View Full Version : Caledor High Elf Army

14-05-2007, 16:04
This project has been on the go for a few months now on another forum (gasp!), but I'm a regular lurker on the MP&T section of this site and felt that the Fantasy Project Logs section needed some love, seeing as it clocks in at 7 pages compared to 20 pages of Sci-Fi logs. I've been blown away by some of the projects here, and I think its time to give something back!

So, particularly given the topicality of the High Elves at the moment due to the imminent(ish) arrival of the new book and the various rumours flying around, here is my take on the noble Asur (WIP of course).

I've been collecting a High Elf army since 4th edition. When I first painted the models, I envisaged an army drawn from numerous areas of Ulthuan, with different coloured trims and details distinguishing the different provinces. However, as time has passed I have become more and more drawn to the idea of a more themed army drawn from a single province... Caledor, always my favorite due to the background and models (home of the Dragon Princes for those that don't know much High Elf background). In addition, after trying a deeper red scheme - with black and gold detailing - on my (unfinished) Dragon Prince unit, I decided I liked it so much I wanted to replicate it on the rest of my Caledor troops. Which means I'll now be repainting large numbers of my troops and will be unlikely to finish in the forseable future... gah! The plan is to paint enough troops in my Caledor scheme to be able to field at least 2000 points purely from Caledor. Some of my models will be repainted in the new scheme (spearelves, archers, bolt throwers) whereas other units will be new (I've picked up 10 5th ed. Silver helms and some reavers from ebay) as I want to keep some of my non-Caledor troops unchanged so I can put together a Hoeth army once my Caledor one is finished.

BASES: Note that the bases will be repainted with a drybrushed earth finish and have static grass added. For the moment though I'm only doing this on individual models rather than units... I want to get more units finished before I start redoing large numbers of bases.

So, enough of the waffling... on to what people are really interested in, PICTURES! Some are better than others, as I still haven't quite got the hang of it, but I am gradually improving. I plan to get hold of a cheap tripod at some point, which should definitely help!

First up, the champion of my Dragon Princes, and the inspiration for my revised style:
I've used a standard Dragon Prince as I'm not a fan of the bareheaded champion model. In order to make him stand out from the standard troopers I've used a different lance and shield.

Next, my archer unit. 4th edition models, as I hate the current plastics. The unit is finished apart from the bases. I just hope archers can still take light armour in the new book...
First rank detail:
Whole unit:

14-05-2007, 16:06
More missile fire support comes in the form of some Repeater Bolt Throwers. The crew are finished (again, apart from updating the bases) but not the machines themselves. I'm using 4th edition crew models (by Jes Goodwin) as I prefer them. However, I'll use the metal 6th edition bolt throwers as I don't like the older ones much.

I'm currently working on my spearelves, 20 with full command. Again, 4th ediiton models due to my dislike of the current plastics. The first 5 are almost finished (apart from the bases, obviously) but I'm going to add freehand dragons to the shields to reinforce the Caledor theme.

Next up, the first completed character model, a mage. The sword broke off so I have replaced it with one from a mounted hero. The flame detail helps reinforce the dragon theme as well. I'm going to come back to this guy later on, as the photo shows a couple of mistakes I missed and want to tidy up. He also shows my first attempt at the revised basing style.

Finally, the first of my eagles. Again, with the revised basing style. I think I'll try a slightly darker earth finish in future, as it blends in with the grass too much, although this is partially due to the photography. I really do need to get a tripod, as using the flash washes out alot of the contrast and highlighting...

Firestorm Falcon
14-05-2007, 16:37
Very nice dragon prince, we have similar colour schemes (except I have red spear syndrome :) ) yours are better painted though. I'd like to see the free hand dragons as I think you could pull it off.

14-05-2007, 17:31
Nooo!!! Not Red Spear Syndrome :p (@Firestorm)

Lovely Dragon Prince; smoothand very well highlighted. Where did the lance come from out of interest?

