Friday, April 29, 2011

Grey Hunters

Just a quick post between baby duties to let you know that I haven't been completely idle!

I've glued together my three squads of Grey Hunters.

Yet to be named and painted, but these are WIP shots =)

First Squad:

8 Grey Hunters. 1 with Wolf Standard, 1 with Meltagun, 1 with Mark of the Wulfen and 1 with power weapon. I've modelled this squad with Boltguns and close combat weapons. The Space Wolves box is just so fantastic and putting together the minis is sooooo much fun. There is so much posing that you can do and so many different looking bits!

As you can see, I stole some weapons from other kits (the good old dwarves again mostly). The kit comes with chainswords, which I don't mind, but wanted to individualise as much as I could. You can also see some of my blue guys here and there so that I'll have 24 power armored guys in the end, 22 in the squads and 2 for squad leaders (wolf guard).

I've used the wolf helmet for my wulfen guys and modelled both of them with bolt pistol and boltgun. When they get close to the enemy they throw their guns away and leap at them, kicking, punching, kneeing etc. =) The standards are attached to spears from some skeletons I had lying around and they're bare headed. I've given all the heavy weapons guys the beaked helmets. The other guys are all helmeted. I wanted to save bare heads for "stand out" guys and characters etc.

Anyway, here's my second squad. Where the first squad is going to charge towards the enemy, ready for close combat, my second squad of six guys, one of whom has a plasma gun, is going to hold objectives and shoot from a distance.

One of them (Tancred of the Tankard) is famous (or infamous) for toasting the enemy right in the middle of battle! These guys are all modelled with two handed grips on their boltguns except for one guy with a grenade and one with a tankard to represent that they'll be at a distance holding objectives.

The third squad is identical in load-out to the first, but to distinguish them I've modelled them as having their bolt pistols and close combat weapons. This squad has some of my favorite poses in it. The melta-gun guy on the left, the wulfen guy and the big axe in particular. 

I spent a lot of time trying to make the poses "work" in terms how their arms, torso and legs went together. Guys swinging back heavy weapons are either swinging their bodies back or really bracing themselves with their legs. Guys with aimed guns are sighting down their guns etc.

It was great fun, there are a few that only work from certain angles, but most of them I really like the look of. It'll be even better when they're painted, obviously!

Here is a line-up...

So there you go, progress has been made, just little bits of gluing here and there!

Once I glue together my wolf guard I'll have an HQ, three Troops and some Elites and will soon be in training missions with my brother's Imperial Guard =)

You'll probably have to put up with battle reports where we muck up rules and have lots of unpainted miniatures when we get there!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Lightning and Fluff

Here's my quick and pretty easy lightning claws how to tutorial. The advantage is it's pretty quick, requires no mixing of paints and looks (in my opinion) pretty good from any distance other than right up close.

Firstly I base-coated the claws regal blue.

Next I paint on some jagged lines in Enchanted Blue. I use a fine tipped brush and my natural hand wobbliness pretty much assures a jagged line! I like to make two arcs from the base and cross them over a couple of times, but other than that it's pretty random.

In each of these pictures, the bottom claw is the one being worked on.

Over the top of that, trying not to go outside the Enchanted Blue lines, I squiggle on some Ice Blue. Don't worry if you're as poor as I am at staying inside the lines, we can neaten it up later.

Next it's white, just at the bottom of the lightning and where two or more lines intersect. Again, try to stay inside the lines, especially at intersections. You can see that I'm really hopeless at that!

Now I go back with Enchanted Blue once more and try to edge the lines better, cleaning up splodges and trying to make the ice-blue and white a bit smaller and thinner as it gets towards the tip of the claw. I also try some edging here, just with the edge of a brush run along the edges of the claw to try and brighten the edges up. I use Enchanted Blue towards the base, Ice blue further along the edges and (not shown in this picture, but you can see it on the other claws) White on the very tip.

The lightning still often looks a little too bright and washed out at that stage, so next I go back to Regal Blue and put some in between all those lightning bolts. It may not be super noticeable in the photos, but the extra dark layer between the lighter lines really helps them stand out. And that's it! I also like to do a gloss coat of varnish over them to protect the paint and make them a little shiny, but I know some people hate that look, so just do what you think looks good to you!

And there it is =)

And for some bonus fluff, here's what I submitted to the GW Elite competition (about your model and a 400 word story). I think I'm ineligible because it's a Forge World model, but what the heck...

I have been playing Lord of the Rings for years, but my brother and I have recently decided to try out 40k. For my birthday I got a whole pile of Space Wolves. The first 40k mini I wanted to paint was the dreadnought as I’ve never painted a vehicle and they’re just so cool! Unfortunately during this time my 10 year old white fluffy dog, named Loki, passed away. So in his honour I’ve named my dreadnought after him, he always considered himself to be a big wolf (really he was a small fluffy lap dog!).

