A while ago I made the hard call to put my Elysian Drop Trooper collection up on ebay. The last time they had rolled dice in anger would probably have been ten years ago, and since then had only been used as occasional proxy models and gathered dust. The money raised from them went to an outstanding cause, however.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it
Many of them were unfinished, and although I had considered finishing some of the half-painted squads, I decided to put them up as-is. I tried to group squads as best as I could remember so that there wasn’t too much of a mix, but there was the inevitable Veteran squad which had some pretty extensive conversions and couldn’t really be mixed in to the other squads.
The whole lot went for way more than I had anticipated, and the buyer of the veterans contacted me before hand and asked if I would be interested in finishing them as a commission. I had been avoiding commissions recently for a number of reasons, but as these guys were close to my heart I couldn’t really refuse.
On top of that was another two five-man squads, unpainted. They would be part of the commission as well.
When the buyer (now the Client) then asked if I would be up for doing another thirty or so troopers, well…
Finishing what I’d started
First thing’s first, while we hashed out the details of unit composition, special weapons and the like, I set about finishing off the previous squads – a five-man squad with lasguns, a five-man squad with close combat weapons and the remainder of the veteran squad.
A specific request was for all troopers to have grav-chutes, which meant retro-fitting the existing models as best as I could.
Most of them went on fine. There were a few issues with the veterans and their more, uh, elaborate decorations. Some had their grav-chutes left on their base, as if they’d just landed and ejected them.
A question of bases
When they were all assembled and undercoated, it was time to hit the paints. Then I realised that every technique I had used when I first painted these guys 10/15 years ago had been rendered obsolete by new washes and colours. I had to re-learn how to paint Elysians, using the three painted veterans I had for guidance.
Let’s just say, thank the God-Emperor (again) for the invention of washes.
With both the 5-man squad and Veterans pretty much finished, there was just the decision of the base to make. There were two options – keep the Cityfight grey or try a sandy desert yellow.
As much as the yellow works better against the blue and grey colour scheme, it’s a bit out of place for their camo scheme to be running around in the desert. One of the pitfalls of painting army guys – you can’t aesthetically pair your uniform with your surroundings, you have to blend in!
No more excuses
With the decision made on bases, it was time to pull my finger out and finish these squads off. I had also been given direction for the assembly of the other squads, so it’s full steam ahead on the Elysian commission!