Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Ash Wastes Nomad Crawler WIP (Part 1)

In between Christmas prep and keeping the kids amused, I stole a few hours yesterday to make a start on a bit of a slow burn project - making a crawler vehicle for my Ash Wastes Nomads. For a long time now I've been wanting to use a vehicle along the lines of the crawlers shown on p109 of the Rogue Trader rulebook.

Crawlers, Rogue Trader style.

Ideally I wanted something large and slab sided, either tracked on with big balloon tyres. There's quite a few options in the small vehicle / APC size (Daemonscape stocks a dozen or so with the right kind of look alone), but they're all a bit on the small side.

In the end, I did what any discerning hobbyist of the 1980s would have done. I bought a toy. What I bought was one of these - an Action Force Red Shadows Hyena tank.

Action Force was the European equivalent of GI Joe. In the early 1980s, it was a distinct line, which later became amalgamated. The Hyena tank morphed into the GI Joe Cobra HISS tank. I picked up my Hyena tank for just £6 on eBay (missing the turret guns). Importantly, it has just the bulk and size I was looking for.

After removing the stickers, turret and the clear plastic canopy, I set about adding a range of parts from my bits box. The sides got a couple of vents, while I cut a plate for the roof of the main compartment to cover the turret hole.
You can see above, I've made a start on changing the profile of the cockpit / driver area, using the upper hull from an Imperial Guard Leman Russ tank. The hole for the turret will be covered by a large round hatch which will be able to be opened or closed, allowing a model to be placed there. The sides of the cockpit are plasticard, cut to follow the Leman Russ hull. I'm planning on adding another strip of trim where it meets the Hyena tank.
The roof of the main body got some more details; just behind the cockpit is a comms array (aerial to be added), then a tech bit of some kind, followed by a turret from a Space Marine Whirlwind. Finally a small hatch from an Imperial Guard tank.

The rear of the crawler was largely devoid of details. In order to reinforce the scale, I've added the small round hatch (Zinge Industries) and some barrels (again Zinge) and fuel cannisters (Imperial Guard tank). The rungs up the rear were really important to help with the scale - I still need to source a suitable ladder to hang down to ground level.

Still plenty of work to do at the front. I'm debating what to do with the void from the missing Leman Russ hull gun - ideally it will become the driver position.

Finally, a ground level shot. Unfortunately it shows off the worst part of the tank, where the tracks simply merge into the lower hull. Part of this will be resolved by some painting trickery, but I also plan to add another access hatch to try and hide the big blank space.
Don't expect this project to be completed any time soon!


  1. I expect it to be ready for... DEATHRACE :D

    1. Expect, or demand? ;) I suspect it will indeed be ready!

  2. Very cool use of an old tank. The LR hull piece in particular fits very nicely, and changes the profile of the HISS tank in such a way as to make it distinct.

    A few questions:
    Are you going to load it down with stowage? Guns?
    What sort of color are you going to paint it? Something utilitarian, or something flashy like the nomads?

    1. The end result will be weathered and scarred, but I want it to be very flashy. I'm currently looking at painted Indian trucks and Tibetan shrines for inspiration. As for what it will be loaded with - I don't anticipate adding too much external stowage - all the valuable stuff is inside. Similarly, it may get one pintle-mounted defensive weapon, but it's a civilian transport, not a tank :)

  3. Good to see more kitbashing going on :)

    Nice choice of donor vehicle. The old toys are the best for modifying IMO, they're a lot sturdier than modern one's which tend to be far too flimsy.

    About the tracks, you could always cut them apart & make axles for them?

    Obviously still early days, but try not to let the "slow burn" turn into a "can't be arsed" project :)

    Good show old boy, good show!

  4. Very cool!

    For my ash wastes I onmy managed to adjust EE Chimera apc. This one would probably be way too large for out gaming.

  5. Wow, that is a monotrack problem there. Still, I've no doubt you'll solve it in good order. Good luck. It's gonna be bee-utiful!

  6. The thought of cutting apart the tracks terrifies me - it's exactly the type of thing I'd make a hash of (precision work isn't really my thing) ;)

  7. He's a big beastie, but I imagine his main role will be as mobile scenery.

  8. This is sensational! Clever use of the bits, I really like where this is going :)