The Player: tkwg
The Codex: Codexes are for 40k plebs, 30k players buy red books that are out of date before they’re shipped.
Points: Approximately $650 in kits, tools and bits.
Building Since: April 2019
Instagram: tallkidwithglasses, DM me for prices on feet pics.
Greetings gentle Goonhammer reader, I’m posting ne’er do well and certifiable crazy person tkwg, and for the past four months or so I’ve been working on a small tank conversion:
A Stormhammer, king of the Baneblade variants! One of my armies is the Solar Auxilia and this is sort of their signature tank, so as a challenge to myself I really wanted to go out of my way to do a centerpiece model. Here’s a bit of a log on how I went about doing it, but I have to say that even after writing this I’m no closer to understanding whatever fatal flaw in my psyche compels me to make such creations.
Here’s where I started- John R. Mullaney did a cutaway drawing of a Baneblade in a White Dwarf approximately six million years ago, and it’s always held a lot of charm for me. I used this as both a pseudo reference image and a source of inspiration throughout the construction process.
Detailing out the turret. This is all plasticard and photoetch scratchbuilding.
Here’s where my brain worms really begin to kick in. As part of my mandate to challenge myself with the build, I decided that it both needed lights and I would have to wire them myself. I do not know anything about electronics, but fortunately I live pretty close to medium-tier poster and s-tier human General Olloth, who had me over for an afternoon of beers and soldering (I drank most of the beers). Despite my sustained efforts to murder us both in a house fire, I end up with three LEDs on a circuit with a 9v battery and a switch. In the future it’s probably more straightforward and not substantially more expensive to just buy one of the numerous fine lighting kits available online, but I’m glad I went through this particular process for this particular tank.
Building out interior details. Gunners in the tank are Solar Auxilia weapons team operators, which is a monopose sculpt. Since I’m using a bunch of them in the build, they needed to be subtly resculpted so they had a little variation. The commander model is a titan Princeps in a WW2 fighter cockpit with a couple extra bits mashed on.
At this point the interior is beginning to fill out- the LED is wired through the engine room, various bits are added to the walls and cavities of the tank, and the crew is dry-fit into place. This is the precise moment in the build that I decide I don’t like the loading mechanism and decide to redo it.
It’s only at this point that I finish off the exterior casemate panels and am able to build the “closed” version of the tank for the first time. I fit everything together and thankfully the gaps aren’t horrible.
Almost ready for painting, which means a round of detailing on the walls. Detail comes from photoetch kits for a model tank and bits from all over the 30k and 40k range.
The first round of painting is the detailed stuff- crew, turrets, instrument panels and assorted interior junk. I prime black, base silver and then glaze down with gunmetal to get some nice color richness.
Mood lighting. When you have a light up tank you tend to also have a compulsion to turn on the lights and just stare vacantly at it, it’s nice.
I’m a pretty strong preshading devotee. In this case I prime black and preshade Vallejo Rust to set up salt chip weathering- after this I brush paint on regular table salt and water, and seal it with a second preshade of Vallejo Bonewhite.
I clean up the exterior by panel lining all of the detail with brushed on enamel – this is the big step that takes it from looking like a sad mess to looking like a cool model.
One of the last steps for the exterior is decals, I have a couple left from the coveted Solar Auxilia sheet and I go a little hog wild. I went with number 54 because Bobby Wagner had recently signed his extension – all the tanks in my army are numbered after some kind of Seattle trivia, usually sports related. After decals is some light pigment weathering, but nothing too aggressive. Just some soot on the cannon barrels and dust on the treads.
The last things to go into the interior were the Mechanicum engine room guy and this servitor pal. Noted fellow sufferer of conversion brain worms BULBASAUR was insistent that I should have some kind of Imperial bean counter in the command compartment and the unofficial 30k goon mascot is Bonely the servitor, so I saw an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone here. After about 4 months of building and painting, I have myself a big stupid tank! I look forward to its immediate annihilation the first time I try to play a game with it.