Continuing work on my Emperor’s Knuckles squat marine army for warhammer 40k, here’s Dozer, my master of the forge and part time thunderfire cannon operator:
Took me awhile to come across one of the old squat techpriest minis from ebay for a decent price. I cut off the shoulders and odd pistol to give him a minimized bolter and mechanicus pauldrons, greenstuffed in some of the chaos looking sigils and constructed his servo harness out of spare bits and styrene tubing.
This is Sgt. Tally-ho, my counts-as Tellion model. Made from an old squat adventurer with the scatterblast or whatever it was he had replaced by a modified bolter. I like the little cape on this mini as it ties him in to the ratling snipers I use as scouts.
For my non-sniper scouts, I’m using some Grymn from Hasslefree miniatures. The detail on these little guys is great, and the poses give them all a bit of personality.
Everybody says that Land Speeder Storms are crap, but I’ve been able to use mine to good effect (particularly in the relic mission). The pilot and gunner have been cut up and greenstuffed back together qith squat proportions. The front flooroard of the gunner compartment is filled with an ammo box that he’s standing on.
I finished up one of my old style rhinos for the Knuckles. I still have to go back over and do highlights, but I’m satisfied with it enough for the tabletop right now.
When the escalation league I was taking part in saw everyone spamming flyers, I had to come up with something to deal with Heldrakes and Necron Croissant factory. Hence, my papercraft template for the Space Marine Stormraven was put to use for the Emperor’s Knuckles. I went back over the template and came up with a hurricane bolter option that is magnetized to washers built into the inside of the door area.
More minis from the Emperor’s Knuckles
Jarl Kurk Thunderfoot in artificer armor. Since I use pistol weaponry as the rifle versions, I had to hunt down an old style plasma pistol to differentiate between which was which.
Barney here is a Rogue Trader era (1987) Dreadnought with twin linked autocannon arms made from imperial guard heavy weapons team autocannons, greenstuff and some extra eldar weapons shields. I think I went a bit overboard on the knotwork.
People will often criticize the old style of 40k, but with just a bit of conversion, it can still be usable with the newer models. I’m quite pleased with how the conversion part of this build went as well as the final look of it. I will have to go in and clean up the highlights at some point before I can actually call the piece finished.
And last but not least are my sniper scouts. These are completely unaltered Ratling Snipers. I’ve seen the older ratlings, and these guys are much more dwarfish in size than they are. It’s almost as if they were intended for Squat snipers and were quietly reclassified by Games Workshop so they could still be released without causing a fuss. I absolutely love the little sculpted details about the minis here. One has an eldar soulstone as a charm. Another has a half eaten bag of apples and cheese behind him and a discarded apple core at his feet. Some of them have little rat skulls collected as trophies (I imagine they’d be hard to hit at a distance with a sniper rifle, thus would the skull prove their skill with the weapon). They also come five to a $20 blister, which is one of the few bargains you’ll still find from GW.
Emperor’s Knuckles get a Librarian
So I decided my Emperor’s Knuckles Space Marine army (Squats, AKA spess dorfs) needed another HQ choice to go with the terminators I made. My original plan was to get another 2nd edition plastic terminator sergeant and bling it out to make a captain, but then I came across this fellow:
This is a 1st edition Space Hulk Terminator Librarian from the Genestealer expansion. Being plastic was a plus, as converting it was a breeze. I didn’t even really need to shorten the legs by that much since the model is a fair bit smaller than the current terminator armored figs anyway. The arms were another story, as they seemed to have been sculpted in a larger proportion than the legs, so I had to relocate them as well. I got the dwarf parts from this guy:
Unfortunately, Finecast, despite being fragile when you drop it, is actually pretty hard to cut into if you want to do an extensive mod like this. I ended up having to cut off the bits of the guy I wanted in larger chunks with a sprue cutter before whittling out what I could with a hobby knife and finally breaking out the dremel tool to get to the finer points. Freeing up the beard from the pistol was a chore in itself. I wanted to keep the geared hammer and replace the axe head of the force weapon as well as a few of the runic pouches, charms and random bits from the backpack. Here’s how he came out.
