One of the things that drew me to Orks for my second 40k army was the conversion potential — which goes double for the Deathskulls, who are notorious for looting stuff before the battle has even ended. When I was looking for Trukk conversion ideas that I thought I could pull off, I came across two awesome posts by Hobbyistgirl where she converted and then painted up a Trukk built around a looted Taurox.
I’ve dabbled in kitbashing but never done any proper conversion before, so this project was a bit daunting — but also quite exciting. Uncharted waters!
Gits love maffs
Grab a shaker of salt for this bit, because holding pieces in place to measure things isn’t the most exact science, and I’m not building a stock Trukk and Taurox just to have them on hand for easy measurements. That said, my measurements/notes for the salient dimensions are as follows:
- Trukk maximum (ram in place) is 6 1/8″, but the ram is optional so 5 3/8″ is also a legal size
- Taurox with bumper but without rear door (which I know I wouldn’t be using) is 4 1/4″
- Trukk measured at the widest point on the side armor plates is 3 1/8″
- Taurox at the rear bumpers (skipping the tread units because I know I won’t be using the rear ones) is 2 5/8″
- Height from bottom of wheel/tread to top of chassis:
- They’re damn near identical at the highest point in the rear, so I didn’t measure
The beauty of Hobbyistgirl’s conversion is that she neatly solves two problems at once: Since the Taurox is too short, lengthen it with the Trukk bed; and since it’s too narrow, widen it by including the stock Trukk bed’s side armor. The height difference is negligible, so that’s not a problem.
I want an Ork instead of a turret, so my Trukk will be about 1/2″-3/4″ higher — in the cab area only — than a stock Trukk. The tallest parts of the stock Trukk are the roll bars and raised boarding ramps, and those will still be about the same height as usual.
As always, my goal is to do nothing that could be considered modeling for advantage. My aim is to preserve the dimensions and silhouette of the Trukk as closely as possible, and if in doubt to err on making it too large (which is a disadvantage, as it’s harder to fit behind cover).
Commence flailing about
It took me a surprisingly long time to actually glue two things together and start this project, because one significant screw-up could mean wasting two costly model kits on a failed project. I did a ton of noodling, test-fitting, measuring, and fiddling before putting glue to plastic.
When I did start, though, I started with what I knew and loved about the foundation of Hobbyistgirl’s conversion: the Taurox cab.
I cut the sides of the cab at the same point she did, and then I roughed them up a bit so it would look like the Orks had done a crude chop job. I left the engine housing off because I’m doing it differently than she did; that step comes later.
I used the same two Trukk bed pieces she did to seal the open back of the cab (I have no interest in painting the interior), and snipped what I suspect is the same chunk out of the top one so I could “slot” the Taurox roof right into it. The bottom one needed a bit of shaving to sit flush. (Later on, I’ll cover the gaping holes with Ork scrap.)
I played with tons of ways to attach the wheels, and ultimately decided that I didn’t like the idea of this fairly heavy kit being held on by tiny contact points on the chassis. So I settled on combing the chassis from both vehicles.
By cutting the Trukk chassis in half, removing most of the lateral supports from the center, and then flipping the Trukk axles upside down, I got the height and amount of glue contact I wanted. Mind you, this Trukk now has the ground clearance of an overladen minivan…but then again, 1) it’s Orks, 2) it just has to look right, and 3) Orks have a unit that’s a teleporting dragster with basically zero ground clearance. It’s fine.
I started by filling the gap between Trukk bed and Taurox chassis with a couple of Taurox bits I’d trimmed off earlier.
Then I added shims of scrap plastic (center supports from the Trukk chassis) where the rear portion of the Trukk chassis was going to go.
Next I glued on the chassis, then the axles (upside down, relative to how the Trukk kit wants them used).
For now, the wheels are just friction-fit; I’ll glue them on later so I can position them correctly — because, unsurprisingly, with all the shit they have bolted onto them they’re not uniformly round.
I wanted to keep the oil drum, and it fits, so I glued the front Trukk chassis in place with that bit intact. (I also left the front ends untouched, in case they’re helpful in mounting the bumper later on.) Then I dropped in the front axle, picking the orientation that made it level with the rear wheels (even though the mechanics of this piece now make no sense in the real world).
I set it down to make sure all six wheels touched the level countertop, and that the Trukk itself was reasonably level (it’s not perfect).
I wanted zero chance I’d break anything off while fiddling with my next steps, so at this point I let the undercarriage dry and cure overnight.
Next up is the front end, which I’ll be building around the big-block Trukk engine. The bed will be framed out per the Trukk kit, and I’ve already test-fitted the Ork gunner, his pintle mount, and the Wreckin’ Ball, so that should be pretty straightforward as well.