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Author Topic: OOP Dark Eldar mystery  (Read 588 times)

Offline Daeothar

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OOP Dark Eldar mystery
« on: February 16, 2021, 09:32:24 PM »
In the process of building and expanding my OOP 3rd ed. Dark Eldar army, I was routinely checking Ebay, when I came across something of a mystery.

A French seller offered up an old , battered blister containing two Warriors with Splinter Cannons, in metal. And since they could come in handy, I picked them up.

But here's the mystery: even though I am by now pretty well versed in the old Dark Eldar minature line, I had never seen them before!

I checked my old catalogues, from 1998 all the way up to 2010, to no avail. No mention of them in the Collecting Eldar & Dark Eldar Guide either.

Now intrigued, I even went through all issues of White Dwarf between October '98 and approximately end 2004. But no joy there either. I checked all pictures of battle reports with Dark Eldar in them, new product releases, features, Chaper Approveds, etc, but not even a vague, background appearance...

The Collecting Citadel Miniatures site does not feature them either; it only has several (pretty interesting  :D ) unreleased miniatures, but no general issue ones.

So we can be certain they're not limited or unreleased. The retail packaging (with French label, no less) supports that, as does the price; I paid less than 7,- for the blister, and I found several identical blisters in Ebay's history (from sellers all around the world).

I'm thinking this was a general release in such a limited timeframe, it did not even make the catalogues; this has happened before with Citadel releases after all. And if the timing was such, they could easily have fallen into obscurity.

After all, the same configuration was also present in plastic on the common Warrior sprue, so even amongst those playing this rather unpopular (and unsupported after their launch) range, these minis would be mostly unwanted.

When they arrive, I will at least be able to check the year on the tab, but I'm sure it'll read 1998, just like other Dark Eldar miniatures... ::)

But that's just my take; who can tell me more about these guys?

Miniatures you say? Well I too, like to live dangerously...
Everybody has a plan, until they get punched in the face - Mike Tyson

Offline axiom

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Re: OOP Dark Eldar mystery
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2021, 09:44:15 PM »
I'm pretty sure these are just a general release - they're on the bottom row in this page from the image below from the 1999 catalogue:
http://www.solegends.com/citcat1999/c1999p0050-02.htm
« Last Edit: February 16, 2021, 09:47:46 PM by axiom »

Offline Daeothar

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Re: OOP Dark Eldar mystery
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2021, 10:03:06 PM »
1999 eh...

Just the one catalogue I don't have ::)

Odd they're not in any later catalogue after that though, not even the 1999 Christmas one (which I do have).

Thanks for pointing that out; I hadn't checked SOL yet, as they're usually not up to speed with anything 40K after Rogue Trader...

Offline axiom

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Re: OOP Dark Eldar mystery
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2021, 10:06:32 PM »
I guess there's always a possibility that they didn't stay in the catalogues as they stopped showing full ranges? Or because they duplicated models in the plastic kit? Who can say?! :)

Offline Diablo Jon

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Re: OOP Dark Eldar mystery
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2021, 08:31:46 AM »
I was a Red shirt back when 3rd edition was released I remember those being for sale in the store. I don't think they sold well because unlike the Dark Lances, Shredders and Blasters splinter cannons were readily available in the plastic warriors box set.

I have to say I loved my 3rd edition Dark Eldar. My lord and his incubi bodyguard, on a raider, combined with  a portalable webway was a killer combo that let me terrorise the local space marine armies in store.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2021, 10:36:27 AM by Diablo Jon »

Offline Daeothar

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Re: OOP Dark Eldar mystery
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2021, 10:28:11 AM »
Thanks Jon; that supports my own suspicions. They were simply an expensive redundant part of the range, because of the plastic splinter cannon.

They still look to be nice figures though, and for the sake of completeness and variety, I will be including them, obviously.

Personally, I always liked the Dark Eldar, but in the local meta here in the Netherlands, they were not very popular. Either you tricked them out (a well tooled up Archon was arguably the best CC character out there) and played to their strengths and nearly always won, or you did not 'get them' and had your glass cannon shattered every game. There seemed to be no middle ground.

A lot of guys starting out (through the 3rd ed starter box) with DE pretty soon gave up on them, as it's not exactly a forgiving army to learn and play. So they switched to Space Marines pretty quickly, and their previous experiences resulted in DE getting a bad rep. Which was probably added to by that one veteran player who did manage to get them to work and tabled every opponent.

To me, they always represented the ultimate evil force in the 40K universe. Chaos might be inherently bad, but most followers were gradually tricked into becoming the slave of one of the gods, to the point where there was no way back and they had to either embrace their wicked ways, or be destroyed. Whereas the Dark Eldar made the deliberate, selfish choice to inflict suffering onto others just to save their own (bleak, wicked) souls from Slaanesh. They could have chosen a different path (like the Craftworld or Exodite Eldar), but they didn't, and that makes them (to my mind at least) the ultimate bad guys.

Not that I empathize with them, on the contrary, but the miniature range, despised by some as it is, has always spoken to me. But then; I'm also crazy about my Necron army, consisting of only 2nd ed miniatures and conversions thereof.

Apparently, I just like the misfits and underdogs...  ;D

Offline Duncan McDane

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Re: OOP Dark Eldar mystery
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2021, 11:51:25 AM »
General release indeed. Got a few of them in a sale but stupid younger me sold them off some years ago "because I don't do SciFi".
But I agree with you, really like the 3rd edition Dark Eldar models, got a few left but maybe at some time I will start a smaal force of them, as Sci-Fi gaming no longer is taboo  ;)
Leadhead

Offline Daeothar

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Re: OOP Dark Eldar mystery
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2021, 02:53:26 PM »
Pink goggles I suppose ;)

When they were just released, they were the cat's pyjama's, but pretty soon, people were put off by their aesthetic. And for a lot of people, this turned to outright dislike and hate a couple of years later, apparently.

The efficacy of the codex and army lists were not in doubt, it was the minis that started to look outdated in just a few years, mostly because of GW's very rapid updating and improving of their miniature lines at the time.

Obviously it did not help that GW stopped adding new units to the line pretty soon after the initial release, and they only got a revamp of their old codex instad of a new one, so no sexy new units or models to entice new players.

And as I said; for some reason, I have really grown to like this nineties aesthetic. Probably because this was the period I really got into miniature gaming. My formative years, so to speak ;)

I remember when I wanted to branch out from the mostly power armor armies I played back in the day, and decided to start a small Killteam force of Dark Eldar. Mind; this was back in 2005 or so, and I remember that the miniatures I bought back then were cheap as chips.

And I mean cheap; I distinctly remember paying 2,00 per Warrior sprue on Ebay. That's 0,50 per miniature! Several metal minis to go with them each cost me about the same as one of those sprues.

Nobody wanted them, and I now regret not buying them in bulk when the going was still (very) good; nowadays people (like me, I suppose), have gone all nostalgic and prices have begun their gradual increase to ridiculous collector levels, like Rogue Trader minis have done...

Offline Daeothar

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Re: OOP Dark Eldar mystery
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2021, 08:23:16 AM »
Small update: I received the blister yesterday, and the tabs predictably say 1998.

They're lovely figures though, and will add some much appreciated variety in the ranks.

Thanks everyone for your input; all's well in Commorragh again... :D

 

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