And here he is with the terminator squad. Due to librarians wearing blue armor and my characters having little red toboggans, he came out looking a bit reminiscent of Papa Smurf.
I’ll take some better pictures later, but here’s the first of five terminator armor clad squats for my Emperor’s Knuckles space marine army. I have a standard power armor squat and a Dark Vengeance terminator in the pic for scale reference. The squat terminators are made from the second edition plastic terminators with the thigh from the legs chopped down and the shoulders dropped a bit. A single power armor pauldron was used to close the faceplate. While not being that much shorter overall than a standard terminator figure, they do make it seem as if the wearer wouldn’t be that tall due to the lowered arms and hidden face.
Metal Slug model kit review.
So I discovered this model kit while browsing Ebay a few months ago and decided to pick one up on a whim. It was about $30 after shipping. The box art may say “Metal Bug”, but this is without a doubt the tank from the Metal Slug series of games. I used to love playing Metal Slug back in the day, and thought it would be a great addition to the Emperor’s Knuckles army as a counts-as predator tank. I wasn’t certain about the scale at the time, but as you can see in the photo below, it is in scale with 28MM figures.
The problem with trying to use this tank as a counts-as in 40k comes when you realize that despite being in scale, it is supposed to be a small tank and all the tanks in Warhammer are Xbox huge. I ended up keeping the color scheme from the games with a lot of added weathering.
Now, the name gives away the fact that this is an obvious bootleg kit. Knowing that, I was expecting the parts not fitting together too well, but that wasn’t so much of a problem with MOST of the kit. The vulcan cannons on the side did not fit well, so moving them around would have been impossible without having to constantly pull them off and push them back over the pegs. I opted for using magnets installed into the holes in the round part of the cannons and on the ends of the pegs. This made the cannons stick out to the side an extra eighth of an inch, which is actually a good thing, since the natural placement was too close to the main turret.
Another gripe about the kit is the effort they took to make the turret have a dual ball joint connection that was supposed to give it mobility, yet the design of the pistons does not allow it to move at all. I thought about getting mechanical pencil springs and using them to make the pistons hinged and mobile, but there would have been no good place inside the hull wells to secure them. The makers of this kit would have been better off to either have the pistons not extend all the way into the turret or just design it so it doesn’t rotate in the first place. It was difficult and quite frustrating to get the ball joints in place only to realize the rest of the kit restricts any sort of movement.
One plus of the kit is it’s attention to detail. There are a lot of parts to the engine and suspension that are present, though they are not seen on the finished model. I would expect this from a higher end historic tank kit, and I personally enjoyed the extra detail it provides, but most people who would just want the model to look the part for a desk decoration or game piece will just be annoyed by all the extra fiddly bits. More extras are a little metal bullet that doesn’t really fit the scale of the tank, but the loophole on the back means its probably supposed to be a keychain charm. Decals were included, but I chose not to use them on my build.
I’ve been working on the Emperor’s Knuckles a bit more. Currently, I have a captain with plasma pistol and power sword, chaplain, 2 power fist sergeants, three bolter marines and three pistol and chainsword guys. I plan on adding about fourteen more marines for the time being. One of the guys over at the local shop ended up with a couple of classic Rogue Trader era heavy weapons, so I’m resin casting the rocket launcher, heavy bolter, plasma cannon and lascannon to make a heavy weapons team. I have three of the knucklecarts I showed in one of the previous posts, and I plan on getting two more to make a squad of five. For vehicles I have:
vindicator made from a rhino kit, a sherman tank turret and the metal demolisher cannon from the old Leman Russ kit.
