Dark Elf Assassins – 1995 and 2008

Dark Elf Assassins, WHFB 7th Edition Khainite Dark Elf Assassin #2, 4th Edition WHFB Dark Elf Assassin, 1995

The two models being shared today are a pair that have been around for some time. The older model on the right, skulking with the rather chunky sword is from WHFB 4th Edition, circa 1995 – just when huge chunks of WHFB were getting a bit too chunky and Morley. I never especially liked this model, having picked him up to use with my 3rd Edition Blood Bowl Dark Elf team (which I still haven’t painted) and so he sat in limbo for… you know… twenty years. (FUCK, I am getting old!)

The much nicer model on the left is from 7th Edition. Apparently known as Khainite Assassin #2. I probably got him secondhand from eBay as well, and Stuff of Legends becomes useless the further into the 2000’s you head. He’s pretty clearly the precursor to the current plastic kit of an Assassin (Shadowblade?) leaping off a spire-rock because dynamic posing.

4th Edition WHFB Dark Elf Assassin, 1995

Despite being purchased for Blood Bowl, this guy had actually gotten to the point of being almost-painted. I’d painted him with D&D/Pathfinder in mind, and so he had been given dark blue (Drow) skin, and deep red-browns for his leather gloves and boots. When he got reassigned to the Dark Elf army, I needed to redo the deep blue shading I’d started on his cloak with a more sea green, and change his leathergoods to Aqua/Turquoise shades – and obviously redo his face as well.

4th Edition WHFB Dark Elf Assassin, 1995

Nothing fancy on his cloak. He’s an assassin, after all – and his cloak is there for practical purposes. I think the Turquoie shades have worked better than the dark blues that were there originally, and having come up this pleasingly, I know of some other purposes I’ll be using the same highlights in the near-ish future.

4th Edition WHFB Dark Elf Assassin, 1995

The flowers are a feature that I intend to use on figures from all of my Elven armies, which will be a small, unifying factor across the Dark, High and Wood brethren. Despite my snide remarks about Gary Morley, this model is actually an Aly Morrison sculpt.

WHFB 7th Edition Khainite Dark Elf Assassin #2

The second model was started way back in 2013, shortly after we moved into this place and long before The War Room was converted into such, featuring a light box. A much more dynamic model, but without going to the point of ridiculousness, it was also a pleasure to paint – and the impetus for the repaint on the older model as well. I’m not 100% sure of the sculptor (Chris Fitzpatrick?), since GW stopped crediting their artists by this point. If anyone knows for sure, please do LMK and I’ll edit it in! Since he’s a 7th Edition figure, and GW released most of the models for an army alongside the Warhammer Armies volume, I’d say he’s pretty safely a 2008 release.

WHFB 7th Edition Khainite Dark Elf Assassin #2

Having said that, the two of them sat on my painting desk for literally years until earlier this month, when I looked at the pair of them, each three-quarters-painted and made myself pull my finger out and get them both done. Which I managed to do in a very reasonable amount of time. That’s the trouble – I’m not playing Warhammer or KoW, etc very much at all these days, and so then my desk is covered in models – none of which have a particular pressing “need” to get finished and so I flit between a few minutes on this or that, and taking the 30 minutes or hour to finish a particular model or two becomes “too hard”, despite the pleasure that comes from completing a model.

WHFB 7th Edition Khainite Dark Elf Assassin #2

Most of my Fantasy work over 2016 was focused on the Undead and Gondor armies – both of which now have tons of painted models and units, yet have tons still unpainted and unassembled – and two units of cavalry each half-painted). This year, I’ve made inroads on getting a Dwarf force to the point of functionality while mucking about with Orcs. I’ve got to get some lists written up again and focus on completing units to have more “finished” fantasy armies for Kings of War. Maybe then I can have the Elves up and running, even if only as a combined, pan-Elven force to start with.

In the meantime, if we need a Druchii or Drow Assassin for anything, at least we’re covered…

Zoat!

Oldhammer Zoat Mage

Another quite old model today – one of the 2-part Zoats for Warhammer Fantasy circa early 3rd Edition. There were at least three designs of the original Zoats – this one, the “Mage”. “The Warrior” with a mace-axe and also the original one-piece casting, which was a fair bit smaller. I’ve just read about the existence of a “Baby Zoat“, though I’m a little dubious, as the sculpt looks a little …modern? There are certainly more modern takes on the concept though, especially with the popularity of “Oldhammer”.

