Opinions may vary of course and I’m only talking about my own collection, but for me the Wolves are an assault force. Cunning, yes. Savage, absolutely, but not undisciplined. Quite the opposite in fact. As I may have mentioned the Wolves were the very first ‘army’ I ever painted for Warhammer 40,000 which I took to the 1998 UK Grand Tournament. I wanted to redo the army for years but other than one or two miniatures never quite got around to it, however once I got into the Horus Heresy scene the VIth legion were always on my roadmap. My initial vision for the Wolves was an execution strike force, highly mobile with plenty of outflanking potential. This meant assault transports, speeders but most of all, bikes.

Legion Outriders

The equivalent of the space marine bike during the Horus Heresy was the Legion Outrider, a Forgeworld kit that uses the plastic scout bike frame, extends the wheelbase slightly and adds extra armour. To fill out the fast attack slot with a proper sized formation took three kits (9 outriders in total) so it wasn’t a cheap unit to add, but does completely match the VIth’s style. To avoid them all looking like clone troopers I replaced the torsos with ones from different kits including the Wolves legion specific ones, same with the pauldrons. The heads also I swapped out to have a number without helmets, some MkIV and others MkIII or even the heavier Tartaros pattern ones as they really suited the Outriders. Weapons equally were a mix of close combat axes, chainswords or pistols. Again this really suits the wolves warrior aesthetic riding with weapons drawn and helps reinforce the narrative.

A few pointers on the painting and weathering: For consistency do them in bulk, it’s not fun but if your focus is on producing an army to a deadline then this realistically gets it done. As the army was for a heresy weekend event efficiency was name of the game, even though I would have liked to lavish more time on some of the units to enhance the detail or contrast more. The bases I painted and applied the pigments all at the same time to ensure complete consistency across the force. It is also worth making a note how you did them, what colours or materials used, method etc so you can replicate it in the future should you decide to add reinforcements. Alternatively do what I did with the Ultramarines and write nothing down but wishing I had now I come to add more units (don’t be me).

A couple of extra tweaks I made to the kit which I felt added something extra was boring out the exhausts to make them look more functional and adding the extra stowage. Just one or two pieces like attaching helmets to the side where the rider isn’t wearing one. Just because they like the wind in their hair doesn’t mean they don’t have a helmet near at hand should they require it.

For the dusty weathering effect on the tyres I used the following method which can be applied to any wheeled military vehicle. I started by painting the tyre surface in Vallejo rubber black and applied Tamiya neutral grey at an angle to the sidewalls only using an airbrush. This helps give the tyre volume and creates reflection along the bottom edge. I gave the entire tyre a heavily watered down wash of Vallejo Model Wash Desert Dust removing the excess from the outer contact surface with a cloth. This lets the pigment settle only in the tread and outer walls. Finally I brushed on the same pigment I used on the bases so it matches again wiping away any from where the rubber makes contact with the ground as this would not get the same build up of dust. This helps in creating a much more visually pleasing and realistic effect overall.

Final thoughts and lessons learned

I’d like to add more fast attack choices to reinforce the assault theme, the original vision being “the coming of the storm” hence the use of purple and grey in the palette. Maybe not more bikes but definitely some speeders such as the Javelin as these will fill a nice gap between the fast-moving ground based units and the supporting flyers like the Storm Eagle and {**Redacted**} who sweep in alongside the Outriders and transports. Out of the legions I collect it is the Wolves and the Word Bearers that I have the most clarity how I want them to develop in the future. There will definately be more to come.

Would I change anything? Yes. Having looked back at the Wolves overall I feel I was far too reserved with the palette. I was so intent on really nailing the ‘Rout’s heresy era storm grey that I didn’t look at the army as a whole. Whilst I’m really pleased with how they match up against the atwork in the black books, the palette lacks impact on the tabletop. In retrospect if I was to do them again, or add further units I think I would add a more eye-catching spot colour like an off-white or stronger red to help provide contrast for the markings. It’s a fine balance though between the eye-catching brighter palette of the Space Wolves in 40K and the more atmospheric, moody palette of the Vlka Fenryka during the Horus Heresy. Which do you prefer? Let me know your thoughts below. Until next time “Fenrys hjolda!”