Another of the shelf refugees. This one is inspired by German WWII era anti-tank vehicles like the Stug series or post-war Swedish S-Tank. I figured the Network (bad guys for the back story) would come up with something to counter the huge Cerberus Shock Battle Tanks of the UAS (good guys) until they could make their own (a much later build). This is essentially a vehicle built around a gun.
Fairly straight forward using SNOT to reverse the face of the bottom to allow the forward slope and rear to allow the angles there. Sides are just plates. Main gun elevation is simple and something I haven't done much of in previous MOCs.
Manufactured by Geldmeer towards the end of the Second Jinan War, the Rhino was produced to fulfill two demands of Network clients: 1) a vehicle that could carry a cannon large enough to demolish sections of fortifications built into the Brambles* and 2) a vehicle capable of carrying the 'John' DWM7 anti-tank gun to stop the new SBTs then being deployed by the UAS, Tian Han and Pitr. Other tracked and hover assault guns could not carry artillery of this size.
The Rhino was built around the 'John' DWM7 anti-tank gun and a low velocity version of the 'Peter' FAC70 howitzer. This resulted in a vehicle twice the length of existing assault guns. Geldmeer saw an opportunity to create a system of vehicles on a common chassis and so created the upper and forward hull as modular while maintaining the same chassis, engine and side armour.
The Rhino in standard configuration comes with heavy frontal armour and relatively light side armour to lighten the vehicle and allow for various configurations. An auto-loader was standard, but many clients removed it to create room for more ammunition using a crew loader. The normal loadout is 20 rounds for the 'John' anti-tank gun, 30 with the auto-loader removed and another 20 if the crew chooses to line the floor with shells. These figures are halved for the 'Peter' howitzer configuration.
The gunner has control over lateral movement to fire at targets on the move with the driver having override to position the vehicle. A dozer blade is fitted to all models to allow for creation of fixed defensive positions.
The deployment of the Rhino was a success as assault guns were cheaper than turreted vehicles and the Rhino delivered mobile artillery for direct-fire engagements. The 'John' anti-tank gun is the only weapon that can penetrate the thick armour of SBTs with a 50% probability of a mobility/firepower kill to the frontal arc and a 80% chance of a mobility/catastrophic kill to the sides. The 'Peter' howitzer can demonish sections of Brambles and blow a path through.
The two variants on the Rhino hull are removal of the main gun and replacement with a MLRS launcher or a 'Peter' howitzer in a compartment allowing for full elevation and use in the SPG indirect fire role. Early variants of the SPG version had an open topped compartment to save weight while later version enclosed the compartment. These versions were named the Stier and Ram.
All variants remain popular and are in wide use.
*The Brambles are coral-like rock formations towering over 30m in height and formed through unknown geological processes. They can stretch for hundreds of kilometres forming natural barriers to travel on Jinan.
In case anyone hasn't already noticed, I'm building Network vehicles along a colour theme of tan, dark tan, sand green and light grey to sort of create a 4-tone camouflage. I think with some Photoshopping love I could make it look better. Originally I planned for just tan/dark tan, but dark tan is a very small palette of bricks and provides few options for finishing the exterior. I think unlike most builders I have very few light grey bricks to do the finishing and create the desired camouflage effect.
This unit bears the company markings of Geldmeer and is crewed by company troops.
Wow, this is a very nice vehicle. I like the [near] studlessness of the build, as well as the color scheme. The 'shovel' in the front adds a nice function to it; the garbage can actually looks very nice as a heavy cannon, well done there. However, I think that it would look even better if you were to install an engine at the back, right where you have the four grey (what would you call them... mini-airplane engines?). It would also look nice if it were about two studs wider. All-in-all, very well done, and deserving of more 'likes'.