Erm, see above for comments on the rest of the stuff? ;)

14-05-2007, 18:09
Very nice looking army, you seem to like a lot of the older models :D

i agree with your comment about the bases, the grass blends in with the earth a lot

keep up the good work and do a dragon!

14-05-2007, 22:12
Very nice. I like the red contrasting with the horse. Nice clean painting, I dig it. For some reason I'm not fond of the archer modes, but I mean the sculpting, not the painting.

I think the bases look OK. You'd likely have some visual blending of colors & textures anyway. I like that the basing doesn't compete with the figures for attention.

The one and only criticism I can think of is that the heart on the mage's staff seems a bit flat compared to your otherwise wonderful gem and detail work.

As far as the photography, I do have a tripod but rarely use it anymore. What I end up doing is just putting the camera and the figures both on objects of roughly equal height (I use two large-ish artists acrylic paint jars and/or flock containers) and wedge a cavalry base under the camera if I need to angle it down. Then I use the timer function so I don't bump it when taking the photo.

15-05-2007, 11:05
Thanks all for the comments!

@ Firestorm Falcon: Yeah, I hope the freehand will turn out OK. I did the same thing on the shields for my old (4th ed.) Dragon Prince unit and it looked pretty good, so I'm fairly confident.

@ Arhalien: The lance is from the old Imrik model, the shield from Asarnil the DOW dragon rider.

@ Ninners: Yup, I do tend to prefer alot of the older 4th edition models, back when Jes Goodwin was involved. The core infantry in particular looks alot more regal and elven to me than the current plastics. There will be lots more of the older stuff as the project continues... and yes, there will be a dragon. And I have some conversions for War of the Beard drake riders planned as well... and if some of the rumours are true I'll even be able to use them in my standard army when the new book comes out! As for the bases, the mage and eagle were my first attempt using static grass, and the next ones should turn out better.

@ ZeroTwentythree: I know what you mean about the archer models, the old plastics aren't the best due to poorly cast faces, big hands and overly fat bows. The metal models (like the leader model) are much better, and I rather like the plastic spearmen. I still prefer them to the current archers though. I will be returning to the mage, and the gem is definitely one of the bits I'll attempt to improve. Thanks for the photography tip... I'm a big fan of your logs (older models FTW!) and your pictures always look good.

15-05-2007, 11:36
Very nice Caledor theme there, I'm looking forward to seeing the free hand on the shields. The bases are rather old school style, love the dragon prince!

Nice to see the old 4ed coming out, I still think there better then the current spear (I had the red spear syndrome!) and archers we have, I'm just waiting to see if we get any new ones before I start a project log for a Lothern theme.

15-05-2007, 22:58
I agree, the metal models are good. I like the old spearelves, too.

16-05-2007, 00:14
Wow those are really nice, I especially like the Dragon Prince.

Just out of curiosity, what color do you prime your models? I have a friend who is doing the same scheme for his High Elves and is priming them black. It says in the codex to do that for the scheme, but I think he should just undercoat it white because of the white robes.

Keep up the great work.

16-05-2007, 00:42
your figures look great. they inspired me to extend my break between homework and post some new pics of my empire army. your colors are very bold and i enjoy how you are taking extra attention to theme.

17-05-2007, 14:21
@ natedogg710: I use a white undercoat for high elves personally, though I usually use a black undercoat for other armies. I find a white undercoat helps seeing as I use mainly bright, light colours for them.

@ ilikebmxbikes: wow, glad that I could provide some inspiration, particularly considering how fantastic your empire models look! Cheers.

06-08-2007, 14:05
Has been a long time since I updated this, and unfortunately I've not got a great deal done in the meantime. Still, I haven't been entirely inactive. So, a couple of updates.

First up, I've made some progress on my dragon princes. The first rank is now mostly complete. There is stilll a bit of work I need to do on these guys - the bases need redoing, I need to add freehand to the shields, add a standard, and as always the photos have brought my attention to a few minor touch-ups needed to tidy up the paint job. Still, here they are as they stand at present (the photos need some work... I'll get better ones taken once they are 100% complete):

I've done a bit of work on the second rank of my spearelves, but they are still WIP at the moment. I have, however, essentially finished their banner barring minor touch-ups. Their shields will have a very similar but simplified design, in black on a white background:

Aside from the spearelves, I am also working on the first of my bolt throwers wich is about 50% done at present. That, and more spearelves, will be the next things to be finished. Who knows when though... :rolleyes:

06-08-2007, 14:21
Wow, that's a great looking unit there. Nice banner!

