Death Guard Chaos Rhino Conversion: “I Scream Truck”

Here’s an over the top project of which I’m pretty proud: A conversion of a Chaos Rhino to resemble an Ice Cream truck. More specifically, it is meant to emulate “Sweet Tooth”, the iconic vehicle driven by Needles Kane in the Twisted Metal franchise of video games.

I had purchased a Chaos Rhino kit a few months ago with the intention of adding a 3rd to my Death Guard force. It sat in my to-do pile for a while. When I finished my Foetid Bloat Drone with MOTORIZED fleshmower, my wife remarked that it seemed like it needed music or sound. I’ve done sound in my models before, like my Red Gobbo conversion that sang “Jingle Bells”, and a Land Raider that sings “U Can’t Touch This” by MC Hammer. Thinking of the motorized fleshmower, I somehow got to thinking about the spinning pole of a barber shop. 

Barber’s pole kind of inspired me

From the barber’s pole, I somehow started thinking about ice cream trucks. Then I made the connection to Sweet Tooth. For those that don’t know, Sweet Tooth is a vehicle in the “Twisted Metal” video games driven by a clown-themed serial killer named Needles Kane. It is a weaponized, beat up ice cream truck. And, in the games, it plays an ice cream truck melody that seems creepily out of place.

Needles Kane is the flagship character of the Twisted Metal games. He is depicted as an insane, violent, crazed killer full of rage. He seems to be more of the Khorne type of Chaos. But, I am instead playing on the clown/circus element of his persona. From there, it’s not too much of a stretch to imagine undead crazed zombie daemon clowns. And, in a truly Nurgle fashion, how better to spread Grandpa Nurgle’s gifts, than Ice Cream. 

Rhino I had previously painted, and the paper Ice Cream Truck centrepiece I used as a reference

I started the project by getting a reference: I bought a paper Ice Cream Truck centrepiece that was roughly twice the size of a Rhino. This gave me a reference for scale and shape. 

The next thing I built was the iconic macabre clown head that would go atop the vehicle. Ice cream trucks can have giant ice cream cones or clown heads on top, but I decided to go with the clown head. I started with a leftover head from the Great Unclean One kit. I installed a big red LED on its nose to look like a clown nose. I replaced its eyes with flickering purple LED’s to look like bulging eyes. And I wired five flickering LED’s around the head to be the flames later. The circuitry also involved two batteries, a switch, and a resistor. I balled the whole thing together with a large wad of Miliput. After priming and painting it, I strategically used clear kitchen caulking as a medium to represent the shapes of the flames. I’d like to think that it diffuses well is a fine Warhammer interpretation of Sweet Tooth’s clown head. 

After the clown head, I made the two characters to put in the vehicle. I converted a Chaos Cultist to be the driver. I replaced the head with a clear resin head and installed an LED in it. I am trying to emulate the techniques of one of the best LED modelers, Chris Buxey. Now the driver looks sort of demonically empowered. 

And I converted a Poxwalker to be the ice cream server. I replaced his weapon with an ice cream scoop, and made an ice cream cone for his other hand. 

The body of the vehicle took a lot of work. This is my first time ever working with plasticard. It is rather hard to cut, but I’m glad I had a self-healing mat to absorb errant knife stabs. The sheets are a bit imprecise, and I used a lot of Green Stuff to fill in gaps. But it seems acceptable considering how run-down the truck is supposed to be.

Cutting plasticard
Starting to take shape

I start by making a scale template of the side of the ice cream truck reference. It’s exactly half the size (1:2). I used that to trace the side walls of the truck out plasticard. Then I cut the side sections of the Rhino to fit the plasticard walls. I use the original Rhino roof and back door. The rest is even more plasticard. 

The whole thing is coming together
Back view of partially built truck
Assembled and primed. Head is attached to the top with a magnet.

The interior has two barrels with some glowing, noxious substance inside. I suspect this what they are serving as ice cream. I used a couple of LED’s to really make them glow. The headlights also light up, as does the drivers’ eyes, and there is one internal light.

There’s a lot of wires
Interior view before sealing it. I weathered it a lot. And you can see some of the wiring.

The model also has its own internal sound system. I’ve used a similar programmable circuit board before. It has 3 different songs: The first is “I scream – you scream – we all scream for ice cream” by Harry Reser’s Syncopators (1927). I don’t know the second song, but the third is “Turkey in the Straw.” I sampled the last two songs from a youtube video that extracted the songs from the Twisted Metal games. I have shared the music as a youtube video:

There are few interesting attachments to the truck. I used wooden letters I got at Micheal’s for the large side. It spells “Ice Cream”, but I’ve had the “CE” fall off and an “S” is scrawled in blood so it now reads “I SCREAM”. There are boltguns on each side of the truck matching their positions on Sweet Tooth. And there is an awning over the serving window, supported by two missiles. The front grill is from a Taurox Prime kit, modified slightly with some sprue bits. The license plate simply reads “VII”. 

