Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Dark Eldar: Archon Conversion - the past meets the present

I don't want blood. I can take your blood. I am asking for souls. Only you can give me your soul.
My nostalgia for the original range of Dark Eldar models has lead me to purchase a fair few old metal models on ebay, including some of the unreleased concept models sculpted by Gary Morley and Chris Fitzpatrick. Some early readers of this blog may remember that in my first Dark Eldar post (about my Kruellagh the Vile conversion), I hinted that I was planning to convert another archon using a model  even older than Kruellagh. Well, the time to show that conversion has finally arrived (despite taking much longer than I had originally planned, ha ha)!

The actual conversion is a pretty simple one, making use of an unreleased Dark Eldar archon model Chris Fitzpatrick sculpted. Strangely, the archon is  armed with one of their weird looking blasters, which at the time they could not even be equipped with (potentially why the model was not released?). But even weirder than the blaster was the head Chris sculpted, which sported some of the most ridiculous hair I have seen on a miniature.
Look at that ridiculous hair. What were they thinking?
Once getting past the crazy hair and blaster, closer inspection of the model reveals some really awkward and unnatural elements. Take for instance her almost complete lack of a waist. This gives the entire model a kind of alien and demonic look to it. For the conversion I wanted to try and build upon this strangely lithe and demonic look. The first order of business was finding a suitable head to replace the original. I ended up choosing one of the two heads Jes Goodwin designed for the new Dark Eldar archon, the one with the two devil horns and the creepy face (apparently designed to mimic one of the old Rogue Trader helmets). Back when the new Incubi and the archon were first released many people were up in arms about the devil horns on the models, thinking they did not really fit with the Dark Eldar aesthetic. In the case of my conversion here, the horns fit perfectly as demonic emphasis.

Truly a weird model, flat as a board and with body proportions nowhere near natural.
As for equipping the model, I decided to keep the blaster intact, since archons can be equipped with them now. For her other weapon, I replaced the agonizer with a blade taken from the glaive of the Dark Eldar Succubus. Like the model’s devil-horned helmet, the blade has an interesting and slightly divergent aesthetic from typical Dark Eldar imagery. The blade has a brutal look to it, so broad that it almost resembles a machete.

Taken from the Succubus model, the archon’s blade is broad and brutal, speaking more of rage and power than finesse.
Other than the weapon and head replacement, and the addition of a few poison vials/grenades, I decided to leave the model largely as it was.  While this meant maintaining the rather pedestrian pose (I’m standing here!), it leaves clear evidence of the model’s heritage.  Additionally, maintaining the pose and odd proportions help emphasize the whimsical, eccentric evil that I wanted to highlight.

The new Archon fits nicely alongside my other headquarter choices, particularly with  Kruellagh!
Hopefully you enjoyed taking a look at a model from the beginnings of the Dark Eldar range and like what I have done with it. Up next on the list for my Dark Eldar will probably be to add the finishing touches to my Duke Sliscus conversion. After that, all I need to do is get out and play a game or two with them!

- Adam Wier


  1. I am still rather fond of those old Dark Eldar, since they were my first 40k army. So thanks for the nostalgic feeling ;) The conversion nicely bridges the old and the new indeed, but let me get this straight: You cut up an unreleased model - quite the collector's item - for this conversion -- hah, that's a gutsy move right there! ;)

    1. Yeah, some of the old Dark Eldar models are great in their own special way! I did indeed cut up an unreleased model... I was a little unsure if I wanted to do so at first, but I am happy how it all turned out!

      I am still always on the lookout on ebay for unreleased Dark Eldar models, so maybe I will run into another... Ha ha.

  2. Pretty simple conversions that work really well. Cool stuff!

  3. Quick question. Did you have to saw the head off or was the head a separate glue on piece?

    1. It has been a while since I did this, but I am pretty sure I had to cut the heads off.