Wednesday, September 03, 2008

FT17 to Gargant

Buoyed up by my game a couple of weeks ago; I had a fresh look at my Epic scale Orks for the first time in, well years. Lots of troops, hordes of vehicles, and a couple of war machines too. But there was definitely a gap. Although I picked up a Mega Gargant on Ebay some years back, in game terms it is simply overkill, being well over a third of the points of a normal army on its own. I fancied putting a mid-sized gargant into the fighting line.

However, the GW ones are mail order only, so work out about £21 with postage for the chap below:

The other problem with these is that they are very uniform, GW only make one model and yet Orky vehicles to my mind should always look different. I decided to take another route; both to save cash and make something suitably unique.

I picked up the HaT, FT17 tank set instead, a 1/72nd scale kit. You get two of these simple models for a mere £5.49; they only comprise seven parts each!

Looking at the model I concluded that I could cut the hull down and turn it on its end to make a body for my gargant. This was simply done with a good craft knife and a steel rule, no need for fancy tools.
I was at first thinking of using the rest of the hull for feet, but once cut off I discovered they made for a near perfect fit on the sides of the hull to extend it and transform the shape. Some minor trimming of the old track attachments and we were on. A back plate needed adding to cover the gaps, but this was an easy fix.
Next I worked on the head and shoulders and started to add some of the weapons. The turret would make a perfect Orky head with some additions, whilst it's old location, now in the middle of the hull would dictate the position of the gut cannon.

Next I worked on some articulated legs. Initially I went for a three legged CP-30 style arrangement. But it just didn't look right.
I slept on that idea, and in the morning tore the legs off and started again. If it is possible, they had actually made the vehicle look less plausible, as if a thirty metre tall walking tank wasn't unlikely enough!

The camera didn't get remembered during the rest of the build, but I chopped most of the legs off and used the rest to glue under the hull in a more believable fashion. The back leg was ditched as a non-starter. The remains of the legs were transformed into arms easily enough, and one was fitted with a massive chainsaw (very Orky) and the other with a huge Gatling gun. By this stage all that remained was to add a few details, like repair plates and so on; and it was complete.

As for the paint job; well it had to be red didn't it?

I went with some classic detailing, White teef, yellow and green patches for repairs. Some bare metal, scratched off, and a coat of dust on the lower portions. A vehicle this size if it could move at all, would surely kick up a storm of debris.

I'm musing whether it needs a wash of brown or black to add some more depth at present, but it's definitely ready for the table.

And, all that aside, there was still another complete model in the box, ripe for another conversion. But more on that tomorrow...


  1. Looks good, and my hat is definitely off to your modelling skills - but you know they'll never let you set foot in Games Workshop ever again, don't you... :o))

  2. Great idea and great work on it too! Did you consider using two tank hulls, basicly back to back in this case. That would have given the Gargant bulkier look? As a matter of fact I have the same Hät kit unassembled... hmm. :)

  3. It definitely smacks of sacrilege to do this to a revered FT-17 model, but it's quite clever. Nice job.

  4. I'd rather the FT17 was rolling along in support of my Doughboys but ....

    And as Steve said you are a heretic in the eyes of GW and they may well burn you at the stake should this appear in one of their shops.