Join us as we follow Andy Hicks in scratchbuilding the huge Eldar Pegasus Superheavy Grav Tank, suitable for games of Warhammer 40k Apocalypse. We found this build to be absolutely inspiring as Andy manages to create the smooth, streamlined curves of an Eldar vehicle using plasticard, and adds in an immense amount of clean, sharp detail which all comes together to make the most impressive Eldar scratchbuild we’ve ever come across. – Graven Games
By far my most ambitious project to date, the Eldar Pegasus is a scratchbuilt superheavy transport. Its design is based on a tiny image of a vehicle from a piece of artwork of the Lugganath craftworld, seen in the 5th edition Warhammer 40,000 main rulebook. The concept for it had been floating in the back of my head since the rulebook was first released, but I only recently came up with a design that I was happy with. This was intended to be my last project before I concentrate on completing my other half-finished conversions and start actually painting my collection. The name for this vehicle was chosen based on a reference in the 4th edition Eldar codex to a “winged steed” ridden by the Eldar god Asuryan.
This is a close-up of the artwork that inspired this project. Though it is not particularly detailed, the (unnamed) vehicle has some distinctive features, namely the triple engine intakes and the low, wide profile. The design I came up with uses this as inspiration rather than trying to recreate it exactly. Original image © Games Workshop.
My first rough concepts and notes (the proportions in the sketch are very, very wrong!). I originally based the design around a double-width access ramp, however I quickly realised that in order to carry signficantly more units than a Wave Serpent, the Pegasus would need a much larger troop compartment and, correspondingly, a larger access ramp. The ramp on the Pegasus ended up three times the width of a standard Falcon ramp.
More detailed design concepts and sketches. I incorporated a large fin at the rear of the vehicle, mimicking those found on the “Type II” vehicles of the Forge World Eldar range. All of my other grav tanks have these Type II hull extensions.
When dealing with a conversion of this scale, I find it helpful to lay out the various components to get an idea of the rough shape and size. It’s also useful for experimenting with different combinations of bits.
A later, more developed layout of the pieces, once I’d started work on some of the individual components. Note the ruler, giving a rough idea of the anticipated size of the Pegasus.
The rear access ramp was the first component of the conversion that I assembled, though it was later revised and the central protrusion removed. I decided from the outset that the Pegasus would have a fully-detailed interior, with a ramp that would open and a removable upper hull (similar to my Falcons and Wave Serpents).
The rear access ramp and the surrounding frame were the first parts that I worked on, since their size and shape would inform decisions about much of the rest of the vehicle’s layout.
Once the rear of the hull had begun to take shape, I put together the base. This is a ventral view – the top side forms the floor of the troop compartment. This section would later be reduced in size.
Next I started working on the large “Type II”-style rear fin, cut from a single piece of 2mm-thick plasticard. My approach with this project was to build individual components to be glued together later; like building the pieces for a kit in effect. Each piece informed the shape and size of the next piece, eventually producing a coherent result whilst still allowing lots of dry-fitting and room for correcting mistakes.
The underside of the rear fin. The design quite closely mimics that of the fin on the Scorpion.
Further design sketches. At this stage the proportions and details of the Pegasus were becoming more defined.
The underside of the rear fin, after it was attached to the rear frame.
A topside view of the rear fin and frame.
The rear of the Pegasus begins to take shape.
The over-sized access ramp.
The starboard-side triple engine cluster.
This piece forms a raised part of the upper hull, which will be removable (to reveal the interior troop compartment). The shape is meant to appear similar to the Type II Wave Serpent turret (albeit much larger).
One of the wing tips.
The underside of the port side wing tip.
The cockpit begins to take shape.
The underside of the cockpit, showing some of the plasticard internal construction.
The port side main wing.
The body of the Pegasus starts to come together as the rear hull is joined to the floor of the troop compartment. At this point, it is already as long as an entire Wave Serpent.
Some more design sketches of various aspects of the Pegasus.
At this point I started tracing existing parts of the Pegasus to create 1:1 scale sketches for new components. This is the design for the wings – once I’d cut out a template, I shortened the wingspan slightly to keep the Pegasus well-proportioned.
A detailed, 1:1 scale concept sketch of the underside of the Pegasus. At this point it became apparent that the unusual, undulating edge of the forward prongs would mean that I’d have to make custom anti-grav vanes, since I wouldn’t be able to re-purpose those from the Falcon kits.
The anti-grav vanes for one of the forward prongs begin to take shape.
The forward hull continues to be assembled. This section of the Pegasus is as wide as a Type II Scorpion is long…
The underside of the forward hull.
An updated shot of this section of the upper hull.
I decided that the troop compartment was too big, so I reduced its size significantly. Despite this, the footprint is still over 8 times larger than that of a Falcon, allowing for a theoretical capacity of up to 50.
A mock-up of the Pegasus. The reduction in size of the troop compartment has improved the proportions greatly.
