I’m a casual hobbyist at best (and definitely no better as a photographer), but when I saw that Games Workshop was running Armies on Parade online this year, I decided I was gonna throw my name into the hat, and share pictures of the two armies that I’ve managed to finish this year. It’s been a long strange trip but I’m happy with how both of them have turned out so far – and I have plans to add a few new reinforcements to my Eldar, and a big expansion on my Death Guard army, too, in 2021. The Long War never ends.
Out of the two I definitely think my Death Guard army is more photogenic, ironically. I’m happier with how it turned out and how coherent it all looks together, even though I do love my multicolored Aspect Warriors for Eldar. On the Death Guard side, I think I’m most proud of my vehicles – the Blight-Haulers and the Rhino really stand out, and I’m still a sucker for my Lord of Contagion, too. Papa Nurgle’s blessings on Lord Felthius and his creepy-ass smile.
On the Eldar side, I think my space elves suffer from a slight lack of coherency in their colors. I’m very happy with my Fire-Falcon-Rainbow-Prism, my Storm Guardians, my Howling Banshees, and my HQs, but I think in the new year the Dire Avengers, Wave Serpent, and my back left Wraithlord are going to be in need of a little love and a facelift. In a way, though, this is a good problem to have – it makes me feel like I’ve improved and that it shows in my recent painting.
The bad news with writing a Masters’ draft the last month is I did very little painting. The good news is that I got a couple of great games in, playing at Noble Miniatures with KinpatsuSamurai and playing Floorhammer at my apartment with my roommate. In both games I ran my Craftworld Ulthwe Eldar, with wildly varying results. They still hold their own decently against the Sisters of Battle, but I am in desperate need of a solution to to army’s kryptonite – Tyranids.
Both games were in the Crusade format, and the first involved getting my Warlord – in this case Jain Zar – to cast a ritual using the Webway Gate, which we busted out because it fit the mission type and…I will take absolutely any excuse to use my Webway Gate. I sorely underestimated the amount of damage KinpatsuSamurai’s Exorcist could put out, and I paid dearly for it in the first turn of the game. My Banshees took a beating from Repentia Sisters and other close-combat units, but I think what really shone this game were my Storm Guardians. They’re really starting to grow on me.
I managed to just barely win out through time and technicality against KinpatsuSamurai. My roommate is a different story. With her Tyranids, it’s never a question of whether or not I’m going to win, it’s a question of how long the game go on until she tables me and has her run of my objectives! The Banshees probably did best out of my units in this game, but that’s not saying much – we got halfway through turn three when I was wiped off the board. One of these days I’ll figure out how to hold my own against Tyranids – but today is not that day, and tomorrow doesn’t look good either.
A long time ago I saw Spikey Bits’ LED-lit Eldar Fire Prism and decided I was going to do that someday. Now, with more or less my whole Eldar army assembled, I decided this was going to be the time, and that this was going to be the model with which I call my Eldar “done.” Feeling like this army is done is bittersweet, but also a thrill – and I’m looking forward tremendously to running this Fire Prism with the rest of my space elves on the tabletop.
Putting this together was definitely the trickiest build I’ve ever done. Having to drill holes into the frame of the model and run wires between the power supply in the base and to each of the model’s assemblies took planning, elbow grease, and a little luck, but when it came to rigging up the lights themselves Evan Designs and their LEDs were fantastic. Even without having worked with electronics at much length before I was able to figure it out, patch it together, and bring this boat to life.
The final tank ended up being built in a number of subassemblies, either pressure fit or magnetized together so that I can fix it later if any of the lights shut down. I used a take on the “sponge” method I’ve used to do grav tank hulls before and that I used prominently on my Death Guard (and Spekd has my eternal gratitude for introducing me to that.) The hull design is a cross between the “eye” motif Ulthwe uses generally, but is also a callback to the game Fire Emblem: Awakening. Because I’m hot trash.
In addition to the color-changing rainbow cannon and the flickering engine lights, the Fire Prism is also multipurpose – for a while now, my existing Falcon has been in Biel-Tan colors and since I’m going full-Ulthwe I wanted my Howling Banshees to have a party bus that would fit in with the rest of my army. As KinpatsuSamurai has pointed out, I have picked a lane, and I’m owning that!
As tricky as the build was, and as much as I might have been able to give it more love if I’d waited until after my Masters’ was done, I’m extremely happy with the results on this. This is the best model that I have ever built and painted, and the difference between this and my older work (before Twitchy Bristles) is night and day. I don’t think I could hope to end the construction and painting of my Eldar army on a better note.
This is a model I’ve poured a lot of effort into over the last month – originally I was going to build it after I finished writing my Masters’ research project as a reward, but then a local painting contest came up and I thought it would be a great chance to get some local exposure for my work. The contest is part of the Sci-Fi @ Home convention, based out of St. John’s. I’ll have a proper gallery done up soon, but in the meantime, here’s the video that I sent in as a demo of the lighting system!
Matthias is a kitbashed HQ unit who I put together with bits from a whole slew of different models, most of them Dire Avengers. Mounted him up on a custom 32mm resin base and I’m really happy with the end result. No wings on this Autarch, he’s equipped for sword-and-board with a Star Glaive.
The friend of mine who gifted me my Dire Avengers is a huge fan of the Fire Emblem: Awakening game, so you might notice a similarity to a certain one-sleeved sword boy – as if the symbol on my Dire Avenger banners wasn’t a dead giveaway! His Force Shield’s gems also definitely aren’t colored to look like the five different gems in the Fire Emblem.