Somewhere in the future, man will colonise other planets and war will break out. With this idea I have been on again and off again penning down notes and ideas about what vehicles to make, looking at modifications and making plans for the future, as I want to do this in 20mm and as some of you may know, 20mm is not a (popular) Sci-fi scale. 15mm you can buy everthing plus the kitchen sink, 28mm just a tad less, 20mm hardly anything.
First off, my sci-fi universe is a mix of various ideas (and shows/movies). It is a period after man colonized many worlds, discovered many alien species, battled a omnipotent AI and came out battered but unbroken (minor win in gaming terms), only to rise up again, start fighting amongst themselves and remnant robot forces and the odd alien. Mechs are available but rare, anti-grav is possible and anything goes worlds wise. Alien ships are common. CHI stands for China Heavy Industries - I tend to focus a lot on China as a colonising power and almost all of my builds will be for this nation as well as looking at various robots cause I always need more reasons to paint robots
The CHI-76a is a general medium tank chassis used for a variety of tasks, of simple build as to keep the costs down, for 2nd line and garission units. I'll be focusing on one PDF (Planetary Defence Force) in particular on a as yet unnamed world, CCM-23 is known for its large copper deposits and earth like climate (well, a bit hotter). No other details currently available.
This PDF uses the Mazha's (Chinese for Grasshopper/Locust depending on which translator you use. (My Chinese colleagues actually got into a argument with each other if this word or something I can't pronounce is correct, but in Dutch a Grasshopper and a Locust are the same thing so I'll leave it at that. You get the idea)) as their main battle tank. This tank is built around defense. It carries 2 main guns, medium to heavy lasers depending on the setting, that can be fired simultaneously or alternating, good for 3000 shots until ithey need to be overhauled. The laser is of a very rugged Indian design, copied by the Chinese. Very durable and low maintenance, the only odd feature is that each discharge is accompanied by a loud chirp, not unlike a grasshopper, due to the way the baffles work to vent the heated air. That and the preferred Chinese tactic of attacking/defending in larger groups while moving from location to location brought about the name, the original factory name long since forgotten.
For maximum survivability, the crew of 3 sits inline in the middle of the vehicle in armoured cocoon front to back (Driver, gunner, commander). For extra defence the vehicle comes with a twin MG turret on top, a small anti missile laser on the rear deck and optional additional ceramic ablative armour on the sides. The vehicle is tracked as that is still the most economical way to get around in most areas. A anti grav version is available, but due to the greater drain on the engine this tends to draw too much power and increases reload time for the lasers. No AI unit is available for this type of tank, but most droids/robots can take the place of the various crew if needed. As it is very noseheavy, no blower version exists. The front roadwheels and suspension wears out at an excessive rate and are rated at 1500 km's max. The engine is either a multifuel type or a small fusion reactor (not for export). Armour is low to average on the sides, but the front armour should be able to withstand hits up to 125mm....in theory. It does not carry a shield generator. Depending on the location and training of the crew, the tank is used as a sniper, lying in ambush, or as a assault tank, supporting infantry.
The chassis is used for various roles, of which later more.
I have a donor chassis selected from my stash, I ordered new barrels for the conversion and I plan to make 3 units of this particular model. Total cost per tank should not exceed 12,50 euro including all of the parts and scratchbuilding. I hope to start these in December/January, though I will base the hulls before that time.
More fiction of me in the future to go with my 20mm sci-fi project :)
I'll leave you with a link to my gaming buddy's Blog, Modhails Meanderings who just finished a beautiful True Scale Howling Griffons Space Marine and photographed in his beautiful 3D Space Hulk sections. He wants a whole unit for them in Inquisimunda. The nutter.