I made this warband on a whim; some of the other oldhammerers on FB were painting Dark Elves and the figures just took me right back to my first books and the illustrations therein. There’s something nice about seeing something and wanting it and just getting it on impulse, like a kid in a toyshop with pocket money. Not a race I’ve had any interest in before; they were more part of the background of the setting for me. Which I think is what drew me to them now – I saw the art and the models and they were so familiar, yet something I’d never actually played with.
I like the simplicity of these pre-slotta models, the way they look almost like they were carved out of a solid block of lead. There’s also something a lot more relateable about them than later Dark Elves – they look like elves, dressed for war, occasionally wearing human skins as cloaks, but still more like elves than glam rock fetish murder cultists.
I read some Elric stories and I liked the idea of the Melniboneans becoming a pragmatic race of mercenary nomads after their decadent city burned. I wanted these guys to be exiles, wanderers, politically out of favour but not in thrall to evil powers. So I painted them against type, instead of cold purple and silver, using bronze, red and plenty of warm tones. I named the models for characters from Elric who had ignominious ends, plus a couple of gag names in early GW tradition.
I wanted to use them in AoS Skirmish/Hinterlands, so I gave the sorcerer (who came without his staff) a celestial wizard’s orrery – he can be their navigator, leading them through the shattered worlds. I also statted them up in ASoBH – where in contrast to the Goblins of No-Dan-Kar, they were very straightforward to come up with profiles for.
I like how they’ve turned out. The base detail is liquid green stuff painted around the original pre-slotta base, then teased into a muddy texture. I wanted to incorporate the original bases as much as possible, and the effect makes it look like they’re journeying through some sort of muddy or twisted badlands.