Cornixt's Alternative CD war machines - blog

I’ve seen a few army lists lately that have been designed for 6th edition but feature the Chaos Dwarf ForgeWorld war machines. I didn’t buy the models when they came out due to being a bit poor at the time and not really playing the game, so I didn’t really consider them much. They looked cool, but that was about it. So now I am a bit more into the hobby again and I’ve been looking at the models with a critical eye, and I don’t really like what I am seeing structurally.

Clearly they were built with the train concept in mind - the Iron Daemon pulling at the front, the Dreadquake Mortar in the middle, and then the Magma Cannon or Death Shrieker at the end. This is a bit annoying since you’re stuck with the same layout and can’t even include them all in one train.

So my plan is to design alternative versions that can belong all in one train (of any number of war machines), and can be set up with 360 degrees or shooting from each section. The Dreadquake is already all-direction and double-ended, so I’ll leave that alone for now (but possibly design my own anyway for completeness) but the Magma Cannon and Death Shrieker need to be overhauled. I’ll try to keep the firing “barrel” similar to the official designs so that it is easy to tell what it is, but the rest of the model will probably be a four-wheeled train car that matches the same footprint as the original. I’ll put the 3D designs online for free like all my other designs.


I’ve kind of sized out the overall proportions for the Magma Cannon for the draft of how it will look. The Death Shrieker will use the same base. Loads of detail to add, changing the currently abrupt shapes into curves that will more resemble the FW model. But it won’t be a replica (other people have already done that) and maybe not even that good looking in the end, but at least a good starting point.


Got the wheels 90% done and had a go at the barrel shape. Added a couple of magma storage tanks underneath. It’s all being done with the aim to be printed with an FDM printer. This limits the design a bit, but if I split up parts in a clever way then it should work out okay.


At this stage, I realised that I don’t know the height of the train hook-up. I might have to do a best guess, but if anyone has one and can measure the distance between the ground and the hook-up loop, I can make this able to connect to the Dreadquake.


Yeah I can help. I guess there’s a certain variety due to resin etc. but it’s about 12mm from the ground to the underside of the loop.


Excellent, thank you.

Turned out that my dead-reckoning was very good and I’d put it only 1mm out. Not had much time lately, so just filled out a little detail on a few areas - the magma funnel and barrel, plus a Hashut symbol on the side that I might remove to reduce hassle for copyright reasons.


What about adding a hand spun wheel to the side of the cannon. When turned it would change angle of elevation. Something below the cannon portruding up. Just an idea


Yes, I’m planning to add something similar to the Earthshaker, a kind of cradle under the barrel that slides to raise it up. Spindley things don’t print well in FDM, so it might be controlled by more of a solid wheel. There also needs to be a firing handle of some kind - I might cheat and just use a sewing pin, but I need a box to attach it to.


The last little bits are difficult to design in a way that looks good. I’ve added detail to the main barrel, but it still needs a bit more work, and added interesting parts to the boiler. Detail is where prints tend to fail, so placing them well is key to it all. At the same time, I’m thinking ahead to how I will make the same model look like it can fire rockets, and how to remove the train part so it can be a standalone war machine. Might be as simple as just removing the main metal layer and adding feet.

I’ve been looking at a “Doom Train” on Cults3d for some inspiration. I think I will end up chopping the design up so I can print it in FDM and have it pulling the Magma Cannon and Death Shrieker. So many delicate parts that only work in resin.

I’m a bit unfocused, but with no timescale I have no need to feel stressed, just makes me less motivated.


I’ve finished the detail and main design. I’m not entirely happy with the large platform - I tried to make it interesting but also easy to print, but it just looks a bit odd. I might just make it look like an industrial catwalk, but that does seem a bit futuristic rather than steampunk. I guess I can always offer alternative versions. I’ve already got two different hookups to match the Forgeworld stuff and the “Doom Train” that someone has put online (Free 3D file Disorganized Dwarfs Train of Doom・3D print design to download・Cults). I’ve been deconstructing the Doom Train so that I can print a version on my FDM printer - it’s a great model but none of the pipes will work at all (I’m surprised that they even print well in resin, they are barely attached in some places and very delicately placed) and a lot of parts would need messy supports. Messing with this model has probably been more about procrastinating on making decisions that would complete my own model. I plan to design some alterations so that it can be converted into a Skullcracker by removing the cannonades and adding some big hammerpicks that look similar in style to the Forgeworld things.

Sneaky peek at the initial very rough mockup (my bits in blue):

Right now I am portioning out the parts of the Lava Cannon into separate stl files. There are a few parts that I still need to figure out for if they are used mechanically to spin the turret in a different direction, and to connect the turret to the boiler. Maybe needs some washers in there too. It would take hardly any time to do, it just takes the motivation that I am low on right now. This is why I start so many more projects than I finish, always so much more motivated at the start than the end.


And it’s done. At least released. I haven’t tried printing it out or anything yet. Still have some areas I want to add to or improve (platform, wheels, handles), but if I did that it wouldn’t never get out there.

I’ve uploaded all my digital files in 3mf form so you should be able to edit them a little better than the straight stl if you want to modify anything.


Finally got it fully printed. Had a go at doing it all without any supports, which didn’t work out all that well for some of the arrow designs. None of the handles printed well, they are just too small. Even the tow hook didn’t work, probably best to make one from wire.

I’ll have a go at painting it up before Xmas.


Looks cool! I’m sure it will be quite nice with the Iron Daemon.

Those wheels are super nice. I’m sure you…we…us workers…could find a use for them in a lot of places. I think I’d rather have them, than a lot of the stock machines of war wheels.

What happened to the gun nozzle? Looks like you got carried away with a bit of sandpaper.

The nozzle weirdness was a combination of no supports and the table I had the printer on was shaking a bit. I tried to file it into a the shape it was meant to be, not sure how much better it will look when painted.

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You could paint the end burnt/singed, i dont think you will notice after. I think it looks great and its probably really strong being done in plastic rather than resin

Looks pretty good when painted, most of the nastiness is hidden. Borrowed the crew of another war machine. The gearing all works, 360 degrees.


That came out really well! It will look ever better as part of a train, any plans to expand on this?

I planned to print a train over xmas, but my printer needs a new part and I’m still awaiting delivery.

In the meantime, I’m going to design a rocket variant of the lava cannon and a variant of the train that is more like a Skullcracker.