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Hello all, it's been some time since my last post! I won't beat around the bush - as was the case with many I'm sure, 8th Edition 40K stormed into my life and Age of Sigmar was, quite simply, put on hold while I sorted out my first 1000pts army. Beyond the miniatures themselves, there were a number of scenery pieces that needed painted and assembled and in between all of that, I'd been chipping away on my Nurgle Daemons, who I'm hoping to have a dual existance with in both my 40K army and my eventual Nurgle Daemons/Rotbringers/Pestillens army for Age of Sigmar, but more on that when I've more to show for it. In any case, between finishing my Heretic Astartes and continuing to put together my Nurgle Daemons, I took a break from all things Chaos to finally polish off my Stormcast army. Now at 2000pts (1000pts of which is in 3 models, which is pretty crazy), it - like my Wolf and the Rat army - is built strictly around the philosophy of cool models > theme > how does it play. I did want it to be something of an antithesis of my Wolf and the Rat Bloodbound, and so the whole army is a small, elite core of only 28 models (Dracoth Celestant, Drakesworn Templar, Celestant Prime, 5 Liberators, 5 Liberators, 5 Judicators, 5 Decimators, 3 Prosecutors, 2 Fulminators) with 2 more not in the list (Lord Relictor, Knight Questor) vs the horde of 77 models in their nemesis list, which makes for a pretty interesting matchup! It's been a fun project, and in many ways neat to work on the antithesis of Chaos while most of my other models have been Chaos of some form or another, but I think I'm pretty much done with Stormcast Eternals at this point. If I work on any more forces of order, I'd quite like to work on something a little more nutso (Flagellants and Warrior Priests, for example), or even just bring in some actual Aelfs for the Azure Tempest to ally with. Then, of course, there's always my big pile of Dwarfs I've got waiting to be painted, and with the new Fyreslayer Start Collecting! box coming out.. I'm starting to think I have a problem. My ramblings aside, here's the models! Eldyra the Immaculate, Blade of Tyrion Okay, so this is an idea I've had pretty much since I started the Azure Tempest. While I try not to involve named characters in my own fluff to be best I can achieve (though this can be unavoidable to a point when working with Stormcast, particularly if you're the kind of idiot that decides to do something that didn't come from standard human origins), I figured Eldyra is such a minor plot character whose conflicting tales of her fate in End Times gives a bit of leeway. Princess Eldyra of Tiranoc was Tyrion's squire and in at least one End Times novel I believe her fate in End Times was to be turned into a Vampire. With that said, she was still a High Elf, and so I imagine her soul was probably consumed by Slaanesh with the rest of them. Due to the Vampiric Taint in her body however, her freed soul was perhaps less tainted by the digestion leading to her reforged 'human' Stormcast body retaining many more of her Aelf traits. As Tyrion's squire in the world that was, she was given many great gifts following her reforging by Sigmar from her former lord-turned-new-God. Among those were Tyrion's legendary sword Sunfang, and a magical sceptre with a fragment of the Flame of Asuyran itself. From a hobby perspective, there's a lot going on here. The most obvious of which is, the Celestant Prime is switched with Saint Celestine with her sci fi bits and SoB/Imperium markings shaved off. Her head was originally going to be one I'd gotten from a plastic wood elf kit, but the proportions turned out to be incredibly jarring. I'd been told Saint Celestine was a small mini, but this blew my mind a little. She's almost pushing LOTR 25mm when compared to some of the other heroic scale minis in Warhammer, and that's kinda neat, but a pain to kitbash. Her head ended up being one of the Seraphim bodyguard, with a little more of a fringe and longer hair green stuffed on. In photo, I feel like she comes off as a little mannish in their face for an Aelf, but I think it works fine on the tabletop. Another key kitbash was Tyrions sword. This being an important named character in my army, I didn't want to half ass this, so it ended up coming from an old metal Tyrion miniature I got off of eBay, making this certainly the single most expensive kitbash of my life. Unfortunately, the tiny Celestine model again makes even Tyrions sword long as massive as the Cometstaff, but in the heroically proportioned Stormcast army, I don't think it looks too jarring, even if it's a little goofy. The final touch was another sword, slung in a scabbard at her waist that came from a set of Dragon Princes I bought for me fiancé. I'll admit freely that a demigod, squire to an actual God and wielding both a God's famed