After spending a man month on my first squad, I needed a change of pace. Having recently purchased and airbrush, I thought I’d try my hand at painting vehicles. The lowest hanging fruit, and the tank least likely to turn heads if I painted it badly, was the humble rhino. I try to be as thrifty as possible with it comes to this silly hobby, so I end up buying lots of second hand models and then stripping them of their paint. This guy started life as a Raven Guard rhino, I think. It’s an “ebay rescue”.

I wanted all my vehicles to have a unified motif that would be original from the horus heresy models everyone was buying. I also needed something that would play up my ‘chaos roman legion with technology’ army theme. That’s when I saw this amazing re-creation of a transformer tank:

Those treads are amazing. They look high tech, but also are aggressive and sinister. In order words, perfect for what I was going for. I NEEDED them for all my vehicles. The problem was, I thought I had to make them by hand. I had almost filed away the idea when I found Blood & Skulls Industries on ebay. Armed with his conversion bits and the vision I had in my head, I set out to do some heavy conversion work. That poor little rhino didn’t know what hit it:

I never liked 40k style “engines on the sides of a tank” so I chopped those off and put better looking ones at the back. This along with the treads really helped define the vehicle and make it look less boxy. The big holes that are left over? I covered up with scratch built armor plates that I styled against what’s on a Deimos Pattern Rhino. After a few days of conversion work I was read to paint. Here’s my first ever painted vehicle:

(I’ve since re-taken these pictures with my new DSLR camera. I haven’t re-touched the tank or anything. This is just the difference a proper camera can make)

I’m impressed with how it turned out, honestly. I learned a lot painting this guy and made a lot of mistakes (for example, the rivets, and going overboard with custom decals). Despite those things, it turned out really great. Best of all I had lots of fun painting it. I’m definitely a fan of painting vehicles over infantry, so I decided that my next project should also be tank related.

I wonder which iconic Iron Warrior tanks I’ll work on?

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