Blood Bowl Dark Elves from 2002

Continuing my Blood Bowl retrospective on from my halflings and skaven its the Munnig Marauders up today.  Tuern Redvenom (centre below) models the 2002 Marauders strip.

The metal second edition Blood Bowl Dark Elf team was one the first GW 28mm purchases that I made, back in about 1990 I think.  They sat unpainted in a box for years.  I even ended up adding the third edition team (I cant remember for sure but it was probably to get my hands on BB witch models) and some star players to the box at various points, but the lot remained unassembled.

I found myself time rich and cash poor in 2002  and at that time there was some enthusiasm in my gaming group for Blood Bowl.  I decided to be less precious about the big pile of BB figures that had been sitting around for an age and churned out a few teams quickly to a tabletop standard lower than my usual painting level.  The Marauders were part of that process.

The paint job is simple and a little uninspired, but functional.  The figures are a mix of second and third edition figures, with the odd very small conversion or two for reasons that I dont remember now (like the second edition blitzer with the head swap in the middle above.  He had probably lost his head for some reason back in the early nineties).

I could never decide whether I liked the Blood Bowl thrower/quarterback type figures to be posed with or without the ball in hand, as it often leads to teams holding several balls, which looks a little daft.  Still, when the result of leaving them out is that the player seems to miming carrying a ball (like the thrower on the right above) then I tend to come down on the side of the sculpted on ball.

This team got a small bit of play, but the skaven were my go-to team around the same time, so the dark elves didnt get to the pitch/dungeon very often.  They did however acquire a number of irritating chips to the paint for reasons unknown.  This was doubly annoying as I didnt record the colours used on the armour which meant that covering  the chips was going to be very difficult.  So I decided to add some blood stains.

Funnily enough, the figures with the bloodstains look a little more finished than the others now: the red made them pop a little, even if that may not be immediately apparent from the not so great photos.

Horkon Heartripper (centre above) has to be one of the weakest Blood Bowl sculpts ever.

The candy floss pink hair on the witches turned out well.  I have always enjoyed painting pink for some reason.  The witch herself is a bit goofy, doing star jumps with that Einstein hairdo.

The witch on the left is an old and redundant second edition dark elf catcher given a new lease of life by the addition of a Marauder witch elf head and a pair of green stuff breasts.  A third witch was needed in case I ever decided to field Roxanna Darknail or some other dark elf star player.  I never did, but I tend to be completist with these things.

The witch in the shot above is the better of the two third ed BB witch figures.  Initially I wasnt too fond of the third edition team at all really, with their large noses and features, but they grew on me a little bit.  The witch here looks so eighties rock that I started to like the model while painting.  Now that I think of it that seems to be a common theme for me…

Uniquely amongst my Blood Bowl teams, the Marauders played in the official, honest-to-Nuffle, accept no substitutes, actual Blood Bowl in Nottingham in 2003 (note lineman #6 modelling the commemorative coin given to contestants).  I wasnt even there though.  This team had been borrowed by another player who didnt have a team of his own.  The Marauders didnt place in the competition unfortunately 🙂


Blood Bowl Skaven from 2002

Continuing the Blood Bowl retrospective that started last week with my Goleen Gladiators halfling team, today its the turn of the Roughnecks.

I painted this team in 2002.  I was very short of cash at the time (a regularly recurring theme throughout my life unfortunately), but I was time rich.  As a result I decided to go through my big box of old Blood Bowl figures (some of which had been sitting there since 1989) and attempt to get through painting as many of them as possible, as fast as possible.   Appropriately this speedy Blood Bowl push began with a skaven team, the fastest team in Blood Bowl.

The team is a mix of second edition BB figures, third edition BB figures and a couple of old WHFB rat-ogres.  As is often the case, I overdid it a little by painting up maximum numbers of most of the positions.  Still, its better than only painting twelve guys and ending up always fielding a couple of half finished players later I suppose.

The colour scheme was decided upon for speed of application more than anything else.  The chosen uniform colours were applied as a couple of washes over a black through grey to white drybrush.  The fleshier tones were layered on in a slightly less down and dirty fashion, but it is very much a “tabletop quality” paint job.

