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Adeptus Custodes Miniatures Warhammer 40k WIP it good

Second squad of Custodes

I started building this squad of Allarus Custodians — the first three of 10 Terminators in my draft army list — last night, and finished it up this afternoon: Kanumba, Cathalan, and Adomako.

L to R: Kanumba, Adomako, and Cathalan, Allarus Custodians with Guardian Spears

As with my first squad, I stole the Shield-Captain’s build for one of them — Adomako — because I love the stance and how tall the model is with its upright spear. I’ve also got a pretty good sense now, after two Custodes kits, for how I can twiddle some of the monopose elements and do a bit of mixing and matching in order to keep them all distinct from one another.

I looked to Africa for two of their names: Ghana for Adomako, and Tanzania for Kanumba. The third, Cathalan, is an Old Irish name — a variation on Cathaláin.

While these kits have the awesome “turtle shell” vibe that defines Terminators (for me, at least), and huge presence, I think I still prefer the Custodian Guard models by a narrow margin. They’re still pretty boss kits, though — and I’m not sad I’ll be building more of them.

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Adeptus Custodes Miniatures Warhammer 40k WIP it good

The custard must flow: one squad assembled

I finished my first Adeptus Custodes squad tonight, adding Halfden and Konstantyn to my first custard lad, Inkaef, to form a full unit of Custodian Guards with Sentinel Blades and Storm Shields.

L to R: Inkaef, Halfden, Konstantyn

In 9th Edition, this unit is 234 points. Three troops in my Deathskulls Ork army would be . . . 24 points.

Playing around with points, I think I’m probably only going to get three sword-and-board Guards — so I picked my three favorite poses, stealing the Shield-Captain’s build for Halfden (center) and swapping out the pre-molded Misericordia hand for a Storm Shield.

The Guards have my favorite helmets in this army, so when it’s time to replace Trajann’s bare head with a helmeted one, I think I’ll be tracking down one of these — or maybe I’ll have a spare, if I stick with 9 Guards (since two boxes is 10).

So far my naming scheme for Custodes is “whatever sounds fun, and has a basis in Earth history.” Halfden is a riff on an old Norse name, Halfdan; Konstantyn is a one-letter shift from a 12th century Russian monarch, Konstantin. They’re an unusual force, largely flat on an organizational level, and they don’t have squad leaders or a monocultural origin. I like that their names reflect that.

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Adeptus Custodes Miniature painting Miniatures Warhammer 40k

Adeptus Custodes Dread Host color guide and painting steps

There are relatively few Adeptus Custodes units, and from what I’ve seen they all use pretty much the same colors (adapted per one’s shield company) — kind of like Deathskulls Orks. So I have a feeling one main color guide will cover most of my army.

Bases

As ever, I’m using a recipe from White Dwarf 161 (Nov. 2016) for the terrain, and washes/shades are in italics.

  • Terrain: Stirland Mud > Agrax Earthshade > Golgfag Brown drybrush
  • Rocks: TBD, but reddish rocks might be a fun change; my instinct says darker than usual
  • Skulls: Corax White > Agrax Earthshade > Corax White drybrush
  • Tufts: TBD, as I want to see how a base turns out first; I already have three varieties that might work

Custodes

These recipes cover the basics for Dread Host Custodians, and in general they come straight from Citadel (with a few tweaks). I default to Citadel’s Parade Ready steps (base/shade/layer/layer), but with these guys I’m mixing in a bit more drybrushing than usual as well. Gems are a big deal for Custodes, so I’m going to attempt a more realistic and detailed approach on those — and ditto with all their fancy blades, for which I’m trying Lahmian Medium for the first time.

