Howling Banshees Through the Ages

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The Howling Banshees are back, and their bowel-loosening screams are set to be heard in ever greater numbers across the battlefields of the 41st Millennium.

The first-ever plastic Howling Banshees kit is set to make its debut alongside the incredible new miniature of their Phoenix Lord, Jain Zar, in the hotly anticipated Blood of the Phoenix battlebox. Today, we’re celebrating this fact by taking a look at these legendary Aspect Warriors through the ages, from concept art to finished miniature…

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From their inception, the Howling Banshees had a strong visual image that set them apart from the other Aeldari (or Eldar, as they were known back then). As you can see from some of Jes Goodwin’s early sketches, a sonic mask dominated their faceplates. This enabled the Howling Banshees to project a mind-numbing shriek to debilitate their enemies as they swept into battle – a method of war from which Jain Zar’s order took its name. A huge mane of stylised hair erupts from their helms in the style of their Phoenix Lord’s enormous hairpiece.

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As you can see on both the miniatures and artwork, Howling Banshees initially carried laspistols in addition to their power blades. In the early days of Warhammer 40,000, las weaponry was commonplace among the Eldar (especially on Guardians), but they were eventually replaced wholesale with the shuriken weapons that are now such an iconic feature of the armies of the Asuryani.

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Later versions of the Howling Banshees saw their style further cemented, with curved power swords, shuriken pistols and increasingly dynamic poses. In the concept sketches, the Exarchs began to feature new weapon variants – a pair of blades or a triskele in the image of Jain Zar’s Silent Death. Ultimately, the next version of the Howling Banshee Exarch released would come armed with a different weapon altogether – a twin-ended glaive called an executioner.

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Another squad of Howling Banshees came later – initially cast in metal, then in resin – with the Exarch now featuring a stylised crown mounted on her
faceplate, as well as an executioner in the shape of a long, single-bladed glaive.

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So we come to it at last – the first plastic Howling Banshees kit! Provided there is space on the frames, multipart plastic kits often have the added advantage of being able to cater for all manner of alternative weapons and wargear options. This is very much the case with the Howling Banshees, enabling the kit to finally realise Jes’ earlier vision of twin blades (mirrorswords) and triskele options for the Exarch (as well as the long-serving executioner).

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With that, we’re right up to date with the evolution of the Howling Banshees over the years. That just leaves us with one final part to complete the circle – Jain Zar, first of the Howling Banshees. Like her students in war, she too has been brought right up to date with an incredible new plastic miniature, so we simply have to finish by showing her off to you again!

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Want to get your hands on the latest and greatest versions of Jain Zar and the Howling Banshees? Make sure you head on over to the webstore this weekend and pre-order the amazing Blood of the Phoenix battlebox!

If you want to catch up on your reading as you patiently wait for Saturday to come, why not pick up Gav Thorpe’s novel, Jain Zar: The Storm of Silence?
 
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