Tag Archives: Electronics

Death Guard Models

I got the First Strike Warhammer 40k Starter Box several years ago. I painted the Space Marine models quickly, but the Death Guard models stayed in the box for years. Something about the COVID-19 pandemic got me thinking about plague, disease, and the Death Guard / Nurgle models. And, since I was prettymuch where I wanted to be with my Imperial Fists tournament list, it seemed like a good time to try something new.

For those that don’t know, in the fictional Warhammer 40k universe, Nurgle is the Chaotic Daemon god of disease, decay, death and destruction. Death Guard and the Poxwalkers are thralls or servants of Nurgle. Seemed a bit appropriate during the COVID-19 pandemic.

And The Hooded Goblin friendly local gaming store (FLGS) was running a painting competition, so it was even more incentive to paint them up real good. And, the Rhino won me second place in the category!

So, I actually have 4 different batches of models painted for 3 different categories:

  • Squad of Death Guard Marines and Poxwalkers
  • Large: Myphitic Blight-hauler (vehicle)
  • Character: Daemon Prince of Nurgle
  • Large: Death Guard Rhino “The Goober Uber”

Death Guard Chaos Space Marines and Poxwalkers

I wanted to really push my painting abilities with this new little project. So, I decided I would try all the “tricks” of contrast paint and washes. And using a brand new very fine brush for details helped too.

I started by making really fancy bases. I bought a box of 340 skulls, so I put 3 skulls on each base as a nod to the Nurgle symbol. The bases for the Space Marines even feature bodies of fallen foes, like a Dark Angel on one, and an Imperial Guardsman on another. And then each base got some “texture” from Milliput putty.

I took my time painting them. I started priming them white, then a spray coat of Gray Seer contrast primer spray paint. Most of the skin of the poxwalkers was done in Plaguebearer Flesh contrast paint with the pink sections in Magos Purple contrast paint. The pink highlights were done with Emperor’s Children. I used a bunch of different colours for the other highlights. Then everything was washed in Agrax Earthshade and sealed with Army Painter Matt Varnish.

The Space Marine models were even more detailed than the Poxwalkers. I used a similar formula to the Poxwalkers. But I added shading of Death Guard green on armour, and lots of brass-looking parts I painted Balthasar Gold. And I actually did use Dark Angel Green contrast paint for the body on the base.

I’m really happy about how they turned out. I kind of begrudge having to paint more. I did such a detailed and careful job on these that I realize I will have to spend a lot of time on future to finish the squads if I want to keep up the quality.

Fancy shot of the Death Guard models in an organic background

Myphitic Blight-hauler

I bought this on a bit of a whim. I had so much success painting the Death Guard models, I thought I’d try it with a vehicle. And the Myphtic Blight-hauler model is actually pretty cheap as far as Games Workshop models go, and looked pretty fancy.

Myphitic Blight-hauler On the sprue before assembly and painting

But, as with all of my favourite models, I wanted to add some electronics to really make it stand out. I decided the “eye” in the front would be a little more sinister and used a red/green/blue flickering LEDs from Zinge. And in the multi-melta I put two yellow flickering LEDs. Getting them IN the barrel of the gun was quite a trick. I had to drill a lot of small holes, but then it still wasn’t enough room, so I sort of expanded the gun and filled in the gaps with Milliput.

The model was actually quite a bit smaller than I expected, and I didn’t have room for the batteries to be in the model. So, I put them and the switch in the base and masked it with a lot of Milliput.

The base features a dead Space Marine like the Death Guard Chaos Space Marines. This time an Ultramarine because I had lots of Ultramarine decals to use. It was actually one of the bodies ripped out of the Land Speeder for Da Red Gobbo project.

The paint was similar to the Death Guard Chaos Space Marines above. But there was a lot more “organic” parts, so those were done more like the poxwalkers using lots of Magos Purple.

It was kind of liberating to paint such “dirty” models. The imperfections of using putty actually resemble the “fleshy” parts of the models. And pooling and splotches in the armour look grungy, which is a feature. A far cry from the clean, prim and proper loyalist Space Marines.

