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August 25, 2010
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Multi-ped Mania WIP by Rob-Cavanna Multi-ped Mania WIP by Rob-Cavanna
* * * O P E R A T I O N : D R A G O N S L A Y E R * * * [link]

Casemate clan line up! :woohoo:
All 3D models by Sketchup powerhaus and prolific collaborator:iconflaketom:

Eventually moving to scraps/Operation DS folder. Just thought these were too cool not to feature at least temporarily.

I can promise, with ample confidence, that each of these designs will be presented in color.

*For those of you who are fans of this project, I suggest toggling your devwatch settings to allow for notice of scrapbook updates. Generally, there' a host of stuff added to the Dragon Slayer archive by way of scraps, which doesn't get featured in my main gallery. Especially since a good deal of it involves work manufactured exclusively by my buddy, Thomas. Some items not (yet) shown in his DA gallery either.

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WWII Tank Destroyers were often built upon the converted chassis of existing AFVs. They were a cheap and efficient means of expediting heavy firepower to the front in lieu of chronic armor shortages. Following the diversification of Panzer formation to include PzFs (Panzer zu fuss) and other walking type armor, the modification potential of existing tank chassis took yet another step forward...

The industry of multipedal AFV conversion had its greatest success with tank destroyers and other casemate superstructure type vehicle. The boost in tactical utility offered by legs (instead of tracks) sufficiently outweighed sacrifices in terms of optimal road speeds. Far more so than early attempts at converting turreted tanks to multi-legged platforms -which proved the tracked progenitors to be decisively superior. Tanks being more dependent on the essential factor of mobility as a breakthrough weapon -rather than assault or surprise.

For the ambush tactics of tank destroyers, the ability to further lower the vehicle's profile by bottoming out or going 'belly down' offered a welcome boost to stealth and concealment potential. In the case of the already diminutive Hetzer, this characteristic rendered the vehicle's compact shape even more efficient.

"The use of a fixed or casemate superstructure in place of the rotating turret found on normal tanks (except for almost all American WW II designs) confers both strengths and weaknesses upon the tank destroyer. Dispensing with the turret makes tank destroyers significantly cheaper, faster and easier to manufacture than tanks. Tank destroyers can also be fitted with larger superstructures, allowing accommodation of a bigger cannon than could be mounted in a turreted tank on the same chassis, and increasing the vehicle's internal volume, allowing for increased ammunition stowage and crew comfort.[1] Eliminating the turret also allows the vehicle to carry thicker armor than would otherwise be the case.
But tank destroyers cannot fulfill the many roles of tanks; they are much less flexible, and their guns are often optimised for defeating armour at the expense of anti-personnel capability. A common feature of a tank destroyer is the absence of a turret, and in some designs, stronger frontal armor. Use of open-topped hulls was problematic since it afforded the tank destroyer crew less protection, both from high explosive weapons and nuclear, biological, and chemical threats. Turretless tank destroyers are most often used in concealed ambush positions where they can wait for a target to enter their line of fire. They are thus better suited to tactical defense rather than offensive usage." [link]

"These tank destroyers fell broadly into two categories. Some were designed to be faster and cheaper than medium tanks while still able to destroy heavy armor at long range. The second design strategy was to create heavily-armored vehicles that were more effective in tank-versus-tank combat than enemy tanks."

The oddball in this case is the massive SturmTiger, which is more of an assault weapon designed to pulverize fixed positions and fortifications. Not a tank destroyer in any sense. In this role, however, it benefits from the defensive strength of it's thickly armored legs as opposed to wearing more vulnerable treads.

Another significant advantage granted by multi-ped conversion, of particular benefit to turret-lacking TDs, is a degree of alleviation to the limited traverse of their guns. Relative to counter-rotating tank tracks, the legs offer a more controlled means of adjusting hull orientation. Similar to a bombadier's command of an aircraft during the final run, precision leg controls diverted to the gunner's station allow for extra adjustments when the main gun has reached the limit of its horizontal traverse arc. The same ability is even more useful in terms of dramatically increasing angles of elevation and depression, greatly improving the MPTDs performance in both urban areas and heavily sloped terrain, when firing at very high or very low targets is most necessary.
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:iconel-bronco:
El-Bronco Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I want ride those :XD:
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:iconrob-cavanna:
Rob-Cavanna Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2010
Me too! :eager:
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:iconel-bronco:
El-Bronco Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:XD:
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:iconwastelander7:
Wastelander7 Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2010
Interesting. In my comments I'll refer to them by their first names, for the sake of wearing my fingers out typing. BTW, I'm not criticizing any of these designs. They're better than anything I could come up with. So, what I say is just my thoughts.

The Quad looks relatively fast. (Do I see wheels under the chassis?) But, if this is so, it's going to have a terrible time on rough ground. The wheels will have to give way to the legs. And that poses a problem, because a quad legged machine is going to be slower than a hex legged machine. (Two opposing legs have to be on the ground at all times in order to achieve balance, as opposed to a hex where two legs can be in the air, and the other four on the ground pushing the machine forward. Meaning the legs have to do a third more work to move the machine over the same ground as a hex. And a quad will take longer to turn for the same reason. But, I do like the angled armor, both on the front slope and on the legs.

The Stug looks very effective. The sheilds on the legs would be good cover to infantry support, but, being flat would be vulnerable to an oblique hit. You might consider angling them on the final version. The rear leg looks horribly vulnerable though. Suggestion, some kind of shield mounted on the lower rear leg might make the leg more survivable.

Of the four, the Hexopod looks like it is the most survivable. It would certainly "corner" better than the Tiger, and the legs have more than adequate armor. The foot design is also the best of the four machines, both in terms of protection and in stability/maneuverability

The Tiger looks awe inspiring, but, has one major weakness. Maneuverability. If a faster adversary can get behind it, or infantry get close to it.....

I'd suggest that the tactical deployment for any of these machines should be with regular tanks or walkers as security elements elements on the flanks to prevent them from getting their "bums" reamed out from behind.
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:iconrob-cavanna:
Rob-Cavanna Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2010
-No wheels whatsoever on the Hetzer. The idea w/ those legs is that they can sweep forward and backward to minimize its profile when in ambush mode, but for walking, they usually splay out to the side like normal Multi-peds. Overall slower than both a Hexpod or a tracked Hetzer. Less legs also = cheaper production costs =more vehicles produced.

-According to conventional panzer tactics, infantry are really supposed to keep a safe distance from tanks. But I doubt the StuG leg shield would never be used for troop cover at some point. They could always be detached and used as shields by the crew if the vehicle is knocked out... When walking, the shin angle would rarely be straight up, so most often kept at an angle which is more efficient for deflecting hits. The rear legs are indeed vulnerable, but all AFVs in general have their strongest armor directly in front. And StuGs are screwed anyway if they get into a situation where they may be flanked. I rather like the odd look having the legs armor unevenly distributed. I also think it likely that these forward leg shields would be festooned w/ branches, leaves and other localizded camo.

In many cases my aesthetic preference takes priority over a purely logical design decision, and then the tech data gets manipulated to support those gut desires. There's a phrase in aviation; "If it looks right, it flies right". I take a rather similar approach to this stuff. If a machine looks balanced overall, like a well adapted predator, I'm inclined to accept it. So that's basically another way of saying I like some blatantly bullshit elements cuz they tickle my fancy. On the other hand, like any other WWII AFV, these are all susceptible to customization, improvement, and upgrades.

-The Hex-Jagdpanther would certainly be a powerful and balanced weapon, but has some significant flaws. The middle legs are a problem for transport and probably need to be removed when riding on a rail bed. Also difficult to pass through narrow lanes or bridges. It would need to 'ride high', adjusting stance to stand awkwardly tall w/ middle legs tucked bellow the chassis in order to get through tight spots. Alternatively, it could use this added height for enhanced fording ability, bypassing bridges entirely. Maybe this guy needs zimmerit coating on his belly to protect against mag-mine equipped infantry when standing tall...

-Speed is definitely not the SturmTiger's forte. But then the combat role isn't really equivalent to a mech, tank, or tank destroyer. The weapon was actually originally developed by the navy for U-boat use to fire on land-based targets. Rather like an ancestor to modern ballistic missiles. Intended for use against stubborn static targets. Not at all a vanguard leading type machine. Ponderous powerful punching power. Low flexibility. It's weaknesses/strength would be very similar to those of the massive Jagdtiger. Oh man... maybe we need to do one of those too... hmm...

Totally agree that these vehicles all need to be deployed in mixed groups w/ other tracked and walking AFVs, to cover each others blind spots and weaknesses. Using them together the right way is sort of a tactician's playground. Currently studying material which specifies the relationship between tanks and other essential support vehicles. No tank can stand effectively on its own. Every chess piece is linked to a network of support. A single AFV represents an entire logistical system. No individual 1-vehicle armies. No solo-rambo-tanks. And of course, no tank regiment is ever safe without mobile infantry following close behind.