  • Armor: Retributor Armour spray as both primer and base coat > Reikland Fleshshade > Auric Armour Gold > Stormhost Silver
  • Dread Host black:
    • Left pauldron: Abaddon Black
    • Robes: Abaddon Black > drybrush Eshin Grey > very lightly drybrush Dawnstone (follow option two in this excellent Artis Opus tutorial)
    • Weapons: Abaddon Black > Eshin Grey > Dawnstone
  • Dread Host gems: Stegadon Scale Green > Coelia Greenshade > Sotek Green in a crescent from 2 o’clock to 8 o’clock > Temple Guard Blue in a smaller crescent over the Sotek Green area > dot of White Scar at 11 o’clock
  • Dread Host eyes: Sotek Green (note this is a layer paint) > Temple Guard Blue
  • Blades: Stegadon Scale Green > Sotek Green + Lahmian Medium > Ulthuan Grey + Lahmian Medium > Fenrisian Grey + Lahmian Medium > Ulthuan Grey edges > dot of White Scar on the tip (follow this Warhammer TV video, but focus the lighter colors towards the tip/outer edges rather than in two areas)
  • Dread Host leather bits: Celestra Grey > Drakenhof Nightshade > Ulthuan Grey > White Scar
  • Plumes, tassels, cords: Mephiston Red > Carroburg Crimson > Evil Sunz Scarlet > Wild Rider Red
  • Metal: Leadbelcher > Nuln Oil > Stormhost Silver
  • Parchment: Rakarth Flesh > Agrax Earthshade > Pallid Wych Flesh > White Scar > Eshin Grey for the writing

I haven’t decided whether or not I’m going to follow the Codex’s guideline for robes (they generally match the shield company’s color, so black or black/white for Dread Host) or the lone Dread Host mini pictured in the Codex, whose robe is red outside/white inside.

Painting steps

For the early steps, I’m painting my Custodes like I paint terrain, rather than figures — and there’s no touch-up step. That plus doing primer and base coat as one, with no overnight cure time, should make them significantly quicker to paint than my other models.

  1. Assemble: I’m planning to build lots/all of them at once, then spray them all (rather than having parallel tracks for assembly, priming, basing, and painting on multiple units).
  2. Primer and base coat: Spray the whole mini with Retributor Armour, which also only needs 15 minutes to cure (rather than curing overnight).
  3. Shade: Wash the whole mini in Reikland Fleshshade.
  4. Base: As per usual, but apply the texture paint carefully around the feet so that the model is clearly standing atop, not mired in, the terrain.
  5. Base coat non-gold details: Everything that shouldn’t be gold gets a base coat, but approached with the care of highlighting — IE, I’m not bodging on paint and fixing it in a touch-up step. Like when I paint terrain, I’m carefully painting details surrounded by areas that are at a different stage of completion.
  6. Wash non-gold details: Ditto, but for shading. As with terrain, small, precise washes are the order of the day.
  7. Highlights: Now I’m back to my usual process and order, as the whole mini has been base-coated and shaded. Just highlight everything.
  8. Seal: No weathering or decals for these lads, so just my usual Vallejo matte white sealant.
  9. Tufts: As per usual; apply with white glue.

I always like to use a new minis project to build on existing skills and knowledge (e.g., painting these Custodians like I learned to paint terrain) as well as learn new ones, balancing the latter with not overwhelming myself and risking burnout. For my Custodes, realistic gem shading and more detailed fancy blades — with Lahmian Medium, which is new to me — are my stretches. I’m also hoping that a whole army painted without a dedicated step for touch-ups will help me paint more precisely across the board.

As I get into actual painting, I’ll update this guide so that it remains current.

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Adeptus Custodes Miniature painting Miniatures Warhammer 40k WIP it good

40k army number three: Adeptus Custodes of the Dread Host

I’ve been maintaining my hobby streak for miniature-painting (today is day 495), but over the past few months my pace has slowed considerably. I’m okay with that, and I stand by my philosophy on this: Any forward progress beats the zero progress I made for many, many years. Even if all I do is paint one Deff Dread’s horns, or one Marine’s Bolter, I’ve done something to keep the train moving.

If the train stops, it may not start up again for a long time (if ever).

But it hit me this morning that just as working on terrain was a great palate-cleanser between finishing my Blood Angels army and starting my Deathskulls Ork army, a third army might be just the ticket here. If I’d done that when I first got into painting, with my Angels, I probably would have lost all my momentum and burned out.

But now, with one 2,000-point army ready to go and a second with 37 figures done (32 standard-sized and 5 large ones)? That feels quite different.

My first model in this army, a sword-and-board Custodian Guard

It’s custard time

Way back in the before times (March 2020), when I was deciding what army to paint, I almost picked Adeptus Custodes because of the sheer awesomeness of the Vertus Praetors and Custodian Guard models. Blood Angels were the right call, though, and Orks were the right call after that — but now it’s time for the golden legion!

