How to Scratch Build an Onager Dunecrawler

Some time ago, the Mechanicus leaks were doing their rounds and this caught my eye:

Onager Dunecrawler

This picture got my creative gears spinning and I decided to make one of these for myself. The model looked to be a Sentinel cabin with legs that had a gun added on.

I started by constructing 2x2x2 inch foamboard cabins to provide the top of the model. After gluing the foamboard together I shaved it down and added photo matting to the front and back of the cabin for an armored look.

Wave 1 Cabin

Once that was finished and dry, I glued on some details and other bits I had lying around to add visual interest. Old calculator keys became sensor pods, and brackets became weapon mounts. I added glue around the seams to smooth out any rough edges and fill any gaps in the foamboard.


The Dunecrawlers needed weapons to deliver death to the enemies of the Mechanicus so I decided to arm them with plasma cannons. The round base was the top of a paint jar, with a barrel glued on. Some Lego pieces and wire made it look more like the Mechanicus had built it.


The weapon bases were the bottoms of the paint jars that I glued to foamboard and added wire to. The tops pop on and off, so if I want to change weapons I would just have to switch tops.


It was after this point that the Dunecrawler model was released and I could get a full 360˚ view of the model. The release of the Dunecrawler model lead to a final flurry of building activity that finished the model in a day.

To the back of the cabins I attached Computer fans with grating made of picture matting.


To the side of the fan I put on exhaust pipes made out of a pen casing and drinking straws. I also added rivets to the back of the the grating on the fan using a thick mix of paint and glue, a couple layers were necessary to get the desired effect on the rivets.


I added some grates and some pieces I had lying around to finish the back. You can also see a nice shot of the legs (that I forgot to photograph). The legs are 2×0.5 inch long pieces of foarmboard with a 1/4 inch nut at the end. Glued to the nut is a nail with a spring attached. I glued wires to the undersides of the legs and added detailing to the sides of the legs.


I masked the model in masking tape in preparation for priming, as well as gluing on the weapons.


To finish the models I added the communications array to the top of the Dunecrawlers.


There are some pieces that won’t go on until the entire model is painted, such as the communications antenna and some screws, but for now the models are ready to be primed and painted!


Until next time,

– MinisMuse


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