Monday, 18 February 2013

ThreeA x Goodsmile : WWR - JDF Harold FS.

A (mis) interpretation :

Category type: Warbot.
Unit type: Mass production tactical support warbot.
Model type: Harold FS.
Manufacturer: The Rothchild Corporation.
Affiliation: Tokyo Unit 05; Emergency Tactical Response Garrison; Tokyo Defense League; Eastasia.
Height: 7 feet.
Weight: 2500kg.
Powerplant: Single turbo BRINK supercharged diesel engine.
Armour type: Super hardened steel alloy.
Armour thickness: 130mm; plates 150mm.
Armaments: "Bukkake"- 40mm FUBAR autocannon x 2; multi-spectrum scanner; sensorium; Task Intelligence (T.I.) System ver.1.0

Tokaido City, Eastasia. Block Ebisu had been infiltrated by a Martian sympathiser cell, The Nippon Enlightenment Movement. A battalion of local EMGY garrison from Unit 05, were deployed but prevented from initiating a siege as the blast shields had been activated, sealing off the entire stratoscraper and its 80,000 residences inside. Operation officer, Maj. Takashi "Tako" Shima was getting impatient. Maybe due to the sweltering summer heat, global dimming and environmental breakdown. Within his APV command vehicle, the Major and his entire group could do nothing but sit and wait. Maj. Tako had requested from Central Security Command for re-enforcements. To sweep and clear a 200 level block would not be easy. Bathed in darkness except for the amber coloured lighting from the control panels and various pict vid screens, the Major had gone through the block structural blueprint and pinpoint the terrorists' position as well as their weaponries' location based on feedback from the Squares intel broadcasts before being disrupted by Com jammers. Techcom Sgt. Hara informed the Major on the latest infos and instructions from CSC. The DotInfo teams had regained control of the block's Little Mama terminal, frying the cyber-hackers in the process and deactivated the blast shields. Maj. Tako and his battalion were to get ready to begin the siege. Reinforcements granted. The Major passed down the infos and operational instructions. 5th Company's Captain Kiri told her teams about how excited she was on the news of reinforcements. Capt. Kiri was hoping to see the debut of the new, smart warbot she heard from her cousin whom was serving in the Neu Yorke sub-sector's 12th EMGY garrison at United Americana. The rumbling of caterpillar tracks tearing up the tarmacs was getting closer. Everyone begun to cut the chatters within the secured lines. Even in semi-darkness, Sgt. Hara could see that the Major's face looked like being drained of blood. Enthusiasm had been replaced by fear. Even with the chem inhalers pumping adrenaline gas into each of the grunts. The Dropcloths instinctively grew restless as the rumbling sounds get nearer, the unmistakable hums of a single charged turbo engine and loud, snorting exhausts with popping, misfiring noises. The Major prayed, for he was one of the last of the few who still secretly believed in divine intervention since all religions were banned on Terra with Science and Technology as the only discipline and principle to believe in, even though there was no specific divinity he could remember from his childhood. Please, let it be a Type 61 or even 50 guntank for all he cared. Not them. But it was them. Two platoons strong. Harold warbots. The First Born, or more infamously, the F***tard. Initial pride and joy of the Terran militaries, Harold was the first warbot to be introduced by the Rothchild Corporation with a Task Intelligence (T.I.) System. Harold was deployed during the war against the Archduchy of Mars in early 1900s. Then reports of unreliability and the unpredictable T.I. of the Harold begun to stream in, first a trickle, then on almost daily basis. CO of various divisions reported of numerous accidental deaths, casualties due to "friendly" fire. Morale begun to drop each time a Harold was assigned into a military unit. Engineers reported that majority of the incidences with Harold was due to its highly sensitive Anti-Tampering programming, as well as suffering from other major technical and mechanical faults. This made Harold a favourite warbot to be hijacked and modified by the MOD pirates as well as the N.O.M. terrorist faction. The Council of Terra High Lords begun to pressure the Rothchild Corporation on the issues with the Harold warbots, forcing the late Walter Rothchild to stop production a month into the Great War and replaced them with his son, Darwin, newly developed bi-pedal warbot, the Bertie Mk2. Existing Harold warbots were then withdrawn from the frontlines and reassigned to sub-sectors secondary roles. But even the EMGY, MEDICS and BcELL refused even to deploy them, storing them away in warehouses gathering dusts, while slowly rusting away even as its T.I., with no one instructing the cyber-engineers to maintain it, degenerated and fell into catatonic-like state. That was, until now. The siege of Block Ebisu. Major Tako furiously argued with the CSC liason CO over the vox com, only to back down when informed that his battalion had no choice because all Armstrong and others had to be deployed to the Solomon Islands sub-sector. Major Tako heavy heartedly then gave the order to initiate the siege.
