Homeworld for Wayward Space Dwarfs

Devoted to the Preservation, Collection, Conversion, Painting, and Resurrection of Space Dwarfs.
Beards for the Beard God!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Our People Use Every Part of the Bitz Box: Assembling Thunder Chief 8

The previous Hungry Ghosts post covered my process of conceptualizing the remaining 3 Rough Riders for the Thunder Chiefs squadron, and the sorting through my 3-stage bits selection system. First, let's review a bit on the bits.

Stage 1: Bits are especially purchased or set aside for the developing design concepts for the conversions.
Stage 2: Searching through the bins of bits that have been accumulated with the general intent of using them for Chaos conversions for useful structural or decorative additions.
Stage 3: Snuffling through the Bits Graveyard of broken, used, or wayward bits for stuff to chop up to produce useful shaped pieces to fill in gaps. This process continues as the Bikers are being built, as I don't have a complete design in mind at the start, and also can't predict what structural issues and design elements will need to be adjusted as the model is being built.

The first new Rough Rider is Kenneth "Ken" Haringsbeens. He is shown before priming to better illustrate which of his bits are metal, plastic, and greenstuff.

This view allows us to see Rider Ken, our first part of the conversion. Ken started life as Squat Biker 1. Since he was a standing model, I chopped off his legs to replace them with legs that fit better for the riding position. I decided to make Ken a victim of a negative Chaos mutation, hearkening back to the old Realm of Chaos books with their d1000 table of mutations of good, bad, or neutral impact in game terms. So Ken has been cursed with crooked weak legs that jut out uselessly. To do this, I glued on two bent and clawed legs from one of the Dark Eldar Warp Beasts, both are left legs to make his life a bit more difficult. Basically, I wanted Ken to look like he has to be a biker because he can't walk very well.

Ken is more than a little embarrassed by his mutant legs, so he partially hides them with spikey armor bits. The bits on the sides are plastic parts from Ork and Kroot sprues. His special parts are protected by a codpiece consisting of one of the old metal Space Marine Terminator Shields.

At this point, I am tired of using mostly Empire White Wolves warhammers as the exploding lance substitute, so Mr Haringsbeens has been given a Pick-type weapon instead, one that is very well muscled in comparison to his little legs. The arm is Saurus Warrior Spike Arm 2 from the Lizardmen range of minis. His left arm is a convoluted concoction based on part of the Inquisitor Damien 1427 Left Arm, with some plastic Chaos Marauder armor and greenstuff to attach the arm to Ken's body, and more greenstuff to make it look like the wires are wrapping around the handlebar. Ken has also had his beard enhanced with a plastic flowing hair piece taken from the handle of a Khorne Berzerker Axe arm. It also conveniently covers the Imperial Aquila necklace he is wearing.

From the right side, we can get a good view of the motorbike itself. As earlier planned, the main body of the bike is made from 2 Rogue Trader era Ork Warbike Tracks, separated by 2 of the Gunner Platforms from the same Ork bike series. This section was strengthened with one of the metal Turret Armor bits from the 1990s version of the Imperial Hellhound tank. The Fuel Hose bit of the same tank was used as the engine in the rear, with the addition of a Helblaster Griffon from the old metal version of the Empire Helblaster Volley Gun.

The next major issue with this Rough Rider is assembling the front wheel/handlebars region, and attaching it to the rear part of the cycle. The wheel portion is the bottom half of the Front Wheel bit from our Ork Warbikes. I cut off the handlebars part and replaced it with the front half of a Warmaster Undead Bone Thrower. Just for fun, I added a little steering wheel from the Dwarf Cannon sprue. For more spikiness, I attached a bit from the old Epic Ork Turrets sprue.

The front part is partly attached to the rear by the biker's left arm, and was further connected by using long Power Tube bits from the Inquisitor Magos Delphan Gruss model with some greenstuff filling in the gaps between tube sections, which also double as exhaust pipes at their back ends. This bits-complex was reinforced in a manner befitting a Khorne worshipper, using the blade from one of the IG Catachan machetes on the right, and two spears taken from the Tomb Kings Chariot on left side. Lots of very nice bits for conversions can be found on the TK Chariot sprue.

The last structural part of the motorcycle is the seat back. It is tough to see under the surrounding bits, but our biker is resting against the back half of the Bone Thrower that made the handlebars. Ken's loyalty to Khorne is shown on the Banner Pole bit that forms the rest of the seat back, taken from a 1980s Juggernaut model.

The rest is accessorizing. As we can see above, the Rough Rider's Lasgun has been strapped to the Banner Poles with greenstuff, it is the folding stock version from the Catachan Command sprue. Also hanging from the poles are a couple of grenades, Space Marine Assault Squad style.

This rear-angle picture provides a better view of the cycle's engine and tracks structure, as well as the rest of Ken's battlegear. Attached to the banner poles are a bedroll and shovel from the IG sprues, and a hooked length of rope from a Dwarf sprue (I think). We can also see the greenstuff used to fill the gaps in the bike and the rider's left arm.

Below are some additional pictures providing a better view of the details of Thunder Chief Haringsbeens, taken after he has been primed. I tend to put the primer coat on by hand in some neutral grey or brown tone, and then give it a wash to give some depth to the model while it is waiting to be painted.

View from the left side

Close up front view of Ken

Mutant leg and Mutant arm

Rear & right

My complex photography apparatus

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