Table Ready Feature: Iron Warriors Siege Tanks

[This post was originally posted to Otherverse Games & Hobbies as part of a series called Plastic to Painted, or P2P. You may see logos or references to this site and series]

It All Began With A How-To

I fell in love with the entire concept of the Iron Warriors back in 2002. The whole siege expert and big guns thing was so appealing. But before that, three years prior, I fell in love with their simple, but effective, paint scheme. While there were no chapter specific rules back then, the Iron Warriors were featured in the How To Paint section of the Chaos Space Marines 3rd Edition Codex(1st release). On those two pages I saw some basic troops and a Dreadnought painted up with the Iron Warriors trademark metallic livery. They looked so much better than the Black Legion Chaos Marines that you saw almost everywhere.

Back then, I feel like Chaos Marines were pretty much painted in only three colors. Black(Black Legion), Red(Khorne) or Green(Death Guard). That’s about it. Okay sure, you saw some Emperors Children or even Thousand Sons occasionally. But for the most part, Chaos equals black. I don’t quite care for cookie cutter, anything. So the Iron Warriors color scheme appealed to me as soon as I saw it. And I wanted that silver Dreadnought someday.

The method described in the codex was not one of simply painting the army silver. Rather you painted the army black and then dry-brushed silver on. Thus leaving a black shadows. I would try it later, and fail miserably. Missing in these pics are the Iron Warriors trademark hazard stripes.

Until this point, I was semi-“focused” on painting Space Orks, incredibly poorly. I was playing 40K almost weekly with Tyson, but I was growing unhappy with how the Orks performed versus Space Marines. My dice rolling be damned! Also, to be honest, I was just getting tired of lugging them around and taking hours to set up and put away. So I began picking up some Chaos Marines here and there, when the funds became available. I had a couple of small squads, and I had bought just about every chaos character available(all in pewter back then). But I was not committed just yet.

And then Index Astartes Volume One came out around early 2002. It was the first in a series of books collecting Chapter Approved articles from White Dwarf. It also featured lore on the various Astartes Chapters. Loyalist or Chaos. This thin book would actually change the course of my hobby goals. And not just for my Chaos aspirations. I also found my Loyalist chapter as well in those pages. It was like fate.

Seriously, pages 32 -39 introduced the siege expert Iron Warriors lore and chapter-specific rules. And immediately following that, on pages 40-47, I was introduced to the fast attack White Scars. An army that I would finally work on almost 20 years later.

One of the most iconic 40K pictures ever.

I was on board with the whole Siege-Masters concept. And the fact that I could take a Basilisk(or Vindicator) was icing on the cake. The Black Legion couldn’t take a Basilisk. I would later buy that tank, and model it with spiky-bits. I used it only once, unpainted. GW would later remove the ability to use said tank in a chaos army. That Basilisk was actually destroyed in a move anyway. But I still have pieces of it somewhere, that I kept for terrain purposes down the road.

There were some nifty rules.

My “Iron Warriors army” was… silly, and definitely not Battleforged by any modern sense of the word. I had 1 squad of troops and 1 squad of heavies painted like Iron Warriors. The rest of the army was, Khorne Berzerkers, Fallen, and just about every named character available to Chaos at the time. Except for Abbadon. My Raptors were painted black(Black Legion colors). I was using the “If it looks cool, I want it” method of building an army. Hell, my “siege expert” army only had 3 tanks. 1 was a Rhino, 1 was a Predator, and lastly was the Basilisk that I saved up for(and used only once or twice). Not very… practical, or siege-ey. But I was enjoying myself, and I did have plans on bringing the Iron Warriors to the forefront.

However, in 2003 my life took a sharp right turn and I left many aspects of my life behind. 40K, and hobbying in general would only be thought about a handful of times in the next five years. With no actual building or painting being done. After that period, I wouldn’t so much as ponder the hobby until December of 2018. When I was suffering from a broken foot, bored at home, and just plain miserable to be around. My wife suggested that I dig out those models from the closet that I had talked about some time ago, and revisit them. The flame was lit. My Iron Warriors were not just getting an overhaul, they were getting built from scratch.

I began shopping. And amongst those first purchases were tanks. Six in total.

