How to build Azrael's Command Rhino: Initial concepts and Thought Process
In mid-July I was discussing the up and coming painting events with the manager of the GW store in Perth, Western Australia,. It was mentioned that there would possibly be a 'tank' contest to coincide with the release of the updated IG codex. I started investigating some ideas for a SM vehicle for the competition, and was taken with the coloration of the Deathwing forces. Not being a Dark Angel player meant I had to do a fair bit of research to try and match the idea growing in my head with the game legal possibilities. Thanks to the members of B&C and the Fortress I was steered in the right direction. I decided upon a Dark Angel Rhino, painted in Deathwing's bleached bone/white colours. To make it 'game legal' I had been advised that it could belong to Azrael and his Command unit. Before the idea was fully formed I ordered the DA doors, panels and reinforced armour from Forge World, and so locked myself into a course of events. The next steps were straight back to my local Games Workshop outlet and purchase a Chaos Rhino (mainly because I could use the Chaos sprue in the scenery). While I was there I saw the Azrael model, and decided on the spur of the moment to buy it as well. By the time I'd arrived back home the idea that became the final model had evolved in my head. So many times we see the space marines as they are in battle, but they never seem to be shown afterwards. What I planned was to have the Rhino all dirtied up after a hard days slogging through the fields, and in the back I'd place Azrael relaxing.
AZRAEL'S RV COMMAND VEHICLE
By ( Urbant Army )
Step 1: I began firstly by hacking to pieces Azrael and the Watcher, after all the little feller wouldn't fit in the back carrying the helm for a start. As I cut them up with my jeweler's saws I took great care to keep the cuts to a minimum, and to try and minimize the damage to the parts. By doing this I was able to leave the Watcher in reasonable shape after removing the Helmet, and then using green stuff putty I crafted a new left shoulder for him, trying to keep the lines similar to the rest of the model.
I had a half completed BAAL predator on my desk, so when it came to altering Azrael I was able to use the BAAL to guide me in customizing him so that he would fit in the back. I cut his legs off just below the waist and then cut off his right arm at the elbow. I went to the bitz box, found myself a pair of old legs, by cutting away the waist section I altered the angle so that Azrael could sit down, then I had to cut off both feet and reposition them so that one would be flat on the ground the other in the air (I tried for a realistically relaxed pose). I then set to work sculpting his robes with green stuff, which was surprisingly easy.
Step 2: I tried to follow the lines of the torso, so that the lower half would at least match the figure original modeling. I decided on the final pose as a way of tying the watcher back to Azrael, and in that way keeping the continuity of the characters. I cut a spare arm to fit Azrael, and the only alteration I had to make was to cut and adjust the fist to an open
Step 5: I primed everything in skull white, to give me a nice even surface, and once it was nice and dry I primed the main bodywork in bleached bone using my airbrush. I fitted the two side panels together, as well as the panels for the floor and interior, and began my painting in earnest.
Each panel is shaded top to bottom and front to back, so that the interior by the driver's compartment door and under the console is darker (bleached bone and some chestnut ink) compared to the rear outer deck (white with bleached bone). I tried to re-create the actual lighting effects that you would find in a full size model. I painted all the interior panels first then attached the two sides and partially painted them. Then I fitted some wiring, radar screens and piping to the driver's area, and positioned the driver's seat.
Step 4: I cut everything free of the sprues, test fitted it all together, filed and sanded the edges as they needed it, took off any flash etc, and filed the FW doors to fit. I then cut the back off the windscreen using a scalpel, and then the back off the cabin door, so that you could see through it (not that you'd notice). I then picked a space marine biker, gave him a Dark Angel shoulder pad, created a simple seat, and had him as the designated driver. I then fitted the gunner to his mantle, and went back to the bits box for some decent legs for him, trimmed them off till they looked right and sat them to one side.
Step 3: With the Helmet, backpack and sword, it was basically the damage I'd done cutting it up that lead to their positioning, The helmet is damaged on the right side so I positioned it inside so that part couldn't be seen, then the sword, I ground off the hand and made two GS 'strap' to cover it and then these would be used to attach it to the roof. I followed that with another harness for the backpack for fitting to the wall. I still had the combi-weapon left, so I filed off
hand , I cut the hand from the wrist to the knuckles and bent it outwards so that it looked like an open palm ( I used a small amount of GS to strengthen it later).
the hand and cut off the bolter under the console inside the Rhino, and replaced it with the combi-weapon. I kept working on this until the FW stuff arrived, after hearing about all the delays it was pretty quick at only 10 days, I think I was just damn lucky.