Army Showcase: Benjamin Halls Space Wolves
By Benjamin Hall
Im Benjamin Hall, 33 and from Cornwall, and one half of the 2Ps podcast.
I started collecting Space wolves in 1994, the year of the first codex release. Back then I had literally just started the hobby, and so I didn’t have many models, but any stray space marine model I did have was painted as a space wolf!
I loved how different they were to the other chapters, especially in second edition, the characters seemed, somehow, to be full of energy and life.
It was Neil Thomason’s slayer sword winning wolf priest that really stood out for me back then, and I often return to that model even now. When I had enough money saved to buy the 2nd edition starters set, one evening after school my dad drove me to GW Oxford to pick it up (at the time I lived in Buckingham). While I was in the store there was a vets night running and Anthony Warrington’s command squad was being used in a game with the rest of his stunning army. I cant remember whether it was Anthony commanding them, I’m guessing it was, but seeing his army in person sealed the deal. I would be a Space Wolf Fan for life!
After a long hiatus from the hobby I picked it back up about 11 years ago. But as much as I loved the Space Wolves, and bought plenty of their models, I avoided painting them because I was worried about not doing them justice. I went through a Black Templars army (where I learned how to edge highlight!) and then a company sized force of Iron Snakes before returning to them last year. It was only then I was happy that I could paint the army that made me fall in love with this hobby, to a standard I would be happy with.
Whenever I make an army, it is always constructed around the background. My love of Space Wolves is primarily in the infantry and characters. I love the imagery of Space Wolf packs prowling across the snow, especially the cover art of the 5th edition codex. This unfortunately means I am not the best person to ask when it comes to battle strategy, as I will more often take a unit if it looks good, or fits with my mental image of how I want the army to look or feel, rather than if it is a viable unit in the game.
I draw a lot of my army’s influence from the 2nd edition models that drew me to the army, such as the sawtooth designs on chainswords, and then try to apply a more realistic, weathered look to them. I don’t shy away from blood effects, I want to try and capture the savagery and power of the Wolves in close quarters.
For the colours on the armour I use fang or grey undercoat, then a couple of coats of Russ grey to get a nice flat colour, and glaze the model with medium thinned fang. I then apply a wash of 50:50 green (Beil Tan) and purple (Druchii Violet) wash mixed together, this created a glue grey “armour wash” this goes in the cracks and armour lines only. Then I touch up the Russ grey and finish with an edge highlight of Fenrisian grey.
For the yellows I start with Averland Sunset, wash Seraphim Sepia into the recesses, then highlight with 50:50 Averland sunset and Yriel yellow, the fine highlight is then with this mix with a little bit of Pallid Wych Flesh.
I always try to vary the way I do fur, approaching each wolf, pelt or tail in a different way. I feel this way it keeps them looking more natural. Metals I try and make them look aged and ancient in keeping with the long history of the chapter.
One of my recent labours of love have been to bring a bag of bits back to life as a squad of RTB01 space wolves. I followed the early Rogue trader iconography and colours for these guys and was really happy with how they turned out. The colour scheme was also a chance to trial the colours I will use for my Heresy era wolves.
The last thing I have finished is my Primaris Ragnar Blackmane, I figured if anyone would take a chance at being bigger faster and stronger it would be him! My inspiration for this was Golem Painting Studios amazing Ragnar conversion, which really calls on the 2nd edition version of Ragnar, banners and all! I used the Primaris from the front of the getting started magazine as the foundation and with a lot of trimming and green stuff added the Krom Dragon gaze bits (the chest chains and belt were especially hard). He turned out better than I hoped, and I will probably revisit Ragnar in the future to do a “pre primaris” Ragnar as well.
On my desk at the moment is some thunderwolves which I absolutely love, both in the fluff and as models. Next will be a selection of Primaris marines to keep the army current. I am planning to play in a number of tournaments with them so I am currently refining a 1500 point army list as well. Any recommendations welcome!
If you fancy following my Space Wolves then the best way would be to follow our podcast, 2Ps in a pod, we are on Facebook, twitter and Instagram; or www.2psinapod.com,