Shelfari Shelf

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Building the MKIV Ironclad

I don't normally do work in progress posts. For one thing, I often don't have the patience to photograph as I go, preferring to show off the constituent parts and then the built model. Having had a request to show more picks of the MKIV Ironclad as its built, I figured I would give it a try.

For this model, I have a vision of the Ironclad busting into a structure and wreaking havoc. In order to make that work, and look reasonably decent, I decided to build the base and the model at the same time. For a dread, I will usually build the legs and feet - since they have enough stability to stand on their own as I build the rest of the model - and at the end I make a base. Sometimes it is as simple as gluing flock and some bitz onto the base and presto. Here, not so much.

The structure is defined by a thin sheet of plasticard cut to cover part of the base. Pretty easy to do, just place the base upside down and cut around the edge until you have a piece as big as you want. Then I took to pieces of brass etched from the 40k Basing kit (maybe still available, I'm unsure) and glued them so that they looked like walls. Next, glue where you want flock to go, I used fine slate (from the same kit) to create a small rubble effect. Finally,I added some barbed wire, to show that this building was defended to some degree. On the dread, I placed the two feet on my work table, lined them up so I got the illusion of motion I wanted for the dread, and glued the feet to the legs.

Next I added the head and upper body to the dreadnought, as well as the power plant. These pieces are pretty easy to add on, and only require you to make a choice in terms of which way the head is facing. I chose to have it follow the motion of the model. I did a pretty good job cleaning the flash from this model, but there is still some damage to the power plant hosing couplings. The edges are just so fragile this is probably going to happen 90% of the time.

Now we need to make some choices again. I made some of them when I bought the model, the arms are going to be Hurricane Bolters and Seismic Hammer. The uniqueness of the Forgeworld Seismic Hammer was one of the reasons I decided to buy this model.

However, I need to choose between flamer and meltagun for the built in weapon. The Seismic Hammer comes with the meltagun, and the kit comes with two heavy flamers. I opted for the meltagun for the extra armor busting capacity. Next I added the extra armor onto the weapon arms. The Hurricane Bolter arm has no real pose-ability, its either aim straight, aim down or aim up, so it's aiming straight. The Seismic Hammer has a bit more complexity, not only can you decide which way it is facing, but it has a hinged joint that allows you to pose it up or down. This is the point where a more industrious modeller could insert all kinds of magnets. That's not my style, as a collector I want to own all of the possibilities, not have a cost effective force that fits a preplanned army build.

Finally, for the dread, it is time to add the smoke launchers, assault launchers and hunter killer missiles. The HK Missiles are the second reason I love this model, they sit on a tiny launcher at the top of the Ironclad, waiting to unleash doom.

Make sure you build the HK Missile launcher first and glue it to the rear of the Ironclad. Then you can glue on the smoke launchers and assault launchers in either order. Finally, I added some Ultramarines brass etched to add some distinctiveness.

In order to finish off the base, I clipped some pieces of sprue to use as rubble and girders. I used two to make support beams, and a pair of clippers to distress them. Then I made a small pile of sprue rubble and stuck a hand holding some cloth into to it.

A lasgun and helmet from the Cadian sprue were then used (eagles removed) to add a foe to the battle - traitor or chaos guardsmen perhaps - and some more slate was used for the interior. To change up the texture and help delineate the difference between building and outside, I used Woodland Scenic's ballast (I have a mix of fine and coarse that i prefer to base with) on the exterior of the base - around the razorwire and on some of the open patches.

The end result looks like a battle in progress, with the Ultramarines winning of course!


  1. Good clear series of shots. I'm not a fan of the model because of its proportions, but the height of the girders mitigates that very well. In fact it's the fantastic basing that steals the show - the model is really a part of the landscape and setting. The overall effect is excellent.

  2. Thanks for the great comments. It makes me glad I didn't cop out and just do a brown ballast base with some bitz thrown on it.

  3. The FW Dread looks really cool with the base. As Porky said it stole the show.

    Might just have to steal the idea from you when I do my Dread.

  4. Thanks Deadmeat. They say imitation is the highest form of praise, so feel free to borrow or improve. I hope to have painted picks up sometime next week at the latest.

  5. Nice post Chris, good clear description and great photos. I think the only think I would have done different was the posing of the dread. It looks a bit like it is just walk straight through and not busting through. Maybe if you had twisted the body and extended the army with the hammer out in front to it so it looked like the dread had just thrust it through the wall it might look a bit better. Right now I am not seeing that much motion to the model. It almost looks like it has hunkered down and is firing the Bolter.

  6. I can see what you mean Huron, I suppose I should have given it a more Kool Aid Man kind of pose and made more of the base structure and less external. Something to think about if I give it another go.