06-08-2007, 18:10
Very impressive unit; the gold is fantastic and goes very well with the red.
And the white on the shields is incredibly smooth.

Just brilliant :D

07-08-2007, 13:32
Awesome paint jobs on some old minis there, the new DP's look sweet too but the bland green bases are really taking the edge off them a bit, I think they'd look much better with properly finished bases and black edges (I love black edges myself:)).

Otherwise, great stuff, looking forward to more.



08-08-2007, 16:32
Thanks for the comments, appreciated as always!

@Killshot: Cheers. I'm a big fan of your stuff, incidently, so its great to hear you like them.

@Arhalien:Thanks, very complimentary indeed! The white isnt quite as smooth as it looks to be perfectly honest. I'm currently taking pictures with flash, which cuts some of the highlights but makes the white look smoother than IRL.

@CMDante: Much obliged. Don't worry, the bases will be done properly later, in the same style as the eagle and mage from earlier in the thread (with slightly darker earth though). But they will have green edges to match my gaming table rather than black, sorry about that! Big fan of your work in the TOFP so far, looking forward to next month...

08-08-2007, 17:40
Another thread where I can't see the pics due to being at work....

ahhh well. Sounds like a great idea... just out of curiosity, where did you get the historical data on your elves from? i.e., the colors from each different province, etc. One of these days I plan to do a high elf army but would definitely like it to be themed in the same manner as you are planning.

08-08-2007, 19:40
This thread makes me excited for the new High Elves!
Very nice, bright colours

08-08-2007, 22:42
Great army, great painting, great colours. Perfect.

09-08-2007, 16:30
@DirtyMcBoner: Thanks. Kinda ironic then that its mostly old 4th edition models!

@Resurrected: Why thank you! Very kind.

@mousekiller: Hope you've had a chance to look at the pictures, would love to hear what you think - some of the stuff you've posted here has been pretty spectacular. P.S. Finish your giant!!

As for the theming information, thats a subject very dear to my heart. I posted quite a detailed summary of this on Asur.org, which I have repeated here in case you don't have the 5th Edition High Elf book:

The best 'official' info on colour schemes and decoration was from the 5th ed. book, and although there were fairly detailed official descriptions for some provinces, others were totally undefined. Anyway, in the interests of completeness I had a good look through the book. The following is pretty much all there is as far as I can tell, including info on colours, styles, decoration and the primary gods to help give as much 'theming' info as possible, and includes my own thoughts on what information there is:

All Provinces: Wear white robes, symbolising their determination to fight to the death if necessary.

Caledor: Reds and greens for plumes and crests, with some plumes and decorations in black. Armour sometimes tinted red or green. Dragon and flame themed motifs and decoration. Particularly associated with Vaul (due to the location of his shrine), so armour and weapons are likely to be finely crafted and ornate.

Avelorn: Green plumes and details and embroidered decoration with plant and floral designs. Armour occasionally styled in floral or leaf shapes. Primary god is Isha, although Kurnous is particularly popular among the menfolk.

As a sheltered and largely indolent province (at least once you get away from the slopes of the Anullii) with many members of the nobility gathered at the court of the Everqueen, I can see the Avelornians being quite ornate and using rich naturalistic colours.

Nagarythe: Dark tinted armour, blues and sombre greys for tunics and plumes. Particularly associated with Loec.

Nomadic people, so armour and weapons will be simple, practical, and hardwearing.

Cothique: Armour often tinted green or blue. Many wear cloaks made from the hides of sea monsters, or armour styled like sea serpent heads.

So, sea themed colours basically. Sea monsters and ocean motifs on shields and banners.

