Games Workshop is rolling out a bunch of new Eldar models and they have been kind enough to send some of them to us to ahead of time! While these aren’t the first of new models to come out in this refresh, that honor having gone to those in Eldritch Omens, these four kits are all redone versions of existing plastic or metal models that people have been pining over for years so it’s no less momentous. To kick us off let’s look at some cute warlock buddies.
While these fellows are in theory lower rank than Farseers, their massive hero rocks and 32mm bases mean that the existing Farseer looks like a little baby next to them. It wouldn’t surprise me to see people do Farseer conversions to make use of that greater presence.
The build does have a highly amusing start in that the feet are separate pieces with no legs to accompany them, it’s worth mentioning that you might need to use a bit of superglue to tack them in place as they can get pushed out of place when attempting to attach the model to the scenic base piece.
I forgot to check this before I finished building them, but it sort of looks like the holsters in the box only fit with one or the other model, so you might end up with a two-pistol model and a no pistol model depending on how you build them. The box only comes with one of each weapon, but the contact points are simple enough that you probably will be able to raid your bits box for spares.
Colin: I really enjoyed building and painting the new Warlocks! The sculpts aren’t revolutionary, but they have a nice weight and I love the movement of the sword wielding Warlock. They’ll look right at home with the rest of your Seer Council. I eschewed the hero rocks on both models, opting instead to make bases for them, which was easy enough. The rocks aren’t integral to the balance of the models, which is always nice.
I painted them in a scheme I created for Craftworld She’enshar. Majority white armor and robes, with orange helmets, black weapons and aqua power blades/gems. I absolutely love this scheme. It’s simple, bold, a joy to paint and really pops on the table. Sadly, I have no plans for an Aeldari army, so hopefully someone else can put this scheme to use and on the table! I do have tutorials for this scheme on my Patreon, if you’d like to check them out!
I do wish there were more options in the kit, as you only get the one sword and one spear, these two heads plus an un-helmeted version, and the wizard-gesture hand vs. the shuriken pistol. A torso/head option to make a female Warlock would have been welcome as well, but they were not going for broke with the options here. So the kit is fine, but if you already have a coven of Warlocks, this kit isn’t a must.
Most people will agree the old guardian kit was showing its age with muddy details and somewhat annoying builds, fortunately GW has given us a completely redone kit and while the final models are surprisingly similar getting there is so much better. You don’t have to fear needing to huck all your existing models in the bin as the improvements are more in proportion and detailing rather than overall design, so they will fit together well. Interestingly they have kept the same connection style for the platform gun so guardians will remain a source for extra guns on your lords and walkers.
Once you get to building them it quickly jumps out that the details are crisp and well defined, plus they have managed to cut down on the number of parts per model on average with changes like backpack antenna being attached from the sprue. They have also gotten way more dynamic poses with even the standing models giving the implication of a pause in motion rather than waiting in line at a store. They have put roughly comparable versions of each of the stationary and moving poses in both the masculine and feminine models, although I would have preferred the counts of the two to be equal as there is a 6:4 split amongst them. I would probably say this is possibly the best troop models released so far, with a minimal number of distinct parts yet having great options for posing to keep each model unique.
Jack: The storm guardian kit was a complete joy to build. I’m not much of an elf-knower, so I only have the vaguest memories of building some guardians well over a decade ago, and I’ve never built storm guardians before. I think they were a finecast upgrade kit? Regardless, the mold lines are minimal, connection points simple, and poses are nice and dynamic.
I’ve only got two complaints, and they’re extremely minor. First, the arm counts in the instructions are just laughably wrong. They seem to have nine right handed weapons and no left handed ones, but there are definitely two left handed chainswords and ten right handed weapons, a mixture of swords and chainswords. Second, I can’t tell what the difference between swords and power swords is. It definitely seems like there is a difference, but what it is is a mystery. Doesn’t matter much, as you can always differentiate them with painting.
As the first new aspect warriors of this refresh, Dark Reapers got updated while keeping pretty much the same sort of dorky design lovingly rendered in modern plastic. They do end up with maybe a few too many individual pieces for such small models, but they go together nicely and there are a couple of alt builds on some models for variety. In some ways these are less dramatic to talk about as they are competent models without notable issues, there is one curiosity that you might notice after opening the new codex and see that while the unit lost going over five models the kit still has the option of not making a exarch.
Last but very much not least, we have the big goth himself, Maugan Ra!
The glow up this guy got is insane, everything up to this point is just nicely redone existing designs that could sit with the old and you wouldn’t be too fussed on the table. Maugan on the other hand got completely redesigned with a fantastically dynamic model oozing with character and festooned with beautiful details.
The new cloak and pose really invokes a lethal grim reaper aesthetic rather than just being a boney dork with a gun who can’t even point it at a target because of the blade. While I will be the first to admit this model is ridiculously over the top with everything, it is the kind of look that fits together and ends up being rad as hell.
