SITREP: Dark Eldar Archon

Warhammer 40,000 is one of those worlds and settings I really love. However, being a lore fan, I find the dissonance between the actual game and the lore to be so much that I’ve never really got into collecting a full sized army. However, collecting the occasional model has always been fun – for all of Games Workshop’s fault, they do on occasion make some rather fantastic models. For this reason, I’ve bought a fair few, normally then tweaking them to look cool rather than technically useful for the tabletop.

I have a soft spot for the Dark Eldar, the piratical murderous elves that live in their city in the webway. They appear in the fiction as everything from “the terror in the night” to “moustache-twirling villain”. So as things happen, you start thinking up ideas and then suddenly Mi’kael Drakonis, Archon of the Ascending Spear was born.

The Archon available from GW, while cool, is a little limited – a shame seeing as in the lore, Dark Eldar leaders seem to have a huge variety in their exact gear and appearance (hard not to when you raid and pillage everyone else). Out of the Dark Eldar, I really love the Incubi – the totally not Aspect Warriors that act as the best bodyguard for an Archon to hire if they want to stay alive. In my concept, I decided to use the Incubi model (with their cool armour, trophy racks and brutal klaive) for my Archon, seeing him as a former Incubus returned home to rule his family’s Kabal. But no mere troop model would be suitable – Drazhar (a special character) seem much more appropriate, with a dynamic pose atop Eldar ruins.

In terms of tweaks, I got to work. The first part was removing the chain of soulstones around Drazhar’s neck. I think they look a little much, almost too much detail. This just meant I had to trim the chain away, leaking the shoulder pieces with less support. I also replaced his head with one from the Kabalite box (you need the bare head to show he’s a leader). Finally from the front, I removed the blade in his right hand and turned it into a pointing gesture. This makes him look more commander-y (if we obey the Games Workshop rules) while also being perfect for claiming that a rival’s soul is yours. In terms of assembling it, the finger is actually just an offcut of plastic I found while working on some models. I could have attempted to green stuff it, but this method was much faster and will look fine once painted up

Moving to the back, you see two tweaks. The most obvious is the sword. After trimming it down to only one sword, the model… lacked something. However, one of my writing buddies while talking about Dark Eldar came up with this alternative setup for a double klaive. It may look a little over the top but the idea of it being a weapon that is dangerous to use sounds Dark Eldar as heck. It also gives the model a little weight – the Archon has swung his blade and is now calling out his next target.

The other part is the cape. I was going to green stuff this, but then realised that Anvil Industry has plenty of glorious capes to use. To attach it, I trimmed off the pair of trophies at the bottom and then glues the dynamic cape into place. I need to do a touch more greenstuff to blend the edges but I’m happy with it.

So that’s the first update on the Dark Eldar project. I’m really happy with how he looks, a glorious leader that would be a nice centre point of a small Dark Eldar collection (currently made up of Incubi, Kabalites and Scourges

Next step (after finishing the green stuff) will be to get it undercoated. And as a first, I’m painting these Dark Eldar in pale colours, so I’ll be using a white basecoat. This is uncharted territory for me, so I’m a little nervous about it. But we shall see!

SITREP – Enforcers (Part 1)

So Necromunda – the game of gangers and steams pipes, of slowly buildings up heroes only to watch them die to the most ridiculous things. It’s a game I’ve been interested in for a long time, especially as my former housemates got into it after I left (due to the new release of the updated game) and keep being lured back to take part. Now having moved down to Leeds (and within striking distance of the rest of the players) I fully intended to assemble a gang and get to scrapping… until the lockdown occurred. However, this has instead given me time to assemble a crew of my own.

The real question is who to play. And (perhaps at the worst time for it) I decided to go Enforcers. I’ve always loved the idea of playing the Adeptus Arbities back in the old rules – the limited number of figures per encounter, the models in their armour, the concept of turning up to cause havoc for the rest of the players. Of course, they have changed in the new rules, becoming the Hive Lord’s enforcers, along with some rather fantastic looking figures

Now, the campaign I’m joining already has some law enforcing fellows working for the hive lords. This, of course, got my cogs turning, thinking how else to use the enforcers in an alternative role. Back in university, in a Dark Heresy game, I had an mercenary character in the game by the name of Dekko McNespy. He was always written to be one of a family in the same business, so why not go ahead and make that firm?

From this, the idea was born. Based on the setting of the campaign, my warband is going to be a group hired from ‘McNespy, Daughter and Sons’ to “assist” the local enforcers in removing the various gangs. The enforcer’s rules can represent a wealthy mercenary group, backed by a Rogue Trader family that can afford all this equipment and additional recruits.


When assembling these guys, the core idea was to use the enforcer models but then add all the extra details that hardened sci-fi mercenaries would gain throughout their time. Each figure should look like they are part of the same group but also be individual – the way I see it, the company provides the basic equipment, but each merc will then add their own kit and setup. In addition, I’ve added a new common element to each – an aerial on the back of their armour, made from bolter optics from the Intercessor kit.

The main thing though – swapping out the helmet. I think the combination of helmet and armour makes the enforcers look like enforcers. To make a more irregular look to my guys, I decided that everyone would have a different head from those in the box. Now, this doesn’t mean they will all be unique – it makes sense that some of guys in the group might have invested in the same equipment.

The other focus is making sure equipment is laid out correctly. For most of my guys, they are going to be right handed so pistols are design for that. Anything designed to use in the off hand (grenades or other gadgets) should be easy to retrieve without having to drop your primary – handy when preparing to breach and clear.


Merc 1 is the most obviously interesting pose from the announcement box – stub pistol and torch held in a Harries grip for ultimate tactical preparedness. Ideal for sweeping through the underhive. With this gear being good for a point man, I decided to go with the SAS/S10 gas mask head from Anvil Industry and then added a few of the grenades and shock maul from the enforcer sprue. For a little extra detail, a knife and pouch from the Space Marine Intercessor sprue rounded out the look.

Merc 2 is definitely more of a “Breacher” role. It’s also partially modelled off some of my kit for airsoft, mostly inspired from seeing the Ops Core helmet in the head sprues my friend sent me. To go with the role, he’s armed with the combat shotgun with a pistol stapped to his chest. As well as looking cool, it helps to cover up the circular design element on their chest. To get that pistol to fit however, I had to drim it down slightly, before re-attaching the end cap, giving this gentlemen a snub stub pistol.

To finish him off, a whole selection of pouches have been placed on his back and a pair of frag grenades are on his shoulder, easy to snatch off the panel and fling through a doorway.

Merc 3 is the first of the Subjugators (a heavier armour set design for handling the serious bad guys), I decided to go with the classic pistol and armoured shield look. This required a little bit of hand swapping around – thankfully, you can very easily trim away the hand and glue the pistol into place. Similarly, I also trimmed the holster to make it look like the pistol had just been pulled. I also wanted to make this guy seem on the religious side – a trimmed Deathwatch icon on the shield front (again covering the circular element), a Space Marine reliquary hanging from his belt and then the small Space Marine book sat on the shoulder behind the shield


I’ll admit, these first three were built mostly operating on a rule of cool. For the rest of the box, I’m going to assemble a basic list to direct me forward. However, there will still be plenty of models assembled just to look cool (I’m not being that much of a slave to the rules). I also have a few more pieces on the way, such as a few more heads (need all those shades).

In other news, after rolling up my starting territory for the campaign, turns out I’m allowed to recruit a bounty hunter. Time to get my Eldar lady and her powered armour neatened up to assist this group of mercs. Just don’t tell the Inquisition…