The Dark Elf Showcase - Page 4


Originally produced by Grenadier, then Nemo (through Statelibri) and possibly by em-4 in the future, the Fantasy Warriors miniature line accompanied a game of the same name. Was it good? Ask an entire forum of devoted frothers...

The Fantasy Warriors Zone

Although Dark Elves weren't present, their line of High Elves included some suitable miniatures; indeed, rumour has it the Second Edition High Elves acted in a suitable manner: "High-elven, for example, made human sacrifices all day" (Darth Sandar). Alongside the plumed spearmen were commanders with wicked axes and imposing helmets.


The smooth lines and nice sculpting haven't dated one bit; however, they might not be evil or ostentatious enough for some generals and they'd make repetitive rank and file. The bases are more problematic: most gamers will need to change the small ovals they arrive on, although a glance at the Statelibri site (the best place to see the full range, look for Elfi Alti) shows them just plonked onto a second base and flocked over.

But don't worry, go back a little further and you'll find Dark Elves. Grenadier's original Fantasy Warrior line did include the Drow, including figures from the much frothed over Mark Copplestone. 25mm in scale, the style was a form-fitting mixture of chainmail and curved plates with the occasional spike or leather region. Swords were also standard issue: their five infantry (502) carried two each, as did the Warchief and Hero (2 figures, 506) and one of the horse Cavalry (the other had a lance, 503). Lizards fan didn't miss out either, as model numbers 1452 and 1453 were dark elves on 'Raptors'.

Grenadier provided two command options, pack 504 featuring a hero, drummer, wizard and standard, while 8512 simply provided another standard and musician; presumably numerous stylish flags and noisy musicians were felt essential in a Drow army. Missile support was also available: 1467 was a Bolt Thrower, powerful in some armies but rendered mundane and boring by the 'Dark Elves with Arquebows' (505). Yes, it's a poor pun on arquebus, but the figures are fantastic: thin elves and giant, pole mounted crossbows that could kill an elephant. Finally, there was the intriguingly named 'Palanquin of Despair' (9014). I've no idea what this looks like, but it sounds deliciously evil.

The basing is the same as above but, sadly, these minis are long out of print. Your only options are to hunt high and low in second hand lists and dodgy sales...or write to em-4 games and beg them for a re-release. Go on, you know you want to.

Of course, Grenadier didn't stop there. Sandra Garrity also created the 'Elves Sinister', a devilishly sculpted group whose facial sneers ranged from contemptuous to full-on vampiric. Two appeared under the Fantasy Legends banner: the 'Elf Sinister Command' and the 'Elf Sinister Spell Caster (3121 and 3122 respectively.) However, their main release was as a ten figure box set in the Lost Lands range (Elves Sinister, 3002).


This small force included three crossbowmen, a mage, three fighters and three others whose stances and image could be those of heros, leaders, assassins or, with the right paint-job, undead! They're a great collection and, as the pictures aren't generally available on the net, we're treating you to them all here... 

As you can see, the design hasn't dated and there's no mistaking these for any other kind of elf.



Heartbreaker's line of 25mm metal Dark Elves is now out-of-production, but many retailers still have a selection in stock. I urge you to shop around, because I've seen the same single figure varying from $1 to over $6. Heartbreaker's sculpting was generally good - albeit not up to modern giants like Rackham - using familiar dark elf stylings: mix of chainmail and cloth, triangular groin 'armour', plenty of skull motifs. Of course, at 25mm they're smaller than many other lines. There were two figures in the Chaz Elliot Line -  Dark Elf Lord (5042) and  Dark Elf Vixen (yes, vixen, 5043) - and a blister of them in the general line (215: Dark Elves). However, the Tim Prow line was king, featuring 12 elves including leaders, male and female champions, wizards, fighters and an archer (#'s all between 3513 and 3530). They were all supplied with plastic slotted bases.


New Wave

New Wave Games - famous for painting contests, infamous for mail order service - have branched out into production, creating their own line of 'New Wave Limited Edition Miniatures'. They're up to eight figures at the moment and two were Dark Elves!