This is a large lad too, the preview pictures honestly kind of undersell how big he is, he towers over regular elder infantry with thighs the size of a guardian’s torso!
The only complaint I can possibly have with this guy is super petty and is that the gem on his gun is attached to the sprue so you will have to waste a bit of effort scraping/sanding it smooth. Beyond that he went together well and even had some innovations in construction I haven’t really seen out of GW before, several the small detail parts have positive retention so it’s easy to attach them without fear of them drooping while the glue dries. I am very excited to see If GW can keep up this kind of quality in future fancy characters!
Colin: So, I may be in the minority here, but when I saw the Maugan-Ra model I was whelmed. Not overwhelmed. Not underwhelmed. Just whelmed. Like a slightly lower than room temperature glass of water on a very hot day. That’s not to say the model wasn’t long overdue for an update. It just doesn’t have the weight of the original sculpt for me (insert ‘the currently valid model is pewter’ joke). For me, it’s the straddling of two rocks, legs akimbo that has a very Drazhar feel to it, and I just can’t get past the hoop-skirt look of the rags he’s wearing with his little legs under there. It just doesn’t come across as a solid firing base to me. That being said, the visual cues from the original model are spot on, with the spinal totem rack on his back, Maugetar, and of course his hooded visage.
Rather than write of the model entirely, what I chose to do was to do a pretty extensive kitbash. When I saw the ‘Kainan’s Reapers’ Ossiarch Bonereapers warband for Warhammer: Underworlds, I thought Kainan ‘Bone Daddy’ himself would make a great base for a Maugan-Ra kitbash. While it had similar visual elements as GW’s Maugan-Ra: bone armor with some plate, a passive and balanced pose, hanging fetishes and a rag skirt, the biggest challenges were the absence of 40k elements and his sheer size. Kainan is enormous. That being said, I think the kitbash was very successful and I am really pleased with how the model turned out in the end.
In regards to his size, as you can see in the picture below, the Warlocks barely come up to his chest. I feel it’s important to mention here that I don’t play Eldar and will not be playing Eldar for the foreseeable future, so his size as it affects gameplay wasn’t a consideration for me. I think he’s of similar height as the splayed-legged hero-rock-mounting Maugetar-heaving version, but I wasn’t able to compare after chopping the latter to bits. If I were to hazard a guess, I would say my Maugan-Ra has a significantly beefier profile and presence than the GW kit.
Below are a few pictures of the finished kitbash. Fortunately, the Underworlds warband is cast in a different color plastic to standard GW kits, so it’s easy to tell which bits are Kainan and which are Maugan-Ra. I wanted to maintain the strongest visual cues from the GW model, as mentioned above, but with a more passive pose. Maugetar proved to be the biggest challenge, as expected, but the rest of the elements were pretty straightforward. As a caveat, I don’t use greenstuff/milliput when doing kitbashes. I have a hate-hate relationship with all things putty textured and just avoid using them wherever possible.
To mount his head, I removed Kainan’s and shaved the area until the hood fit in a natural way. The lower part had to be heated and pressed down to lay down against the chest, but other than that it was just a matter of flattening the top of the torso until it fit. Similarly, the shoulders were shaved down to accommodate the leering skull shoulder pads of the original model. The backpack fit very easily, and looks especially at home given that Kainan has vertebral armor running the length of the back of the model. some flattening between the shoulders and the backpack was on! The one tricky element to that was cutting and repositioning the topknot on the skull, as the skirt was flowing from right to left (looking at the model). It looked out of place to have the hair flowing left to right. A careful cut and pin allowed me to rotate the hair to where it flowed with the skirt.
Early on it became abundantly clear that I was not going to be able to have him wielding Maugetar with two hands. The chest sticks out too far and the arms are positioned too close to the body and in too static a pose. It wasn’t the end of the world, but it did mean I had to find him new hands, as well as figure out what to do with his left hand. Because of his size, standard infantry hands were way too small. Even Maugan-Ra’s hands were too small. Thankfully, I had some Wraithblade weapons in my bits box and they proved to be the perfect size. It did mean that Maugan-Ra is down a finger on each hand, but it’s a small price to pay.
To give Maugetar the proper grips, I used the bottom of a Wraithblade axe on the back and kept the majority of the Wraithblade sword grip and pommel in the right hand. I did have to cut the inside of the elbow joint to elevate the angle of the arm, as the scythe blade is huge! His left hand had nothing to do, so I decided to do a little throwback to the 2nd edition Dark Reaper Exarch with a Web of Skulls. To make the Web of Skulls, I used two pairs of skulls from a Drukhari trophy rack and drilled a little hole in the bottom of his hand to sink them into his grip. The addition of a couple of clips of Shuriken on his hip added a little more 40k to the model and the kitbash was done! Overall, I’m really happy I decided to do this kitbash and I’m glad to have this model in my collection.