Warhammer 40K Leman Russ Mk. IV

Jakko

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Since I mentioned something about this in another thread, I figured I might as well post it now too.

Fourteen years ago, I still played Warhammer 40,000 regularly, and had hit upon the idea of fielding an army of the Lost and The Damned. This was in Codex: Eye of Terror — it’s basically Imperial Guard (now known as Astra Militarum) but of Chaos, plus some Chaos Space Marines and demons. I envisaged my army as basically Chaos-Waffen-SS in space, on the basis that this is probably about as lost and damned as you can get :smiling3: I converted a fair number of infantry from Imperial Guardsmen using mainly Tamiya 1/35 scale parts like German helmets and pouches, then painting them in genuine Waffen-SS camouflage patterns, and also some vehicles. The most extensive conversion for that is the Leman Russ that this post is about.

The model started out as a standard GW kit of the vehicle, but I soon decided to spruce it up a bit to look more appropriate to the army’s theme.

WIP left.jpg

This is the half-built hull. The main part is the GW kit hull, but I didn’t fit its normal outer side plates and tracks. Instead, I took the hull of an old Italeri Pz.Kpfz. IV kit that I had obtained half-built a long time before (I don’t remember how, but someone must have given it to me, as I don’t recall building it myself to its unfinished state) and sawed the lower corners with the suspension off of it. These had to be shortened to six wheels per side rather than the eight that a Panzer IV normally has, but then they fit the Leman Russ hull sides quite nicely, as the photos show

WIP bottom.jpg

I cut 1.5 mm plastic card to fit the profile of the hull, with the necessary gap for the Italeri hull pieces, glued it on, and then stuck the final drive housings, return roller mounts, and (later) idler wheel mounts in appropriate locations, plus the associated wheels of course. The left side also has one of the “Chaos possession” plates added into a cut-out in the hull panel, to show the vehicle isn’t quite a standard Imperial Guard tank anymore. The Leman Russ sponsons also went onto the sides.

WIP right.jpg

I also applied Zimmerit from Revell Plasto model putty, using the AFV Club roller tool that I had bought not long before. This was the first time I really used it, and it worked quite well as you can see:

WIP right detail.jpg

The hull front also needed some work, as you can see in the photo of the underside, because I wanted to fit a Panzer IV-like hull. The Italeri upper front plate fit with little trouble — I don’t remember if I had to cut anything off it, but I don’t think I did:

WIP front.jpg

Later, I added a lascannon as bow “machine gun” and a vision port from an Italeri Sd.Kfz. 234 armoured car. I would have used a driver’s visor from a Panzer IV, but I must have not had any.

At the back, I added the two exhausts to make it look like a Panzer IV Ausf. J rear hull:

WIP rear.jpg

Unfortunately, I didn’t take pictures of the next steps, but I added the idler wheels and then the tracks, which are Dragon separate-link ones, but any Panzer III or IV links will do. These again came from some sprues someone had once given me, and again, I don’t remember when or why :smiling3:

The turret was built mostly straight from the box, but I added an Italeri Panzer IV commander’s cupola (with the GW hatch) and turret side hatches, plus Zimmerit as before, as well as Schürzen:

Turret.jpg

The Schürzen were made from brass sheet with supports from 1 mm brass wire soldered on in three places and then glued into holes drilled into the turret: two supports near the front and one in the middle at the back, which isn’t visible in the photo. This needed to be sturdy for gaming purposes, hence using soldered brass rather than glued plastic.

After that it was just a matter of adding a few more details and things, and the model was finished.

Left front.jpg
Right front.jpg
Right rear.jpg
Left rear.jpg
Left detail.jpg
Front detail.jpg

There are no photos of the painted tank, because today it’s still in the exact same state as in these last pictures :smiling3:
 

Paintguy

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Thanks for the pictures Jakko. I like the look of that and I'm sure my son & I could have great fun building something along those lines.
 

Jakko

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This particular one is fairly extensive, but the great thing is that you can’t really mess up a conversion like this: almost anything goes, really, as long as it fits the game rules (WYSIWYG, that is). You can make it as mad or complicated as you want.

Of course, if you really want to go to town, build ork vehicles using as little of GW’s parts as possible:smiling3:
 

Paintguy

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Yes, I love the look of GW's Ork vehicles. I doubt I'm up to replicating something like that right now but one day...
 

Jakko

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Really? I liked ork vehicles much more when they didn’t all look the same in everybody’s armies :smiling3: Maybe I should post some pics of some of my efforts, finished and unfinished.
 

Paintguy

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I suppose more accurately I should have said I like the general style of the Ork vehicles, compared to others, like space marines for example.
 

Jakko

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Agreed about that, they look quite good as models. My main complaint about them is really that you see too many identical ones when the whole aesthetic is supposed to be that they’re all different, but I suppose this is somewhat inevitable :smiling3:
 
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