Monday, February 7, 2011

Kramer's Krusher: Warjack Converted To 15mm HAMR Suit, Part 2







About this time last year (early 2010) I was designing the first of the HAMR suits for Rebel Minis. I wanted the concept to spread, so I started to cobble together a design in my head, based on an old piece of text I had written years ago. The HAMR suit was a custom rig, a mix of ancient, infused magic and bolt-on technology.

I figured that with the right bits and backstory, 28mm scale dreadnoughts, warjacks, and other large bots (say, around 2 inches and larger) could be converted to custom 15mm/1:100th scale HAMR suits. This was the proof-of-concept model, and I like how it turned out.

I have always liked the look of Privateer Press' early mercenary faction, in particular the out-of-production Nomad heavy merc warjack. I managed to find one on ebay. Upon receipt of the model, I dove into my bits box, did a lot of chopping and puttying, and came up with the armored nightmare you see here.

I made the mistake of using flat black as my primer coat. Not a good idea if you want a bold red paintjob for your mercenary hot rod HAMR suit. Many, many, many coats of red eventually showed up. Note to self: Grey primer next time. Black just sucks the color into the abyss.

As to the paintjob itself, well, yes, it is a bit wet looking. I admit to using just a teensy weensy bit of gloss clearcoat to seal in the black ink wash. Perhaps a bit too much. I'll hit it with some matte varnish, and we'll see how that turns out.

And, of course, my wife's camera always picks out the flaws in any paintjob instantly. I think she paid extra for that feature.

Best,
JBR

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The backstory (if you're interested in a lot of boring text) for the suit is this:

The Heavy HAMR suit known as Kramer's Krusher is renowned throughout the transdimensional arenas and TransMerc Guild for its ability to withstand staggering amounts of punishment, and dish out even more. The suit has a very unorthodox origin, something which its pilot uses to her advantage on both the armored gladiator arena floor and on side-job missions. That pilot, of course, is the fiery, independent, and not unattractive Jessica Kramer, merc HAMR pilot and gladiatrix extraordinaire.

Kramer found the Krusher four standard years ago while running a private armored security detail for an expedition that was researching a burned-out magic world. When the armor was discovered, it was only a toppled, hollow shell, one of many that littered an ancient battlefield. Its rune-inscribed hull was tarnished but intact. The brass and iron innards of the machine had long since crumbled and rusted away. The scientists and mage-scholars she was protecting theorized that it had been some form of giant golem or war machine. Seeing its potential, she claimed the armor in exchange for her hefty service fee, a trade to which the expedition's financier, a large but frugal Arcturian university, readily agreed.

Upon her return to Interspace, Kramer sold her famous custom Legionnaire Mk.II, The Iron Matilda, to an up-and-coming rookie in the Caligula Arena Leagues. Kramer had forged her reputation in the Matilda, a stolen Terran Principality mech, upgrading it with both advanced targeting systems for ranged engangements and superior actuators for close combat. The rookie, an heir to a transdimensional trading company fortune and trust fund, paid full price for the Matilda, sight unseen. The money financed the construction of the Krusher, and then some.

The rookie paid an even higher price, later, when he was foolish enough to bribe his way into the Open-Unlimited brackets of the Caligula Leagues, taking on opponents far beyond his piloting abilities. His father had a duramantium memorial plaque plasma-arced into that spot on the arena floor.

The Krusher took a solid year to build from the ground up. Kramer, the only child of a pair of mecha technicians, grew up in maintenance bays, and did most of the work herself. She designed the subframe and cockpit herself, machining it on a giant NeuHaas automated machining center that dominates an entire wing of her private hangar. Brembeaux actuators and control wire harness give the suit astounding maneuverability for something so big. Having a pre-formed armor carapace freed up funds to splurge on other features, and Kramer did so with gusto.

A chromed and polished New Jovian SunPulse IV microfusion turbine was installed as the beast's new power source. Even with the advanced turbine redlined, the dual Wyvern Industries plasma throwers on the left arm are massive power drains, and require a charging period between blasts. To compensate for the Wyverns' slow rate of fire, Kramer installed a pair of Arc Fleet gatlings she "obtained" on the black market as coaxial weapons.

The giant blade in the Krusher's right hand is, like the Krusher itself, an amalgamation of the arcane and the futuristic. When Jessica found the wrecked armor, this blade had been run though the fallen titan. Just like the hull, Kramer restored the massive sword, and incorporated a heavy vibrational frequency generator into it. It tears through technological and magical opponents with equal ease, often cleaving them with a single stroke.

The armored "loincloth" the HAMR suit wears at its midsection is actually a section of track from a main battle tank Kramer knocked out on the Krusher's first mission. It serves as both protection for the subframe's hip unit, and as a war trophy. It is also the inspiration of jokes and pranks among her fellow merc pilots. One even went so far as to attach a giant grass hula skirt to the Krusher right before an escort mission. Kramer got him back later, painting all his missile warheads and cannon muzzles pink.

Jessica Kramer recently scored an endorsement deal with Uncle Beelzebub's Red Death Bourbon, a distiller and distributor of extremely potent ethyl-alc intoxicants, to appear (along with the Krusher) in their latest ad campaign. The deal nearly fell through after Kramer broke the first negotiator's legs. The fool had insisted that she appear in the commercials and advertisements wearing a revealing parody of a HAMR pilot's control suit. A second representative for the company managed to close the deal, with Ms. Kramer's suggested changes to the contract (and wardrobe) eagerly agreed to.
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