Wolves, Frost, and White Power Armor

I’ve got some Space Wolves that I wanted to make my own – in general, I like to customize all my miniatures and make them “my own” in some way. The Space Wolves have no successor Chapters, so the existing canon wouldn’t allow an offshoot, strictly speaking. Of course, that’s not to say that some Chapter might not end up becoming a reasonable facsimile of the Space Wolves.

I’ve dubbed this chapter the Frost Wolves, because snow and Space Wolves are cool together. And, in tribute to the Luna Wolves of old, I thought a white paint scheme would be awesome.

But I discovered that painting white power armor is kind of a pain in the ass. When I tried it with my Space Wolves Chapter Master (a custom stand-in for Logan Grimnar), it came out not-too-good. I ended up just painting him gray (and he’ll probably stay that way).

Afterwards, I looked around the interwebs and found some tips and hints about painting white power armor, and I took another stab at it:

Space Marine in white power armor
“Aren’t you a little short for a stormtrooper?”

Not too bad. The white paint I have is a little chunky, so if I could smooth it out or get new paint, it might work better. Even so, this is doable. I was hoping to speed-paint these guys, but putting three layers of white on is not conducive to speed, so there you have it.

More Frost Wolves to come!

The Wolf King, Painted!

Fans of the blog know I’m not an avid painter. I don’t think I’m bad at it, I’m just always wishy-washy about starting… because I’m afraid I’ll mess it up.

When we last left the Wolf King (3 years ago), he was scratch-built but unpainted. I am happy to say he has now been painted.

After laying down a base layer, I took a picture (to remind myself that these paint jobs look terrible at first):

Base layer for the Wolf King
Yuck. That’s just awful.

From there, the work improved. I was going to try and paint him (and my other Space Wolf-wannabes) in white armor, but… I do not like the way that looks, it turns out. So, the Wolf King ended up more of a gray color. Voila!

The Wolf King, front view
The Wolf King, rear view
The view from the back!

The Black Legion Chaos Terminator Lord that lies cut in half at his feet also came out pretty nice!

Wolf King, base decor

And here’s where his power fist ended up…

The Wolf King, more base decor
It’s amazing the Wolf King didn’t get any of that blood on his armor, huh?

I sculpted a lot of things by hand, like his hair, bear, and some the fur at his shoulders, waist, and leg. Unfortunately, I think you can easily tell…

Wolf King, view of face

All in all, I’m happy with how it turned out, despite some of the sculpting things I don’t like. But, considering how many times I reworked this figure, I guess it’s pretty darn good. I don’t like it as much as my Terminator Chaplain paint job, but it’s still good.

Comments are welcome!

Video Post – How to Not Magnetize

Hey, it’s our very first video post here at Save vs. Blog! I’m excited! Are you? Well, you should be.

In this video, I explore the use of mounting putty instead of magnets. Why hasn’t anyone ever done this before? Maybe they have – I just don’t know about it. Check it out!

I’ll report on future uses, where applicable.

The Wolf King, Part 7

More Wolf King!

To finish the Wolf King (finally), I gave him a different (better?) axe. Here’s Magnus with his new double-edged axe.

The Wolf King
This axe looks a lot more like Morkai, the axe wielded by Logan Grimnar of the Space Wolves. Since the Wolf King is a stand-in for Grimnar, it makes sense to use this axe.

To cover up the gap in between his hip and right leg, I decided to add another animal pelt to the Wolf King, this time as an “apron” like those often worn by Space Marine commanders. Also, to make the corpse of the Chaos Lord on the base blend better, I added some Green Stuff to make it meet the base at a smooth angle.

Wolf King details
A shot of the Wolf King... probably the last shot before he's primed... probably.

And now, a close-up!

Wolf King Closeup
Ooo, details!

Now, when the Green Stuff cures, just a little cleanup and filing and he should be ready for primer!

When I get around to painting him, I’ll post more… but for now, say farewell to Magnus Sorensen, the Wolf King!

The Wolf King, Part 6

The people demand more Wolf King! (Or maybe they don’t.) Here’re a few more progress updates.

First, I added a furry pelt to his right leg. This was really just to give his legs a bit more detail, since most Captains and Chapter Masters have really detailed armor. However, Magnus, the Wolf King, is from a ramshackle Space Marine Chapter whose gear is in poor condition. Rather than a golden god, Magnus is a barbarian lord in the best gear that could be scrounged together for him.

Wolf King Leg
This fur doesn't look too bad...

Additionally, I added a furry pelt to the inside of his right shoulder.

Wolf King Shoulder
Ok, it's a little weird to be wearing a pelt right there, but if you don't think too hard about it, it looks good.

Great, right? Well, then I got the new Space Wolves Thunderwolf Calvary, and there’s a great axe in there which looks closer to the axe that Logan Grimnar uses (and Wolf King Magnus “counts as” Logan Grimnar). So… I took clippers to the wrist…

Wolf King sans Axe
Oopsie. Looks like someone dropped his axe... and his hand.

