The intricacies of making a futuristic weapon look workable has always intrigued me. The thinking behind the form and function of successful military hardware is usually very sharp and to the point; if it didn’t have a purpose, a design point would quickly become redundant and likely disappear in the next iteration. Good military hardware must function, must function well in difficult environments (including stupid users), and must be built cheaply in both initial cost and ongoing maintenance cost.
When I did up my Stormraven (as seen above), one of the problems was that the hurricane bolters were meant to block off the side doors, which I prefer to still have access to. That led to a redevelopment of the hurricane bolter, but still utilizing parts from the kit. While the new location is adequate, the weapons itself is a poor fit. The construction meant the plastic warped inwards, creating stress on the moving part, and it’s also ungraceful and looks awkward.
After nearly losing the parts, i sat down to seriously rethink the weapon design. As it turns out, at that time there were three hurricane bolter models; the old metal Land Raider Crusader parts, the new Land Raider Crusader plastic parts, and finally the Stormraven plastic parts. All turned out problematic from a weapon design perspective:
- the weapon reused the bolter fore grip, sights and magazine wells. All of which are pointless in a vehicle scale weapon.
- the weapon, for the LR versions, has individual ammo feed for each bolter. Which is a maintenance nightmare and complicates the feed mechanism heavily.
- the ammo requirements are often hand-waved away.
- the mount for the weapon is usually huge and unwieldy.
So basically.. It sucked.
… Where’s the ammo feed?
Back to the drawing board.
So, essentially because of the geometry of the basic bolter design, it’s damn near impossible to group six unmodified bolters together and still have any semblance of grace and functionality. You get one, at best; the other goes out the window. So to improve the design, basically have to tear down the weapon and start from scratch.
So that’s what I did. More on that in a separate post.