Hobby Update: Space Marine Chariot, Draco Banner and converted Scouts

The old Chariot with rider blu-tacked
Fanfare please... So, after moving house recently (technically twice), having to take on more hours and work and other general business – plus a good helping of procrastination on my part, work has been resumed on the Spears of Mawdryn miniatures! 

Space Marine Chariot Revisited

A few months ago, I hastily constructed a Space Marine Chariot Attack Bike (prophetically preceding the 6th edition chariot rules... and what's this medical stuff they have in there now...)   In the post in which I covered the conversion of the model, I also mentioned an idea I had to make sure no model was wasted. As the chariot body itself is too small to hold a round base, I had the idea of placing pins in the feet of the “chariot rider” and drilling corresponding holes into the floor of the chariot. This enables the miniature to be securely placed in the vehicle but also makes him relatively easy to remove. Once removed I can then put in a chap armed with a melta or heavy bolter (and with similarly pinned feet) to transform the chariot into your standard issue, vanilla Space Marine Attack Bike.

Along with drilling holes into the chariot floor, I also intended to drill the same holes into round bases. This meant that when the axe-wielding chariot rider, or the melta and heavy bolter armed marines were not getting a lift onto the field by chariot, they could still be used elsewhere on the table in another squad.

Armed with a new pin vice and drill bits from HobbyCraft, kindly bought for me by my fiancée, I set to work putting the plan into action.

Everything's gone green...

I started by removing the chariot from the bike itself, it had only been lightly tacked. There was a little filing that needed doing on the chariot itself, the edge closest to the bike had been bothering me for ages, so that was the first bit to be fixed.

I also smoothed out the front a little more where the two sections of the chariot “walls” (you can tell I'm up on all the technical speak) hadn't quite set in-line. There was also still a large gap in the floor where the Attack Bike gunner seat usually fits. I'd already covered the bottom of this section with a strip of plasticard, and the job was finished with a quick filing down of the raised lip and a little modelling putty to fill the gap.

To strengthen the “walls” previously I'd added a little modelling putty. This time round I filed it down even more and then added the finest film of putty to the previously uncovered section to ensure a reasonably flat surface. It was all still a little rough, but it was now tidy enough that I was happy for it to sit on the table. As the rider will mostly obscure the interior, and I'm sure nobody will want to scrutinise it that closely, I'm not too fussed about it being perfect.

Stiletto boots?

Whilst the putty dried to a more solid state, I set to work on drilling the holes into the feet of the Marine. I used a 1mm drill bit and some brass rods that I had bought over a year ago. Everything gets used eventually, although often not for the exact purpose it was originally purchased for... I noticed whilst working on the model that the bottom section of the axe shaft had gone missing in transit. Unable to find it I'm now looking for a suitable component to salvage to put in its place. The hunt continues...

A perfect fit

The rods fit nicely, and thankfully it all went well. After drilling the holes into the base I had a snug fit. It was actually a tad too snug, but a quick filing of the pin ends made sure they didn't snag on the base when removing the model. And that was it all finished, quick and relatively painless. Just need to order a few extra bits from Bitz Box to make the melta-armed Marine to act as the axe-wielding nutter's Chariot counterpart.

The finished(ish) product, now for a splash of paint... still not sure what colour, red or green

Sculpting the Draco Banner  

My first attempt at a draco can be seen on the first iteration of the Chariot. Since making it however, I've decided it doesn't look right on the chariot and the banner itself was a little on the small side. I decided to make a variant of it for the foot-sloggers and wanted to make one not streaming in a constant breeze (this would also mean a better centre of gravity and weight distribution).

An armature/frame would be needed to support the weight and for the same reason the banner pole should be a sturdy brass rod. I acquired some 1.57mm stuff from the local hobby shop for the banner pole and would press the rods used for the Chariot marine into service for the Draco armature itself. To get the shape I wanted I wrapped the thin armature rod around the handle of a hefty paintbrush to give some clearance from the banner pole when the modelling putty was added. The pin vice came out again to drill the holes in the Chaos vehichle dragon head accessory for both the banner pole and armature to make sure the whole structure was sturdy.

