Saturday, June 13, 2009

Troop Transport Truck Tutorial - Part One

Finally, I get a chance to post Part One of the Troop Transport Truck Tutorial. Thank you for your patience. Who would've thought that having a baby around the house would take up so much time. Not that I mind, of course. If you get the opportunity, I highly recommend it!

Anyway, onto the show.

I've decided to put this tutorial together in three (possibly four) parts so that you can get as much detail out of it as you can. It's a bit of work, but for fans of the novels nothing is too good for your truck-riding Imperial Guard soldiers. This first part will cover the truck bed, the troop carrying capacity you'll be needing. I'm starting here to point out that most of the vehicular conversions I do are all a matter of assembling boxes of different shapes and sizes.

First off, here is a quick walk around of the truck, just to reacquaint you.

Here's a shot of the starting point for the truck. The humble Ork Trukk, stripped of (or not assembled with) all of the really Orky parts. These other parts can be used in other Orky vehicle conversions, or sold on to others to fund your next Ork Trukk purchase.

I've said before that my friend Thomas and I reverse engineered the first truck I made, and Thomas created the template you see below. It's a bit tough to make it all out, but there are 64 pieces on this sheet, all laser-cut from 1mm thick plasticard (or sheet styrene). We both like working in this thickness. It is easy to score and snap, yet can give great strength to a build, even with a single layer. Also, when you double up panels, it is easier to do any calculations that might be required.

At the end of the tutorial process I'll post a PDF or something that'll allow you to cut out your own pieces and make trucks of your own.

The next step was to punch out all the pieces for the truck bed. You can see them below. On either side of the bed pieces are the bench seat pieces, we'll come back to those soon.

The base and three sides of the bed are all two pieces. These pieces are glued together to ensure some solidity for the finished piece and provide a comforting heft to the model.

Here are those pieces glued together. Hopefully you can make out that some of the pieces are slightly smaller than the others they've been glued to, this is to help with the strength and integrity of the bonds we are soon to create. You'll also see two holes in the base, these will be face down in the final assembly, ready to receive the posts for the rear step.

The plate at the front has a 2mm overlap on the bottom and 1 mm overlaps on the sides. The first gluing step is to bond the front plate with the base. Don't forget to clean off any excess polystyrene glue with a quick wipe with a paper towel.

On the subject of polystyrene glue, I use Testors (not Tamiya, my mistake) Model Masters glue. It comes with a very handy metal "dispensing tube" that helps you get the glue exactly where you want it. Even when gluing one-handed because you're taking a photo for a blog ; )

Here you can see the slight overlaps on the sides that will add strength to the finished piece. You may be asking why the finished piece needs so much strength? It really is for those "just in case" moments. I know quite a few gamers with what we really should call "butter fingers"!

Here's a shot with all three sides attached. Nothing particularly special, but it's starting to look like a box right?

One of the cool things about collaborating on a project is that you get all sorts of cool ideas that you may never have thought of on your own. One of the ideas that Thomas threw in was the two pieces you see added to the bed below. Simple, I know, but very handy indeed. "What are they for?" I hear you ask. Well they're designed to ensure that the rest of the bench seat "box" goes in the right place. Same place every time. Just the thing for mass production (of a sort).

Once Thomas's helpful guides were in place I could add the next step, the end of the bench seat.

And then the side of the bench seat.

And finally, the top of the bench seat. Of course it is very easy to build the seat on the other side at the same time.

The final stage for the truck bed is to attach it to the truck frame. There are four points on the truck frame that stand proud. Trim the rivets from these points and slap on some glue. For this truck the front end of the bed should be aligned with the point where the rising frame meets the horizontal. Hopefully you can spot it in the picture below.

So there you go, Part One of the Troop Transport Truck Tutorial. Next time around we'll cover the hood, fenders, and cab of the truck. Should be fun!