Oldhammer Zoat Mage

While the paint here is nothing special, this guy was actually painted back in the 1990’s, and I’ve learned enough by this time to know when to not strip down the models from my youth – especially when I’m sure I could find another on eBay if I want another go ’round. I don’t think it’s terrible – the drybrushing works on the rough, lizard-scaled skin, and I gave the more coarse scales on his back and flanks a slightly more pale/rough look. All I’ve done “today” was to tear him off the old green-flocked horse base and cut a slotta into a modern AoS-style cavalry base, and add some base clutter. I think it adds a huge amount to the presentation of this old model. I’d love to work out some stats to play AoS with it. That would be awesome!

Oldhammer Zoat Mage

For anyone wondering “WTF is a Zoat?”, they were Bryan Ansell’s attempt to add some uniqueness to Warhammer, back in the early-ish days. Not a terrible motivation, especially given just how cribbed Warhammer is from everything else and how generic it was back in those days of 2nd and early 3rd edition. The story goes that the Design team of the day hated them and instead came up with the almost-as-ill-fated Fimir who were also lost and forgotten, but made a small, Forge World/Warhammer Forge comeback a few years ago. After all, what’s “Dark Fantasy” about a ripped, lizard-rhino-centaur sorcerer who looks he could tear the limbs off your torso without a second thought? Uh-huh.

Zoat Concept Art - Copyright GW

Sure, the concept art looks a little goofy and weaksauce, but the models certainly don’t! It appears that the design team won out, and quite quickly as I cannot find the Fantasy Zoats listed in the old Catalogues at all, even the ’88 and ’89 catalogues list the Fimir, but no sign of the poor old Zoats! (Aside from the 40k ones.) Their genesis and demise is discussed briefly here as a side note to a discussion on Fimir. Worth a read.

Oldhammer Zoat Mage

I did at one point have the 40k Zoat models, which were tied in as larger Tyranid creatures and which recycled the same body piece as the fantasy models, though I thought they were fairly poor executions of the superior-looking fantasy versions, I do at this stage wish I hadn’t traded them away back in the mid-90’s. In fact, after writing the previous sentence, I took a moment to have a quick look, and in a couple of weeks now, I should have two of the three 40k models arriving in my lap. So that’s going to be a thing, then.

Stonehaven Dwarves – Fighter and Paladin

Following on from those dreadful greenskins, we have a pair of heroic dwarves. This time, another duo from the Stonehaven Miniatures Dwarf Kickstarter. These are the Dwarf Fighter (Female) and Dwarf Paladin (Male) – though let’s face it – either of the pair could fill either role.

Stonehaven Dwarf Fighter, Stonehaven Dwarf Paladin

As I’ve noted before, these aren’t the very best dwarf sculpts on the market, though they do fill in a nice alternative source of non-standard and RPG-ish dwarves with a solid old-school charm to them, along with enough character to endear them.

Stonehaven Dwarf Fighter, Stonehaven Dwarf Paladin

I’ve painted the pair of them with a touch of blue in their armour and similar enough blue cloth so that they can fit in with the Dwarves I’ve been painting for the KoW army. They also make a decent enough pair for any other RPG or adventure game. I kind of get a father-daughter vibe from the pair of them. The headstrong young dwarf woman and her grumpy old man father. Both quite adept in caving in the heads of greenskins. 😉

C15 Orc “Cyclops” aka Fangor Gripe, Chieftain of the vile Rune Orcs. (Alan & Michael Perry, 1985)

Another seriously Oldhammer blast from the past is this guy. Known as “Cyclops” in the old catalogues for rather obvious reasons, this Orc was sculpted by the Perry Twins, and the earliest reference I can find to it is in the Autumn 1985 Citadel Journal. Thanks to a little bit of extra research spurred by IRO, it turns out that this guy was also the designated model for Fangor Gripe, Chieftain of the vile Rune Orcs in the classic WHFB 2nd Edition Campaign Blood Bath at Orc’s Drift.

C15 Orc Cyclops, Fangor Gripe, Chieftain of the vile Rune Orcs.

I was rooting around in my metal O&G box for some more models to paint after completing the previous batch (which I haven’t fully shown yet, but soon!) and this guy stuck out to me. He’d previously been overlooked as a ratty old figure that never especially appealed, but since Nostalgia is the new black, and more importantly, he’d clearly paint up pretty quickly I fished him out and made him have the colours. I tried to do something interesting with his breastplate and the metals, mixing both a brown and blue tone. but I fear it’s too subtle in these photos, let alone in person. Something to folllow up on down the line, though!

