Friday, August 17, 2012

Starting Space Wolves (Now with bonus Liquid Talent mini-rant)

In addition to starting Sisters, Orks and Tyranids, I thought it would be a smart idea to start Space Wolves too! Really I am just hammering out a color pallet and figuring out how I want to paint these guys. Rather than paint them in a icy blue style, I wanted to paint them is a dusty or desert theme. Think Tallaran Wolves. 

I based them in Dheneb Stone followed by two coats of 1:1 Graveyard Earth and Kommando Khaki. The metal bits are Chainmail and the gold bits are Shining Gold. After that the whole model gets a wash of Dev Mud. 

I know what you are saying and we've talked about this before many many times. The difference between me and most folks that lean on the Dev Mud crutch is that I do not stop at this step. As you can see the model is really dark and muddy-brown. It makes me a little sick to see a "painted" army across the table from me that looks like a brown blob because the "painter" threw down a base color, washed it brown and called it good. Not. Painting. 

My work has really only started at this point. The metals need to be brightened up, the armor basically needs to be repainted and highlighted and there is a ton of detail work to do. I don't care what the GW Painting Academy says, but washing is the middle step and not the last. Also, models should rarely infrequently be dipped as washes should be painted on. 

There are exceptions to this. Large models like tanks can eat up a lot of time if you want to actually paint them and the pay off is not great. Really it is a bad use of time to get all detail crazy on a tank especially if you have 12 of them to grind out. Not worth it. Now, I still do it the stupid way but I do not look down on dipped tanks. 

This post has gotten a little more ranty that I intended. Back to the Puppies.

All the base colors are set and now I have to figure out all the detail colors. I am going to stick with traditional SW identification on the shoulder pads with a twist. I am starting with Wolf Guard/Terminators. Each of them will have a shoulder pad that Identifies them as a Space Wolf and the other will retain the marking from the unit they are promoted from/attached to. Example, The gentleman in the picture to the right, is from Blood Claws. His right shoulder pad will be traditional yellow with SW icon on the side. The left shoulder pad with the Crux will also be yellow but with red markings to identify that he was promoted to Wolf Guard from a Blood Claw pack. This will also help him fit in if I peel him off the Wolf Guard pack and attach him to a Blood Claw unit.

This also had the benefit of allowing me to make a Wolf Guard unit from existing models. Normally in a SW army there are Blood Claws (The young and impetuous) identified with red and yellow markings, the Grey Hunters (the seasoned vets) identified with red and black, the Long Fangs (the old and wise) identified with black and white and the Wolf Guard (the elite) identified with black and yellow. Normally, one would need unique models for each of these units but with my little scheme, I basically do not have to make dedicated Wolf Guard models. I am still going to have Wolf Guard Terminators because you can't field Termies in a SW army any other way that I know of. Basically it like to old CSM codex where you had to buy Chosen then give them Terminator armor. 

This brings me to another mini rant and that is putting fluffy choices ahead of tactical decisions. There is no reason for me to plan my Wolf Guard like this other than it makes sense that a Space Wolf army would work like this. This is going to limit my options and maybe have me make some tactically unsound choices in my army but I am going to have a greater emotional involvement in my models and units this way and ultimately enjoy the game more. 


  1. *nods* I dig it. I know you're not finished but it looks like it's been in the field for a long time and has had the pretty gray/light blue paint beat up and worn through hard use. Fully awesome. And thank you for not hating on mass-produced tanks. ;) Armor forever!

    1. I know spending 40 hours painting a single tank is not everyone's idea of sexy time, but I wanted to be clear who my rant is directed at and who it is not. I don't mind people using Dev Mud or even dipping. It is when that is done in place of learning to paint and those people want to put their army next to mind and claim equal status and "fully painted" that my hackles get up.

      Your Stuff is great because you put a lot of time and effort in to detail and composition. you also play guard and need to paint 3 times the number of tanks that I do. I can't say that I would not do the same.

  2. *laughs* Yeah, I do have a few tanks, that's quite true. I think it's eight tanks and five or six chimeras now.

    On the plus side, I'm in the middle of replacing all of my hand-done squad and bumper numbers with decals.