Magnetizing Guide – Dark Eldar Talos/Cronos

This is a modelling guide explaining how I converted the Games Workshop, Dark Eldar Talos/Cronos, so it can be  also used as both a TalosPain Engine and a Cronos Parasite Engine.

In this guide I’ll be using a lot of magnets, using magnets is probably the easiest way of making interchangeable components. Blue Demon  magnets are a great range

First you need to divide the model into several components, I’ll go through each one individually explaining where the magnets go. I’ll assume you stick the magnets in place, in the right orientation (relative to adjacent components)

1 – HIPS – Heres the first component, it will be glued to the rest of the body, but i’m describing it as a separate component as the magnets have to be attached before it is fully assembled. Cut away at the “bottom” and “back” attachment areas creating holes, insert a piece of greenstuff for the magnets to rest against, I used a large magnet for the tail as this is quite a large piece.

2 – WEAPONS – The left weapon hand can be interchangeable, there are a few option, but only 2 arm plates. Chose the 2 weapons you want to change between, and construct them. Drill a hole where the piece meets the upper arm, and insert a magnet.

3 – BODY – Build the body, and attach the hip piece, before fixing on the carapace, cut away the top piece of the neck, and glue in one magnet, this will allow the helmet to be attached. Drill into each arm socket and glue in a magnet.

4 – HELMET – Nice easy one, put a small magnet into each helmet. Its best to use the helmets without holes in, as i found out when i super-glued one to my finger.

5 – TAIL – A simple magnet on each end will do, you may need to cut a little plastic away to make a flat surface.

6 – GUNS – Glue in a magnet into the back of the gun, leave off the cover on the top of the gun as this is interchangeable. it just slots in so no magnet is required.

7 – CRONOS ARMS – Attach a magnet at the shoulder joint of each arm.

8 – LEFT ARM – This is a piece that must join two other components, so a magnet at each end is required.

9 – SOUL THING – Quite a small surface to attach the magnet here, so a small strong magnet is needed.

10 – OTHER THING – A weird little component here, I worked out the magnets either side need to be attached so their repelling each other so glue one on, wait for it to dry, then carefully attach the second.

11 – TENTACLES – You need quite a strong magnet here.

12 – RIGHT ARM – Another easy one, a single magnet at the shoulder joint.

And there we are, your Talos, can now also be a Cronos!

Pick up the Dark Eldar Talos Pain Engine from Big Orbit Games at 22% off*.

*Accurate as of 27th June 2011.

New Warhammer 40,000 Dark Eldar

New plastic kits for Warhammer 40,000 Dark Eldar have now been unveiled by Games Workshop – here are our first impressions.

Dark Eldar Scourges

The new Dark Eldar Scourges multi-part plastic kit replaces the old metal miniatures that haven’t been available for a while.

These new miniatures are as big an improvement on the old metals as the new Kabalite Warriors and Wyches were on their previous incarnations,  when they were released last year. The wings look awesome and the number of weapon options is impressive. A big thumbs up from all at Big Orbit games. Click here for pics.

Pre-order the new Dark Eldar Scourges at 20% off* here: Dark Eldar Scourges

Dark Eldar Talos Pain Engine / Cronos Parasite Engine

Games Workshop have listed these in two seperate entries on their website but they are in fact a single kit. I’m loving the Talos Pain Engine, especially the arms. I’m really not liking the Cronos at all however, the tentacles are just too much. I feel that if they were just at the front it would work, but front and back is overkill.
Click here for Talos pics & here for Cronos pics.

The Dark Eldar Talos Pain Engine has been available before and is a big improvement on the old metal model, the Cronos Parasite Engine is an all new model.

Pre-order the Dark Eldar Talos Pain Engine / Cronos Parasite Engine here at 20% off*: Dark Eldar Talos Pain Engine / Cronos Parasite Engine

Dark Eldar Venom

Personally I’ve been waiting for the Venom since the new Dark Eldar Codex was released and the kit looks as good as I’d hoped. The Wyches should hopefully be easily swappable with the Kabalite miniatures that come with the Raider, allowing the option of representing the troop type being carried in either vehicle. Click here for pics.

Pre-order the new Dark Eldar Venom at 20% off* here: Dark Eldar Venom

*Prices correct as of 11th May 2011.

Dark Eldar Wyches Review

Wyches are Dark Eldar who have devoted their entire existence to the mastery of gladiatorial fighting. In the arenas of Commorragh they battle each other, slaves and captured beasts all for the amusement of the depraved spectators coming from all levels of Dark Eldar society. Whenever the Kabals gather force to raid real space the Archons will go to great lengths to enlist the support of the Succubi and their Wyche Cults.

Wyches are a Troops choice for the Dark Eldar, though this kit can also be used to build a Succubus HQ model or even the Elite Hekatrix Bloodbrides.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Hekatrix

I have always been a fan of the Dark Eldar, heck I even enjoyed the old models, especially the Wyches. However the test of time wasn’t very kind to them, luckily GW finally revisited the Dark Eldar this year. The Wyches may be my favourites models in the new range, they just looks so dynamic and agile.

