In setting a first target for the project, I thought I’d draw up an initial army list of 1,000. My main criteria were that it contain a range of easier to assemble and paint models, that they be entirely from the plastic ranges and that they not be suited for somewhat competitive all comers play.
Bouncing ideas around on the 40k Online forum, I arrived at what felt like a sound foundation. Wraithguard and Wraithblade units are great looking models, and being larger scale than eldar infantry should be a little more forgiving in terms of easing back into painting.
Following them, I’ll add a small Windrider unit – another effective unit with great models and large plastic sections to paint. Again, hopefully an easier route back into painting than the smaller scale infantry.
In terms of cost the basic box of four Guardians looked like a great investment. Not wanting Guardians in the force (too soft and out of keeping with an exploratory force, plus fewer points thus more models needed to hit the initial 1,000 points), I opted for a squad of Dire Avengers. These will be the Guardian models, with a Dire Avenger model as the unit’s Exarch. I might add some minor conversion to tie the models together a little more, but as the leader of the army’s largest squad I’m comfortable the Exarch model be significantly more glamorous than the other squad members.
From there I will likely paint the Farseer – taken for the exceptional model, and initially to count as the more expensive Psyker. With the 1,000 points painted I may downgrade this to a Spiritseer and add further troops, depending on how I develop the character backstory. GW have an exceptional Farseer model on foot which looks suitable for use in the spotlight within a smaller force, or blended into a bigger army later.
Rather than additional Dire Avengers as first planned, I decided to add two other Aspect Warrior groups to add some variety in play and drama in painting. These will be Fire Dragons and Striking Scorpions, yet with the nuisance that those models only come in resin at present I will convert. The Craftworld’s backstory will involve significant trauma and destruction, and millennia away from other Eldar worlds. As such, it will have few Aspect shrines, and those it does have will have diverged from tradition.
The Fire Dragons I will create from Dark Eldar Kabalite Warriors, using the “shredder” component and a consistent head across the squad. The loin cloths looking too feral I will smooth and shape these, or even replace them with a consistent green stuff equivalent. The Exarch will have a “dark lance” from the Kabalite kit to stand in as “fire pike”. Whilst “blasters” would have looked more like the “Fire Dragon” fusion guns, “shredders” were all I could find on eBay or bitz sites. Thus I will revise this unit as a lightning wielding equivalent of Fire Dragons. Name to be determine, but perhaps Storm Kraken to summon the vision of flailing tendrils of lightning and the darker, more sinister feel of the Kabalite armour.
The Striking Scorpions will likely be less more, but more of a stretch. I have a large number of Witch Elves left from my Dark Elf army, thus will use these. Most of the rules will need to be recreated from suspension of disbelief as I do not currently intend to convert the Witch Elf weapon choices to include a shuriken pistol. Perhaps those are simply thrown knives, the mandiblasters roll to wound indicative of further mastery of knives, etc. This feels a little weak, so when approaching this unit – likely last due to difficulty in painting the faces professionally – I will decide what if anything to change. Worst case I will be looking to tie them in with paint work, basing and fluff alone.
The 1,000 point list then looks as follows;
Farseer with singing spear – 120
5x Wraithblades with ghostswords – 175
5x Wraithguard with wraithcannon – 200
3x Windriders with shuriken cannon – 96
10x Dire Avengers, Exarch with shimmershield/powerglaive – 187
5x Fire Dragons, Exarch with fire pike – 120
5x Striking Scorpion, Exarch with basic kit – 95
TOTAL – 993