Saturday, 1 March 2008

Dwarves in Tanks part two

Dwarves in Tanks 2

Further thoughts on the development of the steam tank in ‘black powder’ warfare.

Following the initial successes of the original DampfPanzerWagon and subsequent re-modeling to DPW Ib there were a great many attempts to copy and improve the design. As with most things these attempts were met with mixed successes. A great many designs did not get past the ‘drawing board’, others failed in tests and a very few saw operational use. Even when a design had been accepted there were many ‘pit-falls awaiting it’s crew and the battlefields at this time were full of stories about wonderful machines and abject failures!

DampfPanzerWagon II (Crab, Copper crab or Copperhead)
One of the very first true successes was the DampfPanzerWagon II from the Bohemian brewery of Idle Waster where the head brewer Ubert Von Trotter had been successfully using steam power for many years. His first and most influential design used an existing steam engine and boiler linked to an armoured fighting compartment built from a surplus beer brewing vessel. The copper armour was not thick enough to fully protect the crew, however copper beer brewing vessels have other advantages (see below).

The DPW II is armed with a flamethrower blunderbuss gun (a converted steam vent), has a crew of two; Officer and Driver/gunner/stocker.

Special rules
1 The smell of beer from the brewing tun is ever present. No dwarf troops (either friend or foe) within 12 inches can fail a moral test. (Non dwarves can also be effected – either positively or negative!)
2 The weaker armour has less stopping power – therefore all damage rolls are thrown twice, the worst counting and the least being ignored.

Officer armed with a blunderbuss.

Two separate card shapes, first the fighting compartment and secondly the boiler and engine were covered with 30 thou. plastic card (I use superglue to attach the plastic card to the card or mounting board).

The rivet detail and strapping are then attached, rivets being sliced plastic rod. The chimney is from a Wild, Wild West toy, the rear wheels are from a ‘Burger King’ Atlantis ‘Mole’ and the front wheels from a game counter (cut in half). The gun is a chimneystack from a road roller model and the cupola is from a construction toy with a button hatch. The commander is from a Flintloque boxed set.

The model is painted ‘well used and worn’ copper.

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