Every motor pool has one (or more); the Chimera that's been repaired so many times it's a testament to spare parts stores and good ole'fashioned elbow grease. You folks will recall a post way back with some un-detailed and unpainted card tanks at the end? Well, I finally got around to finishing them off, and Chimera #3 is one of those.
I like the way his rear section looks more like a little vault, thanks to the heavy rivets and imposing-looking hatch. Maybe they carry the regimental mascot and colors inside, for all the armor plating it has:
Those first two Chims came from a lucky eBay win (after unloading some old collectibles, a certain reseller had parts on sale, and... gee, can you guess my buying habits by now?) and I fitted them with upper track guards, so I've basically been holding onto the extra tracks for.... my, over half a year now. As you can see, the hull bears the same trademarks of my forge's reinforced armor, ie the heavy riveting (courtesy of ample sprue reserves). As Chimeras have a five-man fire point and no static lasguns anymore, it didn't seem an issue to model them. Our pattern multi-laser is more of a beam shotgun, as you can see, and the roomy turret actually accommodates a entire human gunner instead of just his head.
Unlike the stylish sculpted GW treads on tanks #1 and #2, #3's are actually strips cut from a single sheet of Plastruct Clapboard Siding detail plasticard. The strips were laid over plastic I-beam strips, which I also used for quick and easy track guards. The rear hatch is static, of course, while I used lengths of paper clip (run directly through holes bored into the sculpted hinges) to articulate the Chimera hatches on #1 and #2. I would've liked the sub-doors on those to open, but they weren't molded in such a way that hinge-boring was possible. Oh well. #1 and #2's unused tread sections made two more Chimera tractor bodies possible:
Need quick and easy Hydra turrets? Get a $7 defense line turret, close the box with plasticard, add a top hatch and a Tau drone for a tracking radar, bolt the AC's on the sides, and then secure the whole shebang to the hull with rare-earth magnets. Those extra-blocky heavy duty treads you saw on the Basilisks way back are a thing of the past, I'm afraid. I'm quite taken with the i-beam-and-detail-plasticard approach to cheap, inexpensive treads.
Added a few vents to the back for spice. I need to replenish my stowage bits box. I sort of shot my wad with the Basilisks and Leman Russes. But of course, they're modular:
So now I can go back and make two more Hydra modules for the Basilisk tractors, and a couple of artillery modules for these, allowing me to potentially field up to four of one or the other at once! WHA HA HA HA!!!
Ahem. Sorry, still on the Dalek high from last time.
I would have made Chim #3 modular, but I'll always need dedicated battle taxis anyway, so it's better to have a mix of modular bodies and static ones, right? Hmm, come to think of it, I need to make something up to serve as a Hellhound, too, don't I? Can't field Hydras all the time.