Sunday, May 20, 2012

Gem Madness! High Elf Swordmasters Update #1


High Elf Bladelord
Only a week to go until the "big reveal"of this High Elf army to the kids (gulp). Since last posting I have done some ordering, some painting and some movement trays.

Thinking ahead to the unveiling, I ordered the Gale Force 9 Battlefield in a Box Elven Tower to try and have a bit of impressive scenery. 
Gale Force 9 Elven Tower:
The good news is that reviews have been pretty favorable and the price was reasonable. The bad news is it looks as though it hasn't been dispatched yet, so I guess it won't make it in time.

On the painting side of things I spent most evenings this last week working on the Swordmasters. Somebody said they would be easy...
...but I can only guess that they mean in comparison to detailed units like Ellyrian Reavers! 

For example, a unit of x20 Swordmasters is about 80 gems. I think that I have now contracted that rare affliction - "Gem Madness". I actually dreamed about gems last night after finishing these. ("Snot Green, then Dark Angels Green at top, Snot Green/ Skull white at bottom, and a dot of pure Skull White at top...") 
To keep myself sane I went outside my comfort zone and tried to do some red gems for the first time ever (adventurous eh?). I used the technique in the High Elf Army Book and to my surprise they came out OK (pics in the images below.)

After a few nights of work here is where I am now:
x20 ranked Swordmasters
Standard Bearer (Detail)
Bladelord (Detail)
Unit (Detail)
Front rank (Detail)
Swordmasters unit
Red Gems - first ever!
Red Gems - detail.
Bladelord - metal figure
Swordmaster with red gems
Bladelord - green gems
Bladelord - gem detail
Swordmaster command - detail
As they have large areas of scale armour I guess they are quite quick to do, but after the armour I slowed down quite a bit (layers of Warlock Purple on the robes, and aforementioned gems took me a while.) 

For the armour I used:
  • Chainmail 
  • Badab Black (wash)
  • Mithril Silver (dry brush)
I still have to do highlights on the details, bases, layers on the skin, and eyes, but I reckon I should then be clear to start on one final unit for the army.

Yesterday I also finished painting up and flocking x5 movement trays. 

These are all by Gale Force 9 and came with my original HE order from eBay. They are wood and well put together. The only think I am not so keen on is that they are very "square"- I'd prefer them to have more rounded edges. After texturing and flocking I think they came out OK, but next time I will carve or sand/ file the edges first so they don't look quite so regular. When I have a bit more time I may add some ruins or other bits and pieces to add some atmosphere.

(For the texturing I used textured grey spray paint for the first time. Available at garden centers and used to add a concrete-like texture to smooth surfaces, this has fine sand in it. It did add some texture, but it was too fine. Next time I may do several layers to thicken it up. To achieve the same thing here I used PVA glue and modelling sand.)

Hopefully the next update will see me with the Swordmasters finished and the Silver Helms underway.

Hope you are all having a good week/ weekend!


  1. My friend has that elven tower, it is massive. Your high elves look good as well.

  2. Yes, the tower looks pretty big in most of the images I have seen, so I think it should make a pretty good centerpiece to any gaming table! Glad you like the elves...still lots of work to do! Thanks for leaving a comment!

  3. Ooops, I think it might have been me who said they were easy.

    The red gems are looking pretty good, but the green ones are certainly the best. And they are a very nice change from the typical white/blue elves you see elsewhere.

    1. lol! I think it WAS you! ;-)
      No worries, because you were right in one way - a distinct lack of white robes (thanks to all that scale armour) makes painting most of each model MUCH easier!

      Thanks for the comments on the green gems. I agree that overall they look best, at least with this colour scheme, so will probably keep the green gems in the majority of any unit.



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