View Full Version : Converting Battlesuits

Aun O Vader
16-10-2006, 12:27 AM
Right, as a lot of Tau players have commented, the GW Tau battlesuits look pretty static, and the models don\'t always look their best if you use them from the box! I\'ve been thinking about this quite a lot recently and have been messing around with a couple of spare arms that I had knocking around (yay for broadsides!) And I think I\'ve come up with a pretty quick, easy and effective way of converting battlesuit arms to make them more posable. So this is my step-by-step guide, with pictures!

First a list of tools, I used a hobby saw (just a fine toothed saw I bought from a hobby shop not GW), a pin vice, some brass rod and some super glue, thats it!

1. Start by carefully cutting the arms from the sprue, then clean all the mould lines off. This is what you now have.

2. Next you want to make two very small cuts with a hobby saw into the joints at the elbow, the aim is to create a gap between the shoulder pad and the forearm. You can just about make this out in the picture!

3. Now you want to use the hobby saw to cut the shoulder pad away from the elbow joint, by cutting from the outside edge into the gap you created in stage 2.

4. Now carefully cut the small joint part away from the forearm and then trim it from the main elbow joint. This bit can be a little bit fiddly, and you need to be careful not to cut too far!

So you\'ve now got three parts of the arm. Now is probably a good time to do some cleaning up, to make sure that all the parts will look and fit right when you stick the parts together.

5. using a pin vice drill a hole into the forearm section at the angle where you want the arm to fit to the shoulder pad. Drill a hole in the shoulder pad for the second part of the pin to fit into. Cut a piece of pin to size and attach it to the forearm hole making sure that the bit sticking out is long enough to get a purchase in the shoulder, without being too long to fit snugly. This is what you should now have.

6. Now glue the other part of the pin into the shoulder pad. Angling the arm out or in depending upon the pose you want. Don\'t forget that you want to make sure that the arm will fit around the body of the suit.

7. Finally take the smallest part of the elbow joint and glue it into place making sure that it fits correctly and looks like it is still part of the joint!

And as if by magic you have a set of XV-8 arms now in a postion to match whatever attitude you want your suit to be in. This whole article was knocked together in about an hour, including photography and writing!

Watch out for the next thrilling installment, creating pin and magnet connections for your weapons, allowing your models to be truly customisable!

16-10-2006, 12:50 AM
Awsome article Aun! I\'ll have to try it with my next battlesuit!

O ya *Karma Boost* :)

Aun O Vader
17-10-2006, 12:37 AM
right then, had far too much spare time yesterday afternoon, so I did the next part of this article, making your arms so that they contain a pin and magnet positioning system, so that you can make your battlesuits customisable, allowing you to modify the weapon outfit depending upon the battle!

first of all the kit list, a pin vice, but with a 2mm drill bit (or the same diameter as your magnets) as well as the normal drills, and a craft knife. also some 2mmx1mm neodymium magnets (also known as rare earth magnets. lots of people talk about these, I found a fairly good source of lots of different sizes is here (http://www.shop4tools.co.uk/acatalog/Neodymium_Magnets.html).

1. so starting from where we left off you want to take one of the arms and carefully cut a hole in the normal positioning slot at the diameter of the magnets that you are using. Also now is a good time to drill a hole at the diameter of the pins that you are using just in front of the positioning slot. You should now have an arm that looks something like this, with the other arm as a comparison.

2. now carefully place a magnet into the hole drilled for it, making sure that it fits flush with the outside edge of the arm, leaving a flat surface. Now glue the magnet in place.
put the arm to one side and leave the glue to dry THOROUGHLY!

3. Now take a weapon, cut it from the sprue and clean it up (this one isn\'t perfect but neither am I, yet!)

4. Very carefully trim off one side\'s positioning post (the bit designed to go into the slot now filled with magnet on the arm!).

5. Cut matching holes as on the arm into the weapon, making sure that when they meet up with the arm the gun will face in the right direction! also make sure that the magnet will fit snugly, but also try to make sure that the magnet will be flush with the side of the weapon, otherwise you\'ll have a gap when they are placed together.

6. Place the magnet and a shot length of pin into the holes cut for them in the arm. at this point its actually easier to have a bit of extra pin so that you can manipulate it better than if you are trying to work with a tiny sliver of rod!

7. Leave all the glues to dry, do not mess around with them until this has happened, these magnets are strong enough to pull away from unset glue! But once the glue has set you should be able to put the weapon and arm together to fit like this!

You can now repeat this process with your arms and weapons and if you make them all similar then you should be able to fit any weapon system that you have onto any of your arms, the ultimate in versatility! and the same designe should work with the shoulder mounts, although you have to be very careful when drilling into the main body becaue its mainly hollow and the last thing you want to do is cut too far and through the shoulder mount! It is also possible to fill the rest of the positioning slot in the arm ith GS and make it look like a smooth face, and the magnets are strong enough to attract through a few layers of paint, so you can paint over them!

I will now be working on how to do this with battlesuit legs!

Post edited by: AunO Vader, at: 2006/10/17 02:05

17-10-2006, 02:50 AM
AunO Vader wrote:

I will now be working on how to do this with battlesuit legs!<br><br>Post edited by: AunO Vader, at: 2006/10/17 02:05

What do you mean by that?

Aun O Vader
17-10-2006, 04:50 AM
cutting the joint of the knee so that I can pose the leg a bit more dynamically, amke the model look like it is kicking off from the floor, or standing on a rock pinnacle.

17-10-2006, 05:04 AM
Oh right I thoguth you meant attach magnets to the legs... :silly:

17-10-2006, 03:32 PM
Great article Aun - mind if I copy it to the left hand menu, or are you still woring on it.


Iron father
18-10-2006, 02:12 AM
nice article, there needs to be more modelling articles around. i thought tau had blue colour skin you seem to have human colour skin there ;)

18-10-2006, 02:13 AM
nice one, finale a good Tau guide

Aun O Vader
18-10-2006, 04:16 AM
it\'s still a bit of a wrok in progress, once I\'ve worked out how to do the legs then it\'ll be fit to go on the menu! I\'ll fair it up a bit as well.

i thought tau had blue colour skin you seem to have human colour skin there

I have a cold, go figure!

Iron father
18-10-2006, 04:20 AM
AunO Vader wrote:

i thought tau had blue colour skin you seem to have human colour skin there

I have a cold, go figure!


18-10-2006, 04:22 AM
the legs are easy

but now i cant make that commander Dracula\'O bat-wing