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Innovative Forge-Lord
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Last year I built a bunch of Drop Pods for my Marine army. Three of these were for Dreadnoughts...and a fourth was my interpretation of the Deathstorm. I took a whole bunch of pictures at the time and I have been meaning to get a tutorial posted up for some time..so without further ado...

After some consideration of how I was going to give the appearance of space for something as large as a Dreadnought the obvious first step was to omit all the harness and console bits. The internal weapon system was going to be a bit more of a problem. I don't particularly like the Missile Launcher option (too expensive points-wise) so I decided to go with the Storm Bolter. The best way I could think of for the Pod to operate is that the weapon mounting should be a pop-up affair...sunk into the floor of the Pod whilst the Dreadnought is in-situ. To create this effect you will need a couple of cupola hatch doors from the vehicle accessory sprue.



Components

Drop Pod kit
Marine Vehicle Accessory sprue



Upper Base Preparation

First off you need to remove the raised hex which will give you access to the centre of the base.





Next, take the weapon control mount base and carefully saw the locating ring off of it. Put the mount base to one side and clean up the ring you have just removed.





Turn the upper base upside down and carefully place the ring as centrally as you can then, using a permanent marker, draw around the inside of the ring.





The marked circle will be the boundary of the area to be removed from the base. How you remove the waste is up to you, snips, knife, grinding tool. I used a Carborundum drill bit attached to my power drill and carefully ran it at slow speed.





As you can see, the process created loads of mess and actually took a bit longer than I expected.





Flip the upper base back over and remove the Aquila's then sand everything nice and smooth.





Remove the cupola hatch doors and one of the rings from the vehicle accessory sprue then cut any aerials and sensors off the ring so it is flat. Drop the hatch doors into place then turn the whole assembly upside down on a piece of grit paper and using a circular motion begin sanding the doors flat. Once they are at the same level as the ring your done.









Clean up the hatch doors then glue them in place as shown. It is up to you how much of the doors you allow to show but be careful and do a dry run first. If you show too much you will see the edges of the doors and ruin the illusion.





Lower Base Preparation

Take the main body of the weapon mount and again, carefully remove the ring detail with a craft saw then clean it up with some grit paper.





Essentially, what we are going to do is use the weapon mount body to form a recess for the Storm Bolter. You can see here the test fits I did. In the finished base the mount body will sit below the access hatch doors...don't worry, there is enough room...this is why you sanded the hatch doors flat!





Glue the mount body in place in the lower base section as shown. Make up a Storm Bolter from the Vehicle Acessory sprue (I happened to have a spare that had broken off a Land Raider) then glue it centrally in place. Test fit the two halves to make sure everything sits correctly and looks good. It is up to you how far above or below the opening you want your Storm Bolter so adjust the stem as required before gluing. It is worth noting that you would be advised to paint the Storm Bolter and recess before final assembly.







Targeting Sensor

Ok, now we have the weaponry sorted there needs to be a way for the machine spirit to lock onto viable targets. Using the top from the Pods central console and the ring we used to trace round earlier we have an instant targeting Sensor that will sit at the top of the Drop Pod.





Build the Pods upper structure. Remove the piping shown and the tines on the locating block (or the whole locating block if desired). Do this on all 5 struts.





Carefully glue the main sensor centrally in place then glue the ring in place.





All that remains now is to assemble the Drop Pod doors and the upper and lower halves of the base being careful not to get any glue on the door hinges.





Glue a shortened turbine spindle in place on the top of the Pod and assemble the upper and lower parts of the Pod and there you have the finished item ready for painting.







Deathstorm Variant

This was quite an easy conversion and a natural extension of the process I have just detailed. You will require a Twin Linked Assault Cannon assembly (available as a bitz purchase from GW or other online purveyor) and of course a Drop Pod.



Base

Begin the process the same as before by removing the hex from the base. Its also worth removing the Aquila's at this point too for this conversion.





This time you will require the Assault Cannon base from the Crusader sprue to act as a template for you to draw around. As before carefully place it central and draw around the inner locating ring on the bottom of the base. Remove the excess material and test fit the base often until you get a nice free moving fit.





Build the Assault Cannon assembly (I had a spare metal version from the original Crusader kit) and drop it in place. To secure it take a length of sprue and cut it into five short pieces then glue each of the pieces to the locating ring of the Assault Cannon base being careful not to get any on the sliding surfaces. Leave to dry then test it for rotation and slack.







Targeting Sensor

Take the weapon mount body and as for the Dreadnought Drop Pod carefully remove the locating ring.





Remove the locating ring from the bottom of the weapon mount base then glue the locating ring from the weapon mount body to the weapon mount base. You will now be able to locate the base directly on the top of the inside of the drop pod. Attach the perpendicular weapon mount then snip it parallel to the base and file flat. You can then attach one of the targeting sensors from the Crusader sprue to the flat (bottom right).







Because you have removed the body of the weapon mount and essentially replaced it with just the base you will need to adjust the length of the spindle accordingly.





Build the Pods upper structure. Remove the piping shown and the tines on the locating block (or the whole locating block if desired). Do this on all 5 struts.





Assemble and paint - mission accomplised. :good:

 

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Let me say this looks absolutely fantastic, particularly the dread drop pod. I'm making a drop pod space wolves army and I'll probably do something similar to this for a dread pod
 

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That's what I call a good WIP.
 
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