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Wolflord on Wolfdread aka Dreadrider


i recently got some mails from people asking me questions about the heavily converted dreadnought which can be seen on my pages banner. most of them just wanted to know which bitz i used, how the conversion got done, what i counts as or if i could post some pics from wip status. but some of them -which really impressed me- also wanted to know a bout the models background or the basic idea that initiated me to start this project. so i realized that were seems to be some sort of common interest out there for more information about this specific model and i decided to write my next article about it.

comp_dread.jpg picture by BobPanda


from a grey hunters-pov:

with the first rays of light brought by the dawning new day it was like as if not only a new day was about to begin on this early, cold november morning …

… for vängar it was more like as if another chapter on their long way of war and battle had ended last night, when the last enemies were hunt down and killed without mercy not only by him, but by almost 200 of his proud and wild battlebrothers. the last enemies … the last dozens of several thousands that tried to mess against the wolves when they landed on this planets surface 7 days ago. 7 days of restless battle … and now that the job was finally done vängar found himself standing on a small hill in the middle of this a few hundred meters wide valley, that now was branded by the final fight that took place right here with him directly in its’ midst. the ground was blood soaked and the snow that normaly covers these fields almost gone. instead of snow now there were dirt, mud, blood, dead bodies, destroyed vehicles and millions of bullet casings covering the floor. here and there little fires were still burning. after the battle that rampaged here in the last 12 hours it was hard to believe that now everything finally had come to an end. suddenly vänger felt a spark of emptyness.- no wait a moment it was not emptyness he felt. – it was lonelyness. now, after one week of battle, where he always was as close to his comrades as a warrior could be, it was like everything that connected him with the other wolves during battle, now had vanished, that fighting was no more. so he looked deeper into the scenery surrounding him and than suddenly realized that he was everything, but not alone. almost everywhere was still movement recognizeable. tall figures, slowely creeping tanks here and there and also individuals like himself, simply standing watching. as the orange morninglight finally filled every piece of the ground a bright grin moved from one side of his dirty and scratched face as he noticed that all things moving or standing in this huge dramatic imgae had one thing in common. the color of their armor!

he paused for another moment and than decided to turn around to walk straight to one of the staging areas declared yesterday. as he did so, a huge shadow appeared about 30 meters away from him. a shadow with quite familiar silhouette and movement that was more mechanical than natural, striding directly towards him. he knew it was lord harkon himself, great lord harkon, furious and mystical lord harkon. lord harkon himself would have been a impressive and awe-inspiring figure amongst space marines, but as always when there was wartime he was not alone. as always in such times he was riding on the back of a giant wolf called morkul. morkul was not just a giant wolf like those they knew from good old fenris, but more a giant arcane construct that was as frightening as it was impressive not only to lord harkons oponents, but also to the other space wolves. …

from a techpriests pov:

ironpriest tolkar, one of the oldest ironpriests still alive is probably the one that knows best what is good for morkul and what not. he might also know what morkul actually is, or what it might feels like to be morkul. unfortunately tolkar never really talks about harkon and his “machine” or the strange relationship they cultivated. the only thing known about this strange trio was, that there must be something like a secret chamber for harkon and his wolf in almost every place they were ment to stay longer than just a view days. on fenris this chamber was for sure hidden deep in the fang. on the “fang of dawn” -which was the battleship on which harkon came to this planet- there also must have been such a secret place …. because one thing was sure about harkon and his wolf: out of any unknown reason they seemed to avoid the company of their brothers whenever they had the chance to. the only time when there was a chance to spend some time in relative close proximity to this strange rider was during battle. but in most cases right after the last blood was shed harkor moved back to his secret place. another strange thing about harkor himself was, that his title was officialy “lord”, although he did not command one of the chapters companies. there were a lot of stories and myths arround regarding this issue. some said that harkor once had his command but lost his entire company in a way, to tragic to tell openly. some other say that there happened something special, that caused the great wolf to promote harkor to lord, even without a own company to command. anyway.- most people seem to be sure about, that all these strange facts are somehow related to the relationship between harkor and morkul. and whatever tolkar knew, he didn’t tell. every wolf somehow accepted this secret and no one dared to question harkors loyalty. and even further no one ever asked officialy one of the other lords or priests to enlight this issue. in the end it was tolkars duty to repair and service morkul. it was him, who also took care for harkors equipment, armor and weapons. and therefore it was also him who knew both best, even if also he didn’t know everything regarding this strange team. but he knew enough, to judge the secrets related, as important enough to be kept. he also knew that most people wouldn’t even be able to understand the complete truth about harkor, and even less would be able to accept what morkul really was: not only a ancient machine controlled by its’ rider, -no. but much more a mighty warrior, a fearless battlebrother and a faithfull comrade with a grimm determination.

