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Warhammer 40K Retro Challenge: Build Your Own Gobsmasha!

3 Minute Read
Apr 1 2020
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Today gamers we are headed back to 1991 with a hobby challenge for us all. Let’s build a Gobsmasha. Meks, grab your spanners!

Today we step back to April 1991 and White Dwarf 136. It was a jam-packed issue with everything from 40K Orks, to EPIC Battle Reports, to Bretonnian Knights. But we are here to look upon an origin story. This issue gave us the build your own Gobsmasha.  Not a model mind you, but a hobby project with accompanying rules. Back then GW would often throw out rules and give you instructions on how to convert the model yourselves out of their existing kits. In this very rare case it was an entire scratch build challenge.

EPIC was in its heyday, and look at that sexy classic Land Raider!

Here is the introduction to the Gobsmasha, with a fantastic early “ultra-bright” 40K paint scheme. I think this may be one of the best examples of “red uns go fasta” I’ve ever seen. Before we dive into our hobby challenge, let’s take a detour into the rules:


The Rules

The Gobsmasha has a Battle Cannon, two secondary heavy weapons, and can carry 6 orks. It’s also pretty fast. I’ll let you all find the best approximation in 8th Edition for it once you finish your project. Onto the damage chart.

No, your eyes are not deceiving you. That is the ancient 40K cross section vehicle damage chart, along with the clear plastic targeting grid I’ve added below so it all makes sense. You would place the crosshairs on the part oft he vehicle you wanted to hit, and follow the instructions below to see where your shot ended up.

The Model


And here we go. These two pages give you the shapes to cut out (the page was a standard 8.5x 11 page) for you accepting the hobby challenge. You cut out the shapes and followed the 2 pages of instructions to get your base hull.  Note that by modern standards, you can save a lot of time with wheels from a toy, and find a tube of some type for the Battle Cannon barrel.


The basic instructions give you the unadorned chassis and main gun. But no self respecting Mek will stop there. Where the instructions stop is where the real creativy begins. Now you get to “flash gitz” it up with whatever you can make or salvage from your bitz collection. Throw in rivets, Orky bits, Imperial & xenos salvage, anything. Then of course paint it up to your liking. If you want that cool retro look, try to keep those classic banners up there. Make Ghaz proud my hobby friends!


Phil and Ivan’s original masterpiece. Loving it!

~We’re all sitting around in quarantine, so hey, grab some plasticard, cardboard and get hobbying.  Throw your best efforts into the comments or @bolsnews on twitter.  We’ll gather up all the entries in a bit and show them off!

Old resin Armorcast version


Author: Larry Vela
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