Showing posts with label tanks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tanks. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Wash Out Your Eyeballs with This.

All of you hobbyists out there know you started out with Lego, or at least had them at some point. This video makes me wonder why we gave them up. The stock LR kit doesn't even have the wheels and rubber treads that even make it potentially mobile, so it takes some heavy converting to make the thing move, much less remotely. 

But Legos? Man, you can really master the possibilities, as this guy did. 

Happy Tuesday. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Tale of Two Land Raiders....

When I'm wrong, and I know it, I'm willing to admit it. 

However, first, thing's first. By way of a commission from my favorite client, I finally got to work on a stock Land Raider. 

Here's Infernus in all his glory. Like all GW kits, assembly is slightly a pain, but overall a pretty solid build. Since the client had a Chaos kit, Infernus got the sexier belted-ammo Storm Bolter, and the flamer bit went to adorn a Land Speeder. 

I was soooo tempted to hinge those side doors, if only to show off the fully painted interior more. Unfortunately, my tiny drill bit broke a while ago, and I haven't gotten around to replacing it, so those doors will remain fused, and relatively spacious interior largely unseen.  One of the things that troubles me the most about this design is the utter lack of a driver's position. If you'll recall my earliest LR effort, the Refutor, based on an M113, the assault hatch runs right by the driver's seat:

Note that while this tank is perfect for power-armored ladies, it's smaller then Infernus, being shorter and having less headroom. Awww. At least it makes a little more design sense, anyway. While we're looking at assault ramps:

Infernus happens to have an actual magnetic lock on his. This is because the damn thing wouldn't shut all the way after assembly. If they'd taken the trouble to make the mechanism out of say, tool steel or something, you'd have a much more robust build. The flimsy plastic mechanism makes me sad. The damn thing just wouldn't shut, so I had to put the mag-locks and little metal plates for them to glom onto in there. This makes Infernus look like a yawning hippo when his doors are open. I'll call it a net win and leave it at that.

I have to say, I thought the LR kit would be smaller than it is. For  GW tank, it's refreshingly large and chunky. Large enough to accommodate 10-16 (or 8 terminators)? Therein lies the comparison. Now we put on our Jeremy Clarkson Top Gear hat, and do a comparison of Infernus side by side with Fortinbras

Fortinbras is longer. Much longer, thanks to his tracks and slightly larger (if not as well ventilated) engine section. In case you care, that runs up to that panel with the shovel on it. The crew section starts under the panel with the stowage bag on it and runs forward to his stubby (by comparison) assault ramp. So, there's a bit more crew room, but the driver inside Fortinbras is presumably sitting suspended in a gimbal sort of chair under one of the two hatches. 

While Fortinbras has much better ground clearance,  he also has a bit less headroom. The middle section is about the same width on both tanks, but Fortinbras appears slimmer because his tracks are narrower, and he lacks burly treadle units (something I intend to fix on the plasticard clone). He is a bit taller than Infernus by virtue of his heavy bolter turret being higher up, and thus having a better field of fire. Unlike Infernus, he has to turn slightly to fire his lascannon sponsons directly behind him, and thus can only blast away with one and the heavy bolter. 

Poor ungainly Fortinbras. He is a MK-1a, after all, and that newer MKII has its perks.

Like being driven by someone apparently not actually inside the tank.

And I'm not talking about the Machine Spirit. 

So I suppose I was wrong, and Fortinbras isn't actually large enough to comfortably fit the appropriate number of Astartes in either regular or Terminator armor. They'll fit a bit better, but not comfortably. If, like my Rhino clones, a Fortinbras clone is more burly, eschewing ground clearance for interior room, things might shake out a bit differently. Which do I prefer? That's a toughie. Despite the lack of driver's position (something they even manage to work into the lowly Rhino kit) the GW kit is pretty nice, and something I wouldn't regret spending money on, unlike its flying counterpart. 

Happy Wednesday, people. 

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Year-end Tanks....

In the spirit of the season, I'd like to start off by saying thanks to all of you out there who have made this blog a part of your day, or week, or however often you come back. When starting off I'd thought I'd be just another voice in the wilderness, and the sense of community around the hobby blogs had just been astounding. I've learned a lot from reading and following your exploits in modelling and gaming, as I hope you have from mine, and I hope to continue to do so in the coming year. 

