March 2– Back from vacation, the shop is open!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Skaven Stormfiends: Rattling Cannons

With the conversion work on my Stormfiends nearly complete, all that remained was to scratch build a few rattling cannons so I could equip four of my six Stormfiends with the deadly blasters.

Body Assembly

In the previous posts I mentioned how I cut the arms apart to place the "stock" rattling cannon mounts on the unarmored pose.



They were simply sawed apart and glued in place on the other model.


With some quick putty work, I added bandages to cover the joins where the cannons were grafted to the Stormfiend's arms and to patch up the fur. I also sculpted the missing shoulder strap in the area where the shoulder pad would have been.



Next the heads were added. To add variety to the helmets, I used one of the Skaven icons from the windlauncher to to replace the spikes on one head, and removed the hanging tassels from the other one.


Attaching the Grinderfists

These were straightforward; magnets were added so the grinderfists could be removed and swapped for the other weapon options.



Since I wasn't using any of the chest mounts, I put the the two small grinders on flying stands with some putty to build up the earth piled around around them.


These would be my tunnel markers. Stormfiends with grinderfists can enter the battle through tunnels, and that is represented by a marker, placed when the army deploys. When they arrive, the marker scatters and the Stormfiends emerge at its final location.


Attaching the Weapon Hoses

The rattling cannons were assembled and magnetized like the other weapons.



This pose would also accommodate the warpfire projectors.


Since the hoses attach to the cannon mounts themselves, I didn't need to bother with making cables for each weapon.


But, since these are from the "rattling cannon" pose and are getting attached to the "windlauncher" pose, the hoses would need to be modified to reach their new attachment points. I cut them apart and pinned the pieces back together so they could be trimmed, twisted, and attached as necessary.


I added connecting collars using styrene tubing.


The hoses were then glued in place, and fit neatly into the collars.



Here are the final models, with their gauges, valve handles, and brain rats in place. They just need to go on their bases and they would be ready for priming.


Scratch-Building More Rattling Cannons

I had two more models that needed rattling cannons, so I needed to build them from scratch. I found some brass tube that was the same diameter as the plastic cannons. The Styrene tube matches the central core.



To start, I cut the brass tube into sections matching the length of the cannon.


Each gun has eight barrels, so I lined up the pieces of tube on a piece of masking tape. The tape kept the tubes from rolling around, and allowed me to keep the ends flush as I attached them to the core.


I wrapped the tape around the styrene core, and made sure the tubes were straight, and flush on the front end.


A few drops of Thin Zap-A-Gap were applied to affix the brass tubes to the styrene core. I took care not to let it run out to the tape.


Then, the tape was peeled away and I had a nice set of gattling barrels.


I added a flange of putty around the back end and, once that was cured, began adding the ring around the barrels. A thin strip of styrene was first glued around the barrels, then a square rod of styrene was glued over top of it. (When working with the thin styrene pieces, I use regular super glue rather than the Thin Zap-A-Gap, because the thin zap makes the styrene brittle, causing it to crack.)


For the bottom rail, I used a thicker square rod. It was trimmed at the end to sit flush with the beveled putty. I cut a space out of the ring and glued the rail in place.


A thin disk of plastic was glued to the front, along with a vertical piece of rod. The rod was then shaved down to create the swooping point.


The final touch was to add a few rivets around the ring and drill some rivet holes in the putty flange.


The cannon housing is made from parts scrounged from my 40K parts bin. I used Chaos vehicle flamers and pieces of the rocket launcher mount. There's a rod taken from a Warmaster Screaming Bell in there as well. These were magnetized to fit the Stormfiend's arms and I sculpted more bandages over the graft point.



The last bit was to glue the barrels in place and add a cable connecting to the power pack.


The finished Srormfiends with Rattling Cannons, ready for painting:


Let's see how Waaagh Blackfang likes these apples!

'Til next time!


  1. Wow, just wow.
    Amazing conversions.

  2. As usual, very good ideas and perfect job ^^

  3. Really like those conversions, nice work!

  4. Love these tutorials, and the 'Zap-A-Gap' was a useful one to know. Question what modeling putty are you using as only have experience of gren stuff, and curious what the brown stuff is and how easy to work?

    1. Thanks, everyone! As for the Brown Stuff, it's a 2-part epoxy like the green stuff, and works the same. When it cures, though, it's rock hard so it's easier to carve and sand. I also find that brown sticks to things much easier when you're working with it.

  5. Love the custom ratling guns. Do you think that brush on super glue applied before rolling the grouping may be easier to control? I don't trust myself being able to apply the normal liquid the way you did. ;)

    1. I don't know about the brush on glue. The brass tubes need to be able to slide around a little to get them in place and straight. If there's glue on the center tube, the brass tubes will start sticking and it could end up as a mess.

      Regular super glue would just bead up over the opening. But if you use THIN super glue, it almost has the consistency of alcohol, so a single drop will run down the length of the tiny gap between the tubes.

  6. Hello, beautifull work :)
    Been wondering how did you cut the brass tube?

    1. I cut the tube with an X-Acto knife by laying the tube on the cutting mat, putting the blade on the cut line and rolling the tube back and forth with the blade of the knife to create a score mark all the way around (trying my best to keep it straight, and make sure the cut line meets up all the way around). Once the score line is deep enough, the tube can be snapped off and the rough edges sanded smooth.


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