One thing has just occurred to me – and that is I need to make a decision on if I wish to add any banners or pendants to my Dreadnought. I’m personally not a fan of banners, I think that they’re highly unrealistic in many aspects – in real life they’d add another 4 ~ 6 ft of height onto a person and likely hinder somebody walking if they were strapped onto their back. Now I know that in the 40th millennium the rules are a little different, but back banners strike me as just being the equivalent of holding a fishing rod in a lightening storm. “Nobody move” flutter, flutter… Boom…
That said, a miniature with a back banner can look bloody impressive in a cabinet. Those extra 3″ or so can look fantastic if painted well and make it stand out from the crowd, miniatures with some freehand on them also tend to get noticed more than those without. Thinking back, there was a thread on the CoolMiniOrNot forum a while back where somebody sculpted and cast up a banner for a large scale Forge World marine. Casting it up meant that it was wafer thin and could easily be cut and hacked around to make it battle worn. Plus the texturing meant it could be painted in the same way as a miniature.
To be honest I’m still of mixed opinion. It could be a lot of work for potentially very little end result. Casting one up is going to be quite time consuming, a fully 3d one (e.g. Traitor Marine in a gibbet) is going to be quite a bit of work that I’d be better off spending on the Dreadnought itself. Also if Space Wolves are Norse themed, the Norse tended to decorate their shields and long boats as a bit of cloth would likely last a few minutes in a battle. Space Wolves have rarely had purity seals as they tend to adorn their armour with fangs, rune trinkets and skulls instead. The best freehand I can currently think of is warrior woad, but to my mind that will be pretty difficult to paint consistently and could look quite iffy if not done perfectly.
Links of Note:
Various Banners and Images of Space Wolves
Golden Demon Tips by Vince Hudson – creator of the magmatrax miniature
Lots of Space Marine Banners – designed for the Dawn of War game
Sculpting Fur – also has details on making icles
Sculpting PDF – fairly comprehensive pdf that includes a realistic fur sculpting