Posts Tagged ‘leman russ’

Like a lot of wargamers I ‘ve got too many projects on the go and I dip in and out of them as the mood takes me. One project I’ve been working on on a very ad-hoc basis is building a Minervan Armoured Legion for as little money as I can manage while I concentrate on my main Epic projects; Vraks and Krieg.

The Minervan Armoured Legion is a fun project because, unsurprisingly, you get to field a wide variety of tanks. Not only that but there’s a lot of scope to convert the Leman Russ variant tanks available for use with this army. Some of might be thinking why would I want to convert the tanks when the Forgeworld models are reasonably readily available? There are three reasons for this:

Firstly, I’m not willing to pay what some of these Forgeworld tanks go for on the second hand market. For example, Leman Russ Tank Destroyers for an average for £8-10 each? That’s far too pricey for me!

Secondly, (this is going to make me sound a bit weird) I like my tank sculpts within an army to look coherent, particularly the tracks. I realise that in a real world conflict involving armoured vehicles are all shapes and sizes but on the wargames table I like a nice coherent look if I can achieve that. Moving swiftly on…

Thirdly, Forgeworld didn’t release sculpts for the Leman Russ Annihilator or Exterminator variants, although the Annihilator variant isn’t in the Minervan Armoured Legion.

I skimmed through the army list and decided to convert three Leman Russ Exterminators using some broken Leman Russ Tanks I won on ebay:


How did I convert them? When I got hold of my Vraksian Malcador tanks they came with two types of guns meaning that they could be built as either the standard Malcadors or Malcador Annihilators. I’m intending to only build three of the Malcadors as Annihilators leaving me with seven of the below Annihilator guns:

The mold slippage is quite bad on some of them, which is surprising given how cleanly cast the tanks are, but these guns are actually very quick to clean up. To remove the Lascannon look the Annihilator guns have I filed down the angular barrel. I think it works enough, this is 6mm scale after all!

Next up will be converting Executioner, Destroyer and Thunderer variants which don’t actually look to difficult to achieve.


Years ago I was very much against basing Epic scale tanks. I didn’t like the look of them and I thought that based tanks would look strange if they were based, for example, as urban bases but where then fielded on tables covered in grass. As time went on I warmed to the idea of basing my Epic scale tanks because it reduced the handling of the models themselves when moving them around. I originally used to use Warmaster bases but moved over to equivalent sized bases when I discovered them. I really liked the look I got with the bases and have since kept basing my tanks. In terms of gaming with based tanks I measure all distances from the tanks hull.

This year I made the decision to use slightly bigger bases for my tanks because some of the Epic 40k Imperial Guard range are quite wide what with them having additional armour plates on them or whatever and they look a bit squeezed onto the 20x40mm base. Instead I upped the base size for standard sized tanks, such as Leman Russ, to fit on 25x40mm bases. They look the right size giving a better visual balance to the base and model:


This was all great until I realised that the army I’m building and painting at the moment will include Forgeworld Epic models. As much as I really like the out of production Forgeworld Epic range the tanks are rather small compared to Citadel Epic models because they’re not quite the same scale and the Leman Russ tanks don’t come with side sponson weapons. This means that they look even more tiny on a 25x40mm base:


Yet a Forgeworld Hydra looks not only the right size on a 25x40mm base its guns will get a bit more protection when moving the model around:


However, I want all of my similar sized models to be on the same size of base. I decided that, sod it, they’ll all be on the same base and that the Leman Russ sized models will just look a little lost on their bases. This was all well and good until I finally managed to buy some Forgeworld Leman Russ Vanquishers for a sane price using the “Epic 40,000 Armageddon Buy Swap and Sell” Facebook group. The seller had based his tanks, IIRC, on 20x40mm bases with the tanks right at the very back of the base to offer a bit of protection to the tanks very fragile gun barrel. It was a good idea but sticking the Vanquisher at the back of the base looked odd. On a 25x40mm base it looked even more odd:


