Wolftime!

Don’t worry, the title may be somewhat misleading: I am not actually going to begin yet another army and start playing Space Wolves.

I did however paint a single Space Wolf. I even went and entered him into a competition — can you believe that? I am quite aware that my painting is not going to win me any Golden Demons any time soon, but I still went ahead with it. So what happened?

Everything started with the Tenth ToS Painting/Converting Contest over at Throne of Skulls, the friendly community for the discerning bloodthirsty madman. My fellow slaughterers in the service of Khorne had gotten it into their head to do a competition about loyal Marines that had fallen to the Blood God. In the words of the original call for participants:

The competition will be for a single model, in the 40k setting. The theme for this model is a Loyalist Space Marine that has been corrupted by Khorne, and is in the middle of his transition to a full-fledged Chaos Marine of Khorne.

I should make it clear that the point of this contest is NOT to paint up a World Eater. The point is for you to use your imagination to depict how a Space Marine of a Loyalist Chapter would be seduced by Khorne, and what his specific transformation would look like. You should take into account the themes and customs of the Chapter you choose. After all, an Ultramarine would not go down the path to Khorne the same way a Space Wolf would.

(The original thread’s here, in case you are interested.)

To tell you the truth, I wasn’t all that thrilled initially. Why convert a loyal Marine who has started worshipping Khorne if you can have a World Eater in the first place? But then, I couldn’t quite get the competition out of my head, so I took a few bits and did an initial mockup of my – tentative – submission. This is what I came up with:



As you can see, I chose a Space Wolf. Certainly not the most creative idea, to be sure, but I liked the idea of one of the sons of Russ falling to his wild and bloodthirsty side – and, by extension, to Khorne – during battle. I also wanted him to wield a daemonweapon that he had wrestled from the hands of a World Eater and used to slay his opponent , thereby sealing his own fate as well.

You can already see most of that in my rough mockup above: the fallen World Eater, the Space Wolf towering above his fallen foe. But it’s obvious that I still had a long way to go if I wanted to make this look good. I also had very few actual Space Wolves bits when I built this, so I had to improvise.

So the next step was to tidy up the conversion: I replaced the puny Chaos Marauder sword with a true daemonsword of Khorne, of course. I also added some Space Wolves heraldry to the model (actually Middenheim wolf medallions, but oh well…). And I completed the base, using lots of leftover berzerker bits and my beloved cork.

Here’s the finished build on my desktop of doom:


And the finished WIP pics I subdmitted to Throne of Skulls:



Here’s some detail shots of the base. As you can see, a couple of those parts are in a pretty rough condition. I was fairly certain that I would be able to salvage them through my paintjob, though.


I wanted the World Eater to look like the Wolf had really torn through his armour, so I hollowed out a Space Marine torso front and used a disemboweled torso that came with the WFB Crypt Ghoul kit to represent the traitor legionnaire’s innards.

Then I sat down and started painting the model. This was quite interesting, not only since I was doing this piece for a contest, but also due to the fact that I had never painted a Space Wolf in my life. Here’s a step by step:

First came the base colours:


Not all that impressing, huh?

Then the washes:


Better already!

I did the details and highlights next:


I really played loose with the pack markings and overall Space Wolves’ heraldry, since I am not really into their background. I only tried to make it look reasonably convincing.

I also tried to paint some veins on the model’s bare arm, making it look like the corruption was slowly spreading out from the hand holding the sword. Unfortunately, the effect isn’t all that notable on the finished model, but it’s the thought that counts…

Here’s a closeup:


Almost there, but still much too clean for a fallen wolf! And still lacking a base. Both was quite easily remedied, however:



The fact that I actually broke out a different background for those pictures should tell you that the model was pretty much done at this stage. I added some blood to the models face and torso and – equally important – to the fallen World Eater on the base. While it looked alright, I wanted to add some Tamiya Clear Red to make the blood look even more believable, so that’s what I did.

Here’s the finished model (and the pictures I submitted to ToS):







A detail shot of the daemonsword (painted according to my usual daemon weapon recipe)…


…and of its unfortunate former “master”:



And that was my contribution to the contest. I guess I managed to capture the subject reasonably well, although this model really showed me that I hate painting loyal Marines: All that line highlighting on their armour drives me crazy (and, cosequently, the highlights on the model’s armour aren’t that well executed…). Chaos Marines are far more forgiving to paint with all that additional trim for extra definition.

I also should have done more with the concept of dark veins spreading out from the hand holding the sword – the idea was pretty cool! But then, maybe I had bitten off more than I could chew with that concept.

Nevertheless, I was quite pleased with my entry and felt that I didn’t need to be ashamed. So I submitted my pictures and waited for the results.

Unfortunately, the contest ended up with only two entries. That problem was alleviated, however, by the fact that my opponent was the very talented DexterKong who entered an excellent model of a fallen Dark Angel. Take a look (it goes without saying that the following pictures appear courtesy of DexterKong):






I love how foreboding and mysterious this guy looks! I really want to know what his story is! I also love the fact that, even though we used a virtually identical Bloodletter sword, the models came out looking completely different.

Anyway, having only two contestants may have given me a pretty good chance statistically, but having seen Dexter’s model, I was pretty sure that this was the end of the line for me. I didn’t really feel like I was very likely to win this…

…but I did. No, really! Imagine my surprise when I saw the results on ToS! I can only imagine that it was a really close vote. But there you have it: I won my very first contest. Yay!

This whole thing was a lot of fun too! Building a model to a certain set of external requirements, trying to nail a certain look, and of course the thrill of the outcome. Another reason why it was so much fun was the fact that the whole contest was conducted in a rather laidback and friendly fashion: Throne of Skulls may be a forum for Khorne players, but in this case, annihilating your opponent at any cost definitely wasn’t the objective.

My only regret is that there were so few entries. I would have loved to see other peoples’ vision of how a loyal Marine can fall to Khorne, even if more entries would have meant a much slimmer chance for me to win 😉

So, does this success spur me onwards into a career as a competitive painter? No way! While this was great fun, I don’t really see myself in a competitive environment anytime soon (or rather: ever). But this type of friendly contest was really to my liking, and you can rest assured that I will be first into the fray on the next ToS converting/painting contest — all the more so since it looks like I get to choose the subject for the next contest. Huzzah!


Two more things before I wind up this post: First a big thank you! To the guys over at ToS for being such an agreeable crowd; to those who voted for my entry; and to DexterKong for providing such an outstanding piece for the competition (and for allowing me to feature it here on my blog)!

And finally, if you haven’t already guessed it, my entry was really inspired by an old piece of fluff from the 3.5 Chaos Codex. So here’s the model once more, accompanied by the fluff that inspired it:


“Willingly you picked me up. Your first mistake. Willingly you drew me. Your second mistake. I do not allow my servants to make three mistakes, foolish mortal…”

As always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more: There’s a huge crowd of World Eaters approaching…

4 Responses to “Wolftime!”

  1. Both models are so great! I need more!

    • Haha, thanks, OST! If it’s more World Eaters you need, I would advise you to keep your eyes peeled for my recent and upcoming posts, in which I am showcasing my World Eaters army. For your general bloodletting needs, I can also heartily recommend http://www.throneofskulls.com, home of the discerning madman and frenzied killer 😉

  2. […] I used the Eleventh Throne of Skulls Painting/Converting Contest to help my resolve: You see, having won the last contest, I get to choose the next subject. So I chose Khornate Daemon Engines to basically force myself […]

  3. […] luck would have it, I had won a Painting/Converting Contest over at Throne of Skulls some time ago, and so I was allowed to choose the motto for the next […]

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