After doing a second attempt at Jain Zar, is anybody surprised to see more Howling Banshees in my galleries? For that matter, is anybody ever surprised to see Howling Banshees in my galleries at this point? It’s been a stressful summer with finishing up my Masters’ degree and starting up a new full-time job, so being able to go back and paint a set of these – especially the nice metal ones – was like taking a hard shot of straight dopamine. I was especially lucky this time around because when I picked these sword girls up online, I was fortunate enough to get them new in the box. Back when I got into the hobby the first time, this was the box I’d always see at stores, and always wanted to pick up, but never had the chance, or the money, or sufficient skill as a painter to do so. Being able to do these from scratch felt like doing something I could permanently scratch off of my hobby “bucket” list, and it was a great experience.
I’m especially happy that I got these done because they almost didn’t happen – back when I was selling off worldly possessions to pay rent at the end of last year, I almost gave these girls up but decided that I was going to hold onto them, I was going to do them up and give them a good lease on life. I feel great about the result – instead of relying as much on drybrushing I really tried to take my time this time around, and made a point of building up bright colors in the hair, on the armor, and on other edges. I threw in a few Kromlech bases for good measure, and used basically all the same paints I always use when I paint Howling Banshees – and I think the difference between these and the last attempt, about a year ago, speaks volumes.
These continue to be one of my favorite kits. I’m also very happy with how the Exarch turned out – instead of Mirrorswords I kitbashed a shuriken pistol and free arm onto her so that she has the same wargear as the rest of the group. I like having options! I know that the plastic kit has objectively better-looking Banshees – hell, I’ve bought two of the kits because I wanted to support Eldar getting more releases and more love. But the plastic kits don’t scratch the same nostalgic itch for me as these, and there’s something just right about the metal Banshees to me.
For the moment, at least, now that I have some touch-ups on the Wraithlord and this whole new swath of sword girls, I think I can call the Banshee chunk of my army done. I’m happy with the difference between these and the last batch I did, though I definitely need to pick up new gloss varnish and get better at applying waterslide decals to the helmets. Maybe one of these days I’ll break open one of the full plastic kits for more than just bits and pieces – if they turn out like these ones after painting, I’ll be thrilled.