Friday, December 2, 2011

Quick Project - "Army" Predator for 40k

The NHL is on TV, so it's time for some hobbying!

Continuing to rummage through the basement, I came across something last night that will make another quick project - a Warhammer 40k Space Marine Predator.  I've been unpacking my Rogue Trader Guardsmen following the move, and I thought it's about time I added a tank to their forces to help them out.  In fact, after a quick search of the blog, I think I said I would do that back in January of this year...oh well - it's still 2011!

Ah, the Compendium - an awesome nostalgia read any day of the week!

Back in the Rogue Trader era, vehicles such as the Rhino, the Predator, and even the iconic Land Raider, were generally available to all of the Imperial factions - not just restricted to Space Marines.   It's fun to browse through the old Compendium and see all of the whacky and varied stuff available to the Imperial Guardsmen of that time.

The current versions of these classic models look great.  The current Predator is one of my favourite GW vehicle models, in fact.  I like the turret so much I use them for my Imperial Guard Chimeras.  But I don't have a regular Space Marine army, so I've never painted up a Predator model. Since my Rogue Trader Guardsmen already have a Rhino from the current lineup, I'm sure a Predator from the current line will do nicely too.   A great excuse to work on a model I've always wanted to take a crack at...

With the Jets on TV last night (my parents had the tickets) I grabbed the super glue and the hobby knife and got to work.  Like the majority of the current GW model kits, this one is practically idiot-proof.  I absolutely love that, because I'm not great at building models.  Full credit to GW for imagining impatient nitwits like myself when determining how the kit should come together...

The original Predator was armed with an auto-cannon in the turret and las-cannon in a sponson on each side.  There was also a bolter on the top hatch.  Fortunately the current model has all of this easily covered - with the exception of the bolter - which is now represented by the option of a pintle-mounted storm bolter.  Rather than fiddle with finding a way to mount a spare bolter, I just kept the storm-bolter on the pintle.

The assembled "Army" Predator, before priming.
There were some small modelling considerations. First, there is the process of "UFSR" - Useless Frigging' Skull Removal - that I undertake on every plastic GW model I work on these days. Like all GW products of the current era, the Predator model is covered with a baffling number of skulls and skull-related iconography.  I used my trusty hobby knife to scrape the skull and crossbones icons off of the turret in two places (the top of the autocannon, and the hatch of the rear turret bin).  I also scraped the stupid winged skull off of the side of the storm bolter on the pintle.  I wish I had thought of doing this twelve years ago when I first started building a lot of my GW vehicles...

Another photo of the model before priming in the garage...
The model kit gives you a lot of options for fancy attachments - hunter killer missiles, for example, as well as Imperial icons and other bits like a communications/radar set.  At the end of the day, this is a plain old Army Predator, so I didn't see it having all sorts of spiffy extras or devotional scrolls and "Purge the Demon"-type reminder notes on the hull.  I put on the smoke launchers - the original rules make a point of stressing the smoke launchers, and they are prominent on the old model, so they are there to complete the homage - but there are no other fancy bits for this tank.

Close up of the turret - scratches are visible where useless skull icons were scraped away.  The slender Old Crow tank commander is peering out at the unknown from his cupola
For a crewman, I opted to use a vehicle crewm figure from Old Crow (the one holding binoculars). I thought the head-gear matched well with the Rogue Trader troops, and it spared me from having to use up one of the plastic heads from my reserve pile (I know that sounds silly, but there are only three heads with helmets on each sprue of four troops, and these things are hard to find!).   These Old Crow crew figures also have a slighter frame, matching the less-bulky look of the pre-steroid era Imperial Guard figures.

I have an inkling that we may be playing Rogue Trader again soon, and the firepower of a Predator will really come in handy against Dallas' awesome "Red Star" Orks.  I'll get this sucker painted up, and post some pics on the blog soon - hopefully that will provoke an outing from those dastardly Orks...

1 comment:

Curt said...

40K models AND Hockey? Yikes, that would be a night in Hell for me. Kudos to you, Greg. Great looking model. Good call on the skull removal - they do go a bit overboard, don't they. Look forward to seeing it all done-up.