Wednesday, July 20, 2022

The First Eldar Miniatures in WH40K Rogue Trader: Part 3

I hope you enjoyed last week's guest post by Geriatricus Maximus. I didn't. What a grouch. 

For the final installment of my tour through the RTO4 range of original Space Elves, I thought I'd start by taking a look at some of the other fabulous painters who have tackled the range before. Honestly, I found it intimidating to try to paint these miniatures precisely because there are so many talented people who have turned their hand to them and produced stellar results:

Illustration of Yriel from
The Book of the Astronomicon (1987)

  • The first stop on our tour must be Dave Perry's Eldar. Steve Casey at Eldritch Epistles did a huge service to the hobby by presenting Dave's work in a series of stunning posts. Dave was a member of Games Workshop's Design Studio and 'Eavy Metal team. His Eldar (to quote Steve Casey) are "an absolute riot of yellow". I could stare at them all day. They are the Van Gogh sunflowers of the Warhammer world.
  • As a lovely contrast, take a look at the "Starry Night" Eldar painted by Frank J. and posted to DakkaDakka.
  • Another treasure captured by Steve at Eldritch Epistles is a handful of Eldar from Bryan Ansell's personal collection. They demonstrate the incredible variety of colour schemes that the Eldar attracted even from their earliest days.
  • I'm quite partial to Subedai's Eldar at The Lost and the Damned. He used a cool palette that catches the eye, and his work on the helmet markings is exquisite.
  • I also enjoyed the Eldar painted by Dutch Law at Berman Blog. Orange and teal is a striking combination of colours. And the strange effect is enhanced by the alien pallour he gives to those without helmets.
When it came to painting my own Space Elves, I decided to go classic: blue bodies and yellow helms with black stripes. I suppose it might be too classic. But I was seduced by the miniatures glimpsed in the pages of Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader (1987), as well as by the profile of Yriel and Yriel's Eldritch Raiders from The Book of the Astronomicon (1988). If I was going to paint the original Eldar, I wanted them to look like the original Eldar.

*   *   *   *   *

First up is "Eoan Fireheart". He differs from all the other miniatures in the range (save for the heavy gunners) insofar that his armour is bulkier, curvier and more bulbous. I like the way he has removed his helmet but the lower breather mask has stayed attached to this face.

Eoan Fireheart RTO4 RT401 Citadel 1987 painted miniature

Next comes "Capt. Aetolia Lightfoot". This is one of my favourite sculpts in the range: it looks great from every angle. As I've mentioned before, I love the way that it's hard to tell where the armour ends and the weaponry begins.

Captain Aetolia Lightfoot RTO4 RT401 Citadel 1987 painted miniature

Third is "Ceido Sharpeye". Although this is a simple pose, I find it compelling: the couched shuriken catapult conveys caution and watchfulness.

Ceido Sharpeye RTO4 RT401 Citadel 1987 painted miniature

And finally, the last in the RTO4 range is "Kern Proudbrow". The languid but aggressive pose is 100% Eldar awesomeness. Thanks Jes Goodwin for giving us such amazing miniatures!

Kern Proudbrow RTO4 RT401 Citadel 1987 painted miniature

If you know of any other great paintjobs for these miniatures, please share in the comments. Cheers!


  1. Wonderful work on all four Matthew, your work on these classic sculpts has been a great trip down memory lane

    1. These sculpts do have a special smell of the '80's, don't they?

  2. Excellent, excellent painting, Matthew, and as Dave says your Eldar posts are a wonderful trip down memory lane. Thanks for putting in the effort!

    1. I'm happy that I can gratify the nostalgia of another person named Matthew.

  3. Yes! More Space Elves! Capt. Lightfoot is amazing. I really wish this would still be the vision for the range. At least we have oldhammer.

    Great paintjobs as always. Yellow and blue may be classic, but as you show there's a reason for it.

    1. She is a great model, isn't she? (The more I look at the sculpture, the more I think it is probably meant to be a female).

  4. Fantastic! For us too, Captain Lightfoot is our favorite miniature: what kind of weapon does she carry?
    From the illustration of The Book of the Astronomicon we see various flags: the miniatures do not, however, include a standard bearer, do they?
    P.S. Thanks for your comment on gnolls and Jamon Serrano, which blogger refused to be featured on our blog!

    1. I think Lightfoot is carrying a meltagun. That's also what the Blue Catalogue says:

      There is a standard bearer... just wait for my next post or two, Rodor, and you'll see.

  5. Fantastic - and yes the blue/yellow combo with tiger stripes is about as classic as it gets for eldar - an unimpeachable choice.

  6. All of them look tremendously gorgeous. I love seeing these ranges revisited again, fantastic work

    1. Have you ever done any of these old Eldar, Suber? I was looking through your site but couldn't find any.