If you’re a fan of inspiring conversions you’ve come to the right place! Welcome to the first part of a 4 part project from expert convertor Dom aka ‘Mad Scuzzy’. Follow as he masterfully creates a set of 4 Warhammer 40k Space Marine HQ units with the most detailed and powerful-looking bike conversions we’ve seen. You can see some of Dom’s other amazing conversions here, let us know what you think of Project Land Train Part 1 in the comments below. – Graven Games
There is always something about Space Marine Bikes that scream power. This is a 4 part article detailing the Command Bikes in my Space Marine army. The first part starts with my Chaplain, which is written in hindsight 7 years later.
Part 1: Chaplain
I started this project back in 2007. Games Workshop had just released the Master of Ravenwing, Samael on Jetbike in metal. I knew I wanted to use it for my Space Marines, but as I use the standard codex, I felt that it didn’t fit if I were to use a Jetbike in my army, so I came up with the idea of making it into a ground bike. I figured I could have used it as Kor’sarro Khan’s bike as it was unique.
To me Mk1 was an ambitious build and took a lot of brainstorming and experimentation. When I start a project (even to this day), I start off with a general idea rather than plan out the entire build before I start. As I build, I explore new possibilities and I try to solve problems and challenges as I go along. To me, that is part of the joy of conversion. Mk1 frustrated me as I even though I knew I wanted something, the actual build was eluding me.
I experimented with a couple of ideas. I built the bike using Imperial Guard tank parts and tried utilizing more of the Jetbike’s actual parts but it didn’t feel right. It felt heavy and slow, rather than agile but powerful like a bike should be.
The doubled tracks was an interesting experiment and even till to today, I still think it is a nifty idea, and may explore it in a future conversion.
One noteworthy thing about my design process is that I am very willing to destroy and rebuild stuff. I like to think if it can be built once, it can be built again… so I am not afraid of breaking it back down into its component parts if needed.
The exploratory method however, didn’t work out as smoothly as I hoped and after many iterations, I finally caved and I sketched it out.
While I understand that sketching is a big part in conceptual design, I find that sketching stuff out kind of makes it feel like an instruction manual. My thought processes get locked into the sketch(es) rather than me feeling my way around the design. Perhaps this is the artist in me talking. This is a very tactile hobby for me and I like the challenge of making it up as I go along. I tend to make all the plans are in my head as I go along. And for this build, all the tiny little potholes are just things to overcome… with tracks ;D.
Mk1 started out as being a Chaplain on Bike, with magnetisable parts. Part of my fluff was that the bike was helping to keep the rider alive and was thus attached to him. I was hoping for the bike to double as a Techmarine, Commander etc. But over time, the weight proved itself too heavy and I had to glue all the options in, leaving all that could be swapped out was the head and arm. The bike is heavy. It has a metal prow, handle & arm, metal books (and details) and 2 metal dreadnought exhausts. As I loved the bike so, so it got promoted to my Captain’s bike while the Chaplain wasn’t using it.
My buddies nicknamed it a Land Train, after the Land Speeder as it looked like a train. And yes, while I know the name is already taken, I liked it and the name stuck.
The project doesn’t end here, check back in the next few days for Part 2 of Project Land Train, covering the creation of a Chapter Master on a custom heavy bike!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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