As a palate-cleanser, they fit the bill perfectly:

  • It’s an elite army, so it can be tiny. My current draft list is 20 infantry models and 6 bikes! That’s about half the size of my Marine army and a third the size of my Ork army.
  • Assuming I make them gold (which I will be), they’re like 90% gold — which means I can spray them with Citadel’s Retributor Armour, and treat them more like terrain. Primer and base coat in one, with just a handful of details to pick out after that. Boom.
  • Custodes should play quite differently than either of my other two armies.
  • They should also look different from my Angels, even though they might wind up gold/red. I’m basing them on Stirland Mud, and the studio recipe for their gold is slightly different.
  • I can also paint them as being clean and perfect, a marked shift from my Orks — which have a whole bunch of steps after I’d normally be done with a Blood Angel (checks, weathering, etc.).
  • Hell, I can probably even fit them in my existing overflow storage without needing to buy more cases. (And even then, they need one case at most!)

I also considered Grey Knights, who can rival the Custodes in the low model count category — and take Terminators, my favorite 40k unit, as troops (yes, I knocked together a 100% Terminator list just to see what it might be like). Ditto Harlequins, who have fascinated me since high school, but I was surprised to find that they’re not nearly as elite and actually need a fair number of bodies on the field. And I’d previously thought about Necrons and Death Guard, too. But none of them ticked as many boxes, nor felt as right, as Custodes.

At my fevered 2020 summer/fall pace, I could paint this entire 2,000-point army in 6-8 weeks. Now, something more like 4 months is probably reasonable. If I keep slow-rolling it, maybe 5-6 months?

I still don’t know if it’s “cuss-toe-dees” (my brain’s default pronunciation), “cuss-toe-dess,” or “cuss-toads,” but I do know that this is about half of my entire army:

Given that I’m currently working on Orks, where I’ve painted dozens of minis and barely hit 500 points, this is going to be a refreshing change

Dread Host

I’m drawn to the Shadowkeepers based on their lore, and they do also look cool — but I want gold Custodes. As with Marines and Orks, it seems silly to go the custom route and lose access to rules for the canon shield companies (the five in the Codex), and not at all sporting to choose a custom color scheme and pick the best rules that week.

Setting Shadowkeepers to one side, I find myself drawn to the Dread Host — the Custodes who will smash your whole planet just to show the other planets what’s what. And I dig their color scheme, which uses black pauldrons, white leather bits, and blue gems. Even if I go with red plumes, they’re not going to be confused with Blood Angels.

As is traditional, I’ve kicked things off by building my first Custodian to mark the official start of my army: Inkaef, Custodian Guard of the Dread Host shield company. (For BA it was Sergeant Karios; for Orks, Moonkrumpa . . . who I tweaked and rebuilt like four times.)

Inkaef, my first Custodian

I was tempted to lean into the whole pronunciation thing — and gently deflate the over-the-top bombast of the Custodes — and name the members of my custard shield company using Latin words for food: Shield-Captain Prandium (breakfast), Warden Bubulae (beef), Vexilus Praetor Capsicum Anuum (potato), Custodian Acetaria (salad). But that’s not me; I like the pretentiousness of the Custodes, who make the Astartes look like bastions of modesty, and I generally take my names seriously.

With so many Renaissance Italian, Latin, and Greek names in my Blood Angels army, I want to avoid the obvious choice — Roman names — for my Custodes. Since they’re drawn from the ranks of all the myriad noble houses of Terra, why should they all have similar names? My plan is to name every model (unlike my other armies, where I only name the characters, squad leaders, and vehicles), but beyond that I’m not sure how or if I’ll theme their names. (Inkaef was a 4th dynasty Egyptian prince.)

In any case: Onwards, custard legion!

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Deathskulls Orks Finished miniatures Lightbox photos Miniature painting Miniatures Warhammer 40k

Mukkit’s Murda Mob: now a full complement of 3 Killa Kans

I started Killa Kans two and three — Stikkit and Skraggit — back in April, and finished them up on Thursday night. They join Mukkit, my final mini of 2020, to form Mukkit’s Murda Mob, which bring my Deathskulls army up to 591 points.

