Black Templar Predator Rehab Project

Sometimes a project is not about what you can accomplish. Sometimes the project is about what you can save.

I have a friend that I have built many models for before. Some of you have already seen the Black Templar Talon or the custom Black Templar Titan. This time I will be taking a couple of secondhand predators he acquired and attempting to save them from the bits bin.

What we have are 2 Space Marine Predators that have been seriously abused.  Poor assembly with excessive glue has marred the finish.  failing to follow directions has resulted in incorrect and incomplete assembly.  To add insult to the injury, neither model comes to me with all of its parts.  I’ll be diving into the bits box for replacements or stand-ins.

Black Templar Predators 01Black Templar Predators 02


Once you have inventoried the project, it is time to make a plan.  In this case, the first thing to do is catalogue the missing pieces and the parts so damaged that they will need replaced.  You will notice from the pieces above that I have partially disassembled the models so I can better assess what I will need to do.   This will also give me more room to work in.  When the turrets, sponsons, and dozer blades are glued in place, you wont be able to reach areas for repair and later painting.  (Yes, I know the blades are mounted incorrectly but the owner likes the “snugged-in” look)   Also, in looking at magnetizing the weapons I found that I’d need to create a new mount to replace the melted and fused mess that it came to me as.

Black Templar Predators 03Black Templar Predators 04

I spent a couple of evenings using scraping tools and a hobby knife removing old glue and melted plastic.  A Dremel moto tool was used to cut blast holes in the bottom of the chasis.  The client wanted to have the battle damage to show when he turned over a destroyed vehicle on the battlefield.  He wanted the hole large enough for a 40mm base because that is what his smoke markers are based on.

As a side note, I have one real complaint about the Predator models in general – not just  these two.  They have droopy barrels.  Even when the kit is assembled correctly, the main cannon sags and points at the ground.  I hate this.  To fix this, I cut small pieces of sprue and glued them to the turret to provide a stop.  this will be much easier to do if you can add it before you assemble the turret.  I didn’t have that luxury here so extreme care was taken to ensure no glue got into the pin and socket.  I still wanted the barrels to be moveable.

Black Templar Predators 05Black Templar Predators 06


During this cleanup phase I drilled out the holes for the magnets.  The previous owner had installed the weapon hangers backwards AND glopped glue all over when they didn’t mount correctly.  Consequently I had to add a bit of sprue to the underside of the mounts as a standoff.  this leaves enough room to allow the weapons their full range of motion.

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Once all the cleanup and repair are complete, getting a good clean primer coat is imperative.  The better the base you put down, the better your final paint job will be.  Because the Black Templar’s paint scheme is rather stark, I spent a lot of time on details.  Getting bright golds with antique shading give your eyes to focus on.  The same idea applies to the lenses on the periscopes and targeters.  Finally, decals give the tanks their individuality.  Despite being members of the same squadron, you will still be able to differentiate them on the battlefield.  Hopefully I will get to do the command tank of the squadron some time in the future.

Black Templar Predators 09Black Templar Predators 10


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Well, these are done and delivered.  I never enjoy finding kits that have been so poorly built.  But, the challenge of resurrecting these and returning them to the tabletop as a good-looking addition to an army is quite rewarding.  Don’t give up.  With patience and a plan, it’s (almost) never too late.

Feel free to leave comments, suggestions, or questions.

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