also almost at the end of Fembruary and for me work and other “real life” commitments are starting to get particularly busy. That said there are a few more models I’d like to complete that are within stretching distance of getting finished so we’ll see what, if anything, I can manage over the next few days.


God Of Murder – Part 3

Time for another update to the ranks of the Daughters of Khaine. This time I wanted to give the warband some air superiority in the form of two airborne predators – the Khinerai. These daemonically tainted, winged elves are the spiritual successors of the old Dark Elf Harpies of the WHFB era, which for my money were amongst the very worst models Games Workshop ever produced. Shall we take a moment to look back at the ugly models of yesteryear?

Ugly Harpies

Ghastly weren’t they? Between the lumpen sculpts and the hairy chests there wasn’t much to love about these and I spent a sizeable chunk of my youth hoping that someday GW would get around to replacing them. Thankfully that day came at last with the arrival of the Daughters of Khaine army book and the accompanying Khinerai Harpies. These come in two varieties, the Heartrenders and the Lifetakers, so naturally I painted one of each.

The Heartrender swoops over the battlefield impaling her prey on cruel javelins…

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…whilst the Lifetaker plunges out of the sky to hack her victims apart in close combat.

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I can’t honestly pretend that I enjoyed painting these that much. The way they attach to the base via the tail alone means they tend to spring around, a little shiver passing through the model every time the brush touches it. Taking a firm grip of the miniature itself rather than just holding it by the base is vital but tends to lead to me planting my great big thumbs in the middle of something I’d just painted, or smearing and smudging paint everywhere. My bad habit of using the side of my hand as a pallet worked against me here as well. They’re also packed with details, which usually I’d enjoy but in this case only made things trickier, especially when working in the awkward spaces created by the splayed wings and arms. My impression is of a set of miniatures designed by someone so excited by the possibilities created by working in lightweight modern plastic that they forgot about what it would actually be like to paint them. In the end I’m happy enough with the results but mostly just pleased to call the damn things done.

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We’re now halfway through Fembruary and I’m still having a lot of fun powering through my backlog of unfinished female miniatures. To be honest I’ve no idea how much longer I can keep up painting at this rate but I’ve got a lot more models that deserve to be painted so I’ll see what else I can manage over the coming fortnight.


There’s A Guy Works Down The Chipshop Swears He’s Elvish

I spent some of the weekend working on something a world away from the blood-thirsty savagery of the Daughters of Khaine, but still distinctly violent and elvish – my Elven Union Blood Bowl team. Readers may remember that back in December I dipped my toe into starting an elf team (after claiming I’d paint a human team to follow up my Orcs – something I’ve still done naff all about). I’d come up with the idea of putting heads from the Warhammer 40k Harlequins onto the bodies of Blood Bowl elves some time ago, and even built a few of them, but it wasn’t until December that I found a colour scheme I really liked. Here’s a reminder of how the two test models look.

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I’ve been keen to get back to the rest of the team ever since so, when I started looking out models for Fembruary, I took the opportunity to dig through the elves I’d built and check if any of them were female (there’s probably a joke in there about it being hard to tell with elves…). Turns out three of them were so I started chipping away at them through January, whenever I felt like a change from working on the Tzeentchian cult that was preoccupying my mind at that time, and once Fembruary rolled around I knuckled down properly and got them all finished. Looking at them now I realise they actually show something of an evolution of the team concept (if that doesn’t sound too pretentious!). This one is built straight out of the box, with no converting whatsoever.

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This one is a straightforward head-swap, much like the two boys I showed previously.

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And this one is where things got a bit strange and scary, a reminder that elves don’t just waft around being poetic and melancholic, they also curdle milk and steal children. Getting that mask to fit was a right nightmare too I can tell you!

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Anyway, with these ladies ready to take to the pitch the team is already almost half done.

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Usually this is the point in a project where I’d starting thinking about focussing and trying to get the whole set completed, but at the moment there’s only a couple more that are built (and they’re both boys so won’t be getting touched this month). I’ll keep chipping away at them though, and we’ll see how it goes. For now though, it’s time to dig around in the pile of neglected models and see what I feel like tackling next.


God Of Murder – Part 2

Time to get properly started on my coven of Daughters of Khaine for Fembruary. When I first thought of putting the warband together (quite some time ago now) my plan was to base it around the Melusai and Khinerai and leave the old fashioned Witch Elves out of it. I like these bloody-handed killers well enough but the miniatures never quite interested me enough to consider buying them. However that was before Morgwaeth’s Blade-coven was released for Warhammer Underworlds.

I really like the models in the set, so if I was ever going to paint a Witch Elf then these were the ones for me.

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Whilst the first one was built straight out of the box this second one was tweaked slightly to give her a shield instead of a second dagger. No real reason for this beyond allowing us to use a variety of equipment in games of Warcry.

