Imperial Guard Medusa tank conversion

This is a Guest Post by Jon

When I went to build a Medusa for my new Vostroyan army, I wanted a particular look - something like a WW II era Russian assault gun such as ISU-122 or ISU-152, with the main gun low and offset to the right of the hull. The look would require substantial modification to the Basilisk kit to make it work.

I apologize for not having pictures of all of the steps here but the project, was very ad-hoc, and kinda progressed faster than my presence of mind for taking pictures. Ron saw me working on this and nudged me to take pictures and post this. Normally, I thoroughly plan out what the pieces are going to look like. In this case I didn't - I drew a general profile of what I wanted then started cutting cardboard to match the profile. The cardboard pieces then became the templates for the plasticard pieces.

The first step after building the basic hull was to slice the edges off of the gun platform to allow it to fit as far forward and to the right as possible

Next was making a gun-shield/glacis to match the new position of the gun. I've never liked the stock basilisk gun-shield, so I had a pair of them to spare for experimentation - it's a good thing too - I totally botched the first attempt.

I cut the sides off of the stock shield, then cut out the center as well, leaving just the two heaviest looking rails. Then I cut the shield down in height to match the profile that I wanted. I added some pieces of the original wings back to fill in the bottom of the center of the shield.

Once I had the gun-shield the way I wanted it, I glued it into place. Next was to add the glacis for the hull weapon and the drivers viewport. This was pretty much a cut-to-fit-paint to hide operation. The gap between the hull weapon and the viewport was bridged with 0.030" sheet styrene.

With the front pretty well taken care of, I moved on to the sides, beginning with the gap between the shield and the glacis. This again was a case of making a cardboard template to fit and then cutting plasticard from the template.

Moving on backwards, I decided to extend the track guards with one of the unused sections from the vehicle accessory sprue by cutting off the forward rib and matching with the other trackguard. I then added the crew compartment sides. To visually balance the forward loaded gun, I added a box on the rear (ammo storage). The banding around the armor plates is made from Evergreen 0.01" x 0.1" strip styrene. The banding also helps to hide any rough edges.

The plan now is to make this vehicle convertible between open-topped and enclosed. Here is the back of the the crew compartment and the top over the back of the gun.

Of course, nothing says Imperial Guard like rivets, so I added rivets to this project with 1mm styrene rod. I drilled a hole in the sheet styrene, glued in the rod and cut it off long after the glue dried. I used a piece of 0.020" sheet styrene with a hole in it as a cutoff guide -- placing the guide flat on the riveted surface, then placing a sprue cutter flat on the guide yields a nice 0.020" tall rivet. Tall enough to be seen without looking silly.

Here's largely finished product with the first base coat on. The paint will have progressively lighter shades dry-brushed on from Graveyard Earth up to Kommando Kakhi.

Make sure to check out these posts as they might help:
7 tips for painting your vehicles without an airbrush

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. Wow, really nice work there, you've outdone yourself!

  2. Good stuff love the WW2 feel, and the rivet tip wil be put to use when i get back to my Orks.

  3. Great take on a great tank! Nice one! Its quite like an Uber Thunderer Siege tank...!

  4. I like it a lot and I think you have captured the early Russian tank style very well.


  5. That's a nice, solid looking artillery piece - great work!

    I was particularly impressed with your rivets tip - genius!

  6. That's fantastic, mate: a spledid idea superbly executed.

  7. Thanks all. Glad some folks find the rivet tip useful.
    -- Jon

  8. Great looking conversion. Gives me ideas...

  9. That tugging on your arm is Flames of War. Get get to field 4 of those and a IS-2 as a divisional support choice. The shorter barrel is more reminiscent of a Brumbar or Sturmtiger though. Did the Russians have rocket assisted assault guns before then end of the war?

  10. Bryce, yes FOW is tugging... BUT I have to finish this army by August, and actually paint my War Machine Pirates before I indulge in any new games.

    As for the barrel being short, yes, it does look more like a Brumbar or Sturmtiger -- I had thought about modifying an earthshaker to a shorter length/larger caliber barrel to get a longer look but decided to go with the Medusa gun just for WYSIWYG purposes.

    Of course I do now have an extra Earthshaker lying around looking for a home. Wonder what I can do with it... (evil chuckle)

    -- Jon


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