C15 Orc Cyclops, Fangor Gripe, Chieftain of the vile Rune Orcs.

A simple and straightforward paintjob here. It’s not a flashy model, and most of it’s interest comes from its cyclopean nature (*edit: And his named spot in the Orc’s Drift Scenario.) If it had two eyes, it wouldn’t even have a whole lot of that nostalgia-based “character” and would be a pretty unassuming and generic orc for the middle or back rank of some unit. Still, it’s another one down, and it’s enough of a curio that it gets it’s own blog entry today. It’d be pretty funny to use him in an AoS game, though – so I’ll have to do that whenever I get around to trying out the game.

Kev Adams’ Heartbreaker Orc Warlord (1995)

I’d planned to take new, better group photos of the Iron Warriors for today’s post, but unfortunately I was feeling under the weather yesterday, and am still that way now – so it didn’t happen. With a solid week of work ahead of me, it’ll hopefully happen next weekend!

In the meantime, here’s a model where I already had the photographs ready. This guy is another of my renovated models. Having been painted back some number of years ago, the overall palette I’d used was more than a little too garish and had a few too many colours for my modern, more refined taste. The solution? Repaint parts of the model, tone some of it down, and give it a new base. Ergo! A new lease on life for this previously rather sad model.

Kev Adams' Heartbreaker Orc Warlord (1995)

The slotta dates this model as sculpted back in 1995. It’s a hella-chunky model, and the huge shoulderpads really give him some heft. I think the rather plain helmet could have been a lot nicer, though. As with much of the old-school stuff in my collection, I purchased this model back in the 1990’s. Part of Kev Adams’ post-GW output, I find it odd that someone like RPE hasn’t re-released it alongside the other Heartbreaker stuff that they have.

Kev Adams' Heartbreaker Orc Warlord (1995)

Originally I’d painted him as a Black Orc, which means I started him before the current line of plastics or their predecessors that share the current aesthetic in metal. I rebased him onto a 32mm base, which fits the figure much more betterer. I also lightened up his skin from the near-black that it was and repainted many of the “soft parts”, making his leather and cloth accessories much more appropriate. Purple pouch? Yellow wristbands? Ugh! Much nicer this way…

Kev Adams’ Heartbreaker Orc with Scimitar (RPE 2004)

The next Orc off the rank is this guy. A Kev Adams sculpt from shortly after he left GW, and originally from Heartbreaker in the 1990’s (when I purchased it), this figure is still available today from RPE/Ral Partha Europe as “2004 Orc w/scimitar” for a very reasonable 2 quid.

Kev Adams' Heartbreaker Orc with Scimitar, RPE 2004

I’ve painted him with quite dark skin, though he’s nowhere near the size of a Black Orc. It’s a fairly simple paint job that gives him a little bit of individuality compared to the Citadel models I’ve been painting lately while being similar enough for him to fit in wherever I need to drop him down.

Kev Adams' Heartbreaker Orc with Scimitar, RPE 2004

It’s a simple figure, all in all – but I think it’s a cracking sculpt that doesn’t need to reply on the character of old-school models, nostalgia or the act of painting it to endear it. Those things all add to this model, but I think it stands confidently on its own even without those additional elements.

 

 

 

Citadel Dwarf Rune Priest (’97-’98)

Citadel Dwarf Rune Priest

This guy was started about 3-4 years ago, when we started a very-occasional Pathfinder campaign run by our friend Orez. My character is (was?) a Dwarf Cleric, and so I trawled through my Dwarf minis storage box to find something appropriate. This guy was what I came up with. Hammer. Staff. Gems. Surly Expression. Yep, he fit the bill well enough. I could have blinged out his rather bright cloak a little more, but given how beaten up and ragged it is, I decided not to in the end.

Citadel Dwarf Rune Priest

Since we play …infrequently, the figures from the Pathfinder project kinda got sidelined and semi-forgotten. As a result, this guy was sitting on my painting desk for a couple of years before I noticed him recently and decided to just get him finished. Even if he doesn’t do a lot of Pathfinding, he certainly has a place in the Dwarven Army that I’m slowly building for KoW and even AoS if/when I get around to playing it as well.