When You Absolutely, Positively, Need That Wall Brought Down

Forge World was out of my grasps growing up. It was all mail order and way out of budget then. But in 2019, it was as easy as point and click. As soon as I saw the Typhon Heavy Siege Tank, and learned I could actually use it, I knew that I had to have it. It is a tank that is built around a canon, so what’s not to like? A variant of the Spartan, that was designed by Perturabo, Primarch of the IV Legion himself. So you know it packs a punch. The guy loved to design strong and brutal war machines. He was also a man-child. I mean the guy wrecked his own adopted planet when they wouldn’t let him play with his toys anymore.

Perturabo wanted a tank for his legion that could rival the most powerful of the Imperial Guard tanks. But it needed the dependability and deployability that was expected of a Space Marine legion. The Typhon would sacrifice the Spartans massive troop carrying capabilities in favor of a massive Dreadhammer Siege Cannon. A most metal-as-fuck name for a weapon, for sure.

Like the pre-plastic Spartan kits, my Typhon kit came with solid/heavy chunks of resin. When I received mine, some of the gates had already snapped off, taking with them some of the tracks. So i decided to model some of the tracks as damaged, instead of getting pissed. This build came after my Fire Raptor debacle. So I was not interested in getting upset over a small piece of broken resin. Well, I was actually more tired than uninterested. Where some of the tracks are missing portions, I added rust and corrosion. These are relic tanks after-all. They aren’t going to look pristine.

I thinned down the Iron Warriors base paint to be used in my airbrush. This made short work of painting this beast. The hazards were also painted with the airbrush, using my favorite Tamiya masking tape. The gold trim was heavily dulled down using washes. To me, it adds to the aged look. For the aging I used the tested and true Typhus Corrosion and Ryza Rust formula. The Iron Warriors skulls are 3D printed bits that I found online.

I modeled the weapons and blast shield in assemblies, opting to magnetize them all for ease of transport and painting. This made traveling with this behemoth much more easy. I didn’t want to have to worry about things snapping off… again. I had already snapped one lascannon in half on accident when trying to bend it by using the hot water trick. That’s why the left lascannon is bent. It’s glued that way unfortunately. You can see the glue seam.

The Son

The Deimos pattern Vindicator was actually the first model I bought from Forge World back when I restarted my Iron Warriors after all those years. The 40K version did not look appealing to me in the least. But this Deimos pattern just looks like a siege tank. With its extra armor plating and ram. Back when Index Astartes offered the ability to take a Basilisk or a Vindicator, the choice was easy. BIG BARRAGE TANK! But I did like the idea of a Vindicator, and told myself that one day I would have both. But that never happened. And then GW stripped me of the ability to take a Basilisk. So in this restart, I was going to get my Vindicator, dammit!

Modeling this smaller siege tank was not as easy as it should have been, but not a hassle. It is a resin upgrade kit that fits on to a plastic Deimos Rhino skeleton. The upper portion of the tank where the hatch and gun position are, are all one piece. And that piece extends down the front of the tank where the cannon is. This is designed to fit on to the existing Rhino skeleton. Well, It did not fit well, and took some effort. And there is a gap, where the two pieces meet. But I let that go, and once I got it all glued the painting went swimmingly. Even though I bought this tank way before the Typhon. I painted this one last. So I followed the same pattern for the Vindicator, that I did for the Typhon.

Down the road, I intend on getting more of the old big tanks. Perturabo, whom I just finished painting(stand-by for his P2P), needs Tormentor. His massive Shadowsword Super-heavy tank. Also, I will definitely be buying and painting a Basilisk again. The rules be damned. Those two are first on my list, and I am sure there will be more. But for now, these two, aside from my Leviathan Dreadnought, havocs, and predators, are my primary siege engines. And they look great on a table.

Take your son to work, day. Iron Cage edition

The rule books depicted in this post are decades old, and contain obsolete rules. They are provided for entertainment/informational purposes only. No copyright infringement is intended or implied.

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All of these are true except for one:

Robert is: a Hobbyist, a Music Lover, an RPG Gamer, a Mustard Lover, Chaotic Neutral, a Japanese Speaker, a Veteran, an Otaku, a Table Tennis Player, an Anime Fan, an Aviation Professional, a New York Rangers Fan, a Chaos Lover With Loyalist Tendencies.

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