Oldhammer Space Marine Rhino Part 1

A Rhino is probably one of the, if not the, most sold vehicle kits from the Warhammer range. It has been around far before the 2nd edition of Warhammer 40k and as the kit lending its chassis to a couple of further Space Marine vehicles quite numerous.

When I got to know the kit in the late mid 90s, it came in a compact blue box, containing the four sprues and four decal sheets, that gave you the basic rhino. Of course, the cover showed the armoured personnel carrier in the colours of the Ultramarines. The posterboys of the Imperial Space Marines.

Warhammer 40.000 - Oldhammer Space Marine Rhino Warhammer 40.000 - Oldhammer Space Marine Rhino Warhammer 40.000 - Oldhammer Space Marine Rhino

But of course, there were more Space Marine chapters than just the Sons of Macragge back then. A lot more. And thus the box showed the Rhino in service of the Blood Angels and Space Wolves as well, including minor variants you could build from the kit.

Warhammer 40.000 - Oldhammer Space Marine Rhino Warhammer 40.000 - Oldhammer Space Marine Rhino

The Space Marine rhino was available quite some time before the "repack" as the Space Marine Rhino and was available in a larger, similar blue box. But even before that, it was "just" the Imperial Rhino, serving not only the Adeptus Astartes but Imperial Guard and Squats (!) as well. That box was known as RTB12, with a very colourful cover

In White Dwarf #117 September 1989 there is a conversion article on how to build a Whirlwind with spart parts and plastic cards. I am a bit uncertain about the actual release of the model itself, as it is presented as being a summer release, but there are already conversions and entries from painting competitions shown on pages of the White Dwarf in that year. Anyhow, the Rogue Trader era Imperial Rhino RTB12 was sold for 4,99 GBP.

Warhammer 40.000 - Oldhammer Imperial Rhino RTB12 Warhammer 40.000 - Oldhammer Imperial Rhino RTB12

That kit got re-boxed several times, in a larger blue box for the first time as a Space Marine Rhino and later into the smaller blue box shown above. With the third edition being released, we got the next packaging, back the new design with grey stone background, the new black-green 40k logo. But still, the loyal Ultramarines on the box. That edition was the first time, the Rhino got an official boxed set of the Chaos Rhino, adding a sprue with spikes and chaos iconography to convert the loyalist vehicle into a traitor variant. But more on that in another article.

Warhammer 40.000 - Space Marine Rhino 3rd Edition Warhammer 40.000 - Oldhammer Chaos Space Marine Rhino

The sprues were the same all the time, though the colour of the plastic moved from light beige in the Rogue Trader times to the grey plastic we know today.

Warhammer 40.000 - Oldhammer Space Marine Rhino Warhammer 40.000 - Oldhammer Space Marine Rhino

This sprue was originally only included with Imperial Guard Vehicles and the only exceptions from the Space Marine range, that had it included were the different variants of the Predator and the Vindicator. In some cases you could see conversions based upon these parts, primarely the bulldozer blade and sometimes the search lights or missile. But from a purist point of view, these parts do not belong to the Rhino.

Warhammer 40.000 - Oldhammer Imperial Accessoires Frame Warhammer 40.000 - Oldhammer Imperial Accessoires Frame

In April 2002 the new, Mk IIc of the Rhino was released, and a couple of years ago - as part of the Horus Heresy range - Forge World added a resin conversion kit. The parts made it possible on base of the plastic sprues to build a Mk Ic Deimos pattern.

Warhammer 40.000 - Space Marine Rhino Mk IIc Warhammer 40.000 - Space Marine Rhino Mk Ic Deimos Pattern

While doing my research, I stumbled upon the Beardy Hammer Blog on the Mk1 Rhino. Just some additional oldhammer content for you to enjoy.

So, I would like to add a Rhino to my Black Legion project, as well as to the loyal counterpart of the Imperial Fists. Because of that I went out there and got myself two Rhinos moderately in shaped, and I got some spare parts as well to begin with.

