Fenrys Born – Invitational

“Ber er hver að baki nema sér bróður eigi.”

One’s back is vulnerable, unless one has a brother.

A Viking truism. 

A pack of elemental, engineered executioners, the color of granite and thunder clouds. The Sky Warriors of Fenris.

Tomorrow is the grand finale of the Invitational, and we have a very special surprise ready for it. It has been an absolute joy to see and share all the amazing work and it feels good to finally share my entry. Two talented laggards will be featured at a later date.

This is how I imagine the Vlka Fenryka, a labour of love, a force of nature so singular that trying to do Inquisitors at this moment in time was not going to fly. At the same time, the Invitational required something special and peer pressure was considerable. What could I do that was special, in this this league of extraordinary modelers, with my own project already so full of Primarchtastic conversions?

I decided to go to the beginning. Back to basics. Humble warriors. A man, a marine and a dreadnought. A Kaerl, a Sky Warrior and a Living Legend of Fenrys. Or Ranulf, Called Mastodon, Ancient; Thorwald Wintrmaw, The Grey hunter; Unknown Kaerl and a Thunder Wolf for flavor.

Nothing special, just the heart of the project, the heart of Astartes Imagery. Grey, weather beaten, cold, with a spot of blood.

The whole idea of the Invitational was to pick three (or more) models and base them on three different base sizes, and this trio proved a good way to showcase that variety in scale, presence and storytelling. The new 32mm bases are such an elegant solution for True Scale marines, and in my Vlka Fenryka army all 3+save models get them. Some of the Wulfen  are in power armor, but far more resilient and powerful than regular Sky Warriors, have 40mm bases and count as Terminators. (I’ve included a B&W comparison picture with a regular GW marine sandwiched between my Grey Hunter and a Fenrysian Kaerl)

Each model was an opportunity to hone and explore, stretch the palette. I had some specific goals.

  • Introduce and explore new metallics. Gold, Brass and heat or exhaust weathered alloys. Overall I am super excited about the metallics in this project, but up to this date they have been a little monotone with the exception of a hero’s sword or so. I wanted to really understand where these brilliant Scale 75 metallics can go with inks. I still found a use for GW mithril, but overall the Scale 75 are hands down the best metallic paints I’ve ever used and much credit goes to that asset.
  • Fine tune the skin tone. You guys saw the daylight photos recently and have a better understanding of the shade. I’ve further improved it with very subtle purple washes, and refined the way I paint hair and beard. Thorwald’s face is the best face I’ve ever painted I think. For the entire project, I’ve used Scale 75 skin paints only.
  • Establish an approach for vehicles. Basically see how the scheme scales up and what adjustments need to be made. I’ve used airbrush as much more of a zenith highlight tool, but aiming for realism. I think a lot of it is lost in the photos because the direction of light is the same as the highlights (obviously) and thus it all blends in, but is very powerful in real life.
  • finally I wanted to explore the oils a little more and largely painted the fur of the wolf with oil paints, and am encouraged. Very smooth, velvety finish. I will use this on all the wolves.

For Russ!

Thorwald Wintrmaw, The Grey hunter



Ranulf, Called Mastodon, Ancient



Kaerl, Unknown



Invitational Pack



One can dream…



30 thoughts on “Fenrys Born – Invitational

  1. The sharp red marking on the knee is ace! Going back to big marines myself at the moment..
    I am still expecting the puritan golden splendour at some point! It’s classic imagery just waiting to be done right.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The moment these where done I started painting then 😉 if you’re expecting classic imagery it’s a long wait though. Yes, it’s a golden Inquisitor, but I know it’s going to be very experimental and quite expressive to most people’s taste.


  2. Really great colour scheme! What often bothers me with Space Wolves is that they end up too bright and colourful, with lots of yellows, whites and reds splattered all over the place. Your scheme gives them a more down-to-earth, no-nonsense look (the ONLY look to go for with Wolves, IMHO). So well done, Sir!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The northmen are coming, under the moonlight… Their beauty just equal their violence… Your minis are like an Edgar Allan Poe or an Howard Phillips Lovecraft story or a Baudelaire’s text… some kind of poetry melee to some violence. As said before, awesome stuff on those !

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve mentioned it before in your old blog but this is truly how my mental image of the Vlka Fenryka should be. I’m very happy you plan this as a army project instead of just a small handful 🙂


    1. Like all the best projects, it started as something small, in between things. Idea was only to do two models… 2ish and counting now…


      1. Well dealing with an army project offers new and exciting challenges which I’m sure will both exhaust and thrill in equal measure. One thing is certain though – there are very few things as gratifying as completing an entire army to the standard you want 🙂


  5. Very cool and evocative. I really dig you very unique take on the wolfs Migs – it turns space vikings into something gritty and interesting and not at all silly (as sadly is often the case).

    The dread blimmin’ rocks. Good show, sir!


  6. Silent and thoughtful and bold in strife
    the prince’s bairn should be.
    Joyous and generous let each man show him
    until he shall suffer death.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I am amazed by the conversion work and use of colour, but I also love how the three of them are very different characters, yet are unified so deftly.


  8. Now this makes ones own attempts to do Space Wolves look like the toys they are – utterly bloody stunning Migs!

    Fenris weather reincarnate…


    1. Thank you my friend. Always means a ton coming from you, the guy who defined the Space Wolf model imagery for a decade. I can’t wait to see your wulfen!


  9. Beautiful! The face on the grey hunter is really fantastic! And it’s great seeing your armor painting method carried over onto a larger model. I have a feeling that technique will work very well on the flyers and drop pods.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agreed, I do need to get more variation in the grey itself or large flat planes of grey will appear too dull. I am actually well on my way getting there, having most of the primary colors in place for two Storm Wolves and 3 Drop Pods.


  10. Fantastic looking entries to the Invitational! I was not expecting to see a Dreadnaught; but what a pleasant surprise! I love the pose and the wicked looking horns. Too often the freedom in assembly afforded by the Contemptor results in over the top and exaggerated poses. The pose on yours is nice and subtle and has a great sense of motion.

    Your work on the skin tones looks really nice too. I too have been experimenting with using different washes to add subtle purple hues (and reds). The washes can really go a long way with adding life and complexity to a face.

    I am intrigued with the Scale75 metallic paints (I had never heard of them). I love the metallics one all of your Sky Warriors. They have a reserved and realistic look to them. I will have to look into getting some of them. Metallics can be hard to get right.

    Keep up the great work! I look forward to seeing what you do with the vehicles for the force.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Adam! I’ve always used washes on the skins – just that I make strong restrictions with each of the new palette’s I pick, and one with this project was to not use any blue. So purple is technically cheating, but so subtle, and also so powerful that I will forgive myself.

      You will love their metallics. It’s a spanish company who really gets it. http://www.scale75.com


  11. Skillful artistry. My favourite is the Kaerl, Unknown; his expression, the movement… he radiates directed ferocity barely held-in-check. Selfishly, I think a step-by-step tutorial would be fascinating reading, Migs.


    1. Thanks Charles. I really should do one of those based on how many have mentioned it. I tend to be a little too in flow and fast to stop in flight 😉


  12. I really like these guys, they scream space puppies and yet in a subtle, understated way with just a few choice pelts and totems, and none of that silly hairstyling that would put a trollslayer to shame! LOL.

    While I think tru-scale marines are far too much work for my liking, the ones on show here look fantastic and are a testament to what a well thought out and planned model can be.

    well done.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s