Thursday 22 February 2024

Awakening of the Wood: A Tale of 4 Armies

And back to the forest I go for, I believe, the only unit for the Wood Elves that is actually still available on the Games Workshop website: Dryads.

Not that I ever buy direct from GW; that way madness lies.

Dryads are one of those kits that I remember to actually be a bit of a pleasure to both assemble and paint. They used to come in a box of 12 (it's 16 now) and had enough bits and variation to make every model pretty unique looking.

They also had really dynamic poses for the time, and really sinister look, so I can see why they have remained part of the Age of Sigmar range.

In fact, I think that the Dryads might have dictated the direction that the Sylvaneth (that the copywritable name GW gave to Wood Elves) range went in.

On top of that, when it came to painting, a brown base coat with a wash, followed by picking out the leaves and eyes got them looking good very quickly.

So much so that when it came to rebasing this unit, I felt no need to do any repainting at all, except for changing the eye colour.

In fact the only irritating thing about the unit was that they came in a box of 12, but the minimum unit size was 8.

Fortunately, there were enough spare bits on the sprues for me to fashion three extra Dryads emerging from the ground, something that looks much better following the rebase thanks to the Green Stuff World leaves, giving them an ambushing vibe.

I then took my total to 16, and two units by adding the metal special character model Drycha to one of the units as this was still cheaper than buying a second box.

Amusingly, now that Dryads are available as boxes of 16, Warhammer: The Old World allows you to take units of ca change...

Drycha serves as the Nymph (unit champion) for the unit, whilst a conveniently placed animal skull identifies the Nymph in the other unit.

You'll notice that Drycha and the second unit have a more yellowish hue than the first. This is to make the units distinguishable on the tabletop (the first unit also have leaves).

Previously I had achieved this by giving them a light drybrush of a bone colour, as I was aiming for a silver birch sort of effect. However, during the rebase I gave them a coat of Skeleton Horde contrast paint to make them less jarring.

Apart from unit numbers, the reason I didn't originally use Drycha as a Branchwraith (a Dryad character) was that I had a plan to convert one of the Juan Diaz Daemonettes.

It's nothing more clever than Dryad bits stuck to the Daemonette body: notably replacing the claw arm with a Dryad arm and having lots of branches protruding from her head and back.

I'm aware that the camera really suggests that over ten years ago I really should have thinned my paints when doing the skin. However I'm leaving this model as it is for three reasons.

Firstly, I didn't want strip the model as I like it and I'm not sure that I would achieve the same effect again. Secondly, adding even more paint could just ruin it. Finally, the overly thick paint gives her skin a 'bark-like' texture which seems appropriate, suggesting that her alluring appearance is an illusion.

I'm only counting eight of these as having been painted, as one unit and the Branchwraith only had their eyes done. Still, it's nice to make some quick progress towards getting the full army done.

Acquired: 10
Painted: 193
Lead Mountain: 849


  1. Great work on the dryads, and some very clever use of the spare bits, to make up the numbers, and your demonette conversion.

    1. Thanks. This blog's not called Cheaphammer for nothing. :)