Warhammer 40.000 - Oldhammer Rhinos Warhammer 40.000 - Oldhammer Rhinos

The Rhino chassis is used among the Space Marine and Chaos Space Marine range for a couple of other vehicles, like the Predator shown next to it.

Warhammer 40.000 - Oldhammer Space Marine Rhino

So what should you keep an eye out for, when you're looking for a used Rhino kit yourself. With the pictures of the sprue above, you have an overview on what parts belong to the kit.

As you can see from the ones I bought, they are missing the bar on the left and right side. These are rather fragile pieces and often missing or broken. At some point in the 90s, most modellers left them off, as they would break off at some point anyhow. The handle bars of doors in the back are often damaged or missing, as the handle itself is quite thin. The exhaust tips tend to break or in some cases even the whole exhaust pipe is missing. Another usual missing piece are the flag poles, that were kept of for gaming purposes often enough and as you can see from the box picture of the 3rd edition, weren't even used for then.

The old kit had four decal sheets with motives for the Ultramarines, Space Wolves, Blood Angels and Dark Angels. The banners weren't included and often enough taken from templates from the White Dwarf, Rulebooks or Codices, or in some cases simply freehands.

The hull itself is mirrored, so it is the same on top and bottom. As those bits usually aren't seen, you might have spare parts there.

Warhammer 40.000 - Oldhammer Space Marine Rhino Warhammer 40.000 - Oldhammer Space Marine Rhino Warhammer 40.000 - Oldhammer Space Marine Rhino
Warhammer 40.000 - Oldhammer Space Marine Rhino Warhammer 40.000 - Oldhammer Space Marine Rhino

The prices vary a lot, depending on the condition the kit is in, but the Rhino is the easiest to acquire among the vintage Space Marine vehicles. It is quite numerous and was produced for a very long time period. You can buy one 2nd hand at around 10 EUR, it will need some work and there might be pieces missing. If you're just looking for a Rhino, you might as well include incomplete other Space Marine tanks in your search, as those will be cheaper and you can simply either don't use the additional parts or resell them to lower your invest. A pristine rhino new-in-sprue will easily cost you 25-30 EUR and more, with additional upmarks for the packaging (and those will be more expensive the older they are) or even shrink wrap.

I began to dismantle the vehicles, as they would be easier to strip and replace the broken parts this way. In some cases the build is sloppy and you might have excess glue or bad alignment, so depending on how much elbow grease you want to invest, it makes sense to take the time to inspect the items you're buying before hand.

Disassembling kits that were build with super glue are rather easy to do, as you can put them in the fridge and the glue becomes brittle. With plastic cement it is a bit harder, as it melts the pieces together and thus needs more work. A thin and sharp blade is incredibly helpful, just make sure you pay attention to safety. Use a cutting mat, cut away from you and multiple turns with less force will create a cleaner and less risky result.

Warhammer 40.000 - Oldhammer Space Marine Rhino

Stripping metal is quite easy, you put it in aceton or something similar and don't really have to be that careful. With plastic or resin it is a different thing, as many paint cleaners or solving liquids will cause plastic to melt. Therefore I got Isopropanol and gave it a try on a small bit of the kit, to see if it would harm the material and create the result that I am looking for. And what can I say, I am more than satisfied. The piece wasn't sitting in the solution, the Isopropanol was lightly brushed on and the solved paint rubbed off with a piece of tissue.

Warhammer 40.000 - Oldhammer Space Marine Rhino

So that is the next step, dismantle the pieces further. Clean the paint of the bits and parts, and look for spart parts that might be needed. The basic idea so far is, to use the parts that are in reasonable shape to build a Chaos Rhino, the clean parts to  build a loyal Rhino and use the remaining and damaged parts to build some terrain / wracks. Each of these will be covered in detail in an upcoming article.

Posted by Dennis B.

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  1. thanks for posting, this was a great help!

  2. Great research on the editions of the boxed set, just great

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