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It can be easy to see the Witch Elves as falling into the “hormonal teenage fantasy” class of female miniatures, given that they spent their entire costume budget on boots and underwear. The savagery of their expressions gives the lie to that however, at least on these particular miniatures, and the end result looks – to my eye at least – more cruel  than sexy.

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Finally I’d like to give a shout out to that well-known blogger and podcaster, all round top bloke and friend of this blog, the Imperial Rebel Ork. Despite his many virtues he persists in the belief that all elves are foppish, pretentious wimps, a patently ridiculous argument which he laid out in Episode 47 of his podcast. Hopefully these ladies will be sufficient to show him the error of his ways – if not the rest of the warband are on their way!


God Of Murder – Part 1

Well here we are again, it’s Fembruary. For those not in the know Fembruary is an annual hobby event that’s been running for the past few years, kick-started and curated by Alex of the blog Lead Balloony. The aim of the exercise is to be a salute to women (and a bit of extra encouragement to get those unpainted models finished up into the bargain). Despite representing roughly 50% of the planet’s population women have traditionally made up a tiny proportion of miniatures available (bad news for all the straight male miniatures out there!). Of those female miniatures which are available a sizeable proportion seemed to be made up of space-strippers and the chainmail bikini brigade (slightly better news for those aforementioned straight male miniatures but damn distracting when one is only 28mm tall, made of plastic, anatomically ill equipped and trying to save the galaxy). Thankfully things are changing for the better, and a second X chromosome no longer prevents one from facing constant doom alongside the boys. 

Now as it turns out I have a lot of female miniatures in the ‘to paint’ pile. I did a bit of an inventory to try and choose what to paint this year and discovered I’ve got a monumental backlog (no surprises there eh!). So, this month is going to be all about doing something about that. My plan is to paint as many of them as I’m physically able to and make a dent in that backlog and so, if all goes according to plan, a whole host of adult human (not to mention elven and perhaps even xenos) females will be appearing here over the next few weeks.

One of the key things I’d like to do this month is paint up a warband of Daughters of Khaine for Warcry. I really liked these blood-thirsty elves back in Warhammer Fantasy, in fact the Dark Elves in general were always the one that got away in terms of WHFB armies – maybe someday eh! Worshippers of the cruel and merciless god Khaine (the so-called “God of Murder” referred to in the title) these she-elves are about as far from the snobbish, prissy, daisy-plucking, fairy-bothering flouncing fay-folk of elven cliché as it’s possible to get. I’ve enjoyed their evolution in Age of Sigmar and their dark queen Morathi remains not only one of the most entertaining Warhammer characters to read about but also one of the few who has made the transition from old Warhammer to AoS without feeling forced or out of place. 

My goal for the month then is to complete the warband and to paint as many of the other female miniatures in my collection as I can, focussing on neglected models as much as possible. At this stage I’ve no idea how many I’ll manage to complete but I’m certainly not short of enthusiasm so I’ll see what I can do. To set the ball rolling here’s the first of the Daughters of Khaine to be finished – a Blood Sister Gorgai who’ll be acting as the new warband’s leader. 

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The rest of the warband will contain a mixture of these snake hybrids, the winged Khinerai and some of the more normal looking elves. Before that though I have another elf (of a kind) who’s been almost finished for longer than I can remember so tonight I’m going to sit down, concentrate and get her done. 


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!

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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!).

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.


Alarith Stoneguard

Say this for the Lumineth Realm-lords, they take croquet really, really seriously! Whilst the other miniatures I’ve tackled recently have been waiting for attention for a while this chap is a newcomer to the painting desk, going from purchased to assembled to completed in a few short steps. The Lumineth Realm-lords range seems to have met with mixed reviews, like marmite some people seem to love them, others to hate them. Unlike marmite I can abide them in my presence – in fact I must admit that although I won’t be rushing out to start another army I actually rather like them. These particular models – the Alarith Stoneguard – have come in for a particular panning from some quarters but I think they’re great, although I’m less than enamoured by the price of them. Anyway, I managed to get my hands on one to test out a colour scheme and I’m happy with the results. I based it on the variant colour scheme for the Great Nation of Ymetrica, showcased in a tutorial on the Warhammer TV Youtube channel, but made a few variations because – despite the fact that I own about a million pots of GW blue paints in various colours  – I still don’t have most of the ones used in the tutorial.

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I’ve had a scrounge around online and managed to acquire a few Lumineth, without paying full whack for entire sets of them, so a little warband is probably in my future at some stage. 


