Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Tail of Two Conversions Part 3

In my previous portion of this article I had finished two different types of Thunderwolf Cavalry for my Space Wolf army.  For one set I used Goblin Rinder wolves for wolf bits and for the second, and I believe better, batch I used Chaos Warhounds.  You can find the two previous articles on converting Thunderwolves from Pyth and myself in the Hobby section of this site.  I began painting these TWC about a week and a half ago in the hopes of having them ready to use for the RTT last Saturday.  I was, unfortunately, unsuccessful.  However I took pictures of the painting process so let's get into that now.

Anyone who has read my article on painting my Pre-Heresy color Space Wolves(Capture and Control: Painting Blitzkrieg: Space Wolves) knows that I base coat my Space Wolves using OSH Grey Primer but I use OSH Black for my characters because building up the grey from black allows better attention to detail.  Since Thunderwolf Cavalry are a very special and expensive unit I decided to base coat them with black rather than grey so I could give them the proper treatment.  Here they are primed black.

The first steps I took to painting the Thunderwolf Cavalry was to give the base colors to the Wolf and the Rider.  For the wolves I chose 3 basic undercoats, Calthan Brown for 3, Dheneb Stone for 3, and Iyanden for 3 (I have a 10th TWC but it is currently at Dis' place and I am too lazy to go get it because he lives super far away from me).  The Space Wolf riders got two dry brushings of Codex Grey.  The next step I took was to add layers to the fur and legs of the wolves.  For the wolves based in Calthan brown I dry brushed successive layers of Bleached Bone, Dheneb Stone, and Skull White from low on the model to high so the darker color was near the bottom of the fur.  For the Dheneb Stone based wolves I drybrushed two light coats of Skull White using a heavier hand at the top of the wolf heads.  For the Iyanden based wolves I drybrushed Sunburst Yellow followed by Bleached Bone.  The next thing on my list is to begin picking out the gold metallics and put the purple on the shoulder pads.  I use Shining Gold and Liche Purple, I often get asked how I get the purple so smooth and the simplest way to explain it is I don't put it over a black or white under coat.  The grey undercoat, whether it be Codex or the OSH primer, gives the perfect base to give you a solid smooth purple.  Here is what they look like at this stage.

The next step is to begin picking out the details, non-gold metallics are done with Boltgun Metal, blades of weapons (except Frost Blades) are done with Mithril Silver.  I also begin to pick out certain areas to be Space Wolf Grey, in particular the shields get a good dose of SWG and I choose other things as well.  Some units get SWG for shoulder pad edges, banner back grounds etc.  At this point I chose the other colors I will use as well.  The banners usually get two main colors one for the front and one for the back.  The large banner for the Chaos Warhound group of TWC got Iyanden on the back and Regal blue on the front.  Scrolls, purity seals, and parchment of any kind will get Skull White.  I will then go through and pick out specific bits for other accent colors, leather etc.  Gems, scabards, helmet lenses and the like will get either Mechrite Red, Iyanden, SpaceWolves Grey, Snakebite Leather or Hawk Turquoise.

I will admit that at this stage they don't look like much but that is the process of painting.  The next stage is two fold.  The first is highlighting.  I go through and do extreme highlights on most of the model.  Codex Grey gets Fortress Grey, Boltgun gets Chainmal, Iyanden-Golden Yellow, Liche Purple-Sanguine Base, Black-Codex Grey, Regal Blue-Space Wolves Grey.  The next step is the wash.  Everything except the Space Wolves Grey, Regal Blue, and small Liche Purple bits get Devlan Mud.  Yes I know, Devlan Mud washing has gone out of vogue now that BoLS has officially said "goodbye" to it but the effectiveness of the technique can't be denied.  The Space Wolf Grey gets Gryphonne Sepia, Regal Blue gets Asurmen Blue, and the Liche Purple gets Badab Black.  Once all of that dries I paint the faces and hair. Faces are Elf Flesh with Skull White highlighting and the hair is various colors.  The heads get different washes depending on the look I want, some get Ogryn Flesh others Devlan Mud, some get Gryphonne Sepia.  Now that that is finished I go back and re-highlight any area that needs it.  Lastly I put one dot of Skull White for each eye and it's on to bases.

I base all of my armies the same way because I like the way it looks.  Maybe for my next one I will change it up but who knows...  I brush regular wood glue onto the base (it is important that the base be primed/based) and then dip it into my sand tub.  After a few seconds I remove the model from the sand and shake off the excess.  A good way to time this is to do several models at once.  Brush the glue on and dip a model in the sand then repeat for the next one (you'll need two tubs of sand) once you have the second model in it's tub remove the first and repeat.  At this point I usually wait an hour then brush Devlan Mud onto the sand, the glue is still a little wet and this helps to create a very strong bond between the sand and base.  After another 1-2 hours the wash and glue should be dry.  I finish the base off by dry brushing the sand lightly with Elf Flesh.  If I added large stones to the base I paint them with Dheneb Stone and wash them with Badab Black, in the case of the TWC, or Devlan Mud, in the case of my Wolf Guard Terminators.  Either wash looks good on Dheneb stone.  All that's left is to use a micron pen for purity seal and parchment writing and any decals I am going to apply.  Here is the finished product in all their viking glory.


  1. Fantastic models! These are great conversions and I love the paint job. Pre heresy colors are just so cool, I like that you use a more chaos feel with some of your units. It creates a great diversity among the army but they still look cohesive. A dificult affect to attain. Kudos.

  2. Thanks for making a fairly easy conversion for a completely unsupported unit available to the world. Now we can see TWC Spammed all over the place and lose every game we play against SW (like we weren't already). Why not use your powers for good not evil CNC?

  3. I just found this site and have been leafing through the pages and I have to say two things.

    1. You guys are doing a great job. I particualarly like the bat reps, you need to do more and I like that you want to expand into Malifaux and PP.

    2. Christopher, you seem to have an unhealthy fixation with Spam. Let it go, no one cares.