Thursday, May 6, 2010

A Qick Break - Eldar Falcon

I have been struggling with a little bit of SW-fatigue this past week. Although I am still excited about playing them I have frankly gotten a little bit tired of painting more or less the same paint scheme over and over again. I recently started my Wolf Guard army and built nearly a dozen new terminators that needed painting. This on top of two more drop pods and thirty or forty previous SW models I have painted recently. Time for something a little different - my second love: Eldar.

I butchered paint jobs on more than my fair share of Eldar as a boy, time to see if I can do them any better as an adult. I popped into my local GW - pure impulse this as I would normally never pay their prices - and after enduring a moderately soft sell I came out with a Falcon Grav-tank kit. It was a toss up between that and a Wraithlord and I chose the tank simply because I thought it looked cooler as designed, not needing reposing to achieve a dramatic effect.

First tip of the post then - if you're feeling bored with your army, try something different. It could be another 40k race, it could even be fantasy. It could even not be a GW product! Just pick something you think looks cool. There's too much emphasis these days on competition what with all the 'tournaments' going on. Don't worry about whether what you really like the look of is competitive or even whether you'll use it in battle at all. I really don't know how big a place my tank will have in any future Eldar army list. It just looks nice, was fun to build, and presents a new challenge to paint. Bright and artistic, rather than the rather rough and industrial look of SW gear. If it wasn't for the extra cost GW tag onto it I might just as easily have chosen a Skaven Screaming Bell. Totally useless in gaming terms - I don't even have a copy of Fantasy rules - but it still looks fun.

That said, let me share a quick tip about putting together my getawayfromitall model. Maybe its because its an old kit, but I found the included instructions not entirely illuminating when it came to the order of putting together cockpit interiors and the canopy.

First off, let me suggest, if you're planning on spraying your model at all, do it before you glue the pieces together. I say this simply because the canopy is clear and if you spray the model after gluing you're going to need to mask the canopy somehow. Not a technically demanding task, but possibly a little awkward. Spraying first could just save you some time-consuming labour later on.

Secondly, the canopy assembly is not, to my eyes at least, clearly explained in the diagrams at all. When I did a dry-fit of all the pieces for the turret and driver's seats I found I had one piece left over. Its very small, y-shaped in cross-section and appeared in the instructions to go on the back of the cockpit piece itself. The dotted line in the diagram clearly ends at the top of the drivers backrest, indicating the piece goes the other side from the drivers body. This made no sense- it would not do anything back there once all the pieces were glued together. It was only after I had glued everything and tried to insert the canopy I realised my mistake. That little y fits between the drivers head and the back wall of his cockpit. the hook in the the y is where the cross bar of the canopy sits. Grrrr. I had to prise open the parts that had now fairly well set to get the canopy in. Its a mistake I'll only make once and maybe writing this can help you not make the same mistake.

Anyway, the model is pretty much finished now. I've gone with magnetising everything for the sake of future flexibility. The turret is magnetically attached to the body, as is the shuriken launcher on the belly. I magnetised the optional weapon mount too with a bright lance as its first mate and will be putting magnets on the other choices later on as well. I still need to magnetise the passenger bay door - it has a nasty habit of falling open unless its glued shut - and I might build a magnetised base as the GW clear plastic one feels a little flimsy and unstable to use on a battlefield.

So thats my little holiday from Space Wolves. Its always good to take a break when you're feeling tired. Just because you're sick of whatever army you've invested a lot of time in, this doesn't mean you should quit the hobby completely or just abandon whatever you've been doing. Just try something different, something that just catches your eye and looks fun. And don't trust GW instructions!

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