Saturday, April 02, 2005

Gear Krieg Kit-bashing

right view, originally uploaded by Wahj.

I keep getting distracted. I know I'm supposed to be working on my DBA armies, but sometime last yesterday, I got it into my head to build one more walker for the Gear Krieg games.

This is the most ambitious kit-bash I've worked on to date. I put in a lot more detail into the mechanisms of the legs, and the details on the weapons, than for my previous walkers. This one is loosely based on the 'Uller' in the Gear Krieg rulebooks ('loosely', because Gear Krieg miniatures are all in 15mm scale, hence the need to scratchbuild or kitbash if one wants a miniature in 20mm scale). My previous Gear Krieg models are in this gallery.

The hull comes from an Airfix kit (Puma recce vehicle), and along with the tracks (Airfix US halftrack) and the front wheels, are the only 'kit' parts: everything else is the 'bashed' part. You can see from this photograph of the unpainted model the frankensteinian montage of parts assembled to make it.

Unpainted model, originally uploaded by Wahj.

The weapon in the right arm is what the rulebook calls a grosspanzerfaust, i.e. a Really Big Panzerfaust. Purely fictional, of course (but then again gigantic mecha in World War Two are about as fictional as can be). The weapon on the left arm is something of my own devising, a recoiless rifle with 6 rotating chambers, and a perforated venturi. It makes sense that on a vehicle that is less stable and massive than a tank, any large calibre weapons would be recoiless, to avoid toppling the vehicle over. I vaguely recalled reading about a German 75mm recoiless rifle that was developed for their fallschirmjager (parachutists), and I had that in mind when I designed the gun. The 6 chambers are there because I wondered how the crew could possibly reload the thing, so I gave them 6 rounds to fire before someone has the dicey job of crawling outside and manually reloading the weapons.

left view, originally uploaded by Wahj.

The strange 'shield' surrounding the grosspanzerfaust is something that appears in the Gear Krieg designs. Besides looking cool (which is why I included it), it is probably modelled after the shield on the panzerschrek, which was a much tinier thing designed to protect the firer's face from the blast as the rocket was launched. It has no real logical purpose on a vehicle, but, as I said, it looks cool. This is obviously a one-shot weapon, since the crew can't possibly reload it, but judging by the diameter of the shaped-charge, it should demolish any tank it hits - somewhere in my education I recall being told that a shaped charge could penetrate a thickness of armour at least 4 times the diameter of the charge, as a rough gauge. According to scale, that shaped-charge would be 72x5mm, or 360mm in diameter, and could reasonably slice through 2880mm of armour. If it were real.

front view, originally uploaded by Wahj.

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