By Rabid Wombat
This is the first of a series of articles based on simple wargame modding. Giving the basic tools to the novice modeler helps their confidence, which encourages further experimentation, which then provides a greater sense of satisfaction for the owner and a more interesting experience on the table. The first project is going to be a Warhammer 40k Dreadnought MultiMelta arm conversion.
In almost all Space Marine armies (except for the Blood Angels, who instead get flying psyker force weapon wielding dreads; yes, it’s as cheesy as it sounds), the Multi Melta is either the default option, or a free upgrade for the primary ranged arm. It keeps the points on the dread down, and in exchange you get mobile (comparatively) long range melta support. There are plenty of tactica concerning dreadnought movement and weapon loadouts, with MultiMelta support always included. This can drive the new player up a wall, because the option to buy one off the rack no longer exists.
The Multi Melta weapon arm was until recently only available on the dreadnought from the Assault On Black Reach (AOBR) starter box set. Neither the generic Dreadnought kit or the Venerable Dreadnought kit have that weapon available. With the rise of 6th Edition and the arrival of the new Dark Vengeance (DV) starter set, there is no longer an option to simply buy a dread with a Multi Melta arm. Players now are faced with a few choices: buy one of the dwindling number of AOBR dreads out on the internet, pay through the nose for Forgeworld’s arm (there are many cool toys at Forgeworld, but buying a Multi Melta arm from them is like buying penny candy from a smack dealer), luck into an old model being sold in your local gaming community, or build your own. Guess what we’re doing.
What you are going to need:
A Venerable Dread right shoulder mount
A sponson Multi Melta from an IG Leman Russ
The modeling equipment you already have
Yep, that’s it. First off, let’s look at the Venerable Dread shoulder mount. Any of the three mounts that come with the kit will do, for aesthetics I picked the mount with the square inlay. The back of the mount has a space for a charger pack to bulk the arm up a bit, and if you wish for a more plain build, the square side cover can be inverted to make a flat surface. Clean the bits up and glue the three or four components together.
Next, take a look at that sponson weapon after you have cleaned it up. You are going to want to cheat the front of the Multi Melta as far forward in the mount slot as possible to give it some length. No matter what you do, the mounting tab on the Multi Melta is going to be slightly smaller than the tabs on the Venerable Dreadnought weapon systems. If you want more stability, you can fill the void in the interior of the shoulder mount with glue, putty, green stuff, what have you. I like the tacky poster hanging putty myself. Use some glue to hold that Multi Melta in place, and set it aside to dry. It really is as simple as that.
If you don’t have either of these components on hand, both are plentiful and easy to obtain online or likely among your gaming group. Congratulations on saving yourself a bit of money and sanity. Now put on your best trollface and start cracking transports.