Saturday, September 28, 2013

Space Wolf Commission VI: Blood Claws

Blood Claws are very new Space Wolves. While most chapters have their newbies start out in the scouts, to learn the various skills they will need as full marines, the Space Wolves are unable to restrain their recruits enough to make them quiet, and so they lump them in great packs of howling warriors. To simulate this wanton madness, I left the blood claws with no helmets, and tried to pick the 'younger' looking heads. (Namely, heads without epic beards, and with the wilder haircuts.)

Also, because of their wilder nature, as much as possible I tried to depict them running, charging, swinging, etc.

The left one above technically has a power weapon, but I delicately shaved off the parts that truly mark it as one. I also experimented with different ways of mixing up to skin tone. As you can see on the guy to the right, starting with a darker, reddish brown (like the old Scorched Brown colour) adds a rouge to their skin.

A lot of the components in this squad are from the assault marines, to further add motion, and to emphasize that they are new Space Wolves. Unlike their more veteran brethren, they lack the multitude of honour markings and the like. Also on these, you can see the pack's symbol, a diagonal lightning bolt (hey, why not push the 'fast' bit, eh?)

A repeat image from above, this time with better lighting to show the skin colour, and a bit more of an at-level view: This is what you'd likely see rushing towards you!

I may do a second picture spread of the blood claws, if I can find more good images. Next time (hopefully not as delayed...) will be the long fangs!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Space Wolf Commission V: Grey Hunter

With a delay, because I've been helping the Sentry close up, here's some more Space Wolves!

The Grey Hunters are supposed to be the slightly more veteran Space Wolves, no longer prone to rushing at the enemy headlong. For the most part with them, I decided to leave them with helmets on, meaning that any personality and character had to come through in the body. Some got converted poses, others got specific weaponry. Their pack symbol, in red and black, is something like a mountain range, or the lower teeth of a beast. I (foolishly) went with yellow guns on these, and it is doing this that made me desperate to not do it again...

The first four: One wielding both pistol and bolter, while striding forward, another similarly striding, and brandishing a blade. Third is a guy who's bare-headed, because I had to use that beard somehow. His blade is, to my mind, an iconic Space Wolf thing, used really only by them (among the faithful). The final is one of my first, incredibly simple conversions; having a guy with foot on rubble whilst aiming. Slight cut and reposition of his gun hand, and then a slight cut and reposition of his left leg.

I took the opportunity on the Grey Wolves to make their armour as ornate as possible, using the fanciest pieces I could find. The guy on the far Right you can see has a painted helmet-channel, bordered in gold, many have bright gold armour details, bearded-wolf has a pair of ceremonial daggers, etc.

Here, another, stoically with feet planted, alternating shots with pistol and bolter. In the middle is the pack leader, with his ornate blade, plasma pistol (in matching colour!) and wolf helmet. Finally, a wolf with his backpack equipped with some kind of scanning gear, and his bolter slung over his shoulder. I used modelling wire looped around itself for the bolter sling.

With all these, since they are armed with bolter and bolt pistol, I took every opportunity to make it look like they are wielding just them. Also, to contrast the Blood Claws, these guys aren't running, loping, or in any way displaying rash motion, except the leader with his blade. This was to really make it look like they're settling down, unlike their rasher, younger brethren.

Next time, the Blood Claws themselves will make an appearance. I'll try to not make it 9 days to the next one...

Friday, September 06, 2013

Space Wolf Commission IV: Lords

I was lucky enough to have a bitzed model of Logan Grimnar sitting in my bitz box which I decided to use as a test model early on in this project. This would be my way of figuring out the colours, doing a fun conversion, and getting used to such a different force from what I've done before.

Astute players will notice his axe is very different from what he typically wields. This is because I couldn't find the axe head, and went ahead with a conversion (made from pieces of Ork axes) knowing for certain I'd find them when I was finished. (Sure enough, maybe a month after he was painted and in the display case, I found the bloody pieces...)

I was lucky enough to get to work with the new cast of Njal Stormcaller. This model is well sculpted, and while it does suffer from the static pose syndrome, it feels appropriate for such a powerful psyker/wizard.

I went for non-glowing runes because with the armour so pale, it wouldn't seem glowing so much as badly highlighted. Otherwise, wolf pelt as accurate as I could make fur, as with his red hair. Delicately gave him fangs, and did attempt to make his eyes look like they were glowing. The staff is somewhat plainly painted, but he had so little metal elsewhere I wanted to do some to balance.

Here you can see the wolf pelt. Nothing does fur quite like drybrushing; it highlights the fur well, and makes the surface seem nice and furry as well. (By contrast, straight painting tends to make things look very smooth.) His raven was painted with a gloss black, and lightly drybrushed with grey, so the feathers seem very sheen.

The Space Wolves love their lords, and I figured between Canis, Njal, and Logan we were well placed. I would eventually have done a customized hero/lord to look like the store owner's son, who at the time had long-ish hair and a thick beard (Very Space Wolf-y), and perhaps one of him. I guess I may still, since I do still have the leftover bitz in my bin!

Monday, September 02, 2013

Space Wolf Commission III: Dreadnaught

Today I'll discuss one of the early creations I made for the force. I was determined to do a conversion on the Dreadnaught, and since the store had an early-make Space Wolf Dreadnaught (all in metal) that was unlikely to sell with the plastics being about the same price but far lighter and with tons more options, I offered to take the relic and work my magic.

A Space Wolf is already a little bit fly-away and prone to rushing forward, and I figure being locked in a tomb unable to enjoy the battle would make them even more grumpy/cantankerous/wild.

Mine, as a result, is wielding a large axe, which he is actively smashing into the ground, having either just missed his target, or equally likely, attempting to intimidate/vent frustration.

Lots of conversion work on this one, starting with my mantra for myself when starting any model, which is "What is the personality?" Whether it's a commander character, one of two dozen generic guardsmen, a technically mindless automaton Warjack, or this dreadnaught, the more I think of it as a real thing, the more likely I'll be able to convey that.

With tanks, (once I finish my PzIV I'll go into that one) and Dreadnaughts like this, you can't use expressions. I'm actually kind of blessed in that my Dread can be posed. To that end: Assault Cannon is slightly pushed to the Right, as though he's counter-balancing the axe coming down; either a hold-over affectation from when he lived, or a necessary move to balance. Next, the hand was converted to hold an axe, as opposed to just having the axe jut from where the fist is. He is appropriately covered in battle honours and banners, (Painted differently to represent either different campaigns or different lords he's fought with.) His legs are painted with 'pack' and 'great company' markings, even though technically his pack now is but one.

Here you can see the relic blade, made from two of the plastic banner tops from the box set, plasticard blade curves, and epoxy putty to fill in the rest and allow me to add runes. The fingers are from plasticard sheet, cut and glued in place, while all the banner tops have been drilled and pinned to ensure they don't break off. Some leftover scrap plasticard became the pieces of slate that is smashed in two by the force of the axe. He also bears the great company marking on his forearm, so that from any angle you know whom he serves.

From the back, another small company marking, as well as the guts and gears. I wanted to keep the metal clean and shiny, because even though the wolves are very superstitious, I know with their reverence towards their epics and legends, a dreadnaught (a living legend) would be well taken care of. Also something you can barely see: The ammo crate is painted in a bright turquoise. Something I decided early on (after attempting to make yellow guns on one pack) was that each pack would have different gun colours. This would help new players easily identify who belonged with whom. As a result, even single models like this dread got his own weapon colours. It also chromatically helps to balance out the large amount of turq. on the axe head.

Right, that's part 3! Next time some special figs.