For the Choppa? (or how to convert Ork Warbikes aka american Chopper)

One of my favorite models is the Ork Warbike, but some time you just need more. Enter stage left the Nob Warbikers! one of the most spectacular unit in warhammer 40k! with a stat line to die for, more saves than Dante hiding behind a rhino, and just cool looking! nothing strikes fear quicker than these suped up killing machines.

One Problem. It one of the Kits GW haven’t made yet. Now I know you can make Nob bikers from the kit, but this is more like the Squad leader, rather than the mega killer unit.

Solution? Forge world kits or Major conversion time! As an ork player, the first choice is attractive, but the second is the one for me.

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Now I could blog on about the conversion, but I will just focus on the ‘chop’ section of the conversions.

Quick history lesson-the term chopper is from the States, where bikers ‘chopped’ the frame of bikes, often at the neck, just below the Handel bars, increasing the ‘rake’ of the forks, which then were extended making crazy looking bikes. Add a fat back tyre and small front wheel and your off.This sounds easy on the ork Bike kit, buit it can present a few issues. I think I have found a solution and below is the ‘How I do it’, discovered this by trial and error. I would welcome any feedback.I have never done a blog like this before, so lets give it a go.

Materials

OrkWarbike Kit (inc the bases)

Plactic rod (2mm) (metal is fine)

Plastic Tube (4mm) (make sure the hole is 2mm and the smaller Rod will fit inside it snuggly)

plastic box section or tube (5mm)

Tools

Craft knife

Drill Vice with 2mm and 1mm bits

Glue

green stuff

Craft file

Blue tac

Basic Prep

Clean up the plastic kit in the normal fashion, Glue the wheel and front mud Guard/Armour together. Cut 2 lengths of 2mm plastic rod to equal lengths about 4mm longer than you want the forks. ( i usually go for about 22mm, leaving the forks about 18mm long) you can extend them as much as you want, but don’t forget the longer the forks, the more the handle bars will drop, making harder to mount the rider.

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Stage 1 ‘Da Chop’

The First cut is deepest, but is also the most important. Cut the front forks off the bike. All 3 bikes have brake cables, I find it easier to cut just behind these between the forks and the fuel tank. Glue the 2 halves of the bike body together. trim off the Brake cable, After all what will you Nob bikers do with Brakes?

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It’s now time to cut the forks. It is essential to keep both ends of the forks. Cut the wheel end first (the Brake hubs). This reduces the risk of the bit flying off. One the Bikes also has springs on the forks (the one with the track unit at the back), these will need to be trimmed off. the section of removed forks can be discarded. trim the 4 parts to ensure they are smooth. Don’t forget the parts are ‘handed’ the same hub must be matched to the same ‘tree’ (the top of the forks that where handle bars sit) Don’t smooth off the back of the ‘trees’ you will get sort this later. you need the extra plastic while assembling the trees later.

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Stage 2 ‘Lock and Load’

The next step is to drill the 4 parts. I start with the 1mm drill bit, drill at the center each part, where the fork used to join part. then swap to the 2 mm Bit. Drill about 2 mm down, you don’t need to go to deep as the conversion is fairly strong.

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Once drilled out, glue the 2mm Plastic road into the brake hubs. ( i always check the fit first). cut 2 lengths of Plastic Tube (4mm) the same length (about 4 mm shorter than the plastic rod). Trim the ends down to match the ends of the 4 parts. The top section will be at a 45 degree angel, the hub end on 2 bikes is flat and the other is angled about 45 degree angel. It is a bit of trial and error to get the correct match, but it does not have to be perfect.

Slide plastic tube over plastic rod and the Check the fit. you can trim it down some more and if there is a small gap, don’t worry, you can fill it with Green stuff latter.

While this is drying take the 2 ‘tree’ ends and the glue them to the face plate. this will not only strengthen the top of the forks, but will also align the forks ready for gluing.

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While all the parts are drying, cut a small section of the plastic box section or tube, about 4 or 5 MM and trim one end to a shallow angel. this is glued to bike section, where the forks once sat. you don’t need to worry too much about the angel as you will need to shape it later. the ‘flat side of the box section should be against the tank. the angle show be with the widest section at the bottom. slopping upwards to the top of the model. Glue the Bike to the Base at the rear wheel, placing a small ball of Bluetac under the frame. use this to ensure that model is sitting level. (use the guns a guide to gauge this)

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It is essential to allow this dry. this will form a key joint on the model. while this is drying, you can go back to working the fork. gather the forks, wheel, mud guard and the ‘trees’.  check all the parts fit and are the same length. You can trim the tubing down to match. or drill the top holes out if needed. once you are happy with the balance, glue the forks to the trees, making sure you get them the correct handed sides (just remember the break disc’s go at the front.) Glue the wheel in place before the glue dries. while still malleable, balance out the forks making sure they are straight.

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You can then add the front Mudguard. This will strengthen the assembly, ready for the model to completed. While this drying finish the model assembling the rest of the bike, adding guns and exhausts. This will be important later as the lines can be effected when you add the forks.

Once all the Parts have dried you need to smooth off the backs of the ‘trees’ you are then ready to assemble your Choppa.

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Stage 3 ‘Dis bit goes ‘ere..’

Now sit the forks on the front of the Model to check the lines. If the forks sit ‘off’ the box section, just file the box section down to fit. It is really important to check the fit of the model. Try it with the rider in the place and the handle bars stuck on using bluetac to hold it all together. Make sure the bars are not to close to face of the rider. You can resolve this by sliding the forks forward, don’t over do it, as you may end up with the handle bars out of reach of the arms.

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Once you are happy glue the forks to the frame and front wheel to the base. use some bluetac to support the wheel. let this dry fully.

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For my Nob bikes, i add 2 Stormboyz rocket packs, giving the model a true feel of speed.

Stage 4 Add the Nob.

Once dry, You need to add the rider. This can be a pain, but can make or break the Model. I have found the best way is to put the legs on the seat. Trim one end of the handle bars off, matching which ever arm you are using to hold the handlebars. The Nob arm that comes with the Bike kit is best. Bluetac the handle bars to the bike. Glue the Body to the legs, and the arm to the Body. Now glue the arm to handle bars. while all the bits are still setting you will be able to manipulate the model to line up. the shoulder may not line up. again, Green stuff can rescue this! I usually finish off with shoulder pad to cover any untidiness.

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Let this all settle and dry. Once dry neaten up and fill and gaps with green stuff. finish of the rider.

Thats It!

I tend to mix the units weapon. so I will be creating 3 with Klaws, 3 with ‘uge choppas and 3 with Choppas. one of the choppas will also have a Waaagh banner (+1 ws to the squad). The last will be the Pain boy (Feel no Pain to the whole squad and they can then take Cyborg bodies, 5+ invulnerable save) the 10 strong squad costs rumbles in at a whopping 505 Pts!

I hope this was of some use. while this is How I do it, I am sure there are many ways to approach this problem and you can find all sorts of other ideas on the web.

Let me know what you think of method and if you use them The please send me pics!

By for now, but remeber- Red uns Go faster!

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