Thursday, 17 August 2017

Of Elves And Dwarves

It is starting to look like I am not going to get my five figures done this week and if I do it will be only by the skin of my teeth. Instead I have been prepping figures. De-flashing, putting them on bases along with some sand and covering them with primer. The plan is to get a load of figures ready for the next month or so of painting. What I went looking for was some elves.

Everything I paint for fantasy games has a focus on the dark age, well almost everything. After yesterday's post I got to thinking about what Norse elves and dwarves look like. Dwarves I guess are easy. They are just stubby, heavily bearded northmen. In Norse mythology there are two types of elves, light and dark. There isn't too much to be said about them anywhere. Black elves might even be dwarves.

Elves of all kinds are rare. Other than light elves being "luminous" and black elves being "blacker than pitch" and them being a little bit god-like (at least associated with the Aesir), the sagas have little to say about them. You have to look for wider germanic mythology for any more details. This makes it clear that they are human-like. In this era it becomes clear that elves are just as likely to shag you (and have children with humans) or make you, or your animals, sick. The early middle age era gives them an association with alchemy.

So no blond hair, pointy ears, associations with bows and longswords and a haughty attitude. Damn you Tolkien. Basically I have nothing to go on. There good elves and bad elves. If there is any difference it's going to be down to a style of miniature and a paint job.

As part of what I am doing with the figures I am looking for another project. One thing I don't have is much on the way of elves. There are probably about twenty wood elves in the collection. These I guess will do well enough for light elves although I might get around to doing something about that.

The black elves (and I use the word black rather than dark because I don't want D+D cookie cutter elves, all that pale skin, white hair and spider riding) I was going to use are the old Harlequin Miniatures which are now owned by Black Tree. High elves are just another RPG construct born out of Tolkien but the first load I got cheap on eBay. But I was still struggling with a paint scheme. I looked up dark elf miniatures and most seem to have a like like a cross between angst ridden teen/goth (black and purple) with a little bit of bondage gear (corset and thigh length boots). Or all in all not very Norse.

As the search continued I found a picture of the dark elves from Thor: A Dark World. This was a really stupid idea but given the picture this might be a bit of a give away.. By the fourth or fifth picture it started to sound more like a good idea. Basically black with some bright metallic stuff going on (well I am not really sure what to call it, it's like a silver with a sepia wash). I was thinking about using black as the skin tone (black as pitch) but I thought that might not look so good when painted. If I painted by High Elves like this, it might just work.
This is what angst ridden teenagers should look like, in my head anyway
I might do a bit more thinking about the dwarves but I have loads of these already. Maybe that is tomorrow's topic.

No comments:

Post a Comment