Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Lootin' Tutorial - Part Two

Continuing the step-by-step article on how I loot vehicles, part two follows the progress of the first Looted Wagon and shows how I went about rebuilding the hull and adding weapons and details.

Looted Wagon 1

During the mock up stage I removed the original Russ engine area and the turret ring. I used styrene to reinforce everything the hull and it was also glued into the gap so it was flush with the hull, you can see it on the right in the picture below..

Using the mock up as a guide I cut the side panel for the new engine block out of 1mm sheet. I modified the cut piece until I was happy with the shape and it fitted onto the Russ hull. A second panel was then cut using the first as a template and sanded so it matched the first. After then removing any rivets the first panel was glued to the track unit. Three pieces of styrene cut to the same length (x) were glued in place so the second panel could then be glued up against them, some angle strip was used to reinforce the join and ensure the panel stayed perpendicular to the hull.

1x4mm strip formed the ‘walls’ of the track guards. The end pieces are angled so they meet the central piece. The covers are 0.5mm sheet and textured sheet bent to fit over the profile. 1mm rivets were added (not shown) to the covers in line with the ‘walls’ below.

At this stage I also added strip around the top of the hull which the top panelling would sit on.

Returning to the rear a lower panel was cut with notches added to suit the detailing on the track unit (‘n’).

A hole punch and knife was used to cut a slot and on the inside face rod was glued so that a vent would be seen from the outer face.

The upper panel came next before the engine block area was detailed with a mix of 1 and 1.6mm rivets, some strips and a glyph.

My attention then turned to the top panel and engine access hatch. A piece was cut which fit the area and flush with the top. An area was then cut out; there are many ways to do this but I drilled near each corner then cut a cross pattern between the holes, after scoring horizontally and vertically you can bend and snap each section out. A knife and file can be used to neaten the hole. The access hatch was cut to fit the hole but with a 3mm gap at the top.

I wanted the centre of the access hatch to be mesh; this will be sandwiched between styrene layers as gluing mesh isn’t easy so additionally securing it this way is often a good choice.

A hole was cut into the access hatch front panel before 0.5mm styrene was glued onto the inside face leaving 2-3mm free round the hole. A piece of small scale mesh is cut to fit this frame and finally some 0.5mm sheet is cut larger than the hatch front but with a matching hole. The mesh was superglued into the frame and the rear panel glued in place so the holes lined up. Excess material was cut away and the piece distressed.

On the inside face of the larger panel 0.5 styrene was added keeping well clear of the edges. The centre was cut out. Styrene was glued onto the inside face to form a ledge for the hatch to sit on. Adding the 0.5mm first means the 2mm thick hatch will not be too proud. The ledge is deeper at the top for the hinge.

3.2mm tube was cut for the hinge. The central hole was opened to 2mm before the length was cut into three pieces to form the hinge knuckle pieces (yellow). 2mm diameter magnets were glued into the ends where the hinge parts meet.

The hatch and hinge were positioned in the hole and the hatch sanded back so they comfortably fit. Adding glue directly to the hinge will likely result in everything sticking together, instead small pieces of styrene are used as the leaf of the hinge (red). One end is angled so it fits against the curved surface. The leaf pieces were then carefully glued in place securing the tube to the hatch. When all three were added the hatch can be gently removed and more glue can be added to secure everything.
Using the magnets allows the hatch to stay in place but open and close freely.

The engine detail can now be added. It was best to leave detailing the engine until the top panel and hinged access hatch was done, it allowed me to regularly drop the panel in place to check everything fitted. It also meant I could see what would be visible through the open hatch saving me spending time detailing something that would not been seen.

The first job was cutting out areas highlighted in red which was no longer needed and now just got in the way. Side panels (blue) were added offset using offcuts from the outer panels giving a thicker wall. The forward panel (green) was detailed and fixed in place along with a base piece. The ‘engine’ is simply a mix of pieces including the original exhausts, a Guard searchlight, styrene rod, tubing etc. Basically anything that looked interesting got thrown in.

For the top a styrene piece was cut with a slight overhang, this will be the lower plate of the top assembly. To make it more interesting it was cut into three pieces, each trimmed so that the outer edges didn’t perfectly line up. They were then distressed along the edges.

More components where made to go along with this lower plate. So the main components of the top are (right):
A - lower plate panels as discussed above,
B - mid plate, two pieces of 1mm styrene of the same size were glued together. two rectangular holes were cut in the first with the lower piece having a larger hole. 1mm rod was then glued to the underside of the top piece to form a vent (see detail insert).
C - top plate.
D - hatch.

A hole was cut through the top and mid plates once they had been glued together. In the lower plate a larger clearance hole was cut before it was glued to the other panels. This will be access hatch for the tank Kommanda to sit in. The hole needs to be a bit smaller than the diameter of the hatch, I tend to go approx 2mm smaller in diameter. Keep in mind this is an Ork vehicle, the holes do not need to be perfectly circular etc.

The hatch was detailed with handles and an internal panel. The hinge is simply made from 2mm rod. The hatch will be glued into position once the tank has been painted so I did not bother making it a working hinge using tube and brass rod. Other details were used to add interest, namely a second hatch taken from the original Russ hull weapon, a viewing port at the front and a base for a banner pole at the rear.

Above you can see the top plate fitted to the tank with both the banner pole and hatch in position. A Black Reach Ork had his legs cut down so he could sit in the open hatch, an offcut piece of styrene was glued below the hole as a base for him to sit on.

To mount the Boomgun a panel was cut to fit at the front. An 11mm circle was scored onto the panel and a hole punch was used to start the hole. A knife was used to carefully increase this hole until an 11.1mm styrene tube snugly fitted. The scored circle acts as a guide.

The Boomgun will use several pieces of tube and the ends of these will need to be square so everything fits together straight. The tubes are cut with a razor saw and a mitre block before using the True Sander to square the ends. For small lengths of tube I will slide them onto a longer length of a smaller diameter tube as it makes it easier to push the small piece into the sanding block.

Two short lengths of 12.7mm tube were cut and sanded. One piece was glued to a cut down Battlecannon (it fits perfectly over the battlecannon end) and the other piece was glued to the rear of the panel in line with the hole. A length of 11.1mm tube glued into the rear of the Battlecannon allows the Boomgun to be easiely slid into place and to be removable for those annoying Weapon Destroyed results.

A big shoota was cut down and had a 2mm diameter magnet mounted in the rear. A small rectangle of 1mm styrene incorporating a magnet was added to the front panel and small styrene strips were added as details taking care not to glue them to the Big Shoota.

The finished panel was glued in position using engineer squares to ensure the panel was upright and flush with the front of the hull. Offcuts were used to reinforce the joins and to fill in the side near the track unit (green). Further pieces were cut to suit the side and top, the area was then detailed.

Here ends Part Two. In Part Three the second and third Looted Wagons are built and we'll have pictures of the three finished builds. 


  1. An insight into a Mek's mental state! You make it look so easy to cut each piece so that it fits perfectly. For things like the notches cut into the back plate, how did you measure those to fit?

    1. In all likelihood for an Ork build I probably didn't measure, just put the styrene up against the model, score the sheet where the notches needed to go then cut them out with a knife, adjustments can then be made to make it fit snugly. The important thing is not to take too much out at the beginning as if you take too much you can't put it back.