Anyhow, thanks to a little extra free time during the Christmas-New Year's week, I was able to get  a couple of projects out of the way, not the least of which were my first foray into the realm of pattern Rhino hulls for the Ultramarines. The project was initially spurred on by my purchase of a large bits lot that included some ancient metal Predator bits and an old Razorback turret (in addition to those old mk1 Landspeeders featured in an earlier post).  As with other pattern hulls, the resulting tanks always turn out a bit taller than the originals if only due to the expedient of having armor skirts instead of exposed wheels:

My one regret from the model was that I wasn't able to fabricate any satisfactory exhausts, and had to go with these boxy ones that look a bit like old-style Jeep snorkels. Maybe I'll come upon another bit for the next set of them but this'll have to do for now. The round detailing bits are from Greatcoat Infantry sprues, in case you were wondering. Used sprues will always be the scratchbuilder's friend. ;) 

They're a bit wider too, thanks in part to the width of the plastic i-beams I used for the track sections. The end result is a slightly larger, heavier-looking tank that looks more durable than Rhino actually is.   

I resisted the urge to saw off the barrel from Leman Russ autocannon bit, since I rather like using twin-linked Lascannons (thank you, Vendettas) to bore through the armor of those pesky Ork battlewagons. The metal turret bits (yes, I have another one) sat way too low, however; so low that I had to build up the hull under them to get the turret to traverse past the pintle-mounted storm bolter. Luckily I never throw anything out, and had some Chimera hull bits that filled the bill perfectly. A little plasticard and some riveting later, and I had a rather pleasing set-back Predator with an offset turret.

The sponson mounts were from the same bits purchase, and didn't come with mounting arms, so I made do with rare earth magnets. In retrospect, I probably should've added an HK missile box to the side of the turret, but there's always the next one. That metal front plate was from the same lot as well, and had a Blood Angels blood drop that was easily hidden with a spare Ultramarines symbol. I wish I had more stowage bits, having shot my wad, so to speak, with my IG tanks. Oh well. Being ship-based, I suppose Marines need to travel light anyway. 

Some newly-minted Devastators next to their new whip. Another benefit of the larger chassis is that it actually looks like it could accommodate half a dozen power armored Astartes. Ten... that's still pushing it. 

The old-style metal Razorback turret sits high enough that a hull mount like the Pred's wasn't necessary, which is good, because I wanted to be able to remove the turret and have it read as a plain old Rhino. The hinges on the side and rear doors were inspired by the amazing card work of Klaus Fischer, a modelling deity in my book who's right up there alongside Dave Taylor. If you haven't clicked around his site, go and do so. His vehicle builds are absolutely amazing, particularly his airborne tanks and their working retractable weapons

Weird to end with a plug, but I write these things off the cuff, so there you go. Thanks to everybody who made this such a great year, and for sticking with me. I wish you all the luck and success in the world, and better 2011.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Forces of the Holy Inquisition Part I: God's Motor Pool.

My first 40k army was the Witch Hunters, and man, was that a lesson in pain. You stinking Eldar players with your bright lances, and you goddamn ork players with your rokkit spam, you can rot in hell. Are you being tabled by newer codexes? Good. You get no sympathy from me. My IG army is revenge for all the times my poor girls were crushed by you Xeno bastards. Of course, it was my first codex, and it was a substandard one. Lessons learned. Anyways, on to the sexy models.

My buddy Bryan was moving to CA and gifted me four 1/35 scale M113 kits, which I set to work turning into rides for the SoB. Luckily, you could fit Immolator upgrade sprue bits to them pretty well.  Pillboxes with treads read as Rhinos, despite the fact that they're a bit larger. Having a plethora of other bits, I quickly cobbled together a pair of turrets so they could be used as Chimeras. 

Man, those 1/35 tanks were a treasure trove of bits. I had enough left over to outfit all of those IG tanks you saw months ago, but these things were the seed. I outfitted some hatches so I could use them as Rhinos, too:

And when FW put out the free update PDF to their Imperial Armour books, which were, of course, loaded with stats and points costs (you can keep the pretty photos and volumes of fluff text, FW) I had access to Repressors, which are lovely armed pillboxes. More fire points, built-in dozer blades, storm bolters, AND heavy flamers? Yes PLEASE:

Didn't I say four kits? Yes I did. One of them became an Immolator:

Dunno why they say it can only carry 6 sisters. There's room inside that chassis for plenty of girls, not to mention the driver and so on. We don't need to carve out generator room for Lascannons, ammo space for TLAC's or any of that. We do, however, unwisely store our accelerant tanks on the hull. That should be a no-no, but it looks cool on the model, so we'll let it slide. The last kit became something else entirely:

I might've gone a little overboard. Man, just look at thosee long, long barrels on those twin-linked multi-melta sponsons. Of course, now you can just explain it away as this thing being a Redeemer with Flamestorm cannons (and that one had BETTER make it into the next WH codex, GW. Are you listening? ). I don't if long smoothbore barrels help the range or penetration of a multi-melta any, but they should. Anyways, it makes a nice ride for my Inquistor, and dwarfs a Rhino kit any way you slice it. Oh ,and if you needed proof it's a LR and not just an over-armed Rhino:

Assault ramps! Don't forget your Angelus-pattern M-16 on the way out, trooper. 