The Dark Elder Wyches boxed set contains enough parts for 10 Wyches on two plastic sprues and costs 15 pounds (or 12,30 if you buy them from Big Orbit games).

ON CLOSER INSPECTION

The box gives you a whopping 92 pieces to put together 10 Wyches in a large variety of ways. Each Wyche comes in a minimum of seven pieces; 2 chest pieces, a set of arm, a set of legs and a head. Wyches are described as being pre-dominantly female and the box gives part for six female and four males, interesting to note though is that nearly all men have partially obscured faces. So the focus is definitely on the ladies in this kit.

All the legs have been labelled to make assembly more straightforward, although with a bit of cutting and conversion work you will be able to put legs together that normally won’t fit. Though this will require more work it will enable you to add even more poses to a large Wyche Cult army.

In addition to enough bits to arm all your Wyches with their basic kit you also get the necessary materials to put together a Hekatrix leader, as well as a set of all the special Wyche weapons. The Hekatrix comes with all the available options, save for a Venom Blade and the Phantasm Grenade Launcher. The first is easily solved as a quick green wash over a metal blade will make it look rather venomous. The Launcher is more challenging to solve, though you can of course borrow one from a Kabalite Warriors box.

The only downside of the kit is that you only get one of each special Wyche weapon while a standard Wyche unit will be able to upgrade one mini per five with a special weapon (Hekatrix Bloodbrides can even upgrade one per three mini). So if you want to add two of the same weapons you will need to get a second box or get a little creative.

TIP: Want to add more of the same weapon, but don’t have the bits or extra cash? Then take a hint from the Imperial Guard and field those special weapons in weapon teams. Simply give one Wyche the Impaler and another the Shardnet, the same goes for the Razorflails and the Hydra Gauntlets. Don’t forget to remove the splinter pistol or close combat weapon from the other hand, this as the special weapon is meant to replace both of these.

The special Wyche Weapons also look great and even come with some extras. The Shardnet and Impaler are not much more than a net and spear, but this isn’t true for the other weapons. The Razorflails are weapons that can be fielded as both swords and whips and you actually get two weapons, one in each form. I thought it is also rather cool that you get a special, ritually-scarred head to go with the set. And finally we have the Hydra Gauntlets, whose wielders have a fully armoured helmet that will offer the needed extra protection when wielding these sharp and shattering weapons.

ON THE TABLETOP

Wyches are superb close combat fighters but they definitely need an effective delivery device in order to get the most out of them. If left to walk across the battlefield they won’t last long, possessing on a 6+ save. You basically have three different methods of getting them into close combat, mount them on a Raider, a Venom (only suited for small units up to 5 models) or let them arrive through a Webway Portal.

Once they get stuck in though things get very interesting as they are both able to assault into cover and have a healthy 4+ save once in close combat. Add in a Hekatrix and a few weapons and you have a very formidable fighting force that will rack up a pain token very fast giving them Feel No Pain as a bonus.

The special Wyche weapons are also rather interesting. The Impaler and Shardnet will allow you to take away attacks, which can be very effective again strong and high attack opponents. Razorflails, on the other hand, will allow the wielder to re-roll failed to hit and to wound rolls. And, finally, Hydra Gauntlet will give you +D6 rather than the normal +1 attacks, making this an ideal weapon when wielded against large masses of weaker opponents.

The Elites version of the Wyches, the Hekatrix Bloodbrides, quite simply do the same as Wyches just better and with more special weapons. Furthermore you can also make a HQ Succubus mini with this kit. Being the cheapest HQ choice and adding them to a Wyche squad will often ensure they make it into close combat to do quite a bit of damage.

PAINTING AND CONVERSION OPPORTUNITIES

Like pretty much all the new Dark Eldar toys Wyches require a bit of time and work to look decent. With the many different layers (skin, Wyche suit, Wyche armour, trophies etc) and segmented armour it is easy to mess things up. My main advice would be to take your time with each mini as it will really show once they’re all done.

For conversion opportunities you could look at the unhelmeted heads from the Kabalites kit, leftovers from the Hellions and there are even a few ideal bits on the Raider sprue to make your own Impaler and Shardnet! The pictures of painted Wyches in this article make use of these simple, yet quite effective bitswaps to add even more variety to the unit.

You could also use a combination of Wyche and Hellion bits to make a custom Beastmaster. Finally, if we are to believe the rumors, Games Workshop will be releasing a plastic Venom kit in a few months which is supposed to come with some Wyche crew hanging off it. Those bits are bound to add even more cool bits to make your Wyches even more dynamic and deadly! Given that Wyches are quite affordable it may even be worth to buy an extra box to replace the Raider and Ravager crews, which would look great in a full Wyche Cult-themed force.

SUMMARY

The Wyches plastic kit comes with enough bit to make 10 Wyches with nearly all of the options available to them in the codex. The models are very dynamic and versatile, being interchangeable with most other Dark Eldar and even Eldar plastic kits.

