Preparations for the upcoming campaign are well underway, with terrain generation ticking along nicely, specifically tailored to the missions in the book (mostly mining and industrial looking stuff – more in a future update). As previously mentioned though, my
Astra Militarum Imperial Guard forces will need some significant reinforcements in the Tank department to be able to play the majority of these missions – after all, Taros was known for its brutal tank battles in the desert wastes. However, I really don’t want to spend any money at all if possible, so i have decided to give cardboard tanks a go!
After a bit of searching around on the interwebs, I was able to find some templates of various complexity for Leman Russ battle tanks, and eventually settled on the one rather handily attached below (to save you having to search through the dodgy websites that I had to!)
There are no instruction with these, but it is fairly straight forward as long as you have an image of the Leman Russ to hand for reference (it is even better if you can borrow one too just to check you have the scale right, as well as how all the smaller details fit together). It took a few hours spread over the week (mostly during tea time, trying to do it around feeding the kids) but after three attempts at the turret alone (scaling is an issue here more than anywhere else i find) it was finally completed – behold in all its cheap cardboardy glory!
The cereal packet of choice was Coco pops, with the gun barrel made out of a straw and wrapped with selotape of various lengths for the muzzle thicknesses. The tracked sides of the tank body were bulked out with 2 layers of foam board internally – the template suggest leaving them hollow, but the foam board added a bit of weight and rigidity to the model that it would have otherwise been lacking. I also added lots more detail than was on the template as there were lots of left over snippets of card that were easily usable as extra armour panels, box details, etc. I also had some spare bits of model knocking around, namely a heavy flamer hull mounted weapon and a turret hatch with storm bolter, which I used to give it all an air of authenticity.
I then coated the whole thing in two layers of watered down PVA and sprayed it black to see how it looked as a uniform mass
And then took some comparison shots against the borrowed Leman Russ – turns out the barrel is a bit too long, so my first tank is in fact a vanquisher variant. Nice!
Well, as a first attempt I have to say that I am pretty chuffed with this – sure, the barrel is the wrong size, the turret still not quite the right scale, and the tracks ae a bit wonky, but overall i think it does the job. With a proper paint job I’m sure it will have pride of place on the tabletop along side the rest of the guard, just maybe not ever making an appearance at public events though as it wouldn’t stand up to close inspection. That said though, if I made it from empty GW boxes, would it then be 100% GW mad and therefore eligible for tournament play? Hmmm, i wonder….
Anyway, I’m definitely going to have another go at this, and try to be a bit neater all round as well as add a bit more detail. I have plenty more vehicle spares knocking around that I can add to flesh it out a bit more, as well as some spare gun barrels to save me messing around with straws. The only thing I need to figure out is what to use as rivets, as the addition of these all over the hull would lift the whole thing to the next level I feel. Any suggestions most welcome!