Contrary to what you might expect from looking at the pictures below, I did not ask myself that question at any point during this project. Rather, as is often the case, when I started I only had a vague plan, knowing that I wanted to use up some of my left-over bits to create a rogue, semi-autonomous gun platform that has been stalking the derelict areas of my Imperial hive city, Kruenta Karoliina Arx Rotunda.
But the unexpected similarities between my finished model and both the Thunderfire Cannon and Johnny 5 are not necessarily a bad thing. (Certainly not if you can whip out a bit of last minute post-rationalisation.) To me those correlations simultaneously root my creation in the WH40K universe and hint at the machine having a modicum of sentience.
1) Make it look dangerous.
2) Make it look beaten-up.
3) Make it out of the Chapterhouse Studios gun turret and the old Ramshackle Games caterpillar tracks that I already had at home.
As with most of my one-off models, there's a story that goes with this. A story that first came to light among huddled hive gangers, whispering secrets and scares around barrel fires during dark nights. An urban legend that spread through the juves, jacks and scavengers fighting over territory in the decaying lost-zones of Kru. It was said that gang members entering an area known as the Twist were being hunted by a lone machine. Confused accounts of a dilapidated yet deadly weapon system, taller than a man, rumbling over the broken rock-crete, relentlessly tracking individuals through the crumbling maze of abandoned manufactorums. Seemingly knowing its way through the labyrinthine corridors and alleys better than any of the locals. Its motives unknown. And perhaps unknowable. Surrounded by a growing aura of mystery. The more reports that came in, the more questions were raised. What is it? Where did it come from? Why the random killings? Was it built in-system or imported from further afield? Could it be a prototype Astartes weapon from a long-forgotten war, or was it designed more recently? Did it reactivate by accident or is there a more malign presence at play? And who or what is keeping it supplied with fuel and ammunition?