The minis are easy to put together, requiring minimal preparation work, which is a good thing as the paintjob can be challenging at times. There is no arguing with the end result though, they really do look the part of sci-fi gladiators!

Furthermore the kit is quite affordable, so those amongst us who have been dreaming of fielding a full Wyche Cult army can finally have a go at them. Heck the only flaw I can find with this kit is that you only get a single set of each of the special Wyche weapons

So the final verdict is 9 out of ten stars!

Dark Eldar Wyches

*Accurate as of the 18th of December 2010

Dark Eldar Mandrakes review

Though their origins are shrouded in mystery, there is one thing all Dark Eldar are in agreement about: Mandrakes are to be feared by all. Part Dark Eldar, part something much, much worse, Mandrakes are creatures of darkness. Darting from shadow to shadow they feed upon the suffering of others, utilizing the harnessed, raw power to freeze the unsuspecting with blasts of shilling energy.

With dark, rune-carved skin, while wielding wicked, saw-edged blades and wearing the flayed skin of those who betrayed them, the Mandrakes stalk the battlefield appearing out of nowhere, channelling their chilling auras to reduce their victims to shattered heap of frozen flesh and armour.

Mandrakess are an Elites choice for the Dark Eldar, competing with such units as Incubi, Grotesques, Wracks, Harlequins, Kabalite Trueborn and the Hekatrix Bloodbrides.

First impressions

There is no denying that people got really, really exciting when the first Mandrake preview popped up on the Games Workshop site. For those in doubt about the Asian influence in the Dark Eldar design, it became quite clear when looking at the excellent design of these miniatures.

The Dark Eldar Mandrakes boxed set contains 5, multi-part, metal miniatures, and costs 18 pounds (or 14,56 if you buy it from Big Orbit games!). Thus making the set equally expensive as the five men strong Incubi boxed set. Though the box is certainly not cheap, this is to be expected given we are dealing with metal miniatures.

On closer inspection

Upon opening the box we are met by five metal miniatures, though sadly there are only three different poses in there. I can’t help but feel that it wouldn’t have taken GW a lot of extra effort to add two more poses. Each Mandrake comes in two parts: the body and their flaming left arm. In principle, each arm is modelled to fit one, specific body. So, without investing some extra time and effort, this does mean that you will end up with only three, differently posed Mandrakes.

Naturally I wanted to make my Mandrakes a bit different than the usual, straight out of the box unit. As a result all Mandrakes you can see in the pictures have been subtly converted. Two additional tools were used to accomplish this, a pinvice and green stuff modelling putty:

TIP – To add some easy variation to your Mandrakes you can exchange some of their weapons by gently cutting them off at the wrist. Next use a pinvice with a small drill to carefully drill holes in both the loose hand and sword, as well as the arms. It is a good idea to first use a sharp modelling knife to drill a starting hole in both the hand and the arm, as this will prevent nasty slips with the pinvice. Once you’re done drilling, cut a paperclip up and use the newly acquire metal rod to securely attach the hand to its new arm. Sure this takes some extra work, but the pin will prevent silly breaking accidents. For those wanting to add even more special touches to their Mandrakes I’d suggest having a go a using Green Stuff modelling putty to, for example, cover up a rune or two, make their Balefire larger, add extra hair or even to adjust the shapes of the skirts worn by the Mandrakes.

On the tabletop

Mandrakes are able to appear out of nowhere and move about rather fast due to their Fleet, Infiltrate, Move Through Cover and Stealth rules. Much like most Dark Eldar, they are fairly fragile being only Toughness 3 and having a 5+ Invulnerable Save. Mandrakes will really benefit from getting a Pain Token, as this will give them the Feel No Pain bonus available to most Dark Eldar. Not only will the Pain Token make them more durable, it will also activate their ranged Balefire shooting attack.

Sadly I fear that Mandrakes will have way too much competition from the other Elites choices available in the Dark Eldar codex. They require even more finesse and planning to use effectively than other units. And as a result there will not be many competitive gamers, especially those attending tournaments, that will include this stunning looking unit in their army.

Regardless Mandrakes are fantastic for gamers putting together themed armies, painters will have a blast with the many different textures and let’s just face it, they really look fantastic! I am even tempted to use them as count as Ur-Ghuls (tough fighting pets that can be included in an Archon’s Court).

Painting and conversion opportunities

Let me be frank here, Mandrakes are a serious challenge. The runes on their skin are quite small, their dark skin takes time and painting fire isn’t always the easiest thing. Nonetheless I absolutely love these miniatures! In the past I have dealt with tough minis taking me less time than the Mandrakes, but that almost drove me insane nonetheless. The Mandrakes, challenging as they may be, are a delight to paint up. With every new element you add paint to they really start coming alive.

Click on picture for a closer look!

TIP – Dealing with the Mandrake runes can be a tricky thing, this is mainly because you are working with an inverted colour scheme. Normally the deeper areas are darker, however the Mandrake runes glow with eldritch energies. I would advice starting from a white, or light, undercoat. After all it is no problem to paint the dark skin of a Mandrake over a white undercoat. The runes and their Balefire arms as well as the flayed skin skirts, on the other hand, will greatly benefit from the lighter undercoat.

