Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Modelling an Imperial Guard Dropship

“the three shuttles were military dropships, heavily armoured and carrying enough weaponry for close air support.......the barrage of autocannon rounds and sporadic rockets from handheld launchers barely scratched the paintwork as the menacing formation descended. All the defenders really succeeded in doing was to pinpoint their positions, the ones bracketing the shuttle’s flight path falling silent almost at once as the dropships’ nose-mounted lascannon replied to deadly effect.”
Extract from Cain’s Last Stand by Sandy Mitchell, 2008.

An armed and armoured dropship for my Imperial Guard, oh yes, I just had to have one. A search around the internet convinced me that there was nothing available, not even at some horrendous price from Forge World. So I had to scratchbuild one. I used balsa wood (and balsa glue) to build the basic box as it is both light and rigid. I wanted a brutal-looking shuttle, not some high-tech machine. I coated the frame in plasticard using white glue. Then it was just a case of adding on decoration. The twin-plasma engines are from a Star Wars Y-Wing kit. I also used various bits from a Trumpeter Chinese MIG-19 1:35 kit. The Hellstrike missiles on overwing launchers and the lateral vectored thrusters are from Old Crow.

The dropship is armed with a forward firing lascannon, a dorsal-turret with twin-linked heavy bolters and two hellstrike missiles to make the defenders keep their heads down. The bolters can also be used while the shuttle is on the ground. There are lateral exit hatches, including one large set that is blown off with bolt charges to facilitate getting the troops out quickly. It has a tail rocket-jet as well as the plasma engines for space flight.

It has four crew, a captain-pilot, an enginseer, and two gunners in a sealed cabin in the bow. The shuttle has a ruby laser long range comm to communicate with orbiting ships so it can act as a command vehicle.

The model is painted Tamiya German Grey. Citadel shining gold was used for various sensors and panels. These were hand-varnished with Citadel ‘Ard Coat after the whole model had been sprayed with Citadel satin varnish to make them shine.

It is about 40cm long with a 24cm wingspan.

Planetary Assault, anyone? Rules and datasheet to follow.

The Pictures are clickable

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