Now that's I've got a couple of boxed games finished, I want to take a bit of a break before diving straight into the next one. I feel like I've neglected my Space Wolves army for so long, it's now time to start again. Rather than building another Blackmane company it's time to choose a new one.
It was a tough call between the Firehowlers and the Drakeslayers.
The Firehowlers tattoo themselves not only with their volcanic icon, the Fire Breather, but also with runes and scenes from their own sagas. They prefer to win their victories in the glory of close combat.
The Drakeslayers are known for issuing boasts and wagers during battle, yet are capable of incredible feats of strategy. They seek nothing less than to be recognized as the greatest fighting force of the Chapter and have zero tolerance for failure, which is brutally punished. Conversely, success is rewarded, with the Great Company having the most Wolf Guard after the Champions of Fenris themselves.
The fire-breathing icon of the Firehowlers on the red background looks great, and adding various tattoos to units after games to remember their sagas sounds like a great idea. However, I also really like the Krom Dragongaze miniature and have read stories involving him to understand how the company, and his mind works.
In the end I decided to go with the Drakeslayers.
For me having an elite army of Space Wolves sounds great as it lets me add a lot of gold to their armour to represent their status and make them stand out from other companies. It's also nice to not have to focus the army on one method of combat, and to have some freedom when building the company compared to the very well documented Champions of Fenris and the Blackmanes.
I plan to steal the idea of adding tattoos as sagas after battles, but may include trophies within the ranks as well as tattoos. I'm also using a red background on their shoulder rather than the usual grey as it adds a bit more visual interest.
So onto the first unit...
The Grey Hunters are as hungry for battle as their Blood Claw brethren, but their aggression is tempered with experience that has taught them the value of patience and cunning. Grey Hunters excel at both attack and defense, and moreover are able to determine which approach best fits the tactical situation at hand. When on the offensive, they exhibit the pack skills of true hunters, advancing with deliberate suppression fire and flawless coordination, until they draw close enough to the enemy to unleash their savage charge
Where I think a lot of Space Marine tactical squads can look quite plain and boring, Space Wolves have a lot more trinkets, pelts and other details that breaks up the uniform armour. Most don't wear helmets, so there's a lot of opportunity to add different hairstyles with different colours.
This unit also has a lot of trim, allowing me to add a lot of gold, which along with their multitude of weapons makes them look a lot more elite than a regular tactical unit. The colour markings used to identify units also adds a bit more colour to the unit.
Fenrisian Grey is applied as an edge highlight and Blue Horror as an extreme edge highlight.
Ushabti Bone and Screaming Skull can be swapped out for Tyrant Skull and Terminatus Stone. For fur apply the shade more heavily in the center.
Alternatively use Zandri Dust, Reikland Fleshshade and Screaming Skull for a slightly different look.
Brighter colours should be applied where the light would reflect the most, or parallel to edges when painting pack markings on their shoulders.
Agrax Earthshade is thinned down and only applied to the deepest recesses. Carroburg Crimson is applied in the recesses around the eyes and nose.
The sword was painted by treating each half as opposites. On the left side the white is at the top, and the darkest blue is on the bottom, while on the right side this is reversed.
I then broke down each side into quarters, painting each with their respective colour. To blend each adjacent quarter I mixed the two paints together and applied it in the middle. I then repeated this over and over, always saving a bit of each mixture, until achieving a smooth transition. A final edge highlight of White Scar was applied.
For the plasma coil I also applied a wash of Drakenhof Nightshade after the base layer to create more of a contrast. The brighter blues and white were focused on the raised areas and towards the center of the coil. This could be reversed to create a different effect, with the inner coil being brighter showing the heat generated internally.
Mechanicus Standard Grey is applied as an edge highlight and Administratum Grey as an extreme edge highlight.
Screamer Pink, Emperor's Children and Nuln Oil can be used instead to differentiate from other reds.
I cast some Fantascape Glacial Ruins bases using Instant Mold & Milliput, then glued some sand around the edges, applying a second layer of watered down PVA to help it stuck.
The Seraphim Sepia was applied in patches to give a dirt stained look.
Finally, I applied some Mordheim Turf tufts and then a couple of layers of Deluxe's Scenic Snow.
I think when starting a new army you always want to start with a core unit of troops to get a feel for how an army might look, which you don't really get a feel of when only painting a single miniature.
The look is pretty much exactly what I was hoping for. A lot of gold and a lot of colour to break up the armour and make them more visually interesting. The red on their shoulders blends in nicely with weapon hilts and pelt skins.
The green contrasts they grey nicely, and the blue of the power weapons helps them stand out, although maybe they could have been green as well? Saving the yellow just for the Wolf Guard also helps to make him stand out as the leader of the unit.