The Killa Kans kit is incredible — just absolutely packed with modularity and personality — and I had a great time with these two (as I did with my first Kan).

Waaagh!

Since I have a better lightbox now, I figured I’d roll Mukkit in as well and have the whole gang in one photoshoot.

Here’s the whole mob, at what I hope are their golden angles:

Mukkit’s Murda mob, L to R: Stikkit, Mukkit, Skraggit

I crossed my fingers when I painted each Kan a different shade of blue, but now that they’re all in one place I like that effect. In combination with my other units, it looks suitably hodgepodge for Orks.

And here’s each Kan individually:

Mukkit
Skraggit
Stikkit

…And then shots of the whole mob from all four sides.

Head-on
Left side
Rear view
Right side

The space-snail Skraggit is about to stomp on is from an Age of Sigmar kit, the Squig Herd. Wanting to use him prompted me to pose Skraggit mid-stomp, creating Skraggit as a character at the same time. Here’s his close-up:

Squeesh

I made a little slimy trail for him by forming a shallow trough in the texture paint, applying extra Agrax Earthshade to that area, and then skipping it when I drybrushed the rest of the base. It shows up best from above:

Slimy

Next up is my Oldhammer project: 10 vintage ’80s/’90s metal Boyz, include 2/3 of the Goffik Rok band, with a little light kitbashing to bring all their wargear up to a reasonable WYSIWYG standard for 9th Edition. Too rowdy to be led by a Boss Nob, they’re oldsters who don’t play by the rules — and love to play their looted ‘oomie instruments. Their draft name is Deff Metal Mayhem.

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Deathskulls Orks Miniature painting Miniatures Warhammer 40k WIP it good

WIP it good: Da Fancy Wun, my Taurox Trukk conversion

I finished Da Fancy Wun last night, so while the varnish is curing I figured I’d post the WIP photos I took along the way.

This is the final post in a five-post series documenting this Trukk. Assembly is in part one and part two, the color guide is in part three, and the finished product is in part five.

Bottoms of wheels base-coated, shaded, and varnished (so the paint won’t rub off the spikes while I work on the rest)
Clown car aesthetic coming together
The Squig is probably my favorite part of this Trukk
Fully base-coated, waiting for touch-ups (with my amateur green stuff kintsugi on the mug in the background)
Touched-up and ready for shading
With vehicles, I always start with the underside

There are three great milestones in any miniature-painter’s life: drinking your brush-rinsing water (I haven’t done this, but I’ve come closer than I’d like), shaking an open pot of paint (check!), and spilling an entire bottle of Citadel shade paint.

Inky ghost says hi
This was the point where I worried I’d gone too dark with my shading
Fully shaded, starting in on highlights

Overall I’m pretty happy with how Da Fancy Wun turned out. There are things I’d do differently on my next Trukk, but that’s always the case. I’m looking forward to getting it into my new, larger lightbox to see what it looks like up close.

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Deathskulls Orks Miniature painting Miniatures Warhammer 40k

Converted Taurox Trukk color guide

This Trukk — Da Fancy Wun — is an experiment in more than one way (it’s my first conversion!), and on the color front I’m trying two things: four recipes for blue on the same model (Trukk parts, Taurox body, the gunner’s armor bits, and the signature blue fender and gunner’s war paint); and splashes of colors that are uncommon or unseen in the rest of my army (so far), like gold and dark red, for a bit of a “rusty, ramshackle clown car” aesthetic.

This is the third post in a five-post series documenting this Trukk. Assembly is in part one and part two, a few WIP shots are in part four, and the finished product is in part five.

Da Fancy Wun fully base-coated and touched up, waiting for shading (March 2021)

I’ve pulled the Taurox Prime recipes straight from GW, twiddled a bit; most of the others are from GW’s site or White Dwarf. As always, shades/washes are in italics.

Worth noting: I painted, washed, and sealed the metal and rubber on the very bottom of all six tires (and let the sealant fully cure) before working on the rest of the Trukk, so as to avoid rubbing off the paint every time I set it down. This proved to be a good idea — and I wish I’d done the whole tire, not just the bottom, because I rubbed all the paint off many of the rivets on the tires over the course of painting the rest of the model.

