This was my first attempt at building a 'mech, as I usually focus on tanks and military equipment (particularly from WWII). This was a learning experience for me, and I had to go through a significant amount of trial and error, as many of my tank-building skills didn't translate to constructing mechs. Building arms and leg joints was especially problematic, and I also took some liberties with the Hunchback's appearance. I'll probably return to this model for a second attempt at some point in the future. I've included a Technical Readout at the bottom, for those who are inclined to nerd out on Battletech Universe details.
Mechwarrior pilot view.
Conducting regular maintenance on the Hermes 250XL Fusion Engine core is essential to avoiding unwanted meltdowns.
Tweaking the ER PPC capacitors for maximum damage output.
Reloading LB-10X autocannon ammunition.
Technical Readout: Mechwarrior-mercenary Volhard's Hunchback battlemech, as of 3073.
In the decades that followed the Clan invasion of 3049, the Inner Sphere experienced a technological renaissance due to the rapid proliferation of clan technology and recovered lostech. The Great Houses and even Periphery states sought to reverse-engineer and incorporate clan technology and lostech into, in some cases, ancient battlemechs preserved through successive centuries of warfare.
Mercenaries were no exception to this state of affairs, as merc unit commanders and owner-operators incorporated new upgrades and refits into their mechs. Volhard's 50-ton Hunchback is typical of this era, sporting a combination of original equipment, lostech and clan gear acquired through formal contracts, salvage, and guile.
While this Hunchback retains its original Crucis Type V standard chassis, Volhard significantly upgraded the mech by swapping the basic 10 single heat sinks for double versions. The armor is now protected by 9 tons of Starguard Ferro-Fibrous, granting equivalent protection in comparison to the former complement of 10 tons of standard armor. The mech also utilizes a Hermes 250 XL engine, raising the maximum speed from 64kph to 86 kph while simultaneously reducing engine weight. Another major improvement was the replacement of the standard gyro for a compact version, which halved the gyro's weight to allow for even more upgrades on the frame.
The Hunchback's weapons-loadout underwent major revisions, as Volhard exchanged the venerable Kali Yama AC20 autocannon in the right torso for a Mydron Excel LB-10X and a CASE system to protect the LB-10X's two tons of ammunition. Volhard also upgraded the two original arm-mounted medium lasers to clan-tech ER medium lasers. The weight savings from removing the AC20 allowed a clan-tech ER PPC to be installed in the left torso, which Volhard unscrupulously won after using weighted dice against a mercenary from the Eridani Light Horse regiment. The addition of the ER PPC drastically alters the Hunchback's offensive capabilities, which never before had long-range firepower.
Volhard, who also fancies himself as something of a sharpshooter, purchased a Targeting Computer to improve accuracy, in particular the ER PPC's long-range capability. Volhard also installed a Guardian ECM suite to shield the mech and disrupt enemy sensors and electronics.
The cumulative effects of these upgrades is far more advanced than the original version and allows for expanded mission parameters. The ER PPC allows the mech to operate on extended missions where erratic supply lines and infrequent replenishment could pose problems for ammo-dependent battlemechs, which is a common scenario as most mercenary units cannot call upon reinforcements or their employers for support. The improved engine speed, change from the AC20 to the LB-10X, and the addition of the ER PPC has also shifted the previous version's (rightly-feared) reputation as a close-in urban fighter to a more generalist role, one capable of executing a variety of missions and operations.