Masakari/Warhawk Assault Mech Background
With its thick jutting forehead and squat stance, the mighty Masakari (Clan designation Warhawk), an assault class (85 tons) mech, cuts a brutish profile. Its cockpit resembles the face of a heavyweight boxer who has taken one too many punches in the noggin, or a thick-skulled cartoon caveman [the torso also resembles the helmet of a forest trooper from Star Wars: Return of the Jedi]. Despite its thuggish appearance, the Masakari/Warhawk mech actually has a lot of brains. An advanced targeting computer, that is. Every variant of the Masakari/Warhawk mech is hardwired with a sophisticated targeting computer that makes the mech’s fearsome direct fire weapons doubly accurate. One salvo of the Masakari/Warhawk mech’s four extended range PPCs is enough to send most light mechs to the eternal salvage heap in the sky. Inner Sphere mechwarriors who faced its devastating firepower gave it the respectful codename Masakari, which is a Japanese word meaning battleaxe. The official Clan Smoke Jaguar Warhawk designation is ignored.
Before I go any further, I want to step back into reality for a second. I’m not sure why a targeting computer is such an amazing advantage in the 31st Century when most modern battle tanks today have extremely accurate targeting systems. In fact, targeting computers in rudimentary form have been around since WWII. They calculate the trajectory of cannon shells and other ballistic projectiles, making them more accurate. The calculations are fairly simple, with only a few factors to account for, gravity being the most important. Therefore, it’s not that complicated to make a sophisticated targeting system. An enterprising cannon cocker can probably cobble one together with a pocket calculator. If a mech has enough computational power to keep a fusion reactor humming without blowing up, it most likely has enough spare computational cycles to make targeting calculations. If the Masakari/Warhawk mech’s targeting system is so advanced, it makes me wonder what other mechwarriors are using for targeting—iron gun sights?
Enjoy this gameplay video of the Masakari/Warhawk in action:
The Masakari/Warhawk Mech Lego Model
Despite my quibbling about the background story of the Masakari/Warhawk mech, I really like the Lego model that David Kerber designed. This thing looks very cool, and resembles its archetype in Battletech canon. The model captures the squat and brutish appearance of the mech perfectly, with the jutting brow covering the recessed cockpit (with a sliding cockpit hatch). The torso, arms, legs, and PPCs look realistic. The model is only about thirteen inches tall, yet conveys a threatening attitude. A war machine is supposed to appear deadly, even when it’s not doing anything, and the Masakari/Warhawk model fulfills this role well. There was a little bit of a stability issue because the model wanted to lean forward due to the weight of the arms, but nothing that can’t easily be addressed with a stopper on the hip section. If you’ve built enough Lego battlemechs, you will be able to quickly figure out how to solve the stability problem. A great assault class mech model overall.
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