This is kind of a follow up from a previous post. I've finished the modelling work and started painting so decided it was time for an update. Originally this was just going to be my take on magnetizing a predator for anyone who was wondering about doing that, but I then decided to do some conversion work too. All of this was pretty easy, the magnets really easy. Really, the only problem was when I discovered I'd got the polarity wrong on one and the superglue was doing a phenomenal job. Anyway, the full story is below the fold.
As you'll see from the gory details of these I still have cleanup work to do in some of the photos, but they should get across just how easy this is. First was working on the doors so we could swap out the sponsons. The only trick here was gluing a bit of sprue to the back of the non-sponson doors so the magnets get close enough. Very easy and you could also use a washer glued to the door if you wanted to save some magnets. For attaching the weapons themselves just ditch the little swivel pole thing, glue a magnet to where the weapon would hang, another to the top of the weapon, and you are done. Once its painted nobody will really know. It doesn't get much simpler than that and now we have a predator where you can swap from lascannons to heavy bolters to no sponsons whenever you need.
Of course I wanted to be able to swap out the turret weapons too. Again it was easy with just some minor trimming and spacing. Another bit of sprue across the inside of the turret supports one magnet. Then, remove the center curvy bit from the weapons and put your second magnet there. With 1/16th magnets it lines up perfectly. That's all there is to it for the turret, we can now swap from the autocannon to the twin-linked las whenever we want. All the major weapon choices are covered. If you've never tried magnets before, this kit would be a great place to start. It was all easy to do, and lets you see the possibilities (and cost savings/list choices) that these will offer you.
On to the conversion work. I mentioned I wanted to pull the turret forward on this rather than just using the standard razorback on steroids look. I like the more aggressive look and it fits a lot of real world tanks for feel. For this conversion I kept the standard turret mounting plate but moved it forward an inch. There were a few steps to this process.
First was filling in the whole left by the mounting plate, I didn't want to use the Rhino hatch doors, as that would have looked too much like doors. Instead, I used the insert as a template and cut a piece of plasticard to fit. The details I added for engine parts were just some random bits box stuff to give it some interest.
The second step was using some thick plasticard to give the turret an even base. This needed a rectangle that sits behind the raised area where the view/bolter hatches used to be. It was easy to cut as it was really just a small rectangle of card.
Third and last was another thin bit of card to cover the hatches and even the whole raised area up. The turret mount was then glued to that, having taken the time to smooth out the underside of it, removing rivets and such.
Initially I'd stopped at this point, but it always bugged me that an armor 13/12/10 vehicle had the same body as an armor 11/11/10 vehicle. Several bits of plasticard and greenstuff later the front was built out a fair bit more, and the side had some extra panels too. Job done, we now have a heavier look that fits the armor values better.
Once I'm done painting I'm going to add a red stripe about an inch down the weapon barrels. If I end up playing some WAAC gamer who states this is modelling for advantage and not because it looks better I can just measure from there. I don't normally play anyone like that but just in case.