T here is no way I’m painting a Vlka Fenryka ‘Rout’ without including a Legion Outriders Wolf Pack.

Opinions on this may vary, and I’m specifically referring to my own collection, but in my view, the Wolves represent an assault force. They possess cunning and savagery, but are far from undisciplined. On the contrary, discipline is a prominent aspect of their nature.

Let me share a bit of personal history. The Wolves were the very first ‘army’ I painted for Warhammer 40,000, which I proudly took to the 1998 UK Grand Tournament. Despite my long-standing desire to revamp the army, I never quite found the time, except for a few scattered miniatures. However, once I delved into the Horus Heresy scene, the VIth Legion, the ‘Rout’, always remained a part of my plans.

My initial vision for the Wolves centered around an execution strike force, characterized by high mobility and abundant outflanking potential. To achieve this, I incorporated assault transports, speeders, and, most importantly, bikes.

Legion Outriders

The Legion Outrider, equivalent to the Space Marine bike during the Horus Heresy, is a Forgeworld kit that utilizes the plastic scout bike frame. It extends the wheelbase slightly and adds extra armor. To form a properly sized formation for the fast attack slot, I needed three kits, totaling nine outriders. While it wasn’t a budget-friendly unit to add, it perfectly captures the style of the VIth Legion.

To avoid a uniform appearance among the outriders, I replaced the torsos with ones from different kits, including the Wolves Legion specific ones. The same applies to the pauldrons. For the heads, I opted for a variety, including some without helmets, using both MkIV and MkIII designs, and even incorporating the heavier Tartaros pattern, as they complemented the Outriders’ aesthetic. As for weapons, I mixed in close combat axes, chainswords, and pistols. This choice aligns well with the Wolves’ warrior image, depicting them riding with weapons drawn and reinforcing the narrative.

Here are a few pointers on painting and weathering. To maintain consistency, consider doing them in bulk. While it may not be the most enjoyable task, it is an efficient way to meet deadlines, especially when you’re aiming to create an army. Although I would have liked to spend more time on certain units to enhance their detail or create more contrast, the focus for this heresy weekend event was efficiency.

I painted and applied the bases and pigments all at once to ensure complete consistency across the entire force. It’s also helpful to make detailed notes about your process, including the colors and materials used, as well as the methods employed. This documentation will prove valuable if you decide to add reinforcements in the future. Alternatively, learn from my experience with the Ultramarines and don’t make the same mistake I did—write everything down. Now that I’m adding more units, I find myself wishing I had documented the process (don’t be like me).

I made a couple of additional tweaks to the kit that I felt added something extra. First, I bored out the exhausts to give them a more functional look. It’s a small detail, but it adds to the overall realism of the model. Additionally, I decided to include some extra stowage. I attached a few helmets to the side where the rider isn’t wearing one. After all, just because they enjoy the wind in their hair doesn’t mean they don’t have a helmet nearby should they need it.

To achieve the dusty weathering effect on the tyres, I employed a method that can be applied to any wheeled military vehicle. Here’s how I did it:

First, I painted the tyre surface in Vallejo Rubber Black. Then, using an airbrush, I applied Tamiya Neutral Grey at an angle to the sidewalls only. This technique adds volume to the tyre and creates reflections along the bottom edge.

Next, I generously applied a diluted wash of Vallejo Model Wash Desert Dust to the entire tyre. I carefully removed any excess from the outer contact surface using a cloth. This allows the pigment to settle primarily in the tread and outer walls, simulating the accumulation of dust.

Finally, I brushed on the same pigment I used on the bases to match the overall look. I made sure to wipe away any pigment from where the rubber makes contact with the ground, as it wouldn’t gather the same dust buildup. This approach results in a visually pleasing and realistic effect.


Final thoughts and lessons learned

I have plans to reinforce the assault theme of my army by adding more fast attack choices. The original vision behind the army was ‘the coming of the storm,’ which is why I incorporated purple and grey into the palette. While I may not include more bikes, I am definitely considering adding speeders like the Javelin. These units will nicely bridge the gap between the fast-moving ground-based forces and the supporting flyers such as the Storm Eagle and [Redacted], which swoop in alongside the Outriders and transports.

Among the legions I collect, it is the Wolves and the Word Bearers for which I have the clearest vision of how I want them to develop in the future. There is definitely more to come as I continue to expand and refine these forces.

Would I change anything? Yes. Upon reflection, I realize that I was too reserved with the palette when it came to the Wolves. My primary focus was capturing the ‘Rout’s Heresy era storm grey, and in doing so, I failed to consider the army as a whole. Although I am satisfied with how they align with the artwork in the black books, the palette lacks impact on the tabletop.

Looking back, if I were to paint them again or add more units, I would introduce a more eye-catching spot color, such as off-white or a bolder red. This would provide contrast for the markings and make the army more visually striking. However, it’s a delicate balance to strike between the vibrant palette of the Space Wolves in 40K and the atmospheric, storm-grey tones of the Vlka Fenryka during the Horus Heresy.

Which do you prefer? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please share your preferences in the comments below. Until next time, “Fenrys hjolda!”