Block Ebisu were cleared and re-secured after 7 hours of heavy fighting. CSC broadcasted an official report of the success of the operation. All terrorists and threats had been neutralised. What was not reported was Maj. Tako lost two third of his battalion and suffered from survivor guilt. He would hand in his resignation a week later, sent for rehabilitation as per required, and became a civilian. The block was rendered a "dead block" as almost all residences were killed in the hail storms of the Harold warbots' depleted uranium 40 mm FUBAR auto cannon firings. If not for the structural integrity of the block as required, the entire 200 levels would collapse onto itself. Also not reported was when 5th and 6th Company were about to exit through the block's south gate, the Harold platoons open fire upon them, shredding both grunts and Dropcloths to pieces. Maj. Tako's command APV entered through the main north entrance as the sickening scene of carnage took place, with the intention of detonating an EMP bomb over the Harold warbots but was stopped as the Harold's auto cannons begun firing upon the APV, turning it into a beehive. Everyone inside the vehicle were shot to pieces except for Maj. Tako, whose right leg was blown off. With a supreme effort, the Major crawled out of the APV, with the EMP bomb in his hand, and detonated it. Later, a team of engineers from Unit 05 were assigned to diagnose the Harold warbots fried T.I., salvaging whatever data retrievable before they were to be returned back to the Rothchild Corporation. The conclusion was that the Harold warbots simply assumed anyone with weapons, and within the confine of the block, were enemies. The confidential reports were later put into "memory holes" by the Terra military intelligence.
Retrospectively, I might have jumped the gun too early. Shortly after Goodsmile announced the sale of 1/6th Harold, in JDF colourway, I placed an order, even though I knew before hand through 3A Production Blog that Bambaland is coming up with a "Desert 7th Div" and new "BcELL Logistics" colourway sale. But as always, the infos are slow and ever changing from 3A, and as I loves the JDF colourway and decals, I thought this would be a good start. Then, 3A decides to let it all fly, offering a staggering 15 colourways plus a 1/12th scale version in each pack. Now, that's a deal. Also, there are few which catches my eyes - the Dark Deed (coz it is a bada*** faction), Nightwatch (coz it is weathered, would be nice together with HB Mk2.5 NW), Rothchild Experimental Version and JEA (coz I am highly likely to start JEA team theme...Meat is Murder super pack? Shudders...) - though, if I did not place the JDF version order, I could still afford only one. But the JDF version does not disappoint - the weathering, colourway, and amazing details - are all there, as only 3A could. The bot head can pop up (which reminds me of, err...E.T.?) and rotate, caterpillar tracks move nicely and nothing breaks (except it took me two hours sitting inside the room in catatonic like state just to dumbly figure out how to connect and/or swap the arm ball joints. Also, in one attempt, the notorious puff of dust particles are very obvious. Next time, I am wearing a gas mask). It's the same height as HB Mk 2.5 (14 inches), and just about the right width to give it volume. There is a nice little short writeup on Harold on the box. I think I would keep this one around for awhile (I had since sold off the Bertie Mk3, HB Afrika Defense and EMGY Armstrong as I re-focused on other priorities and trimming the collection. Also, particular when it comes to the WWR lineup, I am thinking of focusing more on one or two colourways and be more selective). I imagined the world populations live within Kowloon Walled City like environment, the mega-blocks stacking upon one another in a truly cramp, grimy, claustrophobic conditions, but with cyberpunk twist i.e. Blade Runner or Ghost in the Shell worlds.