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Lots of text and babble to follow, apologies in advance.
I was lucky enough to get a Baneblade around Christmas, and since my next two weeks or so are free before I have to get back to school it seemed only right that I start working on turning this imperial tank to the greenskin side. I've been planning and thinking a little bit while working on my new Trukk kit, and now that it's over with I have a couple rough ideas of what I want to do.
My goals with this are:
- To have a superheavy tank that I can run as either a Skullhamma, a looted Baneblade, or a looted Hellhammer. I plan on using it primarily as a Skullhamma because it is a pretty great transport. For the last two, I would basically pay the points cost of the tanks out of the apocalypse book, make the entire tank BS2, and ditch the special rules like the commissariat entirely. It probably wouldn't be worth the points cost by then, but damnit it will be fun.
- To put a deathroller on the front of the baneblade. I can't help myself, I just really need to put one on here. I don't think any form of the baneblade can actually take a deathroller - even the skullhamma doesn't have one - but I feel a tugging need to do it.
- One big, beefy, souped-up engine similar to the one on the Forgeworld Battlewagon
After hashing this out a bit, I tried coming up with what I thought was a decent rough sketch.
Despite the fact that the plan looks like it was drawn up by a five-year-old with a sharpie, you get the general idea of what I was thinking. However, this has a number of problems, not least of which was that the deathroller blocked off a gun.
I started thinking about it a little bit and after a little searching 'round The-Waaagh.com's Mek's Garage, I found my holy grail for the project.
This is a baneblade made by 'Orchead The Red'. You can see more pictures of it here. It is beautiful, and based off the Forgeworld Baneblade if I'm not mistaken.
This immediately piqued my interest, as it not only had the deathroller on the front, but it lifted the entire chassis up in a way such as to fit it in a much more appropriate spot. Unfortunately, the parts used to make this model are absurdly expensive - I believe there's a forgeworld ork rhino in there, two deathrollers, a couple grot bombs, not to mention the actual baneblade itself. With all that said, though, it gave me a lot to think about.
I would have sketched a new design out after having seen this, but honestly it seemed like a waste of time since this thing is blueprints enough for me right now. I'm going to be emulating Orchead's general design in lifting the chassis with a couple of my own kustom modifications - I won't be buying any forgeworld parts for this, except maybe one grot bomb if I can find one anywhere. I'll be using some of the newer ork parts from the trukk sprues that I have left over, and scratchbuilding the rest! Hopefully by the time I am done, I will have a worthy rival to this juicy warmachine.
So, with all that planning, I had to start somewhere. It took me a few hours to carefully cut and clean all of the parts from the Baneblade sprues. I've left the tracks and the really tiny detail parts on them for the time being to better keep track of them. Here's my bin-o-tank-parts:
One of the first things I did was trim the 'frills' from around the outer track guard edge - if I am going to anchor side track armor from them, those little detail bits around the tracks have to go. (See the picture back up at the top around the bottom near the tracks for an idea of what I'm talking about).
Despite appearances, I managed to remove the plastic frills sticking out off the bottom of these plates fairly smoothly. There were one or two spots where the knife (or I) had a bit of a hiccup, but those are easily patched over later on.
However, I very quickly realized this conversion was not going to be as easy as I had hoped. You see, there's a problem with the wheels. The unfortunate fact of the Games Workshop baneblade is that the tank wheels are not separate pieces.
As you can see, the wheels on the inside of the tank are cast into the body, while the outer wheels are all stuck together like shown. This makes raising the chassis of the tank problematic, as the wheels all need to be lowered. What's a mek to do?
Well, there's something of a solution. It involves the ever-villified casting of parts.
The Baneblade kit comes with two 'free' wheels on either side of the tracks for the ones that stick out significantly in the front and back from the tread guard - this means each baneblade essentially comes with the parts to make four separate, loose wheels that are not molded into the body of the tank. If you take a look, you'll see that these have teeth on the back to mesh with the treads:
I snipped those teeth clean off so that the tank wheels would sit flush on their backs.
Put simply, I'm going to be casting these 'hubcaps' so that they can be used to cap off my own custom-made tank wheels. I know people have a habit of getting up in arms about casting in general, and this might get me in a tiny bit of trouble, but I think I am justified in my need to do so with this project - there is no other way of aquiring the necessary parts short of scratchbuilding identically, intricately detailed tank wheels, and that is a feat I don't think I'm up to. I'd gladly buy them from GW or even BWBits if they were available, but they're not. I'm not going to go into the process of casting them here simply because I don't want to cause too much trouble, but basically while I work on the top part of the tank I will be creating the 20-some wheels I need for the 'lifting' process, as well.
So, these are my beginnings. I already have a (cunning?) plan for how I am going to be manufacturing the deathroller, but my priority in the next few days is to work on assembling the top of the tank up to par prior to mounting the body on a new, lifted tread assembly.
