Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Painting a Rogue Trader Era Dreadnought.

The original Imperial Dreadnought, sculpted by Bob Naismith, for Games Workshop's Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader has always been one of my favorite miniatures, possibly because they were being rolled out right at the time that I was first getting into 40K or possibly because they're just so freaking cool.

Schematics by the enigmatic "H". Check out my interview with him here.

If only those prices were still valid.
Painted by Paul Benson. These images were hugely influential in forging my love for these minis.
Also by Paul Benson.

While reading the dreadnought rules in White Dwarf #100 I came across the following tid-bit about "DREADNOUGHT LEGIONS"!!! Entire armies made up of Naismith's kitty-cat inspired dreads?! Oh yeah, I'm totally into that.

Thanks to Marc Solursh on the Oldhammer Facebook group I aquired a couple of dreads and committed to building a legion. Or at least a unit of five. 

The color scheme was discussed on the Facebook forum and I decided on the Golden Knights with both the colors and name coming from my high school, Arlington. I have an idea for a legion icon based on a medieval tilting helmet but haven't really finalized it.

While I was prepping the miniature I made a couple of bases for the future legionnaires. It has come to my attention that these original 40mm plastic bases are sort of hard to come by so if anyone knows of a good source please let me know. Plastic diamond-plate, old plastic weapons, and hand twisted barbed wire cover a base of Milliput on these bases.

I made a small hill for on one of the bases so I could reposition on of the dread's legs to make it a bit more dynamic and "stompy".

Next up I attached the mini to a specially created "dreadnought cork", using a wooden disc screwed to the top of a cork to give a wider platform to attach the dread to. Luckily this survived pretty well so I'll be able to use it with the other dreads.

Since I wanted this fellow to be a Contemptor Class I needed to re-create two bolters since the arms I had only had one each. I used Instant Mold Putty and Procreate and am overall pretty happy with how they turned out. You can see how I use Instant Mold here.

Next up was painting and attaching to the base.

Showing the power plant. I like to paint tech-bits like these in various metallic colors to make them look like more than a single hunk of metal.
Showing the vintage Aquila decal that fell apart as I was soaking it. These early decals were never perfect and years of moisture and time have degraded some of the oldest decals.
"Hi there!"
One down, four more to go!


  1. The colour scheme is nice. It looks slightly industrial, which suits the models I think. I tend not to like yellow marines like the Imperial Fists etc, but it works here for sure.

    1. Thanks! I tried to balance the amount of black and yellow so that they didn't look too bright and sunny. The yellow Paul Benson dread above was certainly an inspiration but I didn't dirty mine up as much as his. Maybe for a pirate dreadnought.

  2. Nice! Extra points for your tech priest manual cover, too.

  3. Great stuff!

    I really love these dreads, much better than the later incarnations that GW produced IMO.

    Paul Benson really brought these dreadnoughts to life with his subtle modifications & weathered paint jobs.

    I like your repositioning work on his right leg too, if you don't do this sort of thing with these minis it can really limit your posing option's.

    Awesome lick of paint too :) lots of detail & colours make it a very interesting dread.....much like Paul did.

    If your interested, I did some similar stuff last year on my blog, http://papafakis.blogspot.com/2014/07/oldschool-dreadnoughts.html

    Can't wait to see his other brothers done up too :)

  4. Very cool! I've never seen those Benson dreads! He was certainly a tinkerer. Yours are great too, I love the KIL! markings and sighting reticules. Thanks for sharing!