I added some metallic scuffs and dents to the figures, but it was a bit crudely done.  Most of the marks look like genuine real life damage to the miniature paint job rather than scaled down wear and tear from a Blood Bowl pitch, which isnt ideal.

The grubby greenish yellow worked well I think.  It was easy and rapid to apply and still gives an interesting and slightly unpleasant pestilential look appropriate for rat/man hybrids.

I enjoyed playing skaven probably more than any of the other teams that I have played Blood Bowl with.  Elves are fun to play for sure, but the cost per player involved makes the first few league games knife edge stuff, plus starting teams tend to have few position players, which can make them a little bland.

Neither of these issues affect rat-dudes as the skaven lineman is arguably the best in the game: fast and cheap and easily replaceable.  While just as fragile as wood elves, skaven teams have a safety net of reserve players that makes coaching them slightly less stressful.  Skaven dont have AG4 across the board of course, but they have it where it counts.

The Roughnecks (who have had their name prefixed with a variety of local area names that begin with “R” over the years.  Its currently the “Reenascreena Roughnecks” simply because its a funny sounding local place) have played most of their games in familiar, sewer like, underground confines of dungeons.

This happened back in 2004-2005 or so when MT, SOS (AKA theottvonbismark) and I played a very large number of three way, five-a-side dungeonbowl games on a variety of dungeon maps.

Our Dungeonbowl variant made a small number of rules changes to the 3rd edition Dungeonbowl rules as written, but nothing very radical (other than turning the game into a three player affair, which while not too crunchy in rules terms, was a big change in play terms).

During that time the three of us leveled up a large number of teams in that rather absurd, potentially maybe a little bit too random but consistently hilarious environment.  It counts as my best Blood Bowl experience bar none.

Three disease-ridden mutant rat people get the party started.

I recently found a document containing a list of the house rules that we used for our Dungeonbowl games.  MT still has all of the old team rosters too, which I am sure make for an amusing and nostalgic read.  A return to the dungeon may well occur at some point in the future.

I coached the Roughnecks through a large part of this Dungeonbowl period, making them probably my favourite team, although its a close call between these squeaky little guys and one other team, of which more at a later date.

I am not sure at what point it seemed like a good idea to end up with three Blood Bowl rat-ogres, but it happened.  Funnily enough I think that the old hairy rat-ogres look a little more like Blood Bowl players than Headsplitter (centre) does.

Farseer / Archon Yuminor

Todays figure from the vaults is the leader of the Eldar army that I painted in 2002, the Eldar from the Iacon fleet.

The army was made from GW parts from a variety of sources but mainly from a mix of Eldar and Dark Eldar parts.  At the time I played using the army chosen from a Craftworld Eldar list, but I wanted to be able to field the figures as Dark Eldar if desired too, even though I never did in the end.

The background for the army plonked the Iaconian Eldar somewhere between the Craftworld Eldar and the Dark Eldar in philosophy.  The idea was that rather than base themselves in a craftworld after The Fall, that the Iacon fleet had assembled for safety in numbers.  As a result the fleet contained ships of many sizes along with occupants with their own agendas.  Obviously this was loosely based on the concept of Battlestar Galactica, although the remake wasnt around at the time.

Another influence was a vaguely Egyptian theme, mostly added so that I could tie the figures to some cheesy decorations that I had been collecting with a magazine around then (visible in a game here).  It also helped to focus me on some of the visual elements of the army such as colour and some of the decoration.  Everyone is familiar with the concept of “Space Egypt” anyway due to Stargate.  Funnily enough I didnt like the Stargate show (because it is shite), although the look of the tech in the movie was cool.

Farseer/Archon Yuminor

Yuminor above is assembled exclusively from plastic parts: Dark Eldar and Craftworld Eldar jetbikes, High Elf arms, a modified pair of High Elf spears, Dark Elf torso and helmet, a bit from a Falcon grav tank, some old shuriken catapults, some styrene strips and a Bretonnian helmet crest.  I think that the cape is High Elf too, but it might be from a Chaos Warrior, I cant remember.

The circular thing stuck to the back of Yuminors head is a part of a Falcon kit.  It is supposed to tie in with circular gold Egyptian decorative elements that were used to venerate Ra, representing the sun.  The piece of plastic that I used was just a bit too thick and so looks a little odd (or maybe just a little bit foreign and alien if I am feeling charitable).

Jetbike Canopy & Singing Spear Detail

Just about visible in the shot above and easier to see in the photo above it is the hand painted glyph in the side of the canopy.  Each unit in the army has their own unique glyph inspired by both the existing Eldar look and Egyptian heiroglyphs.  Obviously they dont mean something specific or anything like that but they do give a nice element of detail on the figures, Yuminor included.  I find that one area on a miniature brought to fine detail like that can help to give a sense of scale to figures.  When it works the figures start to look a little less toy-like and just a little more real (as far as space elf sorcerers on jetbikes look real, but you know what I mean).

Another element that I carried through the larger models in the army was a phoenix-y bird type motif.  The main reason that I did that was because there was a suitable crest on the High Elf sprues that I had in sufficient numbers to put on all of the vehicles that I had planned for the army.  The bird on the jetbike canopy above however is a Bretonnian knghts helmet crest with some styrene strips making a sort of tail.  That shot also shows the High Elf Spear which I made double ended because I think that it looks good like that.  It also looks a bit like Prince Nuadas spear from Hellboy II now that I look at it.  That cant be a bad thing.

The Entire Model

I like this model a lot even though as I mentioned in a previous Iacon post the paint scheme was laborious in its execution.  Still, Yuminor (name inspired by a character from the super cool Ulysses 31 cartoon) is one of my better examples of a unique figure used to represent an army leader.  Yuminors career didnt have the same gaming span as my Nurgle Chaos Lord but he still stands as one of the better examples from my own corner of the hobby.

Iacon Eldar: Striking Scorpion Squad Seth

Striking Scorpion Exarch Seth

Squad Seth was painted up in 2002 along with most of the rest of my Iacon Eldar.  The concept was vaguely Egyptian themed, for a few different reasons.  I am not a Stargate fan but I do like the look of some of the elements.  Nonetheless, Stargate wasnt really an influence.

Mostly the colours chosen have Egyptian relevance.  Gold is the colour of the flesh of the Egyptian gods.  Lapis lazuli/faience (the turquoise/blue) is a common feature of Egyptian decoration, as is red.

Each squad is marked with a unique glyph.  While I used hieroglyphs as reference when coming up with these, they are not really very Egyptian in look.  Thats fine really though as while I like using that imagery as a reference, that is all it is supposed to be: a reference.  These guys are supposed to be spacemen after all.

Some of the glyphs worked out better than others.  Painting bright red detail on black like that was time consuming.

Biting Blade and Shuriken Pistol

Another element of the Iacon force was that I used a lot of Dark Eldar parts in with the regular Craftworld bits.  While this was justified conceptually it was mainly just because I wanted to put together some stuff that wasnt directly off-the-peg.  Additionally the variety helped to keep me interested while painting.

Striking Scorpions

Part of the concept was to make the Aspect Warriors bare headed.  As the helmets are an intrinsic part of the Aspect Warrior concept, using different heads was going to make the Iacon Aspect Warriors unique immediately.  It was a lot of work chopping off all of those heads and replacing them with others, something that I am not going to be in a hurry to do again.

Rear shot showing armour banding.

The concept of these Eldar walking the line between light and dark which is pursued a little via the bare headed Aspects, was pushed a little further with the Exarch.  The Dark Eldar Incubi are essentially a “dark aspect”.  This origins of the dark aspect come from the only Eldar Phoenix Lord to turn to the dark side: Ahra, Father of Scorpions, the Fallen Phoenix.  Incubi have tall helms with a blaster mounted on the top that functions similarly to the Striking Scorpion Mandiblasters, so I went with a similar look on the Exarchs helmet.

Dark Aspect Warriors

Looking back at these guys I quite like how they turned out.  Painting the gold areas was a huge chore however.  Even if I had the patience to go to all of that trouble converting those figures again I would approach the painting of the gold areas very, very differently and probably more effectively now.  I still think that the gold areas mostly look good, but they dont really reflect the large amount of grief that they caused me.

Chainsword and Shuriken Pistol

Despite all of the hassle that I had with these guys I do get a kick out of taking a look at them again some years later.  I think that they are a cool looking unit and there is something about the slightly unusual colour scheme that I like.

Squad Seth gets ready for ritualised bloodshed.

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