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Friday, March 16, 2012

Dire Wolf AKA Fenris Wolf Guide

I don’t know about you, but when I picture a dire wolf, it is not as a creature that shambles along, sloughing pieces of itself and fertilizing the landscape. My vision of a dire wolf is that of a sleek and very large canine predator, capable of reducing men to urine soaked pants and tears just as easily as turning them into bloody ribbons upon which the pack will feed. One of the latest incarnations of this comes from the mind of George R.R Martin, in the form of house Stark and their pets, while many years ago my mind brought to life the descriptions found within the odd Dungeon and Dragon monster manual. Or, does anyone remember the reference to a Vulg?

Helping bring this vision to life is the new “Fenris” wolf kit made by G.W. It is meant as a 40k model, but thanks to the lack of mechanical bits, and lasers attached to their backs, it can be used so very easily within a fantasy setting. All that is lacking are cavalry bases, which I happened to have extra of.

My personal vision for these “dire wolves” is of massive creatures that roam the hills and forests from whence my undead army general hails. Instead of undead wolves being raised to serve the master, I picture an unholy pact between these living creatures and the vampire lord. Perhaps it’s a mentally sent command, or the ability to speak the tongue of beasts, but these living creatures roam the outer edges of the army, seeking, hunting, and hungry, ever hungry.
Speaking of hungry, here is the first wolf, up to table-top standard...which is as far as I want to go with him. The rest of the pictures are a bsic step by step, as I made it as easy on myself as possible to paint these creatures.
Plastic and base, rdy for undercoat

White GW undercoat

watered down wash of Sepia and Devlan mud

Second coat of same wash

VERY watered down brown paint (as glaze)

Stonewall gray added

Badab black wash added over gray

Picking out white with ahem, Skull white and a nose and lips black

A bit more badab, some white, eyes and the rock on base

English Uniform on base and Ivy (brass), brown edging - done

Done from side

Done from front


  1. That is really simple but also really good! Well done dude, a unit of these will look great!

    I think I also follow your view of dire wolves, undead wolves are OK but I really like the thought of them being hunters drawn by the greater predator.

  2. Excellent use of washes to build up the color on this wolf. And the patterning is quite good, many people don't realize that wolves (like dogs) tend to have varied patterning, so they paint them up in one main color. Looking forward to seeing the whole box painted up and side by side (hopefully).

  3. Heya Brad,

    I don't think I'll be painting any wolves any time soon, but I sure enjoyed watching your progress. A splendid job as always! I miss hanging out + painting. Report cards done then, I suppose? :D

    I'm working on the bell of the Screaming Bell!

  4. I've been waiting to see these wolves get used for fantasy, and this guy looks great! Nice use of washes over white, it's very effective. I'm hoping to mount some hobgoblins on these, must get one for a test fit.

  5. Thanks alot for the comments guys!
    @Kuffeh: Thanks! I just put on a wash coat to the last 4, can't wait to see them done as a unit! I love how you put it too..."drawn by the great predator."
    @Elbrun: Thank you! I have been looking online at wolf pictures, and it seems that even a pack has quite a bit of variety in its color. So I will be having very individual members, and yet not totally random.
    @Seb: The progress was neat to see in the pictures...more so because I didn't forget to take pictures this time!!! Can't wait to see the S. Bell when its done!
    @Mr Saturday: The hobgoblins will really stand out on top. Let me know when you have a test model ready!

  6. That was a great walk through! Bravo sir, and great looking model as well.

  7. Fantastic tutorial, really helped! I've put a link to here on my blog,I hope that is OK.

    All the best,


  8. Cheers Johnny! I would love to see the technique used on someone elses models. If you get any pics, make sure to post a link!
    @ Michael: Thank You! I love seeing my work and ideas being used, so post away! Thank you for the well written article too, it was a pleasure to read! http://28mmvictorianwarfare.blogspot.ca/

  9. I've had a wolf lying on my hands from some time now and now I've found your step by step I think i'll give it a go and borrow your leads.

    I was aiming for a deeper grey (almost onochrome) approach but hose end being quite...well, dull.

    Despite this post being a couple of years old I felt I had to stop by and leave a big thanks comment.