Eataine: Always excellently equipped with the finest armour and weapons. Wear splendid robes in rich colours and ornate armour extensively decorated with gems and precious metals.

I imagine purples, rich reds and blues would be popular colours judging from this. Also, as Lothern is the location of the Shrine of Asuryan, shields and banners will probably reflect this: use of pyramid and phoenix motifs I imagine.

Ellyrion: Cavalry wear elegant flowing plumed helmets. Primary god is Kurnous. No black horses... they have a particularly bad reputation in Ellyrion due to those riding them being a frequent target for Druchii attacks.

No colour info as far as I can tell, but I'm inclined to think muted greens and the like: what with the worship of Kurnous and their hardy lifestyle as herders, I can't see them going for particularly ostentatious colours and decoration.

Chrace: Many warriors wear animal furs and pelts as cloaks or collars. Chracians are renowned hunters, so worship of Kurnous is likely to be popular.

I would see colours as being similar to neighbouring Avelorn, but more muted, and decoration is likely to be less ornate. Kurnous rather than floral themes are more likely... the Chracians, as a principal target of Druchii attacks, are far more down to earth than those of Avelorn.

Yvresse, Tiranoc and Saphery remain undefined as far as colours and decoration go. So, my assumptions would be:

Tiranoc: Probably similar to Eataine as it once held the same position as the principal trading and seafaring (and therefore wealthiest) province. The history certainly mentions all manner of gems and precious metals being brought back to decorate the wargear of the elves of Tiranoc during its prime. Colours may be slightly more muted now though to represent their sorrow over what they have lost.

Yvresse: Renowned both as the land of mists and for its resoloute, disciplined infantry. To me this implies muted colours, greys and dull blues perhaps. I would imagine decoration would be far less ostentatious than neighbouring Eataine.

Saphery: I definitely agree with the consensus here that rich blues and astrological themed decoration is appropriate for Saphery. Going by the 5th ed. book the horned moon (i.e. a half moon on its side) seems to be a popular motif. Strongly associated with the god Hoeth, and as the White Tower is located in the province it is likely to be a popular motif on shields and standards. More than most provinces though, I can see Saphery as very much anything goes: the mage princes of the land are renowned for being individualistic and eccentric, and their retinues equipment, colours and decoration are likely to reflect this.

10-08-2007, 13:07
Well, still no chance to check in from my home computer (still checking from work), but I definitely plan to soon.

Thanks very much for the detailed description of the history, I will have to ear mark this page for future reference. I'll have to get back over to Asur.org one of these days and see what new things are happening over there.

Thanks again.

02-01-2008, 13:41
Well, this project has rather fallen by the wayside of late, as I haven't done any painting for months. Still, at least over the Christmas period I managed to get some stuff done, largely due to being essentially immobile due to copious amounts of food. So, I have finished the first of my bolt throwers and repainted the bases of the crew. The bolt thrower itself took me ages to finish, mainly due to it being my first attempt at a painted woodgrain effect, which I'm fairly pleased with even if there is some room for improvement. The metal 6th edition bolt throwers have ridiculous numbers of gems on as well which slowed me down. Anyway, pics:

02-01-2008, 13:42
I also finished the next five spearelves. No real point posting pics of these guys, seeing as they look exactly the same as the last lot apart from the fact they have no shields at present. However, the standard bearer was in this batch, so here are some pics of him:
So, at present I am working on my mounted battle standard bearer, and the next 5 spearelves including the champion. However, I suspect it will be some time before I manage to post progress unfortunately....

02-01-2008, 14:16
Ah, nice to see this log is still going :)
The RBT is great; the woodgrain works very well and the red is lovely and vibrant on the crewmen.
Is the banner freehand? If so it's very good :) However, I would say that it looks like it's made of paper rather than being a real bit of fabric; I don;t know how to solve that I'm afraid as I've only used a paper banner once, and not with much success.

Firestorm Falcon
02-01-2008, 15:17
Wow, I'd forgoten about this log some great work, the wood grain is really worth the effort it looks really realistic.

Keep at it.

