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Ragnar Blackmane by Krakendoomcool

I’ve had the original lead Ragnar for about 25 years. It’s possibly the oldest model still available in the whole of the 40k range. It’s a great model but he has a very static pose due to having to be moulded in lead back in 2nd edition.

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Ragnar Blackmane by Darren Latham

This is exactly how I remember him when he originally came out, painted here by someone very talented. For about a decade I planned to convert a more dynamic Ragnar. Using either a Chaos Lord in power armour or the white scar character in power armour. There are a couple of examples of these ideas from people online…

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Ragnar Blackmane by Karitas
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Ragnar Blackmane by Lukkan62

 

Then games workshop released Krom Dragongaze. He’s a great model. He also looks to me like he was sculpted with Ragnar’s original model in mind and given a different head and weapon. He’s got the pelt over the shoulder, the chain across the chest and the belt with the diamond.

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So a head, frostfang and sculpted wolf head shoulder pad would be all that was needed. Then GW released this…

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It’s like they are telling you to make your own Ragnar. A handsome head like Ragnar and his famous chainsword Frostfang. At this point I knew I could make him and do a better job than all my previous plans and not have to cut frostfang off my old lead model. Quite a few people online have done this. But the ultimate one is surely this one…

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Ragnar Blackmane by Tommie Soule

He’s done all those things and more. He’s found the perfect head from outside the space wolf range. Using a head from the wolf pack box is fine but it is immediately recognised as exactly that by any space wolf player. What an incredible box that is btw. What other army gets a choice of 26 different heads (scout heads too) to use across your whole army in one ‘basic’ box of troops. But if you are a space wolf player you’ve probably used all those heads already, some many times over. You don’t want your Ragnar to have a few twins across your army. There he is, there’s another one. So proper respect to Tommie Soule for the imagination to use the Sternguard head and put Ragnars original hair on top and give him some real presence. Also using Ragnars original shoulder pad, cut out and inserted into the border of a plastic run of the mill space marine shoulder pad. I never would have thought to do either of these things. I kept looking at every wolf head I came across and wondered if it could ever truly fit on a shoulder pad. For mine the hair was too hard to cut away and I had spare heads from the Wulfen set (which possibly wasn’t even out when Tommie made his) to use as Ragnars top knot.

Mine is obviously very heavily influenced by Tommie’s. Tommie’s is such a high standard that it’s painful to put on the same blog post as mine! It would not be honest to not recognise his influence however. But here’s a few shots of mine in the making anyway…

 

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I started out with the blonde hair too as that’s how I remember Ragnar. But I don’t have the talent to even do a copy of Tommie’s. His is an updated deliberately retro Ragnar. Mine was feeling a bit too yellow as I painted him. I was also reading ‘the space wolf omnibus’ by William King as the time.

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I always thought Ragnar was blonde and he got his name by killing a blackmaned wolf during his trails to become a Space Wolf. In the book however he’s the one with a Blackmane and he kills a white wolf. On the cover art he also has a red frostfang and his dead white wolf as his pelt. So there was the opportunity to deyellow my Ragnar and go for a feral berserker feel like on the cover of the book. I also put a berserker head on the base as a dark reflection of Ragnars nature and temptations.

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There will be more (all twelve) Wolf Lords to come. Some unaltered (Krom, Harald), some inspired by other people’s conversions (like Ragnar was, Egil, Sven) and some totally made up by me (Engir, Gunnar, Bjorn Stormwolf)…

9 comments

  1. Phew, where to start commenting — might as well be here, eh?

    First of, this is a pretty fantastic project! I love character-focused projects like this and immediately felt reminded on my – somewhat obsessive – exploration of Angron. Anyway, this should leave you with a fantastic collection of characters, and I love your research into artwork and other people’s work to come up with a plan, then put your own twist on things. Very cool!

    As for the model at hand, classic Ragnar really doesn’t cut it any longer, as the proportions are just too wonky by modern standards. You have done an excellent job of bringing the character into the 21st century! I was actually surprised about the head, because I couldn’t place it until I saw the WIP shot — very clever.

    I also thing you made the right call about Ragnar’s hair colour — the blond mane never really made much sense to me 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for commenting.
      There was something about all your unique World Eaters characters that made me think you might be into this.
      With these Wolf Lords as they are existing characters and have hugely varying amounts of source material I got used to trying to find every last bit of info or pic or conversion I could to put them together. I wasn’t above scraping my ideas if u found better ones.
      I was very impressed by the use of the Sternguard head. When I saw that it really opened up possibilities and I ended up using another Sternguard head for Erik Morkai later.

      Like

      1. Yeah, the whole premise of the project is pretty close to my own inclinations, even if I am not a huge Space Wolves fan. A word of warning, though: Returning to the rank and file can be a bit of a challenge after having focused on so many larger than life characters beforehand 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Sorry its taken me this long to say anything, im going to work my way through now. Without trying to inflate your ego, i think this guy is wicked. I dont think i have givem gese guys enough tine because you produce such great things at such a volume, i dont really appreciate the trees in the forest of awesome. I cant really pretend get into the nitty gritty of how you achieved the things you do with sourced parts without you slowly explaining it to me. The pose is fantasic though by comparison to the original, give it way more life. I love a dynamic model whose intent you can feel by looking at it. We had a game where he was standing on a pile of rubble, surrounded by genestealers and he looked appropriately epic. Great job.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Too late…my ego is inflated…I love a dynamic model as you know. Squeeze the dynamism from the pose at any given opportunity…trying to get that real swinging look going on. I of course remember that game he survied one thousand genestealers (aprox). Then died immediately the next phase. Heroic!

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  3. These Wolf Lords are all awesome. Ragnar here is amazing, I love how you’ve captured the look of the classic and turned it into a new model fornfurrent 40k at the same time. Any plans for Primaris additions to the leaders of the Wolves?

    Looking forward to checking out the blog a little further.
    🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Jamie, thanks for commenting (this model is heavily influenced by Tommie Soule’s Ragnar). The retro thing seems to be about quite a bit, a lot of us older guys getting back into it and remembering what it was like first time around. At the same time you want to be able to use it on the table.

      No primaris plans. I’m not there yet. Stuck in my (Old) Space Wolf ways…

      Like

  4. @krautscientist
    (reply button missing from above so will reply here)
    I’m bracing myself for a tepid reception to my rank and file. As i’m actually showing people my models now I need to up my game.

    Like

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