Back at the end of November, I started the planning phase for my custom Leviathan hovercraft for Dropzone Commander. With my last pieces arriving over the weekend, I was able to complete the project and get some photos. This might be a bit a long as I’ll also go over how I created this monster so strap in (or scroll to the bottom to see the final work).
We began earlier with the assembly of the Leviathan itself and then had to wait for my building kit to arrive.
The building was a cheap Chinese 3D printer kit I pulled from eBay. It arrived pretty quick and I knew it would be a bit rough based on the description and images.
I used some 200 grit sandpaper to try and smooth out what I could. I got a little overzealous in that last image and broke one of the stacks off. Easy enough to repair but I didn’t get things as smoothed out as I hoped. I turned to green stuff to smooth out some of the rough parts like the sunken stair platforms and printer gaps.
After assembly, I did some fitting and sizing estimates to figure out exactly how I’d merge the two models.
Comparing the custom building to the standard small papercraft building showed that they were comparable enough to work out. Never mind Clayface wreaking havoc in the background. I’m sure they have it under control.
After fitting the building to the Leviathan chassis, I new I could only keep half the engines so I cut the left side off. These would attach to the building proper later.
I then needed to attach the right side engines normally and have had issues with them in the past so I decided to pin them. I used my new pinning technique where I drill larger holes for the female side of the pins.
I then fill in the oversized holes with green stuff and am free to assemble without worrying about the holes not lining up 100%.
Super glue then sealed and bonded the pieces. I repeated the same techique for the front engines then turned back to the building kit.
I decided I wanted to combine one of my previous customs with this new one. Since the Leviathan custom will have a lot of damage points, I put a water tower counter on top after removing the old one.
I cut up a thread counter and assembled the water tower together to go on the top of the old structure. In the assembly process, I messed up the numbers with sloppy super glue application so I needed to redraw them by hand (pretty shabbily).
After the assembly, I painted up the structure. This helped give the crappy print job a bit more life.
I knew I wanted a little more to add to the Leviathan model so I worked up a 3D model of a cow-catcher-inspired front and rear ram. My friend graciously printed them up and they turned out great.
Next I turned to the Leviathan itself and painted it up. When that was finished, I test fit the ram and it fit perfectly.
I turned back to the building and added my left side engines, turret operators, and outside guards.
Because I know that I will always be tempted to move the model from the building, I pinned it into the Leviathan chassis. Again, I used thin brass rods in the building then drilled oversized holes in the Leviathans chassis, filled those with green stuff and set the building in with a heavy application of super glue.
Even with the engines on the building, I needed a way to connect them back to the chassis.
I turned to LEGO and bought some old tube connectors. I cut them to size and glued them in. I painted up the rams and glued them on as well. With those final pieces done, the model was complete. This new Leviathan custom, the NT-6 Olympus, was ready to roll out
Now time for some in-context pics!
The plan for the Olympus is that it will be a command transport unit. I’m ratcheting up the “building” theme so the unit will have the stats of a small, hardened building. This isn’t any real stretch as the normal Leviathan has an armor of 7 and DP of 9, so pushing the unit to armor 8 and 10 DP seemed like an easy choice.
As a command unit that is basically a big building, I figure it is kind of the mobile fortress for the Resistance army. As such, they don’t need to bring objectives back to high command somewhere because “where” is right here. I think a “command center” rule where objectives, if carried by the Olympus, are worth 2 victory points at the end of the game instead of the normal 1 victory point.
While the building model’s print was pretty lackluster and cheap, the Dropzone models are always fantastic so adding more of those as detail really helped bring the whole model up.
The weapon systems for the unit are going to be muted because it is a transport and thematically, those are usually weaker. The Leviathan model comes with two gun mount options, a set of four anti-air guns and a set of four anit-tank rocket groups. The anti-air guns shore up a big weakness of the model in that it is a huge, slow target and gunships can harass the unit easily. Four AA cannons are overkill for a transport unit so I decided to stick with the concept but weaken it with the personnel mounted guns (taken from the Battle Bus set). These guns won’t be able to take down a serious air threat but should threaten enough for the enemy to think twice about sending something non-committal over.
The ram addition came from a personal pet peeve of mine where barricades and debris tend to choke up the movement lanes of the big unit. The concept will be that the ram will be another weapon system geared to take down those obstacles. It will be a close combat weapon capable of taking down barricades quickly and easily. It will also be powerful enough to threaten normal ground units as well but with the vehicle’s slow speed, it will have to catch those units by surprise.
Since the unit is carrying a complete building, I knew I wanted it to be slow so I’ll drop the speed from the Leviathan’s normal 10 inches to 6 inches. To compensate for this, I want to give the unit the infiltrate ability (likely the 18 inch version). The concept is that it is a building that can “hide” among other buildings. I might also look at the camouflage rules if it doesn’t move or fire but that might be overkill or hard to sell.
And that is about it! I loved making this thing and liked how my initial concept evolved. I’ll try to get it to the table and put a report on how it did.