Since it was a joint I’d previously glued together, the clippers just pushed apart the wrist and forearm – a nice, clean cut!

Next time on Wolf King… the new axe, filling the last few gaps, and the last few touches before priming!

The Wolf King, Part 5

Sorry, I got a bit distracted there – back to the Wolf King!

The next step was to add the shoulder armor. These are just boring old Space Wolf Terminator shoulders. I also started to clean up the beard and hair a little with a scalpel. Pro-tip: Scalpels are really sharp. They are so sharp, you will not feel it when it slices your finger open. This makes them excellent tools, and a great way to get scars.

Wolf King!
Wow. There's a lot of damage in the plastic there... a DSLR really accentuates the parts I messed up, doesn't it?

Here’s another shot:

Wolf King!
This is a decent shot of the shoulders, where I filled the gap in the leg, and the defeated Chaos Lord serving as a doormat.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I ended up using the Instant Mold to mold and cast the wolf head from the original Logan Grimnar. I also molded a wolf pelt cloak from one of the Space Wolves Grey Hunters. I took these two parts and glued them to the Wolf King:

Wolf King with Pelts!
This wolf head is a much more suitable size.

Now, we take a blob of Green Stuff, stick it in the gap between the head and cloak, and push in our tool (after dipping it in water!), making smooth lines joining the head and cloak:

Wolf King's Cloak
Wow! It's like they were never separate pieces! That's the power of Green Stuff!

Next time, we’ll take Green Stuff and cover up some gaps and add some enhancements. I will take a moment now to say this – I am totally in love with this guy. I’m almost never this happy with my work, but I don’t have many complaints about the Wolf King so far.

The Wolf King, Part 4

So, I wanted to have a nice trophy wolf pelt to drape over the Wolf King’s terminator body. To accomplish this, I decided to Instant Mold the head of a Dungeons & Dragons Dire Wolf miniature.

Wolf Mold
Instant Mold face-hugger!

After cooling, it seemed like this was going to work…

Wolf Mold 2
Wolf miniature with the mold of its head

So, I dutifully filled the mold with Green Stuff…

Green Stuff in the Mold
I mostly focused on filling the outside of the mold. The hollow center could always be fixed later, where needed.

And, after 12 hours of curing, I pulled it from the mold. I then cut holes up near the nose, clipped some curved spikes from some Chaos bit, and inserted the curved spikes (with super glue) as teeth.

Wolf Head
I think this came out pretty well!

Only then did I encounter the real problem – the wolf “pelt” head was way too big for the top of the body. I went for something really impressively sized as a trophy, and unfortunately, it made the Wolf King look awfully disproportionate, and not like the slayer of great beasts I was hoping for. In the end, I molded the wolf pelt head from the original Logan Grimnar model. (I don’t have pics of the molding process, but you’ll see the head in future pictures).

At the same time, I started on a nice beard and hairdo for the Wolf King!

Beard 1!
I start with just a little ball of Green Stuff on the chin...

We start by sticking the Green Stuff in the area we’re working on. Then, we wet our sculpting tools – in this case, just a simple sculpting tool. First, I use the tool’s blunt end to push the Green Stuff up on to the face. I give the Green Stuff a few minutes to get used to being stuck to the face. Then, (after dipping the tool in water again!) I start to drag lines into the green stuff from the face downward. Voila! Beard! I do the same basic thing on top of the head, and…

Beard 2
Not a bad start...

The first stab at the beard came out a big too scraggly. You don’t want a beard to look like tiny hairs, but rather large waves of hair – same with the `do on top.

Beard 3
See! I learned how to focus the camera!

Next time, we add shoulders, take another stab at the beard, and end up with a nice wolf pelt despite our first failed attempt!


The Wolf King, Part 3

In Part 3, we give the Wolf King his arms!

Axe arm!
Let me axe you something...

This was a little bit of Frankenstein work. From shoulder to wrist, this is a Terminator arm from the Dark Angels upgrade sprue. I cut the hand (and Stormbolter) off, then stuck on the axe (with hand) from the Space Wolves Terminators box. I did not like the arm that was supposed to go with this axe – I really needed the Wolf King to hold his axe triumphantly, and that arm wasn’t doing it. I pushed the arm out further to his right by putting in a spacer (aka “a tiny piece of plastic trimmed from a sprue”) at the shoulder joint.

This crappy picture kind of shows the spacer in the shoulder... but uh... not well.

For the other arm, I wanted to do something close to the original “Wolf King” – Logan Grimnar of the Space Wolves. Logan has a storm bolter attached to the back of his left wrist. Of course, so do the Grey Knights. So, I grabbed a Grey Knight Terminator arm, storm bolter, and hand, and I glued those on.