I am overall super-happy with how it turned out. I’m considering getting two more to make a full squad!

Daemon Prince of Nurgle

I got a Lord of Contagion model on eBay, but I wasn’t too excited about its rules and use in the game. I was much more excited about potentially adding a Daemon Prince with Wings to my list. But the Nurgle Daemon Prince model doesn’t look so great to me. So, I made a conversion!

I started with the Lord of Contagion model. The head is from a different Death Guard Chaos Space Marine. I added wings I plucked off of a Tyranid Gargoyle. And the “malefic talon” is a lightning claw pilfered from a Space Marine Terminator model from the Space Hulk boxed set. The rest of the Terminator is a corpse on the base.

Converted by not yet painted Daemon Prince with Wings

Painting this guy took quite a bit of time. He’s a BIG model too! I used prettymuch the same colour scheme for the Space Marines. Magos Purple was the main colour for the wings and cape. The “green fire” from the censer hanging behind him is many layers of Biel-Tan Green shade.

Death Guard Chaos Space Marine Rhino “The Goober Uber”

I started this project almost by accident. I was thinking about how much I enjoyed painting the Blight-Hauler. And I realized that if I was going to every play with the Death Guard Marines, it might be nice to have a transport. Well, I have two or three Rhino hulls lying around, so I decided to try my hand at another conversion.

Oh old loyalist Razorback. You will have new life…

So, I’m starting with a very old Ultramarine Razorback. This is one of the first models I painted back in like 1997. I actually base-coated it yellow already in anticipation of adding it to my Imperial Fists.

I had a lot of fun “decorating” the tank. I don’t have a Chaos vehicle upgrade sprue, so I improvised. I used the original bulldozer spikes as trophy racks. Then many skulls from the aforementioned skull pack to adorn the doors and front. And LOTS of Milliput for tentacles and some sort of brain/puss thing growing in the back.

The Lord of Contagion model I converted to the Daemon Prince had an icon of sorts that I removed to make room for the wings. I attached that to the top of the Rhino with magnets, and I think it looks pretty sharp.

Waiting for your Goober Uber

I posted the above “work in progress” picture on a Facebook group. Someone commented that it looked like someone waiting for his Goober Uber. I think that name is going to stick.

The colours are the same idea as the oher models in this post. I was surprised how good the Plaguebearer Flesh contrast paint looked on flat surfaces like the tank. The tentacles were especially fun to do with Magos Purple, because the contrast paint really highlights the “imperfections.”

Post on The Hooded Goblin’s page showing that my entry won 2nd place in the Warhammer 40k: Large category!

Overall, I’m quite happy with my little Death Guard collection. I’m itching to buy more, but I have most of the Death Guard side of the Dark Imperium box to paint. I am just not looking forward to having to paint all of them so well!

Death Guard “family picture”

Da Red Gobbo and “Slay Ride”

In Fall 2019, Games Workshop’s Christmas Marketing was centered around the (re-)release of Da Red Gobbo model. It’s a Gretchin/Grot revolutionist, who in this iteration has a Santa-like motif. I haven’t painted an Ork since 2nd Edition, and currently had no Orks, and had no plans to get any Orks, so I thought I’d safely ignore the whole thing.

In late November 2019, I went to my local Games Workshop store (now called Warhammer Heartland) to buy some paints and supplies. The gentleman there said there would be a painting competition and events for Da Red Gobbo model. I wound up buying Da Red Gobbo model.

I got home, looked at my pile of things to get tournament ready, and yet decided to start painting the Christmas-themed gremlin thing.

I said I wouldn’t buy it, I said I wouldn’t buy it…. I bought it

I knew I wouldn’t be able to win “Best Painted.” I know there are much, much more talented painters at my local GW store. But, I know my strength lies in creativity and electronics. So I put my creative juices to work .

I dug through some models that have been languishing in a box and found a Space Marine Land Speeder that I painted back in my 3rd Edition Days (circa 1997). That got me thinking that this could be a Grim Dark Santa Sleigh that Da Red Gobbo and “Da Revolushun” commandeered. I had a couple of Grots lying around that came with a model I bought second-hand. I decided those guys would be the co-pilots.