Yeah, that's right, your Inquisitor can ram his way into a building, assault out the front, and his loyal followers can breach right through the tank like it's a boarding torpedo. All that, and the heavy bolter turret's line of sight isn't blocked by the door. 

My first Exorcist was a towering, ungainly monster made out of the remains of an old AT-AT kit. Talk about being too tall and imposing for what it did. Check out that twin-linked pintle-mounted grenade launcher. What the hell was I thinking when I did that? I suppose it might make a neat custom command vehicle nowadays. If I could attach some Lascannon sponsons it'd make a cool Land Raider Helios. 

Last came this little fellow, modelled as another Exorcist. Really, I should've had the forethought to mount that missile launcher forward, so I could use the thing as another Immolator/Repressor, too. Oh well. (sharp eyes will notice the missile box is from an old, old G.I. Joe toy) The Sisters have been relegated to a support role for the IG, now. I hope they aren't going to be nerfed too badly by the PDF that's coming out....

Friday, April 9, 2010

Cloning Tanks Part 4: One Of These Things Is Not Like The Other...

Every motor pool has one (or more); the Chimera that's been repaired so many times it's a testament to spare parts stores and good ole'fashioned elbow grease. You folks will recall a post way back with some un-detailed and unpainted card tanks at the end? Well, I finally got around to finishing them off, and Chimera #3 is one of those. 

I like the way his rear section looks more like a little vault, thanks to the heavy rivets and imposing-looking hatch. Maybe they carry the regimental mascot and colors inside, for all the armor plating it has:

Those first two Chims came from a lucky eBay win (after unloading some old collectibles, a certain reseller had parts on sale, and... gee, can you guess my buying habits by now?) and I fitted them with upper track guards, so I've basically been holding onto the extra tracks for.... my, over half a year now. As you can see, the hull bears the same trademarks of my forge's reinforced armor, ie the heavy riveting (courtesy of ample sprue reserves). As Chimeras have a five-man fire point and no static lasguns anymore, it didn't seem an issue to model them. Our pattern multi-laser is more of a beam shotgun, as you can see, and the roomy turret actually accommodates a entire human gunner instead of just his head. 

Unlike the stylish sculpted GW treads on tanks #1 and #2, #3's are actually strips cut from a single sheet of Plastruct Clapboard Siding detail plasticard. The strips were laid over plastic  I-beam strips, which I also used for quick and easy track guards. The rear hatch is  static, of course, while I used lengths of paper clip (run directly through holes bored into the sculpted hinges) to articulate the Chimera hatches on #1 and #2. I would've liked the sub-doors on those to open, but they weren't molded in such a way that hinge-boring was possible. Oh well. #1 and #2's unused tread sections made two more Chimera tractor bodies possible:

Need quick and easy Hydra turrets? Get a $7 defense line turret, close the box with plasticard, add a top hatch and a Tau drone for a tracking radar, bolt the AC's on the sides, and then secure the whole shebang to the hull with rare-earth magnets. Those extra-blocky heavy duty treads you saw on the Basilisks way back are a thing of the past, I'm afraid. I'm quite taken with the i-beam-and-detail-plasticard approach to cheap, inexpensive treads. 

Added a few vents to the back for spice. I need to replenish my stowage bits box. I sort of shot my wad with the Basilisks and Leman Russes. But of course, they're modular:

So now I can go back and make two more Hydra modules for the Basilisk tractors, and a couple of artillery modules for these, allowing me to potentially field up to four of one or the other at once! WHA HA HA HA!!! 

Ahem. Sorry, still on the Dalek high from last time. 

I would have made Chim #3 modular, but I'll always need dedicated battle taxis anyway, so it's better to have a mix of modular bodies and static ones, right? Hmm, come to think of it, I need to make something up to serve as a Hellhound, too, don't I? Can't field Hydras all the time.

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. 

Sunday, February 28, 2010

The End-Boss, Nightbringer!

This blog recently shot past 50 followers, so to start off, a heartfelt thanks to all of you for reading my rambling posts and ogling my models. I hope you've found my works as inspiring as I have all of yours, and look forward to providing much more to come. As a reward, here's  a boss monster encounter for you:

I always found the Nightbringer model rather plain and underwhelming, and the Deciever model more so (which is why I have yet to purchase one), so when I found this fellow for a scant $12.00 on eBay, I snapped him up and set to work making him something to fear. He struck me as being the sort of fellow you'd encounter at the end of the game, all powerful attacks and high HP/MP totals, and a tall ghost with a simple scythe didn't quite cut it. 

