Does what it says on the tin!
A place to document my Millsverse customs and conversions, based around 3A's excellent figures - and I might as well kick things off with part one of my single most ambitious build!Mek-Quake 1: Getting mouthy
Some time ago I took it upon myself to build a 1/12th Mek-Quake killdozer to go with the rest of the crew - it seemed unlikely that 3A were ever going to make something quite
so insane. From the get-go I knew I wanted to make something as close as possible to the Kev Walker Hellbringer-era version, while liberally borrowing bits I liked from the Bisley-era killdozer and others. In terms of a blueprint or plans, these scrappy sketches were as much as I ever did - with the (very) rough design locked down, the rest was made up on the fly to suit the requirements/possibilities of whatever components I managed to scrounge together. (I was making it all up as I went along, basically.)
I started with the chassis, tracks and backplate of a remote control tank kit (a WWII German Jagdpanther, for those who care). The 1/16th scale kit would be almost a perfect size for 1/12th Warriors.
First (because it would be easier than doing it after assembly) the tracks and gearwheels got an undercoat, paint and ink wash.
Next I started work on the front end. With a bit of plasticard and a lot of epoxy putty I gave the front chassis a curve instead of a simple straight angle, as well as bringing it a few centimetres forward. Gaining this space was important so that later I would have room to angle Mek-Quake’s ‘mouth’ panel backward – it’ll sit just above this.
(That weird little sculpted hump you can see in the photos gave me a solid prop to glue a later section of bodywork against.
When the tank kit was still a tank kit, the inside was never designed to be seen, but this was now where Mek-Quake’s flatbed ‘floor’ would be (the bit where the other Warriors ride) so there was a lot of existing moulded plastic gubbins to take out of the chassis with a hacksaw – including the whole top of the moulded battery compartment. I was originally going to take out the entire thing, but at the last minute had an idea of how to work it into the build, as you’ll see.
The next bit I decided to tackle was Mek-Quake’s ‘mouth’ – that daunting front grill through which many a Nerve Centre droid has disappeared, never to be seen again…
I always assumed that the mangled droids slide down a chute into the bowels of Mek-Quake, where they get crushed and mangled. As I wanted to make a mouth that could open and close, there needed to be something to look at inside, so I made a fairly truncated plasticard chute.
It’s a bit of a funny shape, but it had to be – without the twin gear mechanisms the tank tracks wouldn’t actually move, and where’s the fun in that? So taking those out was not really an option, meaning space at the front end of the chassis was at a premium. The ‘chute’ had to be made to sit snugly between/on top of the drive gears, without getting in the way of any moving parts and in such a way so that you wouldn’t see them when you look in through the mouth.
I added some plasticard buzz-saws to add a bit of danger to the idea of being sent down the chute – Mek-Quake needs a way to grind those recalcitrant robots up, after all!
Next was the mouth itself. I cut a window through the middle of a sheet of plasticard (5) (fairly thick, as it would be part of the actual bodywork.) I cut a slightly thinner sheet into a square about 1cm wider all round than the window; then cut this in half with a scissored edge to form the top and bottom halves of the robot-mashing teeth (2 and 4).
The bottom half of the teeth (4) don’t need to move and so were glued into place on the back of the mouth section (5). At the top corners I stuck small but thick squares of plasticard (3), making sure they were just slightly thicker than the teeth sections. These were the supports onto which I glued a plasticard guide (1), which the top tooth section slots neatly into. All of which essentially means that the teeth can be opened and closed as I want – the movement is really smooth, the two supports (3) mean the teeth can’t move to either side, and they can’t be opened so far that they fall out. The fit is also just snug enough that the teeth stay in place, wherever I put them.
And here’s how the chute looked after a quick paint. It turned out that you can’t really see any of these details once the frontplate goes on (you can barely even make out the buzzsaws) but hey ho – if a job’s worth doing it’s worth doing right!