Monday, February 13, 2012

Space Marine Rhino Chassis part 1

Welcome back to Scratch Built 40k.  Today we will begin the Space Marine Rhino scratch build tutorial.  When this tutorial series is completed you will have a vehicle which can easily be modified to represent a basic Rhino, Razorback, Whirlwind, Predator, or even a Vindicator.  I use InstantMold for a few of the pieces to save time but if you don't have access to it or the parts being duplicated there will be instructions for those pieces (though obviously less detailed).  So with that all said, on to the tutorial!

Materials Needed:
For Sale sign (found at Wal-Mart, hardware stores, etc)
3/16" thick Posterboard (that stuff with Styrofoam inside and thin cardboard on both sides)

Tools Needed:
Strait edged ruler (preferably metal and containing a right angle)
Hobby knife
Super glue or hot glue

Here are the templates for the major pieces of the project, cut from the materials indicated.  If the template sizes indicated aren't matching up to that you print (which has been happening to me sometimes), you may need to mess with the sizes in a paint program.  All the sizes, though, have been made to scale in

First, you will want to cut each of thee pieces from the materials indicated.  Any right angles are made easier by using a triangle ruler.  This will help prevent future mistakes and keep the tank from having a wobbly effect.

Next, gather the wheel well pieces.  From the posterboard cut 2 pieces which are the same length as the plasticard piece but 3/8" shorter from top to bottom.  Using either super glue or hot glue assemble the pieces as show in the image below.  The posterboard pieces will allow for the wheel rims to sit nicely in the wheel well when we get to that step.

Taking a second wheel well piece, glue so that it matches the other side.  Duplicate this effect with the other two wheel well pieces so that the two sides match up.

Now that you have your two wheel wells put together, gather the two posterboard pieces.  Take the piece labeled as the top and cut a 45 degree angle into one of the shorter sides.  The top one you will glue along the edge of the wheel rim with the angled side overhanging past the back edge. You may wish to use 2 pieces of posterboard which measure 1" by 2" to provide for structural support as I have done here.

Glue the other wheel rim in place so that it is flush with the first side you glued.  Next glue the bottom in place so that it has an even distance from the front and back of the wheel rim (this should be almost non-existent).  Taking the front bottom piece glue into place so the long edge is even with the posterboards bottom edge.  Match the front angled piece so it connects the bottom front with the top (it's ok if there is a little overhang- simply trim this using your hobby knife).  Do the same at the back of the vehicle frame.

Next add the wheel well detail pieces to the sides of the vehicle.  Measure carefully the width of the wheel rims with the plasticard attached and cut strips of plasticard which will run the length of the vehicle's wheel frames.  Starting at the front angled part of the wheel well, glue the plasticard in place, following all the way to the back of the vehicle.  At each of the bends, gently score the plasticard with your hobby knife to allow the plastic to bend without breaking apart.  At the very back of the vehicle cut the piece so that it only overhangs about halfway (1/4") down to leave room for the wheel track.  Do the same on the other side.

Using the left over from those plasticard strips (you saved that, right?) add pieces to the front and back just like it appears in the image above.  Now sand all of the edges so that they appear rounded.

Well, this is going to conclude the first tutorial part of this vehicle.  Next week I will go over how to make the wheels, tank treads, front visor, side exhaust ports, rivets, and the top and side doors and hatches.  Till then, happy scratch building!


  1. It is so cool to watch you build vehicles from cardstock. With just a few bits added at the end, they're almost indistinguishable from the real thing.

    Ron, FTW

  2. Thank you Ron for that wonderful compliment. I'm really excited about this particular tutorial because it will allow for not only Rhinos, but set the stage to allow for easily conversion into the other Rhino chassis vehicles.

    Right now I'm using my own tutorial to flush out any errors which may have popped up during the writing process. Hopefully I can sort them out quickly!


  3. Woah! This looks real cool, Might need to try it.

    Two questions:
    Do you think it would be possible to make it from wood?
    Would you be able to create a Razorback, Or maybe even a Drop pod?

    Thanks, MrBaldwick.

    1. MrBaldwick, I hadn't really thought about if wood could be used as a material. I suppose for the side areas a really thin balsa wood could be used but I would suggest a slightly thicker wood for the frames (sizes might be off a bit then, though, plus the weight would increase). For the next part of the tutorial it might be hard to replicate with wood but I suppose anything is possible!

      I am absolutely going to create a Razorback, and this tutorial here is leading up to being able to do that. In the next tutorial I will be doing things which really won't make much sense until the Razorback, Whirlwind, and Predator tutorials.

      I am also hoping in the near future to get my hands on a Drop Pod and will have a tutorial on making one of those as well.

    2. Predator and Razorbacks sound awesome, will need to keep an eye on this site :D

      And a Drop pod too! Plenty of good stuff.

      Perhaps the hints of a Land raider eventually?

    3. I'd really like to do a modern Land Raider, but it will have to wait a good amount of time before it comes to fruition (so much to do!). For now, though, there is a Mk1 Land Raider tutorial on the site :)

  4. I'm building this right now, for my Chaos Space Marines.
    3 Rhinos and 2 Vindicators.

    1. Next tutorial should be up in the next day or two. Running behind on the next installment.

    2. I got 1 rhino built. It seems a little small, but that might be for the better :)

    3. Excellent! The second part will be up tonight (barring my illness getting worse).