Dreadnoughts are cool. At least that’s my opinion and what I’m covering in this article, my first Dreadnought.

For a long time my only army was Tyranids, which I love and will probably always be my favourite army. I did however get vehicle envy. Not just because my Tyranids seemed to be terrible tin openers for so long but because I liked the vehicle design in the other armies. One of my favourites among the space marines was and still is the Dreadnought. I liked seeing the model back when i played fantasy over 20 years ago, and I can still get excited when it turns up in the intro for the first Dawn of War.

Since then the miniature range has expanded, and with it the Space Marines’ arsenal of dreadnoughts. The Contemptor, Deredeo, Leviathan and Primaris Dreadnoughts all have their own cool design but to me, the original Dreadnought’s nonsense boxiness holds more much appeal.

After Tyranids, I began collecting Chaos but as I covered in my Helbrute post, I want keen on aspects of the Chaos Dreadnought design. So it wasn’t until years later when I started to collect Grey Knights that my opportunity came.

Just as with my Grey Knight Techmarine, I was inspired by my co-author, Krakendoomcool’s interest in replicating artwork. So that was one of the places I looked. Obviously unlike his Space Wolves, my Dreadnought artwork didn’t have a dynamic pose to replicate but the primary thing I noticed was a psychic hood, it was cool and relatively unique, so I wanted to incorporate that somehow. Also there were a lot of inscriptions on the armour so I’d have to think about that too.

I already had my eye on some forgeworld parts (arms and torso) but in an effort to save a little money i decided to get some legs of Ebay. The best I could do though was a whole dread from what I think was the Assault on Black Reach box set. I still saved some money anyway, and now I had some spare parts (even if they weren’t much use to me).

For arms I went with the Dreadnought claw because I wanted some blades to paint up all nemesis and retain the blunt force of a wrecking ball. For the gun i went with the assault cannon. Appart fron having a great profile, did I mention the intro to Dawn of War?


For the body, I had a choice of two sarcophagi.

Although I really like the aesthetic of the grey knight helmet (one of the reasons I chose to collect this chapter), I feel like the faceless machine is a more appropriate representation of the relentless Space marine interred within. Not even stopped by death.

The first job was to put the legs and body together, which was not as easy as I’d hoped because the Black Reach dreads halves are not legs and torso, but front and back whole pieces. After some messing about, I sorted the legs out. The arms went on as expected but I did have to transfer the stormbolter from the Black Reach arm to my cool one, which was a bit of a faff because the ammo belt needed to be bent to fit. Then I magnetised them for future options.

I could have stopped there, the custom body and claw fist made it look enough like it belonged to the Grey Knights… but as I said, I had a little Krakendoomcool monkey on my shoulder whispering to me “maaake it like the aaaart wooork.”

So used greenstuff to put the plates on its arms, detailing previous campaigns… They could be better, but I’m happy enough with them. Then I make a psychic hood for the top. Too do this, I made the outer plates out of plasticard, then put a piece of greenstuff inside there, pressing it onto ball bearing for the concave surface. Once it set, I tidied the edges and glued it on. After I glued glued it I thought it looked like it was missing something. Wires. With no head to obscure the hood it lacked detail, so having wiring in there would break it up, and I sculpted those in.

That was it! Later on I bought 2 more guns and that has been my only dreadnought since, almost always accompanied by my Techmarine. They feel like buddies now. Like Alyx Vance and Dog.

If Alyx wore power armour instead of jeans and Dog… Had a dead guy inside?

Thanks for reading this and if you liked it or have any advice for me, leave a comment. I would like to know how to make those engraved plates better, otherwise im quite happy with it.



~Pandora’s Bitz Box~


  1. I do love Dreadnoughts, and converted ones all the more. Great work, and how very clever using the one bodybfor multiple arms. 🙂 I have painted a few extra arms up, but I find myself always working on new Dreads.
    I love what you did with the campaign panels, I tried similar for a Death Watch one a couple of years back and ended up giving up and writing in pencil instead.


    1. Yeah it was pretty tricky to make those panels. Im still not 100% happy with them, but happy enough. They arent clean enough to look right but i had to cut those words in by pressing a narrow pointed tool into the greenstuff in over and over, overlapping the the cuts to make the letters. because you cant drag a blade through that stuff when its soft, it just bunches up.

      Im really hapy with the psychic hood though.

      Actually… i was thinkinh i should put up another picture soon on the end of the article, of the remains of the cannibalised dread from Assault on Black Reach.


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