Aroooooooooooo! Click through for some pics and opinions regarding the latest Vampire Counts plastic Dire Wolves.
After putting together a bunch of Ghouls, Skeletons, and Zombies, the next sprue from the Vampire Counts Spearhead I’ve tackled is the Dire Wolves. You get ten of these on the sprue, with a nice variety of heads and leg parts that allow you to create a variety of poses. The poses are determined by which halves of the torso you combine and which head you choose. There is very little room for positioning the parts at odd angle to obtain additional poses, but you can always go to your knife and green stuff for conversions.
Games Workshop has a helpful set of pictures for assembling the Dire Wolves on their website:
This covers just about everything you need to know about the assembly basics.
These guys look to be more complicated to paint than the earlier plastic Dire Wolves from GW. There is a lot of exposed muscle, gristle, and other icky stuff on the sculpts. This differs from the earlier wolves who were simply fur. As usual with plastic animal kits, a lot of gap filling is needed. I used green stuff for this, and sculpted it to fit in with the surrounding fur, gristle, etc. This takes some time but will make the finished figure look much better.
In the pics below you can see I start out with a strand of green stuff pressed into the miniature at a few points, and then sculpt it from there with a wet sculpting tool to minimize sticking.
The heads are in two parts as well, but not exactly halves. One piece includes the neck head and half the face, then there is a smaller piece that you select and glue in for the other half of the face. I got all the way through assembling the models before I realized that some of the faces parts are paired to one another. For instance, there is one large head piece with a jutting canine tooth that has a corresponding smaller face part with a similar jutting tooth. Since I didn’t notice this until after gluing things together, my face halves were randomly paired and in a few cases look slightly odd. This did not bother me at all, though, since these models are already pretty funky looking to begin with. Asymmetrical teeth can hardly make them any grosser than they already are!
The Corpse Cart and some metal undead figures are next on the assembly line. After that, I need to get to painting!