from a builders pov:

it’s always great to build a special character. it’s always great to convert a dreadnought. and at last but not least it’s always great to build something for the space wolves ! a special character gives you the chance to create a very unique and impressive model. dreadnoughts are one of the most fascinating and ancient vehicles, or better said: worriors in the imperium and therefore always deserve a certain amount of additional respect when building them. this means that converting them is a even heavier burdon to carry, but also gives you the freedom to build something really outstanding. some chapters go together pretty good with heavy converting and some don’t. e.g. imperial fists or blood angels don’t. ultramarines with all their eagles and blingbling everywhere are somewhere in between. black templars are even little better. dark angels and white scars even more. but above all others, regarding their suitability for conversions, there are the space wolves. this has several reasons: the first one is their colorscheme. it fits perfectly to earth-toned accesoires on the one hand, but also to markings and signs in colors like black, white, red or even yellowon the other. also grey, orange and green can be combined in a singel space wolf without the need of making it look like a clown. the next thing is, that there are really accesoires existing to attach to a space wolf. i mean others than just auspex, granades and some bags for additional ammo. i’m talking about pelts, talismans, charms, rings, bones, wolfskulls, ritual weapons, leatherbags, long hair, fangs, beards, and a lot more. but he most important reason of all, making them the perfect conversion-army is the fact, that they don’t care about to follow each detail written in the index astartes. this allows the builder to create models, verhicles and weapons, that -fluffwise- would never make it into any other space marine army. – or can you imagine a ultramarine dread that looks like a giant wolf ??? of course you can, but does it make sense? – not really. now some might say, ok .. than if not a wolf, why not making it look like an eagle ??? !!! *LOOOOOOL* … stupid idea!.: a cybot that looks like a sitting eagle.!??? :-) …. but this brings us direcly to another important thing about the space-wolves: their symbol or heraldic animal. it’s a wolf, which allready brings everyting you need. it’s a wild, powerfull, mysterious hunter, that lives on solid ground.

if you combine all these arguments you’ll somehow necessarily will end up at a model that has the following qualities:

- old, grim character with long hair and terminator armour to make it look even bigger and even more important,

- riding on a giant wolf.

- why not converting a dreadnought into this wolf ??? ;-)

- add a huge amount of detail and forge a background, ultramarines would send you into jail for.

E’ VOILA !!!! => the dreadrider is born!

from a players pov:

officialy there’s no chance to play with such a model in a official game. at least not, when it is based on wysiwyg. of course you could say that this model simply counts as a ordinary dread. but soon you’ll notice that this does not make any fun. even further you’ll might get the feeling, that it is somehow discriminating against such a model to be equalized with “just” a ordinary dreadnought. but it was not only me wanting to play the model as what is was, no matter how many points i would have to pay for, but also the opponents who wanted to take their chance to fight against something unique. you have to know that there’s no model in my entire army that wasn’t converted or has its’ own background. this makes it even harder for me to force my army into a out-of-the-box scheme. but nevertheless there are always players asking for battles against my army everywhere i show up with it.

from BobPandas pov:

well, once the idea was born, i wasn’t able to forget it any more. => up from this moment it was clear to me, that i would have to build it. the great thing was, that from my bitzbox’ pov there was no argument speaking against it, because all parts needed were already there. so i had to buy nothing additional to realize this project. but the most important argument of all was, that this has never been done before.

ok … that’s it for the background and general info about this model. the next part will be about the buildingprocess and in contrast to this article with almost no text, but a really huge amount of images showing almost every single step.

thanks for reading, comments welcome! … ;-)




  1. ade sagt:

    i love this conversion, please send me some more info???????

    1. Shadowhunter sagt:

      Wow, I really love alle your conversions, but this one is simply amazing!

      I’m currently building a dark angels army, and this has given me the idea to build a mechanical lion! It will take a while though, I don’t have a bitz box as impressive as yours :)

  2. bulldog sagt:

    Please let me know if you’re looking for a article author for your site. You have some really good articles and I believe I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d love to write some articles for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine. Please blast me an email if interested. Cheers!

    1. BobPanda sagt:

      sounds good.
      at the moment i’m really very very busy at my work.
      but i’d love to release some articles again.
      to be honest i do even some some material already collected.

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