Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Jetbike WIP (part one)

So after a decade of thinking about making an Eldar Jetbike army, I started to put one together.

The hard part, however, is not putting them together but thinking of the right paint scheme and ways to "spice" them up as it seems like everyone has Jetbikes in one form or another and I wanted my army to be unique in a sense.

I scoured Ebay and trade forums for good deals and finally amassed 26 jetbikes, 9 Vypers and a myriad of Eldar skimmers like Fire Prisms, Wave Serpents and even the new Night Spinner. I was even lucky enough to get that old relic of a great deal, the Eldar Windrider Host! 

The Jetbike model comes in 7 basic parts (excluding the rider): 

1. The underside of the engine/fins.
2. The top piece to the engine/fins.
3. The twin-linked shiruken catapults.
4. The seat and top of the body.
5. The canopy.
6. The handlebars.
7. The banner pole.

Once the mold lines are scrapped off and the Jetbike is put together, the squad should look something like this:

You will notice that I left the rider and canopy off. This is for ease of painting.

 As far as "spicing" up your jetbikes, there are a few places you can start that will give you immediate results; the rider, the canopy and the banner (if any) you place on the banner pole. 

The Rider:
This involves using other models/bits to make the rider look cool. One example of my work, since the rider that comes on the sprue is so hideous, includes grabbing some Guardian Defender torsos and heads from an Eldar Battleforce I got and using them in conjunction with the Jetbike rider legs and arms. After some modifications to the rider to make it fit on the Jetbike, I think they came out very nice and I'll post pictures either later on in this blog or in another blog dedicated to Jetbike riders. They have a certain "elite" look to them, not like some "hey I'm some old guy on a Harley Davidson and happens to have some creepy Eldar helmet" look like the stock rider torso/head has.

The Canopy:
Making the canopy fancy can be in the form of adding a unit marking, craftworld symbol or any other design you can think of painting on or even using green stuff to sculpt things on. I've seen some amazing designs and sculpts with green stuff on the canopy that really add a lot to the model making it seem more like a work of art than some random piece of army hardware like the Imperium uses, and this is good because the Eldar will kill you and look good doing it!

The Banner Pole:
This is tricky as the poles can easily break off if not cared for properly so many people either leave them banner-less. I plan on personally putting unique banners on the bikes based on squads and who knows how that will go. When I get around to it, pictures will definitely follow.

here are some examples gratuitously borrowed from the interweb-none of these are my work or design but they are so fancy and cool none the less! Bravo to the people that did all of this:


Feel free to post on the blogs linked to as they all have some excellent work and material up!

*AHEM* So, now onto my jetbikes...Depending on your paint scheme, you will want either a black or white base coat and since I am going for an Iyanden themed Jetbike army (being yellow and all) I opted for a white base coat. Using a White spray is probably the best way to do this and you will definitely want to make sure you use one safe on plastics. You can get these at any hardware or hobby store and I've heard that the GW ones are actually quite good.

A squad of Jetbikes primed white.

Being the maniac that I am, I jumped into the project with some yellow ink and got a really nice base color to build my yellow up.

A squad of Jetbikes with some yellow ink.

Now all that is left is to build the yellow up and work on the blue and details. I HIGHLY recommend working out the blue and other darker colors (like on the runes, guns, control panel and seat) as fixing errors on yellow is a pain.

This is all the progress I have made on painting up my jetbikes sofar, so until I get around to finishing some more things up (like preparing the rest of my army for the painting process) I'll have to hold off on the progress posts but  here is a great link to a painting guide for Iyanden tanks that has inspired me in my painting that I hope you all enjoy:


  1. nice looking blog mate, congrats on getting 2the place at the tournament you got very lucky with Nightspinners being allowed, they have great synergy with the jetbike armies :) just don't hit your own guys ;).

    I like your take on the army it really has a special feel that seems to work for you really well with the autarch not being in Seer Councils they seem to rock hard :).

    your army really has a great theme and should keep you having some great games in the future.

    Curious how does you reaper launcher autarch feel? is the launcher usefull on him?

  2. Thanks for the kind words!

    I've actually had more problems with the Fire Prism shots scattering onto me than the Night Spinner shot, almost lost an Autarch or tank a few times! But yes, the Night Spinner adds a nice utility to the Eldar!

    As far as the Reaper Launcher being very useful on my Autarch, I'd have to say yes but it can really depend on the match-up and dice.

    For me, I keep him in the guardian jetbike squads to give them ld 10 so the extra s5 ap3 shots (at 48") add some punch to the unit vs light tanks and infantry alike (8 shots at the enemy instead of 6). This serves as a great synergy since the guardian jetbike squad wants to stay back and slow-play for the objective grab.

    When the Autarch is ready to charge a target, the Reaper Launcher usually puts a few wounds on the the enemy so that makes the combat more forgiving as well.

    The only time I wish I had a Fusion gun on him was when I needed to pop a transport before charging the squad inside but that is more of a dice-fail since the rest of my army usually failed to pop the transport. Overall, I think it is a worthwhile build.

  3. It seems that your best bet for making a more interesting jetbike canopy is to sculpt extra details onto the origional canopy, patterns, etc. Looking forward to seeing how these guys turn out!

  4. Yeah, for my Autarchs, Farseer, Seer Council and Shining Spears, I think I might do something like that. For regular jetbikes I think I will just paint some designs on them like the Iyanden craftworld rune, partly because one squad is already primed white and anther already inked yellow.