“When you are the storyteller, you get to decide what the story is.”
I’ve been working on miniatures for Rosie’s Rebels, a super-powered military team for my Diesel Pulp ’40 hobby setting, for a long time. I rarely have much time for it currently, but my roommate built a Bren universal carrier model of mine, which let me wrap up a long-stalled project, the automatons Medusa, Stheno, and Euryale to accompany Bolt Buster.
Below are Eight-Ball and Gibson (who you can read about here), along with Medusa, Stheno, Euryale, and Bolt Buster (who have write-ups below).
Still need to be painted, obviously.
Bolt Buster: Prior to volunteering for the Homestead Observation Program Executive, Bolt Buster was a moonshiner, tractor-repair woman, and torch singer who worked the Appalachian Mountain resort circuit. Her exposure to mateirals as part of H.O.P.E.’s experimentation resulted in gaining the ability to comprehend mechanical and electronic functions (but not, for example, chemical) by hearing sounds echo off such devices. This allowed her to become a genius-level inventor and engineer. When in a hurry, she often began fixing things by hitting them with a wrench to hear what was wrong with them.
Early in deployment, Rosie’s Rifles picked up three 1st-generation R.U.R. automatons, MDA, 13O, UR-AIL, and worked with them for some months. When the automatons were destroyed, Bolt Buster was determined to rebuild them, despite the fact no one had ever successfully restarting a failed R.U.R. cognition core. She succeeded… but the automatons were incapable of speech, and could no longer achieve the coordination needed for bipedal locomotion or coordinate hands (though MDA could operate a single “off” hand). Bolt Buster built them new, smaller, bodies, and they became a core part of the Rosies’ section until the end of the war. In their new forms the automatons selected new names — Medusa, Stheno, and Euryale.
It was often debated whether Cast-Iron or Bolt Buster was a greater genius and inventor, and Cast-Iron’s inventions where clearly more advanced (but no one but her could ever make them work), while the vast majority of Bolt Buster’s much more mundane, but replicable. The two women felt no need to participate in such debates, and were good friends who often collaborated.
Medusa, Stheno, and Euryale: The only R.U.R. cognition cores to ever be restarted from total failure and remain stable, the automatons originally designated MDA, 13O, UR-AIL nonetheless underwent significant personality changes. Medusa was the only one of the 3 still able to operate even 1 hand, and was the most aggressive of the 3, generally taking charge when they made decisions without one of the Rebels present. Medusa was also able to easily adapt to different weapons in her Dexter gun mount, though she generally carried a M1919 Browning 30 cal. Stheno was built into a gun carrier to serve as its driver and gunner, and often served as the Rebel’s primary portage unit and fall back position. She had a Browning M2 .50 cal mounted forward, and a M25a 105mm recoilless rifle that could be fired by her, or swung down on it’s mounting arm to be fired by adjacent infantry (which tended to be significantly more accurate, but required Stheno to be stationary). Euryale was fixed in a single form, unable to adjust to new weapons (equipped with two custom .45 Thompson submachine guns), but was by far the fastest of the three, able to move up to 45 mph, even in rough terrain.
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Most of my “Diesel Pulp” figures and models are part of a specific setting I worldbuild purely as a hobby. I work on them in my (limited) spare time as something connected to many of the things I love about my hobby, without being something I plan to actually ever turn into a product. And, of course, a lot of it is left half-done…
In the background two Maginot Field Turrets (each topped by an Irregular — Sister Sanguine and Tommy Atkins), in the foreground several more Irregulars including Father Pentacaust, Buring Skull, Mister Mythic, Captain St. Louis, The Haze, Torch Singer, the Marshal , Kilroy, Pirate Jack, and Black Hood. to the far right, three members of the Iron Raptors.
I’m making progress on my US walkers for Diesel Pulp.
The S4a1, a2, and a3 Mulholland Medium Walkers were among the most common walkers in the First Global War, and the US manufactured more than 50,000 of them. Originally conceived as an all-purpose armor unit, its ability to match German units — Gautaz Light Walkers and the Teiwaz Medium walker — when put into service by the British in 1942 lead American military planners to believe no heavier armor unit was required. However, by the middle of the Global War it was clear the mech’s light armament and thin armor could not compete with newer Wotan and Donar Medium Walkers, or even the Russian K34 Medium Walker. Though clearly more powerful than any light walker, it was often called “The lightest of the medium-weights.” Its stability and long-term combat staying power were second-to-none, but it simply wasn’t a match for mid- and late-war Medium walkers. Luckily, it was mass produced in vast numbers, so rarely was a single Mulholland tasked with taking an enemy Medium tank 1-on-1.
When the S26 Garland began production in 1944, many Mulhollands were retrofit as variants, and thousands continued to be produced as off-the-line variants. The Torchie flamethrower-variant was among the most common, designed to supplement combined arms attacks against fortifications, urban settings, or heavy infantry. Other late-war Mulhollands were converted to engineering walkers, walker recovery vehicles, self-propelled artillery, experimental weapon platforms, and mech hunters (with much heavier guns and open turrets).
The British successfully adapted the Mulholland to carry their heavy 17-pounder anti-armor gun, and the upgunned “Mulholland Wasp” was among the most popular walkers among British armor crews.
While disagreements about proper walker battle doctrine (especially the role of mech hunters and medium and heavy walkers) delayed the production of the S26 Garland until 1944, it quickly proved extremely effective in battle. Unlike the Mulholland, the Garland was heavy even for a Heavy Walker (and some historians claim it should properly be classified as a Superheavy Walker), and its two most common main armaments — a 90mm gun or a 1.21g Tesla cannon — remained effective against enemy armor for the duration of the war.