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Iron Falcons - Hercules Land Raider

14949 Views 32 Replies 19 Participants Last post by  vulcan666

I have been toying with the idea of posting up the details on my Hercules Land Raider for a while now so here goes.

The basic concept for my Marine Chapter is that it is based around Techmarines and the search for ancient knowledge. I first had the idea back in 1995 when they released some nice Techmarine models but it never got beyond some rough sketches.

It wasn't until 2007, during a clear-out of some old papers that I found my original sketches for the Hercules. By this time the current Land Raider kit was out and a number of other plastic kits had me coming up with possible conversion idea's. I eagerly got to work on the project over the summer of 2007 and below is my documented work.

Although I got quite a lot of work done, kids, work and other conversions have taken up my time since and the Hercules was shelved part done.

Just recently I have revived the project so I thought now would be an ideal time to post up my work.

The Hercules

I started with a regular Land Raider and had half an idea of what I wanted to achieve. I wanted the finished item to look functional and rugged. I also knew I wanted it to be able to tow damaged vehicles and deal with twisted wreckage AND I wanted it to be able to carry my Forge Lord and a retinue of Servitors and/or Tech Adepts. I didn't want the model to be offensive...more a transport and recovery vehicle, however, I did want it to be able to defend itself should the need arise.

I quickly discovered that the leg sprues from the Chaos Defiler would be ideal for what I had in mind (and at that time you could buy the sprues seperately from GW). As the project continued I found a use for just about everything except the Defiler chassis!

Basic chassis build

Having built the basic structure I made a start on the Twin Linked Multi-Melta and towing boom. The Multi-Meltas were fairly easy to build as it only involved pinning a couple of metal MM's together and mounting them on a spare Whirlwind turret base.

Multi-Melta construction

The boom construction involved chopping up a couple of the Defilers legs (I kept the ball joints for later) and gluing them together. I also had a couple of Terminator teleport homers that looked right sat underneath the boom.

Test fit of the Boom.

Once I was satisfied with the look and fit of the boom I cut out some of the engine vents from the upper hull to allow the boom to 'sit-in' to the hull. I also filed some 'chain runs' into the top of the boom.

Boom fit.

Finally, the end plates from a couple of IG vehicle HK missile tubes were cut into the hull to provide a location for the lifting chains to run into, giving a feel that the chains could be tensioned independently of the booms movement.

Top view of the hull plate.

The final part of the upper hull structure was to make the towing hook. The fact that I rarely throw any bits away came to the rescue here. I found the lower torso from a plastic Dreadnought I had converted for my Whirlwind Walker. This provided the bulk of the lifting tackle and the end portions from an IG dozer blade were perfect for a nut/bolt assembly the chain would run through. The pictures show the original jewelers chain I used but I didn't think it was coarse enough and ended up ordering a couple of lengths of chain from Forge World that I linked together to make a single piece.

Lifting Tackle

The hardest part of the lifting tackle was the hook itself. I did look around for a week or so at various modelling websites and shops but in the end I had to manufacture it from an Ork axe or something similar (can't quite remember now). It's not fantastic and I may come back to it and make a better one at some point.

Lifting Tackle hook

With the upper hull done I turned my attention to the sponson mounts. I had always planned on having some kind of hydraulic Salvage arms on either side of the Hercules, rather than something mounted on top of the hull as others have done. After a few scribbled ideas I went with the claws and arms from the Defiler after removing all the Chaos markings.

I designed the arms so they could travel horizontally through the 180 degree arc of the sponson weapons mount but also be able to rotate through 360 degrees on a collar to allow them to grapple battlefield wreckage. The Hurricane Bolter armour from a Crusader provided a nice finish to the look of the arms and those swivel joints I cut off the Defiler arms earlier were used as end caps to cover the pinning I used to hold the arm to the collar.

Rotating Collar close-up

End Cap (opposite side to the collar)

Both Salvage Claws complete.

The next step was to glue the upper hull in place. I added little touches to the vehicle at this point like making the tow cable and converting an old Mole Mortar so it looked like it had a folding stand. I managed to cut out an auxiliary tow cable and connectors and glue them to the Herc's rear as well. The picture clearly shows the Adeptus Mechanicus symbol I cut off of something (the Land Raider engine block I think) and glued in place on the lower ramp.

I decided at this point that I would glue the ramp shut, having never been a fan of being able to open it up. The main factor behind this was that I really didn't have the time or inclination to paint the interior before assembly (just impatient I guess).

Final hull assembly

I undercoated and basecoated the model once it was dry. I did do some basic painting on the models components but by this time I had run out of steam a little and work was getting in the way.

When I put the project on hold I was only half happy with what I had achieved. For one, the paintjob was irritating me. I have never been very happy with my vehicle painting techniques, especially with large flat expanses and two, I thought the Herc was looking a little stumpy at this point. I toyed with the idea of using some old IG dozer blades to make a suitable dozer blade for the Herc but it never reached fruition...until recently.

Well, thats it for now as it's getting late and I have an early start tomorrow. More to follow.
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Do you have rules for this? It looks outstanding.

Very nice, I love the idea of a techpriest Land Raider
Do you have rules for this? It looks outstanding.
:( Unfortunately no...it's on my to-do list along with the rules for all my other wacky inventions. I am just trying to complete my outstanding projects conversion-wise so I can concentrate on painting. Fluff and rules will come later.

Very nice, I love the idea of a techpriest Land Raider
It's been a long time coming...she 'aint quite there yet but she's damn close. I just hope my painting skills can do the model justice.
its definitly a very interesting project. +rep

cant wait to see it 100% completed.
its definitly a very interesting project. +rep

cant wait to see it 100% completed.
Cheers mate.