Also worth noting: I highlighted the rubber portions of the tires before deciding how to weather them, and the weathering approach I chose basically erased all of those highlights. A step to skip next time!

  • Taurox body: Russ Grey > Agrax Earthshade > Thunderhawk Blue > Fenrisian Grey
  • Taurox gold: Retributor Armour > Agrax Earthshade > Gehenna’s Gold > Auric Armour Gold
  • Taurox red panels: Khorne Red > Agrax Earthshade > Wazdakka Red > Squig Orange
  • Trukk parts blue: Macragge Blue > Agrax Earthshade > Calgar Blue > Fenrisian Grey
  • Trukk tire rubber: Abaddon Black > Skavenblight Dinge > Stormvermin Fur
  • Trademark blue fender: Caledor Sky > Drakenhof Nightshade > Teclis Blue > Lothern Blue
  • Metal: Leadbelcher > Nuln Oil > Ironbreaker
  • Brass/bronze: Warplock Bronze > Agrax Earthshade > Brass Scorpion
  • White glyphs/decorations: Celestra Grey > Agrax Earthshade > Ulthuan Grey > White Scar
  • Ork gunner: From my Boyz color guide, skin #6 (Caliban Green base), blue #3 (Thousand Suns Blue base), black pants, brown shirt, and Zandri teeth/nails.
  • Squig skin and NOS tanks: Mephiston Red > Carroburg Crimson > Evil Sunz Scarlet > Wild Rider Red
  • Squig eyes: Averland Sunset > incidental but helpful Carroburg Crimson wash when I do the face > Yriel Yellow
  • Squig teeth and nails: Zandri Dust > Seraphim Sepia > Ushabti Bone > Screaming Skull
  • Squig gums: Screamer Pink > Carroburg Crimson > Pink Horror > Emperor’s Children
  • Fuel tank: Averland Sunset > Agrax Earthshade > Yriel Yellow
  • Headlights: Moot Green or Averland Sunset > Agrax Earthshade > Moot Green or Yriel Yellow
  • Roll bar wraps: Zandri Dust > Seraphim Sepia > Ushabti Bone > Screaming Skull
  • Severed head flesh: Rakarth Flesh > Druchii Violet > Pallid Wych Flesh > White Scar
  • Severed head hair: Dryad Bark > Agrax Earthshade > Gorthor Brown > Baneblade Brown
  • Weathering and embellishments: These steps all happen after the rest of the mini is 100% done (including highlights); not every Ork uses all of them:
    • Checks: Macragge Blue and Corax White; I wrote a little guide for these
    • Chipping: Apply dots of Leadbelcher on the high points, edges, and surfaces where paint would naturally have been worn off
    • Battle-damaged edges: Tiny dot/line of Rhinox Hide > mirror the same shape with a line underneath it of whatever blue base coat I used for that area (Warhammer TV reference video)
    • Bullet holes: Highlight the edges of the hole in the appropriate color (e.g. Calgar Blue), then apply Leadbelcher to make it look like the paint was blown away
    • Built-up rust In spots where it can accumulate over a long period, such as on and around bolts, apply thinned-down Skrag Brown
    • Rusty streaks: Thinned-down Skrag Brown > thinned-down Fire Dragon Bright (like I do on my 40k terrain)
    • Verdigris: Nihilakh Oxide
    • Grime: Sponge on Rhinox Hide
    • Caked-on grime: Typhus Corrosion
    • Dusty, dirty tires: Thinned-down 50/50 Dryad Bark/Zandri Dust > thinned-down Baneblade Brown in the deep crevices > Tyrant Skull drybrush > Seraphim Sepia pin wash to reestablish the crevices (I followed this Way of the Brush tutorial, but modified it based on my colors on hand and used water instead of Lahmian Medium; this approach isn’t ideal for the metal/rubber combo tires on the Trukk, though)

I have to varnish Da Fancy Wun in two stages — tires and undercarriage first, curing for 24-48 hours upside down, and then the rest — so it’s going to be a few days until I can get it into my (new!) lightbox for some photos. It’s been a fun ride!

