Space Wolves Reiver Kill Team Commission: Freehand “Wolf Tattoo”


Before I begin, I want to give a little background, as well as a general walk through of the bare arm kitbash I did on this guy. The arm is just a WFB Chaos Marauder Horseman arm that I had in my bits box for my World Eaters. My friend who I’m doing the commission for has never done anything with miniatures before, so in order to get each model the way he wanted, with the parts he wanted I had him put the parts for each model in separate bags, and then I would clean them up, pose them, take pictures to see if he wanted changes to the pose, or bits placement and then pin and glue the parts in place. I was assembling them one bag at a time, and when I got to this guy I noticed my friend had only put in one arm for him. So rather than have to wait until we could meet up again and I could get the other arm, I ask him if I could put a bare arm on this guy, because I thought it would look really cool, and the Reivers right arm has a smaller sculpted shoulder pauldron on it that I had no way if replicating easily. I sent him blue sticky tack mock up, of the arm and he was happy with it. So I went ahead with it.

Attaching the arm

Here in these mock up pictures you can see that the arm is close, but definitely not a perfect fit. Once I new the position I wanted it on I got out my GW hand drill (honestly the best hobby tool purchased I have made, I can’t reccomend getting one enough!) And drilled into the arm and the torso to pin the should. There was also the problem of the hand that would hold the bolter by the trigger didn’t half a back to it, since the arm meant for it would have that part attached to it. So I took a space marine plasma gun with a hand sculpted on it, and cut out the hand so it would just be the armour plat covering the back of the hand. After some fitting to the bolt gun I glue it in place, drilled a hole in it, and pinned the arm to the hand.

Once all of that was dry filled in some of the gaps with greenstuff let that cure, and the clean it up. There as a pretty large gap between the shoulder and the torso, so I filled that in with GS and once it was dry enough that it wouldn’t deform I added more GS on top of that, and sculpted it onto the arm to blend in with the shoulder. The result (which I think looks great on the larger true scale bodies) was a much more muscular looking arm and bulkier shoulder. Side note, it’s amazing how just beefing up the shoulder makes the whole arm look bigger. Here you can see an example of size comparison

Painting the Freehand

I should point out that his is only the 3rd or 4th freehand design I have ever done, and it is by far the largest and most intricate freehand design I have ever attempted.

I knew I wanted to do a wolf on the arm that would be similar to depictions of Jormungdr in that it would wrap around the arm. That said I was pretty unclear on the design outside of that. My main resource I used was looking at this space wolf shoulder pad for aesthetic and motif

I did a rough concept sketch of the arm, and how the tattoo would look and wrap around the arm.

and then I got to painting it. I honestly can’t remember how long it took me to do this, but it was close to I think over 10 hours straight of painting (insomnia can be a boon or a burden). Ones I had gotten it all outlined and to the point were I would add details, clean up and thicken lines I called it called it a night. I wasn’t happy with how it was looking, so I figured I would sleep and look at it with fresh eyes.

When I came back the next day, I not only was not happy with how it was looking, but I HATED everything about it… literally everything! So I made the decision to scrap the entire thing and start completely from scratch! Good by 10+ hours of wasted time! Lol

So after repainting the entire arm I got this outlining done and again called it a day, after sending the picture of the old and new to my friend for his opinion.

With the new design, I did another, (VERY) rough concept sketch focusing on placement and positioning. For this new design I decided to go for a much more traditional look opposed to the more contemporary wolf motif of the space wolves. So I wanted to have a contrast of smooth curves and flowing lines with sharper edges and straight lines, so the design would look more like images found during the viking age.

I knew I was also going to put some runes on the tattoo, more specifically on the wolf itself so I then put outlined the mid section that would be a main focal point of the design. Essentially I was going for a look of it wrapping around the arm and the middle wrap being what would contain the runes.

As you can see I also added more details to the head, and that area.

The runes I chose are Elder Futhark runes, which are the most ancient Viking/Germanic runes dating back to the roman empire. The actual runes themselves that I pick are “Wunjo, Othalan, Laguz, and Fehu”, whose meanings are Joy, Nobility, Potentiality, and Wealth/Good fortune” respectively, together to spell “WOLF”.

Finished Tattoo


Space Wolves Reiver Kill Team Commission

showing progress on my current commission project

Here is some pictures of my current commission project I’m doing for a friend. So far assembly took forever since I checked everything with him as far as positioning and posing of each individual model before I glued them together. Unfortunately during assembly I discovered one of the models he gave me to make and paint had only one arm, and then another had no arms at all. The one armed one wasn’t much of a problem as I kitbashed it to give him a bare arm, sculpted some bulk to the shoulder to make it fit, and added a gauntleted hand and it was fixed. Mr. Armless though I will have to wait to finish until I can get the arms for him. So here are the mock up pictures I sent him, and the assembled four Reivers that I have primed and slapped some base coats on.

I have to say, I really hated dealing this this guy… My friend put the parts he wanted on each model on ziplock bags and I then assembled what was in said bags for each unit. Well I quickly discovered that the body that was in the bag was not intended to ever have the arm reaching across to draw the combat knife from the scabbard on it. So I ended up doing quite a bit of altering on this guy to get to a relatively satisfactory result. I realised the left arm was going to have to stick out a fair bit and not set level on the torso, so I shaved the outside of the shoulder down a good bit so when I filled the gap that I knew would be there, the shoulder pad would be in the correct anatomical position and would largely cover the greenstuff contacting the arm to the torso. You can also see below that I pinned the arm as well for extra stability. As for where the scabbard connects to the leg, the angle was all wrong, so I have to shave down the part on the scabbard made to attach onto of the pouches on the leg, and then sculpted a larger pouch to cover this area and blend where I had to cut the edges of the afformention part down. Now here is the kicker that made me feel like a complete idiot after the fact… After browsing pictures of Reivers online to see where the scabbard should attach I noticed that one of the bodies (reiver models have the torsos and legs specific for each one) was actually angled to accommodate the scabbard unlike the body my friend had put in the bag. It was only later that night while laying in bed that a light bulb went of in my head that made me feel (rightfully so) like a complete idiot. My friend just put the parts in each bag without knowing how they would look assembled, so all I would have had to of done was find the body meant to accommodate the scabbard and switch it for use with this guy (the squad leader). Then I could have completely avoided the need to cut, fit and sculpt to make this stupid arm work on body… oh well though hindsight is 20/20 after all.

