Dark Elf (WHFB 4th/5th Edition) - Collectors Guide

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Citadel/Marauder Dark Elves

The Dark Elf line was completely re-worked for 4th edition Warhammer and the release of the first Dark Elf Army book. The entire line was sculpted by Aly Morrison (some figures in conjunction with Trish Morrison and/or Colin Dixon). A prototype Dark Elf Army list was previously available in the 4th edition Warhammer boxed set (along with army lists for most other Warhammer races) that included rules & troop types extrapolated from 3rd edition Warhammer that were later dropped with the publication of the 4th edition Army Book. The Dark Elf army book included the background material (Malekith) and troop types that are familiar from the current edition Dark Elf Army Book. Several key units from the Dark Elf army list were unavailable throughout 4th edition Warhammer and into 5th edition Warhammer, notably Dark Riders, Scouts, Executioners and The War Hydra (although there were unreleased versions of these unit types). Dark Riders and the Cauldron Of Blood were eventually released late in the life of 5th edition Warhammer, for use with the Tears Of Isha campaign Pack. While many of the figures in this range say "Marauder" on their slotta tabs, they were sold in Citadel blisters after Marauder was re-absorbed into GW and lost its distinct brand.

Citadel/Marauder Dark Elf Command

In the USA, these figures were originally sold in blisters of 2 (either Champion/Musician or Champion/Standard Bearer) and then later in 3-person blisters with a full Command group and variant banner tops.

Citadel/Marauder Dark Elf Banners & Shield Transfers

Self-adhesive paper banners were provided in some Citadel/Marauder Dark Elf boxed sets (the Sorceress on Dark Pegasus, the original boxed set of 3 Cold One Knights, etc.). They were later sold in blisters, and then finally in a single large sheet. Like the banners, sheets of waterslide shield transfers were originally sold in some boxed sets (Cold One Knights, single-pose plastic Warriors) and then later in blister packages on their own. Alternate versions of some shield transfers were sold, with identical designs but less color saturation.

Citadel/Marauder Dark Elf Swordsmen

While the metal Dark Elf Swordsmen look like prototypes for the single-pose plastic Swordsman, they were released and sold blistered by themselves in packs of 2. When originally released, single-pose plastic Swordsmen came in a box of 10 (without shields or waterslide transfers), this was later reduced to a box of 8, with added shields and transfers. Shield transfer 2 was apparently the only transfer sheet sold with the plastic swordsmen. The plastic Swordsman model may have originally been intended for use with the Talisman fantasy boardgame (like the single-pose plastic Beastman & Skaven models), but the Dark Elf character was dropped from the game prior to publication (rules for the Talisman Dark Elf character were published later in White Dwarf magazine).

Citadel/Marauder Dark Elf Spearmen

Citadel/Marauder Dark Elf Repeater Crossbowmen

The Repeater Crossbows wielded by these figures closely resemble medieval Asian examples of actual historical Repeater Crossbows.

Citadel/Marauder Dark Elf Black Ark Corsairs

Corsair models had no specific Command figures and players were expected to use either converted figures or the generic Citadel/Marauder Dark Elf Command group.

Citadel/Marauder Witch Elves

Witch Elf models had no specific Command figures (apart from one default Champion) and players were expected to use either converted figures or the generic Citadel/Marauder Dark Elf Command group (quite inappropriate to have heavily-armored male Command models in a unit of scantily-clad Witch Elves!).

Citadel/Marauder Dark Elf Black Guard Of Naggaroth

Black Guard models had no specific Command figures and players were expected to use either converted figures or the generic Citadel/Marauder Dark Elf Command group.

Citadel/Marauder Dark Elf Executioners

These figures were never released for general sale, and were only available for one day at the 1999 US Games Day convention blistered in packs of 2. However, painted examples appear in some photographs of the Studio Dark Elf army in White Dwarf magazine. In practice, Black Guard models (with or without the points of their halberds removed) were used as substitutes, or axe-wielding Elf models from non-GW figure ranges were used.

Citadel/Marauder Dark Elf Scouts

Figures representing Dark Elf Scouts were completely unavailable throughout the life of 4th & 5th edition Warhammer (apart from leftover Marauder MM73 figures). However, there are unreleased Scout figures. One figure was made by a nameless trainee sculptor (and supposedly rejected for release because it was "too thick and chunky"). There is also a set of at least 15 unreleased Dark Elf Scout figures sculpted by Shane Hoyle based on Citadel/Marauder concept art that never made it into release.

Citadel/Marauder Dark Elf Cold One Knights

While the Cold One Knights range had specific Champion & Standard Bearer Command figures, there was no Musician figure and players were expected to convert their own. Cold One Knights were originally released in a boxed set of 3 Trooper models, then later in individual blisters. The boxed set included self-adhesive paper pennants to decorate the Knight's lances and a unique sheet of waterslide shield transfers. The embossed round Marauder Dark Elf shields shown on the figures below were not sold with the figures. Citadel/Marauder Cold One Knights used the ubiquitous blank "Elf" shield sprue provided with all other Citadel/Marauder Dark Elf figures.