Nurgling in the back window. The button labelled with the “music note” triggers the music.

I used plastic for all the windows. There is a Nurgling hiding in the back window. The technique for the cracked window in the front is from this youtube video. Actually, I learned a lot from that video about weathering too. 

I had fun decorating the truck too. It is supposed to be a white truck with pink polka-dots. Then I covered it in ice cream stickers. That’s how it started, then I weathered it like crazy. Many layers of Apothecary White Contrast, Plaguebearer Flesh Contrast, Typhus Corrosion, Ryza Rust, Nuln Oil, and Agrax Earthshade. I even did some highlighting in Corax White to try to get the edges to pop. 

Side view: “ICE CREAM” or “I SCREAM”?
Front view: I broke out my “Sophie’s Garage” display board for a background
Passenger / serving side
Serving ice cream side
Back view
Front / driver-side view

I have been teaching myself how to use VSDC Video editing software. I had some fun splicing together photos of the finished model, the music, and some video effects. 

Video featuring the “I Scream” truck and accompanying music

Now I’m considering making a full 20-model squad of Poxwalkers as undead zombie daemon clowns.

Display Board: “Ritual to extend 2020”

After my modest success in 2018 with my “Sophie’s Garage” Display Board, I upped my game in 2019 with “Sophie’s Choice Rock Concert” Display Board. I entered that board into Armies on Parade at my local Games Workshop store and got “Best Themed Army” and 2nd Place overall. I wanted to go even bigger and better for 2020 and started planning immediately. The end result is not what I thought I’d have, but I’m quite happy with it.

2020 has been a complicated and memorable year, to say the least. I had been very focused on my two Loyalist armies: Imperial Fists and Astra Militarum. When the first COVID-19 lockdown hit home in March, I found myself not worrying about painting to play, but instead having the freedom to try something new. That’s when I started painting Death Guard models.

My 2020 Display Board: “Ritual to Extend 2020”

To match the bases I had been giving the Death Guard models, I decided it would be a more forest/nature-like environment. My two previous boards had been urban environments, so this was quite a departure for me. But, it was a nice opportunity to try something new.

Now, on the actual construction of the board. The base is actually a bamboo drawer organizer from Ikea. I wanted to have a variety of heights and different levels, so there are lots of boxes and platforms. All of the shapes are boxes from Dollarama that I have disassembled, cut and re-assembled as I needed. Once I had a layout I liked, I added the steel.

LED’s added to the upper platform.

It wouldn’t be one of my boards if it didn’t features lights. The lighting on this board was actually rather modest: Just two flickering green LED’s on the upper dias.

LED’s on the upper platform

There are a lot of practical elements to this board. First, it fits perfectly on the foldable cart that I bring to tournaments. I installed handles to make it easy to transport. And, every horizontal surface is clad in sheet steel, so that models with magnets in their bases stick to the board.

Early construction photo of my 2020 display board. The sheet steel is still quite visible.

I used an “ebony” wood stain to make it really dark. Then finished it with three coats of a shiny polyurethane.

Staining the board

The board has lots of corkboard for texture. And I used the bases of the trees from the Souldrain Forest kit.

I wanted to add some texture to the steel. I mixed sand, white glue, and water and intended to smear that over all the horizontal surfaces to mask the steel. I didn’t get the ratio quite right, so that sand started collecting into bands. That turned out to be a nice, rippling effect.

Adding texture


I used spray paint on most of the board. It’s like a poor man’s airbrush.
As you’d expect of me, there are lights on the top balcony flanking where the Great Unclean One would go.
The band is set up with their own little nook. I was planning to have them on top of the Land Raider, but didn’t have time to finish the stage properly. That Land Raider will get some more interesting treatment and I’ll share that soon.

After spraying some layers. I even managed to get a bit of gradient.

I had custom nameplate engraved for the board. It’s a brass plate reads:
“Ritual to extend 2020”
Nurgle Daemons / Death Guard
by Paul Radcliffe
The gentleman at the engraving store gave me the funniest looks when reviewing the order…It’s very tongue-in-cheek, but I think the Noctilith Crown, and instruments, and green waterfall and daemons running amok fit them theme of wanting this pandemic year to continue. And Chaos / Nurgle Daemons / Death Guard are supposed to be the “bad guys” right? So they’d have some sort of sinister plot like this!

Engraved plate for my 2020 Display Board

Another little touch was the adding of a leather banner. My neighbour has a leatherworking business and I commissioned her to laser-etch the Nurgle symbol into a piece of leather. I then weathered the heck out of it and hung it from the upper platform of the board.

Laser-etched leather banner by Springbok Craft Co

A definite focal point on this board is the Nocticlith Crown featured on the upper platform. I painted it to look more Nurgle-like and rusted. I like that the crown looks like some sort of malefic portal or stargate. To play on that, there is a plasma disk suspended in the middle of the ring. It’s actually supposed to be a belt buckle. It is hung on fishing line which very difficult to see.

