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Converting the Venomcrawler

Converting the Venomcrawler

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Project Blog by davetaylor Cult of Games Member

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About the Project

A project about converting the Shadowspear Venomcrawler model in an Adeptus Mechanicus model.

This Project is Active

Finishing the Rustcrawler® for the Spring Clean Challenge!

Tutoring 6
Skill 6
Idea 6

Once it was built, I put the Rustcrawler® into a project box and there it sat for more than 18 months, until I heard the guys talking about the Spring Clean Challenge on the Weekender.

I dug it out earlier this year and after priming it black, I hit the armor plates with a spray of Pure Red from The Army Painter range, in much the same way as I have most of my Adeptus Mechanicus army. It’s a bright, saturated red that works wonderfully for Mars. I painted up the rest of the details to match with my existing force, which helps move to away from its original Chaos vibe.

The base was painted separately. Primed black and then dry brushed and/or stippled with a series of browns – VGC Charred Brown, VMC Red Leather, and VGC Orange Fire. Edges where the rust might have been knocked off were hit with a little bit of silver (TAP Shining Silver), and the Rustcrawler® was glued to the base.

I hope you all like it! Hopefully I can squeeze it into a game in the not too distant future.



Has it been two years already? Spring Clean Challenge!

Tutoring 8
Skill 8
Idea 8
No Comments

I can’t believe it has been over two years since my last entry on this project. Of course it as been a crazy two years, what with publishing Terrain Essentials during a global pandemic! So maybe I shouldn’t be too hard on myself.

Anyway, the set of photos below shows the finished build for the Rustcrawler®. Once I had it all assembled, I put it next the the Armiger Warglaive it was intended to “count as” and it was too short. I built up a collection of plasticard girders and so on that could boost it up to the right height. In doing so, I felt I needed a few wires and cables from the back end of the Rustcrawler®, that would not only provide some visual balance, but also work as an additional anchor point.

Changing the Crest!

Tutoring 10
Skill 13
Idea 13
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Initially I was pretty excited to leave the big spikes on the crest of the venomcrawler. I love the way they look, but after I’d made the additions, I wasn’t sure it was looking AdMech enough. So…

I looked to the Skitarii Vanguard models for inspiration and decided to remove the long spikes. I cut a long strip of plasticard from a sheet, scraped it down, and sliced off little squares to create a cog-tooth kind of look.

It was a little extra work, but I think it gives more of an Imperial/AdMech feel.

Adding extra bits to the 'crawler

Tutoring 10
Skill 12
Idea 12
No Comments

I’ve had to take a little break on getting this project posted up. AdeptiCon and Salute travel, and all the work associated with that little Kickstarter project I’m doing with Mel Bose, The Terrain Tutor, has taken priority. (check out our campaign here:

But here’s a new post looking at some of the additions I made to the vehicle. First up was attaching an Armiger meltagun to replace one of the venom weapons on the left side of the ‘crawler. To create a solid base for the meltagun I used one of the radar dishes from the AdMech Dunecrawler, trimmed off the gabbing at the back and drilled out a hole to drop the gun into.

Two of the leg “shields” had organic horns attached to the central trim plates and I didn’t feel they’d be quite right, so I sliced them off and replaced them with skull icons shaved from the Armiger thigh plates.

And finally, I decided to enhance the “spider” feel of the model by adding a little spinneret tube to the back of the beast, and then added a few cables trailing from it. The one that looks like a bass guitar string is actually a pewter cable sold by Dragon Forge Design. MUCH easier to work with than bass guitar string.

Rebuilding the Surfaces

Tutoring 15
Skill 19
Idea 17

Once I’d carved down all of the offending details, it was time to fill some of the gaps and divots left in the armor surfaces. It was pretty straightforward to be able to do this with some greenstuff and the burnishing end of a sculpting tool. At this stage I also glued the eyes/faceplate on to the beastie.

It was at this stage that I felt the exhausts were missing something. Perhaps that Imperial touch? So I cut the heat shrouds off two Astra Militarum meltaguns and glued them onto the exhaust pipes that I had green stuffed over (apologies for the blurry photo, good one-handed photography is tough).

Finally, I glued the back spine plate on, and added the round hatch from the AdMech Dunecrawler for some extra interest.

Removing the Gribbly Bits

Tutoring 12
Skill 15
Idea 14

Once I had everything kind of worked out, I wanted to get stuck straight in. I glued together the two halves of the Venomcrawler body and then started carefully carving off the Chaos stars from the armor plates. (I know it looks quite dangerous in the photo, but that was just one-handed to get the shot. I was very careful when carving).

Once I’d carved off the stars and daemonic faces and so on, I returned the armor plates to some semblance of smoothness by scraping the surface with the side of my knife blade (scraping away from me). While you might think this would have been very laborious, it definitely wasn’t. It took no more than 15 minutes to smooth down both sides.

In the final two photos you can see where I smoothed the plates down, removed the original daemonic face (and tongue), replaced the lower jaw from the faceplate and replaced it with an Armiger faceplate, and removed the trophies/fetishes from the spike rack (at this point it still isn’t glued on, to make it easier to manipulate later).

Next up, the Reforging!

Planning the Conversion

Tutoring 13
Skill 15
Idea 17
No Comments

A few weeks ago, on a Weekender, Warren challenged me to convert a Venomcrawler. To be more specific, he said that he wanted to see me convert a Venomcrawler into an Imperial vehicle of some kind. I love doing this sort of thing, so I was only too happy to accept!

My first thought was to make it into an Adeptus Mechanicus unit of some sort. In 2013 I converted an AdMech Magos that is riding on the back of a spider-like creature made from Necron parts. I figured that would take some visual cues from that.

Fast forward to last week when I was able to pick up a copy of Shadowspear and lay my hands on the parts for the Venomcrawler. The first thing I did was to clip all the parts from the sprue that it shares with the Obliterators and lay them out to get a scope of what I was working with.

I was initially torn between creating a Castellan robot, making it a swift Sydonian Dragoon, or go for the larger Knight Armiger. In the end I chose the Knight Armiger not only because it had the same base size (a great visual indicator for a “counts as” model) but I also had an Armiger I was part way through building/painting, and could pilfer a few parts from it.

The next stage was to do some small assembly to check bulk and identify areas that would need to be removed if I wanted to bring it into the Imperial fold. I’ve circled these in red in the photos of the various parts. I’ve also added a photo of the AdMech parts I wanted to prep for use.

I hope you enjoy the rest of this project as I post updates 🙂