Saturday, 30 June 2012


I told you it could take a while...

Here is my final post for the month. I've managed to complete 7 shadow warriors, 5 Phoenix Guard, 1 Mage, 1 Hero, 1 old style Archer and my extra for the month was a fallen statue to act as a bit of scenery.

I'm writing this on the iOS app so I can't order the pictures. I'm pretty pleased with the cloaks on the Phoenix Guard. And the face on the Mage... And maybe his orb... Well I'm pleased with everything really! ;)

Friday, 15 June 2012

Ale' amin tela sinome

Over the last few days I have been busy completing the mage from the Island of Blood set and the custom prince/noble. I can now move onto the Phoenix Guard. These are the new plastic models from Games Workshop (a Christmas Present). I think £25.50 for 10 plastic models is a little steep but I'm not opening the can of worms that is Games Workshop's pricing policy... what I want to rant about is the number of tiny bits of plastic that make up each model!

Don't get me wrong, I think the quality of the plastic kits is really impressive. They are a pleasure to paint and having the detail modelled onto the standard means you don't even have to free hand. But these are half the sprues (the set contains duplicate sprues to make the 10 Guards) for the Phoenix Guard set...

Nothing on it resembles an actual 'elf'. Chip away, watching that the removal of the flash doesn't clip the actual model part and you start to see the miniatures coming together:

We have legs, cloak and back torso, front torso, head, right shoulder and rest of the cloak, right arm with weapon... I then stopped cutting... missing is the left arm, a small satchel to go on the models waist and his hand weapon (a sword). And that's just for the rank and file. The musician has some drums and 2 drum sticks to add to that.

OK so this number of bits means 2 things; 1) that the final model looks gorgeous with a flowing cloak wrapping around the main body of the Guard and 2) some hefty customisation with different arms, heads, shoulders on each model... really good advantages... or so you would think.

Although having a great looking model is great, it makes painting it really difficult. If you stick the model together initially there are just too many nooks and cranny's which would be unreachable with a paintbrush that occupies the same 3 dimensions that I and the model exist in. Especially to a decent standard. For example, if I stick the legs to the back torso the inside of the cloak and the girlie eleven skirt are visible but far to close for comfort to paint. Gluing the front torso to the back obscures the neck area. So the only option is to paint such pieces separately and glue together afterwards. This makes them annoying to paint as you are messing around with very small pieces which with no base are difficult to hold etc. But it's what I'm having to do... starting with the easy bits the legs.

Once painted we can stick them together with ease and create a nice custom looking regiment... No again... I quickly discovered that where each little bit joins another bit, Games Workshop have not opted for a Universal fixing, so those right shoulders that complete the cloak... out of 5 possible shoulders only 1 fits a particular cloak... same with the arms and weapons.

This could take a while...

Thursday, 7 June 2012


Happy Birthday Blog! Yep I've been writing this blog for an entire year now. But more importantly painting my High elves for an entire year. Well those and a Vampire Blood Bowl team. Oh and a Welsh warband for Saga. And not forgetting my recent adventures in the Old West. And the terrain I have constructed. In fact when I look back I think I achieved quite a lot this year... even with the wargamming butterfly effect.

But the blog was started to chronicle my High Elves so I thought I'd start by taking a trip down memory lane, going retro and painting up one of the miniatures from the 4th edition of Warhammer. Oh and then compare it to the same effort way back in 1992 when I was 12:

What a difference 20 years can make.

So how is the entire army looking now, well here is the obligatory shot (Lee has started something here):

In total that's 28 Sea Guard, 20 Archers, 12 Sword Masters, 15 Silver Helms, 7 Shadow Warriors, 1 White Lion Chariot, 1 Giant eagle, 3 Bolt Throwers, 1 Hero on a Chariot, 1 Mounted Mage, 1 standing mage, 1 Mounted Prince, 1 Mounted Battle Standard, A Prince on a Dragon, Tyrion and Alarielle. Oh and the waystone. Not a bad looking force now. Here are some moody close ups:

I'm most chuffed with Alarielle, the BSB and the Dragon.

So am I finished there? Is that the end of NationalElfService2011? Oh no loyal readers. I will continue. I need the motivation. I still have 20 Phoenix Guard, 6 Dragon Princes, 12 Sword Masters, Teclis, 10 Ellyrian Reavers, Countless Spearmen and archers, the Griffin from the 8th edition of warhammer. I just might get all this lot completed for next year. And you never know there might be a new army book out that improves my elite warriors from the Girls they really are in battle! 

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Rima ten'ta!

Sunday saw my first battle of the Warhammer campaign I am running ( It was an army led by my level 4 archmage against a Skaven army led by an un-named Grey-Seer. The Skaven had tunnelled deep into my territory so in some sense this was a must win game if I didn't want to lose positioning on the campaign map. It was a 2500 point straight battle.

