Dreadtober — Ironclad dreadnought leg and shoulder conversion

Dreadtober — part 2

Space Wolf Venerable Dreadnought legsI’ve finally started work in earnest on my Ironclad Dreadnought for Dreadtober. I ordered a set of legs from a Space Wolf Venerable Dreadnought kit off eBay and they arrived in record time. This saved me having to convert one entire leg since it’s already posed, knee forward. As an added bonus they have claw feet, which utterly confounds me because they’re FAR more like bird feet than wolves paws, but I consider it a happy coincidence. I may beef them up a bit with some more Ironcladish bits, but I don’t think it’s a big deal, really.

Converting dreadnought legs to a running pose

Yes, I take the hard way for everything. Let me explain something before I get started with the pics. From the way the legs are modeled, you can see the top plate and two sides of the hips are intended to be static.

My evidence is primarily the fact that the thigh pistons join to the inside hip joint in a way that would make very much tilting all-but impossible. Interestingly, the GW studio modeled the lower piston as being set forward just slightly on the leg that’s advancing, so I guess they meant for there to be SOME play in them? Further evidence of my theory is the teeth in the inside portion of the joint, looking like a gear would use that to rotate the barrel forward and back. You can see more of the teeth on one leg than the other, which means the plate on top stays there and the inside barrel moves. The thigh portion of the leg is attached to the barrel with a hard point, so that was clear.

Evidence against my theory: I watched some clips of the Dreadnought Assault DLC for the Space Marine video game, and then dropped it into slow motion. They absolutely nailed the way a dreadnought would walk and run, but they also show the top armor plate moving, for sure. I would like to think they were just being expedient with a detail that surely most sane folks would never notice. So, I blithely ignored said evidence. Moving on.

Here’s what he looks like now:

I had to cut away several bits. I started with the knee as it looked fairly easy to cut. The side pistons all but popped off, and then I just had to carefully cut away the middle part. What makes it easy are the lines that are already molded on. I just had to follow those and try not to cut into anything important, but frankly this will all be covered by armor from the front. I also had to pop the hose off. Once I did the front and back, I glued these two halves together for a complete ‘shin’ piece to make posing easier.

Next up was the hip. It was a bit trickier but still not too bad. On the front of the leg I only cut the thigt away, so I could reposition and glue it further back. On the back piece, I had to cut out the interior barrel, and then I removed about 1/8″ of the tooth plate from the back. I was left with a hollow hip, so I filled in a bit with soft greenstuff and pressed the (now shorter) tooth plate back in. This part was really tricky since the GS was so soft, still. I ended up waiting til later after it had hardened a bit. Next time I do this I’d actually fill in the hip with plastic scraps and glue it into position, then do the gap filling later.

I then glued the knee into place where I wanted it, back almost as far as it would go without hitting the back piston into the rear of the thigh bit. After a bit more greenstuff gap filling it feels pretty dang solid. You can see it’s actually a significant bend when you factor in both the hip and the knee. The back leg is almost horizontal once I pitch the whole thing a bit forward to get that “Hammer of Wrath” momentum going. The final pic shows the angle I’m planning for.

Now I have to get those hoses to connect again, which may well be the hard part.

Converting dreadnought shoulders

IMG_0016I’ve started converting the shoulders as well, but that may prove to be much harder. My thought is the set of rings around the joint act as a set of sliding armor sleeves, allowing for limited play on both the X and Y axis. Thinking about a few ways to do this, I decided the most accurate was to replicate the sort of movement you’d expect, and I made this little sketch. Once I started working, though, I figured the notched ring would probably be attached to the stalk to add strength. So, I cut the center piece out and carefully cut away the outside ring. I will recreate it in plasticard, but this seems by far the quickest way to do it, finicky as it is. After working up the first one, I set it back in place at the angle I’m looking for with some greenstuff. I’ll get the plastic ring on there hopefully tonight so I can see if it works the way I want it to.

Here’s what it looks like right now:

Not much to it right now, but it will add a bit more movement to the final pose. I’ll do a similar thing for the other side if this works well. Don’t mind the gap on the back, because that will all get covered by the other ring of plasticard.

Progress has been well and truly made. Once I get the shoulders done, I can magnetize the arms and then I’m off the the races for paint. I’m pretty jazzed with it so far.

Let Dreadtober continue! Looks like lots of great progress has been made already.