Tuesday, October 19, 2010

DIY Cheap Chaos Dreadclaws: getting it built!

Old School here with a quick little tut for creating cheap Dreadclaws. For those of you who are unfamiliar with what a Chaos Dreadclaw is, it is a boarding pod used by Chaos Marines to board ships by clamping onto the hull, blasting a hole and then inserting a deadly team of bad guys. The claws are also capable of making planet fall much like a Space Marine Drop pod. I do not really have a reason for owning a real dreadclaw as I shy away from IA for the most part, but as a guy who is building his Chaos to work as a count-as for any and all power armoured armies, I have plenty of reasons to own drop pods. My feeling however is that my pods shouldn't just be loyalist pods painted evil, they should look different - so along comes the idea of the claw. (Above is the plain, undressed version - the basics before being chaosified)

How do we build one of these - easy, just buy a drop pod kit. take all the outside doors, fins and engine assembly off the sprues and clean off ALL the mold lines and snags (left over plastic from clipping). Now take the fins and cut the pointy corners off like on the picture above. Take a look at the top one (uncut) and compare it to the bottom one (cut). I cut the corner on the inside of the fin (the corner that was cut on the left side as you look at the photo) parallel to the rune-like markings running along the inside of the fin. On the other corner (the small one on the right side as you look at the photo) just near the hose on the bottom part, parallel with the diagonal line below the rune-like marking strip.

Now, because the fins are going on last and the top part here will not be exposed, I shave off this bolt on each side of each fin - just this bolt.

This is what your five fins should look like.

now assemble the pod with just the outside panels of the door (the inside panels will be used for something else (you'll see, just save the inside door panels). Now glue it together so you have the normal pod pedal for the bottom (you don't need any of the bits for the inside as the dreadclaw will never open). Also assemble the engine completely as you normally would with a drop pod. Then glue the top corner of each door to the top of each square section from the engine housing that matches each door, leaving the actual turbine above the door (or hull as they now form on the dread claw.

(the marines fall out of a hatch on the bottom) Now take your fins and insert each one into the slots made between each door. They will fit snugly (good thing), the idea is for the corner to catch under the lip made by the turbine bit on the engine housing, the other area you cut should fit snugly into the grove where the fin would normally go on the bottom side. After one good dry fit, glue the fins into place. Your dread claw is basically complete in form. Now all that remains is for it to get some chaos character and some retro thrusters and other small details which I will cover in part two.

The conversion is simple and requires no extra parts at this stage, but in the next post I will show you how to spruce this up using just the bits most of us Chaos players have laying around anyway. I will also show you a few tricks to make this thing look a little more aggressive.
Let me know what you think so far and before anyone tells me the fins are upside down, just google dreadclaw (lol).


  1. Sadly enough, I find that building a Dreadclaw like this is actually easier the building the normal Drop Pod... I assembled one Dreadclaw about a year ago, and roughly 5 other Pods since then...

  2. You are wrong snitz, it is actually WAY EASIER TO BUILD THE DREADCLAW! Lol!

  3. I just did something similar this weekend, right before my pods went AWOL.

    I also added extra fins to the doors similar to the ones on the real Dreadclaw.

  4. What did you use for the fims, Jim?

  5. I used thin plasticard. I will scan the templates into PDF form to share with everyone; once I get back over to my buddies house this weekend

  6. Very cool and a fairly simple solution. Nice work.

    From the Warp

  7. Nom-Nom-Nom. I'll be stealing this idea asap! Great work!

  8. I'm tempted to hack my pods apart when I pick 'em up from the mail... Would love to switch 'em over to Claws as well. And with my plethora of plasticard... Extra spikes! Nice idea Jim.

  9. Woa! VERY nice idea!
    It looks like a simple conversion, but it looks great! Can't wait to see it finished!

    Keep up the nice job!

  10. Jim, you will be even more the man if you could do this.

  11. Yar, where be part two hmm?