Friday, October 15, 2010
How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Chimera
Ah, the Honda Civic of the Warhammer 40k world: The Chimera. Love them or hate them, these guys seem to be on grimdark tabletops as frequently as dice. When it came time for me to develop my renegade IG army, I knew that Chimeras were going to be a necessary evil. The least I could do, was put in a little love to keep the spam to at least an aesthetically pleasing level...
I have never been a fan of the standard GW Chimera model. I do not mind the hull, but I find both the turret and lasgun battery to be a bit wimpy looking. I dislike the standard construction of the Necron Monolith for similar reasons; one day I will post pics of how I solved that little problem... Anyway, I knew that I was going to find a solution to the Chimera issue if I was going to hope to create a somewhat competitive IG force.
After viewing Dave Taylor's work on his own Blood Pact renegade IG force, I started to really break open the idea of what an IG tank can be. Take a look at his work here.
I have always liked the clunky profile of world war one and two era tanks. The behemoth of a tank featured in the third Indiana Jones movie had also fixed itself in my mind as a plausible aesthetic. Necessity being the mother of invention, I started reviewing the 10+ Leman Russ chassis I had purchased from a good friend of mine, and began to form a plan.
In order to represent the firing point, I would have to literally create and represent a location that a model could fire from. Can 5 models fire from said point? Sure, if they took turns. Anyway, I popped the hatches off the backs of the Russ chassis I had, and stacked extra fantasy bases inside to create a platform for the firing passenger. I then used the same hatch on the back flat surface of the chassis to provide an acceptable entrance/exit point. I really like the barbed-wire covered vehicles depicted in The Horus Heresey: Collected Visions book. I knew I wanted to involve barbed wire on every vehicle in some way, so for the firing points, I found a very easy way to drill holes in the hull, stick some wire in, and apply several coats of wash and dry-brushed chainmail to create the desired effect. Along the same lines, I had experimented with sand bags, but could not achieve the desired effect. The bags looked too forced, and I decided that the wire was enough.
Worth mentioning here: While it is true that measuring from the firing model, my firing point is a bit farther back than on a standard Chimera, this hindrance was of little concern to me. A recurring theme on this blog, is form over function. If it doesn't look good, then why play it? Again, I am a hobbyist, not a beat face WAAC gamer.
After the transport and passenger firing details had been taken care of, I next moved on to the front of the hull. I used some of the extra defiler turret weapon housings to create a turret, and pinned the defiler-borne twin-linked autocannons on top. While not exactly a multilaser, I really liked the belt-fed clunky appearance of the autocannons. Call it a super heavy stubber, if you want. The heavy flamers were easily snipped and pinned into the hull mount location, and again, those extra defiler turret bits came in handy in making a shield.
After carefully pinning smoke launchers and a searchlight to the hull, I was finished! With the first of nine Chimeras! Six veteran squads would need chimeras, one would go with the Company Command squad, and I needed to make two for my psyker battle squads. Oh, the humanity.
That's all for now. I will get into the treatment and color palette for the armor in time. As for now, my far-from-Standard Construction Template will have to do.
Have a good Friday!