Just thought I’d do a quick run through of the journey I had with Mortian’s baller AF Heavy Warcrawler!
Seeing him come back with a vengeance in recent years was fantastic. I was avidly following his progress from the get go, but then I started seeing glimpses of that mind blowingly amazing War Crawler.
I’d just gotten into the Horus Heresy at the time and was working on some Dark Mechanicum and when I spotted the Warcralwer to say my mechadendrites got hard would be an understatement.
I’ve been in the hobby for going on 20 odd years and I fondly remember many moons ago the first iteration of Mortian’s tanks that were Leman Russ stand ins with a Macharius feel.
Super Heavy Crawler line
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I kept working away on the Dark Mechanicum all the while hassling young Markus every other week about the release time frame for the tank.
Anyway as I kept looking at the amazing War Crawler I really wanted it to be a stand out in my army. While its basic armament worked well for half a dozen unit entries I really wanted to shift it into the Ordinatus (very big tank) territory for the Dark Mechanicum.
That was when I managed to grab one of the massive Nemesis Warbringer Cannons from Forge World from BSS page. This set my mind racing while awaiting the delivery of the war walker.
After doing some very ad-hoc measurements of the Warcrawler based on a Krieg Commisar in one of the WiP pictures and some help online I came up with the below truly amazing blueprint of what I’d like to do…
The original Image with the Krieg Commisar
The first rough idea
That was as close to scale as I could get it, but as you can see there the chassis (even though crazily large) was too short to house that big ole boom stick. So after a quick chat to Markus he agreed to print me off another pair of smaller legs so I could elongate the chassis.
As serendipity would have it the extra legs and the war cralwer itself arrived within the same week, only a few days prior to me having 2 weeks of holidays and the house to myself for one of this. Bring on the build.
As we can see above the ‘blueprint’ was relatively accurate for the size of the gun and crawler chassis.
I’d just like to note the sheer variety of weapons that comes with the Mortian Kit, it actually killed me inside a little not magnetizing all the options available to it. But for those that are into either 30k or 40k I can absolutely say the sheer amount of weapon and equipment options the kit come with would allow you to field 95% of Baneblade variants just from the single kit!!
After a little bit of mucking around a mounting area for the rear legs was starting to do my head in. To scratch build an chassis extension and having it both strong and straight enough with plasticard would have been an exercise in madness for myself, thus I looked to my little, el cheap 3d Printer.
The 3d printed part above gave me an excellent base for mounting the extra rear legs that I aquired from Markus.
This really kicked off the build process as now most of the structure was set in stone I could move forward with building the ‘basic’ kid and then expanding upon the already staggering amount of detail!
So here we have a very basic build of the now massive project with a helpful little 28mm power armored friend for scale (the war crawler is huge!).
I was finding the mounting point/mid section when the extension mounted onto the core chassis was looking a mite thin and unsupported.
So back to the basic 3d modeling and finding a few files from various sites.
As you can see I had started to add a bit more detail onto the chassis extension as well as the reinforcing piece of plasticard toward the front of the gun mount, not to mention the large, 3d printed armor plate!
Basic shape taking form
It was at this point I could really start playing with the parts that came in the kit and converting them as I saw fit.
One of the bits that with a simple flip and 180 degree turn transformed one of the two gun mantlets/mounts into a cool observation platform for watching the gun fire!
I also figured I should probably reinforce the extra pair of legs so they looked like they could attempt to take the massive recoil from the dorsal cannon firing. So a bit of brass rod, plasticard and guitar strings later.
click through the gallery
Don’t worry, we’ll get to the end of the article soon, I promise.
So with the model completed it was time for the painting process.
Now I’m probably overly finicky with washing my models prior to priming, but even if not to the extent I do it I implore you to really give an resin model a good wash with warm water, dish soap and a toothbrush (ideally not yours) to make sure all the release agent is removed so you don’t have your amazing paint job peeling off after you’re complete!
All the different parts for the final product (I still have a box full of all the extra weapons, hull mounts, sponson guns, engine decks etc, legitimately not even factoring in conversions no two war crawlers ever need to look the same!
Model after a thorough prime and probably an overly liberal zenithal highlight!
Now painting any model this size its best to break into subsections. Obviously your mileage may vary as we all have our different processes, but I tried to break it up into areas that would be mainly silver and areas that would be predominantly the other main color.
I follow the basic weathering guide I stumbled upon by Heresy Brush Studios on youtube many moons ago for Flames of War tanks.
Broken down into painting sub components
No model is complete without transfers.
I’ve certainly found that to me, again YMMV, that transfers can really complete a paintjob, weathering they are denoting the models title, battle kills or something as simple as warning labels on hatches! This is taken just prior to the project getting a filter layer and the weathering steps beginning to kick in.
This is post many weathering steps just prior to rust layers been applied.
Here we have the model with glow effects added, just requiring some snow around its feet and some bits on the horizontal areas to tie it in with the rest of the army
You can see above also that I had to carry the project around on this large board to keep it supported during the process. I can say while this was the biggest and most complex project I’ve set about to to date, it has most certainly been the most fun and rewarding!
Mortian: Do you want your own project to be featured here? Write me a mail and we can discuss the details.