Wednesday, February 17, 2010


I've been pondering, bouncing ideas off Mike, the man behind Rebel Minis.

We've come up with a classification for mechanized armors that are larger than power armors, but smaller than light mechs. Something akin to Scopedogs, Heavy Gears, Amp Suits, and what have you. It can't fit through a doorway, but it can take cover behind a wall, or single-story building. Weaponry is on par with a light tank, or other light fighting vehicle, with the possibility of modular upgrades of weaponry as the mission dictates. I also wanted to have the thing reload its magazines from a giant-sized form of magazine pouches, like modern infantrymen. Call it an homage to my own personal ground-pounder experience.

"Micromechs" didn't have the right sound. So, as is often the case, I make an acronym to fit a smooth-sounding label. It came to me after some musing. I wanted something strong, powerful, and blunt. I said to myself, Self, what's blunter than a hammer?

I fit words like puzzle pieces to conform to the end result I wanted. In this case, the ends justified the verbal means.

Heavy Assault Manned Robot. HAMR. An easy corruption by future grunts would be "Hammer" Suit.

SO, Mike signed off on it, and away we went. We wanted to do our own spin on the Amp Suit from Avatar, but with a bit more smoother lines, and it had to blend into the Earth Force design theme. This was the first sketch...

Here are the weapons I digitally sculpted up...

And here's how the weapons and sketch initially scaled out against a pair of Waldos (chunky reference humans)...It grew a few tenths of an inch during sculpting, for a greater presence.

Now, the 800 pound gorilla in the room: is this a rip-off of Cameron's Amp Suit? My definitive answer is no. Jim wasn't the first guy to hang a weapon and a knife on a dozen-foot-tall mech. Gasaraki, Votoms, Heavy Gear, even the GW Crisis Suit all immediately spring to mind. They're all about twice the size of a man (or larger), a pilot sits in the chest, and they use large rifles and bladed implements to peel tanks open like tin cans. There is nothing new under the sun. This is just my (and Mike's) personal spin on things.

Is the Hammer Suit concept influenced by the above-mentioned items? Sure. Why not. Everything is an influence on everything. Don't let it worry you too much.

That's all I have for now. This bad boy has already been finished, prototyped, and will be heading to molding pretty soon. Mike will do a more extensive reveal as the week progresses, most likely through our friend Mark over at Dropship Horizon (see blog sidebar). A Hammer Suit is in development for the major factions of Rebel's 15mm sci-fi forces. Wait until you see the Titan Marines', Sahadeen's, and possibly even the Scourge's entries into the fray...

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