Warhammer - From Boltguns and Lascannons to Spears and Eagles

So, as I revealed earlier I am beginning the exciting journey into another game system and starting up a new army.

I have been looking forward to starting up a Warhammer army for quite some time now. I was first introduced to Games Workshop through collecting a Dwarf army way back in 3rd edition (around then). Returning to the hobby last year it was far easier to start up in 40k but now that I have an established army branching out is an option.

The new miniatures that GW have been churning out (I have been following since Lizardmen last year) look very impressive and have actually over shadowed the 40k releases in my view. It is a shame the barrier to entry is more prominent in Warhammer - Space Marines are just a much more affordable and easy way into the hobby. Large ranks of spearmen and other infantry are an appealing aesthetic that immediately makes the game look visually different from 40k right from the outset. In addition, you get dragons! Some of the other beasts and war machines are very impressive too. The 2013 dinosaurs released for Lizardmen really blew me away with their scale, level of detail and posing.

I am also looking forward to the potential for new modelling projects. Characters will be especially fun, the options available for magic users or melee champions is very exciting. I also have been reading about how people use unit fillers to both avoid having to build a huge amount of models for one unit and to add interesting details and fluff to a force.

Choosing an Army

The new Dwarfs are highly tempting, again another solid release from Games Workshop. They seem particularly on the ball with infantry units right now. The standard Dark Elf Dreadspears box from last year was subtle and elegant - pulling off the delicate silhouette that, until now, was only displayed in their art. The models themselves always appeared rather too bulky and awkward (fat hands). However the set that has really captured my imagination was the High Elf Shadow warriors / Sisters of Avelorn. Similar to the Dark Elves, these models also reflect the elegance one would expect.

Reading their backstory, I enjoy the theme of a race entitled 'the protectors of the old world' even if I do think a 'dying race' is a little bit of an overdone trope with Elves. My Elves will not be dying (hopefully). I also like how many different types of flying beasts they have. Dragon's, griffons, eagles, phoenixes - the variation is great. A flying host, gathered to protect the old world from the evil machinations of chaos is sounding pretty fun to me.

Theme & Colour Scheme

I'm all about creating armies and stories in grim dark worlds and my High Elves will be no different. They maybe a 'good' race fighting against the forces of darkness but there will always be sinister undertones to weave into an armies characters and theme. I want to reflect this in the colour scheme I go for. I am fascinated by John Blanche art and the style of miniatures it has inspired. I'd love to take the Glittering Host away from their normal appearance and into this area using pastels, faded colours and a limited palette. 

I have a few minimalistic colour schemes in mind.

Set #1

These two involve very desaturated browns and blues. I am sure I would go darker in recesses and shading. Using a very faded set of colours gives me the opportunity to throw in occasional bright splashes of colour that will really stand out in contrast. Could be good for magical weapons or banners for example.

Set #2

I am also a fan of a set of deep earth tones. I really like Forgeworld weathering powders which I'd like to use to give my units a far more gritty and battle worn look. I have not seen them used on Warhammer units before, they are mostly kept clean. I do very much want to try out red earth bases on whatever colour scheme I use.

Set #3

This is a similar style to the first sets that use very desaturated colours in contrast to sparse splashes of colour. This time the tones move over to grey-blues and creams. I like the idea of never getting to a true black or true white but always just slightly off with a hint of colour. It's a more subtle look but hard to pull off.

Here are several pieces of art (Several Games Workshop artists and art from Kekai Kotaki who I am a big fan of) that are also helping me generate ideas. Enjoy!

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