Greetings Terrans, how goes it? Oh, happy day – I’ve finished up another unit of Space Wolves, and, as an added bonus, it’s the unit I was least looking forward to painting! As you might guess from the title, it’s the 5 dudes on the dreaded Mk1 ‘Bullock’ jet cycle, and getting them painted first is kinda like getting the Brussel Sprouts out of the way before you eat the delicious roast chicken :-)
Now, the Bullock jet bike is an interesting bit of kit – if you don’t include Dreadnoughts, I believe it is the first 40k vehicle ever made by Citadel, way back in 1987. Ironically, that means that Marines had Jet Bikes one year before the Eldar got theirs! The models themselves are two-piece affairs, cast in lead, with the main body of the bike being separate from the wings. Objectively, they are a bit shite, but they ain’t bad at all when you consider their age and place in 40k history… they do have a certain charm I think:
Putting the minis together was fairly simple, but I did have some challenges to overcome. One thing you might notice is the complete absence of handle-bars, or any kind of control system on the bikes – they have auto-drive in game terms, so that’s fine, but it makes for some awkward ‘no hands’ posing which just didn’t sit right with me. Also, they were designed to work with the RTB01 plastic Marines, but me being me, I opted for slightly later metal riders. I converted three of the riders to be ‘in motion’ by leaning them forward at the waist, and re-positioning their left arms to look as if they were holding on to the faring – they might be pretend space men with flying bikes but the laws of physics must still apply, and you’re going to want to hold on to something when you’re accelerating hard!
I modelled the other two to look like they had pulled up somewhere to take a shot at something – not too much conversion work needed here, other than sourcing some helmets for them, (again, they might be pretend space men, but only a lunatic would zip around at 300” per turn without a lid). The only other change was sculpting the Lieutenant’s hand so that he’s casually holding on to his helmet, (phnar).
Nothing major to report on the painting front, other than it taking me about twice as long to paint them due to the increased surface area. I chose black for the exhaust vents on their backpacks to denote the squad – it’s the only recon squad in the list, so I was happy to paint both vents the same. As with all the squads so far, I’ve gone for an eclectic mix of minis – there’s a Chaplain, a Medic and a Lieutenant, although all will be played as regular Marines in the campaign.
Anyhow, that’s all for this post – we’re on the home stretch now, and I’m hoping to get through the remaining 21 Space Wolf minis in fairly rapid order. I’ll keep you posted of course, but meanwhile, I’ll leave you with some individual pics of the flying squad: