For starters, Part 5 of the templates has a nice design for an Imperial eagle to decorate the front assault hatch. Tons of detail, absolutely fantastic. Alas, I'd already decided that this "outdated" Land Raider would be going to Chaos, and I'd decided a little before this that it would end up in my World Eaters army, because Berserkers can always use something big and very anti-tank backing them up. So, that Imperial eagle was going to become a Khornate skull.
This took a bit of work. I had to play with the design to make it fit in the space (taking the slots into account) and still be recognizable. Once I had that, it was a bit of work to keep track of some parts, since this wouldn't be a single element. Once I had everything in place and glued, I set it between wax paper--checked again to make sure it was all in the right place--and set a few books on it.
I went through the same thing on the side hatches. The templates have half-eagles for them, I went with half-Khornate skulls. Which looked pretty good, all things considered.
Worth a note about the side assembly (Part 6 of 6), where the hatches and lascannon mounts are. You can glimpse them in some of the earlier photos because I was very stupid and tried assembling them too soon. Before you even think of putting the edges, make sure these are done. Cut out the frame for the door, glue the rectangular backing in place. Then put on the other details (like your half-skull hatches), and the edges, and those interior zigzags I mentioned last time for sturdiness.
Because only an idiot would do that all out of order. Yep. Only an idiot.
I built and glued on the front piece (seen on Part 4 of 6). I have no idea what it's supposed to be. The grill? Maybe part of the mechanism for the assault ramp? No idea. But it was in the reference pictures and now it's on the model.
There were two matching pieces that were supposed to go on either side of this mystery element, but they didn't fit that well. I think it was from a combination of two things. One is a two dimensional model being rendered on three dimensional cardboard. That tiny 1/32 of an inch starts to add up after numerous folds and layering, especially on this scale. The other is my own operator errors, so to speak. A score that's a miniscule amount off one way, a fold that goes too far the other. Combine these two issues and it's not surprising things don't line up sometimes, especially small, intricate things. In the end, I decided to skip the side elements and instead added two diagonal strips to imply the pistons/ struts on the actual model.
At this point I decided to glue the two tread assemblies to the main hull. I used pins and my sharpest knife to mark the position on the template directly onto the cardboard. Then I peeled off the template to make sure it was card grabbing card, not card grabbing paper loosely glued to card. Once again, my book collection helped with keeping things pressed together.
The top panel of the model probably caused me the most headaches and the most work. On the actual Mk. I Land Raider there's only one roof hatch, and there's... well, some kind of bolt weapon there on a pintle. The template for the top panel (on Part 5 of 6) page is marked for three hatches, like the Mk. II has. They're kind of crowded and all sit one on top of another. I knew I wanted an actual twin-linked heavy bolter up there. I also wanted one of the newer tank hatches so I could maybe have a Berserker howling out of the top.
I decided to use all three, but the "corner" one would just be a flat hatch from the classic Rhino that wouldn't move. The other front would be the heavy bolter, left free so it could swing. The rear would be the tank hatch, raised slightly with another layer of cardboard and also left free so I could trade it out with closed hatches, HK missiles, pintle mounted combi-bolters, or whichever.
Alas the cardboard was thinner than the edges of these bits, so I had to double up the cardboard and cut perfect circles through it and raise it even more while keeping it reinforced so it didn't sag in the middle. Nobody likes a saggy Land Raider. I worked on this piece for ages and it was one of the last things I glued in place.
The model comes with templates and instructions to make card weapons on Part 5. Thing is, like anyone who's been playing 40K for a while, I've got a pile of extra bitz and weapons. I also knew the weapons would be the thing that draws the eye immediately, so making them look top-notch would raise the whole model a bit. So I decided to go with "real" weapons rather than card ones.
I wanted the heavy bolter to look old-fashioned, so I ended up using one of the metal ones from the classic Razorback set. A bit of double-layered card let me connect them, and then I mounted them on one of the classic Rhino domed hatches. As I mentioned above, I left the whole assembly free so I could rotate the heavy bolters or remove them for battle damage.
The lascannons were a challenge, one I played with for a while. After a lot of thought and a few simple tests, I realized it was going to be too much work to make them movable. A rough decision, but it also gave me a lot more options as far as building them went. I dug through all my assorted tank parts and here's what I came up with.
I took the plastic lascannons from the Razorback set and clipped off the cables. Next I took a lascannon from the Imperial Guard heavy weapons sprue and trimmed off the pin that would usually mount it to the tripod. Then I fitted them together bottom to bottom. It took a bit of shaving here and there to get a fairly solid fit that kept the barrels parallel and even. Two round Warhammer Fantasy shields gave me a mounting point, and also added stability to the whole structure. On the opposite side (the "outside" of the weapon) I used one of the small plates from the first Chaos vehicle sprue. This made the whole assembly rock solid and unified the piece by hiding the join of the two lascannons.
Since I was using plastic lascannons, I decided to use 25mm bases as the weapons mounts on the sides. I placed them over the cardboard mount and glued the hell out of them. They're superglued to the cardboard and I think there's even a ball of green stuff underneath the base.
So, sides are on. Front logo is on. Next I'll attach the treads, the weapons, and final spiky Chaos bits before I prime it.