03-01-2008, 16:11
Niiiiiiiiice, lovin the red :)

04-01-2008, 04:36
Amazing, amazing work, Drakemaster! I'm incredibly jealous at how awesome your High Elves are looking. Very clean, very smooth, and with a nice touch of the old school....perfect.

Thanks very much for your work on the typical colours for the various Elven provinces. I've been looking for something like that forever now, and your's is the most exhaustive and helpful I've yet to find!

04-01-2008, 13:08
Thanks for the compliments folks! Comments are always welcome...

@Arhalien: Yup, the banner is freehand. I've never really been a fan of sculpted banners myself and prefer making my own, which gives me more freedom do decide how they should look. I see what you mean about the slightly 'paper' look of it for those who are used to the more modern sculpted banners, but I don't mind it so much myself. While you can give a fluttering effect to paper banners that go sideways (if you see what I mean) by bending the paper when you glue them on, banners that hang down are more difficult to give movement to. In this particular case there is even less chance of making it do something a bit more interesting as it has to enable the placing of models to the side of the standard bearer, which means it needs to be as close to the body of the figure as possible. Once I've finished the unit I'll see if I'm happy with how it looks and see what improvements I can make.

@Firebreather: Glad the province summary was helpful. I'm a big fan of theming armies myself, so I had a good look around to find everything I could in order to add character. As for the old-school look, I'm quite a fan of it as well. I think it is rather appropriate for Caledor, which is rather an old-school province itself with its glory days in the distant past... I can see them making use of much more ornate and archaic equipment than some of the other provinces, an impression the older models seem to get across rather well...

14-01-2008, 19:47
Well, over at my project log I promised you to drop by and leave some comments so here we go.;)

The paper banner, the green bases, core miniatures and the colours are giving your army a great old-school feeling. The banner is great and encourages my plans on doing my own paper banners again. I especially like how you're handling the whites; all the white on HE is a pain to paint (especially on horses. I did a HW commission a about a year and a half ago and it drove me insane) but if you get it right, it pays off. And you seem to handle it great, especially on the clothes of your elves. Congrats on those.

There's one more thing I have to point out: The RBT. This is the first of the plastic HE RBT I see that I like. The miniature itself is way too sleek and "perfect" for my likings but your paintjob and the woodgrain pattern make it look actually good.

Keep painting; your army looks very nice so far. I hope your zomgoverpowered new rules will be a further motivation for you.;)

17-01-2008, 12:43
Actually, its the metal 6th edition bolt thrower rather than the plastic one... I dislike using plastic miniatures, and avoid them whenever possible. Same design though (apart from the fact it has more gems and a few additional details) so an easy mistake to make.

Thanks for the comments. I agree that the white can be a nightmare... painting horses takes me an age as well and can be very frustrating. I find the robes easier as there aren't so many large areas to deal with. I actually like the RBT model myself, though I agree the wood grain certainly helps it look a bit more 'fantasy' and less eldar-style sleek. As for the zomgoverpowered rules, I'm still using the 6th edition ones myself. I suspect I will get round to updating eventually, much as I despise ASF as a rule (citizen levy striking before trained Druchii Assasins?!?!?) - the temptation of a Dragon Mage will probably be too much. Still, I wish they hadn't added ASF... most of the changes I really like, but that one just irritates me. :mad:

17-01-2008, 13:19
loverly looking army. It made me all nostalgic as 4th ed box was my first ed of fantasy. I painted the HE first (badly) and had a small force.

wood grain BTs are so the way forward. It looks really good. Kudos to you sir!

17-01-2008, 14:39
Actually, its the metal 6th edition bolt thrower rather than the plastic one... I dislike using plastic miniatures, and avoid them whenever possible. Same design though (apart from the fact it has more gems and a few additional details) so an easy mistake to make.

:o Oops. There was a 6th edition HE RBT before the release of the plastic one? Interesting to know. I agree with your views on metal vs. plastic miniatures but this topic has been done to death in the past few months.

