Friday, June 19, 2009

Charon Pattern Leman Russ, Part 1

I'm working on a tournament list for GenCon, and it came to my attention that the tourney rules state any conversions must be made primarily from GW parts. As such, my King Russ pattern tanks are disallowed, being resincast models. While I do have a single standard Leman Russ, I thought it would be fun to make up an alternate version to better match the theme of the Wyvern-pattern Chimeras, the Griffon and other proxy/counts-as vehicles I've made. I ran across a neat combination of Chimera and Leman Russ kits a while back, and thought I'd try my hand at something similar. I opened up the Closet Of Doom and pulled out the vehicle bits box to see what I could come up with...

I started off with the undercarriage from the leman russ kit, and added on the snall bulkhead piece that is usually used in making a Basilisk to make an offset similar to the Macharius. I glued on the leman russ top hull, and filled in the bottom gap with a piece of plasticard (not pictured).

For the sides, I built up the standard Chimera left and right track sections (after significant searching through the bits boxes to find the appropriate parts), and used my Dremel to sand off the interior hull guides and the hatch combings on the exterior. I cut down the side armor plates a bit with the intention of using them to butt up against the side sponsons.

Once everything was sanded down, I glued the hull to the track units. The Leman Russ hull sits a little higher than the track units in the middle, but I intended to cover the gap with some track guards.

I assembled the tracks and track guards, which managed to cover the gap nicely. I also replaced the standard hull-mounted lascannon with one from the guard heavy weapons teams sprues.

I had a pair of assembled heavy bolter sponsons left over from an older project, which fit on the sides over the sanded-down hatch covers nicely. In the short term I'm planning on using the turret from the standard Leman Russ I have assembled and painted, though I'm thinking I'll eventually pick up a Ryza pattern turret from Forge World (or eBay if I can find one), as it's a little more streamlined and I think it may better suit the model. All in all it was a bit more work sanding and fitting than the recent Griffon proxy tank, but it ended up looking pretty decent. It stands a little shorter in profile than a standard Russ, but it is also a little wider, so I think it balances out in the end. I settled on calling it the Charon pattern, but I'm not 100% sold on the name. I'll have to dig out the Big Book of Mythological Creatures and see if I can find a better name that hasn't already been used...


  1. I believe 'cockatrice' is still available, but it's a bit - y'know - rubbish.

    This is one fantastic looking model. Good thinking, Batman!

  2. That is an amazing looking tank. I love the badass-ness of that hull-mounted lascannon! And I can see how sleek the overall profile of the tank will look. Out of curiousity, do you think you'll be able to make, say, a transport tank of some kind with the remaining parts from the tank kits? I'm just thinking value-proposition here :P

    Also, question on the sponsons - I'm guessing that the sponson weapons currently as close to front-facing as they can be right? Had you considered building the sponson out more so that it could have its full range of motion? If so, what made you reconsider?

    Sexy-looking tank.

  3. Thanks - I was going for a look similar to the Macharius, with the lascannon set back on the hull similar to how the hull-mounted heavy stubbers are on the Macharius. I ended up making a new turret for it to keep the profile a little more sleek - I'll post pictures of it completed later this weekend hopefully. This tank was made up completely from leftover bits in my vehicle bits box, but thinking of the parts that would have been left over had I started with two full kits, there could certainly be some potential. The Chimera hull mounted on the Russ track units (maybe turned backwards or reversed) could be an interesting basis for something new!

    As far as the sponsons go, they get fairly close to being able to point fully forward. A bit of middling-thick plasticard spacer would likely offset the sponsons out enough that they'd have the full 90 degrees of motion. It was one of those things that I didn't really notice until it was already glued on though. Usually my first run at a converted model is just a gung-ho proof of concept to see what works and what doesn't so I can refine the process before I try to make more than one. I'm happy enough with it nonetheless, that would likely be one of the things I'd address if I was to make another one, for sure...

    Thanks for the input!

  4. Thanks Drax - I'd thought about the Cockatrice as well, but I think that's what I'm going to end up calling the twin-linked basilisk heavy artillery crawler I've built, as I like the parallel drawn between the Cockatrice and Basilisk from mythology (both being purported to paralyze their victims).

    I'm thinking that I just need to dig up a likely sounding Forge World that hasn't otherwise been used in depicting Leman Russes, such as the Artemia pattern. We've seen their hellhound variant, I figure that may be suitable...

  5. There's actually a forgeworld - oft referenced in the Forge World books - called 'Triplex Phall'.

    I'm not sure if the tongue-in-cheek aspect of this translates to Colorado, but in the UK (and doubtless with Forge World staff in Nottingham) a phall is a type of curry; a XXX phall is a very hot one.

    Interestingly, the serial number on many of the 'technical specs' for vehicles in FW's Imperial Armour book(s) begins 'DVLA...' and the DVLA in the UK is the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency . Another little in-joke, methinks.

    Looking forward to more pics!

    - Drax.

    PS: The DVLA is based in Swansea, in Wales, so I'm sure you're wondering what it's called in Welsh: Asiantaeth Trwyddedu Gyrwyr a Cherbydau

  6. Hah! That's hysterical - I never knew that about either of those, Drax! That's one of the things I love about 40k, there's all these little subtle (and occasionally not-so-subtle) jokes interwoven through all the war and doom and whatnot...

    Ah, Welsh - topping the worlds phlegm production due to the requirements of speaking the language!