Wednesday, March 7

Square to Round Pt. 3 - Masterclass SW Vehicles

What better way to kick off "March of Wolves," than to give you some beautifully painted (dare I say, masterclass) Space Wolf vehicles!    

As usual, real life has gotten in the way and I'm a bit behind on this project.  As you get older you'll realize (if you don't know already!) that things like wives, kids, careers, ageing parents and a myriad of other stuff have the ability to seriously impact the time you have to do things that you really want to gaming and the related painting, converting, etc..  My original goal was to have this force painted and ready to play by the end of March and I still might make it.  I have a personal thing about playing with unpainted models and it doesn't matter to me whether it's a tournament or a pick-up game.  I just don't like the look of it and it basically ruins the whole experience for me, but that's just me.

     Back to the project and if you've been following this series (link) you will know that I tend to break down painting into manageable pieces that I can deal with.  I also prefer to finish units before I move on to the next stage, although I often alternate painting different 'types' in order to stay focused and motivated.  So, after I finished painting the first squad of Grey Hunters (see above link) I decided to work on vehicles for awhile.  The first vehicles to tackle are the seven Rhino chassis vehicles that are in most of the lists, basically 5 Rhino/Razorbacks and the 2 Predators, I'm reserving the Vindicator and the Land Raider for later.

    I want to point out that I used this book quite a bit as I tried out the various techniques.  Although it is primarily about painting Imperial Guard (with a few flying Xenos in there) vehicles, the techniques can be easily accommodated to use on any type of vehicle.  Excellent book and reasonably priced.  I recommend it for any painter/modeler out there.  You can also find most of these techniques on various blogs and painting sites, I just happen to prefer books for ease of use and I'm old..!

Assembly and Base Coats:
     This was pretty straight forward with few surprises and most of you don't need any input from me on this stage.  I did use an airbrush for the base Wolf color and also used some Forge World pieces (reinforced armor) on the predators.  I did magnetize the sponsons and turret weapons on the Predators but didn't go crazy with it.  I never magnetized anything in Fantasy, so of course I screwed up and got the polarity wrong on  one of the sponsons which led to frantically tearing it apart and redoing it..unfortunately no one reminded me of this pitfall ahead of time but they were quick to point it out after the fact...Anyway, I eventually ended up with 7 vehicles that looked basically like this:

     I decided at the beginning of this that I wanted vehicles and troops that had been on campaign for awhile and looked like it!  Most of the armies out there look like they just came out of the 'Maaco Astartes' paint booth which isn't what I wanted.  I spent more than 20 years in the U.S. Army, so I have a pretty good idea of what vehicles and troops look like after awhile in the field.  Weathered is the polite term for it.  So the first step was to use sponges and a Brown/Black mix to simulate paint chips and battle damage.  I also used some Boltgun Metal in some areas, sparingly applied.  This is also the step where I painted the interiors of my Rhinos.  The following picture shows the interiors completed, which I did before I went on to the exteriors of the vehicles.  Most of the following steps were also used in the interiors which gave me a chance to practice on an area that I could seal up if it looked really lousy.

Spray Gloss/Transfers/Weather Transfers/Gloss:
     In order for any of the following weathering techniques to work and to apply transfers correctly you need to put a Gloss coat on your models.  You can use a canned spray or shoot a gloss medium through a gun, either way works fine.  I tried both and prefer the air-gun method for lack of fumes and quicker drying.  At this point I applied the various Forge World transfers and then weathered the transfers with the same technique used earlier.  This was to make sure that they blended in with the overall model paint scheme.  A lot of people hand-paint their various symbols and to them I give major props.  It's not something that I'm really good at though and since I plan on painting my Wolf Standards by hand (so I can get any available painting points that way) I decided to use FW transfers.  Another coat of gloss was then sprayed over the transfers.  The models basically looked like this at this stage:

Further Weathering:
     The next step was to use thinned down oil paints and apply this to all rivets, details and places where angles were formed.  The gloss coat makes it really easy to manipulate the oil paints to show various streaks from rain, leaking oil, etc..  I used Black, Van Dyke Brown and Burnt Umber to get the effects I wanted.  It's really important to thin this down with Artists White Spirit (no smell) since a small amount goes a long ways.  I also used various inks at this stage in a similar way.  I waited to put the tracks on until this point so that I could properly prep the road wheels.
     I also used  Forge World weathering powders here to show mud, soot and rust effects.  These are pretty easy to use but potent..wear crappy clothes when you use them.  I ended up with various colored powders all over me and everything in my vicinity.  The good news was that it all washed out of my clothes..  The next thing I did here was to spray the models with a Matte finish.  Once again I used J.W.s acrylic spray and shot it through a gun.  The final step was to use some acrylic washes (paint mixed with water and Johnson's Acrylic Floor Wax) to portray dried mud and dust.  The following pictures are where the vehicles stand right now:

    I have successfully completed my first 40K vehicles and though they aren't quite what I envisioned, they're close.   The only thing I have left to do is finish painting the crewmen.  I already decided to have visible crew with each vehicle manning a Stormbolter.  I just personally think it looks cooler!  It's adding a bit of work but I already painted all of the hatches and since I'm about to move back to painting troops, it just makes sense to me to do it.
     So, back to troops for awhile.  I did decide to order the Forge World Mk IIB LandRaider the other day and a few other things to add some flair.  I'm also trying to cram an Iron Priest mounted on a Cyber-Thunderwolf into the list, since it would be flavorful and fun to convert.  Somehow I think this army is going to be bigger than originally planned...

What do you all think?  We would love to hear your comments?


  1. The vehicles are looking great - just the right amount of weathering I think.

    I have to say that I love the Masterclass book and it lives on the corner of my paintstation. Really looking forward to the rumoured 2nd volume!

    Plus Four

  2. Quinn, those vehicles are dead sexy! I thought about doing some weathering like that on my custodes, but they are a little to "fancy pants," to let their stuff get all banged up... This suits the wolves 100%!!! Great job


  3. I like the work, the weathering is very nice!

  4. Best looking SW stuff I have seen in a long time.
    Great job, keep it up!

  5. Thanks all. Still plugging away at it, the goal is fully ready for Wargames Con in Austin.