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Warhammer 40K Retro: The Original Eldar Aspect Warriors

3 Minute Read
Sep 7 2020


Head back to the 1980s to the advent of the first Eldar Aspect Warriors, and the amazing transformation it had on the race.

The Eldar were a very different race when Rogue Trader first arrived in 1987.  Yes there were Craftworlds, and pirates, but overall the race was somewhat simplified.  They looked like the models below and can read all about it here.

rt-eldar-minis2 rt-eldar-dreadnought

Fast forward a few years and we started to get much more detail on Space Marines, the Imperial Army, and even Squats.  Then one day in 1990, White Dwarf 125 arrived and had an amazing image.  What the heck were these “Eldar Aspect Warriors“? No one had any clue, but they all had funky names and looked SUPER COOL. I mean compare them to those minis up there…



Everyone waited with bated breath for two excruciating months until White Dwarf 127 hit like a comet in July 1990.  The Eldar were forever changed – and to this day follow the precepts laid down all those years ago.



In it was an entirely new background for the Eldar race.  We learned of the Eldar Path, Aspect Warriors, the Avatar, Warlocks, Farseers, Exarchs, and even the humble Guardians.  An entire description for Craftworld culture as well as a full Eldar Army List was in this single White Dwarf. It was amazing and we haven’t seen the like in decades.


Here’s an example of two Aspect Warrior units from the army list.  Everyone was just overwhelmed with the art as well at the rules.  Speaking of Jes Goodwin’s seminal works for the Grimdark…


The original Dark Reaper sketches.  Note the other weapon options for the Exarch, rarely seen these days.


Here we see the Striking Scorpions and their Exarch options.


A lot of people would have been completely blown away right then and there.  But then it was time to get a look at the new minis:


And there they were in all their glory.  Jes Goodwin knocked it out of the park. These were phenomenal for their era. That Dark Reaper is made of two pieces folks – TWO PIECES!

I left the prices on this sheet for your 2020 entertainment. Something, something, inflation, something.


Here are the original ‘Eavy Metal paintjobs by Mike McVey and Tim Prow which defined the aspect temple schemes for all time, along with the painting guides below:

aspect-scheme-1 aspect-scheme-2

These minis are still readily available on eBay and many old-timers still prefer some of the original Aspects to later versions (that’s a whole different article)…

~So who’s still kicking butt on the tabletop with any of these 1990 originals?  I can’t be the only one…




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