The Adepticon Space Wolf Army Project: Background

Sons of Russ

Folks who know me will attest to how much I adore the new Space Wolves codex.   I got very lucky near the start of 5th edition 40K.  I had my regular space marines who were performing very well and I was having fun with.  Alas, my Necrons were dead in the water as were my Daemonhunters and I had just sold my Dark Eldar.   I decided I really wanted to try a new army and since I had just started reading the Space Wolf Omnibus, I settled on the Space Wolves 13th company.   I figured it would allow me to make a new army out of a relatively small force (and one sort of intangible criterion for the army is that it should fit in 1 GW hardcase and not be too hard on the pocketbook).  I have one of those GW ‘Imperial Guard’ backpacks, that holds a GW case perfectly within it, but I seldom get to use it, after all, how often can you fit 2000 points in a GW case with vehicles and all.   I bought up a guy’s old Space Wolf models and got ready to put together my 13th company.   Literally, two weeks after I got my first Space Wolf models, I found out that the next codex was going to be Space Wolves.  And what a codex it is!

Eventually, I wound up building about 5000 points of Space Wolves.  My builds started out around Logan Grimnar, but then migrated to Thunderwolf Cavalry, and now I’m playing around with different builds.

For last year’s Adepticon, I really had to rush my painting in order to get the army completed in time.   I painted the bulk of my 1850 list in a marathon 11 hour session, trying desperately to reach my 3 color minimum.   I headed out to Chicago a week before the con to hang with my buddy and each night did some detail work.   By the first day of Adepticon, I had a very presentable Space Wolves Army that managed to score decently.

But after the con, I wasn’t happy with the way my wolves looked.  Part of the secret of the speed I had attained in painting the core list was due to an old spray can of GW Shadow Grey I had held onto.  I then dry-brushed the models Space Wolf Grey.  While it looked okay, I felt that it gave my Space Wolves a very ‘easter egg’ pastel look.  And I needed it gone.   One product which came to my rescue was ArmyPainter’s Quickshade Dark Tone.  (The pictures accompanying this article are of the figures after I applied the quickshade.)

Over the last few months, my painting has really taken off.  The #1 culprit is my airbrush.  After the last Adepticon, two of my friends and fellow gamers demonstrated what they could do with their airbrushes and painting miniatures.   I’d used my airbrush before on movie prop replicas and conventional models,  but for some reason I never thought of using it to paint Warhammer 40K models.   I also picked up Forgeworld’s Imperial Armor Model Masterclass Book.   Although the book was expensive, it opened my eyes to a wealth of information on effective methods of weathering models so that they looked realistic and techniques and tricks on using weathering pigments & powders, oil paints, and even hairspray to get fantastic results!

The bottom line is that my Space Wolves (all my current armies in fact) are looking a little tired in their snowy paint scheme.   It is time to kick it up a notch!   (I’m not tampering with my old Space Wolf force, just in case I don’t finish, I need something to play at Adepticon.)  With Adepticon, once again around the corner, I’ve set an ambitious mission for myself.   My mission, should I decide to complete it, assemble and paint a new 2000 point Space Wolf army.   The army should contain decent modifications and conversions and be elegantly based, magnets and decals used where appropriate.   The entire army should fit in 1 standard GW hardcase.  The idea is to make a small, effective, and competitive force, that is not only highly mobile on the tabletop, but highly transportable in real life.   I love the idea of having everything fit in a backpack.   In pursuit of that goal, I will be using the Battlefoam X-Board as my display board (it will have to do double duty as it will most likely be the display board for my Grey Knights once they retake the field).  The entire army, minus detail work, must be completed prior to 25 March.  (Again, I’m heading out a week early, so that will give me a week of evenings in Chicago to work on details).  I intend to document the entire project here step by step.

Now, in the interests of full disclosure, I’m not starting from scratch.  Through some cannibalizing of existing models, some unbuilt models I had in my GW ‘stockpile’, and some sweet eBay dealings, I’ve managed to muster my forces.   The only figures still AWOL are 1 Space Wolf Standard Bearer, two Fenrisian Wolves, and possibly 3 Wulfen (though I may simply convert my Mark of the Wulfen brothers like I did in my previous Space Wolves).   Two special Thunderwolf models and my bases are in transit as are a few other models.   I ordered custom Battlefoam trays to fit a GW hardcase spec’d out for this particular list and hopefully, I haven’t botched my calculations and everything will fit.  Assembly begins tonight!

Subsequent articles will cover the development of my army list, assembly methods, conversions, magnets, painting, weathering, and decal work.   Here’s hoping I get done, because rumor has it that Grey Knights may go on sale on the 26th of March!  And that’s where my true love lies, so once those guys come out, there may not be much enthusiam for painting Wolves.

For Russ and the All-Father!

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