Saturday, 24 November 2012

Kit-Bashed Thunderhawk is Finished

My custom built Thunderhawk Spear of Calth has just been completed and is about to undertake fleet trials (painted) before being given the go ahead to enter active service (blowing stuff up!). 

It has been a long time in the planning and probably longer in the construction but bar some green stuff touch ups the Spear of Calth is done and although I've hated building the damn thing I'm really glad I did.

 The model just about balances on the flying stand, I've used the spare exhaust vent in the inverted turret slot as a docking point for the flying stand, I'm going to get some heavy duty magnets involved because I was convinced it would go over at the slightest motion! Magnatising the rear landing gear will also improve playability, allowing it to land and be used as an objective (Get to the Thunderhawk!)

For those who have read my earlier posts, my main goal with this project was to try and get the listed equipment on the model rather than going for a 'looks like but works like' approach. The photos below show the lengths I have gone to in order to squeeze the huge array of missiles, lascannons and heavy bolters onto the model.

The lascannons are spares from the Forge World Predator Executioner whilst the underslung heavy bolter turrets are Forge World's Razorback upgrade kits. I had to invert the unit in order to get the bolters to face the right way up, this wasn't too tricky but Forge World resin does create an awful lot of dust when you saw it! The Hellstrike missiles were a difficult thing to place, the wings were already full to bursting with things that go bang, they didn't fit on the side of the cannon housing and were too big for the front wings. They actually work really well here (IMO), the vent brackets were unsightly and these cover them up nicely. From the front they also give the Spear a really menacing look.

Custom Heavy bolter sponsons in the turret

The Thunderhawk has 4 sets of twin-linked heavy bolters, the Nuneaton pattern thunderhawk hasn't got any which I felt was a shame, GW requires that models have WYSISYG, which by implication means if you're building something to look like another model, it has to have the same kit as the codex. The hull mounted heavy bolters were easy but the turret was a bit of a dilemma as it alters the profile of the model. However, I think I made the right decision in using it - I'm not sure I would have put another set of HBs otherwise! 

The turret was a custom job, the Stormraven kits don't come with HBs and so I had to harvest them from an old Landraider that is awaiting it's own conversion into a Redeemer. Initially I used some of the Predator sponson HBs but they didn't look substantial enough. I ended up cutting the HBs in half and stick them to the back half of the Assault Cannon unit before sheathing them in the turret housing.

The kit list for the Spear is as follows:

  • 2x Stormraven Gunships - main superstructure and wings
  • 1x Rhino - spares and strips for gap filing 
  • 1x Vindicator - engine bay and demolisher cannon bracket
  • 2x Razorback heavy bolter upgrades (from Forge World)
  • 1x Landraider heavy bolter sponson
  • 2x Predator Executioner lascannons - you could use the ones from the Storm ravens but these are heresy-era lascannons so they seemed more appropriate.
  • 1x Citadel movement trays - encasing the engine tops and rear
  • 2x super glue thick, a lot of which ended up on my fingers...
  • 1x plastic glue thick
  • 1x liquid green stuff

Because of the scale of the project I bought the kits online and raided ebay for the individual vindicator parts I needed. I think I've spent about £130 and all told it's taken about 20 hours to get it built.

Here is the Spear next to a Predator Executioner and the little blue circle is a Tactical Marine - this beast is massive!

Needless to say, I will be running round my flat making appropriate engine noises for the next few weeks...It's times like this that remind me why I do this hobby though I'm in no rush to do another!

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the guys at GW Nuneaton for making the instructions on how to do this and for Ben at my local for offering encouragement and not being too angry at me for not buying them from his store...oh, and my fiancee for putting up with my steady stream of expletives and the little piles of dust all over the house.


  1. OMG! Looks like ANOTHER project for The List. ~sigh~ I'm so green with envy you could mistake me for an ork right now. I can't wait to see it with paint!

  2. Honestly mate, I just really wanted to see it happen and I'm really impressed! Gonna have to bring this down one day so I can get a few snaps of it too and see it in the flesh/plastic/green-stuff!

    Really really impressed, the additions to the Nuneaton STC are really noticeable and make a difference. Honestly best Kit Bashed Thunderhawk I've seen! Send photos in to White Dwarf when done!

  3. This is so fantastically audacious, and I'd love it for that alone, but it looks pretty good too, like a stripped down or heavily tweaked variant put together on some distant fleet support ship. Well done for working through those troubles too.

  4. Seriously this StormRaven is ever sicker than the real one. Really Nice Job.

    I hope you can do a lil tutorial on how to stick em together :P