For someone as obsessed for Goblins as me, Wolf Riders have always been my preferred pieces of an Orc & Goblin army. But I was born too late to buy the older versions and the first ones I knew were Aly Morrison and Colin Dixon's Wolf Riders. Unfortunately I was too young and too poor to buy those metal models and had to settle with the plastics from Battle Masters (as almost all my friends used to do back in the day).
So 30 years later, collecting and building a Wolf Rider force always looked like a nice project. But there was a problem: The Paul Bonner Syndrome.
As most of you already know, every person that has seen Paul's greenskins in their youth is afflicted with the curse of never having models as good as his illustrations. That's true for Orcs in Space but also for Wolf Riders:
For every iteration of the Wolf Riders (and I've owned a lot of them) there was always something missing. The wolf was too thin, too big, too goofy... And sometimes the rider was just too big. So I ended forgetting about the army. Until 2019.
I was following this guy who made amazing goblins looking like they were sculpted by Brian Froud himself when I saw he won the Armies on Parade contest at a local GW store (he won bronze and Best Newcomer but in my head-canon I've always preferred to think he was the absolute winner). I was following Sebastian Stuart's awesome goblins for some time at that point, but missed an idea he had 3 years before about using Chaos Warhounds as mounts. So, when I saw the painted Wolf Riders my jaw dropped.
They were perfect! I tried to build one but the proportions were wrong and I knew I was missing something...
Fast forward: On December 2022 I tried again and bought some plastic wolves, visited all the oldhammer pages I could find, even contacted some shady metal recasters (sorry, but the prices of old metal models are nuts because of the speculative market), but ditched the idea months later after I realized buying from the UK sellers wasn't an option anymore.
But again, December 2023 hit me and I found myself browsing over old hobby sites (while setting up my new RSS app) and took a look at the Wolf Riders again. But this time I clicked on a WIP post where Sebastian explained how he actually built the wolves... And God, I was amazed. I immediately sent an email thanking him for the tip (though I missed that line for years), that's how thrilled I felt. And you are not going to believe what he did after that.
Instead of sending me a bunch of WIP pictures or a list of bits, he sent me a PDF booklet with the whole thing, using the same layout of the old WD magazine supplements and those beautiful Paul Bonner's drawings... It's crazy good, you'll see (at the time of publishing this post he has not made that guide available on his site, I'll edit this with a link as soon as it is online).
EDIT: Just on time, here's the guide WARHAMMER GOBLIN WOLF RIDERS MODELLER’S GUIDE.
But at this point maybe you need some context in case you don't know Sebastian's work and his Eastern Empire site. He's a graphic designer that's been releasing Warhammer Quest tiles and cards and unofficial Warhammer Quest expansions with amazingly crafted books. A true hobby hero.
Yeah, our man is a star. I always wanted to make a little review of his work for you (specially for the new lads from Mastodon who never met him on Instagram or the Birdsite years ago), and this week looked like the perfect occasion.
So now I've secured enough bits to build my first 10 Wolf Riders using his method (although I'm having some trouble finding Gnoblar heads at the moment) and will begin as soon as I can. I'll post some WIPs, I promise.
EDIT: In december 2023 Sebastian decided to go completely nuts and published his guide to converting the whole goblin army of the Bloody Shield. And it's even better than the wolf's.