Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Dais of Destruction WIP

Building a model that does not exist in the GW range can be tricky.  Building a converted version of such a non-existent model can be even trickier.  Let me show you what I have so far...
Asdrubael Vect's personal transport, the Dais of Destruction, is described in the Dark Eldar codex as a heavily armored Raider, equipped with three dark lances.  If I was building a standard Dak Eldar collection, it would be easy enough to use a Ravager kit with some extra armor plates and force -field projectors.  Seeing as how nothing I do is ever so straightforward, I had to come up with a unique "Skaven/Steam-Punk" concept for said transport.

With no small dose of inspiration from Mark Hoffman's own Doomtrain, not to mention the time machine at the end of Back to the Future 3, I began to plan out a flying warpstone-powered steam engine of death.  As you can see from the picture above, the front of the Dais consists largely of the Empire Steam Tank kit combined with the Chaos Hellcannon.  This provided the profile and structure that I wanted, with the barrel of the cannon making a suitable "boiler", and the scalloped armor of the tank mirroring both the swooping prow of a standard Dark Eldar raider.  I thought the Steam Tank hull also served to suggest the iconic "cow-catcher" located at the front of an old steam engine.  I used a variety of Doomwheel and Warp-Lightning Cannon components to make the dark lances, the largest of which you can see in the prow of the machine.

For the central part of the model, I used components from the Screaming Bell kit to create a "deck" area, where an engineer would be busy shoveling warpstone into the two furnaces.  One of these furnaces would power the dark lances, while the other would fuel the rockets driving the machine.  I thought it was important from a fluff standpoint to have the source of the Skaven's power be repeated throughout the army as both a fuel, and a weapon.  I also thought it was important to provide a bit of "passenger" space, even if it is only large enough for one or two models, to justify the vehicle's status as a transport.  It's not like a Space Marine Rhino could actually hold more than two guys in power armor anyway...  Regardless, here is a work-in-progress photo of this element:
I have since added railings to this section, and have also built the pile of warpstone up quite a bit more (you can see this in the background of the next picture).  The rear section of the vehicle, consists of the "drive" portion.  I have built a cluster of rockets, which are attatched to a secondary furnace, in hope of providing a visual justification for the Dais' forward momentum.  These thrusters were made from several Steam Tank barrels, coupled with the central thrusters of Space Marine drop pods:
To the top of this cluster, I plan to attach the goggle-wearing driver from the innards of a Skaven Doomwheel.  After a variety of other bits such as power-cables and exhausts are pinned on, the model will be ready for it's flying stand.  I would like to take this moment to begrudgingly acknowledge that yes, my projects probably fuel a large portion of the eBay bits market.  You are welcome.  =P

I hope that these photos help to explain and illuminate the direction I am going with this conversion.  I am really enjoying this particular project, and I wanted to be sure to document the process, in addition to the photos I will doubtlessly be posting of the finished, painted product.  Your feedback is welcome!  If you see anything I could do better, let me know.

Lastly, a bit of news:  The good people over at Miniature Wargame Conversions have asked me to be a part of their blog-roll.  Their current website is full of great Warhammer material, from strategy to lore.  I am very honored to be a part of such a great one-stop reading source, and I hope that my readers add Miniature Wargame Conversions to their cycle of daily reading.  I don't know what I would read during lunch if our communities had never become so electronically grounded...


  1. Awesome! You make me want to buy a pile of the new Skaven bits and get converting right now. I used the old metal steam tank for the Doomtrain, but that new scalloped cowcatcher is so much better. Hell, all of the new plastics are so much better.

    Maybe there's room in my Skaven army for another horrible construct...

  2. Looking good Dan. I like the trainesque look of it.

  3. are you going to have a representation of Vect on the conversion any where? I ask because the old models had him riding on a throne sitting on the model. Even making room for your Vect conversion to "Ride" on it would probably be useful.

  4. #2501: Thanks, Mark. I know what you mean. While I said I was only going to build THIS 2k point list, I am already thinking about a Haemonculus project, with lots of plague monks as wracks, rat ogres as grotesques, and some of those hellpit abominations as pain engines. All converted, naturally. I stayed away from that theme so far, mostly because Jay from The Gamer's Lounge (Huronbh here) came up with most of that conversion direction. Thanks again for being ok with my steal... er... re-working your Skaven Doomtrain!

    Tordeck: I still need to come up and play with you guys. Research papers to grade, final exams to write, I really just need to come to terms with the fact that my job interferes with my gaming way too much. =P

    HuronBH: That sir, is an excellent idea. It would also be an easy way to show if Vect and his retinue of Incubi have left the transport yet. I am glad I have not glued that warpstone-shoveling engineer in place... Thanks a ton!

  5. so lovely! Someday I will do some conversions... but I have to master regular arm assembly first, lol.