Hobby Progress: Murderfang and a Kit Review

finished model

It has been a while since I’ve had a chance to write one of these, but with the holidays done and a little more free time after being back from traveling, I’ve finally got more time to write. Of course, I was painting over the holiday too, but actually doing a write-up like this was out of the cards.

For this week’s hobby progress, I’ve been working on my Christmas loot, the Space Wolves Venerable Dreadnought kit. The kit itself can actually be built into three different dreadnoughts: Bjorn the Fell-Handed, Murderfang, or just a regular dreadnought with several different wargear options. I went for the Murderfang build with a few alterations along the way. I’ll get to those in a bit, but first, enjoy some pictures along the way!

The kit itself has so far been one of my favorite builds. I love painting and would probably never pay for a commission paint job, but if there was some way I could offload the work of actually building the models, I would do it in a heartbeat. Maybe some entrepreneurial spirit could pick up the idea. This particular model though was incredibly easy to build. The thing I hate the most about building a model is that at some point, you are almost always gluing some kind of flat-on-flat piece, and to the best of my knowledge, there isn’t a good way to do it. In the whole kit, there are only two real flat-on-flat parts. These are the bone crown thing attached to the top of the dreadnought and the wolf pelt attached around the legs. Both are technically optional, so it’s actually fairly easy to build all of this kit without any need of gluing two flat pieces to one another. Good job Games Workshop designers!

So what is holding the whole thing together? Mostly there are slots where things are supposed to fit, and when you fit them in there, there isn’t another way for them to move. Not only does this make the whole model much more stable, but it also makes the building much easier. This was particularly true with the torso and arms of the kit. The torso is essentially a cube shape, so gluing all the pieces together would be a real pain if you had to make sure everything was lined up properly, but as it is, the pieces fit so snugly together, that you could almost get away without using glue at all. Probably not the best advice, but I bet it could be done. For the arms, the kit has pegs that go into holes on the shoulder parts of the model. This is by far one of the best ways to attach arms, and I would love to know why more models aren’t designed this way.

Overall, for the build, I loved this kit, and I wish more models were as uncomplicated as this. Of course, I may be in the minority on this one. I know people appreciate how dynamic the poses can be for Games Workshop models, but as someone who doesn’t really like the building part of the hobby as much as things like painting and playing, the ease with which I could build this model was a welcome relief.

To paint the model, I took a couple of departures from the regular paint scheme. I figured a model called Murderfang shouldn’t be the slightly-too-cheerful blue that I normally paint my Space Wolves, so what I did instead was I went with a mainly black color and then only did blue highlights. On the finished model, only the claws, leg armor, front plates, left shoulder, and back are actually blue, so what that does is give the overall model a much darker and more intimidating look than some of the rest of my Space Wolves. But since I also wanted the dreadnought to match the overall color scheme of that group, I also did the red on the right shoulder just like the rest. I’m partial to my own work, but overall I’m happy with the results I got.

the unit

I took two more departures from the typical Murderfang build as a way to get a look I wanted. The most obvious one is that I used the face that has a helmet instead of the bare face that Murderfang normally has. This is one of the rare changes I’ve made to a model specifically because I think it fits the lore a little bit better.

I’m no lore purist or anything like that, but Murderfang is supposed to be a feral dreadnought of unknown origin in the lore… but you can see the guy’s face. You can’t tell me that in an advanced sci-fi civilization there wouldn’t be some kind of facial recognition thing for their military personnel. That didn’t make that much sense to me, so I opted for the helmet instead.

I also opted for using the more decorative armor plates on the front of the dreadnought as well. These are normally parts that go along with Bjorn the Fell-Handed, but I had my reasons for using them here. Mostly, it was because I thought they looked cooler, but I also wanted to give myself the challenge of painting something detailed like that. Overall, I think it turned out pretty good looking.

Enjoy the pictures!

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