Those of you who know me from here or CMoN will know that I’m a bit of a Space Wolves nut. It was the first army that I came across in 40k (back in the late 80’s) and I’ve been collecting an army on and off ever since. When the 5th edition Codex came out and Games Workshop released the (brilliant) new Space Wolf plastic miniatures, I shelved everything I had previously collected and began again pretty much from scratch.
I’ve collected myself quite a formidable army now – around 3000 points at a guess, though at present despite having the models for 3+ years I’ve yet to get a squad painted up fully. Some of them have been assembled and have been given an airbrush of base colour, some are just assembled and some are half done and others are still in the box. It’s my hope to be able to play a Horus Heresy doubles tournament next year with a friend so I need to crack on and learn the 6th edition rules which means having a painted army of some kind.
I surprised myself with the speed I painted some of the bits for my Golden Demon entry and had a small epiphany when I used the new Citadel Paint range the other day as the increased colour range means you don’t need to mix intermediate stages which results in much quicker and more fluid painting sessions. I’m not sure what has changed either but I seem to have accepted that I can’t do monumentally amazing paint jobs on every single miniature. To a certain extent I need to turn around five marines in a week or so. That’s not to say that I’ll accept a sub standard paint job, more that I’m setting my sights on a consistent and well painted tabletop standard army.
In order to spur me on, over the past couple of evenings, I’ve gone through my collection and worked out what miniatures I’ve got and in what states. Last night, any miniatures that were assembled got undercoated. This has turned up a couple of mold lines that need to be sorted (although not many) and a fur pelt needs to be sculpted to hide the manky shoulder of a missile launcher. My intention is to paint in sensible batches – so 5 Blood Claws rather than a mix of different unit types, so the undercoating means I’m actually a step closer to that goal now.
I’ve gone through various ideas on what colours to paint my army as I’ve always preferred the Pre Heresy greys so painted some of the tanks like this. As I’ve now decided to go for the standard Games Workshop colour scheme for ease (and speed) of painting, the tanks just look a bit weird when they’re next to each other so I need to work out how to strip them back and repaint them. I also chanced across a very nice set of tutorials on The Brush Brothers in which the author pretty much does exactly the same as I intend to do – the majority of the armour colour done by airbrush and the rest picked out with a bruch. However one very nice effect he’s used is to apply a rough rust colour under the armour and uses masking fluid to make lots of nicks and dents. I really, really like this so have decided to just reset the whole army back to black undercoat and go from there. In the grand scheme it isn’t going to add a massive amount of time onto the army but will add a lot of flavour for relatively little work.
I’m also going to change some of the set up of the army. Originally my Blood Claw pack was led by a Wolf Guard in Terminator armour and Wolf Claws, however this actually prevents then from making a Sweeping advance in the game which restricts their combat ability. The Power Fist in the Blood Claws is a bit of an extravagance they’d be better off without it. Grey Hunters really benefit from having a Wolf Standard so I ought to try and give the two squads some kind of banner. I’m also pushing those squads up to 10 each so need to make up another model to do this.
Overall the army isn’t in too bad a state. There is a lot of painting to do but with the new paints and my improved ability with an airbrush the challenge isn’t as daunting as it once was. I’m not looking forward to repainting the tanks as I used various salt weathering techniques which could be a sod to remove. I also need to do some conversion and modelling work on the character element of the army – so a few more Wolf Guard, a Wolf Lord and a Wolf Priest with jump pack.
Looking at my remaining sprues, I’ve got a total of ten Space Wolf legs and fifteen Space Wolf Torsos. I need to make up a few characters and two Heavy Bolters, so at a minimum I need another five legs, but am tempted to get another five or even ten regular tactical marines in order to mix things up a bit. This would give me another full Grey Hunter squad with a possibly enough bits for another. I’d also like to pick up some older mark power armour for the Wolf Guard from Forge World so may look into that sooner rather than later as it makes sense to convert the Wolf Guard I’ve done, back into Grey Hunters before I get too far.
One thing I did discover is that Space Wolves don’t have any flyers – as in none at all. What this actually means is that I need to either wait until the Codex gets redone (most likely some years away) or need to buy some Allies. Imperial Guard, Grey Knights and Blood Angels all provide access to that important flyer – in the case of the Guard you could actually take three Valkyries or Vendettas, the other two provide access to the Storm Raven. That said, do I really want to be thinking about collecting more miniatures (you must have an HQ and Troop choice) just to give me a flyer?