Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Ork Battlewagon


Greetings vaqueros! Today I'm going to show you this RT battlewagon that I've converted up partially using the plans laid out in White Dwarf no.131.

I've often wondered whether there was meant to be more to the RT ork battlewagon kit. The contemporary Epic range showed us wagons with hard tops and turrets, launchers and weirdboy towers - so many fun variants to grind your foes into powder with. But in 28mm land we got a dinky open topped cart with a piratey mast and some handyman tools, and while it has remained an iconic model for decades now, with a combination of nostalgia and a limited production run making it a somewhat pricey item, I still feel like we can get more out of it. 

Apart from just gluing a bunch of extra flags to it, which of course is fine as well. Pic courtesy of SoL
Fortunately Tony Cottrell thought so too and did a series of conversions of the kit after release, the key element of which was widening the rear wheel base and giving it a much 'meaner' stance which I've used as a jump-off point for my own conversion.

My restoration build before priming. Note the resin front wheels, which are actually from a Forge World kit, but are in fact exact copies of the original Battlewagon wheels!

Cottrell's  appears to be a Gobsmasha OF KHORNE. I bet blood just pours out when you open the side door.


I decided from the onset that I'd be using a mix of original and modern parts to create a hybrid model that wouldn't look out of place in a Rogue Trader era army, or a more modern one. I also partially preserved the 25mm round base viewports from Cottrell's original design, using them to build up to a pair of turrets to mount some big shootas/stubbers/whatevers on. I added a pair of ball turrets where he had put some forward firing weapons on the front - it'll be a bit of a squeeze for their operators to fit into the space behind them but maybe they are grots or something. Who knows. Tanks aren't known to be spacious on the inside.
One last touch was the big skull on the front, a nod to conversions like the one in the old pic up there, but also to the original owner of this particular battlewagon, who also stuck a skull on the front of his, albeit a smaller and less inspiring one. 

Flattening the engine down and using the original giant cylinder as the new rear axle housing means the rear half of the model is quite flat, so in addition to some gubbinz, I also added a spoiler. It was a bit of a risky choice but I reckon it paid off - despite the fact it has giant metal wheels, this thing looks like it was built for speed now, and this pleases the ork gods.


The Gobsmasha plans reuse the original exhaust pipe and add another made from a bendy straw, but the spoiler would have hid all that, so I made some big fat exhausts out of styrene tubing. After a certain point, why hold back?

I got bored of painting the checked racing stripe half way and just stopped.



I find the concept of metal wheels a bit troublesome, but they are utterly distinctive to the model so I kept them as-is and tried to get a real scraped-up look on them. I think they contrast well with the very black rest of the whole model. I also painted quite a number of rust patches to relieve the monotony of monochrome. Jolly little rust patches everywhere. Yay for rust! Structurally unsound corrosion for the win!


Now these nobz finally have something to drive around in, maybe they will stop getting drunk and rowdy and go beat something up. I could use some peace and quiet!

And what's next? Well, is it me, or is it getting hot in here...?


Adios for now!

22 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Cheers Steve! It was a lot of fun to put together :D

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  2. That looks awesome! I love the addition of the spoiler!

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    1. Thanks Andy, the spoiler was a moment of madness that paid off in the end, I think. I wanted it to look fast!

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  3. So very badass.

    You really have made it look like it can get a fair lick of speed up. As you say, it definitely looks meaner than the classic wagon and the Cottrell Gobsmasha.

    Fantastic work. You really are very good at these sorts of projects Captain.

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    1. Thanks cheetor, I really ought to finish more of these projects, if you catch my Orkyo drift. You know what I'm saying.

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  4. Replies
    1. Cheers Grover, I'll give your boyz a lift in it someday! :D

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  5. Very nice indeed! Amazing how much meaner it looks now!

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    1. It's a goofy loveable kit, but there is definitely some hidden menace there. I want to make the triple autocannon version as well...

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  6. What a marvel! You've evoked but improved on both the plastic kit and the Tony Cotterell conversion. I do worry about those mega armoured nobs getting in and out of that low cabin though!

    Great army centrepiece!

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    1. Cheers axiom, I don't doubt you'd be able to coax some similar results with your own formidable vehicle making skills :D As for the passenger space, well, if 10 2nd ed marines can fit in a Rhino, there must be some 4th dimensional trickery at work in the 40k universe...

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  7. That's quite a work!! :O
    Gork (or probably Mork) is proud.

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    1. I had them on the phone before and they said they were very pleased (and said to say hi to you as well).

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  8. The standard kit on its own looks quite boring IMO. You've really done a fantastic job turning it into an awesome vehicle James. Will be great fun running down pretend soldiers/civilians with it.

    Great stuff mate :)

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  9. Thanks Papa! It's a kit bursting with seldom tapped potential I reckon!

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  10. The love and care that's gone into this! Magnificent. I've really enjoyed reading and rereading this post as it's shot through with love and humour. The photograph with the nobs is absolutely cracking! I like the overall "RC car vibe" where it's got a chunk and attitude on display that makes it toyriffic in a kinda 1990s way. I can imagine this being sold on the television with loud neon graphics and a name like "Supercrusher 3000 Series" with footage of kids with bad haircuts badly acting XTREME disbelief and high fiving each other.

    I've seen other people mixing the different generations of Ork components, but without the wisdom you're displaying here where the integrations comes across as seamless.

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    1. I was a big fan of RC cars as a kid... and also now. In hindsight the influence seems so clear :D

      I dislike the 'tacked on' approach that a lot of ork conversions take. I like to give mek boyz more creative credit :D

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  11. Brilliant. Great conversion which nicely updates a classic, but would still fit in perfectly if it went back in time to the early 1990s. I think, from memory, the mast actually had a rules use as the battelwagon could carry as many orks as it could physically hold--so you would drape them over the mast hanging by their axes or whatever. I think the orks also used to be a bit more Chaos aligned back in the day (as the orcs/orks were originally inspired by a mix of Tolkien and Fighting Fantasy where they are aligned as a faction of evil/chaos) and some of the old RT ork nobs have chaos stars too.

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    1. Chaos orks do pop up now and then. Stormboyz of Khorne is a theme I want to explore someday...

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  12. This vehicle gave me a weird boy tower, in my pants. Cracking build on this thing. From now on you should be known as Captain "Mekboy" Crooks.

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  13. I'd be honoured to have such a title :D

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