This Rhino is actually one of the first “proper” Iron Warriors models that I ever got – it was part of the purchase made from the same guy who sold me the Forgeworld Dreadnought/Helbrute linked above back around 2005-6 or so. Like the dreadnought, it was fully painted, albeit not to the standard that I was fully happy with, and it had a rather odd, heavily converted tank commander hanging out of the top. I’m not sure what I did with him, but I did see it somewhere last year. No matter, as it didn’t fit my own vision for the Iron Warriors.
Speaking of “my vision”, this thing was covered in spikes. Specifically, those bloody “fence railings” that come in the Chaos Vehicle “upgrade” sprue. Now, I don’t *hate* them, but they do become a bit tiresome when you seen to find them on every bloody Chaos vehicle around. I can certainly see them making sense in my vision of a Night Lords or Word Bearers force, but for me, the Iron Warriors are more about blunt force than an excess of spikes, so they had to go. So anyway, I pried them off and cleaned up where they had been affixed.
Other things I changed from the original paint were the slightly uneven hazard striping on the doors to black and a complete do-over of the top hatches’ hazard striping. Essentially using the original paint as a coloured undercoat/rough guide. I added all of the shading to the bronze areas, and picked out each individual rivet in silver, added all of the paint chips, wear and weathering, redid the grey highlights on all of the black areas and cleaned up some of the highlights/edging on the silver areas.
I also reworked the rear access hatch, redoing the Eye of Horus in red gemstone paint and adding a blue tint that you can’t see in the photos to the roundel around the Eye. My new commander (and hit hatch) also pops in and out of the hole. I went with a custom combi-plasma mostly because I couldn’t find a combi-bolter or a storm bolter, but did find half of a storm bolter, so I got an old-school plasma gun and a set of paired grips and did a little bit of cutting and gluing to make it work okay on the mount, but went with the “at rest” weapon pose. The commander is made from the standard lower legs from the Rhino kit, and an upper torso from my ill-fated Puppetswar purchase. There’s even a bubble-hole on his chest, but it’s less obvious due to the placement of the guns, and on this guy we can just call it a touch of battle damage (I couldn’t be arsed filling it). The head is from a plastic Grey Knight. I gave him the grey-purple-greenish complexion that I’ve done on my other unhelmeted Iron Warriors. I liked the combination of exposed cable and the skullcap, which I painted in a leather brown as a nod to the leather helmets worn by WWII tank crew (and Donald Sutherland’s Oddball!) I did putty over the =I= symbol on the forehead, though!
The chain was already affixed, but it was plain, shiny metal, so adding a paint/wash mix to it gave it some depth also made it no longer stand out from the rest of the model in an awkward way. Originally, I’d painted the interior of the commander hatches in a duck egg green, since that’s a real colour used for that sort of thing, but it didn’t “feel” right, so I redid it at the last minute (as in, after the “final” coat of varnish in my custom Necromunda Blue, and then revarnished by brush. Much better.
So now I only have one more of the models to go from that original IW purchase all those years ago! Not sure if I’ll manage to get it done in December, as there are two other models I’d like to prioritise – but we’ll see how it all works out…