My latest Heresy addition is the Space Wolf Sicaran Punisher, with its insane multi-barrel rotary cannon.
The ‘Punisher’ earns its name due to the sheer volume of fire unleashed by its main gun. In the limited number of games I’ve used it in, the results have been mixed. However, who really cares when it looks so intimidating and perfectly embodies the reputation of the Vlka Fenryka as brutal executioners? And let’s not forget the additional nine heavy shots provided by the sponson and pintle-mounted heavy bolters – they definitely add impact.
When it comes to painting the wolves, and most of the legion vehicles for that matter, I have a preference for an asymmetrical approach to markings. This is one of the elements that I believe sets the ‘Heresy’ era apart from the Astartes of Warhammer 40,000, where markings tend to be more consistently applied across hulls and armor. The background color plates in Forgeworld’s black books truly bring this concept to life and serve as a constant source of inspiration for how I paint my infantry and vehicles.
For the Sicaran Punisher, I utilized airbrush stencils to create the underlying knotwork in the single red stripe that adorns the left track guards. You’ll also notice this same technique applied to my other space wolf vehicles.
Weapon heat effects
There are numerous online guides that explain how to achieve heat effects, burnishing, and scorching on weapon barrels and exhaust stacks. The method I personally prefer is described here, but remember that there are other approaches as well. I encourage you to try out different techniques that appeal to you and produce the desired look.
When it comes to projectile versus energy weapons, I like to treat them slightly differently, which is a common approach. Projectile weapon muzzles are given a ‘scorched’ or carbonized appearance to simulate the residue of burning propellant expelled during the muzzle flash. On the other hand, energy weapons exhibit eye-catching reds and blues of burnished metal resulting from intense heat. For example, you can observe this contrast in the las-cannons of the Spartan versus the massive accelerator cannon of the Fellblade. However, keep in mind that these are not strict rules, and you have the freedom to interpret and paint them according to your preference.
In this particular case, I have applied a burnished effect to the punisher cannon, with only limited scorching at the tips of the barrels. Although I am aware that it is a solid slug weapon, I envision the high-velocity fire rate heating the weapon to the point where it glows hot, and that is reflected in the colors used.
Transparent inks are the secret weapon when it comes to pulling off an effective looking heat burnish. Starting from a bright metal weapon I lightly airbrush a variety of inks in decreasing volumes to create the transition
When aiming for a heat burnish effect, I personally prefer a palette that includes Tamiya clear yellow, followed by red, purple, and blue acrylic artist inks in that order. I apply each color in increasingly narrower bands as I approach the end of the barrel. I try to avoid excessive overlap, allowing the underlying metal to still be visible through the pigment tint. The only exception is a small band of Tamiya flat black at the very tip, which helps define the muzzle.
I use a modified approach for projectile weapons and exhaust stacks, where I want to achieve a more opaque matte effect to simulate the buildup of sooty and oily deposits. For this, I start with sepia ink, followed by burnt umber, and finally a flat black like Tamiya. More recently, I have simplified this process by using Games Workshop contrast paints straight through the airbrush. The properties of contrast paints are perfect for achieving this effect. For example, the Fellblade in the photo was painted using just two colors: Contrast Guilliman Flesh and Contrast Wyldwood. There are numerous additional effects you can incorporate, such as environmental dust, abrasions, and directional flash, which add layers of interest to the model.