Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Building the Desert Lions - Part 2, Coteaz, Henchmen and Anti-Grav Transports

Zooom! (if only I was using the BA codex)   

Welcome to part two of my (very) irregular series on building my counts-as Grey Knights, the Desert Lions space marine chapter.  Part one, containing the background for the army can be found here, and a 'prequal post' containing my 'purifiers' and 'dreadknight' can be found here.

Today, I am going to show off my Commander, an as yet unnamed Techpriest who is a counts as for Coteaz.  Additionally, there are some members of the proto-scout elements of the chapter, who count as henchmen with bolters.  Finally, I'll be showing you my almost completed anti-grav rhinos and razorbacks. 

 Firstly then, here is my Commander.  This is a virtually unaltered Titan Techpriest figure from Forge World.  I saw it and knew it would be perfect.  Apart from being a magnificent sculpt, the guy just oozes menace and mystery.  Coteaz has a few rules that i was keen to represent.  Firstly, his Deamonhammer, amply represented here by a massive flipping axe.  Just look at the size of that thing for a moment.  Secondly, his trusty eagle.  The rules for this are a shooting attack representing the bird flying off and picking stuff, so I have used a load of forge world servo skulls to represent just such a swarm of attacks.  Finally, the top skull has bolt pistol built in, just for completeness!  All in all, i think he makes a fine commander, and ironically, will be by far the least converted model in the army!

Next up are two squads of henchmen.  If you read my background post (you did read it right, I was quite proud of it, go on, you know you want to) you would find that these guys represent the neophytes who have yet to be given the gene seed, but are still being trained and used in combat.  They are well armed by the chapter, but are not as strong or tough as a marine by any means, so are perfectly represented by the henchmen rules.

I really like these guys.  They are obviously based on the scout models, but I tried to make them look different enough that they might still catch your eye.  The guy at the bottom is holding a holographic coms relay, with an epic scale marine sergeant giving him orders (I stole this idea from one of last years golden deamon winners, it really was a stroke of genius by the guy).  The heads are mostly Catachan heads, which are my favourite human heads of all time by GW.  They just look so hard bitten and grizzled, and you can almost hear them shouting curses at the enemy as they blast them with their bolters.

Finally, here we are, the anti-grav rhino, or hover-rhino, if you like.  I have two of these, for the Purifier squads to ride in, and they represent the finest resources the Adeptus Mechanicus can offer the chapter.  They are ancient chassis, bearing a great resemblance to the Mk.1 tracked Rhino.  The photo above shows how far I intend to make them sit above the playing surface.  This is about 3 mm higher than a normal rhino.  will anyone object to this? only time will tell.  The method of doing this has yet to be finalised.

I tried to make the top as much like a Mk.1 as possible.  The usual rhino doors were swapped for these - cut down back armour plates from the Chimera kit with a few pieces of pewter tubing for hinges.  The rhino Mk.1 kits are not actually of my own devising I'm afraid (I could have done it, but couldn't face doing 6 sets when the price was so reasonable).  I cant disclose who sells them here, but if you want to know, then email me. 

This is the underside of the tank.  All of them are the same underneath.  I considered all sorts of fancy bits of apparatus, and even built a few, but in the end, the simple approach worked best by far.  Besides, anything that sticks out would be ridiculous, as even a small knock at high speed could break it and send the whole tank crashing to the ground. 

Talking of speed, you may be wondering how the damn things move without propulsion.  Well, the engines have not arrived yet.  I am using the Stormraven VTOL thrusters and maybe building air intakes at the front, but we shall see.  I'll post pictures when they are complete.

Now onto the good stuff!  One of my two las-plas razorbacks.  I knew I had to change the conventional razorback turret.  If I am honest, this was solely based on pride, because I felt I had to do something different to every other las-plas razorback out there.  Again, these turrets are not quite finished.  The side details have yet to be finalised and I feel it needs something at the back, perhaps some tubing or a power pack. 

 Another shot of the other side of the turret.  

Finally, my favourite of today's display of creations.  This is one of the two razorbacks armed with heavy bolters and psybolts.  I was looking through my bits box searching for bits for something completely different when I saw the leftover vulkan megabolter from my Shadowsword.  It had to be done.  What could possibly represent a single vulkan megabolter better than a twin linked S6 multiple shot weapon (ok, if it was AP3, but lets not be picky).  As I played around with the parts I was considering I suddenly thought about the thunderfire cannon, and this is the result. 

Another shot from the front.  This was actually a massively easy conversion.  If anyone wants to know how it is done, I will try and do a run-through at some point. 

That's it from me!  Next up is the first of my Dreadnoughts.  So far the legs are built, and the torso is being considered.  Progress is slow but steady, and the army will hopefully be ready for armies on parade next year ;)

As always, comments and criticisms are most welcome!


  1. Turrets are looking awesome.

    As for suspending the tanks - how about quite literally a base? You could have a hollow/see through plastic piece, not unlike what you've got there, just to boost it that little bit off the surface, and its practically unnoticeable. Could use a rubber bottom to it/base it the way your army is based and that way it won't slide (the actual plastic being "within" the track space of the rhino - at 3mm to 5mm you'd be hard pushed to notice that, but it would definitely raise the rhino suitably.)

  2. Awesome stuff as ever bro...I do love the psybolter...brilliant.
    The Mk1 Hover Rhino's are schweeet!

    Although, as ever, god is in the details man...I love the holoprojector comms device!! Fantastic.

    This is a gushing comment, but its great work..

  3. Thanks guys. Bully, bloody good idea mate, I cant believe I didn't think of it before! I'll look into getting some perspex or similar asap.

  4. Not just a hat rack ...

    Really looking good overall.

    I am a little shocked by your Lord choice, purely because ... its you. Its a great model and certainly fits, but I'd have expected you to make it out of tin foil, some plastic bottles and elastic bands. And magnets.

    Coteaz is a interesting conversion just by merit of 2 "odd" bits of wargear that are tricky to model - the hammer (for WYSIWYG it does have to be hammer like) and the Eagle, so that model fits nicely.

    On the turrets did you magnetise the las/plas? I do have to say I think they are the best lasplas turrets I've seen. That HB turret could double as a AssCan as well, or baal, which is awesome I think.

  5. thing is, i knew i wanted a techpriest, and i am terrible with green stuff, so sadly i had to make do with or at least convert an existing model. i say sadly, but really i am very happy, he is not a widely known model and he looks amazing.

    the las-plas is not magnetised, just glued. i have so many spare parts for turrets now that if i need something else, i will jut build it. I did think about it but in the end i just want to make this army as i have envisioned it, and think about extra stuff later on :)

  6. I really like the look of these tanks good work. Is it still possible to get a tutorial on those turrets? The heavy bolter turret is especially cool, I'd love to see how it was done.

  7. Nice looking army so far. is there a tutorial for how you converted your tanks? i'm looking to convert up some similar ones for my World Eaters force and if you've found an easy way of ding it that would be excellent.