The Dark Angels' iconography is full of all this lovely imagery of the Angel of  Death as well, so I thought to make him  this alien monster that combined that with Necron elements. I replaced the dinky little scythe with some bent metal bits to suggest the form without being one, and deepened/lengthened the shroud with green stuff. The halo and single golden wing owe themselves to Sephiroth from Final Fantasy 7 (proceed to groan and slap your forehead if you must, but I thought he was a great villain...), whose final form at the end of the game was itself full of fantastic angelic imagery. Tau bits with their pseudo-egyptian designs are incredibly similar to the Necron look (you can tell how deep the well of inspiration runs in GW by that, I guess) and so work for Necron models quite well.

I also gave him a pair of  living metal "wings", with the idea that they weren't attached, but sort of floated around with him in an unearthly way. Those rather large bits are from an old Bayblon 5 ship model I picked up as part of an airship project that never materialized (more on that later). Though the model looks rather top heavy, it's actually quite well balanced. One tends to forget that this thing is basically one big metal stick, and properly anchored is  a very solid model. I used, as I do a lot these days, a nice thick bit of coat hanger, deeply drilled into the base; the same gauge I used for the floating "wing". I didn't want him to be too bright and gaudy, and so stuck with black highlighted with Dark Angels green to further tie him into their imagery. 

So there you have it, the Angel of Death, one of the first C'tan reawakened. Just in time, in fact,  to see the rise of my new Void Dragon Tyracrons. A friend of mine and I were discussing the Tyranid fluff, and how they're being drawn to Earth by the Astronomican. What a rude surprise for them when they draw near and the Void Dragon pops out, hungry for living energy after his long, long imprisonment. He'll probably eat his way back through the swarm like fire following a fuse.

Now, as I'm waiting for some monstrous creature and Necron bits to come in, I thought I'd burn through some more plastic card and build some tanks:

That's two Hydras and a Chimera command vehicle, waiting for detail bits. The Hydras are modular but the Chimera is not (I suppose he could be...) and the Chim needs to be built up a little more so as to include the fire ports for the passengers. I seem to be out of stowage bags and duffels, so I'm not sure what I'm going to do beyond storage boxes; some comm relays and a lot of riveting probably. Barring any superheavies (don't really ever play any Apocalypse battles, to be honest) these should flesh out my Imperial Guard motor pool for some time.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Cloning Tanks Part 2: Artillery

Back from the dentist with a numb jaw today, so that means more tanks. You'll remember these fellows from a post or two ago:
Today we're concerned with the little fellow on the left, the Griffon mortar tank. Nothing wrong with him; Griffon's a fine little tank for the points cost. However we need something to really pound those orks and other monsters into the turf, and his little mortar doesn't quite say "stay out of my deployment zone.  This time taking outlines and measurements for replication was a bit more difficult, as he came from eBay already assembled. I resisted the urge to pull him apart like a wrathful god, and just went with it. Hours of measuring, cutting, glueing, and painting gave us this:
They were made in the same frenzy of building that brought the cloned LR tanks about, and so share some of the same aesthetic; boxy hulls, big, heavy-duty treads, and more stowage and other tanky bits out of the steadily-emptier bits box. In retrospect, the Chimera chassis is so widely used in the Imperial Guard forces I should've built eight or ten of them, but this level of scratchbuilding really takes it out of you. However, I did have the presence of mind to build in one feature the LR clones lacked:
These suckers are modular. The gun assembly slides right out of the tractor section, which grips it tightly without needing to resort to magnets. Now I can make Hydra turrets, Manticore missile racks, even more Chimera hulls if I need them.
I lacked the bits to build a bunch of intricate artillery workings, not to mention crewmen to man the guns, so I just used old paint pots for the breech workings and called it a day. They're hidden by the hull sections anyway, and not so ugly and half-assed looking that they hurt the eye. Honestly I made sure to pack on enough detail on the hull, so even though the guns themselves are rather underwhelming, the model as a whole looks pretty darn good. In fact when they were done, I was genuinely surprised at how well they came out.
In future I'll just look for an inexpensive Chimera hull bit so as to trace them more accurately, but I may just default to the sizing of these to keep things uniform looking. I do like the burlier, more aggressive feel they have over the standard Chim.  I'll definitely keep to the more modular "universal tractor" idea, just to give me room for more interesting builds. Lord knows there are enough Chimera-chassis tanks in the Guard codex. 

In other news, the majority of you have spoken, and the Tyracron will keep his Tau legs. I won't, as someone suggested, change the name to TyraNecroTauCronAnids, as the Tyracrons are supposed to be Void Dragon Necrons, anyway. I've been sketching up some monstrous creature ideas, and it looks like the Carnicron might get a set of EVA-style jaws...