Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Converting a Mecha: Help me make my dream project

If you've gotten to know me in my hobby-side of life, you've probably heard me talking about how much I loved the movie, District 9. Social commentary, mechas, alien weapons, slums, an evil corporation, South African accents, the third world, a new way of film-making (not original, just new). It really hit all the right notes for me. 

Ever since I first saw it in theaters I've dreamed of one day, recreating both the setting and the Prawn-Mecha on the table-top. While I have nearly finished creating the setting with all my slums and shanty town terrain, I have yet to begin on the Mecha model. Here is the model that you can buy. It costs over 250 dollars. Nope that will not do. I'm going to have to create my own. 

Right now, I have ordered some AT-43 mechas off of ebay and those should be here any day. Believe it or not, I've also found some Dark Eldar parts from their jetbikes that will also be fitting. Throw in some terminator bits, plasticard, guitar strings, random Tau bits and I should be good to go. 

Actually now that Necrons are out I could find lots of nice little pieces in among all those new plastics. My guess is that the basic Destroyer box would be the best place to look though, as the scale is more on target. 

Check out what this guy did in lego! I know I can do as well in plastic, right? 

Now going into a project like this, I have to bear in mind that I should enable myself to be loose with the design and create something new, kind of like a historical drama we are going to based on a true story not an exact replica. 

Any thoughts from the community? I would love any pointers on where to get useful bits for converting mechs and battlesuits.

Also, I got some finished models to showcase soon, keep posted. 


Luckless Xenos said...

That's a great idea! I really loved that movie too and seeing it represented on the tabletop would be simply amazing. Good luck!

Dan (nyhil) said...

I for one suggest just biting the bullet, and going for the original model. Perhaps start a "kickstarter" page so we can all donate to your cause!

Valk said...


When i watched it, every part of that mecha rings Tau

Mr.Esty said...

What a fun build challenge! I look forward to following your progress on this :)

Atreides said...

i am sorry i dont usually link my own stuff, but this is the counts as Dreadknight i scratchbuilt from plasticard and a few 40k bits. i wanted to go for an old school robot look, but to make it clearly 40k.


i have built quite a few walkers now and the best tip i can give you is that i have found it easiest to build the legs first. it establishes the pose, size, and scale of the whole model if you do it from the ground up.

good luck :)

Old Shatter Hands said...

Atreides, how the hell have I missed your blog this whole time? Of course I read it before but I thought it was a blood angels thing. Infinity, Avatar IG army, wow! There is some awesome stuff there. That robot is great, that's what I am hoping to do on my own. What brand of plasticard do you use?

Cobalt Cannon said...

I have a suggestion for you that could save you some money and give you room for expansion and play with your idea. If you are willing to try a smaller size, 15mm, then there is an existing option for you.

Ground Zero games makes aline of stragrunt 15mm figures for a race called the Crusties. They are the prawns from District 9 and also have the mecha. They produce two options of mecha so far with plans for more. They also have infantry. Prawns( Crusties) with weapons and armor. Along with their other fantastic 15mm stargrunt vehicles and weapons, you could actually make a very rich game around this. Buy the Tomorrow's War rulebook or the Gruntz PDF ( 10$) and you have a district9 themed game.

Look into it, and I think you will really explode with ideas, and this stuff is get ready,.. Affordable! I think the websites are Gruntz.biz and GZG.uk or something like that. Google will find them for you.

Take care

Cobalt Cannon said...

Ok Here you go:




Check these out for ideas and options. Tomorrow's War and Gruntz are getting stellar reviews as rules systems, and the ground zero games miniatures are really good quallity (especially considering it's 15mm). 15mm also makes them easier to store and have larger battles in a smaller space.

Atreides said...

OSH, thanks for checking us out again! We do suffer a little from mis-branding i have to admit.

as for my plasticard, i am lucky enough to live in London, so i have a number of model shops within easy traveling distance. the best i have found is an architectural supplies store called 4D Models. they stock every size and shape of plasticard pieces and sheets anyone could ever need. i know they ship worldwide but it might still be cheaper and faster to find another retailer in America. Brands don't really come into it for me. if i see a shape i think might be useful, i grab it. i find it helps to have a pile of stuff sitting around when i build, inspiration can strike from anywhere!

one thing i have noticed though is that not all 'plasticard' is made from the same stuff. most is styrene, and is easy to work with as it bonds with other plastic, but some is a harder material that only works with superglue. if possible, i'd avoid the later, its a pain in the ass to work with.