Scratchbuilding an Imperial Guard Manticore

This is a Guest Post by Jon

Now that the Manticore/Deathstrike kit is out, I've decided to add a Manticore to my Vostroyan army, but I wanted to give it the Russian WWII flavor so I'm building it ala the Katyusha rocket launcher.
The original Katyusha was mounted on a truck bed, but let's face it; half-tracks are cooler.

I started with Dave Taylor's great templates for the basic truck using a Ork Trukk frame. One thing to note: Dave's tutorial assumes that you are using the cab floor from the Trukk kit; if you buy the Trukk frame from Battle Wagon Bitz, it's not included, so you'll have to improvise a cab floor.

Dave wrote an excellent tutorial on building the cab and bed which I won't duplicate here, instead I'll move right on to the tracks. The tracks are built from spare wheels and tracks I've accumulated over time from various Leman Russ and Chimera kits. I'm hoping that GW will release a bitz-pack sometime with these parts, the alternative will be to just use the Battlewagon tracks and try to disguise its 'Orkiness'

I've included templates for the suspension pieces, you'll need 8 of piece #1, 4 of pieces 2, 3, and 5 and 2 of piece 4. I used 0.030" thick sheet styrene for mine which is pretty much as thin as I'd go.

The track is sized such that the bottom section is 7 links wide; it's pretty easy to shorten a longer section to fit and still be usable with regular track sections

Here are the completed tracks; they're a bit plain so I used some Plastruct hexagonal rod sliced off to make nice big bolts. I used the a bit of 0.30 styrene to make a height setting guide like I did for the rivets on the Medusa Conversion.

Here's how it looks with the bolts:

And now the completed chassis:

The launcher is simply four 1/2" styrene tubes from either Evergreen or Plastruct. To add detail, I constructed a framework of 1/8" 'C'-channel and poked in some 1mm rod as rivets, like I did in the Medusa Conversion

With a bit more styrene work I built a pivoting mount and mounted it on the bed. I used 2 strips of C-channel to build mounting rails, and added a strip of tread-plate on either side. Still a few details to add on the bed, and perhaps some headlights but otherwise ready to smite the enemies of the Imperium.

And here's the post with the completed model.

Make sure to check out these posts as they might help:
Using clamps to hold pieces by The Painting Corps
Hydra from Aegis defense gun by Admiral Drax
IG Wyvern custom conversion by Admiral Drax

Ron, From the WarpIf you've got any questions about something in this post, shoot me a comment and I'll be glad to answer. Make sure to share your hobby tips and thoughts in the comments below!


  1. Ah, great scratchbuild! Certainly the best home-made Manticore I've seen to date! :)

    Actually, gives me an idea for an Exorcist...

  2. Fantastic job on the scratch build!!!!!!

  3. Really sweet!
    Combines the IG look with the Russian/Vostroyan line of business.
    Nice conversion, and idea stolen :)

  4. Looks great, like the russian connection there!

  5. Thanks all. The Katyusha just seemed like a natural. I just married it to some ideas I'd seen from others. @Klaus: you're stealing ideas from me? Now that's a compliment!


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