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Deathskulls Orks Finished miniatures Lightbox photos Miniature painting Miniatures Warhammer 40k

At long last, Thragg’s Deff Ladz! Plus six variations on Ork skin

I built the first of Thragg’s Deff Ladz (my second mob of Boyz for my Deathskulls Ork army, Moonkrumpa’s Megalootas) on January 17th, and have chipped away at them slowly but surely for the past two months. Since I’ve mostly painted rank-and-file Orks so far, this 98-point unit brings me up to 356/2,000 points and 34 finished models.

Back in February, after I abandoned the notion that I was going to paint these lads in two batches; painting 11 minis at once kind of bogs me down, but I can’t argue with the logic of it

I’m not painting at the same pace in 2021 that I did in 2020. And that’s okay! Even if I only do 5-10 minutes in a given day, my hobby streak remains unbroken (today is day 387) and those few minutes are still more than the zero minutes I was putting in for many, many years.

Part of it is that after a year in isolation, the prospect of actually playing 40k still seems like it’s probably 8-12 months away. I’m still enjoying miniature painting as a hobby, but now I have one finished 2,000-point army — the goal of finishing a second feels less urgent. So I’m taking it easy, not gunning the engine and risking burnout.

Along the way, I also picked up a second paint rack. My whole paint library is now accessible, with room to spare. I’m an organized person, by and large, and this appeals to me greatly!

Man, I picked a weird-ass angle for this shot

Anyhoo, time for some Boyz! Let’s fire up the ol’ lightbox.

Get stuck in, you gits!

Thragg is in the center; my favorite in the mob is on the far right, biting that Space Marine dagger blade-in because Orks are not so bright
Rear view of the first five
The second batch; I also like the rightmost mini a lot
Rear view of the back six

And as always, a casual shot (a mix of natural and artificial light):

All 11 of Thragg’s Deff Ladz

Ork skin tones

With Thragg’s Deff Ladz complete, I’ve now used all six skin tone recipes that are currently in my main Ork color guide (plus 3/5 of the recipes I use for Deathskulls blue, and both of my teeth/nails options). The Ladz are a mix of two quite different schemes, one based on Castellan Green and the other on Caliban Green. I love the Caliban version; they start out super-dark green (with a black wash) and highlight up to a very cartoony look.

Now that I’ve tried them all, I took four photos showing each of the six colors, all in the same order (which is the order in which they currently appear in my color guide). So in terms of base paint > shade paint, that’s:

  1. Waaagh! Flesh > Biel-Tan Green
  2. Waaagh! Flesh > Athonian Camoshade
  3. Deathworld Forest > Athonian Camoshade
  4. Deathworld Forest > Biel-Tan Green
  5. Castellan Green > Athonian Camoshade
  6. Caliban Green > Nuln Oil
It took some doing to find one of each with no war paint on their left arms!
Same models, but in a full-body view
And again, but this time in a casual shot with different lighting
Same lighting, full-body view

Recipes 1 and 2 are almost identical to one another; ditto with 3 and 4; really, I have four major recipes with two variations. The variations only differ in which shade paint is used, and unless they’re side by side and you know to look for it that difference is hard to spot. But I like variety in my motley crew, and even just counting the four “main” recipes I’ve got quite a bit of it in my army (all tied together, I hope, by their shared palette of secondary colors and especially by their war paint).

Similarly, my blue recipe built on Kantor Blue is quite similar to the default Macragge Blue version (at least the way I wash and highlight them). But Thousand Suns Blue makes for a vibrant and quite distinctive finished product; I really like that one.

Next up is Da Fancy Wun, my Taurox/Trukk conversion, which is currently primed, partially painted, and waiting for the sealant on the bottom-most wheel spikes to cure.

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Deathskulls Orks Miniatures Warhammer 40k

Converting a looted Taurox Prime into an Ork Trukk, part 2


Part one
covered measurements (Trukk vs. Taurox), most of the cab, the chassis, and the axles and wheels. As before, the foundation of, and inspiration for, this conversion — my first — is the excellent work done by Hobbyistgirl on her Taurox Trukk conversion. I’ve diverged a bit from her build, and I’m diverging from it more in this second post.

This is the final second in a five-post series documenting this Trukk. Assembly started in part one, the color guide is in part three, a few WIP shots are in part four, and the finished product is in part five.

