(More pictures -- and a lot of exposition -- after the jump ...)
The link between wolves and the cold, desolate North isn't new.
In Norse mythology, Fenrir was a giant wolf -- the son of Loki -- bond and chained by Odin, destined to grow so large that his upper jaws would reach the sky and his lower jaws would touch the Earth when he howled. He would bite off the hand of Týr, the god of law and heroic glory, and, during the events of Ragnarok, slay Odin himself.
In George R. R. Martin's 'A Song of Ice and Fire' novels, dire wolves are the sigil of House Stark. The children of patriarch Eddard Stark each share a bond with a dire wolf, a connection that is so strong that often their own fates are tied to those of their wolves.
And, dire wolves make appearances in other works, from the World of Warcraft games to the Chronicles of Narnia and from the Harry Potter novels to Doctor Who.
So, when developing the idea for this army, I knew that I wanted to incorporate the dire wolf.
Unfortunately, the Empire had already co-opted the idea with their White Wolves of Ulric, dedicated to the 'old god' of battle, of wolves and of winter.
Thus, I had to weave the two ideas together.
And, obviously, steal the 'god of wolves' idea back.
Fenrir is clearly Norse in origin, and the son of the Trickster God, Loki. Warhammer isn't an unfamiliar realm for Norse deities ('Tor' is the Kislevites' square-jawed warrior god of thunder, for example) and, after looking into the backgrounds and digging through as much information as I could find in the old Fantasy Role Play books, it would seem that Loki's closest analog would likely (and most obviously) be Tzeentch.
So, for army background purposes, Fenrir would be a 'son' of Tzeentch.
Worshippers of Fenrir would see Ulric as a bit of an interloper. I mean, if there is an actual god that isn't just a 'god of wolves' but is, you know, himself a giant wolf and if he isn't, then, following the so-called 'god of wolves' ... ? Well, the math seems pretty easy. And, for his part, Ulric (whose followers seem to get on well with the followers of Tor) could draw a pretty close parallel to Týr.
If one were willing to stretch a bit.
Which I am.
So, then, the Howling Wolves of Fenrir would be a Chaos clan, following a Wolf-like 'son' of Tzeentch, destined to eventually grow so large that he'd break the chains that had kept him bound, bite off the hand of the Ulric (read: Týr) and, then, destroy Sigmar himself (read: Odin).
Sounds reasonable, right?
Also, did I mention that there will be wolves?
Lots of wolves.
Regular wolves (to stand in as Hounds) and, then, people that turn into wolves (ForgeWorld Skin Wolves as, either, actual Skin Wolves or just unit fillers) and, obviously, giant wolves (40K Thunderwolves Cavalry mounts standing in for the Juggernauts for the Bloodcrushers to ride).
Because, you know ... wolves.
And, because it's an 'off-shoot' god of Chaos that they're following, I don't really have to be tied to a paint color.
So, I went with white.
Because, an almost all-white Chaos army, with pale skin and black hair and the occasional blue sprinkled in here and there sounded like a tremendous idea when I was rolling it around in my head.
So, you've read enough. Here are the pictures of Hrólfr ...
I feel like there are a lot of things that 'work' on this model, and a number of things that don't. Though I'm sure you can come up with your own, here's my own personal review ...
Good: First, this was my first real attempt at source lighting (in the crevasses between the rocks), and I think it came out really well.
Bad: The 'mystical ice' effect I was going for on the end of the spear isn't as eye-catching as I'd hoped it could be. It's not nearly so dark in person and I'd be half-tempted to re-do it (again) but, at this point, I'd painted and repainted and repainted and repainted it so many times that it is beginning to lose detail.
Good: The conversion work is very subtle and, I think, nearly unnoticeable which, to me, means that it was done well.
Bad: The back side of the cape, however, suffered a bit in the re-sculpting. However, that'll be mostly unseen when he's standing amongst his troops.
Good: The head tattoo. It's a microscript that, in English, his title as the current 'alpha' of his clan: 'Son of Fenrir.' And, when blown up large enough to actually see, the runic Elder Futhark reads: