Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Building a Lance Transport Dropship part 1

I play Warhammer 40k with my brother, and there's a vehicle that brings Space Marine infantry down to the surface to 'hot drop' deploy on the battlefield. I've always wanted to find a way to introduce dropships into standard games, and have them at the right scale to the mechs, and had an idea. I could buy a space marine drop pod, with all its side hatches in closed position as the dropship's 'hull', put landing gears on the bottom, and build a mech sized bay hatch in one side.

Here's my rules for the Mobility Lance Transport, and then below that is part 1 of building the dropship.

My idea is called the 'Mobility Lance Transport': 

Basically, instead of being a big slow interplanetary transport, the Mobility is designed to quickly redeploy lances as reinforcements to trouble zones in different parts of the same planet currently being fought over.

  • Before play, a single lance can be designated as a 'reinforcement' lance. At the start of the fourth turn of the game, roll 1d6. On a 6, the Mobility arrives with its reinforcements. Otherwise, at the start of the next turn roll again. On a 5+ it arrives. Next turn, 4+, etc.
  • If it arrives, the player designates any location on the table as the drop zone. 
  • They then roll a scatter die (a die with two Targets and four Arrows). 
  • If they roll the Target, the Mobility lands at that location successfully. 
  • An arrow means it comes down off target. Roll 2d6, and the ship comes down that many inches in the direction that the arrow is facing. (or roll 4d6 and come down that many centimetres) 
  • If the Mobility can not physically land at that location, it means the ship crashed, and the mechs cannot deploy. They are considered salvage if salvage rules are in play. 
  • If the scatter roll places the Mobility off of the table, it means that something went wrong (such as the ship getting shot down while on its way there) and the ship and the mechs are out of the battle.

I don't have my own space marine drop pod yet, but I borrowed my brother's one, to see how it is scale wise. I quite like it's size for the basis of a lance transport model. It's a pretty big model, but not so big that it would fill up the table. 

Part One is to work out how to put landing gear on the bottom. A guy on the battletech forums built a dropship from a star wars death star toy, and used star wars AT-AT legs/feet to make landing gears, and that looked pretty good. I didn't want to pull apart an AT-AT toy just for landing gears though, and couldn't find a model the right size anyway, so I looked through my stuff to see if anything might work. 

I came up with this idea: 

Cut three legs off two Mechwarrior AgroMech mk II miniatures (available for just a few dollars on ebay)

Take three 25mm round miniatures bases.

Make three small, round blobs of Green Stuff. Place one in the middle of each base, and press the top of each leg down onto a base - so that the bottom of the foot is raised in the air and flat.

The three 'landing gears' can be attached to the bottom of the drop pod. (I haven't attached them here, as it is my brother's pod I've borrowed, I've just sat it resting on top of the legs to see if it worked.) The landing gear idea came out all right! Just has to be painted.

Once I buy a space marine drop pod, I'll design some mech bay doors and maybe a ramp. Stay tuned over the next few weeks! The first one will be a Federated Commonwealth Mobility. If it works well, I'll build a second one to be a Kurita Mobility.

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