Forge World Varagyr Analysis

After much agonising, vocalising my disappointment in their style and overall release (which i will come onto shortly), i consulted with some of my very talented friends to see what could be done about the Varagyr models, which despite some major flaws (in my humble opinion) have the makings of greatness but need a lot of love to achieve it. The outcome of this being that i picked up a box and set to work.

The contents of the kit is as follows:

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Now, at face value this is a very comprehensive kit, with very detailed components almost all unique to the Varagyr and altered from their ‘regular’ cataphractii counterparts.

The legs, torsos and heads come as single piece casts, the arms fur shoulder pelts and pauldrons come as one piece casts for each arm. The axes and combi-bolters come separately and as do the top-knots.

To add a little opinion and offer a critique on the models i’d like to share with you my notes:

Torsos/heads: Beautifully done, lovely detail with very characterful head sculpts. The Torso armour is well proportioned (early photos made them look oddly thin) and the low gut gorget feels reminiscent of the Justaerin kits and works well. The woolf tooth charms and fetishes are a nice addition too.

Legs: With regards to sculpting these are great and nicely detailed, the additional pyramidal studs and segmented lower leg armour and projecting knee pads echos that of the wolf king, a nice tie in. The pose however, on some of them, isn’t great, the stride is naturally long and conveys more movement than i would imagine terminator armour to posses. (fur will be covered in it’s own section).

Arms/Pauldrons: The vambrace armour is true to Cataphractii armour, all well proportioned and nicely done, the raised decorative plating even has small runes carved into it, which look amazing. The shoulder pauldrons too, are nicely done, well proportioned and suitably detailed. The knotwork and the legion symbol are a little simplistic and could have benefited from being a bit finer, but it’s not bad.

Axes: The axes are different in style to that of those we have seen in other legion upgrade kits or the MkII/III and MkIV weapons kits, the tech application and proportions particularly so. This has drawn critisim from some, but these are frost weapons, of fenris manufacture and i feel their slight variance conveys their lineage as being different from Terran or Martian tech. The variety of handles and shafts makes for some simple, but welcome variation.

Combi-Bolters: These are basically the same as cataphractii combi-bolters, albeit with out the magasins and belt fed shells, not sure from a technical perspective the swapping of a magasin for a belt feed works or adds anything to the model.

Top Knots: As separate piece which can be added, or left off the model these are nicely sculpted, the wolf skull is particularly nice.

Fur: The fur is appalling, no getting around it. I’m not sure if this is a side effect of the 3D sculpting process, a result of limited ability on the behalf of the designer or just a very unique style choice. None the less, i’m not a fan. (fur will be covered in it’s own section).

I have plans (which in truth have been executed in my excitement before this post was written) to resculpt the fur, fix the posing and #MakeSpaceWolvesGreatAgain

These are the individual varagyr, detailed photos of the pauldrons and the axes:


The other point to note is that the Varagyr squad have within their rules a 2 Wound Thegn as their leader, there is nothing to suggest that any of these warrior sculpts are such, nor do they have anything to help them stand apart. This isn’t necessarily a problem, nor necessarily should they standard apart but as a gaming aid it would be useful to help depict the varient model.

Until Next Winter…



Grey Slayers WIP 03

With the concept and plan for the Grey Slayer packs nailed down, bases built and kits ready for dissemination, the first characters of the Vlka Fenryka progress.

These first three Grey Slayers represent berserkers within the pack, warriors of the charge and counter charge. Warriors who’s role is a perfectly timed blow, much like that required of the weapons they wield. While their pack brothers form the shield wall and hold the line, these warriors trust to their protection and strike when needed, to slay an enemy or retaliate to a charge.

The axes themselves are from the 40k Wulfen sprue (a box-set i mostly deplore for cartoony nonsense), providing nice two handed weapons, which with a little work (removing pelts, fetishes, toothed necklaces and runes), make excellent additions.

In order to accommodate the two handed weapons the arms have been reposed, often cut above, and in come cases below the elbow, to allow for a different angle of the arm. All the time care was taken to maintain a natural positioning of the vambrace and elbow.

In some cases the vambrace was swapped, from MkII to MkIII for example. The arms were then offered up with blue-tac before gluing. Getting both arm positions right before adding the axe.

Once the axe was glued in, and all had dried, greenstuff armour plating was dded to the hands to make them look like armoured gauntlets, not the beastial hands of wulfen (as can be seen in the first images at the top of the page).

Until Next Winter…


Grey Slayers Pack WIP 02

Force into progression despite the Grey Slayers Upgrade Kit not having been released yet, fifteen bases have been crafted for the first Pack and the base plastic MkIII legs and space wolves upgrade torso are beginning to be assembled.


The bases are made using pre-moulded plasticard flagstone sheets, but into appropriately sized squares, glued to the bases and the once dry it is trimmed to the base’s shape. Rocks and sand are then added to create interest.

[A small update, but an important one!]

Until Next Winter…

Grey Slayers Pack WIP 01

With the tantalising preview of the Grey Slayer upgrade pack, and the rumour that it is one of three upgrade sets to be released, work has begun in earnest on re-imagined Grey Slayer packs for my Wolves. I would like to share a little of my process for creating units (especially infantry) within the wider force.

Concept: Initially the idea phase, in this case watching too much Viking film and media combined with an unhealthy obsession with shields in 30k, lead to the idea of a more traditional shield wall approach to the Grey Slayer Packs (made easy by the previewed upgrade kit).

Planning: This takes two parts:

1. Army List, how will the unit need to be kitted out to match the rules, translating my concept into a playable reality. Will the unit act how i imagine, how can i strengthen this?


2. Models, how with the unit be built, what parts and kits do i need to buy, bastardise, convert and kit-bash to create the desired aesthetic? I plan this out meticulously, studying bits sites, kits online and my collection spares to make sure each model fits the unit correctly.


Once all this is in place, the hunt begins, kits and parts are ordered in anticipation of construction.

Until Next Winter…

Grey Slayer Upgrade Pack!

With the preview of a Grey Slayer upgrade pack at the New Years open day, plans are afoot to bring more Grey Slayers to the Rout.

[images borrowed from the wider internet, credit to the photographer whom ever you are]

The kit looks like it’ll be comprised of 5 heads, 2 of which have knot-work masks (fantastic!) an ornate torso, a vexilla, 5 close combat axes and 5 combat shields. The latter items nicely matching the artwork from Inferno.

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If this great upgrade kit isn’t enough, there are allegedly 2 more to come for the Grey Slayers!

Until Next Winter..