Vulture/Mad Dog Heavy Mech Background
Although designated the Mad Dog by its Clan designers, the name never really caught on. This heavy (60 tons) mech is better known by its Inner Sphere moniker, Vulture. This is probably the case because the Vulture mech looks nothing like a dog, and more like the flying carrion feeder. Its protruding torso with a large nose section which sits between two massive shoulders give it a hunched over look. Its reverse jointed legs add to its bird-like appearance.
This mech’s semblance to a real vulture is enhanced even further by its pilots’ practice of perching on top of high bluffs or cliffs overlooking the battlefield. This practice is not really intended to imitate the behavior of a vulture (although the dread it causes is a bonus), but is based on sound tactical principles. The Vulture is a fire support mech first and foremost. Its primary weapons are its shoulder mounted LRM 20 launchers. The Vulture picks apart enemy mechs at extreme ranges from high ground while its lance mates close in for the kill. It’s capable of inflicting serious hurt on any enemy mech that is unlucky enough to get locked on its targeting computer.
While not really designed for close quarters combat due to its relatively weak armor, the Vulture mech can still hold its own. Many Vultures are configured with a pair of large lasers on each arm, as well as two medium lasers in a chin turret. This makes the Vulture a lethal opponent in any situation. The Vulture also can fire even in full retreat, due to its ability to completely rotate its torso. Therefore, dueling with a Vulture can be a tough proposition.
Check out this gameplay video of the Vulture mech in action:
The Vulture Mad Dog Mech Lego Model
The Vulture mech lego model featured here was designed by Ron Perovich, and is featured on Brick Commander. It represents the Classic Battletech variant of the Vulture. (For comparison, Primus’ model of the Mechwarrior 4 variant of the Vulture is posted here.) I like the model. It is simple, yet expresses a good likeness of the mech. Missile launchers are always a welcome part of any design. The build was ridiculously simple, with no exotic Lego pieces to search for. I can certainly appreciate that, because I sometimes get tired of always having to return to Bricklink for my daily Lego fix. My only other observation is to make sure to put a pin above the knee joints to keep the legs from collapsing. You can see the pin on some of the photos. While it wasn’t in the plans, the model would not be able to stand without it—an easily corrected design oversight.
Build your own LEGO battlemech models like the one featured above! Boost your collection and buy new sets here.