In the past few years I have been able to pick up, on separate occasions, two massive Clone Wars Turbo Tank vehicles. Both of them are incomplete and I only paid maybe $20 for each of them. I couldn’t resist the price and it is a truly impresive vehicle. But I had never come up with any plan for one of them, let alone two. Apart from using one as a background for taking some action figure photos I basically brought them home and parked them under a “garage” at the bottom of one of my Star Wars room displays. I was actually considering selling at least one of them when a completely different project suddenly occupied my brain.
A few years ago I had painted a custom Mon Calamari officer using a Power of the Force 2 Admiral Ackbar. Now the Mon Cal was one of Admiral Raddus’ staff as seen in Rogue One. Recently I had an extra Ackbar figure on hand and thought I would paint a second officer for Admiral Raddus. But as I began setting my desk up for some painting I suddenly lost interest in the project. I dont love painting entire figures and I’m not that great at doing it. Wethering, yes. Full repaints, not so much. The thought of starting this new figure was just not interesting to me so I put the figure aside and looked at my “Star Wars room to do list” that I keep on hand. I had a note that just said, “more Endor soldiers.” Hmmmm….I started rummaging through my greeblies and accessories and found a spare cloth Endor soldier trenchcoat. I put it on the Ackbar figure, thought it looked pretty cool and came up with a big idea:
Finally do something with the Turbo Tank AND assemble a team for it.
So that’s what I did.
This turned out to be one of the biggest custom projects I had ever tried as the plan was to paint the tank, customize it’s overall look by removing the rear section from it, add a bunch of greeblies to it and as I said, create a crew for it. I was worried about how the painting would turn out but since I had two vehicles I could afford to ruin one of them.
After removing the tires (They’re designed to be removed and reinstalled, a fun little add on feature for when your Clonetroopers need to change a flat tire) I taped off the chassis and bare wheel axles with painter’s tape. I also covered some of the more interesting sections of plating so that they would contrast with the green paint I would use. I think I ended up using a hunter green mixed with a little black.
I used an orange/brown mix of paint for the bottom portion of the tank to give a similar appearance as seen in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story with the AT-ACT and cargo ship. Next I added various shades of weathering. In fact, except for some silver and red paint pens the entire project was done with regular dollar store acrylic paint.
I wanted the Turbo Tank to be more than just a new paint job so the next plan was to begin adding accessories and greeblies. A friend who used to collect GI Joe and Jurassic Park toys gave me a ton of parts he didn’t need and this is where I went to town, adding all sorts of accessories.
I added sections of handrails that fit just perfect along the top of the vehicle.I drilled holes into the tank for the handrails to fit into. I added more railings and a few search lights in a few other spots too. It gave it a nice, junky look, much like the AT-TE that “old Captain Rex” and his fellow clones used in Star Wars Rebels.
Continuing on the outside of the vehicle I added extra laser cannons, a Kenner Millennium Falcon radar dish and two different action figure versions of the red tank that Baze Malbus has slung onto his back in Rogue One.
The rear of the Turbo Tank has a removable module that can act as a sort of shelter. I removed this in order to add some extra firepower. I have had in my collection the quad guns and gunner’s chair from the Kenner Millennium Falcon and really wanted to use it so I glued it in place where the module would have been. I then added some paint and weathering to it. The new green colour of the tank had me thinking of “camoflague” so I added a few pieces of weathered “netting” to cover the gun turret. The material is actually anti-slip padding for carpets.
Inside I added various data pads, laptops and even a clip board and coffee mug to help fill in the fairly empty interiors. These various accessories were usually grey and monotone so I added red, green and yellow paint for buttons and lights.
The last bit of customizing was to add a few Rebel Alliance stickers I bought on eBay.
It was daunting to take on a job this big but I’m very happy with how things turned out, especially when I took it outside for some photos.
Next step: put together some teammates to go along with my new Endor Mon Cal figure.