Eldar Warlock and Golden Demon 2022

A quick look at this blog reveals that it has been quite some time since I painted a miniature to competition standard, but when a UK Golden Demon competition was announced back in March I finally found the motivation to pick up the brushes again and settle in for the long slog that this kind of project inevitably ends up being.

I didn’t have to think too long about what to paint since GW had recently released some new Eldar miniatures and this gave me the excuse I needed to break out the credit card. I briefly considered having a crack at the Avatar of Khaine but I just don’t have any interest in painting miniatures that large, so I settled on something a little more realistic.

The warlock kit is quite unusual in that it contains parts to build two miniatures. Two bodies and four arms are supplied as well as several head options, so in principle you can build a decent number of variants (although in practice I don’t think they’d look massively different from one another). In an effort to further differentiate my warlock and inspired by a piece of art by my all time favourite artist Mark Gibbons, I sculpted a new right hand and head and added fur around the shoulders. Because I prefer to sculpt digitally, the fur was particularly challenging since I had to make measurements of the physical miniature and then sculpt a piece that I hoped would fit. After a few attempts I got reasonably close and was able to use greenstuff to sculpt additional little bits of fur to fill any gaps. I also used the rough digital mock up I had made of the warlock to design the base. Making the base before I had even started painting the miniature was a departure from my usual half-arsed cobbled together effort at the end of the project, but I think ultimately it was worth holding my impatience to get started in check. All the parts I designed were printed on my Elegoo Mars 3 printer with standard Elegoo resin.

Saim Hann Eldar Warlock by Mark Gibbons that formed the inspiration for this project. Image used without permission.

I decided not to try and replicate the colours of the artwork precisely as my experience suggested that at miniature scale they were likely to look a little drab, and my preference has always been for maximum saturation bright colours! I painted the miniature in sub assemblies, even going so far as to paint texture on the inside of the robe before gluing the two parts together. Doing it this way meant that I had to fill and sand the seam on an already partially painted model but it is possible to see inside the robe from some angles and because I don’t prime my miniatures this kind of procedure is not too much of a problem.

There’s nothing particularly revolutionary about the painting techniques I used. The early stages involved a massive amount of somewhat tedious stippling on the robe, highlighting the 1:1 evil sunz scarlet and mephiston red base coat through wildrider red and fire dragon bright up to lugganath orange. I shaded the robe with naggaroth night, and also used this paint extensively elsewhere on the miniature in order to tie everything together. (For example, the gold nmm also has this paint in the deepest shading, and it is also used in highlights on the armour, the gems and of course the base!)

The idea behind the piece is that the warlock is engaged in some psychic shenanigans, so I made extensive use of vallejo magenta paint for these aspects and even mixed in some warcolours fluorescent pink to really get that visual punch, although sadly it doesn’t really come across in these photos. The base is supposed to be breaking up around him due to the power of the eldritch magics, and I used the magenta in these areas to try and get that narrative across.

There was a decent amount of freehand to get through, with the robes, sash and helmet all having these elements. No matter how many times I paint freehand designs, I always find it a slightly stressful experience, as there is always the knowledge that you can’t really make too many mistakes or you will quickly find yourself building up texture that is the enemy of a silky smooth finish. I’m happy to say that it went reasonably well on this occasion! The only other areas of note that occur are the light weathering I painted onto the pouches and the very fine texture on the sash, making it look like a different fabric to the robe.

During the course of painting this miniature I was forced to accept that time has definitely started to catch up with me and my ability to focus very closely is now on the wane. Fortunately I found that using a pair of reading glasses enabled me to achieve the level of finish I was after. Unfortunately this does further affect my motivation for display level miniature painting, as it’s even more difficult to justify putting in the hours when I can’t even fully appreciate the finished piece without some kind of optical aid!

It was my intention to enter this miniature in the 40k single mini category at the 2022 UK Golden Demon and take Fuegan along to put in the open category. Sadly I won’t be able to attend this event because someone at GW decided that having not had a Golden Demon for three years it would be a good idea to hold it at Warhammer World, which has a very limited capacity. When the event was announced it was obvious to me that ticket availability was going to be a massive problem, and so it has proved! I’m not particularly bothered about being denied the opportunity to collect more trophies, but I was looking forward to seeing all the great people in the community that I haven’t spoken to for a very long time. I know many other painters have missed out on getting tickets too, so all in all it is very disappointing.

And finally, it would of course be a crime to write any blog post about Eldar without acknowledging the mighty Jes Goodwin, without whom none of this would have been possible. You’re a legend sir!

20 thoughts on “Eldar Warlock and Golden Demon 2022

  1. Gareth, I am sooooooo glad that you have come back to your blog. I recently purchased all your tutorials on Etsy, I love the look o some of the models and I have been trying to copy your style which I think is excellent. Enough smoke blowing!!

    That model looks great and look forward to seeing more of your work.

    Kind Regards

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think Patron would be good place for them, but then I understand the commitment to produce regular content. Etsy is fine or a one off payment and great reference material. But i do like a video to demonstrate a technique.. Would love to see one for the high contrast work you do.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Dave, you’re a gentleman sir!
      I really appreciate the offer but to be honest the whole debacle with the tickets has turned me off this one. I have friends that won’t be able to attend so I think at this point I’d rather just wait for a more conventional golden demon!
      Best of luck to you, assuming you’re entering (not that you need it)!


  3. Hey Gareth!!

    Thanks for this, as I know eldar my absolute favourite!!
    I just refreshed your etsy page and couldn’t find it, I think its been taken down by GW or some such. Which is a shame. Do you have know if you’ll be moving shops or trying to reopen them?



      1. Hi Gareth,

        Went to pick them up today and couldn’t find them so glad I found out why.

        Is there another way to access them? I love the colours used on the sisters and was hoping to do the same scheme as it is gorgeous.

        I have also started to learn digital sculpting and was wondering what program you used to design models and if there was any particular course you did to learn digital sculpting for model making specifically.

        Thanks for any help you are able to give :).


        1. No, I’m sorry – the guides are gone for good.

          I use blender for all my sculpting work. I’m afraid I can’t recommend any courses as I taught myself through trial and error (and lots of googling!).


  4. Fanatic to see you are back painting! A stunning piece!

    I understand your frustration and disappointment with GD this year. I will look forward to seeing this piece at the next regular one 🙂


  5. Wow… I really love Eldar and I am looking to so much minis and so much art since i started this hobby over 20 years ago – but all the things here are so great and I really love coming here and see what great art you did again… the Warlock is just awesome as it is Fuegan – he is the way all Phoenix should be and I can’t stop looking at him. Hope GW will make all the other Phoenixes justice like you did with him. Thanks a lot for all your great work!


  6. Gareth,

    Great work as usual. Shame about the Etsy guides, as the power sword guide on the blood angel was the best tutorial for that type of effect. It was just so clear and well taught. The version I painted wasn’t in the same league as yours but I still get asked where I learned the technique (I pointed at least a dozen folks to your Etsy page). I know that the guides are gone for good on Etsy, but please consider updating or doing more. In any case, thank you, awesome to see you explain your thoughts on composing a piece.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s