I had some garlands and trees left over from a terrain piece I started and never finished. And, to light-up Da Red Gobbo’s star and flame to his gun, I went to my stockpile of Zinge flickering LEDs and transparent flames.

Then, a trip to the store (mostly Dollarama) for supplies. I found some ornaments that looked like Christmas Gifts would were almost the right scale for the sleigh. I also found a necklace that had light-up Christmas lights.

I felt like It needed to be more than just a creative conversion and lights. It needed MORE. And so the piece de resistance was adding festive music! I went to Wal-Mart and greeting card that had the electronics to sing “Jingle Bells” with chipmunk-like voices. Perfect!

The “before” picture with the raw ingredients ready to go!!

First, I had to break down the Land Speeder: Rip out the Space Marines, chop off the “spoiler” on the top to make room for the presents, and drill a bunch of holes for the electronics wiring. I felt kind of bad mutilating the marines, but they would get life again… as bodies on enemy bases :p

As for the Red Gobbo, I decided I wanted to have the option to remove him from the Land Speeder, so I hid the battery and switch in an extra-large base I disguised as a Christmas present. His “Icon of da Revolushun” has a star at the end. I replaced that with an LED and made a translucent star around it so the whole star would light up. From the muzzle of “Kustom grot blasta” I wired a flickering LED inside a translucent flaming lens.

The hardest part was probably the music. The circuit board and speaker were actually quite large, about the width of the Land Speeder, so I couldn’t fit it inside. It did fit below, and in the final product you can’t see it unless you turn the vehicle upside-down.

Painting the vehicle, naturally it had to be red for Santa, and because “red wunz go fasta.” The plow in the front is really for a tank, but Santa’s sleigh transitionally has some sort of plow. The candy cane striping makes it festive. The sharp pointy bits make it grimdark.

With a final festive nod, I named it “Slay Ride”

Video of Da Red Gobbo and “Slay Ride”. You see the festive lights and hear the “music”

I entered it into the painting competition at the Games Workshop Heartland Town Centre store and won for Best Conversion! Yay!

Winner of Da Red Gobbo Painting Competition – Best Converted at Games Workshop Heartland Town Centre December 2019

Motorized Chaplain Dreadnought

I sent a link to this blog to a friend’s husband, then realized I haven’t updated in almost a year. So I thought this would be a good time to do some updates. Also, if you’re reading this, hi Tom!

I’m particularly proud of this next project. I have had a lot of success putting lights in things like my two last display boards, this chimera, this Leman Russ Tank, this Basilisk Tank, and many others (like this…. thing I won an award for). But I wanted to up the ante even more. What if a model had actually moving parts!

For an upcoming 2000 points Imperial Fists list, I decided I wanted to include a Venerable Chaplain Dreadnought model. 1d4chan calls it one of the best models Space Marines can field. It is from Forge World, and a discontinued model, but I was able to get one from eBay. It didn’t come with arms, but fortunately I had one for sale. I also bought the Imperial Armour book so I could legally use it in tournaments. I’m a little concerned that the Forge World units will be getting new books soon, but hopefully I can make use of that rulebook I bought.

The popular meta is to give it two close combat weapons (CCW), or a CCW and twin-lascannons. But I didn’t feel like I could put a motor on either of those. So, it has the option to take an assault cannon, which I see as a rotating gatling kind of gun, which would be fun to motorize.

Assembled but unpainted Venerable Dreadnought Chaplain model

I started by going all out with the lights. First, the four exhaust ports at the back would have the flickering flames that worked so well on my hellhounds. I use these flickering LED’s and transparent flames from Zinge Industries. I also wanted the eyes of the “skull” head to light up. Unfortunately, instead of drilling out the eyes, I drilled out the whole skull. Fortunately, Zinge had a solution for that too: A Transparent Flaming Skull.

I had an oversight putting the skull light and flickering lights on the same battery, because the light for the skull drained so much current that both lights wouldn’t work at the same time. So, I re-wired them onto different batteries but the same switch.

