The Sicaran ‘Punisher’ is aptly named with its impressive high-speed rotary cannon. In the limited number of games I’ve used it in results have been mixed, but who cares when it just looks that intimidating and a perfect fit for the Vlka Fenryka’s reputation as brutal executioners. The additional nine heavy shots provided by the sponson and pintle mounted heavy bolters doesn’t go amiss either.

When painting the wolves and for that matter most of the legion vehicles I favour an asymmetrical approach for any markings. It’s one of the things I think that really sets ‘heresy’ apart from Warhammer 40,000 era Astartes where marking tend to be more consistently applied across hulls and armour. The background colour plates in Forgeworld’s black books really bring this to life and are a constant inspiration to the way I paint my infantry and vehicles. In the case of the Sicaran Punisher I used airbrush stencils to create the underlying knotwork in the single red stripe  that adorns the left track guards. You will also see the same in my other space wolf vehicles.

Weapon heat effects

There are heaps of guides online that describe how to achieve heat effects, burnishing and scorching on weapon barrels and exhaust stacks. This is simply the method I personally favour but there are others so I encourage you to try out ones you like and use whatever works for you and you like the look of.

Projectile versus energy. I like to treat the two weapon types slightly differently, which is a popular approach. Projectile weapon muzzles get more of a ‘scorched’ or carbonised appearance to simulate the build up of burning propellant expelled in the muzzle flash. Energy weapons the eye-catching reds and blues of burnished metal from the heat. This can be seen left to right in the las-cannons of the Spartan versus the massive accelerator cannon of the Fellblade. These are not hard and fast rules however and you should feel free to interpret this in your painting anyway you like. Here I’ve given the punisher cannon a burnished effect in the main with only limited scorching at the very tips of the barrels, even though I know it’s a solid slug weapon I imagine the high velocity fire rate heating the weapon up to the point of it glowing hot and that translates to the colours.

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 

For a heat burnish effect the palette I personally like is Tamiya clear yellow followed by red, purple and blue acrylic artist inks in that order. Each is applied in increasingly narrower bands as you get closer to the end of the barrel and I try not to overlap too much so the metal can still be seen through the pigment tint. The exception to this is a small band of tamiya flat black on the very tip which helps define muzzle.

I use a modified approach for projectile weapons and especially exhaust stacks where I desire a more opaque matt effect to simulate build up of sooty and oily deposits. For this I start with a sepia ink followed by burnt umber and finally a flat black like Tamiya. More recently I’ve adapted this to an even simpler method of using Games Workshop contrast paints straight through the airbrush. The properties of contrast is perfect for this. The Fellblade for example in the photo was just two colours; Contrast Guilliman Flesh and Contrast Wyldwood. There are so many additional effects you can add under and over the top of this like environmental dust, abrasions and flash direction the possibilities add so many more layers of interest to the model.