Citadel/Marauder Dark Riders

Photographs of painted examples of the original 2 Dark Rider models were published in the 4th edition Dark Elf army book, but the models were never released for sale. Rumour has it that they were dropped from the line because the torso on the rider figure is too short (although this is a commonplace failing of 4th edition GW cavalry models across the board). GW also briefly released Marauder MM71/72 Cavalry rider figures blistered with a plastic steed (on which the metal rider did not fit).

Upon their original release (in conjuction with the Tears Of Isha campaign pack), Dark Riders had single-piece Champion & Standard Bearer models and no Musician. When the line was re-released for 6th edition Warhammer, the Command models were replaced by 2 multipurpose Command figures that could be assembled as either Champions, Standard Bearers or Musicians. The Repeater Crossbow that comes with each Trooper model was also redesigned, making it a slightly smaller single piece (the original version had separate stock & bow components). Otherwise, the individual (non-Command) Rider models were unchanged from late 5th edition until the present day. There is also an unreleased variant of the 5th/6th edition Dark Rider Standard Bearer. The unreleased version has a different helmet crest and the socket portion of the standard top is longer than the one on the standard figure. Otherwise, the variant figure is identical to the released version.

Citadel/Marauder Bolt Thrower

Citadel/Marauder Dark Elf General

The embossed round Marauder Dark Elf shield shown on the General figure below was not sold with the figure. The Citadel/Marauder General used the ubiquitous blank "Elf" shield sprue provided with all other Citadel/Marauder Dark Elf figures. The barding shown on the General's Cold One is purely decorative and there was no provision made for adding barding to a Cold One in the 4th/5th edition Dark Elf army list.

Citadel/Marauder Dark Elf Assassins

Citadel/Marauder Dark Elf Harpies

The Dark Elf range shared the Harpy model with the Chaos range at this time (the models & rules were identical for both armies). The models included a single set of wings with one of 3 variant bodies. Unlike current Harpy models, 4th/5th edition models were fielded on a 25mm base.

Citadel/Marauder Dark Elf Sorcerer & Sorceress

The (male) Sorcerer model was sold blistered with a random Chaos Familiar (as were all Spellcaster models at the time). The Morathi on foot model was purportedly submitted by Chris Fitzpatrick to GW as an audition piece and then later released into the range (during the wave of releases that accompanied the Tears Of Isha campaign pack that also included Dark Riders and the original wheeled Cauldron Of Blood). The 2 unreleased Sorceress models were sculpted by Aly Morrison and are evidently based on the Cauldron Keeper model from the Cauldron of Blood.

Citadel/Marauder Sorceress On Dark Pegasus

This model was popularly supposed to represent Morathi (since she's a Sorceress who rides a Dark Pegasus), although the rider figure looks much more like a Witch Elf.

Citadel/Marauder Beastlord Rakarth

Citadel/Marauder Cauldron Of Blood

Citadel/Marauder Dark Elf War Hydra

A War Hydra (with a howdah & a rider) was sculpted for the Citadel/Marauder range of Dark Elf figures, but the model was never released. Photographs of the Rider (a Sorcerer) on his own without the Hydra show up in the 4th/5th edition Dark Elf army book. The Hydra itself was sold briefly by itself (without howdah or rider) blistered at the US Games day convention in 1999 (at the same time as the unreleased Dark Elf Executioners). It is also rumored that the War Hydra was comercially availably for a brief time in Italy. The Hydra has two different Right foreleg variants- it is unclear if these were supplied randomly or if both variants were provided during the brief time when the model was sold in the blister.

Black Library Malus Darkblade

GW released a figure of the Dark Elf comic book character Malus Darkblade on a scenic base in a limited edition of 500 pieces through their Black Library division. The figure was sculpted by Mike McVey and included a sheet of 5th edition rules and a numbered certificate of ownership. The figure was only available by mail order through advertisements in the Warhammer Monthly and Inferno! Black Library publications. The certificate and the rules sheets are very poorly printed and they were packaged folded in half inside the shipping box, which was sealed with a tape seal imprinted "Malus Darkblade Black Library Limited Edition".


As noted above, early in the life of 4th edition Warhammer GW sold some 3rd edition Dark Elf models (both Aly Morrison figures from the Marauder line and Bob Naismith figures from the 3rd edition Warhammer line) in 4th edition Citadel packaging. Presumably this was done on an opportunistic basis to burn through some older stock and the repackaged figures were never codified or catalogued. Prior to the release of 4th edition Cold One Knights, 3rd edition Marauder Doom Drakes were sold complete in green 4th edition Citadel blisters and Marauder MM71 multi-part cavalry riders were sold with a plastic human horse (on which the metal rider did not fit) blistered as "Dark Elf Cavalry". Mengil Manhide's Manflayers were sold unidentified as "Dark Elf Heroes" or "Dark Elf Command", sometimes blistered with the Bob Naismith Dark Elf Sorceress Azireth Darkforce. Female Dark Elf trooper models from both the 3rd edition & Marauder ranges were sold blistered together as Witch Elves. Basically any Dark Elf figure that GW had lying around the warehouse at that time was shoved willy-nilly into a blister and sold without regard to its proper designation or place in the range.