This is my looted Land Raider, Mark II conversion. It's another model from my old Ork armoured brigade. It may even be the oldest model in that particular army. Or at least the first to be completed and not then subsequently hacked-up, stripped or rebuilt.
And not only is this one of my earliest Ork vehicles, but the base model, underneath all the conversion work, is one of the first plastic tank kits Citadel Miniatures ever made. It was the Land Raider Mark I, originally released in 1988 as the RTB05 Imperial Land Raiders kit (plural, because you got two of them in the box, for just £12.99).
The 1988 kit was a very exciting release for young me. A seemingly huge tank, the likes of which had hardly been seen before in the fledgling WH40K game. It was so exciting that I was kinda awestruck by it. Scared to even glue the pieces together. And as a result they ended up sitting unconstructed and neglected until an incredible new Land Raider was released about 10 years later. One that had been tweaked and updated to give it a whole new look.
But I'm not talking about the current kit, the Mark III Land Raider. That wasn't released until 2000. No, the kit I'm referring to was the Mark II, brought out in Epic scale in 1998. The Mark I, had come out for Epic three years earlier, but the Mark II gave the tank a more aggressive profile, and heavy duty sponsons. I was immediately taken with it, and vowed to build a 28mm scale version.
Here's another variant of the Epic Mark II, with a slightly clearer picture, and here's a very neatly painted one I've just found on Google. These are exactly the kind of images that inspired me to attempt a larger scale portrayal.
But attempt is the apt word here. Knowing my conversions skills weren't good enough to make a crisp, clean tank, I decided it would be easier if the thing had taken an ass whooping on the battlefield, and had then been salvaged or stolen by Orks.
So I grabbed one of the tanks from that old, neglected Imperial Land Raiders kit, and set about extending the front, cutting down the top, and replacing the tracks.
By the time I had finished the basic build, Citadel designer extraordinaire, Brain Nelson, had taken over the Ork range, injecting the entire race with a darker, more brutal aesthetic. It was a simple matter to use spares from his new kits to bring my Land Raider closer in line with his vision.
Not only did the new parts add instant Orky character, but they also served to further hide my shoddy workmanship.
These days Forge World make a whole bunch of Land Raider variants, including a remodelled Land Raider Mark I, which now seems to be called the Proteus. So there are some easy but expensive alternatives if you don't fancy hundreds of hours of badly cutting up sheets of plasticard, slicing your fingers, getting glue on everything and generally making a bloody mess.
Although clearly no kind of Ork mekboy would ever pass up an opportunity like that.