The Hobby Hole: Converting Indomitus Space Wolves

Ninth edition is finally here and I could not be more excited! I’ve been burning the candle at both ends to paint up and convert the Space Marine half of the Indomitus boxset. I wanted to make sure they fit into a proper Space Wolf army and share with all of you how I did it. I’ll break down how I converted my Assault Intercessors, Outriders, Bladeguard Veterans, Judiciar, and Primaris Battle leader. I started with a very light conversion of the Assault Intercessors to show you how much you can even achieve with just the paint scheme, while I also go all out in converting my Battle Leader to reflect a true Space Wolf veteran. A number of you have also been asking how I achieve the blue for my Space Wolves so I will do a brief tutorial on that as well. Lets get cracking!

Assault Intercessors

I decided to do minimal conversion work on the assault intercessors. Keeping the basic troops more basic helps the other units to stand out on the battlefield. Striking pack markings and designs will go a long way to ensuring these killers fit into the army.

I start by priming my models using Vallejo Black Primer. I then use the Vallejo Model Air Medium Sea Grey to apply a 45 degree zenithal highlight. With the grety still in the cup I then mix in a little Daler Rowney White Ink as a straight vertical highlight. The end result looks something like this!
My Reivers will have their vengance, in this life or the next!

Next is the Incubi Darkness glaze. You want this thin enough so the zenithal highlight’s varying brightness shows through. I always do a quick test spray on my hand to make sure the coats are thin enough to see the layers beneath it.

By now your models should be a nice sea green, but having grown up in Hawaii, I want to push them a bit more to an ocean blue. To do this I use Vallejo Blue Game Ink and apply an even thinner glaze. Here’s a before an after shot on one of the Outriders.

Above: Here is the bike fresh from a Incubi Darkness glaze
Above: This is after the Vallejo Blue Ink glaze (roughly 3:1 thinner to ink)

The key to making the Assault Intercessors match the rest of the army will be in their shoulder pad markings. I achieve this by applying a quick base of Mournfang Brown. Jokaero Orange will the the primary color on the pad which I will top off by mixing in a little Yriel Yellow as a highlight.

Silly Putty is a life saver here. It is very malleable and will not strip your thin glazes.

I go more into the yellow for my “fresh recruits” and focus more on a burnt orange look for my veterans which you will see with the Bladeguard!

To finish off the models and give them a little SW character I go with a simple tooth pattern with red and yellow. This is an iconic Bloodclaw marking and is great for adding just a little bit of character!

They are battle ready for now. They will earn their highlights and weathering in combat!


I wanted to keep conversion on the Outriders to a minimum as well, but I couldn’t resist adding a few extra touches to the pack leader. Making him easier to spot has some real in-game implications as well, helping me to spot him easier on the table top to always ensure he’s in the proper position.

I highly recommend Space Wolf players start making their own pelts from green stuff. I started with a humble GW tutorial, but picked up a few tricks through trial and error. It’s really much easier than you think, so give it a try! Here are a few handy tips:
1) Lightly wetting your fingers or tools can help them from sticking
2) if you want to work on a flat surface you can use parchment paper to keep the green stuff from sticking
3) Don’t feel like you have to get it right in one go! Keep working on it and don’t be afraid to start sections over if its not looking quite right!

Green stuff can be intimidating but it really opens up your options for converting Space Wolves. Sometimes you just have to dive in. I highly encourage you to start today!

Now this is a knife!

A little can go a long way for Space Wolves so a small pelt or a knife like this one adds that little touch. The Space Wolf Pack, Wolf Guard Terminator, and Wulfen kits are flush with extra bits and bobs which make great accessories to any model in your army.

Even without highlights and weathering, the zenithal does a great job of adding depth to the model! Excellent for when you are eager to get them on the table!

Large open spaces and panels are great spots for transfers. These bikers are a bit longer in the tooth so have black and red pack markers to reflect their experience.

