Starting Dark Eldar - Truly For The Masochistic

I am a habitual project starter. In a previous post you can see where I decided to not buy any more models until everything I had was complete. A few weeks after starting the great clean up I caved when I saw some Dark Eldar Warriors for sale really cheap on eBay. One would ask why I was looking for Dark Eldar miniatures on eBay in the first place but that isn't important.

A few days after winning the auction my goods arrived. I had already decided that I wanted to paint these guys up pretty quick - no use spending tons of time painting an ugly model. What is the saying? Something about putting makeup on a turd.

Everyone dogs on the Dark Eldar models. It is hard not to - they are just so old. When I started putting together the models I quicky realized there were two poses - gun up, or gun across chest. This really made me appreciate the newer kits and all the variety of poses that they have.

As I was putting together the models I was looking at this little mountain of spikey bits. I know that Dark Eldar are supposed to be pointy and dark, but I just couldn't bring myself to glue all these little spikes on them. It just seemed excessive. So I left the extra spikes off. Looking at the guns they also looked like they had too many spikes/blades. Do you really need a bayonet on your grip when you have one on the barrel? I decided that my little raiding dark ones did not so I cut it off.

Something else about these guys make them for the truly masochistic - the plastic they are made from do not want to take glue and none of the arms line up. I have never ran into this before. Since switching over to Gorilla Super Glue I have not had a problem getting models to stick together. These guys just don't want to stay put together. This is compounded by the fact that none of the pairs of arms will lign up correctly. I am having to twist the arms and position them just right to get the 'holder arm' to line up with the 'gun arm' so that there aren't any big gaps.

For all the hate I just spilled on these guys I must say that by the time I had finished putting them together the little guys had really grown on me. The models are really dated but I think that if you leave the extra spikes off and trim the one off the blades they don't look that bad. It is adding in all the 'hurr - we are spikey!' bits that make them look so goofy.

After the gluey mess finally dried it was time to paint one of these guys up. My first choice in color scheme was a nice dark red with bright red highlights. I was inspired by LittleBoyBlues posts on his Khorne Daemons so I went and bought some Testor's Red Spraypaint. I primed the model black and then sprayed it with the red paint. I let it dry and then added some red highlights. It looked terrible. I don't know what I did but it just didn't pop for me. I had failed at painting Dark Eldar.

I was heart broken. I was staring to wonder if I could ever figure out how to paint Dark Eldar.

Well, I was actually more mad than I was heart broken but I didn't let that get me down! I decided that I would bring back a color scheme from some Space Marines that I had started before my Imperial Fists took off.

The final color scheme I settled on was a white scheme with bright blue accent colors. I let my wife pick out the blue. I was leaning towards read but she said that I always do something red or something dark and she wanted me to do something bright.

The process for painting these guys is really straight forward -
  • Prime the model white
  • Wash the whole model with Gryphonne Sepia
  • Highlight the edges of the model with a mix of Bleached Bone/Skull White
  • Highlight the extreme edges with Skull White
  • Paint the gun and helmet plume with Foundation Mordian Blue
  • Drybrush/Highlight the gun and plume with P3 [[ ? ]]
  • Drybrush/Highlight the gun and plume with Ice Blue
  • Paint any metal Mithril Silver - This is predominately the blades on the Dark Eldar weapons
  • Base and Seal

Easy as that.

So far I am happy with the color scheme - it turned out way better than my attempts at red. I am a bit scared of painting a vehicle this way as I am just not sure how it will turn out. I am also leery of buying any Dark Eldar vehicles at the moment - they are rumored to be getting an entire range of new Dark Eldar models when they do the new Dark Eldar codex (hopefully later this year). I figure I can blend in some warriors but if the new vehicles look a ton better than the old ones (won't take much) then I don't want a bunch of jalopy looking skimmers on the field.