Defeating The Elements

Posted by on Dec 20, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

Defeating The Elements

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First Look

Perhaps more than those of any other power, the armies of the Kingdom of Britannia, including the heavy armoured forces of the Tank Regiments and Land Armada, have frequently been called upon to wage war in a great number of different environments.

Often, they encounter terrain and conditions that are highly adverse, from the steaming jungles of South-East Asia, to the harsh deserts of Australia and North Africa. As a result, over the years, the regiments of Britannia’s Royal Engineers have adopted an extraordinary array of devices to aid in armoured operations.

Bridging the gap; The Lysander Class Land Ship spearheads the armoured advance!

Bridging the gap; The Lysander Class Land Ship spearheads the armoured advance!

In the years immediately prior to the outbreak of the World War, the talented engineers of the Brunel Academy turned their efforts towards creating an armoured vehicle capable of being adapted to a wide variety of roles.

The need to provide such functions as bridgelaying and observation posts to the bulky medium tanks and heavy bombards of the Tank and Artillery regiments meant that the new engineering vehicle would invariably have to be a Land Ship, albeit one even more versatile than the redoubtable Sovereign Class.

The resulting vehicle, examples of which began to enter service in 1869, was dubbed the Lysander Class. It is a triumph of engineering versatility characteristic of the Academy’s designs. It shares its lozenge hull form with that of the sturdy Mark II Medium Tank. This gives it a very good performance over even the roughest terrain.

The bridge and powerplant are located at the rear, while large sponsons on each flank carry batteries of Armstrong howitzers as standard armament. The rest of the Lysander’s hull forward of the bridge and between the track horns consists of a large open void, within which can be fitted a wide variety of differing payloads, depending upon the role required for the ship.
The Brunel Academy has developed an extensive array of alternative loads for the Lysander, allowing it to fulfil a wide variety of engineering roles.

Lysander Class Land Ship

Lysander Class Land Ship

The system most commonly fitted is the Lincoln-Fields Pattern folding bridge. This massive structure, capable of holding the weight of heavy tanks, is composed of parts built from a lightweight but immensely strong Sturginium-steel and manganese alloy called Bessemer Blend.

Other common fitments are the Tower, Portable Observation No. 1, which incorporates a small tethered observation balloon for added versatility. For the armoured engineer role, the front deck can mount an enormous Armstrong Mark III Siege Mortar, capable of smashing even the strongest enemy redoubts to rubble.

Lysanders are unusual in that, unlike the Sovereigns, they are not kept purely on the strength of the Land Flotillas. Mortar-carrier and bridgelayer variants are manned by Royal Engineers specialists and often seconded to Tank Regiments. Lysanders mounting observation towers frequently serve alongside Artillery Regiments, whose batteries of Cromwells and other heavy ordnance benefit greatly from the Land Ship’s very efficient fire control systems.

Lysander Class Land Ship

Lysander Class Land Ship

A Word From The Designer
When designing models, there is usually a correlation between ardour and payoff; the longer the effort, the better the final product tends to be. As a designer, there is nothing more rewarding that completing a particularly technical challenge. The Lysander fits into this category due to the sheer number of parts it needed and the thought required to make such a modular miniature without adding unnecessary complexity.

At the core of the Lysander is the hull, which, while brought to life by the many optional tops, should by no means have been a dull model on its own. In fact, it’s quickly becoming one of my favourite Britannian tanks. The use of some of the long running elements of the Britannian land forces tied together nicely to make the Lysander stand out. The warehouse top utilises the train-station roofing and so fits perfectly with the general Britannian aesthetic. The lozenge shaped tracks which skew out echo the design of the medium tank’s rather than the large ones which sets the Lysander apart from its other class comparative examples and grounds the design as functional more than overbearing in its aesthetic, providing a wider stable base and bringing the eye to the tallest elements of its arsenal.

The drop-ons are, of course, the meat of the idea, with their functional differences vastly different and tying the model together in different ways, from the tall observation tower down to the siege mortar. My favourite has to be the bridging device. I wouldn’t have spent so much time making Dystopian Wars’ vehicles if I didn’t have an innate fondness for mechanisms, and even fictional mechanisms need to be grounded in reality to seem plausible enough for the players to buy into the idea. My motto is that they must be as roundabout and tangential as possible, yet still plausible, and I believe the Lysander is a great example of this ethos.