Secondly, there is the matter of Balefire. Personally I like to paint fire in a realistic manner, meaning that the combustion source (in this case the Mandrake’s arm) is the place where the most energy is released. As a result this spot is the lightest part of the flame, the further away from the combustion source the greater the chance of other colours showing up in the flame.

Summary

The Mandrakes boxed set contains enough metal parts to make five Mandrakes, in three basic poses. Without some conversion work you are unfortunately stuck with these distinct poses, something that does impact my final evaluation of this product.

If you do decide to invest the extra time to do some converting you can fairly easily make your unit unique. Even if you decide not to convert your Mandrakes you will be spending quite a bit of time to make their paintjob look good. On the one hand I have a hard time justifying spending so much time on a unit that, at its maximum, is 90 points, On the other hand though they are fantastic to paint up, the minis really come alive as you come closer and closer to their completion.

Gamewise the Mandrakes are certainly not a bad choice, they are quite good at what they do. However, I can’t help but feel that we will only rarely see them used in the more competitive armybuilds. Given that you can only buy the boxed set you are basically forced to take Mandrakes in multiples of five, something that is sadly also true for the new Incubi.

In conclusion, I personally love the Mandrakes, but given their limited poses and the significant amount of time you have to invest to make them look have decent, particularly if you are a starting painter, I can only give this boxed set seven stars.

7/10

7 out of 10

Dark Eldar Mandrakes

*Accurate as of the 4th of December 2010

Dark Eldar Hellions review

Hellions are Dark Eldar that have live an existence outside the normal ‘protection’ of a kabal, instead they roam the desolate regions of Commorragh in large groups, who move about on agile, fast-moving skyboards.

Wild and unpredictable the different Hellion gangs have been known to hire out their services to Kabals on raids, using their Hellglaive and skyboards to capture victims and claim grizzled trophies in battle.

Hellions are a Fast Attack choice for the Dark Eldar.

First Impressions

When the first picture of the new Hellions was released I was rather uncertain about them, but know I have the actual sprues in my hands I do have to say that these models continue the excellent design seen on the other Dark Eldar releases.

The Dark Eldar Hellions boxed set, which contains 2 A5 sized sprues, and costs the same as both the Kabalite Warriors and Wyches boxed sets.

Dark Eldar Hellions Sprues
Dark Eldar Hellions Sprues

On Closer Inspection

On the sprues you will find enough bits and bobs to put together 5 Hellions, one of which can be a Helliarch leader. In addition, all options available in the codex for a Hellion troupe of 5 men, are also included. Your Helliarch can be armed with a phantasm grenade launcher, a venom blade, a power weapon, an agoniser and even the rather cool-looking stunclaw. And, of course, these sprues also come with an assortment of extra skulls, spikes and trophies to add to your Hellions.

Naturally the kit has a small instruction manual giving details about what is what and how everything goes together. A nice little bonus is that the spare page of this manual has an excellent Hellion artpiece on it, which you can also see in the codex on page 16.

The Hellions themselves, though in line with the design of both the Reavers and Wyches, have a quite unique feel to them. They come across more tribal and brutal as a result of their tighter, torn Wyche suites, screaming mouth masks and grizzled trophies.

Ball & Socket Joint
Flying Stand Ball & Socket Joint

Each Hellion is mounted on a stylish and rather speedy-looking Skyboard. Each of these boards is mounted on a 3” base using a clear plastic rod. These rods both solve an old issue and leave another unresolved. On the one hand the rods are still notoriously difficult to fully insert into the hole on the base, pressure is needed and the danger of breaking is quite real. At the same they we no longer need to worry about the rod breaking off clean at its connection point on the mini. Heck no, each rod now comes with a ball at the end and the Skyboard has a nice socket on its bottom half. So we have less unrepairable breaking and more posing opportunities not only with this kit, but also with the Raider, Ravager and Reaver Jetbikes.

TIP – I would advice using clippers to remove the Skyboards from their sprues, this as most of the points were they are attached to the sprues are curved. That way you can easily use a hobby knife and a file later to keep the curved surfaces intact.

Hellion Skyboards
Hellion Skyboards

We then come to the Hellion bodies. Like the other plastic kits each torso comes with a front and back part and allows you to make three male and two female Hellions. You also get five pairs of legs, four of which are split in half. Luckily GW added a nice little A-D on the inside of each leg to prevent any botched poses.

TIP – It is best not to glue the Skyboard to the base until you have finalized the pose of its rider. This way you can get the most out of the ball-socket, making your Hellions even more dynamic. Blu-tac, or an equivalent, is your best friend when trying out poses!

Hellion with Hellglaive
Hellion with Hellglaive

We then come to the heads and arms with Hellglaives. You get a whopping 10 different heads; 3 male without mask, 4 with mask, 2 females without mask and 1 with mask. Additionally there are 7 Hellglaives, 6 with arms attached, on the sprue. Several of these come in two parts, with one of the upper arms being separate. Personally I am not a huge fan of the semi-dreadlock hair style of the heads, though the detailing is excellent. Although it adds a further unique touch to the Hellions, it does look slightly out of place if you try to add one of these heads to another unit like Kabalite Warriors or Wyches. So it works just fine for the unit, but may look out of place when kit-bashing.