  1. "If you get the oppurtunity, I highly recommend it!"
    Recommend what? The baby or MAKING the baby? :p :D

    This tutorial is great, Dave! Whenever I use plasticard I always screw up the straight line by just a bit and it makes everything look all funky. Maybe I just need some more patience with it haha. The front of that bed looks very much like it could work as some sort of fortification (a wall or barrier or what have you). Might have to give it go!

  2. Incredible work. It goes to show what you can do with a good base to work on and some plasticard.

    The multilaser seems a little out of place. Perhaps this is because we're so used to seeing machine guns on this type of vehicle?

  3. Nice conversion.

    And an excellent way to get some real flavour into a Guard army without writing yourself out of tournaments for using non-GW models.


  4. I am curious on this laser cutter?
    Is it for industry or is it in the price range of the the average joe?
    Do you know of any service that will cut card for you If sent blueprints?
    I have the same problem as the first poster,My cuts are always just a touch off on one side or the cut jumps the line ever so slightly,but enough to keep everything from being 100% square.
    That look drives me nuts for my own stuff,so precision laser cut seems real apealing.

  5. Hi guys

    I'm not exactly sure of the cost of the laser, or the availability of services like BigWill has asked about. I am, however, pretty sure that the price of the former is reasonably out of the hobby range for the average joe.

    In the next part of the tutorial I'll add a few bits about cutting plasticard that will hopefully help a few of you out. The important thing to remember is that no matter how accurate you are, there'll always be a few errors along the way and knowing how to recover from those is important too. ; )


  6. as for the cost of a laser, I have a guy locally with one, I think he said it was in the 30K price range.

    Nice looking tutorial dave, havng the parts laser cut now will be really handy.

    I think your miss ID the glue though, if its a Model Master product its made by Testors, not Tamiya. I use the exact stuff your using and mine is made by Testors. BTW when empty, carefully pully out and save the tube. They come in handy sculpting to press tiny rivets in putty.

  7. Absolutely wonderful work. Great tip on the glue BTW, I'm gonna have to use that on my next project.

  8. Jeff, you are correct, my mistake. The glue is Testors, not Tamiya. Shouldn't blog so late at night ; )

  9. I looked into it this morning.
    The cheapest las-cutter I found was the Epilog Mini Laser Cutter in the $4000 range but they do let you make payments.

    I gotta look into the engraver that is always in the back of Popular Mechanics,that would work for card too,it just needs scoreing not cutting per say so maybe that'll be cheaper
    But like said not in the average joes range

    I really look foward to Dave's plasticard tips though.

  10. Buying time on someone elses laser would be far cheaper than buying ones own especially for hobby pourposes. Im sure Fenris Games in the UK will do that.

  11. Oh, I swear, I will give you my vote for the President of the United States election!

    1. So, you are obviously not impressed with the model? 😁

  12. Hey dave its me the untalented hobbiest. I was wondering if you are going to be putting up templates for this trukk conversion it is very sweet and i look forward to having some for my army when i get my version of the Genswik rifles completed, working on a platoon of these as we speak, Well thanks again for all the coool conversions and what not your put up for us. Peace

  13. Awesome work, Dave. I have been an avid follower of your amazing armies ever since I started seeing them in WD. You even inspired me to start my own AdMech army based on the one featured in WD 308. My question for you is are the templates you used going to be available to us mortals?

  14. Hey Dave,
    Do you have any plans to sale some laser cut sheets? If so I would be interested in a coupe most likely.

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  20. Wow awesome this is really a great tut .Its really very simple to follow them thanks for sharing .

  21. I have no words to appreciate this post ..... I'm really impressed with this post
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  25. Incredible work. It goes to show what you can do with a good base to work on and some plasticard. engagement ring

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  28. Hey Dave,

    Great Truck. I am going to try and follow your steps, only two questions.

    1) For those of us who dont have Laser Cutters, how do you recommend getting the shapes onto the plasticard? Right now I am planning on just printing out your awesome template, cutting out the shapes and then trace them onto the plasticard, since I dont think the plasticard I ordered will run through a printer.


    2) How do you make your rivets? They look really uniformed.

    Thanks for all the good ideas, and I hope this finds you well.




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