Finally, the motorized assault cannon. This was SO much harder than I thought it would be! First of all, the arm space I have to work with is tiny. Fortunately, I was able to find a motor that would fit in the arm. It’s meant to make cell phones vibrate. I broke 3 of them trying to get it wired correctly. Then, I realized the CR1220 batteries didn’t have enough power for the motor and weight of the “gun barrel part”. So, I added a CR2032 battery.

See, it’s a really, REALLY small motor

That left me with a spare switch and battery in the base. I wired that to a light in the front of the base. I think I’ll use that to indicate if the Chaplain’s canticle is in effect for that turn.

I’m very happy with the end result. I can’t wait to bring it to a tournament, and when someone says “it would be even more awesome if the gun worked.” Then I’ll hit a switch and watch the jaws drop!

Video of the lights and motorized motor in action. My hand gives you an idea of how small the model is.

I shared this on a few Facebook groups, and below is my favourite comment:

Chimera “Mako”

I had a lot of fun building this Chimera.  I had fun building the Chimera “Dauntless” and updating the Chimera “Eaton,” but this one was more fun because I got to give it more personality and electronics like this Basilisk.

Like most of my models, I got this model through eBay. Actually, I think this was part of a Armoured Fist set that also included 10 guardsmen.

I’ll start this post with a photo of a toy truck. I know that must seem really strange, but this toy truck is really important. I got it at a garage sale over a year ago for $2. The buttons on top made noises so I decided to use the electronics inside to make a special tank.


Toy truck which the circuity was removed-from for Chimera "Mako"
Toy truck which the circuity was removed-from for Chimera “Mako”


Despite being such a big toy, when I stripped out the electronics I was left with very small parts. Most of this very large toy was hollow. The sound generation and buttons were on a single small circuit board. It was powered by three really small “button” battery cells. Rather than re-wiring AA batteries to match, I decided to just cut out the battery holster too and put it in the tank.

Circuit board and battery holster scavenged from the toy truck






IMG_20141211_110001 IMG_20141211_124926 IMG_20141211_124931

Chimera “Mako” posing with a Leman Russ Exterminator and Leman Russ Punisher


I plan on running this tank with a veteran squad I’ve called the “Irregulars”. I got most of Colonel Schaffer’s Last Chancer’s from eBay and decided they make a rather interesting composite squad. I imagine them as the remnants of a much larger company that has whittled down over the years, and they’re the remaining hardy, grizzled veterans. And I imagine their ride would be similarly non-uniform.

And, their ride has a loud horn, and plays rock music. Seemed appropriate.




Tactically, as an objective secured troops unit, they’re going to be prettymuch auto-take for me in every game. In the pictures above I have have 3 meltaguns in the squad, which seems to be heavily preferred in the 7th edition meta.










Name Origin

The name for this tank, “Mako,” has several inspirations:

The first and most obvious is thata Mako is a shark, and the Orky, teethy dozer blade is definitely shark-inspired.

Another part of the inspiration is the tank from the first Mass Effect Game is the M-35 Mako. It’s a jalopy of a tank that gets constantly beat up, but incredibly important in the gameplay.

One of my favourite recent TV shows is The Legend of Korra. A major character in that series was a firebender named Mako . In addition to the practicality, the fact that this tank has a heavy flamer is supposed to be a reflection of that character.

And the last reference was largely unintentional. One of my favouite recent movies was “Pacific Rim.” This isn’t a giant monster-fighting robot, but Mako Mori is a powerful character in the film and so I suppose this tank is also something of a homage to her.

With all the homages in the name of this tank, it will certainly see a lot of deployment in games I play.

Basilisk “Bertha”

I first mentioned my new Basilisk in this post. This has by far been my favourite model to build so far.  

Basikisk parts as they arrived from the eBay order: Partially assembled and unpainted
Basikisk parts as they arrived from the eBay order: Partially assembled and unpainted


Partially assembled Basilisk
Partially assembled Basilisk

As I mentioned in this post, the parts weren’t complete so I had to partially disassemble and re-assemble the Hellhound and Basilisk so that there would be  enough parts for both. Part of the puzzle was that they supports for the Basilisk’s Earthshaker Cannon weren’t included.  So I improvised using some spare parts.

I started by painting it with similar colours to my infantry modelschimerataurox, and hellhound. A lot of Administratum Grey,  and all the metal parts were primed with Imperial Primer and then highighted with Leadbelcher.

First rough paint coat on Basilisk

After I started painting, I realized I wanted to do something special for this tank. The Earthshaker Cannon is so iconic of the Imperial Guard Astra Militarum that and unsubtle that I felt it needed something. I wanted to make it something I would be personally proud of. And that meant going back to my Engineering roots and adding some electronics and circuitry.

I wanted to make the gun light up and make sounds. The simplest way to do this would be to scavenge the speaker, light, battery and control circuitry from a Dollarama Toy Gun.  I got the below toy for $3 (plus tax).

Dollarama Toy Gun that was scavenged for parts


I must admit, I had a lot of fun exploring the device. It was kind of like an autopsy or a dissection of a mysterious object.  

Dismantled toy gun showing speaker, integrated circuit, vibrating motor, light, and wiring


Taking it apart, I discovered it wasn’t very complicated. There was a tiny integrated circuit that handled the noise generation. Connected to the circuit was a simple speaker and a LED. There was also a motor that made the gun vibrate. I wanted to use that to make the tank shake, but it was pretty bulky and heavy.

Detail of internal parts of Toy Gun


Toy gun's integrated circuit I scavenged for the lights controller and sound
Toy gun’s integrated circuit I scavenged for the lights controller and sound


I decided I wasn’t going to use the vibrating motor thing. But the light and sound were very necessary and I was looking forward to using them.

Simplified circuit of lights and sound for my Basilisk tank
Simplified circuit of lights and sound for my Basilisk tank


Actually fitting the electronics into the tank was trickier than I expected. The inside of the tank is actually quite small, so there isn’t much room to work with.

The tank came mostly assembled from the person I purchased it from on eBay, so I actually had to break the tank apart to get inside. 

Disassembled Basilisk Tank


I mangled the battery holder from the toy gun and shoved it into the tank. The batteries are surprisingly bulky! At the same time, I slid the speaker into the forward section below the ‘hatch’, positioned the integrated circuit chip behind the battery, and made sure that the control wires and LED light were free to reach the outside of the tank.

Crafting the battery holder and other parts into the inside of the tank.


I punched a crude hole int he top of the tank so that the light and control wires would come out. The idea was that the wires would come up just below the Earthshaker Cannon so that they could go into it with minimal distraction.

Crafting station


The LED went into the cannon from behind, and I installed a momentary pushbutton on the back of the cannon. I rather like the way the barrel of the cannon lights up!

It lights up!!


After all that fancy assembly, I needed to finish the paint job to make it presentable. It’s mostly just Administratum Grey with Auric Armour Gold highlights, like the rest of my army. However, I’m proud of how the wash on the skulls and wings on the top of the guard turned out.

New basilisk, front view

New basilisk, left side view. You can see the pushbutton on the back of the cannon.

New basilisk, rear view. The pushbutton doesn’t stand out much, which was the idea.


New basilisk, right side view


Why did I name this tank Bertha? Well, it’s a very unsubtle tank, so I thought it deserved an unsubtle name. And, there’s the historical Big Bertha.

Basilisk “Bertha” nameplate


Clockwise from left: Chimera “Dauntless”, Basilisk “Bertha”, Chimera “Eaton”, Hellhound “Cerberus


I really enjoy that it’s an ‘active’ electronic model. I plan to incorporate electronics of some sort into future tanks.

My biggest regret is probably that the battery is inaccessible inside the tank. Changing the batteries is all but impossible, and I’m worried about a leak eventually. It’s something I’ll keep in mind for future projects.


Basilisk Tactics:

Both Grumpy Guardsman and Imperator Guides agree that the Basilisk is iconic but not particularly competitive. The main blast is a very impressive S9 AP3 large blast. However, the barrage rules give it lots of trouble. Its minimum range is a whopping 36″ which means it can’t use the Barrage rule within that distance. And scattering 2D6-3″ means it’s pretty likely to miss its target.