Chameleon Mech Background
Everyone has to start somewhere, as the saying goes. For most Mechwarriors from the Inner Sphere, that “somewhere” is the Chameleon, a medium class (50 tons) mech that has been used as a training platform for up and coming Mechwarriors for at over 500 years. It has been in continuous production since the year 2500. Hundreds of thousands of Inner Sphere mech pilots began their careers in the cockpit of the Chameleon.
In the Battletech universe, heat management is a critical matter, with reams of writing devoted to this issue alone. The number of heat sinks which can be mounted on a particular mech is almost as critical as its armor and weapon load out. The equation is simple: heat=mech shutdown=untimely death.
Although Battletech fans practically live and die by heat, I find this slavish fervor to heat management to be tedious and absurd to some degree. Mech engineers are supposedly able to design advanced fusion reactors to power the mechs, and build leg actuators capable of moving 50 tons of mass very fast, but somehow can’t get the air conditioning/coolant system right even after trying for hundreds of years? It’s like saying Porsche’s cars are held back in their performance because they still mount wagon wheels. I suspect heat management is just a type of arbitrary externality the game designers imposed on the game world in order to keep it unpredictable and interesting. Whatever the reason may be, it is an important aspect of the Battletech world and cannot be ignored.
The Chameleon mech is the perfect vehicle to train young pilots on how to master heat management, as all of its weapons are energy based (except for the machine guns, which is meant to deal with heat of the human kind). There’s no better way to teach a newbie about the dangers of the indiscriminate firing of lasers than to put him/her behind the controls of a Chameleon, which is fairly unforgiving about heat buildup. Experiencing a forced shutdown, where the 50-ton machine stops responding to controls and basically goes into a coma, is something no Mechwarrior wants to go through, especially when it’s raining missiles outside.
The Chameleon is also fast, and comes with powerful jump jets, so the cadets can practice high speed maneuvering and jumping–two skills which can save his/her life in future battles.
The Chameleon Mech Lego Model
The Chameleon is another Primus design. I can’t really say why I chose to build this model, other than the fact that I wanted to test the white/orange color scheme with a canopy from a Mars Mission set from several years ago. The Chameleon is not exactly a well known mech because it doesn’t have much of a battle history, but even training mechs serve an important function. Overall, I was pleased with the model. No serious issues. No uncommon pieces. No stability problems. It looks good, in an organic mecha kind of way. What more can I say? I’m running out of superlatives to describe Primus’ design work.
Build your own LEGO battlemech models like the one featured above! Boost your collection and buy new sets here.