Well, at least druchii assassins (generally regarded as being ineffectual as they are) still strike first if I remember correctly as both units, HE [Whatever] and DE Assassin strike first and if that's the case, Initiative counts for who's striking first, isn't it?

Anyway, I'm positive towards the upcoming DE armybook. Druchii are used to get bashed (unless they are real cunning). The essence of druchiidom is looking good while being bashed by hastily-painted dwarfs and chaos armies.;)

18-01-2008, 11:58
As I remember, Assassins only 'strike first' when they first reveal themselves from hiding... that's certainly how it works with Skaven assassins anyway. After that it returns to initiative order. Anyway, enough rules talk... this is the painting forum after all!

And I agree about the importance of looking good regardless of whether you are winning or losing. Definitely vital for the 'civilised' elven races anyway, although I think the wood elves are a bit scruffy personally...

18-01-2008, 16:00
I cant believe that you point so good.
And yet have so ugly bases on some of your miniatures.
I think you should make all your bases like the one on the eagle, mage and RBT crew.

27-01-2008, 12:57
Drakemaster i would love to know how you painted the white, in a detailed broken down account, it would help me so much in painting my high elves cloaks/robes

great painting and great theme, keep up the good work!

thanks alot for any help you can provide!
vapor genie (http://vaporizers.net/vapor-genie)

29-01-2008, 11:05
@winkypinky: That is exactly what I'm planning... if you read the beginning of the log:

BASES: Note that the bases will be repainted with a drybrushed earth finish and have static grass added. For the moment though I'm only doing this on individual models rather than units... I want to get more units finished before I start redoing large numbers of bases.

@b4z: I'm not sure I can fully recommend my methood of painting white, it's pretty timeconsuming. Still, here goes. Note that I use a white undercoat on my elves seeing as I want them to have a fairly bright and clean paintjob. I start off by painting the white areas in grey... I tend to mix my own because I don't actually have any grey paint, but you could use any fairly light grey without a blue tint instead. Then I build up layers with very thinned white paint... the grey should show through underneath so that the white colour is built up gradually, almost like a glaze. As you progress you can lessen the amount of water in the white so that you get better coverage on subsequent highlights. Continue until the last layer shows as pure white without any of the grey underneath showing. Hope that makes sense...

13-02-2008, 12:05
OK, so time for another update. Not hugely extensive, only the one model, but its a character model after all. Here is the current state of my battle standard bearer. He still needs his banner adding, obviously, but otherwise I think he's pretty much done. I had almost finished him a while back, but after looking at him I decided he was pretty much the same standard of painting as my rank and file Dragon Princes... as a character, this wasn't really good enough. So I went back and re-highlighted some parts (most notably the red, which is nice and smooth IRL even if it isn't immediately noticeable in the sub-standard pictures) and added some freehand. The trim on the robes is OK... it was difficult to get perfect due to the folds in the robes and its good enough for me. I'm actually pretty pleased with the flames on the barding... I checked up on some of the better examples on CMON to get a guide for the pattern, and it came out much better than any of my previous attempts at this sort of thing.
Next up will be more spearelves and banners for the BSB and Dragon Princes. I'll probably try and get the spearelves done first... once I've painted another five (including the champion) I'll have a unit approaching a proper size and will attempt some army shots. Two units of core infantry, a heavy cavalry unit, a bolt thrower, and eagle and two characters probably comfortably gets me to 1000 points painted, so its worth an army shot to mark the occasion...

13-02-2008, 21:38
Those are some extra lovely High Elves. I really like the old figures, and you've really done them justice with your paint job.

Loving the bsb - Stuff like the freehand and little conversion to banner pole really marks it out. I'll be looking forward to seeing the promised army shot.

Firestorm Falcon
13-02-2008, 21:52
That hero's lovely, very well blended.

14-02-2008, 09:49
Very nice standard bearer! Love the way your metallics work with the red. Good job! Just one thing - i think that maybe a brownish horse would have been more fitting with the rest of your palette :)


06-03-2008, 22:40
Have been thinking about using Goblin Green on the bases again, and you won me over!

I like the classic white and red!