The new victims of my construction frenzy are the beloved Executioners. The new model has been recieved with mixed reactions. On one hand, a dual kit for Executioners and Black Guards had been many Dark Elf’s wet dream. When the models arrived, people had opinions… on the skulls… on the blades… on their style. Oddly enough, there’s few pictures of other hobbyists on the model, or how they experienced building and painting the models. So let’s see what the new kit delivers for ourselves!
Contents of the box
The box contains three large sprues and a Dark Elf symbol transfer sheet. That is a neat extra, considering you only need one symbol for the banner out of the whole kit. This leaves us with plenty to spare.
On the sprues, the pieces are not arrayed in a very logical order, so you have to spend some time finding the right bit on the sprue. That does make it a bit slower compared to the old, 6th edition dark elf warriors who seemed to be built for mass construction. But every piece is numbered and we are given a clear step by step plan for the assembly of each model.
After experiencing the limited construction options for the Witch Elves and the lack of configuration for the Hydra, I’m pleasantly surprised to see the Executioners come with different, interchangeable pieces:
- Five models for chest and leg armor
- Three cloak designs
- Five blade designs
We can make a total of 65 different configurations, not including command group. Unfortunately, the cloaks don’t come in an evenly balanced number (4 of the first two types and 2 of the third type) so you are likely to find duplicates before you have 65 models.
The diversity between the models is rather subtle: they share the same pose, the cloaks all tilt to the same side and the Draichs (Executioner blades) are held up with the same pose. It gives the models a uniform, displined look without making them clones.. but they are probably twins… or brothers.
No moldlines but damn them pauldrons!
G.W. impresses me, again, with how they leave the moldline fanatasy battles behind. There was barely any work on the mold lines. I was about to praise all the forbidden gods for it.. when the good dieties struck back with annoying pauldrons. When clipping the bits, I accidentally clipped into the pauldrons a couple of times. I could blame myself, but it’s easier to blame G.W.!
I didn’t find it easy to use a hobby knife to remove the last bit of the sprue from the pauldron. The pauldron is curved, making a straight cut a poor choice. And applying pressure on a hobby knife while following the curve of the pauldron is a challenge. I did get the hang of it after a while, but I fear I’ll need to cover up the cuts a bit before I paint them.
The assembly starts with the easiest part: body and cloak. The two go well together, glue perfectly but pauldrons give me some worries again. One half of the pauldrons comes with the cloak, and the other half with the body. While the two parts fit well, the seam shows a little. It is the only place on the entire model where a seam shows, but I find it too visible a spot on the model to leave it untouched.
As the assembly continues, the plan guides you effortlessly through the steps. There is one step that had me raise an eyebrow. The Draichs are held with both hands, but the arms and Draichs come in two parts:
1) The main sword arm with Draich
2) The supporting arm.
The supporting arm is glued to the handle of the Draich, before both arms are glued to the body. I was sceptical about that, but it turned out surprisingly well. It just works. The pauldrons and tiny body do make it a challenge to put pressure on both arms to make sure it sticks. I solved this by using my big paws for the sword arm and using a ballpoint in the chainmail for the other arm.
Base, basing and ranking
The Executioners have long garments, almost scraping the floor. I won’t be able to use the basing I applied for the Corsairs. I’ll have to revert to the one I used for the old warriors. I did place the champion on a slab of stone, to make it blend in more easily..
The models rank up easily, thanks to their uniform stances. By giving them an identical position on the base, they’ll rank up automatically. There is one last trick to keep in mind when positioning them on the bases. The cloaks tilt to the left. If you turn the Executioners to the right on their base, they will show more armor. For the Black Guards you could turn the models to the left, showing more cloak. It is but a detail, but it helps distinguish to distinguish the style of the two models.
I copied that trick for my Executioners and will do it in the future for the Black Guards.
The end result
Well, see for yourself!
In my opinion, the models look very buff for being Elves. They are probably the most grim looking models I’ve seen in the Dark Elf range, close to emitting a Chaos feeling. They do look their role every bit of the way.
As a unit, they easily look somewhat structured, befitting the elite status these troops have. But they are also butchers, and their helm and blade leave little room to neglect that part. I’m pleased with the unit, definitely, but they lost some refinement over the previous model in this new edition.