Saturday, July 18, 2009

Pimpin' My Rides

With 'Ard Boyz over (for now), I'm back to my modeling and painting projects. The latest is a set of 3 Chimeras that I've converted to look a bit more like a Bradley IFV. The idea of setting the turret back is nothing new. I got the basic idea from Edwin over at YTTH, who got it from someone else. Admiral Drax has done something similar too. But for my conversion I wanted to make sure that I preserved the top hatch in the rear by cutting out the L shape from the front of the turret riser and re-modeling the hatch lining. I also wanted to model realistic firing ports in place of the ball-socket lasgun arrays. Here's the result:

The rear hatches are resin pieces ordered from Forge World. They look great, but unfortunately they fit so poorly that I couldn't hinge them the way I did with the plastic doors on my old Chimeras. One of the hatches was twisted so badly that I had to use multiple coats of epoxy just to hold it down properly.

The firing ports were made by cutting down the plastic support bits that usually hold the lasguns in place. I used a plastic rod with a smaller diameter to make my rivits this time, so they don't look too large like on my previous conversions.

Here's some pics from the garage after I undercoated them:

I'm so happy with how these turned out that now I can't stand looking at my old Chimeras any more. As a result, I've started converting up 2 more so that I can use all-new models in my 1500 point mechanized force.


  1. Looks great! There is just something uniquely satisfying about making a tank look even better.

  2. Great conversions! Nice and seamless, the way you'd expect the kit to come from the box. I've seen quite a few of these types of Chimera conversions, but yours is among the best.

  3. Wow! I love these. Wish I'd done it with mine before I started assembling them. They look a lot tougher than regular Chimeras, much more like real tanks.

  4. Fantastic! I really love how clean these look. They look 'right' too, which is always a good thing.

    Well done, mate.

  5. The Chimera coversions you have done look very nice. Personally I would have liked to have a more bulky turret but thats just me. Your conversion does look better than the original model design that is for sure and it does create a sort of unique look to your army.

  6. They look nice. Can you take some close up shots of the back? And a how-to in-progress when you convert the next set? :)

  7. If you click on the pictures, you'll get a much larger version to look at where you can see the putty seams and such forth on the unpainted models. Unfortunately I can't do proper how-to as the next 2 Chimeras are about 2/3rds done already, and I have no plans to build more. But, an experienced modeler should be able to work out most of what I did. The green you see is standard MMD fast-drying green putty, applied and sanded down in multiple coats. The white bits are all plasticard or plastic cylinders. The rest is all various GW/FW bits.

    The only "secret" is that I did a LOT of putty-ing and sanding on the joints. I cut off any rivets or other features that were in the way of the sanding and replaced them with new ones later when I was done. To sand a surface so it was perfectly flat, I glued sandpaper to the tops of some plasticard scrap with spray adhesive and used that.

  8. Someone on LO asked for a better description of what I did. So here's a copy/paste:

    If you take the top piece from the Chimera kit, I sawed it just forward of the 2nd set of periscopes (little box things above the lasgun ports) and just behind where the wide base of the turret-deck narrows down to become the roof of the passenger compartment. I then cut (with an X-Acto knife) off all of the lasgun ports, periscopes, and rivits so that I could putty the seam and then sand it down using sandpaper glued down to some plasticard (to keep it flat). I also filled the holes of the old lasgun ports and sanded them down flat.

    The new firing ports are just the old bits that used to hold the lasguns in place cut down. The rivits are slices from small plastic cylinders you can buy at a hobby store. The lining around the top rear hatch was built up from plasticard, with the seams filled and sanded flat.

    For the front, I cut off the L-shape that stick out the front of the top piece. I then covered the hole with a piece of plasticard cut to fit and filled/sanded to make it clean looking. The cupola hole on the front deck was covered with a hatch made out of plasticard, with hinges made from cutting sections of 2 different sizes of plastic cylinders.

    The track guards are the same ones that came with the model, just glued on differently with some sanding to make the joints fit. The bits and whatnot glued onto the turret are from the standard accessory sprue, which I've got some extras of.

  9. 's funny that just after we'd gone and converted our shimeras to look cooler, the rules changed so that now the hatch can usually provide better firepower than the main turret weapon!



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