Sunday, 7 May 2017

Metal High Elves

It's twenty-five years since I bought my first copy of Warhammer Fantasy Battle! It was the fourth edition of the game rules, but the first time that a boxed set containing two starter armies had been released. I can remember playing my first game with my two brothers on my mum's sewing table using the plastic figures and cardboard heroes. Those two armies were High Elves and Night Goblins - possibly to attract latent Tolkien fans, who knows? It certainly worked on me, I bought into the High Elves in a very big way. I drooled over the figures and the articles in White Dwarf and bought the army book as soon as I could. Even though the starter figures were all single pose, it really captured my imagination. But it was a very daunting task to paint up all that grey plastic to the standard in the books and magazines, so I started with something easier (Undead), hoping to come back to the elves when I had more skill.


It was a few years (he said vaguely, obviously unable to remember the exact timeline) before I attempted to paint those plastic elves, but eventually I worked my way through them and even added a few metal figures as I went along. It was a slow process because I was a working man with a young family, hobby time was scarce. I plodded on, grabbing an hour or two here or there every few weekends. After a couple of years (I think), I had painted up the army. It was a huge achievement for me at the time. That army still sits in my glass cabinet, a real milestone in my hobby life. I must get some pictures of it for the blog some time.

Fast forward to the summer of 2015 and the sad news that the Old World had been destroyed. The internet erupted with a storm of rage and indigation, with players abandoning the game, selling off their old armies - there was even one infamous youtube episode of an army being burned. I had gradually drifted away from playing the game by then, but still collected and painted. Luckily not all the rage-quitters were quite so incensed and many expressed their anguish through ebay and forum sales. For a few months, it was a good time to be a buyer. I picked up a sizeable collection of metal elves over that summer and put it to one side. I think it was part nostalgia, part my love of a bargain. 

Most of the figures below are from that era. The archers and spearmen are the metal equivalents of that first starter set, while the white lions I think came a little later. The final picture of shadow warriors and character packs are from much later still, probably sixth edition or so. This represents a decent sized army from fourth edition, units were commonly only twelve or sixteen strong (multiples of four were common as ranks back then were just four wide). I have a large amount of mounted figures too, some of them bought back in the early 1990's, some picked up in the rage storm of 2015. 

It would be nice to do something with these figures, to mark my silver anniversary in the game. Laid out like this, they do have a vaguely jewelled look to them. With all my other ongoing projects it would be complete madness to start another one, but it does seem a tempting proposition. I would base and organise them with Saga in mind, but with fond memories of all those past games of Warhammer Fantasy Battle. Let's wait and see what the summer brings.





6 comments:

Michał Kucharski said...

I start my own Warhammer history with the same edition. But my first minis are these goblin archers clone :)

Old Fogey said...

I think I still have some of those goblin archers, so boring to paint!

Michał Kucharski said...

I agree! ooO new background? great one:)

Matt Crump said...

Quite a lead mountain ! Nice figures though 😀

Old Fogey said...

That's probably about half of it, there are a few more archers on foot and lots of horse troops too, but I think these will go together well as a Chrace force.

Philfy said...

I've been busily collecting and painting up my own nostalgic set of metal elves as well - although with The Ninth Age in mind. Metal Phoenix Guard, Armoured Archers, Spearmen... there is just something satisfying about holding that piece of aged metal in ones hand... and then feeling a sense of revulsion picking up the same model made out of finecast lol.

My first love army wise was also Elves - and from the same box set as you talk about here...

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