I’ve added a wolf skull from the Space Wolves kit, a heavy flamer from the Space Wolf Terminators and an axe from some Warhammer dwarf bitz that is strapped on with greenstuff and a tiny bit of paper clip for a bolt. The designs are all free-handed on, like the wolf on the banner and melta arm, most of them celtic knots (unbroken lines) in the shape of a cross (right torso), a wolf paw (left torso), a claw(claw arm) and a spike on the back.

He’s on a lava style base made with some cork tile to match my citadel realm of battle board. The colours range from Fenris Grey through to a 1:1 mix of Space Wolves Grey and Shadow Grey.

And now just 400 words about Loki, a small part of his long saga...

Loki, White Wolf, is a venerable Space Wolf Dreadnought. Each white “tattoo” is s signature of a major battle. On his back rests Vorecaster, his pre-internment axe. It was named after a Tyranid assault on a colony. ..

Waist deep in gaunts, Loki, then a Wolf Guard, saw a massive Pyrovore settle back on its haunches and angle towards where his Lord was defending the last of the evacuating colonists. As gelatinous ooze began to collect around the hideous bioweapon’s sphincter, heralding the imminence of the strike, Loki tore his massive axe from the head of another gaunt, swung it straight back over his head two handed and with a mighty full bodied heave he sent it flying through the air!

Axe whirling towards the hideous creature, Loki used his wolf claw, boots and a long stream of shouted invectives to clear himself from the chitinous horde surrounding him. The axe thwacked home with an audible splacking sound, right in the grotesque bioweapon’s muzzle.

Packmates supporting him with well placed bolter fire, he hurled himself forward, dodging, weaving, clawing, kicking through the fray. Whenever a larger creature reared up in front of him, accurate fire from his pack sent it down.

The Pyrovore fired, but the axe had both blocked and damaged the colossal biogun. The bioplasmic discharge still emerged, but ripped free through the weapon itself and was sent off course. Tyranid blood and ooze splattered from the wound in a hideous shower of green, red and purple ichor. Just at that moment, Loki leapt up from the back of a surprised gaunt, whose jaws clicked shut on the air where an armoured boot had just been. Impaling the back of the wounded pyrovore with his claw to stick his landing, Loki ripped his axe free in a shower and spurt of putrid ooze, lifted it high, jumped forward and brought it crashing down with his whole bodyweight behind the blow.

He half severed the massive head and slid to the ground amidst the acid blood and slippery tyranid ichorous goop. The massive beast slumped dead over him.

“The vorecast is mostly vine vith a chance ov green acid rain.” Loki quipped when they pulled him out after the battle and put a drink in his hand. Toasting the axe, they called it Vorecast after the “joke” and ex-Pyrovore.

And that’s just one of many stories in Loki’s saga.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Space Wolves Venerable Dreadnought Loki Finished

Well, with bits and pieces done here and there I think I've pretty much finished him now =)

Firstly I freehanded some celtic tattoos on him. You may need to click to see them larger but basically they're an unbroken line. One in the shape of a cross as befits a memorial, the other in the shape of a claw, which is one large knot with four smaller ones and some claws.

I got the basic idea from a google image search, then filled a couple sheets of paper trying to get one that fit and be paintable in such a small space.

Here's a wolf from the same tutorial series as the one on the banner. I've since blended him a little better. (

This celtic wolf claw was pretty much my design, loosely based on a celtic moon I saw for the zig zaggy claw bits. I'm sure there are others just like it out there, given that there's a limited number of ways to connect things!

You can see in the above that I've basecoated the claws in Regal Blue, that's to prepare them for the lightning.

Pretty cool huh =) I took some WIP shots so might put another post up with a "how to" even though I've seen other (better) ways of doing it in magazines and on other sites.

Of course, when I pulled the arm off the blu-tac half of the paint on the back stripped right off too, so I had to touch that back up. I'm really, REALLY hoping that when I varnish it, such things might not happen so easily.

I also stuck an axe/spike tattoo on the back to fill in that bit of blank space.

So what does he look like all together...

Here's a back view.

A claw-eye view, looks particularly good at full size.

Looking down into the lava at the base.

Standard from above type shot.

And a portrait rather than landscape shot front on.

To be honest, he's not glued to the base yet. I need to varnish him, but it's been raining all day today! When the weather improves I'll spray it with a matt finish for a bit of extra protection.

So there you have it, may have taken a while and was pretty slow progress, but I'm pretty pleased with the end result. It's nothing like you'd find in a white dwarf magazine, but I'd like to think it's better than average table-top too. 

I'll have to fill you in on the background fluff at a later date, I'm wasting precious sleeping time right now!

