Thursday, 8 November 2012

Space Wolf test model

Carrying on with my plan to paint up my Space Wolves quickly, effectively, and with as little fuss as possible, here's my test model for the army. This is the same mini that featured in my Space Wolf armour painting tutorial.

There's essentially no line highlighting, layering or blending used on this model. It's all done with a combination of drybrushing and washes.

I really wanted to try something different to my Ultramarines. They are quite bright, pristine-looking and make extensive use of traditional line highlighting. With the Wolves, I basically wanted them to be the opposite. Instead of highlighting, I focussed on what I could achieve with shading. Instead of sharp line highlighting, I focussed on drybrushing (the Citadel Dry Paints are a great product). Finally, instead of bright, I wanted a muted, almost desaturated, look.

The style I used for the armour works quite nicely as sort of neutral canvas that doesn't detract from the other details. It allows them to stand out without having to use brightness to draw the eye. With regards to the shading, I started with a basecoat brighter than I might normally use, then I could apply washes and avoid the need to apply highlighting over the top.

The bolter is an extreme example. This started out with a Citadel Mechanicus Standatd Grey basecoat followed by a heavy wash of Nuln Oil. I lightly drybushed with Longbeard Grey, then applied one final generous wash of Nuln Oil. The result was a sort of non-black black-looking colour. Oddly enough, I think a pure black would be too intense for this sort of 'washed out' style of painting.

I went for three different styles of painting fur for this model, just to practice. It's all washes and drybrushing as my 'quick and easy' philosophy doesn't allow for individually highlighting the hairs. I applied a dark wash (or a second coat, depending) on the upper parts of the furs to get some variation in tone.

I'm not entirely happy with the result of the black on the red shoulder pad in the photo above. It doesn't quite pop in the way I was intending, so I may need to think about what to do with that.

Overall, I'm happy with how this mini turned out and so I'm ready to go ahead and start painting the army in full. I may evolve these techniques as I go (in fact, such things are almost inevitable).

One thing I really need to do is decide on how to paint the rock on the base. I want a fairly dark rock, with perhaps a slightly blue hue to it. If you have any ideas on how I can achieve that, let me know in the comments or send me an email to pingos.projects[at]


  1. For your Bases, try Charadon Granite(Stormvermin Fur) with a heavy wash of Asmuren Blue(Drakenhof Nightshade). Drybrush with your choice of color for the highlight

    1. Thanks very much, Sgt Sharpe. I took that on board, adapted it slightly and came up with something I'm happy with. I posted a little tutorial on it, so thanks a lot!