sword and a staff containing a fragment of a fire used to judge the worthiness of kings of a whole race.. yeah, they probably don't need another short sword, but at least she has less weapons than a Space Marine Primaris grav transport (apologies, more 40K bleeding in!). In truth, this was a last minute addition and is mainly to cover up a little dodgy green stuff work in getting her skirt part of the cloak to fit snugly on her waist. D'oh! The base is the last part probably worthy of comment. Honestly, it wasn't supposed to be quite so overgrown, but for the longest time I'd pictured her divinity and lifeforce causing a ripple of all four seasons across the ground she tread, a more intense variant of the spring flowers blooming in the ash wastes that the rest of my Stormcast are supposed to evoke.. okay, that was the plan, until I saw the base of the assembled model. There wasn't a lot of room for detail beneath the spiral. In the end, I painted the spiral in a nice blend between four seasons of colours, but it wasn't quite what I'd pictured in my head. I just went nuts in the end and blended a light green, dark green, winter green and a dead wasteland brown of grass, with spring flowers, summer flowers, dead leaves and GW snow effects adorning. I wish I'd been smarter with where each strand started instead of ending up mostly summer on the front, mostly autumn on the back, but again, you live and learn, and I'm still fairly pleased with the result in the end. Probably not the smartest choice to field in an army already packing a Stardrake, but the heart wants what the heart wants! Fulminators, Dracoth 'Princes' In contrast to Eldyra, I don't really have a whole lot to say about these guys. I magnetised the arms for future proofing, although I love the idea of the glaive's so much from a theme, miniature and even rules concept so much I didn't actually bother assembling the other options. I'm planning on running these guys together with my Dracoth Celestant with Tempestos Hammer as a glorious charge unit! From a painting point of view, I enjoyed these guys, but they weren't a great deal different to paint over the Lord Celestant on Dracoth, although practice and new, consistent paints have made some of the parts I'd previously struggled with a little bit easier. One thing I noticed after painting these, the final units in my Stormcast army, was what a terrible idea using gloss varnish over the white plate sections for a ceramic effect was - I genuinely enjoyed the look of their plates before adding the gloss, and was a little dismayed by how it looked after. I think I'm going to go back over all my glossy shoulder pads and whatnot with a matte varnish again and fix this. Still like the glossy wings on my Prosecutors/Celestant Prime though. So that's the Azure Tempest finally completed. It's been a fun journey, especially considering that the first model I painted in 10 years was the Knight Questor from the Silver Tower box set that started this whole thing. It's been fun going from my first attempts to figure out gold (and pretty much no highlighting at all) through to my experimentation with techniques, technical paints and various effects from the miniatures to the bases to the kitbashes along the way. Maybe one day I'll return to my Aelfs of Azyr, either with more Stormcast (I do love those Gryph Chargers, and Vanguard Warriors would make great post-Dark Elf Reavers) or with whatever crazy Aelf release that Games Workshop decide to drop on us out of nowhere, but until then, it's back to the forces of Chaos for me as I try and get my Nurgle Daemons ready for both Age of Sigmar and as reinforcements for my 40K army! The Azure Tempest - 1980/2000pts Heroes: 'Prince' Cazris and Glauranax (Lord-Celestant on Dracoth) - 220pts Aemarion Dragonborn and Chaerofax (Drakesworn Templar) - 500pts Eldyra the Immaculate, Blade of Tyrion - 360pts Battleline: Liberators with Warblades - 100pts Liberators with Warblades - 100pts Judicators - 160pts Decimators - 200pts Fulminators - 240pts Prosecutors with Celestial Hammers - 100pts So, what's next? Well, aside from the aforementioned Daemons (whom I'd rather like to build 1000pts of to match my Dwarfs), I think the next time I'll post an update to this blog will be a scenery post! This month has been a big month for buying and painting scenery to provide better cover and thus more interesting battles, especially some fixer-upper pieces from eBay. I've got everything from some high-fantasy Age of Sigmar pieces (Dreadstone Blight, Ophidian Archway, Arcane Ruins) to even just some nice, low-fantasy ruined towers that'll fit nicely with my bridges, walls and farmhouses from Warlord Games to add to my collection, so I'll hopefully have some nice battlefield photos of my next game of Age of Sigmar to show off (and also reveal both of my armies in their fully mustered forms!). Thanks for reading!