Sunday, August 23, 2020

Pass in Review: The 187th Dragoon Regiment's Reconnaissance Troop




One of the problems about being such a late-comer to Warhammer 40,000 (WH40K) is that I’ve missed out on obtaining items that are no longer produced, especially from Forge World.  Ever since I started reading the Ciaphas Cain novels, I fell in love with the Salamander Scout and wanted to outfit a reconnaissance unit centered around these vehicles.

Sadly, I couldn’t find any and I’m not skilled enough to assemble a run-of-the-mill Chimera without any help, let alone doing a conversion job.

Fortunately, I discovered that the Lehman Russ Exterminator tank is often used as a heavy reconnaissance vehicle...



...of which I acquired three of them over the past few years.

I paired each one with a specially-painted Chimera to form the 187th Dragoon Regiment’s Reconnaissance Troop (“R Troop”).  Typically, the Chimera and it’s crew will scout ahead while the Exterminator provides overwatch.

1st Platoon or Headquarters Platoon/R Troop

The platoon’s Exterminator originally came equipped with a dozer blade and 3 x heavy bolters, in addition to it’s main armament.  For additional firepower, I added a 
Pinter-mounted heavy stubber.

Right-side view:



The left-side view displays the tank’s camouflage netting secured to the turret:


The platoon’s lead Chimera is one of three painted by my friend Peter.

Right-side view:


In addition to the vehicle’s las cannon main armament, it’s also equipped with a pintel-mounted storm bolter and a Krak Missile.  This particular vehicle also features the commander standing up and brandishing a bolter.

Left-side view:


1st Platoon, R Troop operating together:


The Chimera can also carry up to 12 human-sized soldiers, more commonly referred to as “troopers” in a cavalry unit.

This unit typically carries a scout team, which based on my collection, consists of two troopers equipped with sniper rifles and tracking specialist represented by a 
Catachan Jungle Fighter.



The Catachan Jungle fighter is named “Ahnold,” after Arnold Schwarzenegger, while the snipers are Willie and Joe, based on the characters created by wartime cartoonist, Bill Mauldin.

2nd Platoon/R Troop

Right-side view of the platoon’s Exterminator (which may actually be an Annihilator):


The vehicle was originally equipped with a hull-mounted laser cannon, and 2 x sponson-mounted heavy bolters in addition to it’s main armament, along with having a pile of sandbags in front of the commander’s hatch.  I added the pintel-mounted storm bolters.

Left-side view:


The second platoon’s Chimera is outfitted the same as the first, along with having the same camouflage scheme.

Right-side view:



Left-side view:


2nd Platoon, R Troop operating together:


The platoon’s dismounted troopers consist of two snipers and a tracking specialist. 


The next trio of scouts, I took from one of my favorite classic movies, Gunga Din.  They‘re named after sergeants “Mac” MacChesney, Tommy Ballantine and Archibald Cutter.

3rd Platoon/R Troop

Right-side view of the platoon’s Exterminator: 


This vehicle was one of the first sets of Lehman Russ tanks that I purchased.  It originally came with 3 x heavy bolters in addition to its main armament.  I added the pintel-mounted weapon.

Left-side view:


The platoon’s Chimera is identical to the other two.

Right-side view:


Left-side view:


3rd Platoon/R Troop operating together:


This platoon’s dismounted troops consist of two snipers and a heavy weapons specialist.


Since the sword-wielding, heavy weapons specialist, is a buff female, I named these three after characters from the movie Aliens, from left-to-right:  Private Vasques, Private Hudson and Corporal Dwayne Hicks.

I chose to discuss this unit first because I’m fascinated by reconnaissance missions.  I think they lend themselves well to small-unit actions, skirmish-level games and even role-playing games (RPGs), where player-characters (PCs) can operate semi-independently. 

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