Dreadtober — converted space marine dreadnought arm

Dreadtober — part 6

Ritz the cat enjoying the autumnal sunI spent the better part of Saturday and Sunday working on my Chicahua (not to be confused with Chihuahua), my Ironclad Dreadnought for Dreadtober. My cat, Ritz, joined me for my Sunday afternoon session, since we hadn’t turned on the heat yet and the house was rather chilly. After what she did to my Knight, I kept a close eye on her. I have a standing desk, and I started getting a little bit of a sore neck after all this. The struggle is real! But the good news is that I got a lot done. I’m almost done with the painting in general, and now it’s on to the base and weathering. But first, I want to show you all the new arm I was coerced to make I built after receiving some helpful feedback.

Converting a Space Wolf Venerable Dreadnought arm to an Ironclad arm.

So, on Bolter and Chainsword, Dosjetka and Kobrakei both expressed the arms weren’t working for them. Just as often happened with my Knight, they were only telling me what I knew already to be true, and I had to agree. I did some digging around and found that, once again, the Space Wolf Venerable Dreadnought seemed to be the only Dreadnought in any line that had a posed arm of any kind. In this case, swinging wide to the side. Having already looking into the arms and deciding it was too big a pain to cut and rebuild them, I ordered this set straight away from eBay, from the same seller that sent me the legs before. I honestly should have just bought the entire kit at this point, and had bits to spare. I still have a SW left arm if anyone wants it… Now, of course, I couldn’t just leave the arm all Space Wolfy, so I set about mashing it up with the Ironclad’s right arm.

This may not look like much, but I had to do a fair bit of work. First, the SW pad had a chain with some teeth and gems across it, and a large gem on the front, as well as a wolf head. They were all easy enough to shave. It also had a rounded edge to the front of the shoulder armor, and I had to shave that down and carve it into the squared-off shape. There were other small bits that didn’t match the normal arm, but I put that down to acceptable levels of variation. Notably, the ribbed cables on the arm have far wider ridges, for some reason. I decided to go ahead and glue the heavy flamer to this arm, knowing that I’d have another arm left over in case, for some reason, I ever want to run it with a Storm Bolter (Greggles assured me I can toss the Storm Bolter, and then pee on it for good measure, as much good as it’s worth). Of course, glued or not, getting that cable to work was going to be a challenge. I cut it off both at the top and bottom, and very, very carefully bent it into shape. I was really pleased I didn’t break it. I also, of course, very carefully cut the CC weapon off the Ironclad arm and glued it back here, which required just a little gap filling. That ‘simple’ conversion seemed to take ages, but it really does help with the overall pose.

The dreadnought’s current pose

Ladies and gentlemen… It still looks goofy. But, it’s not for lack of trying. This thing is a boxy gorilla, and no amount of magic is going to change that. But, dang nabbit, I think this is about as dynamic as it’s going to get without significantly scratch-building the entire thing. One thing I didn’t realize until I had the bits in-hand: Even the inside joint of the Space Wolf arm had a little extra dynamism in the form of a couple more rings of soft armor, so the angle of the arm is more pronounced now. I tried it a bit lower, and it looked even more weird. But, this is actually much closer to my original idea, where he’s leaning into a shoulder smash, and then readying his right arm to come around in a vicious haymaker. You can also see at this point the green is basically finished and more details are starting to come in. I added a set of purity seals  to the new arm in a spot where cutting away the Space Wolf bits made the sculpt a bit rough, but the extra parchment adds to the sense of movement so I’m cool with the cheap shot.

Where Chicahua stands now

As you can see, I’ve added script to all the purity seals and added a large 3 to his leg to show he’s attached to the 3rd company. I don’t do vehicle numbers, though. I also attempted to write his name on the sarcophogus, but I realized with the purity seal in front of it you can’t see his full name. Really, I wrote it with too much space given to the covered-up letters, but I don’t mind that too much. Nobody cares about his name but me, anyway. I think most of the painting is really done by now. I need to base it so I can hit the model with a matte spray in preparation for weathering. I may add battle damage first, though, to avoid the finish looking goofy. I plan to use Rhinox Hide to add chips and scratches, with under-highlights, as I did on my Vanguard test model. I don’t buy into the idea that the armor plates rust, so I probably won’t have much rust going on at all. They may have some grime streaks, though, which for all intents and purposes look like rust, usually.

Once the basing putty (the red is glazing putty, from a hardware store and the other is Tamiya White) is dry I’ll sand it down more, add the sand and tuxtured bits, and paint it up in my usual fashion. I don’t want to add any flames, as the victim here will take a bit of attention away and I don’t want to do any more. I’ve been saving this guy for a base, and this one seemed like a good option since that foot’s up and there’s so much room. He’s to represent a native of Tonatzin, the Eagle Eye’s home world, killed by the Necrons (it just so happens to be a waking tomb world). I’ll leave him mostly intact, probably with flayed skin around his arm, creeping to his chest, but I don’t want to make him too fresh. I want him to be pretty ashy, like he’s been laying for a good day or so.