There’s a Chill in the Air

It’s autumn and cold winds are starting to blow, so what better time to work on some warriors from the Land of Chill itself.

These Dark Elf troops stem from Mengil Manhide’s Company, a Regiment of Renown in Citadel’s classic 80s collection, sculpted by Bob Naismith.

Oldhammer Dark Elves from Mengil Manhide's Company

Dark Elves by Citadel Miniatures

Well, actually it has been quite balmy the last couple of days, but I have been meaning to try out some Dark Elf colour schemes for a while.  I’m planning on gradually building my collection up to allied contingent strength for use in Warhammer 3rd Edition.

I’ve gone for some classic colours associated with the Dark Elves – predominantly black and cold steel with accents in decadent purple and venomous green.

Oldhammer Dark Elf from Mengil Manhide's Company

Heart and thorns, classic Dark Elf iconography

Oldhammer Dark Elf from Mengil Manhide's Company

A spade, inspired by drawings in Warhammer Armies

The cloaks of flayed skin have been given just a single coat of pale flesh over black undercoat. Once I have a full regiment together I’ll probably detail them all to a higher level, but for now they look decent (and gruesome) enough under battlefield conditions.

Oldhammer Dark Elves from Mengil Manhide's Company

The Dark Elves wear the skins of their victims as cloaks

14 thoughts on “There’s a Chill in the Air

  1. Those ar ereally greta looking dark elves. I’ve always prefered very dark paintscheme (maybe my menilbonean references are too much of an influence) to much brighter ones. The black leather with deep purple (no pun here) is absolutely great with the green as a contrast. i believ this will prove very effective and good looking in large units.
    Just like for your orcs, you skin tone is really good, I like the contrast between hot brown in the recesses and light blue on edges (I’ve heard it’s a good combo on colour theory without understanding why).


    • Thanks mate! I wanted to use a limited palette and avoid any earthy tones (already thinking about a contrasting Wood Elves colour scheme). Any bright accents should have a cold feel to them, like sharp metal edges or snow white decorations.
      I always liked grey/blue skin colour for Dark Elves but still wanted it to look like, well, skin. So I tried sepia brown, my normal skin shade, and it did work! Colour theory doesn’t lie I guess :)

    • Thank you, I am very happy with the results so far. First I wanted to go with a hearts scheme for the whole unit, but for variety and old school appeal I am going with a full suit of card symbols instead.

  2. Manflayers in manskins, what’s not to like! Although I find it a bit curious that the female dark elf has a womanskin, GW sexist stereotyping at it’s finest I guess.

    Seriously though, a unit of those is gonna look choice.

    • Interesting observation, I hadn’t noticed that. I think this is rather a good example though of what a female model should be like, wearing the same perfectly sensible armour as her male counterpart.

      I’ve got a unit of 16 ranked up (was hoping I had 20), mostly of these two sculpts with a couple of others for variety. I feel like painting them, so I guess I’ll slowly work my way through them in twos.

    • Yes, that is a good point about her equipment being realistic. I recall the witch elves from this period wore similarly sensible, if lighter, equipment. This regiment is a classic, it’s a pity I never got my hands on any of them.

      The manskins give them such a cool creepy vibe which leaves the viewer in no doubt as to their contempt for other races. The banner was nicely disturbing also as I remember with some kind of familiar perched on the top of more manskins.

      I was thinking that you could make up a 4×4 base filler for the unit with some captured humans and a dark elf overseer or some other such idea if you need to bulk it out to 20 models for games. Mr. Saturday did this with his Fimir:

    • I’m sure I’ll get to 20 eventually, but I better get these ones painted first. Unfortunately I don’t have the original command group, just the standard bearer but damaged without the top.

      Your suggestion re. the filler has given me an idea for a war altar though which I want to build at some point. It could be a sacrificial flaying in progress!

      Mr Saturday’s stuff is something else. I have a few Heroquest Fimir I’ve kept glancing over to ever since I saw his army…

  3. These are great, very sinister. I get a kick out of seeing old models in classic colour schemes painted with modern techniques. These have that in spades.

    Whats your dark elf flesh recipe? I want to poach it please :)

    • The skin was luckily very easy, it works on these face sculpts, would probably require a few more steps on other areas of flesh. Base colour is Astronomican Grey, wash with Seraphim Sepia, highlights with thinned down White Scar, mostly on the cheek bones for that Elven look.

      Happy poaching, I’m looking forward to the results :)

    • Im tired of my elves – of all ideals and persuasians – looking like healthy caucasians. ll give your recipe a test on my next (space) elf and comment here if it works out. I have a feeling that its a little too close to my zombie flesh tones, but we will see. Thanks!

    • Always enjoyed the Dark Elves for their pure nastiness and these miniatures really capture it. Mate of mine used to play them back in the day and I did paint some of his back then, now it feels great to revisit them for my own collection at last.

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