Blacktron I - Heavy Carrier

"Alert! Alert! Rumors that the Blacktron Forces were retreating are incorrect! They are merely regrouping with a new array of war machines! Chief among them is this Heavy Carrier with an 10-soldier complement, two miniships, and a large, three-barreled gun turret. This massive vehicle has only been briefly glimpsed on the battlefield, since nothing remains once it has passed through."

After I disassembled the Futuron version of the MCM, I decided to do a Blacktron I version since I now had a trans-yellow giant dome (tip o' the brick to Chris Dee). Originally, I built the model just like the set, but I soon decided to enhance it as much possible while also trying to keep many aspects of the original design. I eliminated the two cars and miniship in the rear and replaced them with vehicle defense guns and a control center. The locking rear door and ramp mechanism are embellished but essentially the same.

I really wanted to enclose the front cockpit since it always seemed silly to me that the crew had giant, grinding wheels so close on both sides. With more stud space I was able to add some details, like the rear window to the rotation assembly, the additional instrument panels for the driver, and the oxygen vents and vehicle number.

With the added height to the rear of the cockpit, I was able to add some detail to the rotation assembly.

On the left you can see a close-up of one of the pilots.

On the right is a close-up of the driver's postion.

After the driver there are the two miniship commanders, who direct each ship in tandem or separately to locate and laser-rangefind targets for the main cannon that lie beyond the range of the scanners on the carrier itself. All three vehicles are numbered for easy tracking in combat. The main vehicle is #1 and the miniships are #2 and #3.

One of the most challenging features I added was the shock absorbers for both sections of the main vehicle. For some reason I felt that I had to use the same number of wheels to distribute the weight for both sections, which was a problem since the rear gun turret was quite heavy. So I had to find a system that would support both sections with equal tension. I was continually looking for ways to reduce/rebuild/refine the design for the rear section so the shocks wouldn't be overloaded.

Using the new split-slope pieces, I had a blast (hyuk) making the big gun turret. The cannons are poseable with click-hinges and have a full 90 degree range of motion.

Having been a tank turret mechanic in the army, I had more than a few ideas about how to design the interior. On the left you can sorta see the gunner peeking out, and on the right I removed the roof for a better view of the interior and the sighting mechanism.

The rear section consumed most of my time as it was the most redesigned part of the vehicle, but I was able to add some extra details including a control station and several gun emplacements.

I chose the name "Heavy Carrier" so I could use the Adventurer's truck license plate to identify this vehicle as Heavy Carrier # 514. I like the smooth tiles and with the extra length added to the ramp, I was able to add a little unfolding gun station to protect the open door.

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