Warhammer 40,000 is one of those worlds and settings I really love. However, being a lore fan, I find the dissonance between the actual game and the lore to be so much that I’ve never really got into collecting a full sized army. However, collecting the occasional model has always been fun – for all of Games Workshop’s fault, they do on occasion make some rather fantastic models. For this reason, I’ve bought a fair few, normally then tweaking them to look cool rather than technically useful for the tabletop.
I have a soft spot for the Dark Eldar, the piratical murderous elves that live in their city in the webway. They appear in the fiction as everything from “the terror in the night” to “moustache-twirling villain”. So as things happen, you start thinking up ideas and then suddenly Mi’kael Drakonis, Archon of the Ascending Spear was born.
The Archon available from GW, while cool, is a little limited – a shame seeing as in the lore, Dark Eldar leaders seem to have a huge variety in their exact gear and appearance (hard not to when you raid and pillage everyone else). Out of the Dark Eldar, I really love the Incubi – the totally not Aspect Warriors that act as the best bodyguard for an Archon to hire if they want to stay alive. In my concept, I decided to use the Incubi model (with their cool armour, trophy racks and brutal klaive) for my Archon, seeing him as a former Incubus returned home to rule his family’s Kabal. But no mere troop model would be suitable – Drazhar (a special character) seem much more appropriate, with a dynamic pose atop Eldar ruins.
In terms of tweaks, I got to work. The first part was removing the chain of soulstones around Drazhar’s neck. I think they look a little much, almost too much detail. This just meant I had to trim the chain away, leaking the shoulder pieces with less support. I also replaced his head with one from the Kabalite box (you need the bare head to show he’s a leader). Finally from the front, I removed the blade in his right hand and turned it into a pointing gesture. This makes him look more commander-y (if we obey the Games Workshop rules) while also being perfect for claiming that a rival’s soul is yours. In terms of assembling it, the finger is actually just an offcut of plastic I found while working on some models. I could have attempted to green stuff it, but this method was much faster and will look fine once painted up
Moving to the back, you see two tweaks. The most obviously is the sword. After trimming it down to only one sword, the model… lacked something. However, one of my writing buddies while talking about Dark Eldar came up with this alternative setup for a double klaive. It may look a little over the top but the idea of it being a weapon that is dangerous to use sounds Dark Eldar as heck. It also gives the model a little weight – the Archon has swung his blade and is now calling out his next target.
The other part is the cape. I was going to green stuff this, but then realised that Anvil Industry has plenty of glorious capes to use. To attach it, I trimmed off the pair of trophies at the bottom and then glues the dynamic cape into place. I need to do a touch more greenstuff to blend the edges but I’m happy with it.
So that’s the first update on the Dark Eldar project. I’m really happy with how he looks, a glorious leader that would be a nice centre point of a small Dark Eldar collection (currently made up of Incubi, Kabalites and Scourges
Next step (after finishing the green stuff) will be to get it undercoated. And as a first, I’m painting these Dark Eldar in pale colours, so I’ll be using a white basecoat. This is uncharted territory for me, so I’m a little nervous about it. But we shall see!