Conversion Spotlight: "Silverback" Mercenary Fire Support Mech
Posted on Monday Jun 26, 2017 at 05:00pm in Models
- by Iain Wilson
A variation on the Hunter War Mech chassis, the Silverback was an attempt by Epirian engineers to develop a mobile platform for heavy support weapons. Trading in speed for stability, initial deployments showed promising results, however over time the mech's ponderous movement began to be perceived as a liability. When this was compounded by some odd personality quirks that tended to develop in the experimental twinned bot cores used to give the Silverback increased tactical capability, the model was slowly phased out by Epirian forces. Some were sold to planetary security forces, while others found their way onto the black market, where they became a favourite of mercenaries who favoured a more blunt approach to martial engagement.
A mercenary bot handler and his Silverback charge.
The Epirian Hunter is a fantastic kit which presents some fun modeling possibilities straight out of the box. Sometimes, though, it's fun to do something a little more extreme, and it's from this that the Silverback was born. This wasn't made with any rules in mind, just something fun to build... although now of course I have some ideas percolating around for mercenary units, so this may be something I come back to in a future article.
To give the Silverback more gorilla-like proportions, I cut down the tops of the thighs level with the top of the protruding panel on the side. This also required slicing off the locating pin and reattaching it lower down. I also added a bit more of a bend to the left leg by slicing carefully through the top of the knee joint, cutting out a small wedge, and regluing the leg at the new angle.
With the torso angled forwards, the top of the existing 'head' serves admirably as a neck. To add a new head, I used a razor saw to slice a drone chassis in half.
The front piece was then glued in place on the torso.
I wanted the arms a little straighter than is allowed by the hunter's elbow arrangement. So I trimmed away the back of the forearm piece, allowing more movement in the joint.
I then took some small pipe fittings from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue and trimmed the square border off.
A small piece of plastic tube was then slipped into the fitting, and this glued in place against the 'hand' end of the forearm.
The hands were constructed from the back half of the drone chassis and small pieces cut from the drone's sprue (recycling for the win!).
With everything glued together, the arm was glued in place.
I initially only had two joints on each finger, but it just didn't look quite right, so I added an extra joint when I built the second arm, and then went back and did the same to the first one.
Another couple of small sprue pieces formed the ends of the thumbs, and I added a weapon purloined from a Games Workshop Tau battlesuit kit.
I wanted a dark, slightly sinister paintjob to emphasise the brutish nature of the mech, so started with a black undercoat.
Over this I did a heavy drybrush of P3 Pig Iron.
Then I washed the whole thing with a generous coat of Army Painter Dark Tone.
Once the wash dried, I lightly drybrushed all over with some more Pig Iron, and then did the detail work. A few panels here and there are picked out in different colours to give it a bit more of a ramshackle appearance, in keeping with its mercenary nature. It's not an award-winning paint-job, but is a nice, quick method for getting a table-ready model.
Feeling the urge to hack up a Hunter or two of your own? You can pick up the Hunter, Drone or terrain sprue from the Maelstrom's Edge webstore here. As always, feel free to share your creations on the Comm Guild Facebook page!
For other Maelstrom's Edge modeling articles, including tutorials and walkthroughs of a wide range of different building and miniature projects, check out the article roundup here.