Sunday, September 28, 2014

Painting is a Process

So, back a few posts I was bagging (a bit) on Jes Goodwin. The late 80's High Elf cavalry models he sculpted are not my favorite models. I stand by that.

Most of everything else he has done, however, stands like a colossus over the hobby. He and Tom Meier are, to put it simply, the masters of elven models. The same way that Kev Adams infuses orcs and goblins with a sense of chaotic mischief and evil naughtiness, I think Goodwin lends a sense of nobility, regal-ness, and (often times) utter ferocity to the elven armies. Case in point: the Elven Attack Chariot.

Now, I don't know whether Jes had anything to do with the original rules for this behemoth (1500 points in 2nd Edition??!! And look at those abilities the characters have! This thing is like playing the Star Wars miniatures game and someone taking the Death Star!). What I do know is that he (working together with the heavily-sweatered Bob Naismith) somehow created a chariot model that oozes both wildness and grace; crisp, clean lines and whirling, pointy bits. I think it is a masterpiece of the early-to-middle part of his career.

For a while now, if I was to rank the Citadel models at the top of my most-wanted list, the Elven Attack Chariot would come in at number three, behind only Nick Bibby's Great Spined Dragon (someday, my precious) and Jorj, the original champion from the first Bugman's unit (I've written this one off, and just converted my own version). After coming close a couple of times on eBay, I finally managed to land an intact and complete chariot a couple of weeks ago.

After three extended periods in the stripping bath (ancient red oil paint, epoxy cement, and an obscene amount of gap filler you say? Why yes indeed- all three!), I have started on this beast. I don't want to rush it at all, so I plan on working on it between and during other models. There is an astonishing amount of both detail and surface area to get covered with painty bits, so this might be in for a long haul. Here's where she stands right now, with most of the actual chariot done except for final highlighting:
Javelins, check. Quiver of arrows, check. Luscious bear-skin rug, check.
Insert Tab 'A' of winged lightning rod into Hole 'B'

I am having a hard time deciding what to do, if anything, with the white. Over a white undercoat, I painted the whole model with Vallejo Ivory. I like the color here a lot, and I want to preserve the pristine cleanliness of the whole model, but it feels to me that the textured portions at least need some shading added. Looking at the original version, I would guess that Kev Adams painted it (because of the mushrooms of course); whoever it was looks to have painted a very thin white/ivory layer over more of a bone color (look at the wheels, especially). This gives the original, to my eye, more of a birch, wooden feel. I don't know if I like that, or the porcelain feel of my ivory better. I think I will leave it as is for now and see how the addition of the horses and the base changes my mind.

So. . . this goes in here, right?
Finished up the cannon and crew for the dorfies this week as well. The barrel-carrying (keg carrying?) fella is a fantastic crewman, sagging gut and all. For some reason, the sculptor of this set decided that all dwarves that work on cannons need enormous metal rings hanging off of their belts. Good stuff. Everytime I see the guy with the keg, Prince's "Raspberry Beret" starts playing in my head. If only I had the courage to paint it that color. . .

Thanks for reading. Hope all is well in your world, wherever it might be. Take care, brethren.


  1. I have always drooled over this Chariot. Long before the Wood Elves finally got an army bok in 5th edition you'd see this model slinking around in background shots and be dejected that the model a: wasn't available for sale and b: you never got a close up shot!

    1. This chariot and the earlier elven attack chariot, which was sculpted by the legend Tom Meier, are both really great models from Citadel's past. The Tom Meier chariot is still available from Ironwind Metals, and is one of the hobby's most long-standing in-print model, as it became a Ral Partha model in the 80's. If you haven't seen that one, check it out, too. It's a little smaller than this model, but also has great detailing work and a proper old-school vibe. Thanks for the drop-in!