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40K HOBBY: Lootin’ a Warmachine

7 Minute Read
Oct 27 2011

Lootin’ a Shadowsword – lets take a look at how how ‘Da Choppa’ was built.

For my second article on Lootin my aim was to do a detailed step-by-step guide on looting a tank but unfortunately since Games Day I have been ill and unable to make a start. So I thought in the meantime I would put words to some pictures of a recently finished project to show its development from start to finish.

The plan for this build was to make an Orky equivalent of the Shadowsword. A Mega Zzap Cannon was a must along with side skirts and a built up rear complete with turret.

Basic Structure.

The first job was assembling the track units. For ease of handling I removed the top surface detail, added armour plates and made the side skirts. I used card to decide on a profile which could then be cut out of styrene. The skirt was sectioned up with additional materials such as treadplate and mesh being introduced. On the inside two matching strips of styrene act as the base on which the skirt could be re-assembled. Magnets allow the skirts to be removable.

The track units are then assembled with the lower and front hull panels. This gave me a solid base from which the Ork construction could build off.

Main Guns & Forward Hull.

The Mega Zzap Guns were constructed next, These needed to be made as their design would effect how the main superstructure is modified, nothing else could be built until the main guns had been done.

The guns needed to be big as well as ‘techy’ looking…

Each gun slots into pieces I found in my bits box – they originally came from a 1/35 scale model.

The Shadowsword superstructure could then be modified to suit the gun mounting:


The important thing here was making sure that when the guns were in position they were parallel, the last thing I wanted was a wonky gun. Once the position had been decided the gun mounts and the superstructure itself was glued in place.

The area around the gun mount, the forward upper hull, the top of the track units and the drivers cab area where then all detailed.
The base piece of styrene in front of the superstructure was covered completely, like the side skirts this top layer was broken into panels. Varying the thickness and adding details such as the vents make the area much more pleasing to the eye.
The Rear
The next logical area to work on was the rear, until the rear was done the superstructure could not be finished.
To allow me to elongate the superstructure and mud guards were added to the rear of the track units. Some 4mm strip was added with the bottom of angled to match the existing panel. Styrene was then added along the angled lower face.

The rear and upper panel were then added. This is simpler than it may look. The top piece is cut first; the width matches the existing superstructure while the length can be measured by placing a steel ruler against the 4mm strip giving you a face to measure to. Likewise by laying a steel rule running off the superstructure you have a face to measure to for the height of the rear panel. The angle of the rear panel matches that on the superstructure. The top and rear panel were fitted using styrene strips at the joins to strengthen and enforce. Once these pieces were in place the ends could be added. Card was cut to fit then used as a template with the styrene then being modified to suit.
Side view showing the built out rear area
The Superstructure.
Once the rear had been blocked out work could continue on the superstructure. The majority of the top detail was removed giving me a surface to work on.
The easiest thing would be to simply build a box, but by using various levels and different shapes such as incorporating the angled face and using a curved profile it looks far better. A vent and some mesh grills break up the surfaces. Internally styrene offcuts (never throw styrene bits away) were used to add support and strength. The top plate was added including a mounting point for the turret. On impulse I decided I wanted some rokkits, so I built a rokkit launcha onto the side.
The Turret
The turret core is some MDF discs I had left over from another project, while the ‘towers’ are built model bases. To mount the Shunta I built into the turret a spare Baneblade Demolisher cannon mounting. The whole thing was covered in various styrene with H beam offcuts and brass rod for handles.
The Shunta has a brass rod running down the centre for strength, styrene tubes were used to form the body with guitar wire coiled round the centre topped off with a CoD light. More tube and brass rod was then added.
Finishing the Rear.
Once the turret was done the rear could be finished off, the rear had to wait to ensure nothing would be added that could interfere with the turret.
The rear of the rokkit pod was detailed and an area of the rear was built out further using H beams as the internal structure.
The rear developed organically, ideas led to further ideas. For example adding the Grot door led to adding the crank handle and access ladder. However in hindsight I wish I had gone with my initial idea of having the rear open up showing internal gubbins.
Fuel barrels, fans, exhausts, tow bar and fuel lines adding further detail. The rear needed to be busy but not too crowded.


Krew and Further Details.
With the build almost done the only thing left is going round and adding the final finishing details.
Rokkits made from styrene tube, Stormboy rokkit pack pieces and a Chaos smoke launcher. Note the change to the tank hull to allow the rokkits to fit better.
Kommanda with his Grot helpers. To finish off the turret it got a sensor unit and a top piece for the banner pole.
Gunna with a remote firing button for the big guns. He also got a pintle Kustum Mega Blasta to keep him happy.
Further details – Grot access ladder, gun forward mount and stowage. Meanwhile the side skirts were finished off. The bolt head and washer were cast to save work.
The Finished Build…


And to finish an Apocalypse Datasheet…though I have just realised I forgot to add the pintle weapon…
If there aren’t enough pictures for you above please check out Recalcitrant Daze for more…
And there ends the article…apologies for not producing the step-by-step article I had intended, this will follow as soon as possible. In the meantime I hope people enjoyed this stop gap piece. Please feel free to give any feedback or ask any questions you may have…

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