Thursday 9 April 2015

Building a Steam Powered Landship…

The philosophy behind my Steam Powered Armoured Wagons was to build a fleet of cheap 28mm scale armour for use with the All Quiet on the Martian Front rules and in the occasional VSF game so they were built to war game quality. Originally I was going to build one as a template and then make resin ones but scratch building each from styrene was cheaper and gave me much greater flexibility in the design. The Steam Powered Landship on the other hand even though made out of leftovers from the SPAWs project is what I consider built to model standard (I’ll probably enter it in the local model fair in October). It was planned to be a one off I now know it will be the first of two as I have decided to build a a rival for this one, I'm am hoping to see some dreadnought type pounding matches between them!
As with all my scratch building projects I drew up plans as this always saves me time, I am known to deviate from these but working from them makes life much easier. This vehicle took me only eight days from the cutting the first styrene panel to finishing the painting and assembling (I never count weathering in the build time) and I would say anyone could build something like this!
Here’s the plans I worked from:

This is the hull sides being assembled note I scored the panel lines where applicable before gluing that way I could lay them flat:

 Then add some braces to give it strength and maintain width along the whole length of the sides:

Next wheel units were built and the Lego wagon wheels fitted. The upper hull deck detail was constructed and a pseudo wooden deck was made. The turrets were made from 40mm PVC pipe and capped with styrene:

Here’s a 28mm figure and one of the original SPAW’s to see the size:

Next the conning tower was made, rivets are sewing pins,  port holes are washers and the mast is fashioned from a wooden skewer, the cross member is held in place with glue and a metal pin made from a paper clip. A coal chute was added from sytrene:

Then I made two funnels (smokestacks) from odd bits out of my spare parts box and made a milliput gun barrel which I then cast copies of. The turrets were drilled out to accommodate them and had some rivets added for ‘looks’:

Now the fun began and over a hundred sewing pin rivets were added to the hull for effect. A boarding hatch was added to one side. Four casemates were made from plastic tube and styrene sheeting, the MGs for these are a piece of plastic tube acting as the cooling jacket with a metal rod (from a coat hanger) pushed through it for a barrel and the sight is he end of a sewing pin. Some towing points and hooks for a tow chain were added to the end plates. The side lights are odd Lego bits:

Here’s all the parts ready for painting, I often paint in sections and assemble as is makes spraying easier:

Painting was with Humbrol enamels:

Here it is with some figures after a flag, some rigging and a bit of coal was added to the rear chute:

 Now off to the drawing board to get a second steam Powered Landship designed!


  1. What a fantastic build - You've done yourself proud there mate!
    My only constructive comment is that it would pop even more with a little bit of weathering

  2. Hey Paul thanks!
    This will get some subtle weathering, a pin wash and some ‘dusting’ but waiting to finish the second one I will build as I’ll do both at the same time

  3. Looking forward to Steam Landship No2, Hopefully something majestically Britannic to restore the balance of power.

    Top marks for casting your own gun barrels, now thats ingenuity of the highest order.

  4. Great stuff! It recalls the glory days of Major General Rederring's landships.

    1. That was indeed a sad loss from the Blogosphere. You can still an archived version of the page, but I would love to see some new content there.

  5. Fantastic CD great piece of kit.

  6. Cheers chaps, thanks for the comments!
    Will be rolling the two landships out for a rules test this arvo...
    Tally Ho!