2 classic rhinos
2nd edition metal land speeder (a second is in the mail on it’s way to me)
a Robogear Condor to use as a land speeder typhoon. The same guy that gave me the classic heavy weapons also gave me the torso for an old squat figure to use as a pilot. The cockpit area of the kit was just an empty slot, so I used the inner cockpit part from a Venom. I’ll get better pics of this later as the Condor is a really nice kit despite being only $8 (though shipping from Russia takes a long time).
And last but not least is an old “Chuck” dreadnought from the Rogue Trader days. I’ve constructed some twin-linked autocannon arms for him using a bunch of Imperial Guard heavy weapons leftovers hacked together and some eldar bits. The original Melee arm and lascannon are still usuable, as I’ve magnetized the arm mounts to move around and drilled the inserts to use styrene rods to peg the options I’m using in place. After slapping it on a scenic base, it doesn’t look too out of place, even compared with a modern dreadnought.
Emperor’s Knuckles update
I plan on using this as a Vindicator. The body is a standard Rhino. The turret is from a cheap $10 Sherman tank kit (I plan on using the lower section in another kitbash later) with the metal Demolisher Cannon from the first Leman Russ tank kit. Then there’s the spotlight, storm bolter, smoke launchers and aerial antenna from the first edition Rhino kit. This is my first attempt at freehanding celtic knotwork on a tank, and I’m happy with how it came out. I may go back and add in some highlights to the tank later, but for now I’m calling it finished.
Next up is the first attempt at painting a Knucklekart. I don’t really like how much green is showing. I may have to go back in and re-do some of it to show more brown, which is the primary color for the Emperor’s Knuckles. The squad upgrades in the army will all have opened visors and wear red toboggans. I’m calling them “Redcaps” instead of sergeants.
And finally, here’s my first company captain and a chaplain I’m working on. I had to cut and splice the power sword to make it the right size for my midget marines. Since I’m using plasma pistols as plasma guns, I had to hunt down the old style plasma pistols to distinguish them as actually counting as pistols. The head is from the first plastic kit release of the Warhammer Fantasy dwarves with the helmet shaved down to a knitted cap. The chaplain will have a closed faceplate with a skull painted across the front. I have him turned aroun in the picture to show the work on the backpack with the drilled out skulls replacing the exhaust vents.
I’m planning on getting some more basic infantry done, but my rubber mold for resin casting the bodies and lower legs won’t seem to cure right despite following the mixing procedure down to the letter. I think I bought a bad (old) batch of casting rubber since the base started out a far thicker consistency than any I’ve used before. I’ll give it another day and see if it has hardened any more before taking it back to the store for an exchange.
I’m still working on getting my Emperor’s Knuckles space marine army together. I’ve got the rubber mold made to cast the legs and torsos together, but I still need more pistols, chainswordds, back packs and normal pauldrons for the shoulders. I have most of this stuff on order, but in the meantime, I wanted to take a stab at the bikes. Normal marine bikes would be far too huge as my midget marines’ legs wouldn’t reach the ground from the seats. I had a couple of ideas on how to modify the existing bike to work, but then I noticed this little Pez dispenser type thing my nephew forgot to take with his the last time he visited. It was mario, on a go kart. Not wanting to chop up his toy, I went out to the local store, and discovered that not only did they still sell them, but they were only $2 each, and they had six of them. I have to greenstuff sculpt the lower legs going up under the dashboard, but other than that, my chibi marines fit them like a glove. Once the bolters are mounted to the front and enough bits are applied to make it look sufficiently 40k, I had to create custom bases for them using a round 40MM base and a square 40mm base from the warhammer fantasy line. I cut the round base in half and trim the flared edges off of two sides of the square base before attaching both ends with gap-filling superglue. I never would have expected the project would have been this simple and easy and still come out looking exactly like I wanted. Anyway, here’s a better picture of one of the completed bikes. The rider has his visor raised, showing the fantasy dwarf heads I plan on using for sergeants and special characters. The plasma pistol is a stand-in for a plasma gun, since the full size meltaguns and plasmaguns are a bit too large for these guys.
Next up, I’m going to try and figure out how to make terminator armor in the same style.