Hatchetman Mech Background
Although modern warfare is a horrible and brutal undertaking, we sometimes forget that it used to be worse. Much worse. Until the advent of reliable firearms, war was fought up close and personal. Thousands of combatants would descend upon a prearranged meeting place, position themselves tactically, and go about hacking each other to pieces with clubs, swords, and axes. Unlike modern day warfare where remote controlled drones and computerized missiles are normal, you would have to look into the eyes of your enemy as you killed him, and vice versa. There is not much to separate you from death except your will to live and your raw skills. It was an insane way to wage war, and few people today can imagine what it was like to be standing on a battlefield that is soaked with blood and strewn with body parts and pieces of viscera of thousands of men. For several millennia, though, that was how armies fought each other.
The Hatchetman, a medium class (45 tons) Inner Sphere mech, is a throwback to ancient times. Its primary weapon is a mech sized hatchet, with which it can cleave an enemy mech in two. The Hatchetman mech was the first design to use this melee technology. In addition to its hatchet, the mech also mounts an autocannon in its torso for ranged combat. This weapon is deadly at distance because the Hatchetman mech is equipped with an advanced targeting computer. In theory this mech can fight at extreme ranges and up close. In practice, however, most commanders do not ever allow the Hatchetman mech to fight in open terrain.
The Hatchetman mech’s autocannon, while accurate, only has twenty rounds. Once ammunition is depleted, this mech is practically a sitting duck in the open because it is poorly armored and doesn’t have any other ranged weapons (although some variants carry additional lasers). It is too slow (with a top speed of 68 k.p.h.) to outrun any enemies, and its armor plating is not outstanding at only six tons. The Hatchetman mech is most used in urban combat, where ranged weapons are not as important. It can hide behind buildings and ambush enemy mechs with its hatchet. Or, it can use its jump capabilities to perform a drop and hack maneuver. The Hatchetman mech is a surprisingly effective weapon system that has inspired a new generation of mechs armed with melee weapons.
The Hatchetman mech is also innovative due to its ejection system. During ejection, the entire cockpit, which is comprised of its head, is launched from the body with rockets. Once airborne, the head can be controlled in flight using the vanes and fins in the back. This allows the mech pilot to reach friendly territory. Once safely landed, the entire cockpit assembly can be placed on another mech, or re-coupled to the original mech if it is salvaged. This type of forward thinking design makes a little more sense than a hatchet.
The Hatchetman Mech Lego Model
The Lego model of the Hatchetman mech was designed by Primus. It’s another model that I first didn’t care too much for, but grew to appreciate after completing it. With its skinny arms and legs, and elongated head, it looks really cool in an insect-like way. I also like the cockpit design. The hatchet is a different matter, but you can’t have a Lego model of the Hatchetman mech without the weapon for which it was named. In my last few postings, I may have been a little harsh on my write ups of the mechs. This one will be no different because although I like building mechs with Lego bricks, I sometimes find the excesses of the Battletech universe to reach absurd heights.
The Hatchetman mech exemplifies all too well my sneaking suspicion that these machines are designed with a cool factor in mind rather than real world operations. Melee weapons such as the hatchet have been obsolete for over 200 years. I do not understand why they would again become suddenly effective in the 31st century, especially when heavy firepower and armor are involved. I can see that a hatchet can be useful in certain situations, but why design an entire mech around a crude weapon? Why deliberately expose such expensive machines to enemy contact? When resources are in such short supply, the idea of devoting technological assets and materiel to an extremely specialized and vulnerable mech seems ridiculous to me.
Anyway, the Hatchetman mech Lego model is worth building if you appreciate form over function. Check out the Lego models of the Bloodhound and Masakari compared to the Hatchetman. Note that the Masakari is actually much bigger than how it appears in the photograph.
To download building plans for the Hatchetman mech Lego model, follow this link. Check out other Lego models of medium mechs similar to the Hatchetman mech here.
Visit my Bricklink store to purchase individual Lego pieces to build your own Battlemech models.
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[If you’ve been following this blog, you may have noticed that my postings have become more infrequent. This is because I have been involved with several projects that have kept me very busy in the last few months. Yes, I have a real job other than building Lego mechs. Rest assured however, that many more mechs are scheduled for posting in the future.]