Ahhh, jamsessionein and his projects.
Well, this is an ambitious one that will be intresting to follow.
I assembled the general top chassis a little while ago after dremelling the wheels molded onto the interior sides.
This is an understandably early step to be posting stuff up about, but I want to make sure my foray into possibly mangling a baneblade is well-documented. It seemed like with a general chassis to build upon, a proper plan was needed. This is the general concept I came up with:
The medicine bottle is there to stand in for a death roller. I'm really not sure what I want to do with the top aside from a really big gun, but a modified turret doesn't look so bad. The grot bomb launcher ramp is on the top of the baneblade, but I think it's probably a bad spot for it as it would block the gun's rotation... depends on how I end up building it, honestly, because I may be able to make it so the barrel is able to clear the ramp. Then again, the gun doesn't necessarily have to rotate, either.
I want to cut boarding ramps into the side of the thing - I'm thinking maybe a pair on either side.
I'd love to get some ideas on this.
I don't get the ramp on the top of the bane, and I think you can make a way cooler engine than that, have chucks of engine poking out all over it because I doubt orks can make a machine that functions anywhere near as easily as the space marines.
Oh its a grot bomb launcher, thanks duane.
I think you could do a way cooler looking turret, something like making it more of a cannon and less of a turret in the way that its just a big barrel with the crew putting in shells themselves, if anyone can do it, you can.
I love the Forgeworld Deathroller, but it's a pricy piece of kit and I kind've wanted to challenge myself with making one. I've never built one before, and the curved surfaces are hell to make, but I think what I've produced so far is reasonably good. I documented my process so that you guys might have some idea what went on in the hours I had free today.
I started with a medicine bottle of appropriate size and dimensions to create the massive deathroller I wanted. I also obtained 'cake shapers' from a craft store near me, JoAnns, when they were having their going out of business sale. I have no idea what these things are actually supposed to be used for, but to me they look like they would make mighty fine roller plating.
This saved me the massive headache of trying to heat and bend the styrene to armor-plate the deathroller, or using brute force like rubber bands to try and keep it stuck down - I've tried stuff like that in the past and it always tends to peel up at the edges.
I figured I'd make three evenly spaced armor strips on the roller, with a wider gap on the sides of the middle plate strip so that I could put spikes around the roller like the forgeworld design has. The first thing I had to do was set up my mitre box so that I could get straight and similarly-sized strips of curved plastic.
I put a pair of clamps onto the mitre box to make sure I would get strips of styrene of identical widths for the plating.
I cut a number of strips up and started fitting them onto the bottle. The outer strips were much easier to line up than the middle one - I could just stand the bottle up flush against my worksurface to make sure the plates were glued on evenly. I think I did decently well, though.
I marked off dots for where I wanted to put some rivets, and stuck the plastic rod I have around into holes I drilled out with a pin vice, then snipped the excess rod. I also whipped out a sheet of thick styrene and a heavy-duty knife and started cutting the little 'teeth' I needed for the roller - after about an hour of hacking and gluing, I had a basic deathroller!
I only put the spiked teeth around the front 1/3 or so of the deathroller, as the rest will be concealed by the tank itself - no sense troubling myself over detailing stuff nobody will see.
Here's what it looks like 'fitted' (positioned) onto the baneblade;
I understand this isn't exactly a proper tutorial on building the roller - after all, it requires some fairly specific pieces (cake shapers?) and is not too thorough, but I'm trying to properly document the creation of this thing, so there you go.
The roller's not actually done yet - I need to cut a styrene disc out to cap the open end of the medicine bottle off, add some more details to the large flat curved plates, and add some details to the sides where it will connect onto the tank. Still, not bad for today's free time.
That looks awesome and very promising, jamse. I like how you used materials that I bet no one would have guessed. You are a true hobbyist when you see potential conversion-goodies in everything!
What kind of detail are you talking about on the flat 'roller surfaces? Spikes? Scratches?
As always jamsessionein I am in awe of you looted conversion skills, I'm lookinforward to seeing this come together the same as I always am with your pieces.
aut viam inveniam aut faciam / I'll either find a way or make one.
amazing conversions i agree with Nachtjager
I felt like detailing the deathroller a bit, so I spent some time cutting and drilling and gluing all the tedious, tiny little pieces. It's not hard work, just time-consuming, but I can do it while I watch TV at least.
I have the wheels I need for the tracks all ready and done, but I'm having a hard time of sorting out the order I need to work on things in. Part of me wants to put the tracks on so I have a fixed height for the model, but the other part wants the open space in the track guards so I can do things like wire lighting through easily or add ramps. Not to mention I've no idea yet how I'm going to be putting the track wheels and treads together! Really not sure what to attack next. I might make the barrel for the main gun when I next have free time while I consider it all.
Oh my god! The squished grot really sets it off as being a masterpiece! Fantastic work! :happy: