Citadel Warhammer 40,000/Space Marine Land Raider

KIT #: 48-14
PRICE: $54.00 SRP
DECALS: Various options


It was cold on this rock, sitting here in this hunk of armor didn’t make it any better. Less than a month ago they’d been sitting on a blistering hell hole known as MG402 fighting those damn Orks. Not the brightest enemy in the universe but what they lacked in brains they had in numbers. It had been a brutal fight but technology and tactics had won. Captain Lucias didn’t want to recall how many Ork corpses were left rotting in the heat by the time the fight was over. Oh well, to bad for them. But now having been called to fight on this snowball was different, this enemy was smart. The Space Marines had been sent here so quickly they hadn’t even had time to get the proper gear. Hell, they were still in their desert armored suits; thank God they were able to adapt them to this climate.

It was different being subjected to the brutal cold of Kelvin273. The Tyranids had chosen the perfect spot to pick this fight. They liked the cold, actually preferred it over someplace temperate, not good for the Space Marines but they would adapt. It had been fairly quiet for the month they’d been there, small skirmishes here and there with losses on both sides. The latest intel had the Tyranid forces gathering six clicks to the NNE but something didn’t feel right as the Red Fist Brigade went forward. Even though the order had not been given to arm weapons, Lucias gave the command to his crew to do so. Didn’t want to get caught with his pants down just because the divisions Primarch couldn’t think beyond a 100yds. “All weapons ready to go Captain,” replied Lucias’s crew, damn they were good.

As they continued forward the weather really started to get nasty. Not only was it starting to snow but the wind picked up making visibility about 200 yards. “What’s it looking like on thermal and the pulse radar?” Lucias asked. Something kept nagging at him that something was brewing beyond what he could see. “Nothing on radar Sir and nothing on...”

A blue energy beam ripped through the air from their 2 o’clock and smashed into the lead tank. No time for Red Fist 1-1 to react, they instantaneously vaporized into small molten metal chunks. “Red Fist 1-2, CONTACT RIGHT, WEAPONS FREE!” screamed Lucias into the comm; his crew was already on it. Their main plasma canon on the starboard side, forward energy canon and Lucias himself had slewed their weapons in the direction of the fire they were taking. It all happened quickly but they had to react just as fast or die. Through the snow Lucias could make out a Tyranid Main Battle Tank, a QT-56, and one bad ass hunk of armor. “Target! Right…2 o’clock, range 173 yards, FIRE!” The Tyranid MBT lasted about as long as the crew of Red Fist 1-1 with Lucias’s crew scoring a direct hit with their weapons. “Sir, Radar, multiple armor contacts on the pulse radar! I count forty!”  Canon fire erupted to his left as he saw Tyranid ground troops crumble from the onslaught of fire they received. The armored troop carrier at his 8 o’clock had opened up on the Tyranid forces as well. It still amazed Lucias that even with the technology that was at their disposal how effective 20mm explosive rounds still were. Lucias looked up and saw another QT-56 materialize out of the blizzard “TARGET! LEFT, 11 o’clock, range 122 yards, FIRE!” No sooner had that tank been destroyed when another appeared, and another, then another. Oh this was going to be a fight Lucias thought. “Crew, multiple enemy contacts, all forward quadrants. Pick your targets smartly gentlemen. Fire for effect. ENGAGE!”

For Red Fist 1-2 and the entire Red Fist Brigade, the Battle of Kelvin 273 had just started.


The kit is from Citadel and is part of the Warhammer 40,000 series. Scale is unknown but I would put it roughly around 1/35th.The kit comes with around 100 parts +/- molded in a soft dark gray plastic to make up one Space Marine Land Raider. The decal sheet has variations of letters, symbols and numbers to meet the delight of modelers to make up various markings for the Warhammer savvy crowd.


So what does one do when they’ve been building and racing 1/10th and 1/7th scale radio control hydroplanes? Why you go to the hobby store, get your geek on and buy a space tank! It has been no less than five years since I’d completed a plastic kit of any sort and was having the bug to build something, anything really. At the same time I didn’t want to get too wrapped around the axel on building, I wanted a kit that I could:

1)     Just build and not have to worry about accuracy

2)     Paint and not have to worry about accuracy

3)     Practice some weathering on and not worry about accuracy and

4)     Have Fun!

