+ inload: Blood Angels Rhino and Zinge Industries review +

 + Rhino Armoured Personnel Carrier +

+ What do you get if you take hyper-advanced Dark Age colonising technology and tell it to make a tractor that can run on local materials, survive anything short of military-grade technology, repair itself on the run, and carry twenty colonists? +

+ ...and what if you then rediscover this, armour it with inch-thick plating, mount a pair of micro-rocket launchers and stuff it full of the most terrifying human warriors ever created? +

+ Okay, so I've probably spoiled the riddle in the title, but the Imperial Rhino APC is about as classic as is gets. Almost as recognisable as Space Marines themselves, the vehicle is an icon of the army, and of the Imperium in general. +

+ Used in the past by loads of Imperial (and, almost by implication, also Traitor) factions, I'm a bit sad to see it get sidelined from the Space Marines in favour of the new grav vehicles, as brutal tracked vehicles have an appeal to anyone who was raised on war films. Fortunately for me, The M35 Nova Terra Interregnum setting is way before any of that, so Rhinos are still the Astartes' default transport option. +


+ Theoretical: the inspiration +

+ As with the rest of this 'childhood dream' project, the Rhino's intended to reimagine part the GW studio army, beautifully painted by Tim Prow (now of the awesome Diehard Miniatures [+noosphericexloadlink embedded+]). +

+ Pict capture from the back cover of White Dwarf #140 +
+ credit: Games Workshop +


+ Practical +

+ The original model (above) is a lovely clean warm red, with large, bold geometric markings. To give it an 'apologist-style' makeover, my update is a bit more grounded and less striking. +

+ The scheme is a more muted red, to match the rest of my army. I've also used outline markings on the doors, rather than the large flat blooddrop symbol. This was partially because I wanted to keep as much of the red showing (I'm pleased with how it came out), but also because Forge World's Deimos-pattern Mk1C Rhino that I'm using has much more sculpted detail than the original plastic kit. I felt that working the marking into the recesses would have looked odd, as would leaving an odd cog-toothed line running through it. A military-style stencil outline seemed to fit nicely. +

+ As explained in the WD139 article, the white blooddrop here denotes that the Rhino is part of Third Company. Thinking about it, since I've made the minor tweak to include two small flanking blooddrops for that symbol elsewhere in the army (you can see this on the flag above), I ought to go back and adjust the door markings to include these. +

+ Coded symbols +

+ From left to right, the front shows:
  • Army badge – the blue circle. I've used Vallejo Prussian blue to get a dark, desaturated blue for this.
  • Squad marking – the boxed '1' marks this as Squad Raphael's transport.
  • Chapter symbol – The winged blooddrop of the Blood Angels.
+ All of these are copied fairly faithfully from the original; though I've reduced them all in size slightly. The Army Badge has had to be bumped up a bit, as the Deimos Rhino has raised detailing where the original had a flat panel. +

+ I used blue-grey for the vision and targetting lenses here. I could have matched them to the marines' green/orange accents, but thought that a cool dead grey worked well for glass. +

+ The top shows the double-headed arrow that's a common Codex marking denoting a Tactical squad. Background-wise, Epic: Space Marine explained that these markings are intended to assist with orbital (or air-support) identification. A neat idea, and – I'm sure coincidentally – it's a brilliant place for easy reference during a game. +

+ To avoid a flat white look over the more battered red effect, I used a combination of stippling, negative painting (painting carefully to leave little gaps, rather than creating them afterwards), and two or three off-white hues to create a similarly varied and textured finish to the rest of the paintjob. +

+ Musing on this, sometimes paint detailing can really make a game run more smoothly – both for you and the other player(s). 9th edition makes it explicit that you must share what's in each transport vehicle. With this system of markings, it's easy to explain that the white '1' appears both on the transport (on front and back) and also on the banner of its sergeant and veteran. All the Codex markings help with clarity, which make real-world interaction a bit smoother. +