Noctilith Crown terrain features on my 2020 Display board with a plasma disk suspended in the middle. I used fishing wire which is almost invisible.

There are a lot of great models and elements on this board. But I think one of my favourites is some Nurglings on the base of the Great Unclean One overseeing the “procession.” In a very ironic twist, these little daemons that serve the Daemon God of Disease and Decay, are wearing masks.

Even Nurglings wear masks in 2020, apparently.

The board features a few trees that also came from the Souldrain Forest kit. I painted them to look like cherry blossoms, because my wife loves cherry blossoms. She was less impressed with the tree that I converted to look more like a Feculent Gnarlmaw. They had magnets installed in their bases so they would attach to the steel sheets on the board.

Work in progress pictures of trees for the 2020 Display Board. The one on the left has a bit of an infection….

This display so features a sort of ragtag Nurgle Band dropping some sick beats:
-Spoilpox Scrivner on lead vocals
-Tallyman on guitar
-Sloppity Bilepiper on bagpipes
-Plaguebearer on drums
-Noxious Blightbringer on bells (naturally)
-Nurglings on French Horn, Trumpet, Flute, and Strings

Nurgle band dropping some “sick beats”

I wanted to exceed the Rock Concert from last year. The previous board had lights and sounds. So, to exceed that I decided to add RUNNING WATER! I bought a terrarium piece meant for lizards that has a built-in pump. This was always going to feature on the board. For the final product, I put green food colouring in the water. The effect is green water coming out of the glowing skull!

Picture of my 2020 display board, with glowing skull and running water featured on the left.

There was music too from a speaker in the display. It’s playing the Red Hot Chili Pipers‘ cover of “Highway to Hell”. Not Peppers, Pipers, as in the Celtic Rock Band that features bagpipes. It’s a nod to the Sloppily Bilepiper’s bagpipes.

My 2020 Display Board
My 2020 Display Board: Predominant in this picture are a lot of Nurglings, A Daemon Prince, Poxwalkers, Plague Marines, a Hellbrute, A Myphitic Blight Hauler, and a Land Raider
A view of the upper levels of the board featuring a Great Unclean One, Typhus, Malignant Plaguecaster, Lord of Contagion, and Foul Blightspawn.
My 2020 Display Board: A horde of Nurgle Daemons

The board regrettably win any prizes from Armies on Parade 2020. But, It did was featured on an article by Warhammer Community.

A picture of my 2020 Display Board that was featured in an article by Warhammer Community.

Master of Possession to Malignant Plaguecaster Conversion

I already have a Malignant Plaguecaster model for my Death Guard army. But, like many others, I think the model doesn’t match the awesomeness of its rules. 

My first Death Guard Malignant Plaguecaster. I think I did a pretty good job, but I think the model itself could be more exciting.

I’m working on a Death Guard list that uses the Poxmongers Plague Company. I’d like to have a model carrying the Poxmongers exclusive relic, the Ironclot Furnace. This relic is supposed to spout some sort of smoke that helps protect one unit of Daemon Engines. So, I felt the model carrying this relic should look like it’s producing smoke.

The Master of Possession model as done by GW as a Black Legion.

I saw the Master of Possession model and the flaming skulls on its back made me think it was a great model to be converted to a Malignant Plaguecaster with Ironclot Furnace. But, I would add some personal pizazz with flickering LED’s and creative use of clear resin and diffusers.

Starting point for this model

I started by drilling out 3 clear resin skulls and one clear resin flame from Zinge. I drilled them so I could put an LED inside each of them. 

Drilling to hollow out the skull

Then, a lot of soldering later, all 4 were wired up for lighting.

Wired and ready to go

I also replaced the model’s head with a Plague Marine head, so it has the same Mk.3 feel as the rest of the Legion. I drilled out its eyepiece and hollowed it out to put an LED in too. Now its eyes light up!

Getting “a head” on this project :p

Instead of my usual, bulky 24AWG wires, I used much smaller 28AWG wires. They were much more fragile and difficult to work with. But, with an infantry model rather than a vehicle, I needed to use these smaller wires.

I’m particularly proud of the base. I wanted it to represent undead plague zombies and suggest the Plaguecaster was a sort of necromancer. This base has the torsos of a new Plaguebearer, old metal Plaguebearer, and a Poxwalker. I wanted them to look like they were bursting out of the ground.

A diseased undeed daemon base

I also replaced the tip of the Master of Possession’s staff. The symbol is from an old metal Plaguebearer banner.

Finished model with the LED’s off

I spent a lot more time than usual shading and edging this model. I think the quality is pretty good. The skulls even look good with the LED’s off.

Comparing the Master of Possession to my converted Malignant Plaguecaster

I think it will pop nicely on the tabletop. 

Finished model with the lights on
Finished model with lights on with a white background