Another, more complete mock-up of the Pegasus. At this point the wings pylons were shortened as I wasn’t happy with the proportions.
The upper hull, which can be removed to reveal the interior of the Pegasus.
The underside of the removable upper hull.
The port wing.
The underside of the port wing tip takes shape.
The front half of the vehicle starts to come together. Thanks to a lot of pinning and building components separately, the construction is satisfyingly heavy and solid.
The front prongs of the Pegasus.
A shot showing some of the internal construction of the underside detailing.
A later image showing the same section after some work has been done on it.
Part of the upper hull, early on in construction. The resin parts came from a Phantom Titan D-cannon.
The Pegasus starts to come together, with most of the major components now glued together.
A shot of the work-in-progress interior with the upper hull removed.
The underside of the Pegasus.
Another work-in-progress mock-up. After much consideration, I decided to scrap the supporting pylons connecting the “pontoons” as the design wasn’t working as well as I’d hoped. By bringing these “pontoons” closer to the main hull, I feel that the vehicle appears more cohesive and less ungainly than it did before.
Close-up showing the paths of the planned panel lines on the upper hull.
The detailing on the removable upper hull section was virtually complete at this point.
The underside of the cockpit, featuring advanced sensors and a weapon mount for a Scatter Laser.
The Pegasus’s Scatter Laser, based on the Shuriken Cannon from the Wave Serpent kit.
These components will form the Force Field projectors and are designed to look like scaled-up versions of those found on the Wave Serpent.
A close-up shot of the detailing around the port-side engine cluster.
An updated concept sketch for the underside.
A work-in-progress shot of the underside. Most of the detail was constructed using different thicknesses of plasticard. The design takes some inspiration from the Scorpion.
An updated shot of the underside. The port side is virtually complete at this point.
A dorsal view of the Pegasus, with most of the panel lines completed and only some minor detail work on the starboard side of the vehicle left needing attention.
A shot of the Pegasus from the front, showing the low, wide profile.
A rear view of the Pegasus, with a Warlock for scale. At this point the design of the ramp was queried and after some discussion on Warseer, I decided to change it.
Another angle of the Pegasus illustrating the scale of the vehicle.
This concept for the revised rear access ramp design proved the most popular among the Warseer posters – fortunately, it was my favourite one too!
The rear of the Pegasus, after the ramp shape was changed.
After much deliberation, the problametic and ungainly wings became fins, similar to those on the Type II Scorpion and Cobra (albeit larger).
The raised section of the upper hull now contains the generator necessary to power the Pegasus’s shields and electromagentic pulse weapon.
An updated WIP shot of the underside, which is almost complete at this stage.
This picture shows the final positioning of the wings.
With the Pegasus’s dimensions all but finalised, now seemed as good a time as any for a gratuitous size-comparison photo. The Pegasus is pictured with a Type II Scorpion and a Night Spinner. The Pegasus is 14″ long, 15″ wide, 3″ tall and weighs around 620g. It’s quite big.
Rather than try to cut 66 fiddly anti-grav vanes by hand, I created a single “master” from styrene that I then scanned and turned into vector artwork. This was then sent to Fenris Games, who used my design to laser-cut them from 2mm-thick acrylic.
The anti-grav vanes on the forward prongs start to take shape.
The port-side prong, with 33 vanes glued in place. Some gap-filling work with Milliput will be needed to blend them in properly with the rest of the hull, but even at this stage I’m delighted with the effect.
Both prongs completed.
Work begins on filling in the gaps and blending in the vanes with the hull.
Some further conversion work on the generator in the upper hull.
The first of four “Wave Serpent”-style force-field projectors on the upper hull.
A close-up of the cockpit.
An updated rear view of the Pegasus.
A view of the interior.
I updated the sensor array so that it better blends in with the rest of the hull.
The fins are now virtually complete.
The force field projectors take shape.
More detail has been added to the underside.
An updated underside view of the Pegasus. Most of the remaining work on the exterior comes down to gap-filling and tidying up (and finishing the two remaining force field emitters).
Another view of the upper hull. The starboard side still needs some work and some panel lines need to be finished, but most of the detail has been completed now. The interior is the single biggest area left to complete at this point.
With the exterior design of the Pegasus virtually complete, I finished this technical line drawing of the Pegasus in Adobe Illustrator. It has been created in the style of the diagrams seen in the Forge World Imperial Armour books.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
As an avid collector of Eldar, Andy Hicks has amassed some 7,000pts of miniatures, with many conversions and some scratchbuild projects. All of his vehicles are extensively magnetised and he enjoys converting infantry to represent more of the equipment options available in the codex. The Pegasus is by far his largest and most ambitious project to date. He posts on Warseer as “chandrila” and his site is http://eldar.arhicks.co.uk. He has every intention of painting all of his models when he runs out of conversion ideas.