Monday, April 1, 2013

Dark Eldar: Raging Heroes Blood Vestals as wyches?


The Blood Vestals make their way to 40k!
In addition to the Dark Eldar warriors, I have been working towards adding a few squads of wyches to my Dark Eldar army. While I was never too thrilled with Chris Fitzpatrick’s overly exaggerated take on wyches, in light of my previous efforts to pay homage to the earlier Dark Eldar range, I wanted a single squad of wyches to maintain a similar design aesthetic. Fortunately, the up and coming French miniature design studio Raging Heroes had just the models for such a squad, the SciFi Blood Vestals.

Original wych (left), Blood Vestals (right).
Like the company’s earlier effort with the fantasy Blood Vestals, they designed a total of ten models separated into a Command and a Troop squad boxed set. Each of the models boast a unique and dynamic sculpt and have separate arms, allowing for even more possibility. In terms of design, the SciFi Blood Vestals were clearly made with Dark Eldar wyches in mind. Like the Games Workshop equivalents, each model comes armed with the standard pistol and dagger, though optional weaponry is included in the Command boxed set. All of these optional weapons look strikingly similar to the Dark Eldar wych weaponry: the Hydra Gauntlets, the Razorflail, and the Impaler/shardnet. Additionally, the Command comes with a sword and a whip (which looks suspiciously like an Agonizer) to arm the squad leader.

The Razorflails and Hydra Gauntlets!

Interestingly, they sell the models in two forms, the standard edition which are cast in white metal and the collector’s edition which are cast in resin. Never being much of a fan of resin, I opted for the ones cast in metal. I had heard a lot of praise for Raging Heroes’ quality control and model casting on message boards, but even still I was a little apprehensive. Fortunately, the models I received were all cast pretty well. While they certainly had their fair share of mold-lines, none of them were severe or threatened to ruin any of the detailing on the models. The white metal used in the models is softer than that used by Games Workshop, somewhere around the hardness used by Corvus Belli’s Infinity models (and AntiMatter Games’ Deepwars models). This softness made removing the mold-lines a relatively simple (albeit time-consuming) process. In a few instances, models suffered from what almost looked like small leaks in the mold, resulting in small accumulations of excess metal on sections of the models (most of which were simple to remove). For one of the models, one of the optional arms was attached directly to the model’s knee via a casting tab. This unfortunately obscured some of the detailing on the interlocking armor plates that would be impossible to fix without modeling putty work (still need to assemble that one...).


Assembly of the models was pretty straightforward, in most cases only requiring you to glue on their arms. Despite how thin and delicate their arms are, I was easily able to pin on each. One of the models also required you to glue on the lower half of her right leg, a task that ended up being surprisingly tricky and needed to be tidied up with modelling putty. Also, it is worth noting that you need to be very careful not to break any of their weapons. This is particularly true with the Impaler provided, as the shaft of it is incredibly thin and malleable. After noticing a small crack in mine, I ended up cutting the shaft off and pinning on a plastic replacement taken from one of the Dark Eldar Hellion plastic polearms.   

If desired, you can pretty easily reinforce the attachment of their arms with pins. 

I replaced the original haft of her Impaler with one taken from the plastic Dark Eldar hellions.

Having assembled a total of nine of the models, I am very pleased with the unit and look forward to using them in battle. They capture the old Dark Eldar aesthetic well without looking out of place with Games Workshop’s current range of models. They also scale very well with the Dark Eldar model range. So if you are looking for an alternative to Games Workshop’s wyches, or want a way to distinguish your Bloodbrides from the rest of your wyches, look no further than Raging Heroes SciFi Blood Vestals.

The Blood Vestals scale quite nicely to the other models in the Dark Eldar range.

The Blood Vestals have an impressive range of dynamic and distinctive poses. 
Now I need to go about assembling all of my plastic Dark Eldar wyches...

- Harlon Nayl

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