I’ve talked to a lot of folks who say that you should never repaint your first miniature. One of the best examples of this is Duncan Rhodes, who still keeps the first space marine that he ever made as a symbol of how far he’s come with the hobby. Under other circumstances I might agree, but it’s hard for me to look back on the first miniature I ever painted without sometimes-painful memories of the person that I was at the time that I started this. So, rather than keeping it as-is or giving it away, I decided to kitbash and convert this miniature into something a little better, transform it, and give it a new lease on life.
My first miniature painted was the Ilmarin Duskwander (Duskwanderer?) from Reaper Miniatures. It’s an older, metal miniature but it was one that I was using for a long time for a D&D game based on a Legend of Zelda-esque setting that I was GM’ing. When I painted this, back in the day, I knew nothing about miniature painting, technique, or…well, a lot, as you can tell by the old picture that I’ve posted here. To transform this into an Autarch, I wanted to make use of the Faolchu’s Wing relic in the Craftworlds codex to turn this foot-slogging Autarch with a Star Glaive into a living Jojo’s reference with majestic purple locks of hair, and even more majestic wings.
The wings were kitbashed from an old Warhammer fantasy miniature that I’ve also had lying around for years, along with bits and bobs from various Eldar kits to make the jetpack look as tech-y as it is organic. I added some other bits like grenades, a shuriken pistol, and a forceshield, just to add a little more Eldar flavor, and I painted him up in…what I guess is my usual Biel-Tan scheme! It’s been such a long time since I’ve painted Biel-Tan, though, that it was tricky to remember, and the difference in quality is making me think about redoing some Rangers down the road, too.
All things considered I’m very happy that I gave this model a second chance. It was a tricky one to pull off but I’m happy with the end result, and I finally feel like I don’t have this old mini and that old me hanging over my head as much anymore. And it was really nice to be able to get back into kitbashing and doing a true “rescue” model again, even if in this case it was a self-rescue.