With the idea for the NAF GT 2018 team sorted I’ve been working on some colour schemes for the team. In past years the teams have been dominated by red or blue as the main colours with either white or black and gold or silver as the minor colours. Skaven mixed things up a bit using orange and brown, but more variety would still be good. Green is the obvious colour for wood elves and I don’t think I can go without using that.
Many year ago I painted up a wood elf army as I loved the range that came out with 6th edition and the new direction they took. Gone were the tree hugging hippies, instead replaced with capricious and wild guerrilla fighters. I converted an army based on a vengeance kindred using the new models with some dark elf parts thrown into the mix.
I tried a new painting technique using very harsh shading and painting fine lines that got lighter nearer the edges to mimic leaves. I think this is one of the best and most unique projects I have ever done and it inspired the dryad wood elf team I did. Technically I have improved my painting since then and the characters in particular don’t stand up to some of the stars I have done recently. However on the tabletop the feel of the army/team is most important and those wood elves had a great theme. Sadly I don’t think that technique would work with these models, the leggings in particular don’t suit the technique. Also BB models suit brighter colour schemes being a sports team.
I do like the idea of the team colours being mostly natural shades; brown, green or grey with small patches of bright blue to contrast this. A 2nd edition elf has been used as a test model. I’ve tested dark or mid green for the armour, bronze or silver for the metals and dark blue with extreme highlights on the loin cloths/belts. The leggings give me the most pause and I have tried multiple colours with them so far. If I went more in keeping with the fantasy army then the leggings should be dark brown, but that may be a bit too dull for a sports team. The difficult part is that they will have a lot of bare skin which so I need to avoid making the legging colour too close to their flesh and have that take over too much of the model. I have seen people paint wood elves in either full green skin or with a green tinge added to flesh, but I don’t think that would work for my team.
Another option would be to paint stripes, diamonds or other patterns on the leggings. I think this might overload the model with too many colours, but could be an option for the wardancers and/or Jordell.
Whilst doing this I have been assembling the players in preparation for finalising the colour scheme. I have made a few modification from the test models and sourced bits from other models to help with certain players. I have a terrible habit of buying cool models I like the look of and think would have conversion potential. Then getting distracted and them being relegated to my ever expanding bits box. This does have advantages though and I was able to source a few other parts from a variety of models to help with certain positionals.
The throwers were pretty straight forward and I went for more static poses with them. I gave them eternal guard heads, I like how these look a bit like protective helmets but still have elaborate elven decoration and they suit this position. Both were given a ball and I used the arms from a plastic human for one of them. This is another advantage of the scale creep, the human throwers and catchers both have thinner arms and these fit the more muscly arms of the bare human torsos.
The wardancers already had the very distinctive horned wild rider helmets that would make them distinctive. I wanted them to be the most aggressive looking models, choosing more dynamic and active poses for them. One wardancer got punch daggers from the plastic humans as these were more brutal looking that the elven equivalents. He used the running blitzer legs for a more aggressive and action orientated pose.
The other wardancer used the base from a metal harlequin, this allowed him to be supported by the ribbon whilst adopting a flying kick pose. I had to do a fair bit of chopping and remodelling to get his legs and arms into the right positions.
The catchers were a tricky prospect as they needed to look different from the other players. The biggest concern was that the torsos being used were already a bit on the buff side from elves and catchers are supposed to be even weedier with their ST2.
Several of the cultist bodies already had an arm raised which was useful when making 2 of the catchers by combining these with jumping legs. This gave the appearance of jumping up to catch a ball. Though on reflection I am less happy with the size of their arms and may swap these out for slimmer alternatives.
The other 2 catchers were modelling in more dynamic poses, one leaping in the air and the other diving forward. The cultist arms did not really fit either of these and so I had to search my bitz box for alternatives. Luckily the dark eldar Wracks have bare arms that were slightly thinner than those of the cultists. I used these for both catchers and was able to fit the gloves from the eternal guard to one and am thinking of changing the other to use these too.
The biggest concern was that the poses would still not be enough to distinguish them from the other players. The wardancers had a different style of shoulder pad and the linemen had 2 pads, but they had a single shoulder pad just like the throwers . The throwers and wardancers already had different heads and that looked like an obvious solution. Looking through the unit choices for wood elves I noticed that the waywatchers all had their mouths covered. I hadn’t wanted to use face masks as that seemed a bit high tech for wood elves, but using those heads I could sculpt them to look like scarves or some other wrapping covering their mouths.
The linemen were made up of all the remaining bits, I had more cultist torsos and elf bits than I needed to pick from which meant I still had plenty of choice. They got 2 shoulder pads as I really liked the celtic pattern on the dwarf pads and had exactly 8 of those, I had just enough of the other pads to give all 16 players one for their player numbers. They also got the simple bare heads, but there is plenty of variety in those being able to swap round faces and with different heads.
I tried to give most of them the impression of movement, being agile and lightly armoured elves I couldn’t see them just standing about to be hit like most team’s linemen.
Now I have all 16 normal players built I now know exactly what bits I have spare. I tried to not use the 4th spruce at all since it will be useful for spare parts and conversions for other teams. Though I broke that already as I was short some bits after ruining some from the other 3 spruces making test models or ideas that didn’t pan out.
However the boxes are pretty cheap (for GW) and the team looking perfect is most important, it is the NAF’s most prestigious single tournament after all. I will go over all the players to see if I can improve any of them before I start filling gaps with greenstuff. Some of the joins on the arms and necks look a bit off and may need to be replaced or redone. I want all the positionals to be easy to tell apart and where possible avoid any odd looking joins or awkward poses.
Jordell is already undercoated ready to go but I may need to look at him to ensure he is suitably impressive to be a star. He might be a bit small
The other outstanding model is the treeman. I have bought the Avatar of Yneead and intend to use that as a treelike spirit. The large display base will have to go along with much of the hair and magic vortex, but I will keep the bit coming off the model’s torso. I think by adding leaves to that it can appear to be a branch sprouting from the model. The horn could be turned into braches and a lot of greenstuff will be added to give bark like armour. I’ll add limbs from dryads or khornoth hunters. The model is very much inspired by the treewoman I did for the dryad team. This time the idea is to have more emphasis on the tree part.
Whilst working on this team I also had time to do a little painting and finished Horkon. He’s a very simple conversion of shadowblade with his base trimmed. Colour scheme is based on the dark elf team I painted for JanMattys back in 2014.