Space Wolf Army

My brother recently came to stay for a weekend in order to photograph his hobby. He likes painting minatures from Games Workshop, more specifically the Space Wolves series of minatures from the game Warhammer 40,000. My brother is not the best painter but he enjoys painting and modifying the models as is his want. After taking individual shots of each of the models I persuaded him to let me photograph a panorama version of his whole Space Wolf army. It was good fun as we constructed a white backdrop of a couple of levels in order to get more of them visible in the picture. We both tried to get all of them facing the camera but just like real people some of them are still stubbornly looking away! ;-)

The resulting panorama is a 1x8 which I printed on two sheets of A4 and but-jointed them in the middle with some sticky tape on the reverse of the print (I don't have any roll paper at the moment). He seemed pleased and it meant that he had something to take away to show his friends.

(If you are using Firefox you may need to first 'zoom out' of the image in order to see it properly.)

Original panorama size = 12674px x 2917px

Any comments or critiques on the pano would be most appreciated.


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Edward's picture

"My brother is not the best painter"

"My brother is not the best painter"

I'll get round to winning the Slayer Sword one of these days!

That being said, it was a really nice w/end. You should come down to my place at some point.

Sam's picture

Nice work!

Hi! DJ told me to look at this. The freehand work on the banners is great, really nicely done (it reminds me of when I played Space Wolves back in 2nd ed. 40K - is that Bjorn the Fell-handed I see at the back?).

I think the yellow and grey could do with some shading though, have you tried using washes or blacklining? I'm guessing you're starting from a white undercoat.

The panorama is impressive though, I've never managed to get that sort of thing to stitch right. Did you do it from quite a way out and zoom in or something?

All the best!


kat's picture


I can't comment on the painting as that is my bros work but the panorama is something that I've been practicing a lot! ;-). The camera was about 2-3 feet away from the models (if you know anything about cameras its a 60mm macro lens on an old DSLR). I have a panoramic head on my tripod which makes stitching the images together a whole lot easier. It keeps the nodal point of the camera (the point where the image is 'created') almost exactly in the same position as you turn the camera (i've set it up as well as I can but it can still show parralax errors when photographing close objects). This panorama came out pretty well. I noticed a couple of stich errors when I was cleaning up the white background but not big enough to be a problem. I can't remember fixing them but unless you really look in detail you won't see them. When I've shown panos to DJ with large stitch errors he always misses them....I dunno if that's because I'm unusually biased towards seeing them as I look for them a lot or if DJ is just blind! ;-)

As far as I know my bro was starting from a white undercoat. A lot of these models are from his early days of painting. I believe he is now painting with black as an undercoat. he brought down some partially finished Skaven which were all black undercoat and he has another Dreadnought which he is repainting from the light grey style into a much darker style which was also black undercoated.

(And man! Does it feel odd to call Dave 'DJ'! ;-) )


Edward's picture


Yep, that is the old Bjorn miniature out there. Actually the first one I bought and that was about 12 years ago now.

In terms of the painting, these have all been undercoated using white. However, I've now switched to a black undercoat, even though it takes more layers (going up from the dark to the light), I've found it gives me a far smoother job overall, with very little need for touch ups. This was most evident with the new Dread that I've got, which I had next to my Bjorn - I had to resist the urge to strip Bjorn back to bare metal.

In terms of the Banners, they are painted freehand, except using the banners out of the old 2nd ed. codex. Again my later banners are a lot better I feel, with better graduation of colour, which shows up well on the wolves and things.

I am also at the moment trying out various other techniques. I normally only use inks and shading where I feel it adds to the model. Admitedly my miniatures above could do with some, and I'm likely to do some on my new ones, but with using the black undercoat I'm finding it easier to do graduation of colours as I'm painting the model.

Hope that's helpful.

Sam's picture


@ Kat - Haha, I thought you called him DJ - surely someone must...? :p I suppose using a compact camera on a mini tripod doesn't help me much, plus I had a load of stuff in the background last time I tried this - there was and awful lot of overlapping weirdness. I can't see anything bad in the stitching of your panorama. I think you're generally more likely to notice the faults if you've stared at your own work for ages, so if you're happy with it, that probably means it's OK. The only crits I have of the picture are layout - the minis are a bit close together, particularly the tactical squad to the right of the Rhino, which means they tend to get a bit lost in each other, and I generally think a "player's-eye-view" (from 30 degrees or so above) is a more natural way to look at them (and also allows you to see more models in the available space).

@ Edward - Yeah, black undercoats give a much more realistic look I find, mainly because it helps to add contrast when painting bright colours. I generally find washes are still useful for correcting errors I've made when I'm rushing and for smoothing layers and highlights - a very gentle wash of the colour can help to make the highlights look less harsh and more natural. Another good trick for painting light colours is to undercoat in white, then wash the model in black before painting; that way you need less layers for the light colours but the recesses are nicely shaded.

If you ever need any tips for painting or want to show off some minis I recommend (it has a very good modelling and painting forum).



kat's picture

DJ and Layout

Regarding 'DJ'... I think Dave 'wishes' people would call him DJ but I haven't found many people who actually do. Normally this would be a bad thing and I'd feel guilty about calling him Dave when he wants to be called DJ but.... I think DJ sounds a bit lame, like he's trying to be cool (which I know he is not - trying that is - he's already cool!). Kind of like when young boys suddenly think taking a DJ name is cool so they can say things like 'DJ Buttercup is in da house...Respect!'. When actually they sound like an idiot. It just feels wrong to call him DJ and he hasn't thumped me yet for not doing so... maybe he's just too nice and one do he'll snap and murder me for not saying it?

