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By Popular Request?

Such news! I now have a complete Combat Patrol, ready to start playing games! This is a rare occurence for me, and what is even more extraordinary is that I seem to be showing no signs of stopping. More and more warriors march from the depths of the Aett to throw back the darkness in the Allfather’s name.

A delicious 24 PL worth of ceramite armoured goodness

Part of the reason for this is the support and encouragement I recieved from the good people of Facebook in several groups, and one of the things they were interested in was how I paint my Space Wolves. I was overwhelmed by a tidal wave of at least 3 requests. It was scary. So, because of that, and because I’ve never made a step by step painting guide before, I decided to have a go at documenting the process of painting a Space Wolf Assault Intercessor, as I’m in the process of making the squad up to a full 10 Drengir. I’ve done my best with lighting and whatnot, so I hope it’s clear enough what’s going on that people find it useful. At points it does look somewhat janky, but I was pleased enough with the end result. This is a quick and dirty scheme which uses oil washing to create definition, ideal for churning out lots of Vlka Fenryka quite quickly. I make no apologies for the lack of highlights. It is essentially the same colours as the Horus Heresy colour scheme, so would work well for legion forces as well.

This is the finished result, ready to throw grenades at the alien, the mutant and the heretic.

How to paint the Hird of the Keenblade:

Spray your model with Mechanicus Standard Grey, or grey primer of your choice. This is a fairly standard assault intercessor from the new paint set, though I gave him a new head, a new backpack (not currently pictured) a new left pauldron, and I replaced his left arm with one from the Indomitus box.
Paint the armour panels with Dawnstone. You can be fairly messy here, but try not to get any paint on the parts which will be leather. As Duncan always tells us, thin paints, two coats, yada yada.
If you do end up getting any paint on the leather pouches, touch back in with Mechanicus Standard Grey, though I’ve found the pot isn’t an exact match for the spray can.
Now it’s time to start basecoating some of the other details. Any area of metal should be painted Iron Warriors, including any which you want to be brass. The knee pad, where I have been doing my pack markings, is Balor Brown, which makes for a nice muted yellow. I’ve used Evil Sunz Scarlet for Grey Hunter packs. The grenade is a unique detail in my army so far, so I’ve just painted it in with Vallejo’s US Dark Green. The backpack was stuck on at this point – I had it lying around already painted with Dawnstone from the last time I tried painting Space Wolves, so didn’t bother respraying. I had also painted from a black undercoat that time, and the paint was thick enough already without starting from scratch.
Eyes. I’ve decided I’m a big fan of painting in eyes early, so that you can touch up the mistakes more easily. This is a quick and messy method that aims to limit the amount of fine brushwork you have to do. Start by painting in the recesses with Black Templar.
Next, apply Grey Seer to the centre of the eye lenses.
Finish with a layer of Talassar Blue. Doesn’t set the world on fire, but it does the job, and you can neaten up quite easily. Which is important, as you can see from this photo.
Here I’ve neatened up and applied the remaining colours – pack markings are finished with Evil Sunz Scarlet, and the weapon casings are painted with Corvus Black.
Contrast time! Apply a layer of Skeleton Horde to anything you want to be brass. Two layers will give a stronger colour, or Snakebite Leather will give a more yellowy gold look. The leather areas are given a coat of Gore Grunta Fur.
Transfers and gloss varnish. Apply any transfers you want on the model – I’ve used the Heresy era ones from the Mk3 Tactical Squad box, and then used Dawnstone to touch in some bits where they had a weird white highlight on the transfers. Can’t see why they were made that way. Then seal the whole model with Gloss Varnish – I use brush on stuff but you could spray if you preferred. This is apparently to protect the acrylics from the solvents used with oil paints, though Roobios claims it’s pointless and doesn’t bother.
Get some Raw Umber oil paint, and some white spirit. I’ve taken to keeping white spirit in an old Agrax Earthshade pot – just simplifies things. Any oil paint that gets into the pot tends to sink to the bottom as sediment, so it’s fine to work straight from the pot. White spirit acts as a thinner and cleaner when working with oils – water will neither thin it properly nor clean your brush. Getting a reasonable consistency, start putting the Raw Umber on the model. This doesn’t have to cover it (in fact that would be way too much), but you should aim to get paint in any joins, recesses and shadowy areas – you can see here I have put some on his inner right greave, where the shadows would be heavier. I tend to work a limb at a time, rather than do the whole model in one fell swoop.
Clean off your brush, and using just white spirit, start lifting away the oil paint, blending it into the recesses. This gives a grimy, patchy look, perfect for the battered warriors of the 41st millenium. Try to ensure that sharper edges are cleaner to give a natural highlight, though you will want to make sure you have at least a thin coat across the whole surface of the armour – comparing the two legs here, we can see that even the lighter areas of the right leg have a different tone to the left, where the Dawnstone still has a slightly blueish tint. If you have spare oil on your brush when you lift it away, slap it on to another part of the model. I’ve found the areas with small grooves, like on the lower torso, are ideal for using some very thinned oil paint as a wash, which is the likely consistency of the paint if you have used a lot of white spirit to shift it. There are no hard and fast rules for this stage, just do what feels right.
Here we have the model once all the armour plates have been given a coating of the Raw Umber. He’s pretty much done save a few minor details. I left him for a while so the oils had time to dry, probably an hour or two, but overnight might be sensible if you have time.
The oil paint will have dulled the gloss varnish significantly, but the model will still be a bit shiny. I therefore used some Vallejo Anti-Shine to matt the model down – this is again applied with a brush. Bear in mind that once the Anti-Shine is applied it will seal in the oil and you won’t be able to tinker with it any more. I then washed all the iron parts with Agrax Earthshade, and did some very selective edge highlights on the metal with Stormhost Silver. On other models I might also have to do some more work on skulls, pelts or purity seals, but this model was very plain and simple. Just as an aside, I do recommend Rakarth Flesh washed with Raw Umber and highlighted with the base colour as a method of painting the wolf skulls. I’ve really liked the result.
He’s been put on a base, and that’s him done! This appoach has, I have found, lent itself well to batch painting, particularly for the basecoating. The oils need more individual attention, but I’ve found it compares favourably to the base/wash/highlight style in terms of effort to effect ratio. I’m a relative novice with oils on models, though I had used them in school a fair amount, but I’ve found them very easy to use.

I hope this has proved interesting or useful for some of you, and please let me know how oils have worked for you. If anyone does follow this scheme I would love to see the results, especially if you took it a step further and highlighted the armour – I would be interested to see how much that would add to the scheme. I’ll be doing another post on the new models I’ve added to the army soon – the models are painted and the photos taken, I just need to cook up some gumph to go with them. In the meantime, we’re posting more regular updates on our Instagram account @disordered_retreat, along with some models from ages past that don’t justify a whole blog post to themselves, so please follow us there.

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