Project Cain

project cain dreadnought conversionI have always been fascinated with a robotic villain ever since it graced the screen in the 90s.  While I loved the protagonist, this robot stole the show for me when it was released in the sequel of Robocop. Growing up, all I’ve ever had was stills from the VHS as a memory and it wasn’t until many years later that I developed the ability to build a version of him, combining 2 of the universes that I’ve been into for a long time:  Robocop and Warhammer 40k.

In fact, this is actually the 2nd time I’ve attempted to build him.  The first didn’t come out so well, using parts of kits such as gundams etc.  It was too big, too clunky and didn’t really fit well.  When it was dropped and the head went missing, the project was shelved, until almost 10 years later.  I figured that it was finally time to give it another try, especially after all the neat techniques I’ve built up over the years.

I used the original body as a base, but cut it down, matching it similarly to the scale set by FW’s Contemptor Dreadnoughts. I used the legs from plastic marine dreads (and a forgeworld hip), and extended the legs.  I also made ‘knees’ matching the legs a bit more to the Sentinels’ but still retaining the details of the marine dreads.

I figured I would be using some parts from some 3d party joints from Kotobukiya and Wave, but little did I know how far that would go…

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After a lot of trial and error, I finally settled on using washers for the shoulder ring, with gears as the details. This took a while as I wanted to get the size right. I went through hatches, wheels etc, but they were either too big or too wide.

Joining the torso to the legs was a very interesting exercise. Cain’s core is hollow, with all all the weight resting on the base plate and pistons, which was something which I didn’t want, so I build a core, which has a rubber ball cap from Kotobukiya that was a pleasant fit to the exiting FW one.

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Aligning the pistons were a pain. I had to do each individual piston and the connectors separately and align them all together…

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For those who are wondering, the parts for the pistons are as follows:

  • Brass rod as a bracket as the walls are really thin and nicely to scale
  • 1.6 mm tube as the base
  • 2 mm tube as the bracket at the end
  • 1.2 mm tube as connector to the U bracket
  • U-shape rod
  • 1mm plastic sheet to make the hinge joint

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Since the shoulder was attached to the body via ball magnets, I thought to articulate the arms.  However, I settled for having the upper arm fixed to the shoulder plates.  Cain’s arms can rotate, but I wanted some stability, especially on such a small model and that it was affixed to metal. The smaller manipulator is made from IG Sentinel’s chainsaw and the smaller toes from the Sentinel feet I used.

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The back was detailed up, using a Dreadknight’s Heavy Psycannon bits as the rear shoulders.  The spine and pipes were taken from various parts.  The upper carapace  differs from the actual Cain design.  The part where Robocop to access Cain’s brain removed was a simple armour plate from a BA dread.  The upper section was made from Venerable Dread’s sarcophagus, primarily resembling that of the Marine Terminators.  Cain’s head has a larger back armour, but I felt I wanted to tie the design in with the Terminators more.

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Top View with neck and shoulder pipes

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Leftover pipes from guns, Landspeeder Storm parts etc. helped detailed parts. Now while he is based off Cain, there are many elements that I wanted to remain 40k-ish and therefore there will be skulls and more skulls, but that’s at the detailing stage covered later. Basic armour plates were added.

The upper arms were made from scratch with magnets for easy swap of weapons.  Here is a mockup with actual Contemptor weapons.  This is the first version of the head, which turned out too small.  Many of the details were taken off my marines, which were a combination of Cain’s and the Marine’s helmet.

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At this point, he looks much larger than his Contemptor counterpart, but overall the proportions… feel right. 2 of RoboCain’s key features are his arms.  I wanted to bulk them out a bit and make them more ‘workable’ for 40k, so I had to improvise the design, especially for the smaller one. The other manipulator is essentially a plasma gun with plasma tips.

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I had a lot of trouble getting the size of the smaller arm’s fingers right.  I did manage to find 1/100 scale articulated gundam fingers but they just didn’t feel right.  There were either too long, or too wide, so I was quite stumped, until I chanced upon the claws from the Vindicator’s claw arms (Hooray for bits boxes!)

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The assault cannon and the Ram (which sadly doesn’t work) was pretty simple to do up.  The Ram arm does have digits inside, like the one in the movie and can be folded out. The head has been enlarged a well, looking more like the scale of the one in the movie, rather than a PA suit. All that is left is the detailing, namely the rivets, purity seals and the AM symbols.

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And the details! Rivets, brass eagle, skulls and armour plates.  I added shoulder plates, that match those of my marines (especially the extended one).

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Colour! Primer and base coat using airbrush.

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Basic colours and some weathering has been applied. Chips, seals and dust to be added.  The rotary/assault cannon was changed as I screwed up on the priming, melting the original barrel.  It was weathered using oils, Sepia, Devlan mud etc.

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And here is pretty much the final paint scheme.

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And a friend…

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And some… glamour shots with better lighting

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Dom Chan or better known as madscuzzy has been in the 40k hobby for a long time and has a strong love of modeling and converting. Primarily based at B&C, he is responsible for some of the art there and has been the primary artist for the Space Marine Painter. Other notable projects include Orktimus Prime that has been floating around the net a while ago. Check out my personal site here


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