Heavy Handed: Crimson Fist Predator

An iconic tank design and (I would argue) THE iconic Space Marine chapter…

If I had to pick one army as my “primary” force, it would have to be my Crimson Fist Space Marines. 

Even though my CFs are definitely my most painted army (compared to Eldar and Chaos, and my underdeveloped Dark Eldar, Ork, and Daemon models), I avoided painting the predator tank for a long time. It was just too big a model; I was intimidated by its size. 

What was I going to do with so much surface area? How was I going to make my tank more interesting to paint and behold on the battle field than just a big block of blue? In order to accomplish this, I took a page from Barbie’s playbook: I accessorized!
(I also magnetized the hell out of it!)

First, I wanted to be able to swap out secondary weapons, namely the side sponson heavy bolters and lascannons. (I sometimes regret that I didn’t also magnetize the primary turret, but it just wouldn’t have that classic tank feel with anything less than the cool, simple autocannon.)

I also added a tank commander sticking out the top. Since this is a Crimson Fist tank I figured the rider should have a powerfist, and preferably be pointing with it. I also wanted him to stand out as a techmarine and special character, so I gave him a Space Wolf head and red artificer armor (also taken the Space Wolf kit). Thus, Santa Claus commands my tank!

But the magnetic mambo doesn’t stop with the side sponsons. I went so far as to magnetize the commander’s head and waist too! If I want to play this as a traitorous tank, I swap out the heads, thus Santa Claus becomes Satan Claws! And if I take Brother Sergeant Kronos as my tank commander and his predator is blown out from under him, he can jump free and land on his very own set of magnetic legs, complete with hip pistol!

My final accessories include bullet holes drilled with a pinning drill, transfers (which I have never been very good at), and a slain monster’s head mounted on the turret (fantasy ogre head). With a touch more of dry brushing my predator tank came out as a fun model to paint and field and it always gets a few compliments at ye olde game shop.
J. D. Brink
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