Sunday 20 May 2012

15mm Armoured Dropship Conversion

Here's a modelling guide/conversion guide/'look what I made' article. 

I saw Old Crow's 6mm armoured dropship months ago and thought it would make a good dropship for my 15mm Arbiters force. The model is pretty big (over 13cm long) and looks about the right size to carry light vehicles and at least half a platoon of infantry. Also, at £6, for this much resin, its a bargain. After some fairly extensive work I've come out with two of these badass looking dropships (these are undercoated only atm as I haven't quite worked out what shade of grey I want them to be in the end). 

I wasn't happy with any of the dropships currently commercially available in 15mm, to be honest, they all look a bit boxy, retro and outdated. I wanted something resembling the Pelican from HALO (I LOVE that design) or the huge gunship in Avatar. I couldn't find either of those in the right scale or price range but luckily stumbled across this on Old Crow's 6mm range
All I needed to do was up-gun it to get the heavily armed, 'hot LZ' gunship, I was after. This was achieved by using a few sets of OC's 6mm turrets and some leftover guns on the frame I ordered from Rebel Minis for my Arbiter 'Space Hummers' (up-gunned Goanna Scouts from OC). 

The model wasn't hard to assemble, all I did was cross-hatch the large joins with a knife to create a key and use some potent super glue. However, the 2 models I received from OC did suffer from quite lot of air bubbles in various places, especially the wingtips. I did my best with Green stuff (as you can see below) and it looks ok now its undercoated. 
Some of the small details on the tail had such large air bubbles I ended up replacing one of them with some plasticard.
The models joins in the middle very visibly. I spent a long time trying to fill the various join lines. Its a shame because the model otherwise has such wonderfully smooth surfaces.
My attempts to fill them using super glue, green stuff and filing/sanding went ok but not great. Some of them are still quite visible unfortunately.

After slapping on the green stuff as shown above I waited for it to fully cure and then cut it away to gain a much neater finish. I find this much easier than trying to smooth and sculpt it while wet. 
The missile/rocket pods on the dropships wings required a little bit of dressing up to make them fit in. I added some gubbins with plasticard and guitar wire to the tops as well as a pylon to attach them to the wing with. They turned out to be a little bigger in the flesh than I anticipated, originally I thought I'd just be able to stick them straight to the wings. Nice casts though. 
The heavy turret added to the bottom of the hull was another OC 6mm range turret. I got a pack of 5 so I still have 3 left, I'll probably make them into immobile defence turrets. You can also see the holes I drilled in the wings in order to mount the guns from the Rebel Minis weapon sprue. These sprues are great and you get a nice variety of near future weapons for not a lot of money, not to mention a good gun shield and hatch. I'll probably end up using all these weapons on my other 15mm vehicles.
Although it doesn't seem like much, doing all of this twice over took the best part of a day, including drying times and faffing. Good job I did it a few weeks ago when I didn't have exams pressing! Worth the time for the result though I feel:
As I said earlier I'm not entirely sure what shade of grey I'm going to end up doing these. I'm definitely going to wait until I can use the airbrush at home though before going much further, it can get really nice smooth results. I think I'll also try and give them some decent weathering such as paint chips, dirt, wear, blackening around the engines etc and make the pair a bit of a project. 

The stands you can see in the photos are rubbish, I just knocked them up for painting/taking pictures and I'll take them apart once I receive the omni-stand I've ordered. These models are pretty heavy and really need some decent support. I've heard good things about the omnistand so hopefully they'll do the job and make these things storable and transportable as well. 

Anyhoooo, need to get back to not doing enough exam revision. Procrastination is an art, and I am a Maestro.

EDIT: You can find comparison pics of the dropship with other 15mm figures and vehicles on this post


  1. Really like it. Especially now it is pimped with some firepower.

    Want one myself, curses!

  2. Excellent job. Darn. I want one, too.

    How big is the ship in relation to a 15mm figure? You say that it's 13cm long which makes it sound like Thunderbird 2!

  3. Nice! I think you've convinced me to get one! Any way we get a pic with it next to a 15mm mini...

  4. I'll take some pictures of it with some of my 15s and vehicles tomorrow. I know the new camera better now as well so they'll be in focus and probably look better than these. Its not quite thunderbirds 2 but it is big, I plan to have it transporting light vehicles.

  5. Yes we need a size comparison pic, nice looking model.


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