Saturday, April 16, 2011

For the Motherland!

Soviet assault walker
15mm scale




The war walkers produced by Allies and Axis alike captured the interest of Comrade Stalin, and he ordered production of a "robot" to support mass infantry charges. The Christie walking suspension was overly costly for Soviet production, so a simpler non-transforming leg mechanism was devised, and the walkers transported over distance by trucks. Armament varied; this one carries a 20 mm ShVAK autocannon and a rocket launcher adapted from a captured German Nebelwerfer.

Due to the walkers' awkward toddling gait they gained the nickname "железа ребенка" (Iron Baby) among Soviet soldiers. Operation required considerable skill, and drivers enjoyed being considerably less expendable than their comrades on foot.

This was a fun conversion from a Khurasan Miniatures sci-fi walker. I just generally down-tech'ed it, giving it a more gas-powered look and fixing some bad design (pointless asymmetry - why?) and building the Nebelwerfer out of sprue.

6 comments:

  1. Once again, another cool alt WWII piece. Did you write the backstory for it, or is that from a game?

    My only complaint about the design is that the cooling system doesn't seem to be connected to the actual engine; at least not by any system of hoses visible. I suppose they might be going right between the pilot's legs, which would make for an uncomfortable ride I'd think.

    At some point before clicking "publish your comments" I had to ask myself if I was really going to complain about the radiator placement on a WWII Soviet "Iron Baby" walker. Yes. Yes, I am.

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  2. Thanks for the feedback! Nitpick away :) I can still modify the design, though I would think that radiator hoses would be behind armour if possible. The rad is on the front mainly to make it look more "diesel-y" and less sci-fi.

    I whipped up the back story myself, this isn't for any particular game. Partly it just covers why this is a totally different design from the Gear Krieg walkers.

    The vague, goofy resemblance to a "Killa Kan" is unintentional, but interesting.

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  3. Love the 'Iron Baby'. Minis that create stories in the makers mind are by far the best part of this hobby. Looking foward to it seeing some paint.

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  4. I've been watching the pics several times since you posted those back on April 16th but did not leave any comment yet due to mixed feelings about it.

    I'm not sure that this imitation of clumsy movement does fit 15mm well... looks more suited for 28mm (heroic creeped up scale) future orcs.

    I also suppose my love for Russia (I already was like that even before being there some days) has something to do too. It's like I sometimes don't agree with just picturing russian tech as low and chunky.

    Maybe I'm more comfortable with a bigger, blockier stuff... maybe with a little outdated tech vibe or maybe some Nicola Tesla imaginery to it.

    I consider that red alert 3 and singularity (both videogames) portrayed a satisfactory (IMHO) russian future-retro tech.

    But again it's matter of personal tastes and maybe I'm just rambling nonsensical stuff.

    On the other hand I think this will look awesome painted, bringing it to life. The flag guy was a great adition.

    Finally I'd suggest drilling holes into the exhaust tube. I know for sure there are small enough sets of drills.

    Last but not least, after all the pain I sufered from having to smoothen out a miniature that was created with extremely rough surface it came to my mind that on the contrary,your 15mm model would benefit from selective texturing it. You know, like the grit you get from GW texture spray can, just blocked into the armor plating (cockpit, legs...) leaving all the gears, tubes (machinery in general, weapons and pilo) smooth. That would create an ilusion of heavy geared mech. On paper, at least, I'm not sure how that would work.

    I'll be looking forward seing it painted, cheers :)

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  5. To be fair, advanced industrial capacity WAS a bit of a novelty in Russia until WW2. A lot of the country was still at a 19th-century tech level, horses and all. I don't think the Iron Baby is "crude", it's effective, but not elegant or designed for operator comfort.

    I'll see what I can do about adding a bit of "texture", but some paint has already happened so it's iffy.

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  6. ...aint it painted yet? I'd love to see it even in wip status.

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Thanks for commenting!