I've finally decided to take the plunge and start a Death Korps of Krieg force for Warhammer 40K. This particular variation on the tried and true Astra Militarum list ("Imperial Guard" for us grognards) was attractive for a lot of reasons - not the least of which was its World War I German aesthetic. All of the infantry and cavalry (including the horses!) wear gas-masks. This not only gives them a unique look, but means I have far fewer faces to paint! As with most lists of the type, they have access to an array of artillery and tanks. There is, however, one drawback. As the force is comprised almost entirely of resin miniatures and kits from Forge World, they're not only expensive, but take a bit to actually build as well.
One of the vehicles I'm starting with is the Armageddon Pattern Basilisk. This is, quite frankly, an amazing kit. The kit includes the plastic parts from the Chimera needed for the conversion as well as a resin fighting compartment and gun. The fighting compartment includes a full interior as even fully "buttoned up" some interior is visible. If you open the rear hatch, then you can see everything - though I'm going to try and find a way to keep my fighting compartment top detachable to people can get the full effect.
As I'm going for a World War I aesthetic, my DKK will be painted up as Great War German infantry, artillery, and tanks. This means their shades will be a bit different from the more familiar World War II versions - at least for the big guns and tanks. That being said, I'm going with Second World War interior colors for my vehicles (where applicable) as, well, that's what I've got handy!
Building the Basilisk is no mean feat. The engineering on the kit is fairly good, but as with any mixed media kit, the build is challenging. The first problem I ran into was that some of the resin parts were warped (in some cases badly so!).
The fighting compartment tub (above) was fairly bad, but the roof and sides was even worse (below). Having built 1/35th scale armor kits since the late 1980's, I knew to use hot water to soften the resin and then bend it gently back into place. The hotter the water, the less time it takes to soften the resin, but also the more unforgiving it is!
Once I'd spent a little time re-aligning the parts, the fit appeared good enough to keep moving along.
The first step was opening up the holes in the fighting compartment floor. The whole part is eventually backed up with an etched metal part which allows a view into the sub-floor of the fighting compartment.
The sub-floor is extremely well-detailed. It includes what appears to be an automatic feed system for the ammunition as well as several hoses and what may be a fuel cell. Suffice it to say it is a visually stunning collection of technical "gubbins" that were a lot of fun to paint up. The only drawback is that once you put the actual floor on, you cant see much of the underfloor in detail unless you're shining a light directly on it.
Ammo of Mig has a decent set of paints originally marketed to go with a 1/35th scale King Tiger kit (AMIG7165). This includes several colors, but the primary two I used for the interior were RAL 8012 Rotbraun (basically a German red primer color) and RAL 9001 Cremeweiss (used for the majority of the interior). Early in World War II, the entire interior of a vehicle would be painted in the off-white Cremeweiss color, but later in the war shortages and the need to shave time off of production of new weapons meant that corners were cut. Honestly, I just like the primer look for the floor, so that's the direction I went
The guys at Forge World have crammed a lot of great detail into the kit. The photos above show the details which are added separately to the sides of the upper hull including a seat for the commander and several monitors and other piping. I painted these separately (photo below) and after other weathering and detailing was complete I glued them into the sides of the fighting compartment.
The photo above shows the painting and initial washes on most of the interior (minus the gun carriage and gun itself - which weren't done at this point). I'm using a variety of Ammo of Mig enamel based washes for this project including AMIG 1011 Black Wash, AMIG 1003 Interiors Wash, and AMIC 1004 Light Rust Wash.
The photo above shows the fighting compartment lower hull in the chassis itself. You can just make out some of the sub-floor detail through the floor grates. I wish the fighting compartment floor was a bit more see through so you could see a bit more of that nice detail. You can also see I've started working on the weathering on the rear ramp. I've used many of the same washes on that as well, though I've added Streaking Grime for Interiors (AMIG1200) and done the initial chipping with AK Interactive Chipping Color (AK711) and a sponge.
One fun detail Forge World has added to the fighting compartment is a only partially closed tool box with a tool handle sticking out. I painted these up with Vallejo and MIG paints.
The screen details are done using a base coat of Alclad II Polished Aluminum Laquer with Ammo of Mig Crystal Green (AMIG0092) over it.
Next steps will be weathering and installing the massive Earthshaker Cannon - though full installation will likely have to wait until the exterior is painted. My goal is to leave the vehicle where the top can be removed to expose the full interior. Preliminary fitting indicates that goal is achievable. Stay tuned!