Monday, July 10, 2023

On The Painting Desk: Back to the 80's!

Well, this year has been a bit of a disappointment on the painting front.  Not much progress, but there has not been much purchasing progress either.  This lack of progress has been driven by me completing my "Pile of Shame" a few years ago, and not deciding what project I want to finish for this year.  This process has been made a bit more complicated as my local gaming group has been on a bender playing Games Workshops' Kill Team.  

I stopped playing Warhammer 40K at the tail end of 6th edition or so.  I think 5th was my personal Peak edition, and I mostly kept up with GW via Specialist Games.  In the Kirby years, when they decided to focus only on their core games I completely lost interest in them.  They lured me back in for a few teams and the core game with Blood Bowl when they decided to turn back to creating games at Games Workshop.  However, they had not managed to lure me in with other games or take more of my money.  I was still, semi-interested in their lore and being able to create land, sea, and air campaigns within that lore but was content with my own head canon and using the rules I wanted to play in that world. 

Last year, I spent a decent amount of time trying to put together a local game group.  I was actually fairly successful, with Castles in the Sky being the go to game.  However, that plateaued and the group wanted to attract new members.  From there, Kill Team was determined to be the way forward and for the most part it has worked to grow the group and stabilize attendance.  To support that effort, I purchased a Corsair Kill Team and have learned the basic rules and have been playing and doing part to draw in more players ever since. 

However, I am personally not keen on chasing the GW dragon so am pretty happy to use my old GW models in new ways.  I have used Orks, Eldar Craftworld, Imperial Guard, and Space Marine Kill Teams with my old models.  Kill Team is probably my most played game in 2023 so far.  However, I wanted to try something a bit different and new.  Plus, I really wanted something to paint! 

Then, one day when I was organizing my game room I came across an ancient discovery.  All the way back from 1988, I found the old Eldar Harlequins.  I had probably picked up and painted this set in late 1989, and it showed!  Here are some samples of the original paint jobs.  

That back  banner though....

I figured in 2023 I could maybe do a bit better.  Therefore, I set about getting them ready for a new coat of paint.  I waited for the first nice day of spring, and got to work with some Grey Seer primer. 

You can see the old Solitaire, Shadow Seer, Warlock, and Death Jester in that batch.  I had no idea what was actually in a Kill Team, but I figured ten dudes would be enough.  I later found out 8 was enough and that their rules are.... complex.... to say the least.  

Then, I applied a watered down wash of a darker Grey paint using cheap Big Box store acrylics.  Once that dried, I then gave them a white drybrush and they were ready for painting!

Since I only needed 8, I decided to ditch the two that were dual wielding pistols.  They would serve the cause as test models for various looks and paints. Thanks to their efforts, we were able to get to the end stage with these guys.  

I went to work base coating using a wide variety of primary colors to get them started.  I had no real scheme in mind, beyond that their lowest layers would be red.  This would help tie them in with my Corsair and existing Craftworld models. After all, they were all Space Elves! 

Not a bad way to get started but I was unsure how I wanted to proceed.  I finally figured out some weapon colors and kept going.  I decided to give all of them the light purple waist tabards and turquoise armor to help unify them, as each one was somewhat unique.  

I finished the base coats and was happy with the overall look and feel of the models.  They all looked unique.  I decided the guy with the Webber from back in the old Compilation days would now be wielding the Fusion Pistol.  The old Shadow Seer had a las-pistol and power gloves, so he was no longer WYSIWYG but I fething love that faceless model so there was no way he was going to leave this Kill Team. 

Next, I decided to use a wash to fill in any gaps.  I hemmed and hawed about whether to use a dark wash, strong tone, light , or soft.  After several tests on the test models I decided on the Strong Tone.  It was still a brown base wash, and I hoped enough to show the detail and not darken the colors too much.  The test model seemed promising, so I washed them and waited to see how they turned out the next day.

I think the Strong Tone ended up being a big mistake as it washed out and darkened a lot of the colors.  At arm's reach, they just looked dark.  That was NOT the look I wanted with these guys.  I wanted them much brighter.  My first major mist-step with these guys.  Oh well.  Hopefully nothing some drybrushing and highlights can't solve!  I especially wanted their brightly colored hair to really POP on the battlefield.  These guys were not popping.... yet.  

I went back and tried to lighten them up.  I was not 100% satisfied that I had been successful but I also was not willing to go back and strip and repaint them either.  I also did a bit of spot painting with regular Armypainter paints for a few details.  I went on to paint the bases with Sand Golem speed paint and hit the edges with black paint.  I have found that this simple step really helps make the models stand-out on the table and look finished.  


After the bases dried, it was still a nice spring day.  I took them back outside and completed the circle of painting.  I gave them a coat of matte finish on the same cinder block their journey had begun on in the priming stage.  

I am pretty happy with how these turned out.  Now, to try to figure out the byzantine rules for Harlequins in Kill Team.  I have no idea what I will be doing on that front, but I am pretty happy to have 3 different Eldar factions now for the game.  The mysterious Faceless One and his Troupe are ready to rumble.  

Maybe now I can figure out what I actually want to paint for 2023 now? 


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