Friday, 21 July 2017

Back to the Beginning

I'm not normally a nostalgic person.  But, to make sense of this, a little history is in order.

25 or so years ago, I wanted to play warhammer 40k.  I'd heard of it from other people, and I was already playing a LOT of dungeons and dragons.  But I wanted to play 40k.  On holiday in Derbyshire, we had gone to Nottingham for the day, and I had finally got the Rogue Trader rulebook.  This was not long after the Compedium and Compilation had come out, but I knew nothing about them.  I just knew that I had now got the 40K rules.  I wanted to play Squats.  With Melta Guns.  Exclusively.  I was 13 or 14, these things happened.
When I got to school, I was soundly mocked for my goals.  There were army lists, and none of them had a force of just Squats with guns.  The rulebook sat on the shelf, and I was deflated.
Eventually, a birthday came around (or some other reason to have some cash), and my long suffering father took me on the underground to Tottenham Court Road, where I got to buy some of these toy soldiers.  Harlequins and Eldar Guardians as they were.  These were duly brought home, and painted (very very badly.  No survivng examples exist).  Finally, someone lent me the Yellow book, and I saw the original Eldar Craftworld army list.  I was hooked.  I wanted these.  These were what I was destined to play.... I never got that army.  I did get the red book, and the harlequin army list, and 3000 points of Harlequins (the contents of the box I had) regularly got cheesed (creamed, but goes on for longer to steal Pratchett's joke) by 3000pts of craftworld Eldar, playing lengthwise along the table.
I played these for several years, until, eventually, 2nd edition happened.  The eldar were shelved, and an Ork army was made from the contents of 2 starter boxes and A LOT of imagination.  These were awful too.  3rd edition saw me stop playing.  Forever, or so I thought.
Age has led to many other tabletop games, including lots of Fantasy Battle, and now some small amount of Age of Sigmar.  I moved away from GW games.  I had a few Eldar models that I had picked up, and even a couple of squads of Harlequins painted for old times sake.

Then I got a demo of 8th.  It wasn't bad.  In fact, it was fun, and seemed to have fixed a lot of the problems with 40K that had kept me away.  A bright idea goes off in the head, and I wonder if I could make a very small Harlequin army with what I had, but hadn't painted.....A quick trip to the big pile of boxes yielded, in addition to my 2 squads of Harlequins, a Void Weaver, A Shadow Seer, and 2 bikes (painted)
1 Box Dire Avengers
1 Box Fire Dragons
1 Box Shining Spears
1 Death Jester
1 Box Old Finecast Harlequins
1 Shadow Seer
1 Painted set of Striking Scorpions.....

Which feels like, with me wanting a new project, the start of a mixed Eldar/Harlequin Force.

I've started with the Dire Avengers.  Troop Choice - Check.  Small Model Count - Check.  Not enough models in the box to make a unit of 5 plus an Exarch - Oh, very very yes (Damn you GW).
So far, I've discovered how unforgiving Eldar Models can be, how bad the mold lines are on old GW model kits, and how sloppy I have got in my painting.  Still, mostly for my memory, here are the steps to painting Dire Avengers

Blue Armour - Caledor Blue - Teclis Blue - Hoeth Blue
Helmet - White.   Lots of Coats of White
Details - Black.  Any Black
Weapons and Other "hard" decoration - Bone washed Agrax Earthshade.

The final Avengers look like this.