Another Speed Obsessed Hellion
Another Speed Obsessed Hellion

The posability of the arms and equipment are quite good and can be further expanded with only mild cuts and adjustment that even basic modellers shouldn’t have any problems with. The only real issue I ran into was trying to get the Stunclaw off the sprue in one piece, that thing is one fine and delicate piece of plastic!

On the Tabletop

Hellions, being jump troops, add another very mobile unit to an already very fast army. And although they lack any kind of high Strength long range attack their Splinter Pods and higher Strength provided by the Hellglaives makes them a quite dangerous harassment unit to most enemy Infantry units.

The Helliarch leader also has access to the rather interesting Stunclaw, which is able to drag an Independent Character with the unit as they Hit-and-Run. By itself this isn’t all that useful, as a normally sized Hellion squad is unlikely to be able take down some of the powerhouse characters out there. However, the 3D6 movement provided by a successful Hit and Run attack does mean that even a 5-men strong Hellion unit can potentially drag a vital enemy commander within range of one of your tougher units (Hellions, Ravager, Archon etc.). And I am certain all Tau Ethereals out there will be scared of this unit!

Paniting & Conversion Opportunities

The Hellions will be a blast to paint, though I do have to admit they will take quite a bit of time as the result of the many layers you will find on, particularly, the riders. I also really like that the blade on the Skyboards are a large, flat surface, allowing the painting fanatics out there to pour their hearts out with some free-hand, tribal work!

All in all, I think it will be relatively easy, though taking longer than say a normal Space Marine, to get an excellent looking mini on the table. The more advanced modellers and painters will also have a blast with all the different materials (skin, metallics, leather, trophies and cloth) and free-hand opportunities.

Helliarch converted with Spare Wyche Bits
Helliarch converted with Spare Wyche Bits

The Hellion kit is also the essential place to start for those wanting to add Beast masters to their army. These arena beast-taming Wyches also ride around on Skyboards and only have slightly different equipment The codex even described them as not always wearing their special masks, so a normal Hellion, straight of the sprue, with a spare Wyche weapon will already net you a legal Beast master miniature!

Finally by swapping heads and torsos with the excellent Wyches sprues, you can easily add a ton of extra variety to both a Hellion and Wyche unit. The cool thing here is that both units wear the same type of bodysuit, meaning everything still fits together perfectly. So you loose zero parts and do not have to sacrifice any miniatures at all. And, naturally, if you decide not to use the Stunclaw, I am certain it will look great in a Wyche unit. Those ladies love all kind of gladiatorial weapons after all!

A Unit of 5 Hellions
A Unit of 5 Hellions

Summary
The Hellion kit contains enough parts to build 5 Dark Eldar Hellios, one of which can be built as a Helliarch and includes all the weapons options and upgrades available to them in the codex.

The Hellions are easy to build and definitely look the part with their dynamic poses and the nifty ball-and-socket system on their Skyboards. Their bases and the plastic rod you have to insert into them do provide a potential weakness in the kit though.

Their excellent posability and the potential to swamp bits with the Wyche kit, without sacrificing miniatures, makes it fairly simple to make a large, but still diverse looking, unit of Hellions. Now we just need to figure out where to find the bits to make a convincing Baron Sathonyx model!

So in conclusion, this kit provides excellent quality for your money, accommodates both the Hellion and Beastmaster units and is great in combination with the Wyche kit, making it a solid 8 for me. I will definitely be including a unit in my upcoming Wyche Cult army!

8/10

Pick up the Dark Eldar Hellions from this review at Big Orbit Games and save 18% off RRP*.

Dark Eldar Hellions

*Accurate as of 24th November 2010

Dark Eldar Reavers review

Reavers are Dark Eldar that ride fast, ultra-lightweight jetbikes and are usually seen sowing destruction and havoc  ahead of the main Dark Eldar force.

Reavers are a Fast Attack choice for the Dark Eldar.

First impressions

The first thing that struck me on getting my hands on the Dark Eldar Reavers boxed set was how light it was.

The Dark Eldar Reavers boxed set, which contains 1 1/2 A5 sized sprues, costs £1 more than the New Dark Eldar Raider which contains 2 A4 sized sprues.

This seems very expensive in comparison…

The Dark Eldar Reaver sprues:

Dark Eldar Reavers Sprue 1
Reavers Sprue 1
Dark Eldar Reavers Sprue 2
Reavers Sprue 2

On closer inspection

The sprues contain enough parts to build 3 Dark Eldar Reavers, one of which can be built as an Arena Champion.

The kit includes all the weapons options and upgrades from the codex for the jetbikes themselves but there are no weapon arms for the riders, this is annoying as the Arena Champion has options for close combat weapons. Granted these can be cannibalised from other kits but this could mean running short elsewhere.

