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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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.

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!

Sources to Make Samurai Space Marines

here is a compilation of sources for parts that can be used to create some stunning Samurai themed Space Marines!

I have been obsessed for awhile now with the idea of making some Space Marines that are based on feudal Japan’s legendary Samurai. I sadly will likely not be able to see this vision of mine come to life as I simply don’t have the money to start another wh40k army, but none the less I wanted to share with you what I have found, and hopefully learn of some more resources if you know of any I haven’t covered here.

I’m not going to touch on what Space Marine units (armor patterns) I think would be best to use, or what my lore ideas are behind my Samurai dream team lol. Instead I’m going to simply present you with what I found, and a little advice on how it could be used.

First up from https://puppetswar.eu (I really love these guys!!!!)

We have an awesome selection of Samurai heads and Katanas

They also have some ninja heads and ashigaru heads if you wanted to go that way with your army or maybe make your scouts like that. And they have some cool banners!

Then there is is this guy who is an awesome model, but honestly I would just get him for his bits to kit bash!

Next from http://anvilindustry.co.uk we have some really cool heads that while they are not (that I know of) actually intended to be samurai heads, I really think they look the part!

Then of course there are these great options for heads, back packs and more katanas from https://bitsofwar.com (Kromlech)

Honestly I think these are some of the best options available, and they are the only ones I have found with back packs!

If you want to go for a more traditional look then these heads from https://maxmini.eu/ are really good too

Finally some of the best I have found are from this source I just discovered https://www.shapeways.com/shops/haze_miniatures They have a great range of Katanas, Nodachi and Naganatas. But best of all they have some amazing looking shoulder pads that read very samurai while still keeping the traditional space marine pauldron look (because let’s face it even the least codex complying chapters still have the general space marine look) they also have some helmets that I assume you can just put one any bare head of your choosing.

Sadly in all my searching this is all I have been able to find. What do you think? Do you know of some more sources?

As always I would love to hear from you! Any and all feed back and advice is welcome!