Pre-Heresy Stormbird Build

pre heresy stormbirdHow to you follow a scratchbuilt Tau Manta? …with a Pre-Heresy Space Marine Stormbird of course! This massive project is brought to you by guest writer Trevor Goddard, a regular over on the forums of The Overlords Podcast. Trevor has kindly compiled a selection of pictures taken throughout the building of this amazing model, and written some notes and descriptions for anyone interested or inspired to do something similar for their Warhammer 40k armies.


Trevor Goddard’s Pre-Heresy Stormbird.

This project was inspired by my Pre-Heresy Ultramarines, the Black Library novel Know No Fear and a love of Forge World products that I just cannot afford. In Know No Fear it mentions that the Ultramarines were making their own armour marks, this got me thinking that if they were doing that, then why wouldn’t they have been building new craft to defend their new worlds? I have seen a couple of conversions online using the GI Joe Dragonhawk Sigma 6 toy and as much as I would love a Thunderhawk it’s a lot of money. So I had a look on eBay and to my surprise there was a person selling a GI Joe Dragonhawk in the UK, it was moderately priced so I bought it.

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I then bought a Space Marine Stormraven Gunship model, even though it was a new/Pre Heresy craft I wanted people to be able to tell from the design that it was unmistakably Astartes in origin. I then messed around with parts, using blu-tack just to see what would work. As you can see it was a bit of a dodgy start.

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I asked myself next “what is it that makes a marine vehicle?” the answer of course is…a big old box shape, practical, functional…the nose had to come off!

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As this would be a Thunderhawk proxy it needed to hold about 30 marines so needed a bigger hull. I started adding the transport compartment by making an extension to the Stormraven hull which I could then attach the rear of the Stormraven kit.  Next I added plasticard strips to the bottom to tie it in with the Stormraven underside.

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I needed to square off and fill in the gaps by adding plasticard and Stormraven parts to the nose of the craft. Most of this is done just by trial and error. I didn’t really have any plans, if it looked right, I just went with it.

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I purchased 2 Aegis Defence Line boxes (to use the Autocannons) and found that the turret bit came in useful as extra armour.  I also added some plasticard rivets.

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With the front done I turned my attention to the rear.  It seemed to be all front but no back so I decided to bulk out the back and square it off a bit to match the Astartes look. Again, just trial and error and trying lots of ideas till one fits with the style.

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I added the Stormraven wings as the tail, leaving the jets as thrusters and using the turret from the Stormraven kit as a rear gun to cover the tail.  Then adding the air intake to the top to add a little more familiarity.

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Starting to take shape now.

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I added the VTL turbines and the cockpit which again were pieces cut from the Stormraven kit chopped up to fit inside. I also added four twin-linked Autocannons which are held on by a piece of brass rod running under where my servitor will go.

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That is pretty much it – if you would like to follow my painting progress please take a look at my YouTube channel


We’d like to give Trevor a big thanks for writing this article for Graven Games, it always inspiring to see epic projects like this! As Trevor mentioned above, you can check out the progress on painting this beast over on his YouTube channel, and also make sure you take a peak at his ongoing Pre-Heresy Space Marine thread here: Trevor’s Thread on The Overlords. Thanks Trevor, we can’t wait to see what you come up with next!

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