Monday, January 10, 2011

Modeling tutorial: Rhino combi-melta and infantry flamer

Hey all, Chaosheade here again. My last post was about painting, and this one will be a modeling/conversion tutorial.    Here is a preview of what you start with (top) and the end products (bottom).
Long winded intro and the meaty details of the conversion after the jump.
While buinding my CSM army, I ran into a couple problems aquiring all the pieces I needed. I wanted to have the option of meltaguns, plasma guns, or flamers for my troops. Plasma guns are easy to convert from plasma pistols + extra bolters and metal meltaguns can be bought from GW for $8.00 per 5 guns, which is MUCH cheaper than any bits seller I could find. Flamers proved to be more problematic. GW doesn't have flamers that you can buy separately and bits sellers only had a couple in stock at any one time so I would have to buy from several sources and pay shipping for each one. No thanks. The other problem I had was finding combi-meltas for my rhinos. The chaos rhino sprue comes with a combi-flamer option but no melta. I solved both problems at once by taking a rhino combi-flamer and a meltagun and doing a little converting to make a combi-melta for my rhinos and a flamer for my troops. Two birds with one stone.

First off, here are the tools I used for the conversion. From left to right, we have a hobby knife, glue, file, paper clip (for pinning), wire cutter to trim down the paper clip, pin vise with 1mm drill bit (for pinning and drilling a hole in the bolter half of your combi-melta), and a 1/16 inch drill bit for drilling a hole in the barrel of the meltagun. Only the hobby knife and glue are required, everything else is optional.

We begin with the flamer half of a rhino combi-flamer from the chaos vehicle sprue and a meltagun. Any flavor of meltagun should work just fine. I am using the metal one because they were the easiest and cheapest to aquire. If you want to hollow out the barrels on the guns this will be the easiest time to do it before you start chopping and gluing.

Step 1: Use your knife (or a razor saw if you prefer) to chop off the barrels and tubes from each gun. Try to cut as close to the body of the meltagun as possible. If you use a razor saw or cut too close to the barrel, you will have to make a small piece to fit between the barrel and the gun when you re-assemble the pieces. See the above picture (bottom left corner) for an example.

Here is what you will get once you finish step 1. The plastic tubes can break easily as you will see below. If this happens, it's not a problem. Just glue it back together.

Step 2: Swap the pieces from each gun to the other. You will see that they do not line up perfectly right away. They will need a little more work.

To make the meltagun tube fit on the flamer, you will have to bend it to make it fit between the little stub left over and the end of the gun. Both tubes and the flamer barrel will need to be trimmed a little bit to make them fit right using your hobby knife and/or files. Just do this a little bit at a time until it's right. It's better to not cut enough and need to cut more off than to try and repair something that you cut too much off of.

Step 3: Glue each tube and barrel on the guns and you're done.
Pro Tip: The flamer barrel and tube that you will be attaching to the meltagun will go on faily easily but I had some trouble with the meltagun barrel. Simply drill a hole in each piece and pin them together and they will go together MUCH easier.

You can see the finished flamer above and below are a few different angles on the combi-melta on a rhino.

It may not be the perfect solution but it's (relatively) cheap, easy, and effective. If anyone has any insight on other ways to get this done or where to get the bits for these weapons (especially the combi-meltas, I can't find those anywhere) please feel free to share. Chaosheade signing out. Catch you on the flip side.

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