I agree that they look squashed up. Unfortunately the available space was low, one becuse the area where we were photographing is not that large and two, the white background paper wasn't that large. I'm interested in your 30 degree viewpoint comment. Do the models look 'wrong' when you see them as if you are their height? Is it just because you're used to seeing them from an elevated height? Surely if you photogragh from a higher position you will not see as much of the paint work as it will be hidden by the model itself? It would have the benefit of being able to squash more in though.

davidjaymz's picture

re DJ

Well who'd have thought a discussion about painting and space marines would come down to my name. :lol:

DJ came about because its my initials and I sign all my emails DJ. Very few people call me DJ in real life. And tbh I've never introduced myself in real life as DJ.

I'm actually starting to move away from it in my emails back to David. Especially when trying to be professional and what not. :lol:

I don't really see myself as a Dave but in 6yrs of knowing Kat its never stopped her calling me Dave.

Photography of Rock

kat's picture

Bad kitty!

I know, I know, I'm a bad person! Not calling you by the name you prefer deserves a smack on the wrist. (Now comes the excuses).


I have a habit to shorten the names of those that I'm fond of hence the contraction down to Dave. 'David' sounds so formal - as if I should shake your hand when I meet you rather than give you a hug.

I know, I know (again) that that's a crappy excuse. It's no consolation at all but I did try to call you David when we first started chatting but I just couldn't keep to it. 'Dave' just slipped out once too often and now it's not something I have any control over.

I must call 'Dave' David. I must call 'Dave' David. I must call 'Dave' David. I must call 'Dave' David. I must call 'Dave' David. I must call 'Dave' David. I must call 'Dave' David. I must call 'Dave' David. I must call 'Dave' David. I must call 'Dave' David.

Was that OK Dave?



Sam's picture


"I must call 'Dave' David. I must call 'Dave' David. I must call 'Dave' David. I must call 'Dave' David. I must call 'Dave' David. I must call 'Dave' David. I must call 'Dave' David. I must call 'Dave' David. I must call 'Dave' David. I must call 'Dave' David."

So, what are you not to call him? Dave Dave Dave Dave Dave Dave Dave Dave Dave Dave Dave Dave Dave Dave Dave Dave Dave Dave Dave Dave Dave! Got it.

Yeah, I tried that too, to little avail. The problem arises from that fact that every David I've ever met (big Dave, tall Dave, that other guy called Dave, crikey Dave, Irish Dave, to name but a few) uses Dave in every day life. Even if it does make me think of Papa Lazarous from the League of Genetlemen.

kat's picture


Which adjective should I be applying to 'Davidjaymz' Dave? I feel I have been remiss in just calling him Dave.

Bearded Dave?
Photo Dave?
Or just 'Dave Who Isn't Big Dave, Tall Dave, That Other Guy Called Dave (TOGCD? - kat), Crikey Dave or Irish Dave' Dave?

Perhaps for convenience DWIBDTDTOGCDCDID? Although admittedly it doesn't exactly roll off the tongue but it does have a bit of that whole 'shorten long phrases to acronyms for the web that are impenetrable to those not in the know' cache.

davidjaymz's picture

lol Its alright I'm used to


Its alright I'm used to you now...

Oh and I'm not getting email notifications of new comments. Nor posts for that matter, but i don't mind that cos I get your RSS feed.

kat's picture

Nope, You're not!

You won't be getting content or comment emails any longer. I replaced that module with what I think is a better one when I upgraded. There is now a more comprehensive subscriptions module running. This allows you to subscribe to individual threads or to be notified of new content on specific areas. You can get to this by going to 'my account' and then clicking the 'my subscriptions' tab. This will allow you to subscribe to individual sections of the site as you wish. If you just want to follow a thread then there is now a link to allow you to subscribe to it near the 'read more' link.

Hope that helps...

Sam's picture

"DJ Buttercup"

Yeah, I think that works. :p

Since viewing from slightly above is the natural way to see the lil' guys, I find most people tend to paint the top of the models more carefully. Also, the designers tend to add more detail that you can see up there - adding a load of detail where no one is going to see it is pretty pointless. It's almost like the models are designed for a little perspective.

I have a few pics of my stuff here.

There are a few odd models there taken full in the face, but generally I try to take the pics from the natural viewing angle.


DJ Sammy in'a area booyakasha. Ahem.

kat's picture


I looked at your pictures of your models and they look cool! You have a really detailed and clean style!

About what you said about viewing makes sense. I noticed that on some of my bros models the model seems to have an odd pose. You can see one of the odd ones being 4th from the left of the picture. I commented to my bro that it looked like it was yelping and flailing around after having that clear plastic elevating spru shoved up his nether regions rather than looking 'hard' and 'marine-like'. I guess this is the original designer giving the model a pose for a good view rather than a subtle play on homoerotic behaviour! ;-)

Thanks for raising the viewing angle issue. It was something I hadn't really thought about.