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Craftworld Im-Bolc: Redbeard's Eldar

Army List

There is no set army list for Craftworld Im-Bolc. The only set rule is that Craftworld Im-Bolc does not send its civilians into battle. As such, we do not use guardians, weapon platforms, or war walkers.

The name Im-Bolc is derived from one of the princple pagan holidays, along with Biel-tan (Beltane) and Sam-Hain (Samhain )

Full Army Photo

This is the subset of the army that I took to the Adepticon Championships in 2008. I did well in the first two rounds, but then faced the army's nemesis in a Necron Destroyer army.

Painting Notes

Tying it Together

This army is the first that I finished where I was overall very happy with the results. I need a few more conversions in order to complete checklists at some tournaments, but I've won a number of appearance awards with it at RTTs.

One issue that Eldar Armies can run into is that with all the different aspects and harlequins and the like, they end up looking like a mismatch of colours, without anything tying them together as an army. To combat that, I took a few different themes and carried them throughout the army.

Firstly, there's the craftworld colours. Im-Bolc's primary colour is a bright blue, with secondary colours of naked wraithbone (Bone - with a deliberately heavy ink-wash left to pool and leave patterns) and orange. Regardless of the aspect colours, you'll find blue and/or orange on all the aspect warriors, predominantly on the sashes they wear.

Second, the basing is fairly distinctive. I use a few of the resin city-fight basing parts that GW sold with the release of Cities of Death throughout the army, and I think that pulls it all together well too.

Finally, I made a deliberate attempt to avoid metallic colours in this army. I'd done a lot with metals in my prior armies, especially the orks, and wanted to work away from that. Metallic paints are only used on the basing materials, and a little brass on the tips of flame/melta weapons.

Speaking of which, keeping similar weapons using a similar pallette throughout the army helps too. All the powers weapons are a deep red, whether it be on a harlequin, the avatar, a wraithlord, or the scythe at the end of Maugan Ra's Maugetter. All witchblade weapons are light blue with light white highlights, and all the guns are either black highlighted with shadow grey, or wraithbone.

Techniques Used

I used an airbrush for all the vehicles in the army. Using blending and masking techniques with the airbrush really got me results that I'm happy with. I also used the airbrush to cheat on some of the units - the wraithguard, for example, were predominantly done with an airbrush.

I also used GW's foundation paint line a lot while painting this army. They had just come out and make it possible to get such nice bright colours without spending forever on reds, oranges and yellows.

The diamonds on the harlequins were done with a method I started working with on my orks and their checker-patterns. First, any surface to be patterned is painted with Astronomicon Grey (the really light grey foundation paint). Generally two coats gets a smooth surfaces to work on. I then use a Micron Ink Pen (.005, .20mm tip) and draw one diamond. Using that as a starting point, start extending the lines as far as they go before they run off the surface being patterned. Slowly add new diamonds one at a time, and then extend the new line for that diamond out too. While the lines you get may not be 100% parallel to each other, doing one diamond at a time ensures that the diamonds themselves look right next to each other. The lines interact with the contours of the model so that if the lines really were parallel, the diamonds wouldn't look quite right.

The patterns on the wraithbone are accomplished by mixing 2:1 brown:yellow inks, and mixing in a healthy does of white glue, so that you end up with a rather viscous mix. Paint this over the bone surfaces, and allow it to pool before drying. The resulting colour deposits look very natural and like organic growth.

The Fire Prism cannon was done with a small sponge as you might use to sponge-paint a wall in a house.

Unit Photos


The Avatar of Khaine. Note the blood dripping from his hand.

The autarch is magnetized, and supports all the weapons and wargear options available, short of a jetbike. Here he is with a power weapon, fusion gun and swooping hawk wings.

Here we have four different farseers. I just wanted to paint them all.

This guy is one of the old harlequin shadowseers. A bit of conversion, and he suffices for a farseer on a bike when I want to use one. At least until I finish a real one.

Warlocks with their ride.

Eldrad. I think it's a rule somewhere that every eldar army has to have Eldrad. I haven't used him in a game yet though.

And here's Yriel of Im-Bolc. Yeah, these guys get around.

In addition, there are the various Phoenix Lords, but they're pictured with their appropriate Aspect Warrior units.


First up, Dire Avengers. Two full units, one with two catapults and one with a shimmershield projector. And Asurman's in there too.

Note the tips of the waveserpent shield generator fins. Coloured to match the squads they transport, so no one has to worry about which unit is in which transport.

Next, rangers/pathfinders. Twenty of these guys.

Finally, rounding out the troops are some bikes. Since we do not bring civilians to battle, "guardian" jetbikes are out, so the first set of these are Harlequin Jetbikes.


One unit of harlequins with red/white diamonds over 'cold' colour tassles.

One unit of harlequins with pink/blue diamonds over 'warm' colour tassles.

One unit of classic harlequins.

Here's a Death Jester who was sick on school photo day and had to get a solo pic instead.

Fire Dragons - Yellow. The Exarch for this squad is magnetized to swap out his flamer for a fire pike.

Fire Dragons - Red. I had an extra Exarch model for this squad, so no magnets, just two exarchs.

Howling Banshees, with Jain Zar

Striking Scorpions, with Karandras

Wraithguard with a Spiritseer. I think that's the most fitting use for my Bonesinger model.

Fast Attack

Warp Spiders - Not the best looking models in the range, but they're fun to play with.

Swooping Hawks, w/ Baharroth. Yeah, these are the really old models. But, since they rarely make it to the tabletop, updating the models is low on my priority list.

Vyper - Note there is no guardian sitting in a turret. We have pilots, we do not have civilians in battle.

Heavy Support

Dark Reapers, with Maugan Ra. I need to get these models updated so I can use the new exarch weapons.

A Falcon. There are three of these, with interchangable turrets so they also serve as Fire Prisms

With the Fire Prism turret.

The harlequin's falcon. This was accomplished by using a thin masking tape, and leaving small lines in between the strips of tape. The effect is that all the diamonds are identically sized - the width of the tape. Then filling in the pattern was easy enough, and highlighting the diamonds for a finished look. This gets a lot of attention whenever I have it out.

Wraithlord One - the first model I did for this army. His weapon options are all magnetized.

Wraithlord Two - I stole this idea from an employee at the Chicago Bunker, Sara, although the poses aren't identical. Her's is more of a samurai thrust, while mine is doing a two-handed slash. But, credit where credit is due, and hers was the first wraithlord I'd seen with a two-handed sword grip.

Wraithlord Three - Went for kind of a mini-titan look here, with the guns at the end of the arms, instead of giant robot hands. I like the way he turned out as a gun platform Wraithlord.

And, finally, the Phoenix fighter-bomber. I just really love the curves on this model.

Upcoming Additions

It's time to focus on some bikes. Assuming that we're ever able to order a shuriken cannon again, I'll be working on doing a proper Biker Farseer, Autarch, Six Shining Spears, and about 18 other Jetbikers.

Why I Started This Army

I started this army when the 4th edition Eldar codex came out because I really liked the models. I enjoy painting the clean lines of the eldar compared with my orks.


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