Warhammer 40k First Edition Models – The first Eldar miniatures were sculpted by Jes Goodwin and released by Citadel in September 1987. There were twelve models in the series, labeled RTO4 Space Elves and later renumbered RT401. Live lines and heavy equipment!On one occasion, they made the “local elves” a race that was instantly recognizable while highlighting the novelty and uniqueness of their value.
The genius of the WH40K Rogue Trader was that it accomplished two different things at once. On the other hand, it shamelessly borrows concepts, tropes, characters and conflicts from existing plots. All these stolen goods gave Rogue Trader familiarity with the reception. We noticed parts of Star Wars (armored spacemen, weak and psychotic commander, laser swords) or Dune (ship pilots, human shields, assassins). We understood more about the main races, because they were brought up a lot in Tolkien.
Warhammer 40k First Edition Models
But on the other hand, Rogue Trader has done a great job of messing up borrowed items by giving them a twist. And nowhere was it more powerful than the Space Elves.
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The Space Elves of the Rogue Trader universe were not the benevolent nature lovers of The Lord of the Rings. Rather, they rule over good and evil. Their volume of evil did not break them into two separate races (like the High Elves and Dark Elves of Warhammer Fantasy). In this way, the original Eldar are like humans: both races can be misunderstood. Unlike humans, they seem to be driven more by boredom than by greed. As the Rogue Trader rulebook tells us, the Eldar trade, adventure, and fight as “just fun”:
For many Eldar the peaceful, unpleasant monotony of the craft-worlds becomes dull and disincentive to move on to associate with other, younger and more warm-blooded races. Besides merchants and traders, there are other Eldar who throw themselves wholeheartedly into foreign society, becoming travelers or officials… The most famous, or infamous, mercenaries are composed of rebels from the Eldar society; mind, discontent, murder or evil…
Both the Rogue Trader manual and the Astronomicon Manual (1988) make it clear that most of the Space Elves that appear on the gaming table are either raiders, raiders, or soldiers. These are not the guardians of the professional world, but a group of wild killers.
Well, enough talk – let’s look at the miniatures! Here are the first four from the RTO4 series of Space Elves…
Space Hulk Terminators
First is “Aedui Starborn”. Simple, classic design. The first sign that the Space Elves are badasses is that he (and many of his companions) are armed to the teeth with two guns. The crossbow design on the shuriken catapult recalls the Eldar’s origins in fantasy settings.
“Gaedhil Quickshadow” is next. If you can tell me what weapon he (or she?) is holding in his left hand, please leave a comment. I see that weapon everywhere in the early Rogue Trader minis, but I wasn’t sure if it was a pistol or a lasgun.
And finally, here is “Sgt. Mael Nightwing”. I really like this miniature because of the unusual way the weapon casing is attached to his (or her?) gauntlet. It’s a subtle touch that you see in many of these ancient Eldar scrolls: the combination of weapons into armor. Today we turn the clock back over three decades to the first Grimdark box sets from their first edition – Rogue Trader.
Warhammer 40K is somehow 35 years old! So today, let’s go back to 1987 and take a look at some of the first box sets from the arrival of Warhammer 40,000. This will not be a complete tour, and some of these boxes are very difficult to find good pictures of. of the. Still, it’s always a good idea to look back at the origins of many of your current armies. Some of us oldies may even have some of these days moving on the table – still aching after 35 years of service to the Emperor!
First Necrons Off The Line
The original RTB01 box featured 30 original plastic Corvus Mk.VI marines. Absolute classics! This is the box that started it all. There wouldn’t be the current Primaris Marines without the steps to find the ways of these early plastic metals.
16 metal Orks made the first box of Thrugg Bullneck Orks of Grimdark. Most of the Orks will follow in Thrugg’s shadow. They were scrawny, and almost Grots by today’s standards, but hey an aspiring Warboss has to start somewhere.
The first set of the Eldar box was an unusual 18 Harlequins, which form a complete Team – dancing on the tabletop to send anyone on their way. Some of these models are still waiting for a return in the current edition of 40K. I want my Supreme Avatar back as the HQ of choice for GW! But some of them look unchanged by today’s standards, like the Death Jesters. If only you could equip them with Bright Lights – like that guy up there.
The first Terminator box set gave us a lot of base associations. From custom team designs, to special weapons and Captain and Librarian upgrades. It all came from this box of (little) heroes. Who remembers the triple-jam blasting cannon attack? These guys lead directly to the Space Hulk, – which first gave us the Genestealer Cults – then the full Tyranid army. Most of the grimdark grew from seeds planted in this one kit.
Codex Astra Militarum: 9th Edition
Yes, the original Earth Raiders came two per box. I love that classic style. Don’t play with the sponson las-cannons too much…*SNAP* Also note the front AND back looking for heavy bolter options. I find it fitting that 35 years later we get a plastic Proteus to relive the glory of the original! Build as an Inspector or you’ll make the Commander cry.
Say it loud, say it proudly – SQUATS! 36 small cartridges with caps, las-guns and heavy bolts. DAKKA DAKKA DAKKA! The trucker caps and pot bellies are gone, but the Votann Leagues are back in the game! It’s about time!
The Original Rhino came 3 per box. No one knows how 10 ships fit inside each other, but RTB01s were short at the time. The Deimos Rhino from the new Horus Heresy line keeps the old girl alive in the air, if not in the original sub-compact car.
A companion to the Squat box, this box gives you model 36 with lasguns and las-cannon. Meet the original IG! You know as I go through this list, it occurs to me that GW might be planning a revival of all these Rogue Trader tools for the 35th Year anniversary of the game. Those newly revealed Cadians sure look cool and continue the tradition of the Imperial Army’s origins.
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One of the most original and idiosyncratic box sets of the 40k. The Devastators box comes with three small weapons for different armies, the Tarantula (Imperial Army), the Land Speeder (Marines) and the Mole Mortar (Squats). LOVE that 80s artwork! Note how the new Cadians and Leagues of Votann revive all three. Hmmm…
Ah, the original dome turned Predator with plastic. It had a coffee-straw autocannon and sponson weapons would take you out if you looked wrong – but it was the first of its kind. Last but not least, note that GW has brought a modern plastic generation of this kit to the Horus Heresy line.
In some ways, 2022 is shaping up to be the last retro year for updated kits. Maybe it’s time for the 35-year cycle to start again!
Father, Actor, Publisher, Pilot, Texan. All sports at all times from juniors to seniors. I started BoLS Interactive in 2006. I am a lifelong tabletop and RPG gamer, and an online publisher working to entertain and inform my readers every day. I’ve been playing RPGs and Board Games since the 1970s. I’ve been playing and covering Warhammer and Warhammer 40K for over 35 years. Estimates between Monday, Oct 16 and Friday, Oct 20 to 20011 Delivery time is estimated using our proprietary method based on the customer’s proximity to the item’s location, the shipping service chosen, the seller’s shipping history, and other factors. Delivery times may vary, especially during peak periods.
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