An extreme projection of this concept is the support network that surrounds an aircraft carrier. A carrier by itself is basically an expensive wreck waiting to happen. Requires a whole escort fleet to operate: Submarines, tankers, cruisers, destroyers, AWACS, etc...
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:iconwastelander7:
Wastelander7 Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2010
This is all true. I was thinking more of an open battlefield like the eastern front.

And the Tiger would have just as many problems on the railway. One thing the Tiger would be good for is an improvised strong point. Put a trio dug into some ruins on a hill with tanks and mechs in support, and maybe a couple of 88's , with infantry dug in on the middle flanks, and you'd have a hard to take position.

With the Hex-Jagdpanther, maybe you could have a special shipping cradle that would allow the middle legs to fold under the body. Thinking a raised platform with hydraulics the Hex gets on, folds it's legs, and the platform lowers.

I think they'd work best tactically with conventional tanks. Since most of the models primary mission is artillery support and ambushes, the bipeds might be a bit of a problem because of the height. I.E. it's easier to hide a machine that is 12' tall than one 18-20' tall.

I see bipeds more like light cavalry or mixed light/heavy cavalry. They go in, and hit the enemy hard using their superior turning speed to wreak havoc on the tanks and mechanized infantry, then get the hell out, and let the conventional armor exploit the confusion they've created. (I'm presuming a well piloted mech can turn it's body faster than a tank can turn it's turret)

I don't know if you're familiar with Mongol cavalry tactics but, they'd have the light cav circle the enemy, pounding them with arrows, and when the enemy center either charged, fled, or simply disintegrated, the heavies would close and annihilate them. You cold use a similar tactic with your mecha. Using them to disorganize the enemy, then use your main battle tanks to finish the job assisted by Stukas, artillery and infantry.
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:iconrob-cavanna:
Rob-Cavanna Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2010
Eastern front would be ideal. Or the desert. Incidentally where the greatest tank clashes in history occurred.

Shipping cradle is a good idea, but the front and rear legs could just as easily act as those hydraulics. Hmm... maybe the agility of the MP would allow it to mount a railbed from the side, rather than the arduous rear loading option.

Tanks + MP TDs = good combo. + walking mechs = even better.

The height factor of anthro mechs is definitely a problem. Even kneeling they would be tough to conceal. Kneeling in a trench or behind ridges ('knee-down'?) might be good. In any case, this makes a good argument for mixed armored groups, and for keeping conventional tanks around. Knowing how to balance the strengths and weaknesses of these guys is the real fun.

If only we had working sim to try out the Mongolian cavalry tactics w/ WWII mechs! I'll call the History channel and see if they wanna give me a grant... +supercomputer. The tactical workings of the Beta version would take a while to iron out!

Yeah turning speed, or general ability to get a bead on flank targets, must be better because you're combining the factors of legs turning + waist rotation + arm dexterity. (What's all this += math?) :P

I envision another class of mechs -light turreted bipeds (no arms) -probably recycling existing smaller tank turrets. To act in a capacity similar to the armored car. Where height=extra visibility for recon type action.
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:iconwastelander7:
Wastelander7 Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2010
Hahahahaha!

Yeah, it was just an idea on the cav tactics. Especially since they don't have helicopters for pop up attacks. Wouldn't be that hard to sim actual. You just hit them with a local superiority of armor at a single area, then the mechs spread out in groups, moving fast and not staying to slug it out. While the enemy is trying to deal with the mechs the heavy tanks come up from behind or the flank and finish what the mechs started. What I had in mind. The mechs create chaos with the help of Stukas, and the heavy armor exploits it.

Like you idea of light mechs. Had you thought of putting a modified Flakpanzer with quad 20mm Flak 38's as the turret? Just modifying the mount and turret so you can depress the weapons for ground fire using HE shells.

That would be one nasty little mech! Infantry would be shredded by it, and even heavy armor would be badly damaged trying to go toe to toe with it eventually.
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:iconrob-cavanna:
Rob-Cavanna Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2010
Here's that other one like you were describing -quad flak gun.: [link]
Somewhere here on DA too. (too lazy to get the link) Can be found in my Weird War II favs folder, along w/ possibly another...
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:iconrob-cavanna:
Rob-Cavanna Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2010
Item #18 the "Iron Cross" from Siegmunde's arsenal is pretty much like the weapon you describe. But creating an individual mech like that would be cool! And could serve more than one combat role as you suggest. I've seen a couple designs out there like this already, so maybe I've been less inclined to do my own: [link]

Still, it's a good idea, and I'll keep it on the table. :thanks:
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