As you can see, New Wave have stuck to traditional elements for Adrian, their Dark Elf Champion, combining chainmail, raised hair and dual hand weapons. However, the face is surprisingly aged for the pose and there aren't many combative elders on the market! Malachi the Dark Elf Mage is also nicely subversive, contrasting simplistic clothes with a large staff, big sword and worried look. Kev White's sculpting is good on both and they're slotted.

Unfortunately, both figures were limited to 500 pieces and are fully sold out. On the downside, you'll have to source them through ebay and specialist web-sites...on the plus side, you won't have to order them from New Wave.

Alternative Armies

Buried within the sprawling Alector website is the Alternative Armies range, a multi-facted, multi-game collection of lead. Their 25mm Crystal Elves encompass a breadth of styles, ranging from normal fantasy to eighteenth century cavalry. Dark Elf collectors should consider the Halberdiers (DACE1008-U&A) and Order of the Axe-men (DACE1014-U&A), both available as single figures or 20-man units; sadly, for the axe-men this means 20 of the same figure and the Halberdiers aren't that better off.


   The halberds are suitably hooked, while the axes have a Norman/Executioner style to them but the Halberdier's commander isn't available separately (although at least they've got one). Other suitable figures include the Provincial axe milita (DACE1012-B&) and 'The Sorceress - Devenia' (DACE1104), a haggard and witchy miniature (with a moustache?)

   The sculpting isn't perfect - faces tend to look a little crumpled - but armour and weapons generally have a solid, business-like look. Otherwise, the only problem is the bases: there are roughly ovoid ones moulded onto the figure, but they shouldn't be too difficult to change.





Adiken has caused plenty of controversy in recent months; nevertheless, this Canadian firm is still producing 28mm pewter figures of interest. They have one Dark Elf, a 'Ranger with crossbow & sly sword'.

The fur cloak and bare torso may be reminiscent of wood elves but the hand crossbow (complete with bayonet) is definitely dark elf; the skulls help too. Conversion addicts will be pleased to note the model has three parts - body, crossbow and sword - while the positions of the feet make rebasing easy (provided you have a big knife/saw). The Adiken website has a 360° rotation of the figure.

Intriguingly (especially of you're a lawyer) this figure is very similar to a resin produced by Fenryll: the Champion Elfe Noir. The weapons are different, with Adiken's being far less crude...not always a good thing.

"I'm still not comfortable advertising these people until they've done something to counter the claims of piracy. (Apart from just say 'no we're not' obviously)" Artemis Black

Wessex Games

Wessex Games are a small British company who have ventured into full-on forthing with their first miniature line, a range of 28mm figures supporting their Panzerfaüste rules. Panzerfaüste? I hear you ask. Isn't that a bit modern? Well, yes. The game has fantasy races fighting in a mechanised world, and Wessex's Dark Elves have been styled to suit.

As you can see, they are a mix between WW1 and WW2 era Russians, right down to the Communist red stars adorning their fur hats. They even have some 'Internal Security' figures to bolster your line (or stand four foot behind and execute any cowards), although they look more like commandos and snipers to me.

The sculpting quality is adequate and the troops have that Dark Elf sneer to them. In addition models are produced with an all in one lead base which be cleanly cut off. Okay, so your average fantasy frother won't be interested, but Dark Elf completists can now carry their obsession into the modern day!


This showcase lists all the 25-28mm Dark Elves miniatures currently available but, as it's hopefully shown, you don't have to get straightjacketed by name. Many of the high, wood or generic elf ranges can simply be painted in darker colours and no-one will ever suspect their designer's intentions. If you convert your minis, the options are even larger (the range of toy lizards you can have them riding is pretty huge too). Overall, it's not the clothes which maketh the Dark Elf, it's the attitude...although full-size costume is still considered a little strange.


"In many cases it also seems a kinda issue of semantics as to what's a 'Dark Elf' and what's a 'High Elf' or 'Wood Elf'. Just seems a matter of marketing and industry labelling to me. For my money, I've always thought many chain & plate clad High Elf figs would make superb Dark Elves." UnclEvl

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