I don't have much time to update the log at the moment (need to sort out the photo's) but here's a quick taster of what it currently looks like. I stuck my Forge Lord next to it for a bit of scale.

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Man, that is an excellent idea! And well executed to boot!

With those arms I'd almost expect to see a big wagon bed behind the land raider to store enemy battlefield wrecked for later research and recycling.

Hmmm, I can only imagine that the Adeptus Mechanicus has one hell of a recycling program. I'd love to see somebody take this even further with . . . a trash picking titan, scouring old battle fields for raw material to recycle and continue driving the Emperor's war machine!

I wonder if there's a good way to mix a recycling symbol with the mechanicus one . . .

Wow, such an inspiring project. You're work is always believable (within the game). Your projects seem very well thought out, and logical.

Impressed as always,
Outstanding project ! And that dozerblade, extended version ? Those Salvage-claws look nasty in combat with other vehicles. +rep.
I love this tank! i think im in love with it, cant waint to see it finsished, plus rep!

(edit: gotta spread the love a bit more first, dont worry, its coming though)
this is excatly why i love this site!!!!!!!!!!! just seeing such excellent and creative work makes me strive forth and work hard on my pianting skills so that one day i too can create somthing so magical. well done much love and respect!!!!!!+rep
As I mentioned, the Hercules project lay dormant for a while. I had had the odd go at making a dozer blade for the model but was never happy with my results. It wasn't until I saw the Ares Land Raider that I formulated a plan.

Having studied the picture for a while I realised that the model builder had just extended the ends of a regular Vindicator blade.

Having measured the Raiders hull I found it was 98.88mm wide, whereas the width of the Dozer Blade from the plastic Vindicator is only 89.91mm. I didn't want to copy what had already been done, and using the Vindicator blade without modification just looks silly!

I looked at the Linebreaker box set I had bought months before for a few moments and thought 'sod it...nothing ventured nothing gained'.

So, trusty razor saw in-hand I set about chopping up 2 blades to make 1 good one (eek), all the while thinking that if I buggered this up it was money down the drain. I would need to buy another 2 Vindicators, or at least the Vindicator sprues as well or I would just have another two Rhino's...luckily Ebay came to the rescue!

First thing first...I needed to establish some kind of positioning for the blade. I used the regular Vindicator blade to give me a rough idea of where things needed to go, though as the project advanced this positioning changed.

Having done some careful measuring and cutting to keep the blades symmetrical when I glued them together, I put them to one side and started work on the lifting arms. I just glued two together and used an old piece of sprue to make the longer support strut now required. Interestingly, it was at this point I discovered a way of quickly filling small gaps. Check out my tutorial on it here

I chopped the Dozer Blade components down so that I would just need a single piece of plasti-card to make the missing portion. Once I had glued the blade together I cut out a rough template from the plasti-card and filed it to fit. After some careful filling and sanding to mask the join lines I added a rib of half plastic rod to the top of the blade, and the Imperial symbol to give it symmetry.

The new blade width is 121.34mm, compared to the original 89.91mm. I didn't really have much influence over the final width of the blade as I needed it to be symmetrical to look correct. As there were evenly spaced 'teeth' along the bottom of the blade I used these as a reference point for the cuts I made to both blades.

Now that I had my blade I had to figure out the best way to attach the lifting arms as they would not now fit the original locating points. I used two spare locating points as welded brackets on the back of the blade and had to mess with the location a fair bit before getting the correct positioning. I placed a couple of triangles of plasti-card at right angles to these brackets to give some added strength.

The hydraulic strut that changes the pitch of the blade was originally just a single diameter piece of sprue from an old airfix model.

I changed the original single width strut for two different sizes of styrene rod in the end to make it look more like a hydraulic system.

I also added the components to the Raiders hull that would allow the dozer blade to raise and a stop to prevent it dropping when the model is lifted. I added small magnets to allow the blade to move up and down in a controlled manner but this didn't work out as well as I thought...just too much weight on the blade for the magnets to handle it properly.

Fluff: With the dozer blade raised the ramp is then able to drop and allow entry and exit for the servitors and Tech-Marines. There is also sufficient clearance to allow the Assault Cannon a clear arc of fire (so long as it doesn't elevate)...I imagine that there would be 'weight-off' micro-switches that would prevent the forward weapon from firing whilst the blade is transiting AND prevent the elevation mechanism activating whilst the dozer blade was raised.

I wish I had not glued the ramp shut now and had taken the time to add extra interior detail...ah well, maybe next time. :wink: This is basically where the model is at now...just needs a good paint job. I am currently waiting till I get a compressor for my airbrush before I try painting it properly. In the meantime I have another project in the pipeline that is closely related to this model...but you will have to wait whilst I start a topic on it...coming soon. :good: I am just prepping the first batch of photo's and reference material.

EDIT: Here is the link to the new project.

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What can i say, this is outstanding modelbuilding of highest caliber.:victory:
Hmmm only thing I can even say is the TL Assault Cannon should probably be the TL Multimelta. The Multimelta would be better suited for burning through the debris on a battle field plus can be used to defend itself as well. This of it as a welding cutter type thing that counts as a multimetla. The Assault Cannon just does not fit on this beast.

LOL What about putting the multimeltas on the claw arms :D, kinda like the dreadnought used to have the underslung weapon.
I can only add to the praise layered upon you.

The dozer blade is my current favourite conversion; however it has close completion form the lifting tackle.
Wow, excellent writing and tutorial documentation, both here and with the poly cement gap filling tutorial. If I could rep you again, I would.

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