Left Arm
The Grey Knight Terminator box is probably the best box of minis in production right now.

To fill in some of the gaps in the right arm due to X-treme Posing™ I pulled out my Green Putty (different from Green Stuff) and started thoughtlessly jamming it in the joint.

Green Putty 1
Green Putty is a pretty good filler which deserves its own post.

And here’s a poor shot of the mini so far. (Like I said, the pictures do get better later as I learn how to better use the DSLR… but for this one, I didn’t quite have it.)

Wolf King, unfinished
Seriously, I will get better with the focus and whatnot.

Next time, we’ll try and put a nifty wolf pelt and wolf head on the Wolf King… and it won’t quite work the first time. Plus, a beard and hair that don’t quite work the first time!

The Wolf King, Part 2

So, the Wolf King’s base has been decorated. Now it’s time for the body. Again, I starting with an “Assault on Black Reach” Terminator, although I scraped off all the Space Marine insignia… including the aquila on the chest. Oops.

Terminator Body
Well, at least it's clean!

Now I have to pose this body so that the Wolf King can triumphantly grind his boots into his Black Legion foe. To do that, I cut straight through at the hip joint.

Leg Cut
Cutting at the right place, at the right angle, is essential to making the pose look good.

I spent a lot of time with the leg, posing it and making sure it would look right. The most important part is to make the lower leg straight – the leg should be completely vertical from the knee down to the foot. To make it work, I cut out a diagonal piece from behind the knee, then pushed the lower leg back on that cut and glued it in place.

The leg is posed. (You can also see I'm about to fill a mold of that Chaos power fist to further decorate the base.)

The next issue was the head – I wanted him to look pretty unique, so the regular Space Wolves heads were right out (they’re cool, but I can easily pick them out of a lineup). I remembered I wasn’t going to use my Marneus Calgar head (in fact, I’m using a Space Wolves head in his body to make my Space Marine Chapter Master), so I pulled that out and glued it in place (with the plan that I’d Green Stuff a beard and more hair).

Head in Place
The head is out of focus. Oops. Trust me, better pictures come later when I realize manual focus is far better for macro shots on my wife's DSLR.

I also added the molded power fist to the base, which came out very nicely.

Decorated Base
The Chaos Lord's power fist arm lays splayed from his body. Pretty cool, if I do say so myself.
Triumphant Pose
A reverse angle on the Wolf King's fallen enemy - this angle makes it hard to make out, but the Chaos Lord
Another Angle
Another angle on the base decoration

In part 3, the Wolf King gets arms! Stay tuned!

The Wolf King, Part 1

“Chuck, you’re showing us a new project? What about all the old projects?!”

Don’t worry – they’re still on the shelf! It’s cold and I don’t have a great place for priming right now, so some of the things waiting for painting are… still waiting. In the mean time, I’ve started working on a Wolf King to lead my wannabe Space Wolves Chapter (which I was calling “The Grey Wolves,” until I realized it confuses them with my Grey Knights for friends I’m trying to introduce to 40k… so uh… they need a new name.)

I’m going to give an absolute step-by-step on creating “Magnus Sorensen,” the Wolf King. He’s a nice Frankenstein monster of a mini, but he came out much as I hoped, so I’m very excited. Let’s get started!

First, I began with a Terminator from Assault on Black Reach. The body had been filed and cleaned of its Imperial symbols because I was going to use it for Chaos… but then I didn’t. So, the body is a bit barren.

Terminator Body
The basic Terminator body...

But y’know… let’s take a step back. I want this guy to be pretty epic, right? In fact, the “Grey Wolves” have a history with the Black Legion – they hate them. So let’s decorate Magnus Sorensen’s base appropriately. How about the corpse of a fallen Black Legion Chaos Lord? That would be badass… I just happen to have a Chaos Lord handy…

Chaos Lord
A Chaos Lord in Terminator armor, plus a Chaos power fist...

Now, I don’t want to scrap my lovely Chaos Lord, but… if I could somehow make a mold of the front of his body, that’d be perfect for decorating the base, right? It just so happens I have some of this stuff called Instant Mold…

Instant Mold!
The Chaos Lord is covered in some kinda goo.

Instant Mold is pretty cool. It needs its own post, really. Basically, you heat it up in very hot (nearly boiling) water and it becomes very, very soft. You press the mold over the piece, you wait for it to cool, and then you pull it off. (The Chaos power fist pictured above will be used in another mold, as you’ll see later.)

Chaos Mold!
Chaos Mold!

Now, we mix some Green Stuff and put it in the mold. I’m not making a big 3D piece, so I fill the mold with Green Stuff and made the back side flat. That way, it will lay nicely on the base.

Death to the Traitor!
Death to the Traitor!

Awesome. Now, I just have to pose the Terminator body to be standing astride the body of the fallen Chaos Lord… but for that, you have to wait for Part 2!