Oh, but one last look at my entire Space Wolves army =)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Attractiveness: a magnetised (magnetized ?) dreadnought.

My brother let me have a few of his itty bitty magnets and I raided Dad's shed for some washers. My goal was to do the magnet thing without needing to drill or anything, just using the simple tools I had at my disposal (ie. glue).

So Loki, my Space Wolves Dreadnought will have magnetised arms. This is cool for a couple of reasons, namely they are interchangeable so I can try other weapon loadouts, but also they are poseable =)

I attached them one at a time, on either side of the hole using superglue. Then I found out later that they stuck well to the paint, but not at all to the resin underneath, so after some paint stripping I re-glued them, then re-painted around them.

I dropped a blob of glue (very small) and then pushed the magnet into place with some plastic sprue offcut (using metal tweezers obviously is not a good idea!)

I chose washers that were the right size to not look out of place with the metal banding that is part of the model already. I could have gone for an ever so slightly smaller washer, but on the cheap I just took the closest that Dad had!

It is important to wait overnight for the glue to really set well. Otherwise when you try to glue the second magnet it'll pull together too well! As it was I put some blu-tac in between the magnets to keep them separated while the glue set, then just pulled it off and cut away any blu-tac that had been glued.

Here's the result. Two small magnets on either side of the arm lets me pivot them around. They're strong enough to stay where I swivel them, so I now have removable, poseable arms =)

You can also see that I've done some highlighting on the edges. I'm not super happy with it, but it doesn't look too bad. I've never really done highlighting well, and certainly not on this scale. From a distance it looks pretty good. Not super bold like some are, but enough to pick out the edges well.

I haven't had tons of time due to some uni assignments and a wife and baby with colds. To fix the back where the pipes went into the main chassis (it wasn't really smoothly done) I put the loincloth on the back. (I'd already decided to do the parchment name on the front, so had this bit spare.)

Of course, this wasn't particularly smooth either, and I still wanted to cover up those skulls so...

There he is with his old pre-dreadnought days axe. It's from a warhammer fantasy dwarf set that I've had forever (never played the game, just like the dwarves). This is my first attempt at shading a weapon. I coated it in chainmail, then edge highlighted with mithril. Then I put on successive layers of badab black. On the top edge working from right to left so that it's darker on the right. Underneath that in a sort of crescent I worked the wash in the opposite direction. The bottom section is just the reverse of the top. After that I used a fairly heavy blue wash to add a bit of colour, then re-touched up some of the metal.

Next I got some greenstuff, a really small amount, then rolled it into a snake, flattened it, left it overnight, then cut a long thin strip. This was for the strap that holds the axe in place. I glued a loop into the bottom part of the strip, slid it onto the axe, then glued the axe over the skulls and rough bits of the fur. Then I glued the top of the strap to the top of the dreadnought.

The little metal bolt holding it in place is actually just a tiny trim off a paper clip. The top end is smooth, the bottom is sharp from the clippers. I whacked it gently into place with the edge of my needle nose pliers then painted the strap dark flesh -> scorched brown -> bestial brown -> devlan mud wash. The paper clip was black, chainmail, badab wash, re-highlight chainmail.

So there you go, he's essentially done now except for gluing on the banner and then him onto the base (which may be challenging) except...

Those big flat spaces need some more freehand work on them =) I'm leaning towards celtic sort of symbols like on my dwarven shields. 

The claws also need some work, probably blue/white lightning or something, but I've been putting that off until I have a good long chunk of time.

Once on the base I thought I might do some reflection of the lava below, like I did on the rocks, but not sure how that'll work on the mini.

I'll try to make some time for these final bits at some stage, but I doubt it'll be any time soon.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Dreadnought Banner

I haven't been super painting, but have done a bit in the last few days. Been mainly working on the banner, as it was the last piece with no paint on it.

Here it is with a single coat on everything. My plan is to make it the same as the shoulderpad, but with a white wolf on it (as his namesake, Loki, was a white dog - I think he'd get a kick out of being remembered as a white wolf as he was nothing like a wolf, more like a teddy bear).

So Astronomican Grey for the bits that will be bone, as it gives a good undercoat to add light colours to. The very top skull bit will be bronze, like the ones on the torso, so it has a metal undercoat. The lava bit is undercoated in Iyunden. The banner is Space Wolves Grey.

Next I've started doing some yellows on the bottom part, my yellows are either very old or just not very pigmenty or something, because I can never get a smooth yellow. The wolf and banner were done in Astronomican Grey with white for the wolf and bleached bone for the banner. The wolf head was done freehand using this excellent tutorial:

The Bleached Bone bits are given a sepia wash, quite heavily on the skull. The fur is given a bit of extra drybrushing to make it stand out a little better. The lava is just yellows, oranges and reds sort of swirled around, then Scorched Brown blobs on top, bigger at the bottom, smaller at the top. Some Desert Yellow and Graveyard Earth are used to give some definition to the banner. The Space Wolves Grey on the top is given an Asurman Blue wash.

