Monday, October 18, 2010

DiY Twin Linked Autocannon Arms for Dreadnoughts

As I have tested my Codex Marine MotF list, I have come to realize the rifleman dreads (2x TL autocannons) are simply the best way to bring long range supression/anti-tank fire.  Sure the TL lascannon/missile launcher variety is good, but it is more expensive and puts out less shots.  To this end, I have decided to go ahead and model three of my dreads as rifleman dreadnoughts. 

Now, I teach.  I don't know how teachers are treated in other countries, but here in the US, garbagemen get paid better. I am always trying to come up with decent conversions for make cost effective models.  To that end,  I have come up with the following option.  You can find packs of three autcannons from $3-$7.  So for 3 dreads, I think I spent about $20-$25 outside of shipping.  Not bad since the Forgeworld autocannon arms cost around $11 per arm.  I ended up saving about $20. 

Per dreadnought you will need:

4 IG heavy weapons team autocannons and ammo canisters (the ones that are hollow on the inside)
a hobby knife
a file
super glue
plastic snips

The first step is to make some inital cuts.  You can use a hobby knife or your snips.  Below you can see that the red lines represent where you should cut.

One you have cut, use the file to flatten out the area you cut on the autocannons.  It isn't actually flat.  Once both gun mounts are flat, glue them together and glue one ammo cannister to one of the autocannons.  At this point you should look like this.

Here is the tricky part.  As you can see, because of the way we glued the guns, you have one ammo feed on the outside and one on the inside of the arm.  What you need to do now is carefully use your hobby knife to cut the inside aiming ammo feed off.  It should be the one you haven't glued a cannister to yet. Also cut off the handle to the crank on the gun.  Then turn around the ammo feed bit you cut off and attach cannister to it.  Now your arms should have the ammo cannisters both on the same side and look like this:

Now, you have some decisions to make.  The arms won't fit on exactly as they are, so you have options. A) You can do what I did and add magnets so that the arms are easily switchable.  B) You can cut out a circle to fit the posts on the body.  This is a bit more laborious and requires taking off a little at a time because if you go too far, you can have arms that won't point out.  They sag.  Finally, I don't like exposing the space that the backs of the guns show, so I used plasticard and greenstuff to fill in the gaps and cover it up yielding a final-ish product that looks like this:

When you are done, you can file down the greenstuff to make a nice eaven covering and voila! You have TL autocannon arms.  Total time spent on creation is about 30 minuts per arm.

In the end, you will have a guy that looks something similar to this:

I hope you enjoyed this.  If you did, or if you didn't, let me know.  I am desparate for some comments at this point.  Thanks for reading.

Other articles you might find useful:
That's attractive: Uses for magnets in 40k
Tutorial: How-to Rock Bases on the Cheap
Magnetizing a Stormraven?!?


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Unknown said...

Looks great, I have been trying to figure something like this out for a while now. So I will be definately giving this a shot

later ogre

Anonymous said...

Cracking.... great tutorial Dave.

Unknown said...

Cool man. Since one of my armies is IG, I think I may still have a few of these sitting around. Looking forward to trying this out.

Dave said...

Hey man. I am glad I could help. This was a pretty fun conversion.

Unknown said...

Just finished the first arm. Will need to scrounge up more stuff to do another arm. BTW, Will try and remember to mention your blog on our next show.

Thanks again!

Artemi said...

PERFECT. This was EXACTALLY what I was looking for. I had heard that HWC Autocannons made good starting points, but had no idea how to go about actually turning them into arms.


Purgatus said...

Great tutorial. Simple and effective. Can I put in a request that you take some more shots of the finished model from a few angles?

As a reward, you get your own blog post!

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