Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Treasured Past... ( II )

...another piece of the puzzle.

Nearly as soon as WW2 ended, tales and stories of heroic acts during that time were being told. As a youngster, I read just as many war comics as superheroes. The Haunted Tank, G.I. Combat, Sgt. Rock, and Nick Fury and his Howling Commandos, those set the stage for the wonderful "what-if's" of imagination.

Ted Nomura's 'Luftwaffe 1946' was no exception, but much later than the above. I read several issues and collected several, but the real spark came in Spring 1998. Antarctic Press published the 'Luftwaffe 1946' Annual #1. In that issue were several of his early sketches, several detailed paint schemes for aircraft (which was what first caught my eye) and a short piece outlining the 'Panzerducks.' A lot of the 'american manga' is very confusing, and tracking down the issues that contain the actual stories have become a source of intense frustration. Anyway, Mr. Nomura's vision was more of a walking tank turret. The 'hip' joints for the walker legs were attached to the turret sides, and the bulk of the machinery and fighting space hung below in a semi-round pod, looking somewhat like a duck. Hence the name. What intrigued me more about the mini strip was the true turreted walkers. The fighting/engine compartment sat at the hip joint, and above it was the turret ring. The two memorable pictures were of units with the Koenigstiger Porsche turret, and the more improbable Maus turret. Sadly I have no art to display to show what I mean. = (

When it all came together in my head, I thought that this could be the next logical step in walker production. Not would would using regular tank turrets speed up production, but it fit in with the firepower gap. A single heavy tank gun was more than all but the heaviest armored cars could carry. The armor would be similar to the previous models, but the increased mobility, blah, blah, blah. Plus, it was easy to locate the turrets not that Flames of War has begun issuing uber-yummy resin tanks. Modelling, well, that's another story.

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