One draco standard

After making sure everything fit together properly, I set to work on adding the putty. I didn't quite get it as smooth as I liked, but the slight texture can hopefully be turned to an advantage when painting as it could be used to add to the cloth effect. Next time I make one of these I'm going to sculpt fabric folds in, as well as building the putty up around the wire in a slightly different manner.    

Arthurian Space Marine "Helwyr" Scouts

Within my Chapter fluff I have the Saethwyr (pron. saith-weir), who are the traditional "Scouts" - the new recruits, who in my chapter act more like light infantry / skirmishers rather than infiltrators per se. Then there are the veterans that deploy as Scouts known as Helwyr (pron. hell-weir). With the name literally meaning hunters, I wanted them to look like they had been in the field for quite a while on extended deployment, and as if they'd been living off the land. I've ordered some of the Bretonnian rabbit and wild fowl pieces to achieve this affect - they'll be hung from the small packs, much like the example below has an auspex scanner on his.

I also wanted to give them small packs to look like they actually have to carry supplies with them, rather than having a Third Lung to breathe Awesomeness or a Gland that sweats Ration Packs (one for bacon and beans and one for boiled sweets and fruit puree?). For these I trimmed down one of what I believe are bike equipment boxes of some kind from a Ravenwing box (also purchased a few years ago). I filed these down slightly on the inside to fit over the Scout's back hump thing (what is that..?). As this is a hollow component, I filled the (very few) visible gaps with modelling putty so it looked like a pack

A sample scout. A little rough again, but even by the undercoat stage it didn't look like a conversion

I wanted to give them a blanket roll too (meant to represent a rolled up camo cloak). Again this came from a Ravenwing component, it was cut from the box it was attached to and stuck in top on the pack. This is going to be painted in a tribal tartan just like most of the unfurled camo cloaks. I also plan to sculpt a few of these wrapped like blanket rolls that tie in a horseshoe shape around the body - as very evident on soldiers of the American Civil War and the Soviets of WW2 (but has been used since year dot). This is a way of representing camo cloaks without them all literally being "cloaked-up" and gives them that 6th century hill tribe look. Since taking the photos the other day I have drilled the bolt pistol barrels and have begun painting - my first time using some of the new paint range, quite liking the washes so far.

Hopefully all the typos are fixed, for a former copywriter my posts are ridiculously sloppy.... must stop writing at stupid o'clock.


  1. I think that "Hump-back" part of Scout carapce armour may be some sort of initial power pack, so that the scout leanrs about the correct connections for when they're manually maintaining their Power Armour in future.

    I love the idea behind "No model is wasted." when I get back to Space Marines, I'll have to try and implememnt my own version of it to my army. Most of the time I try and make sure I only have what I need, or what is generically best.

    1. I guessed that thhe hump was probably some sort of power pack or filtration system or something, it just looks a little odd lol.

      Thanks very much, usually I do stick to what I need, but with the Chariot being a unique model I wanted a way of getting more functionality out of it and then not having "spare models" for the variants :)

  2. The idea for the scouts is really cool sounding. Glad you are getting on with some actual work on this project alongside the background fluff. Hurry up and show us some painted pics!

    1. Haha thanks Dai, glad you like them. I've actually wanted to get on with it for ages but I've had a couple of months where I've just not had the time or space, thankfully I can crack on now!

  3. A thorough and very interesting post, my good sir. Eagerly awaiting the first clash on the battlefield! That chariot looked brilliant before, now the Green Stuff work is absolutely faultless.

    1. Thanks very much sir, looking forward to getting them back on the field too. Noticed a few rough edges that were highlighted in the photos so given those a quick tidy... that's the problem with trying to improve lighting for the photos


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