Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Photo Reel: "Michael's Dark Elves"

Hello all,
I wanted to upload some pictures from my Dark Elves, which are a perpetual work in progress. Some of these models were from my 7th edition list and won't see a heck of a lot of time on the table, while others will be just as popular as ever.

Dark Elf Dreadlord on Black Dragon
Starting with the basic High Elf drago plastic kit, I removed all the armor plating and resculpted the scales across his entire body, arms and legs to create a more scaley reptilian feel. I also sculpted the horns to give the dragon the trademark Black Dragon forward-swept horns. The obelisk is standard from a GW scenery kit, with the Slaanesh symbol sculpted on to tie the Dreadlord to my Slaanesh theme. The Dreadlord himself uses the stock standard High Elf dragonrider legs, with the scale mail removed and replaced with sculpted chainmail. The rest of the rider is kitbashed from the Corsair plastics, Black Guard, and mounted Champion of Slaanesh. Overall, I wanted to create a fairly dark, bleak look for the army. The pictures aren't great quality, so apologies in advance.

Assassin with Shades
Not much in the way of converting here, since the Assassin is already very dynamic. The Shades have all had hoods and facemasks sculpted on, to give them a darker feel and hide their atrocious haircuts.

War Hydra with handlers
The Hydra has been repositioned to lean more naturally on that rock, and it adds some very nice height to a model that's already pretty imposing. Gaps were filled and joints were bent to allow for the pose, and the handlers received the same hooded treatment as the Shades to hide their bad haircuts.

Cold One Knights
No resculpting here since the existing models are already so great. I added a couple of spare Slaaneshi helms I had laying around to help pick out the Slaaneshi theme, and also added Slaaneshi shields. Heads have been taken from the Corsairs, to give them a vain, windswept "model hair" look that seems to fit the idea of vainglorious depraved nobles. The Cold Ones need more highlights, but otherwise I'm pretty happy with these guys.

Next on the list:
-Converted Repeater crossbowmen
-Converted Cold One Chariot
-Reaper bolt throwers
-Lots and lots of Warriors!
-Scratch sculpted Keeper of Secrets (trying to figure out how to use this guy... Maybe as a Cauldron of Blood.)


  1. Wow, love the checkered pattern. These guys look great!

  2. So, aside from the whole Dark Elves hate Slaanesh thing, this looks great. Is it supposed to be a Slaanesh Cult leader's personal army?

  3. Thanks for the comments guys.

    Well, Dark Elf fascination with Slaanesh goes back quite a while. The whole schism between the High Elves and the Dark Elves was created by the Cult of Pleasure during the Sundering, founded by Morathi after her captivity at the hands of Chaos cultists and eventual rescue by Aenarion. During the sundering, Malekith had N'Kari to do his bidding (must be nice having a personal Keeper of Secrets to do what you want.) Unlike the High Elves, Dark Elves assume that the natural willpower and superiority of the Elven race can control Chaos Energy and harness it to its bidding, which is the entire basis for Dark Magic as the Dark Elves use it. As you know, after the Dark Elves relocated to Naggaroth, the Temple of Khaine rose as the dominant religious force in Druchii Society and the worship of Slaanesh was banned. The original Cult of Pleasure (or what was left of it) was forced underground, existing as exiles and in splinter factions as it had done in Ulthuan, until Morathi revived it during the Storm of Chaos. With Morathi's political influence, the Cult gained sponsorship, legitimacy and prestige, and was used by Morathi as a raiding force to further her own ends while the rest of the world was distracted by Archaon's invasion in the Old World.

    This force is designed to detail that force, or (more specifically) what happened to it after the Storm of Chaos. Each unit has its own reasons/justification for being in the list.

    Dreadlord: This guy is based on the Anointed, one of the original members of the Cult of Pleasure during the Sundering. Having been driven into exile with the ascension of the Temple of Khaine, these guys wandered the Chaos Wastes doing nothing but fighting and fulfilling promises to their god. They're powerful, their ancient, and the old ruleset for them basically depicted them as a hybrid of a Dreadlord and a Chaos Lord. They've had enough time to distinguish themselves as incredible fighters and leaders, and have had millennia in which to snag up all sorts of magic toys (and, unsurprisingly, a dragon.)

    Shades: These guys have a major beef with Dark Elf society, having been cast out of their place of power, so it wouldn't surprised me if they looked to alternate sources of worship to gain an edge. Plus, living on Dark Elf society means it's harder for the Temple of Khaine to police their actions, and the old Cult of Slaanesh list actually had Shades as a Core choice.

    Assassin: If you're trying to be perfect at something, then Slaanesh likes you. Since an Assassin devotes himself to the perfection of killing, it wouldn't surprise me if the god of worldly ambition and desire reached out and swayed an Assassin to his own cause. It's the Witch Elves who seem most stringently devoted to the Khainite greed; Assassins just strike me as wanting to get the job done, no matter the means.

