Defiler Weapons

Whoa!  I wanted to get one last post in before the end of the year and realized this is post #150.  Many thanks to the seven of you who bother to keep checking in...

Anyway, in these last days of the year,  I thought we could go over the final weapons options for the Defiler.  Yeah, only three years late.  Or a few weeks late, depending on how you look at it.  Either way, not too impressive, I know.

A quick recap.  I built the hull and legs of a Chaos Defiler entirely from cardstock.  The only non-paper part is the ball-and-socket joints, made from some wooden balls I got at my local hobby shop for about two bucks. I designed one to be more of a Nurgle firebase while the other was going to be a Khorne close-combat monster.

First off, I’m not going to be doing the weapons for my Khornate one, despite the current wave of Khorne madness.  Games Workshop changed the options for Defilers since I first worked on this project, and I think it doesn’t work out that great for an all close-combat version.  Power fists and dreadnaught close combat weapons are not the same thing, alas.
That’s just one of my many problems with the current Chaos Marine codex, though.  Maybe it’ll all go away someday soon and we’ll finally get one that shows the ruinous powers some love.

But I’m not holding my breath.
As I mentioned above, I’d always planned on going much more range-oriented on the Death Guard Defiler.  As such, I decided to skip close-combat arms altogether and go with an autocannon/ havoc missile launcher set-up.  Ranged firepower on the move, plus the battle cannon when stationary.

So, here’s what a bit of experience and R&D can teach you. 

The twin autocannons are using the template from Newobmij‘s Imperial Knight—it comes with a heavy stubber, and a few subtle tweaks will let it work as an autocannon.  That template’s available in the STC archive if you want to check that.

Now, I used this template twice for the Knight, and the only issue was that it doesn’t work as well with thicker material.  So I looked around for something a little thinner-than-cereal/pizza box cardstock that would curve well.  It being the holidays, I realized the mailing envelopes I was using to send out books was maybe 30-40% thinner.  Also plentiful and cheap (don’t be greedy—some folks need these envelopes to mail presents and end-of-year business stuff).

That gave me two barrels.  The body’s just a basic 1” square box, 1/2” on the sides.  I sketched it out, added some tabs, and out ti together.  If it was a little loose, no big deal (I'll explain why in a minute).  I glued the barrels on the cleanest side, putting them together and closer to the top. I held it for about three minutes, then added another line of glue where the two barrels touched.  If it was a little messy, well... it's Nurgle.  I stood this on end and let it dry for about fifteen minutes or so before I started handling it. 

While the main body was drying, I made a simple axe-blade by cutting out a chisel shape and then layering smaller chisels on either side of it. If you really wanted to go crazy, you could put more of a curve to this, but just remember it's really important to make the curves on all three pieces line up.  I mounted this on the bottom barrel of the autocannon as the standard chaos underslung blade.

Normally each autocannon would have big ammunition drums or at least dangling belts.  I decided to work around those by putting an armor plate over the whole thing.  It was just a matching 1” square that I extended by 1/2” in the back and 1/4” in the front.  Then I put a top and bottom on it and gave the whole thing 45 degree corners.  That might all sound a little odd, but by doing it this way I’ve got a bit more weight towards the back.  Which is cool, because the Defiler’s “abdomen” is already a little front-heavy with the battle cannon. 
I cut some 1/8” strips and added trim along the edges of the armor, and also a few little Chaos “barbs,” or whatever you might like to call them.  The little jags and triangles that show up on most Chaos armor and weaponry.  I used the 1/16" and 1/8" hole punch to create a bit of "corrosion" on one corner of the armor plate.  As a final touch, I used some 1/4" discs to add a Nurgle icon.

I thought about building a traditional, six-barreled missile launcher like the one that comes on the Chaos vehicle sprue.  But then I realized I could do something fun and a little more custom with a seven-barreled missile launcher.  Because all the true believers know how much Papa Nurgle loves his sevens...
I started with a 3/4” x 3/4” box and drew an X across it, corner to corner.  Then I used discs from the 1/8” hole punch to mark out five spots—one at the center and the others equidistant out from the center one.  The whole thing looked a lot like a D6 when I was done.

Helpful Hint—When laying this out, remember that you’re not going from the center point—you’re measuring from the edge of the center disc, 1/16” out from the center point. If you don’t take that into account, you D6 face will look a bit squished.

Once I had the five spots, I just mirrored them above and below to give me a 1-2-1-2-1 pattern.  Seven silos.  I added a 45 degree line off each corner and that gave me the front plate of my Nurglesque havoc launcher.  I cut it out, traced it, and now I had a back plate.  Measuring the edges gave me the lengths of all six faces of the sides (which were 3/4” and just a hair over 9/16”).  I’d be more exact about it except the whole body is going to be covered by another armor plate.  I gave it the same trim, jags, and icon as the autocannon.

For the shoulders I traced a 25mm base and cut out 14 circles.  These were stacked and glued until I had two discs that were seven layers thick (there’s those sevens again).  I put clothespins on these so they’d glue flat and let them sit for a bit.

Important Note—in retrospect, these are a little small for Defiler shoulders.  Not horribly so, but just enough that it gnaws at me a bit.  It wasn’t clear until the whole thing was together.  If you wanted to use this same method, I’d use a 40mm for my tracing template.  I still might pull it apart and do new ones before the warm liquid goo phase.

While the shoulders were drying I decided to go back and add some rivets to the whole model.  Looking back, I guess I never got to the rivet stage before.  I know I had the 1/16” hole punch at that point because the corroded effects were done with it. Anyway, I glued a few rivets on at some key points.

I also decided to bulk up the blast plate that sits behind the battle cannon.  The one from the original template is kind of puny.  So I built a larger one and added some more trim and rivets.  It gave the center a bit more heft.

I glued the shoulders onto the central hull. Again, I tried to center them back a bit to help counterbalance the battle cannon.  Once they were dry I added the weapons.  Because all of this is straight connections, I was able to stack the whole thing and use my phone for a bit of weight.

And there’s a range-loaded Defiler, just like that.

(ignoring the three year gap)


  1. Glad to see you back, and the defiler looks good! Definitely want to build one, and hopefully the next edition brings the Chaos marines back and brings Chaos in line with the rest of the codex lineup. What's the pluralization for "codex" anyways?

  2. Replies
    1. Normally, yeah, but I think GW uses "codexes" so they can copyright it...


  3. Don't worry Virtual, You're work is always an inspiration even if I do comparatively little work with Card board. Though I am working on a mock up for a model I'm designing in cardboard. proving to be a rather interesting experience.