In The Night(mare) Garden

I’m sure the majority of my readers will already be familiar with the blog Gardens of Hecate run by Ana Polanscak. In the unlikely event that your not do take a look at her work – for one thing you’ll probably be blown away by the skill and creativity on show and for another it’ll save me from trying to describe the indescribable. There really is very little that’s similar to Ana’s grim, folk-horror infused work so do yourself a favour and take a look. I’d been following her old blog for years and was disappointed when she made her final post earlier this year (as if  2020 hadn’t done enough eh!) but it turns out I’m just an airhead and, despite my initial fears, she’s still blogging at a new site which you can find here.

Anyway, the reason for all this preamble is that last year a kickstarter campaign ran which produced some of Ana’s original sculpts and naturally I backed it. Anyone who missed out on the kickstarter but who finds themselves with an overwhelming need for these miniatures can find them at Harwood Hobbies. I’ve been meaning to get everything painted up for a while, and even got as far as starting work on them back in the spring, but what with one thing and another it’s taken me until now to get them done. I didn’t set out to paint them for Halloween or anything like that but it’s certainly fitting that as the nights draw in and the dark forests of the imagination get even darker that I finally put brush to model and got these finished.

I should add, this post may not be entirely safe for work, depending on how sensitive your boss is, not all of the creatures having remembered to get dressed before they manifested themselves. Scroll down at your own risk.

First to be finished was this weird looking Blood Fiend. It makes me think of hoodeners and hobby horses found in various British folk customs, in which a horse’s skull is carried on a pole by a person hidden under sackcloth. Of course, judging by the look of this thing, it might not be a person under there after all…

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Next up, a little gargoyle, because you can never have too many of them!

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Then we have this gothic snail who looks more than sufficient to give the boldest thrush pause.

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Next a Wodewose, that being essentially a wildman – hairy, forest dwelling and strongly associated with nature (so a bit like me all things considered). These individuals make regular appearances in medieval artwork and church carvings across Europe and are often symbolically linked to the Green Man, whose face is shown on the shield of this figure. From what I can gather the etymology of the Middle English term Wodewose is unclear but it may well have come from wudu-wāsa, “wudu” – referring to forests and also appearing in my username on this blog.

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For anyone wondering how big these are by the way, here’s a picture of the Wodewose next to one of the Chainrasps from Games Workshop which happened to be sitting helpfully on my desk. I’ll put a groupshot at the end so you can compare the whole group but in the main they’re all of a similar size, with the gargoyle a bit smaller than the rest and the Blood Fiend markedly bigger.

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Lastly we have a Demibuer. The term wasn’t familiar to me at all, and a dig around online didn’t prove any more informative, so if you happen to know anything about them please let me know in the comments. To my eye he looks like a cross between a faun and a Green Man so that’s what I went with.

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Here’s a groupshot of the whole lot, looking like they’ve stepped straight from some medieval stonemason’s nightmares.

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I’ve got various half-finished projects kicking around at the moment (when do I not?) so I’m planning a bit of a feet-clearing exercise over the next few days, then I’ll get my teeth in about that Orc Blood Bowl team I’ve been promising.


Ulthuan Lives!

Until now I’ve never painted a high elf. It’s not something I’m famous for per se, people don’t point me out in the street, nudging their friends and saying “there goes the man who’s never painted a high elf” but it is something I spoken about in the past, usually in connection with my typically dirty, grimy painting style. War is a famously filthy business, with lots of tramping through mud and dust interspersed with occasionally being splattered with blood and other fluids and I tend to reflect that in my miniatures. I enjoy seeing armies that are beautifully painted in parade-ground uniforms but for me it’s not done until it’s dirty. Thus the high elves, which are famed for being clean and bright have often been used as an example of something I don’t or wouldn’t paint.

On the other hand I don’t tend to see not having done something as a mark of pride. You meet people, for example, who will boast about the films or TV shows they haven’t seen, books they haven’t read, and so on, and I must admit I find that rather odd. Trying something and not enjoying it is fair enough, or not getting around to seeing or doing something because there’s only so much time in the day. It’s not doing something and treating this as a great achievement and a mark of specialness that I find odd. I haven’t found it to be a constant daily battle to restrain my unhealthy compulsion to paint high elves and as a result I don’t feel I deserve to be congratulated for it.

Anyway, enough waffle, the point I’m driving at (rather laboriously!) is that I’ve painted one now – here’s a Swordmaster of Hoeth for your enjoyment.

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I’m quite pleased with the blue-tinge on the sword (just a straightforward coat of Grey Knights Steel with a highlight) but it really doesn’t show up well in the picture from the front. You can see it a bit better in the shot from behind though.

This isn’t the start of a new project, I just realised it was something I’d often said that I’d never done and decided that now was as good a time as any other to change that. That said I do have a few more, which I got as part of the Island Of Blood boxset that accompanied the release of WHFB 8th Edition (which I bought for all the lovely Skaven of course) so who knows, if people start nudging each other in the street and saying “there goes the man who’s only ever painted one High Elf” I might just be forced to break out some more…