Dark Eldar Reaver Arena Champion
Reaver Arena Champion

The Reavers were quick and easy to build, all three taking no more than an hour to put together including cleaning off mould lines etc. The jetbikes themselves are very simple models and the riders come together very easily thanks in part to little notches on the shoulder joins.

As you can see from the pics on this page, once built, the Reavers look pretty good, not mind blowing like the Raider we reviewed a few days ago but they are certainly appropriately spikey,  look devilishly fast and I must say I like the whole-face visors.

Finally, going back to my initial bug bear, price. The Reavers are the most expensive boxed set of the first wave of Dark Eldar releases and I have to ask myself “Why?” They definitely contain less plastic than any of the other sets we’ve reviewed, even the Kabalite Warriors box contained two full size A5 sprues, compared to the Reaver’s one and a half. Maybe there is some aspect to their manufacture that creates this higher price but I suspect the real reason is that most of the separate Warhammer 40k bike kits sell for £7, so this has simply been multiplied by three to account for the three jetbikes the box contains. Now, of course, I don’t know this for sure but I would imagine that a box of three models would be cheaper to produce than three boxes each containing one model. Whatever the logic behind the pricing of this boxed set it does seem very expensive to me.

On the tabletop

The Dark Eldar are one of the most mobile armies in Warhammer 40,000 and the Reavers are the fastest unit from the Dark Eldar Codex.

These guys benefit from all the usual rules for jetbikes, making them hardier than most troops as well as more mobile.

They can inflict significant damage on enemy units as they fly by, I can see them being used as Tank Hunters as the Heat Lance they can be equipped with has some pretty scary abilities, combining lance and melta… The guy bringing up the rear in the image below is toting a Heat Lance.

I will definitely be taking at least one unit of 5-6 Reavers in my Dark Eldar Army.

Dark Eldar Reaver Unit
Dark Eldar Reaver Unit

Summary

The Reaver kit contains enough parts to build 3 Dark Eldar Reavers, one of which can be built as an Arena Champion and includes all the jetbike weapon options and upgrades from the codex but annoyingly there are no weapon arms for the Reavers themselves, even though the Arena Champion can take a close combat weapon in the codex.

The Reavers look pretty good and are easy to build. That said they are less impressive to look at than the other Dark Eldar kits we have reviewed in the last week or so.

Finally, and this is what lets the kit down, the kit is very expensive. I really feel that rather than £21, this kit should be priced at about the same £15 RRP level that the Kabalite Warriors are set at.

Bearing cost in mind I can only award the Dark Eldar Reavers kit 6/10. That said, on the tabletop these guys are going to be pretty mean so they will sell regardless, I will be fielding at least one unit of 5 or 6 myself…

Overall score: 6/10

6-10

Dark Eldar Reavers

*Accurate as of 3rd November 2010

Dark Eldar Raider review

The Dark Eldar are a race of evil science-fiction elves that inhabit the Warhammer 40,000 universe.

As an army the Dark Eldar has been much ignored of late, the last codex being released in 2001 during 3rd Edition.

The new codex is accompanied by a range of great looking new miniatures, the Raider is the Dark Eldars main transport vehicle.

First impressions

From the photos I first saw online I knew I was going to like this kit, on opening the box I wasn’t disappointed.

The main hull sections looked suitably stylish, the lattice work deck sections looked amazing and it was immediately obvious that there are a large number of options for this vehicle. For example there are two sails and two prow-rams, each raider requires only one of each of these so there is plenty of scope for adding variety to your force.

The Dark Eldar Raider sprues:

Dark Eldar Raider Sprue 1
Sprue 1
Dark Eldar Raider Sprue 2
Sprue 2
Dark Eldar Raider Transfer Sheet
Transfer Sheet

On closer inspection

The sprues contain all the core hull components required to build a Dark Eldar Raider along with 2 crew and 3 (quite litterally) hangers on.

The Dark Eldar Raider is certain to be taken in large numbers by Dark Eldar players, as mobility is essential with this army. With this in mind it is great to see that Games Workshop have included a huge number of options for the vehicle, almost all components that attach to the main hull of the vehicle are supplied twice. There are two of each of the following across the two Raider sprues; Prows, Sails, Rudders and the various blades that attach underneath the vehicle. It addition to these purely visual options the sprues also include optional weapons, Dark Lance or Disintegrator Cannon, and the various upgrades that are available to the vehicle in the codex.

Dark Eldar Raider & Crew
Dark Eldar Raider & Crew

The Raider was an interesting model to build. The main deck assembly is basically built from three layers of components. This made for an interesting, and probably much simpler, way of putting the various engine jets together. The core model was put together in no time.

Only one issue was encountered during the construction and that is that some of the details were incredibly frustrating to attach. Specifically the small spikes that run around the hull, each needs to be attached separately, these parts are tiny and they need to be placed accurately otherwise they can look terrible. I would definitely recommend using pliers or tweezers when attaching these details. If you are planning on building more than one Raider and you don’t have any hobby pliers now might be the time to invest in some. It may have been better to have these spikes supplied in strips but of course a degree of flexibility would have been sacrificed in doing this.

