Friday, January 7, 2011

40k Dreadnought Drop Pod Conversion - Extreme Version

The goal: convert a Space Marine Drop Pod so that it holds a Dreadnought with it's base.

Credit where credit's due, the bulk of this conversion was taken from an excellent tutorial on The Magnet Pro blog. Go read the article here. No seriously, go read it. I'll be doing a bunch of stuff he covers there, and because I'm lazy I won't be restating the reasons why. The one downside to that method is that while the Drop Pod will take a Dreadnought, it won't take one with the base attatched. This bugged me on two fronts: 1, I'm lazy and can't be bothered with magnets; 2, I like the idea of having everything self-contained in the Pod, so that the first an opponent sees of the Dread' is when the doors swing down and it wanders out. So I came up with the following.

(ok, last chance to read that article)

Part One

Space inside the Pod is at a premium, so to get some extra space we lower the floor.

The back two floor supports (either side of the door in the left pic) need to be cut back to line up with the bottom of the door. The other 3 supports can be cut to fit the Dreadnought base.

Put in the doors as normal. When the tiny floor pieces are attatched, the supporting bits of the base should be trimmed back so they line up with the top part.

Notice that only one door has the internal facing glued on. This is important. We need the spare door parts for later. From here on out, the one complete door will be The Front, and the 2 doors opposite will be The Back.
You also might notice I removed the bottom from 3 of the doors- seemed like a good idea at the time, but really not necessary (and it creates gaps that are impossible to fill later).

Part Two

Now for the fins that form the walls (such as they are). First up, cut the red part out of all 5 fins.

We're going to be shifting the central column up a bit (more room!), so the 5 fins also need to be flattened off (finished one below left, cuts marked on right)

As with that other tutorial, two of the fins need the bottom parts removed. I've taken it a step further and removed the support piece on the right.

Put those two fins to one side.

On the other 3 fins, remove the fancy piece lining the wall. Be sure to leave just a little piece at the bottom- it will be getting removed later, but we'll need it to be able to glue the fin in the right place (cuts marked in red, finished piece at bottom).

Continuing with the 3 fins, make an angled cut along the part that would normally be the ceiling. As I mentioned earlier, the central column is moving up, so to make it look good be sure to measure out the space for the panel. Incase you missed it before, get rid of that bump one the side.

Ok, central column- Glue the two main cylinders together, then turn it upside down. The gun attachment is going on top of the Drop Pod. Glue on the side panels- visually they should face the same way up as a regular pod, but technically speaking they're upside-down on the cyliner (confused?) Don't attach the front panel (remember which part is the front?). Take the 3 fins, and assemble as normal EXCEPT that the central column lines up with the top section of the fins.

Once that's set, slide the gun placement in and glue.

Give it a bit of time to set, then remove the little part we left on the wall.

Now here's a slight twist on the original method. Instead of gluing the last two fins on the side doors, stick them both on the front door like so:

The final step is to glue the remaining panel from the central column to the front door.

It will require a bit of sanding and/or cutting to get a good fit. Be sure to line it up so that it actually clips into the central column when closed.

Part Three

So, we've raised the roof and partly lowered the floor (you didn't think we were done with that, did you?). Now to get some extra room around the sides.

Get the 4 inner door parts that weren't used earlier. Cut the sides off, then cut the side pieces where the bend is (you can throw away the walkway part).

Turn the long pieces sideways and cut about half the plastic off the top- the part we're mostly interested in is the front with all the little circles.

There's a lip just inside the long pieces we've cut. Line that up along the front of the Pod door and glue. The sloped end should be lined up with the top of the door.

Repeat for both sides of all 4 doors. As you can see on the right, that just created a whole bunch of space (don't worry, we'll fix it)

Take the smaller pieces from the inner doors, and cut them so they are flat- we want the detail, but we don't want a lip on them. Glue them to the bottom of each side of the door.

Finally, grab some plastic card (I used 1mm thick, but it shouldn't matter). It will take a little bit of measuring, but make endcaps for the doors.

Yeah so obviously the front door breaks the symmetry of the pod, but it's really not that noticeable. Doing the same trick to that door wouldn't have left enough for the 2 fins to securely bond to (I suppose you could reinforce with putty but like I said, I'm lazy...)

Part Four

Time to finish lowering the floor. If you hold the base up to the light, you'll see a faint mould line around where I've marked below- cut the centre out along this.

Take the left-over floor from part one, trim up the sides and flatten off the bottom. Also get rid of that pesky lump in the middle since we need all the space we can get (cover it with something flat so it doesn't look horrible)

Glue the floor to the base section. If you're picky you might like to fill in the gaps around the side with something. Personally I think it'll be hidden just fine by black paint.

If you feel so inclined, line the inner doors with textured plastic card. I only did the side doors, as the back ones I'm gluing closed (which you don't have to, but it just felt right)

Part Five
So that's essentially it! There's a few cosmetic things I added:

We don't need the seating assembly, so I stole part of it (don't worry, there's plenty of room)

Given that the bottom of the Pod has been cut out, there's all these little fan bits just going to waste...

Putting them on the tops of the doors makes the whole thing look a bit more official.

As a result of having the side doors sick out, they don't want to stay closed. A little rod sticking out of either side on the front door is enough to hold them closed (see, that's why we made sure the front door slotted in to the central column earlier)

Just incase you're one of those people that likes to leave destroyed vehicles turned over on the battlefield, better do something about the mess we made of the bottom. Hey look, it's more bits from the seating unit that we're not using...

This last bit is possibly unneccessary given the extreme lengths used to create room, but I figured every bit counts.

Plastic base vs 80grade sandpaper ftw.

Part Six

So we just butchered a Drop Pod kit- does it actually achieve it's purpose?

Hey, the base fits!

The doors even close!

As you can see, there's a fair bit of room to move, so hopefully most weapon combos will work.

Once again, a final tip of the hat to this blog, without which I wouldn't even have considered this insanity. I hope this is useful to someone out there :)


Lantz said...

For someone who calls themselves lazy, you sure put a lot of hard work into this. It looks fantastic, great work!

And thanks for linking my page 37 times ;)

Jon said...

Ha, you may have a point about my self image ;) Thanks for you comments :)

Spud Tate said...

this is awesome. I shared it to my facebook page.
great work.
peace spud 11th Legion

Jon said...

Cheers Spud :)