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How to build a Gothic Drop Pod

I do not like the Forge World drop pods. I never have. For one thing, they look to plain. They lack that gothic feel of 40k. Secondly, they are too expensive. Who wants to pay that much for an immobile vehicle? Thirdly, they are too small. They do not look like they can hold a dreadnought. Lastly, every time I see someone with custom built drop pods they are just poor clones of the Forge World ones. Why bother?

With these things in mind I decided to build my own. I thought about what my drop pods are for. They are solely for my dreadnoughts. I also thought about the 40k universe and its technology. It occurred to me that the Imperium would not scrap a drop pod if it survived a battle. It would send a Thunderhawk to reclaim it for reissue. In addition, I thought about what I wanted to say with my drop pods. I saw this as a unique conversion opportunity for me to make a statement. I wanted my drop pods to convey the deathly feel that they should being the harbingers of the fighting sarcophagi we know as Dreadnoughts. With that I decided to give them a mausoleum feel. Lastly, I wanted to be able to keep my dreadnoughts inside the drop pod. Yes, my dreadnoughts are stored inside my drop pods.

Without further explanation, here are the instructions to build this drop pod.

You will need 3 pieces of foam core 3”x3”, 2 pieces of foam core 3.5” x 3.5”, 2 pieces of foam core 2.5” x 3.5”, and 2 pieces of foam core 3” x 3.5” (as seen below).

You will need 1 Necromunda bulkhead, 1 Large Fantasy Monster Base, 2 25mm bases, 5 Cities of Death steel beams, two of each type of Cities of Death Buttress, 4 Cities of Death roof points, 1 Cities of Death relic/idol/mounted eagle, 4 Cities of Death imperial eagle decorations, one imperial tank hatch, and one storm bolter. Ebay is a great place to go for the Necromunda bulkhead.

You will also need 4 rare-earth magnets 3/16” in size, some doll house molding, a few old business cards (or card stock), a piece of vinyl about 1” x 2.5”, and the cap to a film canister. The black pieces in the following photo were used as extra accent pieces for the top and bottom of the pod.

You will need a hot glue gun (with plenty of ammo), scissors, super glue, hobby knife, sculpting tool, pen, box cutter, and some light spackle (or filling putty). You will also need some sort of hobby saw (not pictured).

Getting Started:
From the ground up, building the base –
Start by taking the large monster base and a 3” x 3” piece of foam core. Place the base centrally and outline it with the pen. Cut out the square outline. Remove. Then place the large monster base on a 3.5” x 3.5” piece of foam core. Repeat the steps above.

Once this is done glue the two pieces together so that the holes line up as flush as you can get them.

Flip them over so the smaller piece is on the bottom.

Glue another 3” x 3” piece of foam core to the top. This will create the base.

Flip this over and glue the film canister lid to the recessed hole. This creates the thruster on the bottom of the drop pod that slows it for re-entry. I placed additional pieces in the corners as small directional guidance thrusters but that is extra.

Flip that back over. This is the platform (floor of the pod) where you will build the walls.

Glue the short side of one 3” x 3.5” piece of foam core vertically on top of one edge of the platform.

Then glue one 2.5” x 3.5” piece of foam core adjacent to the first so that it is glued inside just along the edge.

Repeat for the other side.

Glue two of the Cities of Death Steel beam bits on each exposed edge of the 2.5” x 3.5” pieces of foam core. You want to have a small gap at the top so it is NOT flush.

Next take the box cutter and remove the excess foam core from the 1st plate (i.e. the floor) of the pod. It needs to be flush with the edge of the Cities of Death pieces.

Now glue the other 3.5” x 3.5” piece of foam core to the last 3” x 3” piece, centered. Then center and glue the large monster base on top. Glue the 3.5” x 3.5” piece to the top of the pod. This will make the roof.

Then place your dollhouse molding against the bottom of the roof and draw a line. Do this on all 3 sides. This will tell you how close you can glue the other pieces.

Take the 3 remaining Cities of Death steel beams and place them around the base of the pod like so.
Left side:


Right side:

Now gather the Cities of Death buttresses, two 25mm round bases and your Necromunda bulkhead. Cut the excess off the bulkhead so all that remains is the window.

Flip the pod onto its back and cut two small notches into the bottom of the foam core at the sides.

Glue the buttress top to a 25mm round base. Glue the lower edge of the buttress into one of the notches you created on the bottom. This will allow you to concrete it in place. Then glue the 25mm round base onto the side of the pod. Repeat for the other side.

Add foam core scraps as supports to the bottom on either side of the buttress if needed.

Next take your dollhouse molding and measure the width of one side of the pod. Cut it to match the length with 45degree angles off the ends. You will repeat this process for the three sides so far created.

The door:
Remember the huge gaping hole you have on one side? That’s where the door will go. You should have small gaps above the Cities of Death steel supports that run vertically. Those should have dollhouse molding behind them. In that recessed spot on each side, glue a Rare Earth magnet.

Now take the last 3” x 3.5” piece of foam core and match it up to the open slot. Glue the other two magnets in its upper corners. Make sure they are attracted to the other two magnets. If the magnets are repelling each other this will not work.

Place the bottom of the door against the edge of the floor. Glue a mall piece of vinyl over the two to create a flexible hinge.

Cover the vinyl with plastic card or card stock.

Now take the other two Cities of Death buttresses and clip the tops off so the fit on the front of the door without over extending. Glue them in the center facing away from each other. You may want to file the backs of them so they fit smoothly onto the door. Once those are glued on, cut some of the floor plating away to allow them to pass when the door opens.

Now glue the Necromunda bulkhead window cut out to back of the pod. Make it stand on top of the Cities of Death steel beam. Glue two of the eagle icons facing each other against the outer edges just above the window.

Glue the other two eagle icons against the first two so that their backs are to each other.

Take some card stock and cover each exposed edge of foam core

You can put a strong piece of wire on the front door to act as your door pull. Let’s face it, those magnets are strong and we do not want to break the door trying to open it. (hence the flexible hinge)

Cover the inside of the door where the wires come through with sticky felt cut to shape.

Take a larger piece of sticky felt and cut it to fit the inside of the pod. It will look more coffin-like and it will keep the dreadnought safer. It will also keep the dreadnought’s paintjob from getting scratched.

Cut off the excess felt with a hobby knife.

Go back to those spots where the dollhouse molding was glued together (with the 45 degree angles) and apply some filler putty to account for any gaps.

Do not fill the gaps in the front door dollhouse molding. If you do you will not be able to get the door open.

Glue your last bits of decoration and the storm bolter to the top.

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