The first thing I noticed was how horrendously outnumbered I was. This gave me a high chance of starting first as my deployment would definitely finish first. This was the first use of my Shadow warriors and I really wanted to use their scout ability to take out the Skaven Plasma Cannon. However after deployment it became quite clear this wasn't going to happen as the Skaven had so many units I couldn't physically set the scouts up behind the enemy line to attack the war machine (they have to be 12" from any enemy). Instead I had to use them to take out the Skaven Assassin which was trying to do the same to my Bolt Thrower.

I set up my Sea Guard with Nienna (my level 4 archmage) centre table in their usual 2*14 lineup. The sword Masters joined them. The silver helms and archers made my right flank, while the Bolt Thrower, a second unit of archers and the shadow warriors were on the left. As predicted I started.

The Shadow warriors easily took down the assassin. My Sword Masters rushed forward to the safety of the Trees to tackle the Gutter Runners. I kept the silver Helms back for 1 turn, probably a mistake but I was scared by how fast Skaven are.

My other units remained stationary and unleashed a hail or arrows. A few clan rats fell but nothing much. I managed to pull off a few augment spells though to support the Sea Guard and Sword Masters.

The Skaven turn and they advanced on my position. The Gutter runners were harassing my Sword masters using skirmish to dance around me and throw knives in my back. I managed to use the excellent High elf ability to dispel to ward of any Skaven magic attempts.

But then things started to go wrong. My Silver Helms failed a charge leaving them prey to a unit of rat ogres. The Skaven seemed weary of my Knights though and instead retaliated against the archers, who were easily cut down trying to flee (sorry for the really blurry photos from the iphone).

The gutter runners continued to annoy my sword masters and eventually killed enough for them to start running for the hills.

Amazingly this panicked my sea guard and they started running too.

I wasn't worried though as with such leadership they would probably reform and be ready to take a skaven charge. My Silver Helms were now happily slamming into the side of some Plague Monks but the stubborn rule really hurts me and they were left in combat for quite a while as we slowly whittled down their number.

Then disaster... I didn't notice the Skaven Grey Seer break away from the unit it was in and use the fact that my Archmage was running to cast the dreaded 13th spell (curse of the horned rat). Not that my running archmage made a difference as the skaven through every dice into it and cast it with irresistible force. 4D6 models were mutilated as the Grey Seer tried to mutate them into clan rats. I lost 20 of the 28 sea guard. Ouch!

With that the game was pretty much over. The rats horded around my Bolt Thrower and archers, destroying them. My reformed sword Masters kept getting bullied by the Gutter Runners and my sea Guard eventually ran off the table (after reformed, taking a charge and breaking again). The only useful unit was the Shadow Warriors who like the gutter runners started to run rings around the unit of clan rats of the far left. Eventually charging and seeing the unit off. But with high losses to every other unit and my general fleeing off the board to safety I conceded.

Losing that game probably meant I would lose control of a hex in my empire. But the Skaven were cowardly and scurried back into their tunnels, unable to face the retribution from the Elves I guess.

I other campaign news I did manage to take a hex close to the Bretonnian border, but now have an Undead army breathing down my neck. Lets see what turn 2 brings. You can follow the action on the Maelstrom of Dread blog I'm writing.

Tomorrow this blog is 1 year old. It's been a fun year. No doubt I'll post something reflective tomorrow. It did get me thinking though... and I have gone retro and started to paint a old archer to see how it compares to that photo on my very first blog post.

You will notice the Chariot wheels above. When I was moving my army to play the campaign game I dropped it. There were quite a few casualties including my chariots. Time to get the glue out.

I'm also adding another customised Prince and the mage from the Island of Blood set to my targets for June.

The funny for today... I just noticed 'blog' isn't in the spell check dictionary on blogger... oops.

Sunday, 3 June 2012


Well I somehow managed to complete the 7 rangers I needed for my first campaign battle tonight. Here they are...

Friday, 1 June 2012


Well it's almost a year since I started this blog. With that in mind I can't help feel I should return to Ulthuan and give the High Elves some love. Especially considering I'm running a campaign with them.

My first battle is on Sunday. I'm taking on a Skaven army. Its a 2500 point battle so I need a few more miniatures painted... And quickly. I'm going to try and field a small unit of 7 shadow warriors. I'm thinking their scout ability might come in useful.

So that's my initial goal for June.
Then I'm going to try and complete a unit of phoenix guard. I want a unit with a ward save for a change. So here is a picture of the shadow warriors... Gulp... Gonna be tough getting them done by sunday... I'm looking after a sick child too so even less painting time!