Horus Heresy Space Wolves – Mk4

Sometimes the best choice is the least likely. In avoiding picking a second legion from a big selection of favourites, I instead went for one of the least favourite, but with a challenge.

Legio VI – Space Wolves – The Sky Warriors of Russ

It took a little goading and an impulse borne of a challenge – do a legion you don’t like the look of. Make them into something you do like the look of.

Despite being a bit of a Viking myself, I’ve oddly not taken to Space Wolves for 30k (or 40k). I’ve done a handful of models over the decades, but never anything substantial. I think my first effort was creating a veteran bodyguard for Golden Daemon 1996, which got as far as them undercoated. Then I did a Space Wolf painting tutorial a few years ago. That’s it.

Why don’t I like them? I think they’re far too wild and  a bit of a caricature of themselves; too many wolf pets and wolf icons; far too many missing helmets. For all their “culture”, they should still maintain a bit more discipline and intelligence than a raving madman. Even Kharn wears his helmet.

How will I fix them? I want to look at the Viking / Saxon culture and take a futuristic stance on it all. Yes, some may end up being baresark madmen, but the majority are hardened warriors who have faith. Faith in their armour and weapons.

They will be of iron will and steely muscle. In great armour shall I clad them and with the mightiest guns will they be armed.
~The Emperor of Mankind

What do vikings look like? One of their most iconic features are helmets. Something Space Wolves seem to shed themselves of. Despite what popular culture would have you believe, they were horn-less helmets, mostly featuring a nose guard. Some designs had “spectacles”, which arguably made them more dangerous, as they’d help guide a spear/sword tip into the eye socket!


The spectacles design can be easily carried forward, with Astartes helmets having lenses and full face protection. The Kambr strip is present on many marine helmet tops too.

viking helmet diagram

This spread of marine helmets by Jason Barlow shows how the bowl and lenses are present in most versions. What most lack is a reinforced nose guard – something that only seems to be present in Mk2 and potentially in mark 4’s raised front.


Fortunately, Forgeworld offers lots of helmet variants. Most notably, this mark 4 helmet:

iron warriors helmet

Finding this had me sold. The slatted cheek guards reminiscent of wooden punch shields gives opportunity to incorporate some runic detail if I’m brave enough!


The helmet is clearly mark 4, so the armour will mostly follow, with a few entirely normal exceptions.

So, here is my proof of concept, next to one of my Iron Hands. Runes and details will follow:

space wolf

Rusty Dice

Aint nothing but a horn

You may also like...

5 Responses

  1. Mordian7th says:

    Awesome! Those really are great heads, definitely looking forward to seeing ’em come together (as much as that pains me to say, as a die-hard Thousand Sons guy, heh).

  2. Peter says:

    Is this “proof of concept model” painted using the same tutorial you posted?

  3. Whitehorn says:

    No, I used a grey undercoat and differentgrey paint for the armour.

  4. Pohatu5 says:

    I really like the helmet, but I can’t find a link for them, so you know where I can get them?

Leave a Reply


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *