Thursday, 15 March 2018


Jes Goodwin

Getting into Space Elves for the first time since 1988.. 

My GW hobby started with white dwarf issue 101 in May 1988, as I have said previously on this blog. On the first page beneath the imperial guard land speeder , limited edition chaos renegade and the squat thudd gun was the an Eldar war robot with accompanying battle drones , designed by the legend Jes Goodwin.

The War Robot came hot on the heels of the other Eldar stalwarts the War walker and the Dreadnought
and the D-cannon

"I have never painted an Eldar model"

A chapter approved double page spread further into the magazine laid out previously unknown notions on ghost warriors and the proto  infinity circuit . To say I was intrigued would be an understatement.
And yet in the all the years since.. I have never painted an Eldar model..I think there are a few reasons for this , Eldar traditionally have been painted to extraordinarily high standards .. Look at those chequred patterns and thorny freehand. A tradition which has carried on in the hobby, and one that is hard to disassociate the Eldar from.

Amazing .. but also daunting...

I find it difficult to not see Elves as humans ..

But another less obvious problem I have with the Eldar or "Elves" - "Aelves"  "Aeldari"  in general, is that I see them primarily as extensions of our humanity. Pride, arrogance, self absorption, beauty and lithe aestheticism. Its the same reason i primarily play humans in 40k..

Or rather i find it difficult to see them as Aliens , or at least...other, 

but its not only Elves..

Dwarves are culpable too..  but in 40k dwarves (squats) are still part of humanity ) where as space Elves ( Eldar ) " Aeldari " are trying to have you believe they are completely  Alien.
It never fully worked for me to be honest , nothing to do with the quality of the models or artwork or even the extensive and beautifully tragic world building down to the very authentic runes. I just couldn't see them as Aliens from the other side of the galaxy, To be fair i have the me problem with start trek , in fact i think it started with star trek.. 


 Its impossible to think of Eldar or even any Elves in GW lexicon without thinking of Mr Jes Goodwin.

The world Building Mr Goodwin has achieved with the Eldar is nothing short of superlative , his design ethos is constant and evolving and runs through the race like a parallel history of GW. Like all Mr Goodwin's  design work , nothing is left to chance , everything is thought about and re thought about in the lived in myth of 40k.  the expansion from Space Elf pirates to carftworlds exodites  and commoragh has been handled with passion skill and foresight for thirty years i often wonder if Mr Goodwin's own multidisciplinary skill set are what inspired the specialization of  paths in the ascetic Eldar

All this world building is Beautifully and extensive realized , but for a causal observer its hard to know where to dive in , the backstory the names the runes and even the aesthetics.. have all eluded me until fairly recently.

useful links regarding Runes

as an aside , no mention of Jes Goodwin and Elves spacey or not should be bereft of his sterling work  on fantasy and Bloodbowl . In that first issue of WD I bought I also saw Mr Goodwins BB elves ..

 so good..

My first fantasy army was High elves , it would be enough that Mr Goodwin just designed elves , he is obviously ridiculously talented at making those pointy eared androgyny.. very desirable, but as we know these ranges form just a fraction of his encompassing  GW design stable .

whether that be  ,woody, spacey, crafty, spacey dark, sporty or high..

A near impossible task to completely quantify the works of Mr Goodwin on the Eldar ranges but steve Casey does a sterling task of it on the stuff of legend site.

Mr Goodwin Talks..

Apart from the difficulty I have seeing Eldar as Alien , I love pretty much everything else about them, The Philosophy of a dying "spent" race ,the brink of collapse brought about by its own hubris is tragic and compelling , add to that the brilliant design ethos by Jes / Jez Goodwin , the spiritual overtones and the stunning models they have produced over the years.  The amount of passion spent on this 40k range over the past 30 years is evident. I would even go as far as to say the Eldar are GW's  second most iconic range after space "knights" marines .

Rogue Trader era  space elves & dark space elf  to Eldar corsairs and craftworlds

1st Dark space Elf !

Love how Tony Hough makes these Eldar  seem totally Alien

Edit : upon closer inspection it looks like Mr Hough's Eldar space pilots are based upon
Mr Goodwins Eldar officer / which seems to have inspired his own sculpt Taal spellsinger musician model from the Eldar command group. there are a few deviance's , like the ribbed muscles  instead of the chain-mail under garment

shown here from the most excellent magpie and old lead blog

always loved the look of  these Rogue trader proto Ulthwe Eldar


Forgeworld corsairs

lifted from the stuff of legend

Rogue Trader Pre-Craftworld Warriors

After a trip up the Nile, Jes Goodwin designed five Eldar models which were clearly forerunners of the later Craftworld Dire Avengers with their bulkier Shuriken Catapults, helmet crests and Powerswords. After WD127, these were rolled into the Guardian range."

I wont list a chronological order to the Eldar as the stuff of legends site is far more knowledgeable but i do want to add a few of my favorite pieces of 40k Eldar art as inspiration.

I was suprised to see Fur back on the new Visarch Model , but was pleasanty surprised to see it has a long history appearing on the Eldar .

Dawn of war 2 trailer

Dawn of war 3 trailer