Thursday, 2 February 2017

RAFM Hunter Commando

     

I can see why old Heavy Gear grognards lament the passing of the large Gears.  This is a lovely model, full of character, even if the casting quality is not a patch on current Dream Pod 9 products, which are far better as evidenced by the miscast ammo box on the rear of the bazooka.

Oh lucky me what a shiny frabjous joy, joy acquisition...

I bid on six RAFM era Gears on eBay and won.  This was probably down to the fact they were partly painted and assembled and there was a high chance that parts were missing, which wasn't a problem for me as I have an ample amount of Nitromors on hand, and missing parts can always be fabricated from my spare parts box.

I got one of each of the following: Hunter Commando, a standard Hunter, an Assault Hunter, a Bricklayer, a Fire Jaguar, and a standard Jaguar.

Surprisingly, only one model was missing a part, the Bricklayer has no claw.  But, I have spare claws from MechWarrior construction mechs that will work.  And, as can be seen in the above picture, the Hunter Commando's bazooka is mis-moulded.  But, for me at least, this an easy fix because I can use a part from the current Heavy Gear large bazooka.

I'm tempted to play Heavy Gear using these models, but as a semi-RPG squad level game.

It seems a shame to me that Dream Pod 9 hasn't considered re-issuing these Gears as resin and pewter models as they're no larger than the Gear Striders they already sell.  I imagine this would please an awful lot of players of the game and would go a long way to mending a few fences in the Heavy Gear world too.  Besides which, it would make them money and allow them to diversify the game.  Blitz for large games, heroic scale for small actions.

Now I'm scrabbling around for a couple of Southern Mambas and Jagers to go with these.
  

10 comments:

  1. Congrats on the purchase! Yeah, there is more than just rose colored glass nostalgia to those old models as I rediscovered last year myself. :) My initial idea with assembling my own was to maybe play them in small skirmish games using the modern HG rules. Also, email sent!

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  2. Let me know how the RPG side goes if it happens. I have been thinking about doing something in Savage Worlds for a while now but I am struggling with the crossover between a combat game and an RPG.

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    1. It's a fine balance between the two. Finding time for play-testing is also a thing. Still I have confidence that in time I will prevail.

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  3. Gotta love the Gears! I've always liked the look of these things.

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    1. There's something right about the proportions: whoever mastered them got it right. Wish they were still available.

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    2. That they did. They're a bit stockier than subsequent versions but it worked for them (and was relatively spot on for the original rpg art inspiration). One thing that you don't easily notice is that, just like in the rpg fluff, there isn't as much of a size difference between adjacent categories of gear classes (so hunters are almost the same volume overall as Jaguars). The switch to tactical scale at less than half the size overall (varies depending on the class) made them look off but exaggerating certain proportions at that small scale in he blitz era helped alot as did differentiating the gear classes by size (something that I wouldn't have supported at the larger RAFM scale). The new plastics IMO are a step back in that regard on both counts bringing back some of the more gaunt relative proportions as well as accentuating the class size difference too much. Obviously, those are personal preferences though. Email replied to also! :)

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    3. While I understand the need to differentiate the size of the Gears for the different models in Blitz come Tactical scale, I like you wouldn't want to see it in the RAFM size Gears either. I think that the Gears being similar sizes is actually more realistic than the current size divide, if only because the latter smack too much of BattleTech mechs being different sizes.

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  4. I touched on it earlier in the email but I'd appreciate it if you could post a pic of the bricklayer when you fix it up as I don't recall seeing a pic of that variant online last year when I was searching for galleries. The construction variants iirc were added relatively late to the line (maybe the second last wave before they lost the license?) and weren't particularly popular purchases since they were noncombat variants.

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    1. I've been so busy taking other photos for an article on how to take pictures that I've failed to take pictures of the cleaned up Gears; and they cleaned up very nicely too.

      PS: incoming email.

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