+ Optional upgrades: Review of Zinge Industries' Rhino Upgrade Conversion kit +

+ I'm often guilty of treating transport vehicles as little more than upgrades to squads, painting and using them very much as an after-thought. However, this is a lovely model in and of itself, and I felt it deserved a bit more attention than I usually would to a tank. +

+ To put it another way, gothic warrior-monks from the far future might not have much need for heated seats or air-conditioning, but I added a few bells and whistles to (hopefully) make this über-familiar vehicle a bit more eye-catching. +

+ The most obvious additions are the grab rails and pennants. These, along with a couple of other details like the top hatch handles and storage crates, are missing from the modern plastic Rhino. I suspect this is partially because the plastic rails and banner poles of the original were notoriously fragile. +

+ I really wanted to include them on my re-imagined version, and in stepped Zinge Industries, which produces a Rhino upgrade conversion kit [+noosphericexloadlink embedded+] designed precisely for this purpose. The kit comes with four resin grab rail ends; two lengths of plastic tubing to form the rail itself; a 'sprue tree' of various handles (giving you some options); two resin flags and two resin crates. +

+ It's a very cleverly designed upgrade kit, as it includes two oddly-shaped pieces of resin that fit perfectly into the recesses on either side of the sloping rear of the Rhino track units, creating a flush surface for the crates to sit on. You can see how cleanly and well-cast they are above: there's no filling there at all – just a dot of superglue to place it. +

+ You need to trim the styrene tubing to length, but you get a reassuring amount of it in the kit – I used just one of the lengths for both sides, so if you accidentally trim it too short, you should still be alright. +

+ Indeed, the quality of the kit is very good, particularly given the budget price (£8). All the parts are made from a sturdy resin that's a pleasure to work with: neither brittle nor soft. 
The kit is cleanly cast, with very little flash and no bubbles, distortion, shrinkage or other casting defects. +

+ The flags are perhaps a little thick, but that's a very minor criticism. I used some hot water to reshape the flags, and they responded very well. Here, the thickness was a virtue, as it meant I could twist them quite vigorously without the banner pole itself bending. +

+ There's a cheaper (£6) option, too, which leaves out the sprue of handles. If you're planning to upgrade a fleet of tanks, you might save a few quid by using different handles on each. The sprue tree comes with enough handles to outfit six tanks. +

In short, Zinge have produced a fantastic little upgrade kit that I have no reservations whatsoever about recommending. Affordable, well-designed, versatile and tough – a bit like the Rhino itself! +


  1. More fantastic work - and I have to say, I thought the base would be off-putting, but it really works well here (shouldn't be surprised with your skills). The Rhino APC is indeed a classic, and I mourn its passing in the GW model range - I assume it is only a matter of time until all of the old Space Marine models are binned.

    1. Hopefully it's a case of old material lying fallow, than coming back. The Rhino's got a future somewhere; but whether it's as part of the Space Marines, I don't know. Maybe it'll be consigned to the Horus Heresy era, but I hope not.

  2. This is such a brilliant work! All the tiny details bring 'something' more to the model. I honestly think you made an outstanding job here.

    1. I don't think working on this has convinced me to go all-in on tanks, but it was surprisingly enjoyable to paint. Thanks for the kind words, too.

  3. Love all of this Rhino. Such a great look- and the hollow logo suits your style. Agree with you on the new grav stuff- one longstanding lore point in favour of the Rhino is that it's used on practically every world- and although supply lines work as plot demands, officially they aren't great in 40k(particularly for the Gatebreakers).

    Love the idea of marines saving a far flung agri world and then absconding with half their Land Crawler and Rhino components while the victory parades are still marching.

    1. Ha, that's a brilliant conceit. Might make a fun narrative game, too; the local militia trying to prevent Space Marine auxiliary forces (Chapter serfs led by a techmarine) from pinching their gear.

  4. Great work on this icon vehicle. The texture is just great, and I used the brush!

    1. I was very pleased with the stippling effect. Quite tempted to use it elsewhere now...


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