When I left Games Workshop I was surprised and overwhelmed by the generosity of Gaku Matsubayashi, who gave me a copy of Jes Goodwin’s Eldar sketchbook as a leaving gift. Of course, I had to do something to try and repay such generosity, so I painted the Howling Banshee Exarch as a gift for Gaku (he sculpted the excellent plastic banshees kit).
I wanted to try a different colour scheme, and settled on the classic combination of magenta/purple and teal, despite some misgivings about it being a bit too Slaaneshy. I decided to retain the pale armour, but moved away from the bone into warm grey (I used pallid wych flesh shaded with skavenblight dinge). I didn’t want to make this look super reflective and shiny (I imagined more of a plastic, super advanced lightweight material), so I just shaded towards the recesses and in one or two other areas to add some visual interest, and edge highlighted with white.
I decided to try something different to the classic Eldar crystalline sword, so I used more of a conventional non metallic metal approach, but introduced more teal towards the body of the miniature to try and guide the eye inwards. The small details are painted with true metallic paints, which I always find add an extra level of contrast when viewing the miniature in the hand (but unfortunately doesn’t translate so well to photos).
I don’t want to criticise the ‘Eavy Metal team, who I think do wonderful work (to tight deadlines). But I do think that they sometimes have a tendency to go too far with the shading on female faces, with the result that to me they often look quite masculine. I’ve gone for a more subtle approach here, which is much more to my taste. Fortunately Gaku has sculpted some lovely big, well defined eyes so I was able to paint the irises without too much difficulty!
I also painted one of the optional exarch helmets to see how it would look, but in the end preferred the unhelmeted version, so that was the one I glued in place before giving the miniature to Gaku.