The quality of the new Dark Eldar models is amazing, the trouble is trying to paint them to even a tabletop standard. I managed to stop by my FLGS (Game Vault) and had a chance to look at the new Dark Eldar Codex along with the handful of sprues that came in the "black box" release.
As I stood there talking to a friend of mine about the game (even though he is getting out of 40k), I was absolutely amazed at the quality of the new Dark Eldar models. I mean these things are amazing in terms of quality and detail. Simply gorgeous.
And then it hit me.
While I love the new sculpts and the amount of detail is utterly amazing, I think these are going to be some of the hardest models to paint (and make look good) for most people.
And here's what I mean... your average player I would suspect does not have a degree in art or the hours upon hours to spend lavishing these models with attention. There's so much on these models that you almost have to be willing to spend a considerable amount of time on each one if you want something that is even worth looking at. Either "tabletop standard" is going to go way up or there are going to be lots of unfinished Dark Eldar armies running around out there.
And here's why, while the detail is great, kids today want everything done in an instant. They don't want to wait anymore. Instant gratification as my friend called it. Their lives move way too fast to think about slowing down and spending real time just painting a single model.
You can't even get them to write in complete sentences anymore because they're so used to texting and shortening their words... to make it quicker.
You can't swing a stick in the blogosphere without hitting ten sites with articles telling you how to get it (painting) done quicker and easier. This place is no exception. We're all pressed for time and most of us struggle to get a little bit of painting in each week. Even with GW's washes and things like dipping techniques and colored spray primers... there is only so many corners you can cut before you have to invest real time in a model.
Dark Eldar are going to need real time.
I hope people are willing to spend time on these models. But I suspect we will have lots of unpainted, frustrated (because of the painting) Dark Eldar players out there. I know what it like to get close to having painting become just a job.
I honestly think you're average player, with the little time that we all have in our busy schedules is going to struggle getting their new Dark Eldar army looking the way they want it to. Will they be armies with beautifully sculpted models, sure... but unfortunately, I bet most will be unfinished.