I want my converted Trukk to still look ramshackle (an actual game mechanic that means you can only do so much damage to the vehicle, as it’s so full of holes and gaps already), despite the pristine armored compartment for the driver. That starts with the engine compartment, which I’ve built around the idea that my Meks chopped off the front end of the Taurox and slapped in a big-block engine with a blower.

My finished Taurox Trukk conversion

Let’s get choppin’

First, I shimmed the spot where the engine will sit to make it the right height.

I think this shim is a piece of Trukk chassis
I added the exhaust pipes on the right side of the Trukk engine, but not the left

Then I cut and weathered the Taurox engine compartment panels and glued them in place. I used the Taurox exhaust pipes on both sides; on the left side, they’re intact. I also used the Taurox light on the left side, since I like asymmetry in my Ork stuff.

On the left side, I was able to keep the whole Taurox exhaust assembly

I didn’t notice the cool NOS attachment that’s supposed to go on the left side of the engine until it was too late; I’ve already partially blocked that spot. (No worries, though; I trimmed it a bit and jammed it on there later.)

Right side attached
Top of the engine compartment attached, and now you can’t see inside so there’s less to paint

I covered the unsightly gap, and the shim, with a bit of trimmed-down Trukk scrap.

Corrugated Ork scrap

Then I roughed up the grill from the Taurox and stuck it to the engine, alone with the Trukk bumper (attached exactly as the kit intends, since I left the front of the Trukk chassis intact in part one).

Taurox grill, Trukk bumper

I like the idea of my Orks being like, “Oi, let’s put dis bit back, hurr hurr,” and then sticking the grill back on because it’s funny.

Next I added the bed sides, armor, and roll bars per the Trukk instructions.

Stock Trukk bed parts, assembled per the instructions

DakkaDakka lists the Trukk’s height as 3″, and my converted Trukk is already 3″ high at the roll bars. I wasn’t sure I liked the boarding ramps, so this is a great excused to not use them as they’d make the Trukk much too tall. So instead I chopped them to roughly match the height of the bed sides.

Ork OSHA does not approve of these side panels

Next I added the turret, gunner, and Wreckin’ Ball. This pushed my Trukk up to about 3 1/2″ tall, which doesn’t seem like a huge deal. I forgot to take a photo of that stage, but I built those bits just like the stock Trukk; the Trukk turret is exactly the same diameter as the hole in the Taurox roof.

After that, it was time for greeblies, covering up holes, creating new holes, and weathering the Taurox bits so they don’t look too pretty. I also added a Squig, because I love Squigs and empty truck beds on miniatures look weird, and I stuck a sign with the Ork glyph for “danger” just below him.

Right side of the finished conversion
Front
Left side
Every pickup truck needs an angry dog in the back, right?

This was a really fun conversion, and a good choice for my first. Thanks to Hobbyistgirl’s WIP pics and guide, I had the confidence to give it a shot and a basis for diverging from her build where I wanted to achieve a different effect.

It’s about 1/2″ taller than the stock Trukk, but it’s the same width and length. The silhouette is roughly the same, although the cab is certainly more solid. I tried to make that section look as ramshackle as possible while still being recognizably a Taurox Prime. All in all, I did a pretty good job of hitting all of my initial design goals — not perfect, but I’m digging it.

After a bit of thought, I’m naming this Trukk Da Fancy Wun.

Categories
Deathskulls Orks Miniatures Warhammer 40k

Converting a looted Taurox Prime into an Ork Trukk, part 1

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!

This is the first post in a five-post series documenting this Trukk. Further assembly is in part two, the color guide is in part three, a few WIP shots are in part four, and the finished product is in part five.

Spoiler alert: this photo is from the end of part one

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:

  • Length:
    • 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″
  • Width:
    • 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.

Taurox cab and chassis plus Trukk bed

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.)

Trukk bed pieces, with the top one modified to accommodate the Taurox roof
Top view showing how the Taurox roof slots into the Trukk bed

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.

Does it look like crap? Yes, indeed it does

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.

I circled the bits of shim that I added to the chassis

Next I glued on the chassis, then the axles (upside down, relative to how the Trukk kit wants them used).

Shimmed rear portion of Trukk chassis with Trukk axles flipped upside down

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 had to shave the boxed area with my hobby knife to get it to sit snugly around the protrusion on the Taurox chassis

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).

We’ve come full circle

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.