As you can see from the pics on this page, once built, the Raider is a great looking vehicle, sleek and deadly looking as you would expect from the Dark Eldar, the quality evident in the other DE releases is also obvious here. I have just one problem with the completed model… transport.

The model is potentially going to be a bit of a nightmare to carry around, it is so intricate that I fear that no matter how we packed the odd blade or spike may come loose. I would definitely recommend leaving the 3 hangers on unsecured to the Raider, they then make great in game markers to indicate the Raider is occupied. Without the hangers on, the Raider should fit into a 60-70mm cut-to-size foam tray comfortably, even so, I still expect that blades and spikes will get caught on the foam and could well be ripped off when either packing away or removing the model.

Returning to the Dark Eldar hangers on, the ones supplied with the Raider are Kabalite Warriors but according to this month’s White Dwarf the Dark Eldar Vemon, which is to be released later, will include Wyches as hangers on. This presents another reason not to glue these miniatures to the Raider as once the Vemon is released you can use the different models to show what troop type a specific vehicle contains.

Dark Eldar Raider
Dark Eldar Raider

Finally at £20 the Raider represents good value for money, which is most welcome as you will be using a lot of these…

On the tabletop

The Raider is going to be a mainstay of any Dark Eldar army. When fighting against most armies the Dark Eldar is going to want to close with the enemy as quickly as possible, this is where the Raider comes in.

It can carry 10 of the troops of your choice to the front line in no time at all and being a hoverer benefits from a host of special rules that will keep it in one piece on the way. Upgrades available for the Raider can boost it’s movement to up to 30″ per turn, allow it to deep strike or improve it’s survivability.

Once the Raider has dropped of it’s cargo of psychotic killers (AKA Dark Eldar), a Dark Lance also makes the Raider a formidable anti-tank vehicle.

The Raider is going to appears in significant numbers in any Dark Eldar army.

Summary

The Raider kit offers a large number of modelling options and contains all the weapons and equipment available to the vehicle in the codex.

The completed Raider is a great looking vehicle, sleek and deadly looking, as you would expect from the Dark Eldar, the quality evident in the other DE releases is also obvious here.

Finally the kit is pretty good value for money, especially by Games Workshops standards.

Were it not for a couple of minor annoyances I’d be thinking about awarding a truly awesome 10/10 here. Ultimately, it is the fact that adding some of the vehicle details was such an annoyance that prevents me awarding full marks for the Riader so it will have to settle for a merely spectacular 9/10.

Overall score: 9/10

Dark Eldar Raider

and some pliers to put it together with if required 😉 The Army Painter Hobby Pliers

*Accurate as of 30th October 2010

Dark Eldar Kabalite Warriors review

The Dark Eldar are a race of evil science-fiction elves that inhabit the Warhammer 40,000 universe.

As an army the Dark Eldar has been much ignored of late, the last codex being released in 2001 during 3rd Edition.

The new codex is accompanied by a range of great looking new miniatures, Kabalite Warriors are one of two Dark Eldar core troop choices.

First impressions

The Dark Eldar Kabalite Warriors boxed set contains enough parts to build 10 miniatures spread across 2 sprues. A quick glance over each sprue reveals some nicely sculpted, highly detailed parts and what appears to be a good number of options.

The Dark Eldar Kabalite Warriors sprues:

Dark Eldar Kabalite Warriors Sprue 1
Dark Eldar Kabalite Warriors Sprue 1
Dark Eldar Kabalite Warriors Sprue 2
Dark Eldar Kabalite Warriors Sprue 2

On closer inspection

The sprues contain 10 front torsos (6 different types), 10 rear torsos (10 different types), 10 pairs of legs (5 different types), 10 (for want of a better word) posteriors (5 different types)  & 15 heads. In terms of weaponry, there are 9 Splinter Rifle toting arms, and also arms holding one each of the following;  Blast Pistol, Splinter Pistol, Blaster, Shredder, Splinter Cannon, Dark Lance, Agoniser & Power Sword. Finally is also a Phantasm Grenade Launcher and numerous bayonets, knifes and unequiped weapons, if it’s available to Kabalite Warriors in the codex it’s in this Boxed set…

Dark Eldar Kabalite Warrior with Splinter Cannon
Dark Eldar Kabalite Warrior with Splinter Cannon

All this means that there is huge scope for adding variety to your units and no two units are ever going to look the same, all in all very impressive. The way the models are put together confers an additional benefit in that the equipment that is sculpted on to the  separate posteriors looks like it forms an integral part of the model rather that than something that is just tagged on, which is often the case with these things.

There are only a couple of slight let downs with regards to pose-ability. Out of the box, the Sybarite’s close combat weapons offer very little scope for variety of pose, also the 2 heavy weapons are similarly locked in position through only being able to be used with one set of arms.  These issues really are just minor grumbles however.

