Creating a Craftworld: The First Steps

Starting a new army is always an exciting time for most people, myself included. My biggest problem has always been finishing said army.

Hence this article or possible series of articles.

Some of the used lot I picked up

Obviously the first choice was the army itself. I’m kinda hoping my choice is obvious from the title. The Eldar have always appealed to me aesthetically. Even from my first foray into the Warhammer 40k universe, but an 11-year-old me was easily swayed by the Imperium, particularly the crusading Black Templars. Of course, they were also my first choice when I got sucked back into the hobby near the start of 8th edition.

One of the few Templars I did paint.

A couple of weeks before the announcement of 9th, after having sold my never finished Templars and just not feeling my Grey Knights. I decided to start a Craftworld Eldar army. An army that in our community is fairly underrepresented save for a wraith construct army. As with many areas, the Emperor’s Angels are definitely the most common with Imperial Guard a close second.

So my journey to begins.

I already knew many of the units I wanted in this army. Fire Prisms/Night Spinners as well as Howling Banshees being the most interesting to me. Of course, the latter being led by the amazing new Jain Zar model was a must.

So the next thing I needed was a colour scheme. For this, I was thinking of a pastel grey that I have seen on some vehicles.

The colour I had originally wanted.

I asked Cody, one of Badly Painted Minis better painters, for some ideas. Of course, he came up with a couple of great looking tests.

Now, being one of those people that always had many grey models. I’ve just recently started taking painting seriously. I am making many mistakes along the way. One such mistake was my ill fated attempt at reproducing these schemes. Being stubborn or just lazy I didn’t have these pictures on hand. Below is the result.

Rarely does my laziness pay off, but I was very happy the look

Now, some of you may notice the texture look in some spots. Unfortunately, this is the result of a bad prime job by the previous owner (I picked up a used lot). In some of the later pictures, I believe the paint job does enough to cover or distract from these blemishes. Another source of frustration for me was trying pin washing for the first time. I had done some research and actually achieved some pretty good results. Although you can see some spots where I pressed just that smidge too much.

One of the main highlights of any Eldar model is the spirit stones. After looking through far too many pictures of other people’s paint schemes, I found that the colour of the spirit stones almost made or broke a look. So I decided to show the picture above and ask the locals for some ideas. I’ll be honest some of the remarks with how snowy looking the scheme looked made me cringe. This certainly was not what I wanted or intended.

Ignoring my feelings about the perceived look of the model I still took the suggestions that accompanied them. The almost unanimous vote was for a blue, one person particularly said sapphire blue. Once again this just made me think of a snowy look.

Hate to admit it but I like it

I tried it.

And I liked it.

It was easy and fast to do, so I decided to keep it. At this point, I was just happy that it looked good and seemed like an achievable goal. Stubborn as I am, I couldn’t just leave it at blue so I tried a red version on some noticeably different stones.

I am actually pretty proud of the result.

Finally, I did a second pin wash. This time instead of letting it dry I sealed the model and, as a result, the much darker lines give it a very stark contrast. This kinda felt like hitting the quick save button in a video game.

There are still decisions to be made, mainly on the weapons and canopy, as well as how to adapt this to infantry models, but I am far more excited about the prospect of having a painted army to head into 9th edition with.

Author: Trevor

Part-time hobbyist and tech geek.

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