Friday, September 17, 2010

Marine Recon Assault Vehicle scratch build

Just a pic of something I put together a few weeks ago. Since I'm of the opinion that what space marine wouldn't want a sort of 'dune buggy' to kill stuff with?
Dust Devil Recon Attack Vehicle.

This is part of my 'non-standard' fast attack unit. The others are SM bikes I've converted to be jetbikes. I'll likely put together a tutorial for building them if there is interest (and I get a few more bikes).
Grave Walkers Mk XII Jetbikes (counts as a normal bike).
I can give a description (until I get more bike wheels and front farings to make another and a tutorial) of how I built the 'buggy'.

Needed materials:
4 SM bike wheels
2 SM bike front wheel farings (covers)
1 SM bike rider
1 SM vehicle gunner from pretty much all the SM tank kits
Choice of Heavy Bolter or Multi-melta from a Devestator sprue (I went MM).
A few spare infantry sprues (just the sprue)
about 3-4" of 1/4" diameter plastic tubing
3-4" of 1/2" diameter plastic tubing
Plasticard (I used .4mm stuff, it's easy to cut and work with)
60mm base (or equivalent)

1) The first step is to clean up the wheels, cut the faring from the front of a SM bike (I used the bikes I cannibalized to make jetbikes).

2) Decide on the dimensions for your buggy. I went with 1 3/4" wide by 2 3/4" long. Once you have this decided, place the wheels into the farings, glue in place. The front wheel/farings will be 1/4" in from the front, and the back ones 1/4" in from the back.

3) Cut sprue to attach to the front of the front faring/wheel, and back faring wheel. These are your 'bumpers', typical sprue is 1/4" or less wide. Attach the sprue pieces to the farings, with the edge of the cut sprue covering to the edge of the faring plate.

4) Cut sprue to attach between faring plates, measure the wheel/bumper combos and subtract that amount from the total length to get your 'between farings frame sprue' cut length. Glue those between the farings, roughly 1/2 the width of each wheel/faring to be part of the base frame. It will take a bit of trimming, as the farings are at a slight angle and not a 90 degree.

5) Now that you have the basic frame cut a pair of sprue pieces to fit between the front and back bumpers. These will help give the buggy a bit more internal support, as well as give you something to place the interior flooring on. Glue them into place. I put mine roughly 1/2 in from the left and right sides. Then I cut a piece of 1/2" diameter tubing to the same length as the sprue, then cut it in half along the length so I had 2 pieces of that length. Glue that inbetween the support sprue you just placed.

6) At this point I cut a piece of plasticard to use as a floor to the vehicle and glued it into place.

7) Some people will want to 'armor' it like I did, others won't. Basically at this point you build a framework in the shape you want for the buggy, making sure to leave room to put in a seated driver (I used the gunner arms from the vehicle sprue to be a steering wheel, and a toothpick for the steering column).

8) Once you have the frame completed, place your driver into place (I built a seat for mine with a little piece of pink insulation foam). And place the light/gun cover from a SM Bike in front of the driver as a 'wind screen/gun mount'. Begin cutting plasticard to fit into each section of your frame, glueing them into place.

9) Now it's time to build the gunner/weapon mount. This is actually pretty easy overall. I took a devestator marine MM and cut the input tubes from it and moved them to the left side. The backpack I mounted at the back of the 'cargo space', and filled the holes in the length of tube between with pieces of plasticard/plastic tubing. To build the weapon pintle mounting I took a 1 1/2" length of plastic rod and heated it, putting a good bend into it so it looked a lot like a capital C. I glued that down onto the top of the roof. I glued a 1/8" piece of plastic rod to the MM and glued it to the pintle tube. Then I attached the vehicle commander torso/hatch piece to the roof, trimmed its shoulders a bit and attached the gunner arms to it and the MM. Picked a head and stuck that on the torso.

10) At this point you can choose to prime and paint, or add more detail bits like exhausts (I did that), chapter markings, etc. Enjoy your new attack buggy!

Hope this was a useful tutorial, my next will be on making Jetbikes from SM Bikes.


  1. These look pretty cool, any chance for a side shot?

    Kudos on the step-by-step too...

  2. I'll post up a side shot once I get a not rainy day. My light box is... well totally ghetto. And the pics turn out better on my self-built picnic table, which is soaked from a couple days of sporadic showers. Hopefully in the next day or three.