Saturday, August 6, 2011

Rebel Minis Apache MATV

Well, it was inevitable. The Comanche, a near-future take on the present-day Oshkosh M-ATV, was/is a very successful design for Rebel Minis, and sold very well. Mike and I decided that the same treatment could be applied to the venerable HUMVEE platform, utilizing some of the same components.

So, starting with the same frame as the Comanche, design work started on what eventually became the Apache MATV. The Apache is an up-armored Hummer, with a futuristic (but not too futuristic) touch.

The only trick was adapting something pre-existing to a frame that was already prototyped, while making room for large tires and wheels that are utilized on both the Comanche and Gila vehicles, all the while making a design that was not only functional, but appealing. No problem, right? Well, kinda...

The Hummer is a pretty basic build. Nothing too terribly complicated. There are many versions of the Hummer, but I decided to focus on the "hardback" version of the vehicle, one which was often utilized as a weapons platform by Heavy Guns when I was still in, but in its updated, up-armored form.

After I got the "getting to know you" part of everything sorted out, the structural component of the sculpt, next came the actual detailing. I wanted to add bits that looked like extra armor paneling, which could pass as laser-reflective panels, ablative shielding, or reactive armor, but which wouldn't overwhelm or make the build look too busy. Hopefully, this "futuristic, but no overly so" affect was achieved.

The weapons from the Comanche MATV were put into use as well. The Apache, like the Comanche, is capable of having its weapons mounted on an integral socket in the hull, or an armored turret that rotates over the pre-existing hatch, with the same type of socket. It was a nice solution, I think, that gives the end user some customization options.

And there you have it. The Apache MATV from Rebel Minis. I hope you like it. My compliments, also, to Jeff Racel for his always-cool paint jobs.

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