Thursday, 15 December 2016

Lootin' Tutorial - Part Three

Continuing my step-by-step part one and two post on how I Loot vehicles, part three follows the  second and third Looted Wagons covering their hull re-builds turrets. Also, lots of finished pics!

Looted Wagon 2


Referencing the 
mock up I lengthened the Leman Russ hull by adding a horizontal panel notched to fit around the detailing on the inside of the track units. Some cut down H beams provide some detailing as well as support. An upright panel was added using engineers squares and internal support to keep it straight.

At each corner of the Russ hull 2mm thick sections were cut out with a razor saw, continued down until it passes behind the track unit.

A top panel was cut and some 1x4 strip was glued at one end (x). The panel was temporarily fitted in position. The rear side panels were cut and fitted so they ran from the rear panel and angled up to meet the top. A steel ruler allowed me to get the width and height required for these panels. As I removed the section of the hull previously I only needed to cut the panels so the bottom of them would be hidden behind the track units (blue line). It was then a simple matter to add the side panels (s) and glue the top panel in place.

Track guards were added but the covers were left off, except for at the front. On this wagon I planned for the guards to be incorporated into the upper hull. A panel was added at the rear so that it was flush with the top of the track guard ‘walls’.

A top panel was cut and split into sections with one piece replaced with treadplate. I marked on the panel where the offset turret will be placed and the area I wanted to be raised up. I also marked up where a hatch will go with a circle.

I built up the raised area with a ‘wall’ of 1x4mm strip, a top was then added incorporating a vent, A disc was cut by scoring styrene with a circle cutter and snapping the unwanted material away; the centre was drilled and the disc glued in place where the turret will be positioned. The 2mm hole was continued through the styrene panels below.

A small circle was cut out and a piece of styrene was glued on the underside, a cut down grots head was then fitted into the hole. A small hatch was made to go here but not glued in place.

The finished top assembly was fitted and finished off with more details. Some additional plating was added to help bed it in with the hull along with the rear track guard pieces.

The original exhausts were cleaned up and the ends replaced with two thin pieces of 6.3mm tube. For the end 4.8mm tube was cut at 45 degrees before being glued together to form an ‘L’, GS was used on the join. After gluing in place some Orky repair work and rivets were added. The rear was then finished off with any additional little details that were needed.

At the front a new drivers cab was required. To start the cab top panel was cut and fitted with supports glued underneath to keep the panel in place and level.

Front and side panels could then be cut to suit and fitted in place. I decided to remove the marked corner using a razor saw. Once cleaned up a small additional panel was added.

The cab was detailed with various dags, rivets and brackets. A vision slit was made using offcuts and to finish the original Leman Russ cupola was fitted.


I took the Russ turret and cleaned it up, removing anything I didn’t want. It was then glued down onto styrene which was larger by a 2-3mm.

The centre was measured and a 2mm hole drilled. I glued some metal washers inside to help balance it out and remain in place when fitted.

A 20mm wide strip was cut and from this strip I cut panels to go around the turret, glued down onto the styrene base. Offcuts were used to reinforce as required. More styrene panels were added to the front. Once the panels around the turret were done the styrene base was trimmed back and styrene was fitted inside, the krewman will later sit down on this.

The turret was finished off with a top plate incorporating an old 25mm base as a cupola. A disc was added to the underside of the turret and a 2mm brass rod was glued into the hole.

Looted Wagon 3

The simplest of the three. We have a scratchbuilt turret but apart from some plating being added the only real modifications to the hull were new exhausts, a reinforced ram and some cosmetic detailing.

Rear & Exhausts:

For the exhausts I cut the following: mounting rings (a – 8.7mm), top and lower exhaust pipes (b – 7.1mm) and the exhaust covers (c – 8.7mm).

The covers were drilled before being cleaned up and distressed.

Once the upper and lower exhausts were glued together as ‘L’ shapes and had been distressed the covers were added.

The two mounting rings were glued to the already detailed rear of the tank, I had simply added various plating in styrene so that it gave an interesting look with different levels and plenty of rivets. The two exhausts could then be fitted into the mounting rings. A couple of support brackets were then added.

Reinforced Ram:

I began on the reinforced ram by making the mounting steelwork. I first cut some styrene 6mm high to fit into the ‘I’ of some 7.9mm I beam. These are the mounting plates onto which the ram will be attached.

