“Two Birds” Meet “One Stone”

I know I’ve been talking about making that Heinrich from scratch for awhile. Well, it just so happens that a group build just started up on the Machinen Krieger boards that encompasses what I’m trying to do. So, with that in mind, I threw my hat in the ring and posted an entry. Thankfully, the deadline is nine months out.
 
Anyways, here’s my entry:
Group Build 3: Heinrich II
It occurred to me that 1:48 Hughes helicopters are a lot more readily available (and cheaper!) than Heinrichs these days, and that scratch-building one shouldn’t be too terribly bad–in comparison to some other things I’ve attempted. With that in mind, I’ve opted to scratch-build a Heinrich variant for this Group Build. Here’s some of the parts I’ve gathered so far:

Not much to look at yet. Contrary to the picture, I won’t be using that cast I made of a Raptor gun. For one thing, it’s a Mercenary weapon. For another, I picked up a Hughes 500D-Tow, and realized that I had the parts to make the Gustav weapon at hand. I also won’t be using 1:144 Zaku upper legs I think they’re too big. I’ll end up using some 1:144 Gundam legs… I’m just not sure what yet. Not pictured are ping-pong balls and plastic fingernails–which will both probably end up in the finished product.

My ultimate goal with this project is to not use any actual Ma.K. kit parts. If I can’t achieve that, I’m going to try to use an absolute minimum of parts possible. So far, I may have to cheat and use the exhaust/intake off a Ma.K. model as I’m not sure of the source part on that. I could always screw with styrene pipe, but we’ll see. I’m also not sure about what to do for engine detail on the back. It’ll be somewhere between a Gustav and a Heinrich… I’m just not sure what shape it’s going to take yet. I suspect it’ll use a road wheel from a tank, at the least.

I haven’t decided on a pilot yet, but it’s probably going to be female. Either that, or Tamiya pit crew. If it’s a female, I’ll call her "Ludmilla", after the character from Harry Turtledove’s Worldwar series of books.

The design idea is a Heinrich that has been repaired in the field, using available parts from the Gustav or whatever else happens to be handy. Due to restrictions on some supply lines, modifications during repairs of Heinrichs in the field happens surprisingly often–especially as the base model becomes obselete or phased out in favor of newer armored suits. Collectively, these bastardized Heinrichs have been called the "Heinrich II" design, to differentiate them from stock H1’s. Because of the nature of the group build, I’ll attempt to make some fairly distinctive changes to the design so it’s not readily mistaken for a H0, H1, or Gustav.

What comes next… I have not a clue.
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