Sunday, 14 October 2012

Cry Havoc

Team, Errr, Who's The Werewolf Again?

I've talked before about my general hatred of Games Workshop's dire Dire Wolf models.  (Do you see what I did there?)  I've also complained about painting skellies and zombies to the point that even I'm tired of me banging on about them.  The ghouls core units are still out (living things), but dire wolves are a possibility, if only I could find models I was happy with.  An internet trawl reveals two things.  One, there aren't many undead wolf models out there that don't suck.  Two, I have no patience of searching for minis on the internet.  Fortunately, Andy Leask rode to the rescue with his fabulous wolf rider conversions.

Andy Leask's Wolf Riders (sorry for "borrowing" the photo, Andy!)

Those wolves are awesome.  Interesting, wolfy, not idiotic looking.  Basically, everything the dire wolf models are not.  They're also a Games Workshop model - Fenrisian Wolves from the 40k game to be precise - proving GW can do wolves well, they just choose not to for the undead.

What the Fenrisian Wolves don't look, however, is undead.  They just look like, well, wolves.  (Not unreasonable.)  There's no way I'm faffing about with green stuff and scapels converting core unit models to look zombified/undead, so when I got my hands on a couple of packs of Fenrisian Wolves, it was down to painting to make them look undead.  Because I'm lazy (and cheap) and had the paints for it already, I went with the same colour scheme as I've used for my ethereal units - namely black, drybrushed up through Naggaroth Night, Maccrag Blue, Xerxus Purple, Genesteeler Purple and ending at erm, some really light electric blue I can't remember the name of.  First time around, I erred on the side of caution with the lighter colours.  It didn't really work, resulting in a second, much heavier application of the purple and blue highlights.  The end result?

Rikes! Raggy! A Rhost!
Not bad at all, I reckon.  Ghostly, undeadish and wolfy, all in one.  Quick to paint too.  That unit of ten is only a couple of hours' work.  In fact, the only problem is that they're not designed to rank up like this (the 40k wolves are mounted on circular bases, not these WFB cavalry bases), making them a pain to get looking neat.  There's also only five poses on offer, meaning this unit of ten has five sets of two of each pose.  It's only obvious if you look for it, providing you keep them ranked up right.  With a Doom Wolf champion (the pouncing wolf in the centre), this unit is worth a delicious 90 core points.

Black Magic

As these wolves give me a bit more overhead in my core points, I can splash out a bit.  Eichengard gets a minor item bump (taking the fencer's blades magic item once again), both the black coach and the cairn wraiths can be fielded at the same time in my rare section and the hexwraiths and black knights all get commands (as much as is possible, anyway).  There's also just enough space to squeeze in another backup necromancer, to reduce the risk of my army crumbling into dust.  As part of the wolf order, I also picked up (amongst other things that I will get to in a few weeks' time) another necromancer model.  He's a nice looking model (better than at least one of the ones GW seem to be pushing) and just about my level of detail versus ease of painting.

Likes: Long walks, cold, dark nights and dabbling in things man was not meant to know.
 Dislikes: Kittens, the laughter of small children and X Factor.

Now, as I've said before, there is only one colour for a necromancer, and that's not actually a colour at all.  However, this model has a lot of cloak going on, and going on in such a fashion as to render my standard "black - mechanicus standard grey - dawnstone" approach too dull and uninteresting.  But as wizards in Warhammer are colour coded for your convenience it rankles to paint him any other colour.  Fortunately, there's a decent fluff get out clause.  As well as the Lore of Vampires (really GW? Don't you have any respect for your cannon?), necromancer wizards can take the Lore of Death, otherwise known as the purple or amethyst wind.  The Lore of Death is actually pretty antithetical to necromancy, but the magic powering it shares enough similarities to explain this.  (Magic is weird in most fiction, in Warhammer it is doubly so.  Just go with it.)  So this model gets a purple cloak, handily paintable from colours I already have!

If I were Andy Law, I would have felt compelled to add freehand details to this cloak.  Thankfully, I am not.
He'll be a Lore of Vampires (really? really?!) caster until I've got another necromancer in my army, but then he'll get bumped to the Lore of Death.  (There's a good mechanical reason for doing this, too.  There are diminishing returns to the number of spell casters you have in any given lore, with the practical maximum being n+6 caster levels in total, where n is the number of wizards in that lore.  Even then, that's assuming that every single one of those wizards wants to take the signature lore spell.)  Until then, he's another wizard unit, of varying points cost.

Points Painted

Right, where do all those changes leave us?

Eichengard - 386
2x Necromancer - 200
20x Skellies with full command - 130
20x Skellies with full command and magic banner - 155
20x Zombies with standard and musician - 60
10x Dire Wolves with champion - 90
5x Hexwraiths with champion - 160
5x Black Knights with full command, magic banner, barding, lances - 195
Black  Coach - 195
3x Cairn Wraiths with Tomb Banshee champion - 175

Grand Legal Total: 1,801.


  1. Looking good! The spectral wolves really work. Definitely like the bold blue highlight. :)

  2. Yeah, I'm loving those wolves. They look bloody marvellous. :D