Bladeguard Veterans

I fell in love with the Bladeguard Veterans the moment they were revealed, but I knew the heavy Gothic themes would require a little tinkering to turn them into proper Space Wolves worthy of the Wolf Guard.
I loved the tower shields and knew I would want to preserve them. Adding pelts goes a long way, and I was immediately thought of the white wolf pelt Russel Crowe wears in the beginning of Gladiator.

Learning to utilize green stuff is great for tying in actual plastic pieces such as the wolf paw.

The longer I play Space Wolves the more I fall in love with the wild hairdos. Simple head swaps are great for giving your Elites and HQs more character.

If you are a newer player and don’t have as many SW bits I think you would already be in a great spot! Luckily I had a few spare trophy racks from the Wulfen kit and decided to add a few to better represent the grizzled hunters.

Again you can utilize some of the more open space to add character. I added the teeth pattern to the bottom of the tabards and added wolf head transfers to the shields on their shoulders . I also kept their shoulderpads darker as more of a burnt orange to reflect their time in service. This is done by letting more of the Mournfang Brown show through and using more of a buff or cream color in lieu of the Yrial Yellow for the highlight. I also wanted to give their swords a frosted effect and accomplished this by wet blending Lothern Blue and white. Highlights on the blue armor are Vallejo Model Air Pale Blue or Incubi Darkness blended with varying degrees of white. For metals I cannot recommend Vallejo Metal Color enough. The gold is a 1:1 mix of gold and copper followed with an Agrax Earthshade wash and a final silver highlight.

I like using similar heads to older models I’ve done. This guy was in the first Intercessor Squad I painted. This pack leader has finally been selected to join the Wolf Guard!


I didn’t really think the helm or the blade of the judiciar really fit in with the rest of my army, so those are the things I set out to convert.

Since Judiciars are Chaplains in training, I wanted to have the same wolf helms the rest of my Wolf Priests utilize. These helms can be found in the Wolf Guard Terminator and Space Wolf Pack kits. There’s a great one with ocular devices in the Wulfen Dreadnaught kit as well. All I do is take an intercessor helm and shave down the face to an angle to fit the skull. I add a pelt around the head and shoulders to help make the transition seamless.

The Judiciar has a 4+ invulnerable save from being able to parry attacks, so I wanted a blade he could effectively duel with. It was easy enough to hobby saw the executioner blade just above the hand and below the hilt. I then replaced it with the frost sword from the Space Wolves Upgrade Pack.

This is a more subtle change, taking a talisman from the Wolf Guard Terminator to replace the Indomitus relic. Remember a little can go a long way.
I do my black armor using Vallejo Model Air Intermediate Blue as a zenithal highlight instead of grey/white.

I wanted to tie the blade and hourglass together as both signal that your time is up! I wanted a chilling frost to emanate from the Tempormortis and I imagined it was that piercing cold that was responsible for making his opponents sluggish in combat. I get a lot of hobby tips from Vince Venturella and have used his hobby tips for snow and frost ever since discovering this video. He’s an awesome hobbyist, teacher, and just an awesome human being in general.

There was a lot of open space on the model as well. This let me add the teeth marks he paints on his armor for each leader he has killed in combat. I can’t wait to get him on the table and for the true kill count to being. I plan to put a tally mark underneath his base to keep track.

Primaris Battle Leader

I envisioned the Battle Leader at the head of the charge, leading the Bladeguard into battle. I would utilize the trophy rack and shoulder pelt to tie him in with that unit, but I wanted to give him a few extra accessories to really set him apart.

I also added a shoulder shield from the Terminator kit. These small changes have such a strong effect in changing the overall look and feel of the model.

Some of you may have noticed the last minute headswap, but the Terminator featured in the cover photo for on of our first Coach’s Corners has crossed the Rubicon! Now that’s a Space Wolf who’s ready to perform some heroic deeds of legend!

Bring on the Crusade!

Putting a little conversion work into your models is a fantastic way to really make them your own. I would encourage you to get creative and get outside your comfort zone and try something new! I guarantee you will surprise yourself in what you are capable of. Mistakes will happen, but you can always recover from them and they are an incredibly valuable part of the learning process.

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