I have long been harbouring plans to create a small force of Eldar for Warhammer 40k – ever since I started playing actually. My most recent thinking was to have an elite army of all warrior aspects, however inspired by the Oldhammer community and posts by Frank FJA and symphonic poet on the forum I opted for some Rogue Trader era Eldar warriors instead. Designed by Jes Goodwin, these are just beautiful miniatures that have only become better with age. Initially I was tempted to paint them in the colours most commonly seen in the Rogue Trader books, i.e. black or dark blue with yellow helmets, but since I am painting enough of those lately with my Undead and Dark Elves for Warhammer Fantasy, I decided to go the other way. Dark colours are commonly associated with Eldar pirates and mercenaries, so my force is a craftworld strike team, making them no less unpredictable and cold hearted in the eyes of any other race they encounter.
I purposefully won’t use metals since I am assuming the Eldar will mainly be utilising all sorts of ceramics, plastics and carbon compounds for their equipment. The only metal on these two is the earring on the mohawk sporting warrior.
I currently have a unit of eight lined up for painting, including a commander, musician and standard bearer. The plan is to use white armour throughout and different helmet and hair colours to lend each fighter individuality. The helmet design came about more by accident, having started with aquamarine and the typical black tiger stripes seen in many old publications. The result looked somewhat bland and not exotic enough, so I tried applying a red glaze on top, which proved to be much darker than anticipated. Now left with a crimson basecoat, I used aquamarine to paint shapes roughly following the contours of the helmet on top before finishing this off with some hard white edge highlights. I’m happy with the rather exotic and alien looking finish and will try similar techniques with different colours for the remaining troopers’ helmets.
In order to establish the skin colour for my Eldar I picked a soldier without helmet next. The figure has sharp facial features with high cheekbones, so I applied sharp contrasts from Agrax Earthshade shading in the recesses to white highlights on the cheekbones and brow.