This guy has an awesome pose, but as far as structural integrity goes, I think Games-workshop really fouled up with him if they expect inexperienced hobbyists to build him. The only point of contact of the model with the base is the tip of his toes as you can see in the picture above. So I decided that rather than make my friends life a nightmare with having to constantly by re-glueing him to his base I would just go ahead and pin him.

I have a ton of work that that still needs to be done on these guys, but all and all I think they are coming along pretty good. I am very pleased with how the bare arm turned out, but I admit I could have taken a little more time on it to fine tune it some more. Bit my friend won’t care he just wants the models done so I don’t have to be quite as fanatically OCD with the modeling as I would for a commission from anyone but a friend lol. But he gave me lax standards and made it clear that he doesn’t want me to take to long with micro details so this won’t be to difficult thankfully haha.

Shadowspear Unbound!

Exclusive News regarding the future of the Shadowspear models

So Friday some friends and I went to Warhammer (New Games-workshop rebranded store name). One thing led to another and I asked if they had Shadowspear. He said no, but we got to talking and I mentioned how I hated that they had those awesome new models that you could only get in that box, which few stores had and was always selling out online. I said how I was really upset that GW didn’t just sell those models separately rather than doing it like the Dark Vengeance chosen models and heavy cultist.

And that is when he let is slip. He said I didn’t here it from him (which is why I am not naming him or the store location… though reading my other post it’s not hard to determine the location lol) but Games-workshop is in fact going to be selling the individual models such as the Venom Crawler, Obliterators and yes the Greater possed

This also means that for you loyalist scum you will likely be able to buy the Primaris Vanguard Marines as separate units as well

All of this is set to be released he said, some time in July, likely mid July. So if you are in the same boat as me and have been wanting the awesome chaos (or loyalist) units in Shadowspear bit didnt want their counterparts, or to cough up that much money, you are in luck!

Update and Questions

So the terrain showcase is going to have to wait for two reasons. One the spray adhesive can I got was a dud, so I cant finish flocking the trees. And two I have just gotten a commission from a friend to paint his space wolves reivers Kill Team. And on that note I have some questions to ask that I would very much appreciate advice on.

How Much is Too Much or Too Little?

So he is going to pay me for the work, but I am not sure how much to charge him. So here are some details of the commission.

He bought 3 of the paints needed for the blue armor, and anything else I need I will use of my paints. Also I will be doing all of the assembly and priming of the models as well.

What I am Thinking

There are five (5) models and I am thinking of charging him $5-$10 per model ($10 per model roughly equates to $2.50 an hour). We have not discussed prices at all he just said he would pay. So am I high balling or low balling the price? I dont want to charge him more than the models cost to paint them, but I also dont want to get ripped off on the labor/pay ratio. For anyone who has taken or paid for commission I would be very grateful for you advice.

Showcase Reveal Coming Soon! (If all goes well…)

Hopefully within the next two or three days I will have finally completed my current terrain project of making a segmented Kill Team Jungle terrain board and terrain all scratch built. It’s been a ride experimenting with different things, and I’m not done yet, but I should have it all finished and painted soon!

Master of Executions: World Eaters

My finished World Eaters Master of Executions… because I soo needed another model to paint…

I finally finished working on my my World Eaters Master of Executions conversion. I was going to add way more embellishments to the model, but I ultimately decided to not go for my usual style, and that less would be more. After making some minor alterations to make it fit, I was very pleased with how the MKIII helmet turned out. It was also pretty easy to add the Khorne Berzerker crest on it. The only other thing I wanted to add was a screaming face eating a world. To the plain shoulder pad. As my sculpting skills are minimal it seems I opted to not attempt sculpting this, and rather used existing pieces and greenstuff to blend. I’m pleased with how it looks in the end. And of course I couldn’t resist using some of the new GW skulls I picked up in Houston on his base.

Update “My Current Project”

decided to try my hand at making a World Eater’s Master of Executions (to take a small break from my current project)

I haven’t been posting anything as of late because I have been stumbling my way through scratch building an alien deathworld board and terrain for me and some friends to start playing kill team on (finally got them into it lol). I will do a showcase once I’m finished, but no tutorial as I have been doing a lot of trial and error. All that out of the way, there is this bit of news!

So today I got to go by the new Warhammer (GW is rebranding their stores) store that just opened in Shreveport, LA. I have to say I was super psyched about what I saw, as this is the closest dedicated 40k store to me now being only 2 hours away opposed to NOLA that is close to 5. The store is fantastic, and the actual space they have (as well as the stock perhaps) is bigger than the GW store I went to in Houston, TX awhile back.

While there on top of the intended paintbrush and some paint I got, I Couldn’t help but pick up a Master of Executions while I was there.

So here is a sneak preview of my (new other) current project! On the down side I decided what I wanted to do for the helmet, before actually measuring it to see if it fit… so some cutting and adjustments will need to be made lol.