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Spring Cleaning Challenge 2021 30 Years in the Making and now I am the Eldar

Spring Cleaning Challenge 2021 30 Years in the Making and now I am the Eldar

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Project Blog by Redscope

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About the Project

It is late 1980's and a much younger me has just bought Rogue Trader 40K. This is a step away from the D&D boxset and fantasy models I have at the moment. Rogue Trader is full of amazing artwork and back stories but the one that draws me in are the space elves. At this point the Eldar are little more than Pirates/Mercenaries but the 1987 models are just amazing. Over the next few years saving 1.50 pocket money a week a small Eldar army begins. Fast foward to the 1990's and now 2nd Edition 40K is out and the Eldar Codex. Just look at the cover art on the original codex how can you not fall love with this army. Now at college and working part time additional funds flow into a growing Eldar army. The ranks of the guardians are filled with aspect warriors across the spectrum of Eldar models we can now buy. Dark reapers join crimson fire dragons lined up with their insane Howling Banshees swords held high ready to strike. A few years later however move half way across the country to carry on in education leaves a not quite painted Eldar army in the loft of parents for many years. Never forgotten but a lack of space, time and a drift away from the hobby leaves them in a timeless state that is until now. 30 years in the making but it is time to finish that Eldar army now that I am the Eldar.

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It is best to begin at the start

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The point of this project has two aims first to explore the Eldar Rogue Trader models that appear in the late 1980’s through to the early 1990’s. These original rogue trader models where amazing at the time. So amazing 30 years later GW has not really changed them other than moving them from metal to resin. So we are going to have a look at them in a little more detail.

The second part of the project is going to focus on painting those models I never got around to. Including the Harlequins which if I am honest I never painted because I never had the skills to do them justice. The problem is I still dont have the skills but it is at least time to try and paint them. 

The keen eyes from eldar players will be at pains to point out some of the models are a little more recent. Correct a few damaged, weaponless in some cases armless models have been rescused from cheap e-bay deals over the last 2 years. So lets add them to the project as well.

Who knows once I have painted these we may go on to expand the army further but the goal is document and paint what I have so far. Rule 1 no more “Eldar” models until this lot are painted



1987-1994 painted eldar Army followed by the unpainted ones.1987-1994 painted eldar Army followed by the unpainted ones.

Rogue Trader Space Elf become the Eldar

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The eldar model range existed before Rogue Trader rules came out. It is not a surprize that Warhammer Fantasy Races made their way into the Sci Fi setting. So the first outing as to what was become the Eldar was packaged as Space Elfs.

I have include a picture below from an early model catalogue. What is interesting to note is how little the style and look of the models have not really changed. The classic long pointly helmets the eldar wear and the close fitting interlocking armour armour can still be seen today. These original models are of course in metal. Aside the fact we have a vast range of weapons on these which would later be refined to smaller subset they are clearly eldar.

The other aspect I love about this set is GW gave them all unique names. This would link into the fact Rogue Trader was less of a mass combat game more of a small unit RPG battle system. The eldar where not alone in having names even the imperial guard metal figures had unqiue names but maybe we will cover that another day.

The eldar had quite a range of figures from the start of Rogue Trader including a command squad and a weapons platform. Images will be include below.

The command squad was a set of 4 models with Commander, Std Bear, Champion and Musician, yes an Eldar musician believe it or not. The question is what music would the Eldar play ? Personally I always assumed they would be Vangelis or Tubular Bells by Mike Oldfield style with lots of sync wave and ligh shows. It is a pity 40K aside the noise marines does not have more musical units.

The weapon platforms look pretty standard las cannon, plasma the amazing D-cannon which will cover later does not feature. What is great about the kit is the unqiue supporting models again a touch most 40k units have lost.

I am luckly enough to own a few of this models and next time we will go through and look at them in more detail along with how they are presented in Rogue Trader book.

Early Space Elves Early Space Elves
Space Elves Comamnd SquadSpace Elves Comamnd Squad
Space Elfs Support WeaponsSpace Elfs Support Weapons