A few weeks ago I posted a scenic picture of my Eldar Void Pirates. In the background was a sleek black Eldar vehicle:
The vehicle in question is one of three vehicles designed and produced by Epicast, for use alongside Eldar armies. These vehicles, unlike others in Epicast's range, were not upscaled Epic designs produced under licence, but were created to their own design. Here's a brief overview of the three Eldar vehicles produced.
Eldar "Skimmer Hawk"The Eldar Skimmer Hawk (variously referred to in recent weeks as an "attack soapdish", "craftworld canoe" or "skateboard without wheels") is a sleek open-topped skimmer. It is an exceptionally simple two-piece resin model, with a little rear cockpit and just enough space to squeeze in 5 or 6 models on the open deck.
|My painted Skimmer Hawk.|
|My second unpainted and unassembled Skimmer Hawk.|
In so far as Eldar vehicle designs go, the Skimmer Hawk definitely has the sleek Eldar lines, albeit combined with a rather odd conga-line method of transporting embarked troops!
"Skimmer Sirocco"Whereas the Skimmer Hawk is a light transport, the Sirocco is something altogether meaner.
To quote the box art (which unfortunately I don't have), the Sirocco is a "medium Space Elf anti-grav tank...this is a tank which is meant to be placed in the front lines." The box also states that the Sirocco was "compatible with Warhammer 40k", and was supplied with a Warhammer 40k datafax.
To my mind, the Sirocco doesn't quite hit the Eldar aesthetic in the same way that the Skimmer Hawk does. The hull has all sorts of bulges and changes of angle that don't really work with the Epic vehicles from the same era.
"Skimmer Scorpion"Finally, the last in-house Eldar vehicle from Epicast is the Scorpion. Sadly my copy is somewhat incomplete. This is what the model should look like:
|Image from Collecting Citadel Miniatures Wiki.|
And this is mine:
You'll notice I'm missing the gun and scenic flying base. Unfortunately I don't have access to the box, so I can't illuminate you on what the purpose of the vehicle is, but it looks like a fast 1-2 crew attack vehicle, perhaps in the vein of an Eldar Vyper. Like the Sirocco, the Scorpion doesn't scream "Eldar" to me - it looks like a generic sci-fi grav vehicle. But I'm fond of it nonetheless!
By the mid-1990s, GW started to bring vehicle design back in-house, with the release of the plastic Eldar Falcon and Vyper kits, and the emergence of Forgeworld. Licences were withdrawn, and these kits were pulled from production. I still think they're an interesting footnote in the history of vehicles in 40k. There's loads more information on the various different companies producing licensed vehicles during this period over at the Collecting Citadel Miniatures Wiki.