Raijin Mech Background
The Raijin mech arose from the ashes of one of the largest mech battles in history, the Battle of Tukayyid, where several dozen armies from the various Clans fought with the forces of ComStar for over twenty-one days in order to gain access to Terra. Although outnumbered, ComStar was able to claim victory. This victory saved Terra, but its price was enormous because many of ComStar’s front line mechs were destroyed. Instead of replenishing its forces with familiar mechs, ComStar’s leaders opted to design a new mech that, while using existing technology, would be so different in its implementation that it would be a revelation to both Inner Sphere and Clan forces.
The Raijin mech was the fruit of ComStar’s plan, and rolled out of the newly reactivated Krupp armament factory in Germany (manufacturer of some of the finest guns and espresso machines known to man) within six months. It was named after the god of thunder and lightning from ancient Japanese mythology (a.k.a. “Raiden”). ComStar observed that Clan forces rarely fielded jump capable mechs, so it gave the Raijin powerful jump jets which could propel the 50 ton mech over 180 meters. The jump jets, combined with the Raijin’s decent top speed of 97 k.p.h. gave it maneuverability and agility that should be respected. Indeed, this combination is rarely seen in a mech of similar class and size.
The Raijin mech’s weapon loadout was also well planned, and permitted the mech to engage targets at all ranges. An extended range particle projector cannon gives it a long distance punch. For medium or short range fights, the Raijin pilot can choose between its medium pulse lasers, or its SRM-6 or SRM-2 Streak launchers. Thus, the Raijin is a very capable mech, with sufficient firepower to handle all comers in its weight class. All this capability, however, came with tradeoffs because the mech is under-armored (carrying only about seven tons of armor plating). Tactically, the Raijin pilot should use the mech’s speed, maneuverability, and firepower to take apart targets at distance. He/she should only close in once the enemy is sufficiently weakened. Trading blows is not a good idea because the Raijin’s armor is outclassed by other medium mechs. All the firepower and speed in the world will do you no good if your mech has been shot to pieces.
The Raijin Mech Lego Model
Primus designed the Raijin mech Lego model. Right off the bat, I’m going to confess that I could not get the legs to support the weight of the model, and had to modify it extensively in order to get it to stand. Raijin purists will note that the lower legs are too thick, and are probably half the length of what they should be. I plead guilty to this sacrilege because that was the only way in which the model would stand. I was keen for the original plans, and in fact, chose to build the Lego model based upon the design of the lower legs and feet alone (this is no admission that I am a foot fetishist). I thought it was a very creative use of Lego pieces, but unfortunately, did not work in real life. This is because the torso was heavy, being almost a solid block of several hundred Lego pieces. There was no way the legs, as designed, could support the weight of the Raijin mech’s torso. I almost scrapped the project, but the torso was too cool to give up on. I found a way to balance the model by sacrificing fidelity to the Raijin’s legs. Raijin fans will have to accept my mea culpa, because I still think the final model looks awesome. It reminds me of a perched raptor with its wings folded.