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

Intro

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

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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.

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.

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.

Easter Eggs to Death World/Carnivorous Plants

A quick and Easy tutorial on how to turn Easter eggs into Carnivorous plants Tabletop Terrain

As the title suggest, on the heals of Easter Sunday I decided to try my hand at turning plastic Easter eggs into some creepy carnivorous plants to be used as table top terrain in wargames such as WH40k or (if my friends will ever get on board lol) Wh40k Kill Team Kill Zone Death World Forest. This is super easy if you have some basic hobby tools. Doing two of these only took me about an hour tops (that’s also counting time for me to figure out how I wanted to do it and what I wanted them to look like, though will need to let PVA glue dry before priming).

This is what they look like before being primed and painted.

The tools you will need are as follows

Hobby knife

Heat gun

Hot glue gun

Hand held hobby drill (like for miniatures)

Two pairs of tweezers

First (simple) variant.

To start off you will cut the plastic Easter eggs apart and (optional) use the taller half

Get something you want to base it one, but don’t attach it to the base yet

Next drill a hole in the center of the egg where there is an indention.

Then take your hobby knife and cut four slits in the egg making an X, and cut the corners off so it looks like this.

Next being careful take tweezers and with one pair hold the egg and the other bend the flaps outward while you heat the plastic with the heat gun

Then hot glue some tooth pics tips at the center end of each flap.

After that hot glue it to the base you cut out and then cover it in hot clue to give it texture and make it look more organic looking.

Second (complicated) variant

The other variant I did used the first steps of cutting the egg and all, but this time you are going to trim the flaps so there is more space between each one like this.

At the center of the base glue some wires sticking up like this

then take some cotton (I used the tip of a giant cue tip since I didnt have cotton balls) glue it around and on top of the wires to to fill the space

cover that with some hot glue to give it different textures. Next take a flat piece of thin plastic (like the plastic cover from a toy box) and cut out four triangles

they don’t have to be perfect since they will leaves. Again take your heat gun, and open up the flaps on the egg and this time take each plastic triangle and heat them so you can shape them. Be sure to shape the bottom of them to fit the curve of the egg.

Next hot glue the leaves so they line up with the gap between each flap of the egg.

Then take some more cotton and glue it along the inside of the egg like this

After that glue the egg to your base and cover it in glue like you did the first one. Getting the glue to have strings attaching the flaps I think makes it look really good and very slimy/organic.

Finally pour PVA glue into the egg to add more texture and to make the cotton look more fleshy.

Let that dry before you prime them.

Here they are together before they are primed

I reccomend spray painting them and getting the can pretty close to do a very thick coat so it helps blend everything together more. Here it is based purple and with some sprue plants on the bases. As here they are finished(ish) I didnt put much effort in painting them as you can tell lol.

Using Games-workshop Water Slide Decals (Easy and Cheap)

A very easy and cheap tutorial on how to use Games-workshop water slide decals and get great results.

So I know I have had trouble in the past with the Games-workshop water slide decals and after learning how to do them easily and getting good results I decided if anyone wanted to know my method I would do a tutorial. So hear it its!

I got a shoulder pad I had from my bits and decided to paint it up so that if worst comes to worst I can always use it for basing another miniature in the future. So with that in mind and my army being World Eaters I opted to do an Emperors Children Shoulder pad and decal.

So let’s get to it.

Materials you will need.

1. Games-workshop water slide decal of your choice.

2. Two containers or water (one to clean your brushes, and one that is clean to soak the decal and wet your brushes and thin your paints/varnish.

3. Games-workshop Technical paint ‘Ardcoat

4. Matt Varnish (I used Vallejo’s Matt varnish)

5. Pair of tweezers (to hold the decal in water).

6. Your desired brushes.

7. Paper Towel.

Prep

I based the shoulder pad with Abaddon Black. Then I did to coats of Xerxes Purple. On the trim I based them in Brass Scorpion. I then dry brushed the purple with Pink Horror and applied a wash of Carroburg Crimson. Finally I applied 3 coats of Auric Armour Gold to the trim. I wanted to have the dry brush texture there so you can see that all details are preserved doing this method.

Step One

Now that the shoulder pad is painted the way I wanted I applied a generous coating of ‘Ardcoat that was thinned with water (about 1/3 water) all over the purple part of the pauldron (shoulder pad). This is to seal and protect your work underneath as well as give you a smooth surface to apply the decal. If you want you can apply more coats, but I find one works. Let that fully dry.

Step Two

Grab your decal with your tweezers and hold it in the water (Note: the new decals only take about 30-45 seconds in the water, but the new ones take longer).

Next you take the decal and put it near where you will apply it to the miniature. The older decals stick a little more to the paper so you may have to use your finger a little to get it moving off the paper. The new ones you can just use your brush. Make sure the brush you use to apply the decal is wet, this will be important for the next part.

Step Three

The application part is not as scary as you may think. Here water is your friend which is why it’s important to have already sealed the area you will put the decal with ‘Ardcoat. You don’t want to flood the application surface but you do want enough water to form a very small puddle under the decal (this is why you need your brush wet). The decal will bring water with it, but if it doesn’t use your brush to gently get under the decal and let the water on the brush pool underneath it.

The reason for this is the water will allow the decal to move across the surface you want to apply it to so you can gently move it around with your brush (opposed to it setting right where it happens to make first contact with the model). I recommend a brush with firm short bristles for this so you have more control

That is the brush I use to apply my decals. It hold enough water without flooding the surface, and its stiff enough to allow great control

Once you have the decal where you want it, take the corner or your paper towel and gently press down on the decal. This will set the decal where you want it and will dry up the water. You can dab the area if there are wrinkles or excess water after you have the decal set in place.

Next apply at least one (I do two to be safe) thin layer of the same thinned ‘Ardcoat as before, over the application area (the decal and the purple of the shoulder pad) to seal the decal in place and protect it.

Step Four

Apply a generous amount of matt varnish over the whole application arena. I don’t thin the matt varnish, I just put some strait from the bottle on my wet pallet and then paint it onto the shoulder pad.

Here is what it looks like after one coat is dry.

How many layers you do depends on your personal preference. Since I am doing only one shoulder pad for this tutorial I don’t have a comparison like I would on a fill miniature. I found doing my Iron Warriors that one this coat and two thin coats of matt varnish made it look identical to the other shoulder pads I had not used ‘Ardcoat on. So here is a picture of this pad after I have applied the tow thin coats on it.

I hope this helps you and saves you some money not having to buy any products specifically for doing decals like this. If you have any questions or need me to clarify anything please feel free to ask and I will be more than happy to answer!