Friday, January 4, 2013

Warhammer 40,000 Space Marine Build Part 8: Guns Guns GUNS!!

It's been a while since I've written about this project.  If you're only just joining in and you'd like to see the other parts, here's the rest:
 Part 1: an Overview
Part 2: the Backpack
Part 3: the Boots
Part 4: the Rubber Bits
Part 5: the Helmets
Part 6: the Hands
Part 7: Badges and Trim

The next thing was to make the armament for these massive warrior gods:
Boltgun Family Portrait

For details on how they were built, read on...

With the build for the rest of the armor coming together and the chainsword build completed, it was fast becoming clear that my Space Marines were about to need an arsenal.  With that in mind, I started scouring references and looking for ways to make the parts I needed.

The standard weapon for the Space Marine is the bolter, so that's what I started with.  Looking over the references I'd collected for this project, it was pretty clear that all of the bolter-type weapons used the exact same pistol grip, so that came first.

The original was carved from a stack of MDF slices that were rough-cut on the bandsaw and then glued together.  Here's the prototype after some initial shaping and a coat of primer:
SM Pistol Grip

With a bit more work, the details were done:
Boltgun Grip 2

At this point I was still working on the sculpts for the hands, so I made sure to test-fit the grip to the palm that would hold it:
Boltgun Grip 1

With the shape of the grip finalized, I went ahead and laid out the shape of the rest of the gun by scaling up a drawing from the Dark Angels Space Marines Codex and drawing it directly onto another piece of 3/4" MDF:
Bolter Mockup

Since the bolter is comprised of mostly rather simple shapes, I was able to get away with making the forms by stacking up layers of MDF.  Here's a shot of some of the bolter forming bucks laid out with a few of the backpack vent bucks on the forming table (ignore the multitude of garden gnomes in the background):
SM Bolter Forms

Once the plan started to come together, I delegated the creation of the bolter forms and the bolt pistol forms to my friend Matt.  Here's the pistol forms next to one of the bolter forms in their earlier stages: SM Bolt Pistol and Bolter Bucks Progress

Here's the first pull of the bolter tacked together with magnets:
SM Bolter WIP

Here's Matt wielding it once the glue had set up: SM Bolter Halfway Assembled

The smaller detail parts were cobbled together from found items and custom-cut parts which were then molded in silicone and cast in urethane resin.  Here's the whole thing glued together:
 First Bolter Assembled

Here it is in the early stages of painting:
Bolter Scale Shot

With the standard bolter done, the next step was to build forming bucks for the bolt pistol to go with my chainsword.  Here's the forming bucks laid out on the table:

Here's the first pull of the Bolt Pistol:
SM Bolt Pistol First Pull

Using some cast parts from my old bolter build, I tacked together a rough-draft version:
SM Bolt Pistol Mockup

Here it is when viewed from a gangsta kill-shot angle:
SM Bolt Pistol Gangsta Kill Shot

After a bit more refinement, here's a prettier version glued up around another cast of the pistol grip: SM Pistol Grip First Cast

Since I had the standard bolter as well as the bolt pistol, I decided I absolutely HAD to have the heavy bolter too.  While there wasn't a lot of time left to complete the build, I still set Matt to work on the forming bucks for the big gun.  His only guideline: "scale it up as large as we can make it on the forming table."  Here's the form for the side of the main body roughed out:
SM Heavy Bolter Form Size Test

Here he is working on some of the bucks for the back end:
SM Heavy Bolter Forms Beginning

Here's my friend Daniel demonstrating just how massive the whole thing was once all of the forms were stacked together:
SM Heavy Bolter Forms Stacked for Size Test

Here's Matt excited about making the first pull:
SM Heavy Bolter Forms Laid Out 1

Here you can see the other side being formed in sheet ABS plastic:

Here's the forms for some of the smaller parts laid out on the table:
SM Heavy Bolter Forms Laid Out

For the upper grip, I glued together some scraps of 1-1/2" ABS pipe.  Here's the whole thing assembled and sitting on the table:
SM Heavy Bolter

Once the glue had set up, I couldn't help but walk around with it for a while:
SM Heavy Bolter Scale Shot

The barrel was made out of a couple of concentric pieces of ABS pipe.  The inner piece was 1-1/2" diameter while the outer piece was 4".  The space in between was filled with some scraps of insulation foam and then capped with Bondo:
Heavy Bolter Barrel Filling

Once the Bondo had set up, it was time to mask off the red parts and pick out the black details:
Heavy Bolter Black Parts

Once everything was picked out in its base colors, each of them was given a heavy blackwash followed by drybrushing with silver paint:
Weathering the Heavy Bolter

During that process, hijinks did ensue:
Heavy Bolter Weathered

With all three weapons painted up and ready for showing off, I lined them up for a quick family portrait:
Boltgun Family Portrait

More to come...

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  1. Lotsa dakka ..

  2. I would buy one of those suits if I could. Granted, I'd rather it be Blood Ravens themed, but still... it would be awesome!

  3. could you please tell me some dimensions because i want to make them.I am not asking for much just height and length.
    thanks a lot :D

    1. I really don't remember the exact dimensions. The bolt pistol is around 20" long, the Bolter is around 34" long, and the heavy bolter is over five feet long.

      For a better idea of sizing, the forming table is about 2'x4'

      I hope this helps.


  5. Oi Yus Boys Good At Makin Dakka Wiz Gonna Stomp You And Take Diz Shinies For Da Boss