Life On Mars – Part 5

Back at the start of November I set myself the challenge of painting up the first “Start Collecting: Skitarii” boxset in its entirety by the end of the month. Of all the models in the set the one that gave me the greatest concern was the Onager Dunecrawler, the walking tank of the Adeptus Mechanicus. I’ve always found vehicles tricky, with the result that I tend to put them aside in favour of other things and in so doing fail to give myself the practice that I need to get better at painting them. Indeed a big part of the reason I set myself a time limit for this project was the recognition that without it I might never get around to painting the damn thing at all. The looming deadline however proved to be enough to focus my attention and so here we are, almost at the end of the month, and the Onager is ready to walk upon the red sands of Mars.

Onager Dunecrawler Ad Mech Warhammer 40k Wudugast ConvertOrDie (7)Onager Dunecrawler Ad Mech Warhammer 40k Wudugast ConvertOrDie (2)Onager Dunecrawler Ad Mech Warhammer 40k Wudugast ConvertOrDie (3)Onager Dunecrawler Ad Mech Warhammer 40k Wudugast ConvertOrDie (4)Onager Dunecrawler Ad Mech Warhammer 40k Wudugast ConvertOrDie (5)Onager Dunecrawler Ad Mech Warhammer 40k Wudugast ConvertOrDie (6)

Of course the completion of the Onager means the whole box has now been painted and need no longer sit shamefully at the back of the shelf. Time for the groupshot we’ve all been waiting for!

Onager Dunecrawler Ad Mech Warhammer 40k Wudugast ConvertOrDie (1)

December will mark the end of my year long challenge; to add at least one model to this army in every month of 2021. Fear not though, it won’t mean the end of the project – I’ve got far too many biomechanical servants of the Omnissiah still to attend to for everything to be completed before New Year. However I will be aiming to wrap up the squads that are currently unfinished, something that should be achievable (just about). In the meantime there’s just one more day of Movember left, so can I sneak another bearded fellow over the finish line in time? I think I can…

21 responses to “Life On Mars – Part 5

  • John@justneedsvarnish

    That’s a brilliant model and one I’ve been looking forward to seeing finished! 🙂 It’s not small either! Love it!

  • Alex

    Noice!!! Been waiting for this big fella & well worth the wait mate – I didn’t realise just how big these are! I get it about vehicles being a bit intimidating but you’ve nailed it dude 🤘

    • Wudugast

      Cheers! Well I’ve been waiting to paint this guy up since about 2016 so I think we’re both pleased to see it done at last! 🙂 It’s a big old metal box isn’t it, likewise I didn’t realise how big it was going to be until it was done.

  • Pete S/ SP

    That is great- I really like the slightly oily look the metal has got.



    • theimperfectmodeller

      Well done on achieving your goal with this set and the vehicle is truly fantastic. You really should do more if they come out like this fella. 🙂

      • Wudugast

        Thank you! Every time I finish a vehicle I think “well, that wasn’t so bad, I should do a few more”. However it’s usually a long, long time before I do. I do have a few of these bigger kits waiting for attention (oh all right, more than a few!) so I should probably man up and get working on them.

    • Wudugast

      Thank you! Oily is the look I was going for. All the descriptions you read of Mars in 40k fiction describes how incredibly polluted it is so I figure everything would end up pretty dirty. At the same time these guys worship machines, they wouldn’t abuse them and let them get all rusty like Nurgle or Orks would.

  • Kuribo

    I’m with John, its a cool looking vehicle and I generally don’t like vehicles in 40k all that much. I like the debris on the base as well. To me, it highlights how the spider/walker design shows how a vehicle like this can go anywhere it wants! 🙂 Great job completing an ambitious goal and the final results speak for themselves too 😀

    • Wudugast

      Cheers! Yes, the appearance of the spidery tank crawling over the rugged landscape is exactly the effect I was wanting! 🙂 As for 40k vehicles they’re a mixed bag for me, some of them definitely miss the mark (the new Space Marine flying tanks for instance – yuk!) whilst some are really cool but also very intimidating to paint (I am utterly unmanned by the thought of the Sisters of Battle tanks with the stained glass windows and massive pipe organs – lovely models but the thought of painting them frightens the daylights out of me). As for things like knights and titans, I’ve painted one knight and in a decade or so I might feel up to painting another. Titans I suspect I shall always love with an unquestioning dedication and passion, but from afar (although I might well try Adeptus Titanicus, if I can just decide which Legio to go for…).

      • Kuribo

        Now that you mention it, I guess they have a little something for everyone and that is always a big strength of both Warhammer games. I like the Sisters of Battle tanks a lot but Eldar vehicles with freehand patterns might take the cake for me. You probably know Hendarion but the stuff he does on regular Eldar and their vehicles is just jaw-dropping and a great example of what I mean!

      • Wudugast

        Oh yeah, Eldar vehicles with freehand are out of this world really. I’ve got a bunch of metal Eldar models that I’d like to tackle, it would be a good chance to improve my painting of very neat, clean models rather than the filthy scumbags that I usually prefer. Maybe after that I might feel up to tackling one of their vehicles, for now though those are something I’ll drool over from afar. 

  • Azazel

    Dead sexy work, mate. I also have Vehicle-o-phobia, at least in the larger scale we usually work in, and I’ve also been intimidated by the endless detail on those AdMech models, much as I love ’em – so even more credit to you for powering through the entire box, let alone making them look so bloody good!

    • Wudugast

      Cheers! I was going to say; you can’t have vehicle phobia, you’ve painted more tanks in the last few weeks than I have in my whole life (faint praise I’ll admit!). The scale is the thing though isn’t it? Actually there might be something to that, perhaps working on a few vehicles at a smaller scale might help me gain confidence; food for thought there… 

      • Azazel

        That may well work. I’ve got a few 1:56/28mm Panzers to do soon, basically trying to scale up what I’ve been doing on the 15mm stuff – then maybe I can move onto one of my Forge World tanks that I’ve been too phobic to start on….

  • Argentbadger

    Sweet! The painting is spot on, though I will admit that I’m not a fan of how the red basing is similar to the red armour. I also really love all the junk and wreckage on the base – is that the spare bits off the sprues?

    • Wudugast

      Cheers! I know what you mean about the red armour and the red base, it works well on the infantry I think but on a big model like this it is a *lot* of red. I think if I did this kit again I’d put a big plate of metal in the middle of the base to break things up, but then that might mean there’s a lot of metal instead. Dunno, I guess I’ll cross that bridge if I ever come to it. As for the junk on the base it’s mostly just spares off various kits, especially the Sector Mechanicus terrain and Ork vehicles (with Orky glyphs removed – I just wanted to look like scrap, not Ork scrap). I figure Mars is covered in junk from fallen forges and other industrial rubbish and I wanted to emphasise how the machine is able to crawl over this kind of rugged landscape. Plus I needed something to break up all that red sand! 😀

  • lordcommandereloth

    Very nice sir, I must say I really like the red on it the level of wear on it is great, realistic without being over the top.
    And the group shot looks absolutely grand!

    • Wudugast

      Thank you very much! I reckon that Mars is an environment that’s pretty hard on vehicles so it needed a bit of wear and tear – but not too much as the Ad Mech wouldn’t let a machine be trashed or run down (not without turning whoever was responsible into a servitor anyway!). 

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