LRIWS : Leman Russ Integrated Weapon System

14.02.2012

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Leman Russ Integrated Weapon System : LRIWS for short.

I have always enjoyed modelling as much as I have done wargaming. As a modeller, my aim is to make a pleasing and often historically acurate model to the best of my abilitiy. The bit I enjoy about mixing that with wargaming is that you have multiple potential options with most vehicles. Like most “Magnet Boyz” I love magnetising my models and vehicles to enable them to have multiple tactical uses, different weapons, options etc. Well with so many potential variants of the Leman Russ, it becomes a bit of a challenging conundrum!

It breaks down into numerous subsets …

1. Sponsons or Not  - Weapons variants (Heavy Bolter, Heavy Flamer, Melta or Plasma)

3. Forward Mount Weapons variants (Heavy Bolter, Heavy Flamer, Las Cannon)

4. Pintle Mounted Weapon or Not - Weapons variants (Storm Bolter, Heavy Stubber)

4. Camo Netting or Not

5. Extra Armour or Not

6. Dozer Blade or Not

7. Hunter Killer Missile or Not

8. Turrent Mounted Weapon Variants (Battle Cannon, Exterminator Autocannon, Vanquisher Battle Cannon, Eradicator Nova Cannon, Demolisher Siege Cannon, Punisher Gatling Cannon, Executioner Plasma Cannon, Annihilator Las Cannons,  Conqueror Battle Cannon)

9. Named Crew (Knight Commander Pask & the Forgeworld named variants)

As you can see its quite interesting to try and to build a single Leman Russ which can accommodate all potential variants. But hey … why should it being hard stop us from doing it …

Initially we are going to tackle the Turret Mounted Weapon Ssystems as per LRIWS mentioned above. To make things slightly more complex I really REALLY like the Modified Ryza Pattern Turret from Forgeworld .. As seen in the picture below.

Well last time I was working on my Steel Legion I collected almost all the variant turrets from Forgeworld. But if you were following from before you know I sometimes throw money at my solutions!

I somehow strangely had not got the Battle Cannon variant (doh) … and obviously I needed a solution for the Eradicator Nova Cannon & Punisher Gatling Cannon (both came with the 2010 Leman Russ which I did not have).

Well after a trip down to my local GW (Croydon), I became the proud possessor of a brand new 2010 Leman Russ Box!  The Eradicator Nova Cannon would take a little bit of work, mainly obtaining the FW conqueror turret again and fitting the two together (the barrel size was closest of all those I checked). The Punisher however was going to take some work, it had a wide gun mantlet and a cunning fitting system to make it work. While I was also looking at the Punisher, I could not help but notice the Plasma cannon GW had included in the Demolisher Box. Wow, it was so much cooler than the Forgeworld variant, and best of all matched the look of the super heavy vehicles that FW did too.

So the problem then became one of making a gun mantlet that would enable me to mount a Plastic Plasma Cannon & Punisher Gatling Gun into the same turret. As the pieces were basically compatible with each other I needed to create some kind of cut down mantlet that fitted the same space as that used by Forgeworld on the modified Leman Russ turret, therefore giving me the weapon swap out capability I sought.

Here is my succesful attempt, yes there was a failed version (curse you Forgeworld) but more on that later.

First off I duplicated the original fitting in a scrap mould (a mixture of other small one or two off parts needing casting but not needing to be cast many times) which would be cut up into small pieces and used in other moulds as filler. I then cut the moulded gun mantlet down so that it was the width of the Modified Ryza pattern Leman Russ Turret. Then I proceeded to make a surround out of plasticard that looked similar to the ones made by FW. This is where the first variant bit the dust, if you take a careful look at the picture of the second attempt, you will see that the “back” is not square with the front (as shown by the greenstuff “shim/wedge”). The first attempt was perfectly square, naively assuming that forgeworld had made the gun hole “square”. Uh-huh … it wasn’t square on the first turret I checked, nor the fourth … Which is where I started checking the guns themselves, they were not “square” either. Hence the second version that matches the “irregular” fit of the gun hole :)

Once this was right I merely needed to test for fit and trim the plastic parts.

More in the following post .. The trials of the Demolisher Cannon, ordering yet more Forgeworld, did the Punisher work? …

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