The lava is given some red washing to dull down the yellow. The skull is highlighted with more Bleached Bone. The wolf is given another coat of white.

And here it is pretty well completed. I'm still not 100% sure what to do with the white wolf in the middle. It's SO white. But it's meant to be I guess. I might see what it looks like when all assembled. 

Anyway, the lava has some black on top of the brown to further darken those bits. 

The side bits have white stripes with Ice Blue runes. A mix of Ice Blue and White on the tips of them, Ice Blue and Hawk Turquoise towards the middle of them. 

The Space Wolves Grey on the banner was washed with Asurman blue. 

An eye was make in Ice Blue with a white pupil. 

The skull has a slight highlight of Bleached Bone mixed with White. 

The back of the pelt is Dark Flesh, Scab Red and Red Gore. 

The top skull has some highlight layers of Dwarf Bronze mixed with Chainmail. The gems are Scab Red, Blood Red and just a dot of Blazing Orange on the front. 

The text was very, very carefully done with watered down Scorched Brown and a bit of Black added to the bottom of it. 

I think it looks pretty good, better from a distance than up close like this! Still not sure about the white, but don't really know what to do about it!

From the chemist I got two 1mL syringes and made up some paint pots of Shadow Grey and Space Wolves Grey in 4:1, 3:1, 2:1 and 1:1 ratios. The syringes cost about 40cents each =) I figured I'll go through enough and paint sporadically so this should be easier than mixing small amounts every time I paint.

Here's the back, with the right leg highlighted and the left leg not. Not sure you can really see the difference in the photo, but it is noticeable. 

And here's the front. Again, one leg highlighted, the other not. I'm really not sold on it, but my wife thinks it looks great. You can see the bands of colour if you look closely, but at the same time from any distance you can barely tell there's any colour change as it looks like you'd expect the curve to look. 

I guess it looks better than the unhighlighted leg! I have to keep reminding myself that you only see them from a distance anyway! I've seen people do this then put a final glaze over the top to try and work them all together, I've never had success at that. I just either put on too strong a colour, or can't get it on evenly enough. 

My other massive purchase for the week was this sand from a pet store. It's for putting in their Hermit Crab tank and is black. $3.65 for a 1.5kg tub. That'll last me a LONG time and is more convenient than the previous massive bag I used to have and way cheaper than some of the other options around.

So that's where we're up to with Loki, my mighty Space Wolf Dreadnought. With any luck I'll be able to get bits highlighted one at a time and then it's pretty much done bar the gluing!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Loki the Dreadnought

Slower progress than usual this week, our poor little doggy Loki had to go to doggie heaven =(

A mixture of age and long term illness, but we're all very sad to see him go.

So as a result, since Loki is a good Norse type name, I've decided to name the dreadnought in his honour. I've covered everything with a layer of paint now, so it's looking good now. The photos are a bit washed out, but hopefully you get the idea. You can see I've done a little name scroll with "LOKI" on it, and will do similar on the back banner, which has had no work done on the front of it yet.

You may notice a few missing tiny chips on the left arm, paint just doesn't seem to want to stick to it for some reason. I'm hoping that the fixing spray after I've done will help that. I've done some green lenses on various lensy type bits. I'm not very good at them, but I think they look okay and add a bit of colour.

And here's the right side, with wolf skull over the human skull. The shots are really too washed out to get the detail, will take better photos once he's done. 

The flamer was the heavy flamer from the terminator kit, cut down a bit to fit next to the claw.

I've also mucked around a tiny bit with some of the minis...

My wolf-lord to be (Skodi - named after our other dog, who is very much still with us)...

When I make a base for him I plan on having some lava underneath to glow on the cloak, we'll see how that goes.

My assault cannon termie, Osgar, with frost sword converted to angle down, sort of like he's using it to counter-balance the cannon. 

I really love the big belt feed and feel of the massive cannon!

And one of my wolfen guys, because they launch themselves viciously into close combat, I figured I'd model him with his two guns, which he throws to one side before pouncing on his prey. 

So that's where things are at the moment. I've just bought more shadow grey and space wolves grey, so should be able to start doing the highlighting on the dreadnought soon. Then it's just fixing up the front of the banner, sticking an axe or something strapped to his back to cover some more skulls and he'll be ready to fight!

My brother has been churning out units, but since a venerable dread is worth so many points we'll probably not be too far apart points-wise!

You can check out his progress here:

Can't wait to play on his 3-D Hirst Arts block space hulk board!