My second major kitbashing project came again from my interest in support vehicles, and given the diesel punk look of Warhammer 40k I thought a mine flail could be an interesting addition. I’ve even seen them mentioned on some lore pages existing as variants of some Imperial Guard tank types. I thought of employing this for my Catachans, and building out a combat support unit, but then the real inspiration hit me thanks to my fandom for Captain Magpie who does absolutely glorious conversions. Thus it sprung into my head almost fully formed, an Angry Marines tank with the flails on the front the drum whirling, and the flail heads being power fists and hammers and anything else they could get their hands on.
Planning for this took a lot of effort as I needed the right pieces. Power fists in general proved pretty cheap, since they’re a bit that comes in many many other kits, so I picked up a bag of Dark Angels flagged ones just because they were cheap, and I knew I could arrange these on the bottom where they would not be particularly visible. Going to Shapeways for Angry Marines bits I found the emblems easily enough, and bought a kit with different sized ones. I also found some Power Fists that were nearly perfect, as they were flipping the bird, which is one of the great iconic poses for the chapter, yet they had a Flesh Tearers emblem, but it proved easy enough to get the seller to make a new version for the Angry Marines. Those I’m happy to say are now available as a standard type: Angry Marines Power Fists. I misplaced one while I was painting them, but 7 proved plenty to get the idea across. In addition I raided all my kits for thunder hammers and power maces to add some variety. Ordering other bits was an option, but I opted out, just to save cost.
The flail assembly proved much more difficult. Most of what I could find online was the flail drum at rest, with the chains just dangling, but I located this impressive kit, but since it’s built for other models I ended up calling the makers for a width measurement. This was 49mm for the drum, and the Games Workshop Predator is 75mm wide. I might have just ordered two kits and glued two drums together, but the company volunteered to make me a custom one for just a few extra dollars. For this they get 5-star customer service in my book.
To hold the arms in place while the glue settled, I ended up using a rubber band, and this worked like a charm:
Since this is meant as a breaching vehicle I replaced the lascannons of the standard kit with multi-melta. This had the accidental effect of putting too much weight on the front of the guns which can swivel or elevate, leaving them pointed down, so I glued them in place and level. I picked these in part because I wanted an Army of Darkness theme for it, and they could be dubbed the boomsticks. Since I was not using the missile launcher, I took the optics from that and mounted it beside the main guns as a primary sight. Not very Angry Marines but it looks cool. While I didn’t directly base it on the battle car in that movie, I do think I had that notion swirling in my head as one of the several elements.
I didn’t replace nearly all the flail heads, just about 4 per row to avoid it looking crowded, and offset them in the different rows for the better appearance. This came out looking great.
The commander was fairly straightforward, I mounted the stormbolter, but left it facing the back and out of the way. Then I took one of the heavy thunder hammers from a Deathwatch kit, and mounted it on him. I’ve seen some people give commanders power claws, or power fists, and while I appreciate the aggressive loo, and for Angry Marines everything should be over the top, but a gripped weapon particularly a long one would not get in the way of controlling the vehicle and with other weapons. I also added some of the frag launchers from a Land Raider kit, to beef up the turret. Could be add on armor, or reactive armor, or frag launchers, they look cool so I added them. I’ll note that Captain Magpie has some conversions for 3d printing to make larger more impressive versions of the Predator turret and some other parts. Thus the commander becomes the popular meme of “Drive me closer so I can hit them with my sword.” But with a difference.
The drum is also attached by magnets to make moving it easier, but also allowing me to rotate it, and I made this stop motion animation of it in action.
I like the graffiti on the Angry Marines vehicles, but wanted to avoid any overt profanity (aside from the fists flipping the bird), but to give one twist I made the backdoor a reference to Monty Python’s Life of Brian, but adapted for 40k into Imperials Go Home, although I’ve been told it’s sort of bad Latin nonetheless. I put it through a couple of translators and that’s what I got, and people understand it, so I’m happy.
I considered it complete for a while, and even posted it around online, given the Army of Darkness theme I wanted to incorporate a chain weapon, and eventually, I realized scythes could work, and in a bayonet position on the sponson guns they could even seem plausible. So one more order from Shapeways later I had some sweet chain glaives perfect for the job. Double-sided for strokes both ways, aside from using the turret’s movement these would be primarily acting like the blades on a scythed chariot. I got a little impatient on those, and didn’t fully fill in the gaps, so what I tried to make into brackets, on closer inspection still look like hands. I might still fix that when I have time, but that might not be for a while.
Hopefully that covers the main questions people have about the build, many Ork players have shown a keen interest in looting such a war machine, so who knows maybe this will become more common in the community. I would love to see what other people might make from any of these elements. Even just something like putting the scythes on a Chaos vehicle would be pretty cool.