I literally built the whole thing from the ground up; i.e., I finished the base (weathering and all), then painted up the feet and glued them down, fully painted the legs and glued them onto the feet, etc. This method gives me a sense of progress and prevents me from becoming overwhelmed and taking too many nights off from painting. (Five Sniper Scouts plus Telion took an embarrassing three months to finish thanks to that habit.)
The Ironclad was painted in my usual vehicle style, although I used Mordian Blue as the base coat like I do with my infantry. I'm not really sure why I decided to do that early on, but it may be because I always think of Dreadnoughts as Battle Brothers rather than mere pieces of machinery. Similarly, although all my vehicles bear the black skull over the white circle logo (which I use to show that the vehicle is part of a cohesive force under a single command), my Dreadnoughts lack them. Unlike a Rhino or a Predator, a Dreadnought knows where he belongs.
|Left: my first Dreadnought. Right: my partially completed Ironclad.|
Earlier I was concerned that the use of Macragge Blue for the final dry brushing had given the Ironclad a significant violet tint. By the time the weathering was done, the newer Dreadnought was pretty close in color to the older one (a little Drakenhof Nightshade helped out in places). However, a side by side comparison still shows a slight difference between the two paint jobs. It's not the huge divergence seen between models in my What Color are Ultramarines? post, though, and I can easily live with the difference.
|The finished Ironclad Dreadnought|
Putting the Dreadnought close combat weapon on the right hand was a no-brainer given how useless a single hurricane bolter is. I went with the seismic hammer rather than the chain fist on the left hand based on a little bit of MathHammer. In all cases I assumed that the Ironclad gets the charge bonus and hits on 3s (i.e., it assaults a moving vehicle or a WS3 walker like a Soul Grinder).
The math shows that the chain fist's 2D6 armor penetration is more effective against AV13 and AV14 vehicles. The chain fist will explode AV13 81.5% of the time and AV14 74.1% of the time versus 66.7% and 44.4% respectively for the seismic hammer. However, if you want an all-around vehicle killer and don't expect to be facing Soul Grinders and Land Raiders all the time, the seismic hammer's +1 on the vehicle damage table (which becomes +2 on the table when it's combined with the fact that the weapon is AP2) gives it the advantage against AV10, 11, and 12 while still performing respectably against AV13.
And, admittedly, I think the seismic hammer looks cooler, which usually ends the debate for me.
|The chain fist couldn't possibly look as cool as the seismic hammer|
Given the composition of our Cabal, I went with the dual heavy flamers. Jon employs huge mobs of Orks and bikers, often with significant Loota support, making the heavy flamers the most logical option. The Ironclad will almost always enter play in a Drop Pod, allowing it to lay down two templates of S5 AP4 pain on his Greenskins early in the game.
|The Ork skull on the base might be a hint as to why it's armed the way it is|
I included Ironclad assault launchers thanks to 6th Edition's general unfriendliness towards walkers. The assault launchers act as both offensive and defensive grenades, ensuring that the Ironclad assaults at initiative and preventing those pesky power fists and klaws from getting that charge bonus that could put an early end to the Ironclad's fun.
|An Ironclad gives you a lot of opportunities for trying out weathering effects|
I had a lot of fun with weathering effects, although my techniques are still pretty simple and I rely on dry brushing like it's going out of style. The rocks on the base were painted Codex Grey, washed with Nuln Oil, and dry brushed with Fortress Grey. The sooty regions around the exhaust stacks and at the tips of the heavy flamers were produced with a light dry brushing of Tin Bitz and a heavier dry brushing of Abaddon Black. I used some Nuln Oil to smooth out the effect. Metallic regions were painted with my usual Leadbelchers under coat/Nuln Oil wash/Chainmail dry brush combination. I finished off the model by dry brushing Leadbelchers onto corners and other regions where you would expect paint to be chipped or worn off.
I placed the Ultramarines logo on the right shoulder, which is complemented by a gold Crux Terminatus on the left shoulder. The Ironclad's heavier armor and focus on close combat often remind me of the Terminators' role, so I decided that the Marine interred inside the Ironclad was a veteran trained in the use of Terminator armor at the time he was wounded. The placement of the symbols reflects their location on his Terminator armor.