The last leg of my Dreadfleet project was finishing the auxiliary boats, and I wanted to do something really creative with these. There are only two versions of the standard "cog" markers for the auxiliaries– one for the Grand Alliance fleet and one for the evil Dreadfleet.
All of the fleet ships are so different, each with its own unique design, I felt their auxiliaries should reflect this. It didn't seem right that the Skaven vessel, made from a leviathan fish carcass should have the same auxiliary design as the Tomb King's ship. And how, exactly, would a little wooden sail boat dock with a giant mechanical squid submersible? After rooting through my parts box I was able to put together some satisfying conversions:
This was simple enough. Plastic card for the extra sails, covered with putty to give it the "puff" of a sail catching the wind. A tiny bit from a Black Templar accessory went on top of the mast, and a helmet spike from a Grave Guard forms the prow spire.
The Curse of Zandri
This was the first one I made, and the easiest. I removed the sail but left the oars, and cut a pyramid into the center so it matched its parent ship. The metal bits are from Tomb Kings models– the end of a halberd and the top of Settra's head. (Yeah, that's right. I ruined a classic Settra model for a tiny counter in a game I'll hardly ever play.)
This one was fun to kitbash. I kept the figure on the prow because it looked like a little Skaven dude, and added a triangular icon cut from a Clanrat spear. The top of the tower and the boilers and smokestacks are tiny bits taken here and there from the Boneripper kit (the parts are so small they probably won't be missed). There were also two small rats on the Boneripper sprue that had little wheels for their back legs, and I used those wheels with some thin styrene strips to make the paddle wheel.
One of the extra sails that I cut off the other boats went into the Swordfysh conversion. The main sail needed to be turned so the sails would both be blowing the same direction. The "sword" on the prow was made from a strip of styrene, shaped and pinned in place. Modeling putty was used to extend the bow.
The Bloody Reaver
I tried to match the sail-laden castle aesthetic of the parent ship. The top of the tower is part of a Grave Guard helmet, and the tiny skull comes from a Tomb Kings banner. The stern of the boat was built up with modeling putty, and a few tiny windows were added to the tower.
The Flaming Scimitar
Another Grave Guard helmet was used for the tower, and the hull was shaped with modeling putty. The scimitar on the bow was cut down from a full-sized Tomb Kings chariot scythe. The boat's square sail was turned on its side, trimmed and puttied into a triangle. I used a piece of wire to make the angled mast, matching the style of sail on the larger vessel.
The Black Kracken
This one was the most complex, and probably has the least amount of "original" boat remaining. More Grave Guard helmets for the fins, and a melta-bomb forms the boiler with a small spike for the smokestack. There are parts of old battle wagon spikes on the stern, and a metal light from the Killer Kan accessory sprue to form the bridge windows, which were painted to match the green glow of the Kracken's "eyes." The paddle wheels are made from hole punched styrene card, with a thin strip over the top and details sculpted with putty.
And that's it! My Dreadfleet set is officially done! Both fleets are ready for war. I hope you've enjoyed following along with this project, I sure had fun painting it!