So… last time we discussed that fateful Christmas in 1999, the impact it would have on my life for years to come, and the Arc Army Challenge Dan would set for me all these years later. If you were wondering where we landed on the other life things that were mentioned… I’m happily married, with a daughter (so there are the girls, I guess). I no longer have direct access to a pool, but I’ve tried roller blading again!
Let’s just say it ended with the discovery that my knees don’t have the capability they once did, and a healthy investment in sticking plasters.
Anyway… after a lot of thinking about how best to stay excited by this project over the months between now and Arc40k 2024, I had decided, as the goal of this challenge, to recreate my first ever 40K army.
My Ulthwè Eldar. Or Aeldari as they are known now.
The green felt fields of the planet ‘Pooltable 23a’ were terrorised by my little black space elves, and their multiple thick layers of paint and dry brushed highlights. Their psychic might, shuriken weapons, aspect warriors, and wraith bone constructs were… well they were alright, I guess. I was fifteen, what did I know.
But what did I have? Can I even remember? Of course, I can. You never forget your first love.
Ok, so the Eldar Battle Force for starters. That was 20 Guardians, 3 Jetbikes, 1 Viper, and 1 Falcon Grav tank. I reckon we can ignore the trees for now… unless any one has some circa 1999 plastic trees lying about?
I had a Farseer from the original purchase, and a couple of blister pack Warlocks later. In those days Ulthwè was the only craftworld who could run a seer council, and they were mine.
There were a bunch of blisters packs I bought for Howling Banshees, and Dark Reapers. The Banshee Autarch with Executioner was a terror. And the Dark Reapers were painted in a purple colour scheme, including “cool” white flames on their missiles. I think I may have only had 3 Reapers, and the Autarch was armed with a shuriken Cannon (also with flames).
That’s them! That’s them!
To be clear, these aren’t mine… these are much better painted. But that’s the models. And the flames!
Eldrad Ulthran was a must buy. He was the poster boy for Ulthwe. And I even had the original metal Avatar of Khaine… you know, the short version who came on a square base.
If you remember me mentioning the Thousand Sons who could only be killed by ‘Instant Death’ weapons (that was weapons that natively caused Instant Death, or anything that was double their toughness: strength 8 or more) then you’ll be pleased to know that that’s where my D-Cannon support weapon platform and Wraithlord came in. One had very large fists, and the other was a tiny gun that made a hole in space.
That was it I’m pretty sure. Writing it out like that, it doesn’t seem like a huge amount. But the game has changed so much since then, it’s hard to tell.
So now I needed to decide how to go about recreating this force to modern standards and models. What boxes would I need? Would I stay true to original models and weapons, or make the best gaming choices? But most importantly… would I still base them with bright green flock???? Maybe not that, my nostalgia only goes so far.
I will probably also choose the best weapon choices for the units, rather than exact recreations of the models from that era. It’s ok that things evolve and change. I am also… not an idiot (hopefully). The modern Aeldari Start Collecting box set has a great collection of models for me to start with… 1 Farseer, 10 new plastic Guardians and their accompanying weapons platform, 6 Jetbikes, and a Wraithlord. That, combined with another box of Guardians, would give me a really good starting place for the force. And this month I set myself the goal of assembling all 20 of the guardians, the 2 platforms and 3 jetbikes.
That, combined with some of the decisions I wanted to make on a basing scheme, was a lot to get through in my current lifestyle. But I did it!
A lot of clipping, removing mold lines, sanding, and gluing was the majority of the work. Some magnets were used too. The weapon platforms were easy (or I got lucky), and those Brightlances can be swapped super easily now (although they seem like a really great choice in 10th Edition :D ).
The Jetbikes were not. The first one I attempted; the Shuriken cannon ended up on a wonk. My attempts to fix it were only creating more problems and ruining the model, so I made the decision just to glue it and commit to that gun for the rest of the unit. It seems like a really interesting gun in 10th edition, and only the points will show me if I’ve made a terrible mistake or not (see; not being an idiot above).
The addition of a couple of sets of 3d printed pieces to add to the bases: Temple Floors from Arc40k sponsor Epic bases – they could be snapped and cut to make different designs and patterns; and some Cults3d Aeldari ruin bits to add interest and detail. Textured sand paint everywhere else, and I was ready to paint as next month’s goal.
Will I get all 20 Guardians done? AND the Jetbikes? What’s my scheme and technique going to be? Well, you’ll just have to wait ok. I’m figuring this all out as I go along. I’ve got a whole bunch of research to do. Going to trawl the depths of the Ulthwè hashtag on Instagram and get sone inspiration. Wish me luck. See you next time.
Link to Epic bases temple floor: https://epicbasing.com/en-au/collections/epic-basing-digital-design-stls/products/ancient-temple-floor-digital-stl-pack
Other Eldar base ruins: https://cults3d.com/en/3d-model/game/space-elves-pirates-base-scenery