The solution was to put them on scenic bases. I really like the look of scenic bases but I’ve never done them because they can be time consuming but given how few Forgeworld tanks I own (currently 56) it shouldn’t add too much time if I did the bases in batches. I decided to start with the Vanquishers. The first thing was to chop up one of the small ruins sprues that used to come with the Epic 40k infantry bases, I’ve got a huge bag full of of these so I don’t need to worry too much about cutting a few up. I then planted Coal Ballast Scatter into the Greenstuff to be used as either big rocks or debris from the building:



The razor wire was from Army Painter:


The razor wire was twisted around a small drill bit, stretched and then planted into the green stuff. It looked far too neat so I clipped it in various places and squashed it a bit. I then added coarse sand I bought from a pet shop about 15 years ago and applied that to the base near to the building ruins:


I painted over the coarse sand and once dry I applied fine sand to the rest of the base:


I then painted the ruins and coarse sand Vallejo Basalt Grey (70.869):


After that the bases were painted as:

  • Army Painter Dark Tone wash over all of the grey areas
  • All grey areas were drybrushed Vallejo Basalt Grey (70.869)
  • The fine sand was painted Vallejo Chocolate Brown (70.872)
  • Vallejo Beige Brown (70.875) dry brush on the fine sand
  • Vallejo German Camo Beige (70.821) dry brush on the fine sand

The razor wire was painted as follows:

  • Vallejo Black (72.051)
  • Vallejo Gunmetal Grey (70.863)
  • Citadel Chestnut ink wash
  • Vallejo Gunmetal Grey dry brush

The finished bases, and tanks, looking as follows:




Over a year ago I bought a box of EpicA Leman Russ tanks directly from Games Workshop with the idea being that it was quicker and easier to pay over the odds for the models to get them all at once rather than piecemeal via ebay. When they arrived, I checked the contents to ensure that they were complete and they sat on the unpainted lead pile. Fast forward to yesterday and I finally dug them out with the intention of cleaning them up and building them. This is when I noticed just how poor the casts are to the point where I’m really quite annoyed that I paid a premium price for such dreadful casts. The examples below were done using one of the EpicA Leman Russ tanks, picked at random, against the Epic40k equivalent sculpts that I bought from ebay as a sealed blister pack. Have a look below and see just how dreadful the casting quality is of the models Games Workshop are currently selling:

Body comparison – EpicA L Epic40k R


Side comparison – EpicA


Side comparison – Epic40k


Not only is the casting quality extremely poor, I’ve seen better amatuer recasts, but the tanks are actually about 1mm smaller than the Epic40k versions. Had I actually noticed all of this when I bought them they would’ve been sent straight back. Unfortunately, given that it’s over a year since I bought them, sending them back isn’t an option. So, all I can say is “The best model soldiers in the world!” my arse.


In more positive news my Chimedons are now complete:


The photo isn’t great due but it gives you an idea of just how boring these models look.

By sheer coincidence I was routing around my bits box today and I discovered that I had another Chimedon turret and a spare Epic40k era Chimera minus its turret. You know what’s coming next.. below is the dry fit version of the model, note that the turret looks wonky because it’s plug is currently too large for the Chimeras hole:


Now THAT is how an assault APC should look! 🙂

My Leman Russ Tank Company is now complete! As ever, the original Mark 1 versions of the models are my favourite:

Leman Russ Tank Company

The lighting conditions were quite variable (it’s dull, wet and windy) but even so the photos could’ve been worse!

With luck I should have my Vindicator Tank Company complete next weekend.  After that, who knows, there’s still plenty to paint. I’ve got far too much infantry to build let alone paint and I’m starting to look at my EpicA Siege army again. I’ve also been thinking about actually painting my Imperial Roman army for use with Hail Caesar. To be fair I’ve only owned that particular army for 15 years so it shouldn’t really be anywhere near top of the pile yet! 😉