Pre Heresy Deimos Rhino Conversion Guide

Deimos Rhino templatesDeimos Rhino templatesI’ve been doing more Heresy stuff lately – so much so that I’m pretty much a Warhammer 30,000 player as opposed to Warhammer 40,000 these days. I’ll write down why I think this is one of these days, but for now it’s suffice to say that it’s a huge amount of fun! Obviously there’s a lot of crossover between the two in terms of modelling, but part of the appeal is the slightly different aesthetic. I’ve blogged before about getting that ‘Heresy Look’ without spending a ton of cash before – see my post about my World Eaters infantry here. The vehicles are a bit different though. There are a variety of ways to go about getting the look with vehicles, the main three being:

  • Buy Forgeworld’s lovely Pre-Heresy pattern vehicles. This post is going to be about Rhino based vehicles, so in this case it’s the Deimos pattern Rhino hull. Advantages: It looks great and it’s low effort. Disadvantages: At £35 each, it’s the most expensive option here.
  • Acquire a second hand MK1 Rhino. Advantages: Cost. These things are much cheaper than Forgeworld’s, although they’ve shot up in value since the Heresy game became a big deal. They’re usually around £10, depending on condition. Speaking of which…. Disadvantages: Unless you’ve found an unpainted one, buying a second hand Rhino is a lot like buying a second hand car, so Caveat Emptor! I’ve bought ones that looked pretty easy to clean up only to find that it hand been painted twice using a horrible mix of paints that needed multiple stripping agents to get it all off. On the other hand, finding that gem is a great feeling and there’s a lot to be said for the restoration process, too. The other issue with these old kits is they are noticeably smaller than the modern Rhino hull.
Before the resoration

Buyer beware!

  • Finally, if you’re feeling creative, you can take the modern Rhino kit and try achieving that Heresy Look yourself! Which is where this post comes in. I’ve recently done this myself, and had a few requests for a guide, so here goes:


Convert your own Deimos Pattern Space Marine Rhino

For this build, you will need the following:

  •  One plastic Space Marine Rhino – the current model
  • Some Mk 1 Rhino parts: two side hatches and two front panels. Additionally, the original ram bar looks good on the current kit too. If you can’t get hold of these easily, I’ve included dimensions later in this article for you to make your own from plasticard.


  • Plasticard in 25 thou (≈0.6mm) and 75 (≈2.0mm) thou thickness. You don’t need to match these exact thicknesses, as long they’re roughly this thick it’ll be good enough. Just make sure one sheet is around three times thicker.
  • The usual modelling tools – knives, razor saw, file, glue.


The Build:

Step 1 – Build the Rhino as per the instructions, but leaving off side hatches and the folding front armoured visor, as per the photo below. I’ve left the tracks and top hatch unglued as well as I’ll be spraying those separately. I’ve also mounted the old style spiked ram bar.


Step 2 – cut out your plasticard shapes. The dimensions are shown below. Remember to make the running boards from your thick plasticard! And don’t be tempted to use scissors for the thick plasticard, you’ll bend it and tear the edges. Use a razor saw or a knife. These sizes are what I used, but you may prefer to get a more exact fit by measuring things yourself on you kit. Also, bear in mind that the designs below are NOT to scale!


Deimos Rhino templates

Step 3 – Glue the door mounts onto the back of your old style Rhino side hatches and the side panels onto the Rhino in between the exhausts.

Deimos Rhino templates

Step 4 – Glue the side hatches onto the centre of the new side panel.


Step 5 – Glue the running boards in place. These fit snugly just below the exhausts and will be pretty secure when glued into that nice 90º angle.


Step 6 – Glue the front plate mounts in place. The side ones should cover up the holes where the folding visor would normally mount, whilst the centre one goes right between the two windows. Carefully cut off the rivets below each window and the centre rivet on the lower front armour, as shown.


Step 7 – You’re now going to have to trim some of the back of your old style front plates in order to get them to fit properly. This is probably the most difficult part of the build. The one fitted to the right hand side of the Rhino needs 3mm removed from the bottom, and note that the corner has been taken off too. This is in order to fit around the lower front armour that protrudes on the modern kit. The front plate fitted to the left side of the Rhino needs around 6mm removed from the back. Keep dry fitting these and removing more material as necessary! I used a razor saw to carefully cut through this. Also file off the part numbers from the back; we’re going to be gluing this surface and we need a nice flush fit.


Step 8 – Once you’re happy with the fit, glue them in place!


Step 9 – That’s all the hard stuff done, now finish by adding detail!


I hope you enjoyed the write up – please let me know in the comments how it goes if you try it!



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9 Responses to “Pre Heresy Deimos Rhino Conversion Guide”

  1. Mönk says:

    Nice work Matt. Something I may well do in the future.

  2. Matt says:

    Cheers Monk! Glad you liked it.

  3. Doug says:

    I’m just starting a Heresy-era Salamanders army (thanks to getting two Calth boxes for Christmas) – these will make awesome conversions! Thanks!

  4. Matt says:

    Glad you like it! Yep, the Calth box is amazing – I’ve got one myself to do some Word Bearers.

  5. Andy Thacker says:

    Hi Matt,
    This is great. Could u email me the CAD file of the drawing for the parts so that I can try and 3D print them?

  6. Matt says:

    Hi Andy! Glad you like the guide! Um, I’m afraid the ‘CAD file’ is in fact an MS Paint file! Given everything is a 2D shape made from sheet plastic, CNC cutting from sheet plastic would probably be better than 3D printing anyway.

  7. Andy Thacker says:

    Ok mate. Can you send me the paint file and I’ll see what I can do. Hope all is well with you.

  8. Martin says:

    Getting ready to start this. Thanks for the write up. I have a Forge World one coming next week but need more Rhinos than I can afford.

    -With the new style exhaust this is kind of a MK1a.

  9. Matt says:

    Yeah, Mk1a is a good way to describe it. Meimos pattern? Dars pattern? Not so sure, but glad you liked the guide!

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