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EDIT: PER REQUEST, NOW INCLUDES STEP-BY-STEP BUILD ON PAGE 3
Following on from Brent's thread yesterday, here is my take on modifying the great Leman Russ MBT.
So, I'm a bit of a treadhead. Only really an apprentice one at present, but we all have to start somewhere. This is my first conversion attempt with the goal of creating something more realistic. I'd done plenty of weapon swaps before, but nothing on this scale... yet.
I've always felt Guard were more of a WW2 army than a WW1 one, and I've long wanted to update the Russ to better fit the aesthetic of more modern tank design. My initial 'backwards' Russ was based on an image posted on another forum of his modified Russes, which caught my eye:
I followed this, not focusing on a specific real-world design, but a desire to have a more angled main armour plate. The front "block" was built with milliput, although plasticard would also work. The back was originally going to be flat, but this looked unbalanced, so it was bulked out using the lascannon housing and exhausts, and with auxiliary fuel barrels on the track guards in the style of a T-54:
In the end, the whole thing came out looking a bit like a stripped-down, scaled-down Baneblade chassis:
(This is currently awaiting weapons and sponsons because, although it was originally going to be a vanilla Russ, it's been re-assigned, and will now be a demolisher.)
I was reasonably pleased with this, but wanted to go further for a second conversion by having a go at the tracks as well:
This Mk4b (see fluff below) draws inspiration from the M4 Sherman tank, especially the bogied suspension.
In a perfect world, I'd also lower and flatten the whole body of the Russ. Short of sticking a heavy turret on a (heavily) modded Chimera chassis, I don't yet know how I'm going to do this.
I've deliberately added quite a lot of stowage and battle damage to these tanks, because I want to show a tank mid-campaign, rather than drawn up for review on the drill square:
(You may be able to tell on this picture that the fuel drums are a little further aft on the Vanquisher than the standard Russ. This is because I forgot to check the turret size before assembly - with the barrels forward, the turret can barely be fitted, and would certainly scrape the paintwork very badly when painted. Whoops.)
I've also written up a small amount of background for the vehicles:
Leman Russ Mk4 "Solon" Pattern
Named after the great Warmaster Solon, the Mk4 pattern Leman Russ is built in the forges of Accatran, and is widely distributed around the sub-segmentum. The most notable feature of the Mk4 is that, compared to the standard STC Russ, it appears to be backwards. This often leads to mocking laughter from other armoured regiments. However, the tank crews who have been saved by the increased armour afforded by its sloped glacis plate know the advantages that this re-design brings. They lovingly refer to its shape as the "Baby Baneblade".
The two primary sub-classifications are the Mk4a, which has solid side-skirts, and the Mk4b, which has the skirt cut away to hull level. The Mk4a is better protected, but a bumpy ride at high speeds; as such, it is commonly used to mount the Demolisher pattern turret. The Mk4b leaves the tracks more vulnerable, but also includes better suspension for overland travel.
Last edited by Lavallin; May 9th, 2009 at 23:55.
I think they look fantastic! I love the idea of 'backwards' Russ', as I, like you, feel the Russ' doesn't quite look right. I love how they look, and the conversions you have done to them really make them stand out.
I look forward to seeing how they come out when you paint them!
wow, great idea well worth stealing once I finsih out my ork forces.
question: are you making dedicated turrets or are you going to make modular ones for when you want to try a different variant?
Nicely purloined idea! I can't help but feel they are reversing though.
It would also confuse the hell out of me during games, I'd keep thinking I was hitting you in the rear armour!
I know what you mean about still looking backwards, because it's what we're all used to. Hopefully when I get round to painting them and adding a few more details (unit flags etc) it'll be more obvious, although it'll be a nightmare if I try to use them in an Apoc game with someone else's the normal way around!
Looks really good. I've been working on ideas for converting a vanquisher so it'll fit in my army case and this might be the answer. Great use of the kit. I'll definately be taking inspiration from this idea.
And I almost missed it while my internet was down while I was moving!
I can't help but agree with the idea that they are going backwards. I don't think it's a case of 'that's because we're used to it' more that they were designed so that backwards was just that.
However, I firmly applaud your converting of IG tanks. Rep to you.
As someone with a keen interest in armour (WWII and modern) I, like yourself, lothe the WWI GW style, I think it's just wrong and prevents a lot of really good conversion opportunities. At least the new Codex has the Vanquisher as an option, for me your basic Russ has to have a long barrell. With most tanks for the past 80 years or so having the same basic shape why do GW need to hark back to the days when tanks were largely experimental?
I like your Sherman drive train with its independant suspension, but feel that you now need to go to the next stage of ditching those GW side plates so that it becomes a true WWII/modern tank.
Hmm, I was thinking of building a Russ with a Vanquisher cannon and you have got me thinking. I will have a go at replicating a modern main battle tank using GW tracks and running gear, plasticard, GW gun and GW stowage. I will get out the books and have a look at a suitable tank to base ideas on, perhaps an M1 Abrams Tank will look the part.
The next problem of course will be length. How much longer than a standard Russ do you think would be game legal? Or do you think that as long as it's no bigger than a Land Raider it will be fine?
Thanks for giving my modelling a new lease of life, my painting table has been bare for a while and I have been going nowhere thinking of something to do.
I'll report back on progress and include some pictures.
Keep up the good work on converting tanks, you never know, you may have just started something new
Tank Inspiration pictures by Lavallin - PhotobucketAs long as it's not smaller, if anything, you're disadvantaging yourself relative to the original kit. As a rule of thumb, I probably would try not to change any of the dimensions by more than about a third or so; and if you decrease one dimension (making it harder to see), increase another one to compensate. Thus, a possible scaling would be something like 133% length, a similar width, and 66% height - I would have thought that should be legit.The next problem of course will be length. How much longer than a standard Russ do you think would be game legal? Or do you think that as long as it's no bigger than a Land Raider it will be fine?Glad to be of service.Thanks for giving my modelling a new lease of life, my painting table has been bare for a while and I have been going nowhere thinking of something to do.
Normally I hate the reversed Russ Idea, not due to the look, but its just doesnt always come out that well.
But I do have to hand it to you, thats a great sytle and flavor you got to the tanks there.
Bravo on the designs.
Also, most of those tanks pics from that link are from members of a converions forum known as Work In Progress made by a great converter called Grey Death.
Check it out here: Work In Progress
Very interesting converions and some great tread heads on there that may provide you with some more inspiration.
On the backwards comments, I think the only thing that really bothers me is the upturn in the tracks at the back. Seems like they'd be doing Russ wheelies all the time. I'll look into squaring that off or look into other track options for mine.
From your inspiration gallery. That one listed as the King tiger is great. I usually don't like modern tank kit bashing as it just looks like a T-34 (or whatever) with an IG guy hanging out in the hatch. But that one still looks pretty 40k to me besides the sleek main gun. I would just ditch the machine gun bubble for the more standard coweled one.
Do you have any more information on that Tiger? What kit he used, more pictures, whatever. It doesn't really look like a King or normal Tiger so I'm having a hard time figuring what it is.
Also that Steel legion halftrack is amazing
EDIT: I found the thread to that tank. Almost all plasticard. Guess I'll get into 3dmax and start designing my own tank.
Here it is