So to get my geek on, the Citadel Warhammer Space Marine Land Raider cried to me from the shelves “Buy me…Buy me.”

where some items went, others were by trial. Ironically the only parts that had kit numbers associated with them were the treads, other than that, nadda. But hey, who needs part numbers and building sequences, we modelers never follow them anyhow.

The one thing that first struck me was all of the dang skulls that were molded on this tank. There were skulls on the armor; there were skulls on the exhaust. Heck, there are skulls on the transmission. Here a skull, there a skull, everywhere a skull-skull. Out came the nippers, files and sandpaper to get rid of a majority of these pesky skulls. I pre-shaded the interior of the tank with dark brown and then applied some panzer interior buff color. Painted the interior detail (including a skull) and applied a little wash here and there to pop some of the detail. Care had to be taken when putting the main hull together. There’s a set of functioning side doors that you don’t want to glue shut as well as a function forward loading ramp that again, you don’t want to glue shut. A little patience and the main parts of the hull were together. I did drill out the exhaust stacks to give them a little more detail. I also added some barrels to the forward cannons as well as the turret machine guns. The kit parts were just flush looking nubs and darn it, I wanted barrels. Made the barrels for both units out of tube styrene and drilled out the ends to represent the bore. From this point on, the kit was really a paint job in subsections and sub-assemblies.


From the beginning I had pictured this project in a “Glacier-Snow” camouflage. So what did this look like? I looked online at pictures of glaciers and their crevasses. Some of them looked black, some of them various colorations of blue, some with brown. I decided to go with the black and blue look for the glacial cracks on the tank. At the same time, in sticking with the story, I wanted to experiment with a desert scheme that was painted over. The method to my madness is I’m getting ready to work on a StuG III Ausf F.8 and I want to do her in a winter scheme.

So with all of this being said, I started off painting the entire hull flat white. Then came the masks for the glacier cracks, which were made with some kabuki tape that I have. Masks were applied to the tank hull at which time Aircraft Interior Black was shot. Let that dry for a while and then I outlined the “cracks” with Testors Blue (in the small bottle). It’s hard to see the blue on the black but believe me, it’s there. Once all of that had dried, the masks were removed and the kit was left to dry overnight. Now came the weathering. Having visions of an extremely harsh environment on the snow planet I had in mind, did I keep the weathering to a minimum or show some rust, etc. I decided to go with a mixture of harsh, weathered but yet subtle in some areas. I applied a wash around all of the rivets, recessed panels/areas, etc. Once that was dry, wiped it all off with damp Q-tips and cotton rags. Now came the oils and any of you out there that have ever worked with artists oils know a little can go a long way. I used Raw Sienna and Burnt Umber to represent the desert sand color and some of the rust streaks on the hull. This took the better part of two days to complete. I think it came out OK, some areas I would do differently some others, I like a lot.


After all of the painting, the guns were painted/dry-brushed and added to their turrets or mounts. The crew was painted and placed in their hatches. I picked out a set of markings that I thought would go well and contrast with the “Glacier Camouflage.” All markings were then added using the trusted and true Micro-set system. Decals worked beautifully but you had to be careful since once they were down, they didn’t want to move around. Once all of that was done the entire tank was given a final coat of Testor’s Dullcoat to even things out. I then glued on the tracks which took a little finessing since they came in multiple sections but a little patience played out and all was well in tank tread land. The last things to add were the the crew in their hatches and some Future floor wax on the various sighting optics and she was done.


All in all this was a fun project to get back into the swing of things. Not having to worry about how it was going to turn out as far as accuracy goes was GREAT! Just build it, see how it comes out and go from there. I’m already working on the next project, Tamiya’s 1/48th F4D Skyray. It’s been nice working on kits and not having to build completely from scratch (but still love building my R/C Hydroplanes). Thanks for letting me stop by!

Mark Gran

December 2011

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