4mm ‘H’ Beam was cut into two lengths, approx 65 & 75mm. A mounting plate needed to be attached to one end of each beam. One end was squared off and then lined up with the edge of some 1mm styrene sheet using a set square as shown.

A mounting piece was butted up against the end of the beam, as the plate is 2mm taller the 1mm sheet locates the plate centrally. A small amount of glue was applied to the top joint – enough to join them without inadvertently gluing the beam & plate to the sheet. Once lifted clear more glue was added.

Each completed beam was glued to the tank hull up against a ridge; a steel ruler was used to ensure the mounting plates lined up with each other. Finally rivets were added to the beams.

Support pieces made from 2mm rod were glued between the two beams and from the beams to the front of the hull, to make everything look more substantial.

Some hex rod was used to make small bolt heads. Before cutting the six corners at the end were rounded off with some fine wet and dry sandpaper. Approximately 2mm thick piece was then cut off. I used the Chopper tool so I could get four pieces the same height. Alternatively a pieces could be sawn off and sanded back to the height required.

The bolt heads were glued to the mounting plates so the rounded corners face the tank hull.

For the ram I cut six pieces of 1mm styrene which I glued together in pairs to give me three pieces 2mm thick. After heavily distressing they were glued together in the arrangement shown so the overall length (x) is approximately the tank width. On the rear 7.9mm I beam was glued parallel to the bottom of the central piece (p). The higher the I Beam the lower the ram will be when fitted to the tank. The ram was detailed and some I beam pieces were hacked up and glued to the front.

Where rivets couldn’t be used I added weld lines. This includes the I beam on the rear of the ram. A thin roll of GS was added to the join and a sculpting tool with a rounded tip was used to get a ‘rippling’ effect. I am not attempting to create an accurate recreation of welding, more an impression of one. More welding was added to the front spikes and to the mounting steelwork.

The turret was scratchbuilt around the weapons. I started by building the mantlet incorporating a magnet for the Big Shoota and a length of tube for the Boom Gun. The mantlet determines the size of everything else so has to be done first.

Behind the mantlet is a box shape made of tube and a piece of I beam covered in styrene. The tube will form the hinge allowing the gun to raise and lower, the I beam pushes this back so it isn’t too close to the mantlet.

The base panel of the turret was cut with a width to suit the weapon mounting. The ends of the tube are encased inside the turret, but not glued. This allows the tube to rotate along its axis but not to move in any direction. There are many ways of achieving the same result, I seem to do it differently each time I build a turret so it is best to experiment and see which way you prefer.

Once the base and sides are in position the rest of the turret is fairly simple. A top was added with another level incorporating a hatch. The front panelling was angled to give plenty of clearance to the mantlet as the gun raises. At the rear I built out an area while removing the lower corners giving a more interesting look.

The internal diameter of the Leman Russ turret mounting ring was measured and three discs were cut approximately 0.5mm undersize. These were stacked and attached centrally to a larger disc and added to the turret. 0.25 strip was glued around the stack and trimmed, giving the turret a snug fit into the turret ring, easily removable while not being loose.

The turret was detailed with Orky repair work, rivets and dags. A searchlight was also added with a Lascannon power pack.

And here are the finished Looted Wagons:

That turned out to be one very long article…congratulations if you got through to the end. I hope it has been of interest and maybe sparked an appetite to do some looting of your own.


  1. Oh man - the patience you had to work through these would have been phenomenal. I particularly love the little detailing - the rivets, the dags etc. Those little (painstaking) bit really sell the whole thing.

    Great series of articles mate.

    1. Cheers. The details, even if barely noticed, are what always makes a model.

  2. Absolutely awesome - I really appreciate all the insight into your process man, tons of excellent tips and tricks. Thanks for delving in to the detail like this!

  3. Your modifications are their own best kit. That is the level at which you are working. Surprised you don't have someone cast some of these designs you come up with!

    1. In fairness everything an Ork builds should be unique, so casting them would be a bit self defeating. Though if someone made an offer...

  4. Even more great tips and hacks, truly a mad mek mind at work :-)

    1. Cheers. No such thing as a mad Mek or a sane Mek. You just have a Mek.


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