Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Salamander Conversion

The latest Forgeworld Order ...
After some feedback from Admiral Drax, I decided to splash out on a Salamander kit.  The idea was that I could just get the conversion kit, and slot it on and off the back of the Hauler transport vehicle to make two interchangeable vehicles.

The Hauler is basically the leftovers of an old Basilisk conversion, and is just a Chimera with no roof, used as an artillery tractor.  It has no in-game effect (although I may whip up a VDR for it soon), it's just designed as a 'terrain piece' for my artillery units.



The Hauler, after a bit of
tweaking to accommodate
the Salamander parts
Drax pointed out that the Salamander shields slot on and off what is basically the frame of the Hauler, so I could just get the conversion kit then have the option of using the Salamander when I needed it.  Suitably inspired, I went ahead and ordered the conversion kit (which doesn't come with the Chimera hull).

Below is the Hauler on my modelling table.  The first problem was that I'd stuck in some fuel drums and workbenches which meant the Salamander parts couldn't fit on.  I remedied this by carefully snapping these bits off, and regluing them flat on the floor, so that they didn't obstruct the Salamander parts from slipping on.  Snapping off parts like this tends to leave a 'bubbly' effect where the poly cement has worked on the plastic, as you can see above the red fuel drums.  Before repainting, I'll sand these down to take it back to its original shape (Just thought:  Liquid Green Stuff might help here?  Watch this space)

With all this work completed, the hull now easily accommodated the Salamander parts.  The two bits that didn't quite go were:

The gap between the gun shield and the front part of the Chimera.  On the pic below, this is the dark gap between the painted hull and the Salamander bit, this being due to me adding the hatchway you can see on the top photo.  Unlike the fuel drums, held in place with a dab of glue, this is 'flat-on-flat' plastic, so the glue is squashed out and covers the whole surface of the hatchway.  This meant I couldn't remove it without causing extensive damage, and besides it's needed for when it's in 'Hauler mode'.  I'm going to make a bit of rolled-up tarpaulin which will cover the gap when I put the Salamander parts on.
Shown with the Salamander parts
added.  This is still the 'dry'
tinkering stage, testing and adjusting
to see what fits.

Also a problem was the gap between the floor of the Hauler and the level of the Salamander platform.  This was more easily solved by adding a piece of the original Chimera hull, suitably trimmed, which covered the gap.
    The addition of a small part of the
    original Chimera hull.  Bitz box
    invaluable for this!
    And there you have it!  A completed modular Guard vehicle!  This is the first time I've attempted something on this scale and I have to say I'm pleased with how it came out.  A lot of dry tinkering time with no glue helped, and also it illustrates the point very well that a model is never ever finished!  If you're prepared to take to a beloved old model with a pair of pliers and then do a bit of touching up, you can make great conversions out of old models, as well as getting the most out of every model.  I'll probably use the Hauler as a terrain piece for larger battles, when I deploy the Earthshaker battery, and the Salamander will make an appearance in smaller battles like patrol clashes and so forth.

    Thanks again to Drax for the inspiration, and watch this space.  As regularly promised, I'll be doing an update on my heavy weapons teams, hopefully tomorrow or Friday.  But for now: may the dice gods be with you all!

    The finished product!  Painting to follow ...


    3 comments:

    1. Looking good.

      I may have to get a salamander together for my guard.

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    2. Fantastic!

      I wasn't expecting you to go to the trouble of the FW kit, but you've really made it work well.

      It's also interesting to see the kit from different angles: I didn't realise just how detailed and chunky it was! Puts my conversion to shame, that's for sure.

      I like the "no model is ever finished," too...

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Forgeworld is expensive, but the models are REALLY nice. When you mentioned it I started looking at the FW kit, saw all the detail and couldn't resist it! Anything like this, where you save a bit of money and get 2 vehicles for one is good in my book.

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