Dark Eldar Kabalite Warrior with Splinter Rifle
Dark Eldar Kabalite Warrior with Splinter Rifle

On to the build.  All in all these models were pretty easy to put together, although the rifle arms were slightly tricky to attach, they were no more so than many other fiddly models when you have to bring 3 parts together simultaniously.

Just 2 specific issues arose. The first was while cutting the parts away from the sprue, the right “collar” of the front torsos  often need to be cut away at an angle, upwards from front to back, to ensure you don’t accidentally trim a bit of the model off. Secondly, care needs to be taken when choosing which torso backs to use on which model, this is because two have been adapted to accept backpacks and these will not look too good if given to models without backpacks. I didn’t notice this myself while putting the models together for this review, I now plan to try to switch these parts or cover them up with some of the kits accessories.

Looking at the sculpts themselves, these are a massive step up from the old Dark Eldar Warriors models which were ridiculously spiky, so much so that the doorways on Commorragh would have had to be extra wide to allow them to walk through. The new Kabalite Warriors are much more realistic, I particularly like the Winged Greaves (shin armour). In general they look a lot more like regular Eldar, you can now tell that there is a connection between the two armies and that these are fallen Eldar.

Dark Eldar Kabalite Warriors Squad
Dark Eldar Kabalite Warriors Squad

The final point I’d like to make is that this kit represents pretty good value for money, 10 models for £15 RRP with lots of extras, not the cheapest models out there but certainly not expensive especially by Games Workshops standards…

Summary

I’ve not been as excited as this at the prospect of a Warhammer 40,000 release for a long time and the Dark Eldar Kabalite Warriors do not disappoint.

The kit offers a huge number of modelling options and contains all the weapons and equipment available to  Kabalite Warriors in the codex.

The sculpts are detailed and full of character, I particularly like the fact that they now look like Dark “Eldar”, the connection between the two armies is obvious in these new models.

Finally the kit is pretty good value for money, especially by Games Workshops standards.

All in all, near faultless.

Overall score: 9/10

*Accurate as of 25th October 2010

New Warhammer 40,000 Dark Eldar miniatures

Games Workshop have just announced the new releases for Warhammer 40,000’s Dark Eldar, a race that has been much ignored of late the last codex being released in 2001 during 3nd Edition.

The new codex is accompanied by a range of great looking new miniatures… Brace yourselves for a pretty enthusiastic reception…

Dark Eldar Archon

The new Dark Eldar Archon is a very cool looking miniature, being vaguely reminiscent of the Dark Elf Hero Lokhir Fellheart – you don’t know what I’m talking about? OK, it really is a vague similarity. Click here for a pic of the new Archon and here for a pic of Lokhir.

Pre-order the Dark Eldar Archon blister at 20% off* here: Dark Eldar Archon

Dark Eldar Incubi

The new Dark Eldar Incubi are head and shoulders above the older miniatures they are replacing. The old Incubi were static in pose and definitely looked like miniatures that were first produced a decade ago. These are some of the nicest models in this release. Click here for a pic, you can view the old Incubi here.

Pre-order the Dark Eldar Incubi boxed set at 20% off* here: Dark Eldar Incubi

Dark Eldar Kabalite Warriors

As with the new Incubi the new Dark Eldar “Kabalite” Warriors are a real step up from the rather tired looking old Dark Eldar Warriors (see old models here). The new boxed set appears to have lots of options and we will definitely be being reviewed as soon as we get a our hands on one. Click here for a pic.

Pre-order the Dark Eldar Kabalite Warriors boxed set at 20% off* here: Dark Eldar Kabalite Warriors

Dark Eldar Lelith Hesperax

The new Lelith model looks just as deadly as the champion gladiator she is supposed to represent. The new blister pack contains a choice of two weapons that she may equip in her left hand. Click here for a pic.

Pre-order the Dark Eldar Lelith Hesperax blister pack at 20% off* here: Dark Eldar Lelith Hesperax

Dark Eldar Raider

The old Dark Eldar Raider was a pretty good model but the new one just blows it out of the errr… air. The sail, prow and rudder being particularly nice new additions and the model just flows better than the old kit. The more curved elements of the design shows that these truly are corrupted Eldar, it’s like the history of the Fall in vehicular form (Errr… calm down – Ed). Click here for a pic.

Pre-order the Dark Eldar Raider boxed set at 20% off* here: Dark Eldar Raider

Dark Eldar Reavers

The new Reaver Jetbikes look really cool, a lot sleeker than the old kit and they come with a lot more options. However I have to say that the biggest improvement here is in the Reaver riders, they really look the part and I really like the new helmets. Click here for a pic.

Pre-order the Dark Eldar Reavers boxed set at 20% off* here: Dark Eldar Reavers

Dark Eldar Wyches

The old Dark Eldar Wyches models were really pretty bad, in my opinion they were easily the worse miniatures in the Dark Eldar range. The new models are much better, they have loads of charcater and the kit provides parts for all the options available in the codex. Click here for a pic.

Pre-order the Dark Eldar Wyches boxed set at 20% off* here: Dark Eldar Wyches

*Prices correct as of 5th October 2010.