Monday, March 1, 2010

Cloning Tanks Part 3: The Proxy.

Part of the the fun of 40k is is making and fielding army lists, as we all know, but sometimes you just don't have that amount of models in your collection. Who keeps four Hydras anyway? What about when you want to field that many Hellhounds instead? Well, my answer for this has always been the Proxy Tank. This little fellow was my first:

A simple M8 mortar tank model, gifted me by a friend (he was moving and giving piles of stuff away) I fitted him with Sentinel multi-laser and painted him up in my Skitarii regimental armor colors (we're from a mountainous planet, hence the rocky camo). This little fellow stood in as my first Leman Russ for a while, until I found a LR kit cheap on eBay.

As you can see, they're nearly the same size. This little tank as also doubled as a Hellhound, a Chimera, and Demolisher, bless him. I was tempted to modify it with sponsons, but that would've pushed the model too far in one direction. The proper Proxy is an amorphous thing that could be one model or another, because it reads as both. If you're playing against good natured folks they'll give you the benefit of the doubt. Now this guy:

He's a sure departure from the norm, but he fits the theme of a Mechanicus force, which you'd expect to have weird war machines. I came up with him after seeing these things:

(image is copyright: Lucasfilm, used without permission) 
The Star Wars prequels suck ass, but honestly the Clone Wars TV show has to be the best thing to happen to the franchise since Return of the Jedi left theaters in the '80s. I loved the look of this bug-eyed artillery droid,a nd had been wanting to mess around with the Defiler chassis for some time. So, a few hatches and headlights later, you have Mr. Crabby:

Not exactly an accurate port. I probably could have mimiced that armor carapace using the Aegis Defense Line barricade set, but I also wanted to use the Defiler torso as a turret to tie him visually to my Leman Russ clones. The cannon barrel is from the Manufactorum sprue. I cut plastic card into cog shapes for the armor plating, thickening the leg shields and bulking the model out satisfyingly. Since he's supposed to stand in for a tank and not stride into hand-to-hand combat, I elected not to order the set of Defiler claws. I struggled for a while with the idea of replacing those foot claws with tread units running up the lower leg, but treads would buck the idea of having legs in the first place.

The turret is also magnetized (he's getting a Hydra turret soon)  and I kept the legs unglued because A) I like posability (though it's bitten me in the ass, as is the case with my posable Warhound) and B) transportability. Mr. Crabby disassembles extra-small, and fits into a cubby hole designed for a Sentinel model on my Vendetta's foam tray. He measures up quite well with Leman Russ models, too (although he's a bit taller):

That list down the foreleg is a list of campaigns and worlds. It's a nice little element that also adorns the hull of my proxy superheavy and a couple of Dreadnought. The superheavy is an old Sherman toy I resurrected and fitted with a massive Zoids Gojulas cannon:

That scroll under the eagle on the hull says "Ordinatis Minoris". I used it once in a friendly game as a Basilisk, but honestly the model is so much larger than a Chimera chassis, that it was just better for all concerned for me to make those clone Basilisks featured a few articles ago. I don't see that gun being anything lighter than a Titan's Volcano cannon. The thing is just too damn big.

Nonetheless the size of the model allowed me to do some cool things, like that little shrine inside the back compartment. I thought about making a roof to enclose the gunnery section, but the tank is as tall as a three-story building (apologies for not having an infantry model for scale) and realistically, an AP round is going to bore its way right through those slab sides anyway. I need to make a template for Mechanicus symbols; hand-painting them is a disaster. The half-cogs for my standard tank insignia come off well enough, but that one on the side of the SPG took forever to fine-tune and correct. If I ever make another one, I'll probably just use more Manufactorum panels. 


jmezz382 said...

Awesome stuff ..... amazing what can do and think of using to make it fit an army no ?

Anonymous said...

I have intentions to do a similar model with the Defiler, however instead of leaving the turret side sections with hatches I want to mount the Predator sponsons there leaving the hull itself with just the lascannon or heavy flamer. Not entirely sure how I want to model it yet (an Executioner could be fun...)

#2501 said...

In hindsight, I should've magnetized the main barrel and side hatches so I could've subbed in Hydra autocannons. That way I wouldn't have had to swap out an entire turret. Oh well. This way he breaks down smaller.

Col. Corbane said...

You're just doing this to upset me arn't you!

This stuff is amazing, any chance of a shot of your entire army or are you just going to tease us bit by bit - lol

#2501 said...

@ Col. Corbane: Flip back a few posts to the Air Support one. There's an all-army shot up there.

Of course, it's only of one of my armies....

Col. Corbane said...

That's just obscene!