Sunday, 6 January 2019

Middlehammer Elf Army

January is a good time to make plans, start new projects and revisit those that have stalled. Before all that, I thought it would be a nice idea to look back, way back in this case, with some pictures of my first elf army. Based on the contents of the boxset fourth edition of Warhammer Fantasy Battle that I bought in 1992, it was a few years before I had the courage to attempt to paint it. It would have been the mid 90's when I finally completed it. I took it to many a tournament on the circuit, including Sheffield, Preston, Manchester as well as Warhammer World in Nottingham. I came second place in painting at a tournament there and had the army photographed by the studio, but alas it was never printed in White Dwarf. I did finally grab a best painted army trophy in 1999, at a tournament in Sheffield. Twenty years ago!


These would have been the first figures I painted. I always started an army with a unit or two of infantry, a habit I have kept to this day. The spearmen and archers are the original monopose plastics from the boxset. The spear command group are metals, they were sold three figures in a blister for three or four pounds at the time. Note they are ranked up four figures wide, this was legal in the earlier edition of the game. The mage and bolt thrower were both metals, the colour scheme almost certainly copied from the pages of White Dwarf.


More infantry in a large block of swordmasters. These were metal figures, I think they were originally sold at three to a blister for five pounds. As with the spearmen, the banner is paper, hand painted and then fixed to the pole. I designed this banner myself rather than copy from the army book, a bold move at that time. 

The mounted mage is an oddity. I think the rider was originally part of a wood elf sorceress on unicorn model. I think I replaced her hat with sculpted hair and modified the staff, though my memory on this is a bit hazy. I was obviously gaining confidence, metal conversions!


I was always hesitant to add cavalry to my armies, I had a slight phobia about painting horses. I did actually buy a box of the caparisoned Silver Helms, but never plucked up courage to paint them. These are Ellyrion Reavers bought later with the newer style horses. The riders are painted nicely enough, the shields are transfers. A unit of fast cavalry like this were essential, to gallop round to the enemy's rear and knock out the inevitable battery of artillery pieces. 


This chariot is a little bit odd, for some reason I have mounted it on a huge base. I don't think this caused any problems at the time, probably doing myself a dis-service by allowing so many strikes back. In that version of the game, the horses, crew and chariot all had their own profile. 


Finally the commanders of the army. Eltharion the Grim on his griffon Stormclaw - how I loved the fluff for this mighty hero back then. In tournaments I tended to use the more points efficient hero on pegasus, tooled up with a no doubt nasty combination of magic items. I remember being particularly pleased with the griffon base as I had built it from milliput. The fact that these pieces were taken to many a tournament without damage to the wings is probably a bigger achievement - metal wings feel so heavy in the hand now.

As I said in the intro, the first parts of this army were bought in 1992, so that's nearly 27 years ago. It was all painted within five years and then played with repeatedly, before I retired from the tournament scene. It's my oldest surviving army, the rest have been sold down the years, but this is my first love, my firstborn in a sense. It seems completely bizarre that it's a quarter century old. Right, that's my nostalgia trip complete, it was nice reminiscing, though I do feel quite ancient now!

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

WOW....lovely work sir !

(Kym) + Warburton + (Classic40K) said...

Fantastic army...thanks for sharing the story.

Michal Kucharski DwarfCrypt said...

Awesome work again! Like army in White Dwarf many, many years ago ;)

Nord said...

Yes it was many, many, many years ago - thanks for that reminder! ;)

Lachdannan said...

Love those old High ELves, I have a bunch myself. Thanks very much for sharing, and the painting is superb!

Matt Crump said...

Great looking army, they don’t loose their character with age 🙂

Nord said...

Some things improve with age, a fine wine, a good cheese, or a vintage Warhammer collection, though not my hairline.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...