Thursday, 16 March 2017

Diamonds Take Forever

Masque of the Red Death Jester

Forever. Forever.
So, with a last burst of productivity, the Eldar army is done. Done for now, obviously, I know how these things go, and I'm aware that there are jetbikes and sundry that may turn up in the fullness of time. Right now, however, the Spocks are out of my system, and I saved the best until last.

Command structure first though! Can't go prancing about in your tights without proper leadership.

First, a trio of Warlocks, splendidly spliced from various Dark Eldar and High Elf bits. Is that an Eagle's Claw Bolt Thrower crew I see in the legs? 

Holy shit! Look at my sword!

A second attempt at reflective chrome for the faceplates, I thought, but otherwise green and white to match with the Guardian units. Gems and faux Eldar runes down their dressing gowns, and they look sleek and sinister like a good Spock should. 

Their Autarch is another conversion, both in jetbike and pumps. That's another High Elf head I see, the rider from the Phoenix. All that previous work is paying off, I really know who's who in the dismembered Helf world. 

Autarchs are sort of like super-Exarchs, I think? Not really sure. Boss level Guardians, at any rate. This one has a Dire Avenger body and what may be a Harlequin sword to go with Caradryan's bonce. 

Bonus gems on the back, three, because he's a hero. They can afford it. 
They can also afford sweet rides in the form of this custom jetbike. 
It's not quite Biel-tan markings, although I have done a broken version of their badge on the other side. But it's not quite not either, with this small brambly gem bush thing. The handlebars don't steer the bike, but they do let him try and roll that red gem into the middle of its little maze on the top.

Despite that, he's still a right old sourpuss.

The iconic leader for craftworld Eldar is a Farseer, though, and here's a very nice standard GW kit one. Lovely model, and it came out well. 

You want to know how smug I am about the gems? That purple one on the bottom corner of his cloak, that's a stick on one and it isn't immediately obvious at first glance in this photo. That's how smug I am.

And that just leaves the Dance Spocks. 

Painted GW Harlequins

The diamonds had me worried. "No problem," I thought, "I'll just look up one of Duncan's nice videos, he'll have some clever tricks to help me,"

Nope. Duncan goes to some length in his video to point out that painting diamonds freehand is quite tricky, and that being slow and careful is your best bet. He is right, damn him, no shortcuts here. Which is why it's been almost two weeks since I last posted anything painted, I've been slowly and carefully building up my arthritis.

Duncan's one handy tip is to half, then quarter the ground when doing lines, helps it stay even. Hah to that - painting thin, straight spirals down a tiny leg is beyond my motor skills, and it took quite a lot of touching up to get these end results. They're good enough, though, even if it gets a bit M C Escher in places.

The colour scheme is relatively muted, Ulthan Grey, Orchide Flesh and Abaddon Black as the main ones. There was a moment when I'd finished the layering when I thought 'actually, these look really good, clean and striking. Sod the diamonds!' But I'm glad I persevered. Feels like a Rubicon to have crossed, somehow, doing a Harlequin squad.

The Troupe Leader has extra bonus hair, a pink lapel gem and the cheesiest of all possible smiles. 
He also got some iconography, because I wasn't somehow exhausted after all the diamonds.

Of all the Grimdark, I like their fluff the best. Not just the acrobatic deadly dancer parts, but their wargear - from the iconic Harlquin's kiss that pokes yard after yard of monofilament wire into your armour, reducing you to soup, to the Creidann hallucinogen launcher of the Shadowseer, it's all golden. But I do have a special favourite.

Not this one! He's a Dark Eldar mashup, a Harlequin on a hoverboard. The painting instructions referred to him as a Joker, so Batman it was for the colour scheme, along with an Eldar-style Mr. J rune.
Not this one either, the Solitaire. He plays the role of Slaanesh in their dances, so he gets purple as his spot colour. His wargear is a newer piece, the Harlequin's Caress - cool, it lets him reach through armour to squash vital organs, but still not the best one.
Here he is from the side, showing off his cloak gems.
Not the Shadowseer either, who is in a very simple black and white motley with Chrome effect mask. Somebody needed something plain, there is a limit to my diamond hatching.
But no limit to my propensity to stick extra gems on.
No, my favourite wargear is the Shrieker shuriken of the Death Jester, both in rules and fluff. The biotoxins make a single model explode (hurray!), then the terror this causes in the squaddie's comrades forces a morale check. If failed, the Eldar player gets to choose which way the unit runs, which is both mean and hilarious in equal measures. Funny guy, the Death Jester.

Red and black so he didn't get confused with the Dark Reapers, who he shares a gun with.

And that's Task Force Spock done!  I shall return to AoS and Reaper for a short burst, but there's a little bit of grimdark still to come before the year is out. The Glottkin is next on my list, and I'll do my best not to paint diamonds on him as well.

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