Monday, 31 August 2015

To protect and serve and shoot the place up

The Street Judges of Mega City One have a very specific type of patrol vehicle. Not just specific, but iconic. Chances are that if you picture Judge Dredd, you also picture his wheels. He and the Lawmaster are like the Lone Ranger and Silver, like Scooby-Doo's gang and the Mystery Machine, or the kid from Gentle Ben and, er, Gentle Ben.

This has given me a slight problem. See, as much as I like motorbikes, really big, badass motorbikes with onboard A.I. and laser cannons, I had something else in mind for my 'Dredd' style Arbites Enforcers. I've had my eye on Games Workshop's Sentinel kit for some time, and as soon as I began this project I started imagining a Sentinel in 'Judge' colours, stalking through the city, providing the beat cops with a mobile heavy weapons platform and the much lauded 'higher ground'.

But I couldn't completely abandon the bikes, could I? And if I didn't, wouldn't it look a little odd with two completely different one-man patrol vehicles?

Hmm, it was time for a little post-rationalisation. 

So the Arbites of Kruenta Karoliina Arx Rotunda routinely deploy two types of urban patrol vehicle. One, slightly less common, carrying heavy weaponry; the other, more ubiquitous, but more lightly armed. One completely enclosed by thick armour; the other offering only a minimum of extra protection. One designed to express the faceless intimidation of an all-powerful regime; the other for intimidation on a more personal level. One slow but sure; the other fast and responsive.

So whether the Arbites require a mobile fort manoeuvred into position through the labyrinthine back alleys of the sprawling city, or a ground-based, rapid-reaction force prepped and on-point, like, yesterday, they'll have the right tool for the job.

The first of the above is, of course, the Sentinel, and it's the piece of Arbites hardware I mentioned I was working on in an earlier post. I think it's now ready for painting. It's my urban pacification variant with a closed cockpit, a single heavy weapon and plenty of lights and scanners. I've given it some stowage on the back, mainly because I liked the idea of some visible roll bars, and I've posed it climbing down some stairs to reinforce the manoeuvrability point I was trying to make.

The Daleks will never follow it down there

As is often the case, my model-making skills have a tendency to leave miniatures looking like a one-eyed ork mekboy built them in a hurry, wearing his patch on the wrong side. But I'm pretty confident that most of the crimes on this model can be covered by painting things to look as dilapidated as they surely are. After all, this belongs to an empire that's been around for roughly ten thousand years, and if my bruised and battered five year old car is any kind of yardstick then things aren't exactly going to look pristine. And in the Imperium of WH40K we all know 'there is only war', whereas I'm fairly certain my bruised and battered five year old car has been shot at precisely never.

Anyway, I'm quite excited to get started on the next stage of this Sentinel, but I'll try to hold off at least until I have some progress to share on the squad of Judges. Hopefully that won't be too far away, even if this post pretty much commits me to having to make a bike as well now.

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