    Hydra: Eventually, this guy will be converted to have heads from the "boob worm" steed of Slaanesh, with long lashing whip-like tongues. He'll represent a particularly gruesome and powerful spawn, perhaps a former lover or opponent of the Dreadlord who absorbed a bit too much mutating energy and was taken as the Dreadlord's pet.

    Cold One Knights: Riding a Cold One destroys your sense of taste and touch; what better way to get it back than worshipping the god of hedonism and indulgence? These guys would probably do anything to get their senses back, and if Slaanesh (or one of his servants) convinced them it was possible, then it would be relatively easy to sway them to the cause.

    Spearmen/Crossbowmen/Reaper Bolt Throwers: These are all basic Dark Elf citizenry, probably disgruntled or ambitious. If Morathi promises them prestige through raiding, it would be easy to gain their support.

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  6. Sorry for the page spam here, accidentally resubmitted my post a couple times so I went back in and deleted them!

  7. Hmmm interesting. From what I understood, the Cult of Pleasure was outlawed specifically by Malekith, although it was supported in the shadows by Morathi. The society of Dark Elves look down upon the Cult of Pleasure, and will route it out, but many are hypocritical, lavishly joining in the rituals to gain power among the other nobles who participate. I could see many a Lord joining in the ranks just to get dirt on other nobles they may want ousted of favor. I like the look, but as a Cult of Khaine fanatic, you must all perish. BLOOD AND SOULS!

  8. Yes! Nothing like some faction strife to really get things going. I've never made much use of Special Characters, but could easily see a Hellebron/Morathi grudge match ensuing here. Games Workshop elaborated a bit on the history of the Cult for the Storm of Chaos, but there hasn't been any fluff to wrap up what happened to the Cult in the aftermath. Unlike the other armies released during that time, there's not really a satisfactory conclusion there. The current Dark Elf book doesn't address it either, probably for the sake of simplicity. One of my projects with this army, besides the gaming and painting/modeling aspects, is to explore what happened to this rather interesting but very specific niche of Dark Elf society.

  9. Well, Storm of Chaos is commonly referred to as the "Storm of Retcon" because the developers (Jervis) didn't like the rate at which the Greenskins were winning in the campaign. Originally, the Empire was supposed to be placed on the brink of extinction, the forces of Chaos were supposed to be in control of the Old World, and the Elves were supposed to be driven from their homes. In stepped Boargut Facebeater and Grimgore Ironhide, and their mighty Black Orc WAAAGH. Not only did Grimgore SPECIFICALLY kill the reincarnation of Sigmar in more than 75% of the Orc Vs. Empire games played, but Archaon the Everfail lost combat against the mighty sigmarite in over 80% of the games played! All that being said and done, GW retracted the Campaign, discontinued the special figures and then proceeded to very few models/content of the game over the following years. It was as if they punished us warhammer players because we had fun...


    That is why there is no follow up fluff for pretty much anything. Daemonette armies, Dwarven Slayer armies, Knights of the White Wolf, Etc all got the axe.

  10. Ah interesting, I was always curious as to why we didn't hear more about the aftermath there. I remember seeing the final fluff wrap up, which was ultimately pretty disappointing. Archaon mortally wounded Sigmar, Grimgor came in and broke up the fight, beat down Archaon, proclaimed himself the greatest and took off, while the Vamp Counts backed down from the fight and Teclis sent the entire rampaging Daemonic Legion packing back to the realm of Chaos. I guess it's always a tricky thing, trying to shake up the established lore, especially when it puts certain races on the brink of annihilation. I've heard a bit about GW debating whether or nor to advance the Fantasy and 40k canons, and it doesn't seem like they have much interest in doing either.

  11. ForgeWorld's Warhammer Forge books will be advancing the plot in a way similar to how Marvel Comics advances their plot: Alternate Universes.

    The Warhammer Forge books will basically end the Warhammer world.

  12. I heard a bit about those, with them also using the books to release Chaos Dwarf miniatures and other side-projects that accompany the narrative they're describing.

    Sounds... Bleak. The advantage of 40k is that you can destroy a hundred worlds and trillions of people/aliens and it doesn't change the 40k universe at all. Fantasy doesn't quite have that luxury, since major campaigns/triumphs/defeats have a big impact on the power and balance of the respective races.

  13. Yeah, looks like some of the other up-n-ups in GW thought it looked kinda bleak, too. Within a week of it's unveiling Rick 'left' the company in order to 'pursue other interests.' Who's left? Jes, Jervis and Blanche? Those were the ones responsible for getting rid of the Squ...STOP! UNHAND ME!!! NO...no more tazing! NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

    *attitude modified*

    Beautiful army!

  14. Tomb Kings are next for the chopping block!

  15. Actually, I'm split over the rumoured direction of TK. Some people very much 'in the know' have said that they may see the light of day some time late next year, whilst others have said they're going the way of the DoW. Guess we'll just have to wait and see!