Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Tutorial: Meltaguns for Guardsmen

If you are like me and like having a dozen meltaguns in your army then it's almost mandatory that you get these from the GW webstore. All the other options are just too expensive to consider except if you are particularly good as scratch building.

Upon looking at them you will instantly realise that these are made for Space Marines. The hand that is holding them is armoured and way too big for a guardsman. Also the weapon is quite large and can't fit easily on the model. Some adjustment is required to make everything work.

So this is the meltagun in question. Obviously we need to remove the hand holding it at the bottom. We also need to remove the shoulder rest or else it won't fit on the model.
Easiest and quickest way to do this is by using a pair of clippers. Make sure you don't remove too much of it though.
After this make sure you smooth the surface using a file. This will ensure that the fit is better.
Now the meltagun should look like this:
I found that the best arm to use for the meltagun is the on holding the grenade launcher. All the infantry squads boxes come with one so you will probably have enough lying around.
We now need to remove the weapon. Use the clippers again but be extra careful since plastic is more squishy.
We should now have something looking like this:
If you like models to be extra sturdy, like I do, you should pin them before gluing them together. Make a small hole using your hobby drill in the meltagun where the hand should go. Then make one on the top of the hand so it matches with the hole in the weapon.
Make sure that now they fit together nicely. Might have to do some adjusting filing down any bumpy spots left.
And now for the big moment! Glue the hand with the torso and while it hasn't set yet find a way to fit the meltagun in and glue it to the hand using super glue. Can be tricky but it's the only way to be sure everything will fit together. Use the left hand for the grenade launcher. You might want to cut of the end bit that is sticking out of the fist or else it will push the whole arm away. Now you have an eager meltagunner to field in your glorious battles.


  1. Great tut, my only criticism is that he seems to be holding the gun from the muzzle which I think that in meltas wouldn't be a bright thing to do. Isn't there a hand with a different angle to use or maybe cut it in place (this would require some green stuff too as the gaps would be visible)

  2. My guardsmen are suicidal like that. I mean they are like Arny in "Red Heat". They pick up coals, chew them up and spit them out!
    But yeah I know what you mean. I just wanted to keep this simple since I have to make half a dozen of the dudes.

  3. This is good info. When I added meltas to a vet squad, I used SM Scout arms, so didn't have to remove the hand. I may have to give this a go with a normal squad.
    I wonder if the left hand bit on the IG sprue will fit under the handgrip with this.

  4. Hey, glad you liked it mate. I take it the Scout bits were plastic?

    This is unfortunately the only option I think to get meltaguns to a lot of models. I got a couple of special weapons cadians from FW and had a couple of meltagunners from the past but buying more blisters would be just too expensive.

    I didn't really see any other hand that could fit better? Maybe from the command sprue but I didn't have any lying around. On the other hand I had lots of spare granade launchers.

  5. Another relatively simple method is to cut the muzzle from the melta gun and swap it with the flamer muzzle. Cut off the fuel feed, tidy things up a little (working with plastic is easy enough) and you have a scaled melta gun where everything lines up.

  6. An alternative that I've done myself is to just go with the hand an modify from a lasgun pairing (preferably the one that has the full hand, but with some clever greenstuffing you could use any of the other ones).

    Something that might work is one hand from the grenade (as above) and the other hand, repositioned, from a lasgun.

  7. Thanks for the suggestion mate. I will give it a try next time I sit down to put some meltagunners together.