Starship Modeler - The complete information source for modelers who build sci-fi, fantasy and real space subjects

Land Ironclad

By Steve Hilby

This model started at the swap table at an IPMS meeting. Someone had this cute little Panzerbeobachtenwagen 38H for sale for a ridiculously low price, and its clean, sloping form just said, "giant tank" to me.

So, hey, a land ironclad it is. And a French one, to boot; as the foremost engineers on ther Continent, I figured the French would never take their ignominious defeat in the Franco-Prussian War lying down. Besides, who likes Prussians, anyway?

Seven years later, it's payback time.

I needed hemispherical, 1880s-style turrets, and after some dead ends I settled on a couple Space Coupe magnetic effectors. After I mounted the turrets, I realized that the ironclad looked a bit like the Sphinx, so I decided to run with that, and when I built a pilothouse, its shape was intended to echo the Sphinx's head.

A couple plastic-tube smokestacks and some photoetch railings, ladders, and doors left over from the Imperial Aeronef, and I was halfway there. The suspension was radically lowered to add to the massive appearance, and assorted gangways and platforms added to make it a bit nautical-looking. (The doors on the sides, flanked by cranes, are coaling chutes.)

I had in mind a scene in which a huge French ironclad scatters a troop of Prussian cavalry. The base was easy enough, plywood and drywall mud, but surprisingly, 1/350 cavalrymen are in short supply.

One of the guys in the sci-fi club had been playing around with MicroMark's home photoetch system, and I figured if he could do it so could I; and a few nights and one snowbound Saturday later I had nine Prussian cavalrymen and their horses.

Paint is oils over enamels; the smoke is cotton sprayed with a bit of brown and black, and by gum, there she is, all finished. Not a quick project, but a lot of fun. I took it to Wonderfest and it got a Silver.

PE Horses



Right Rear

Starship Modeler Home | Site Map | Gallery Main Page | Feedback

This page made possible by Starship Modeler™ - copyright © 2011.