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Heavy Gear: Northern Guard GP Squad

Northern Army Box
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Suggested Retail Price
$59.99 USD

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15 October 2021page first published

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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian writes:

I have a 51-point Northern Guard force for Heavy Gear, which the rules say is enough for a 'tutorial'-size game. So, logically, I should collect an opposing force and have a game… but I decided to build another Northern Guard combat group instead. Gotta go with your gut sometimes. grin

My first thought was to go with the basic General Purpose Squad of five Hunter gears. However, I'm using the Northern Army Box, and you only get four Hunters in that set. The good news is that you get a lot of extra weapons. So I decided to build a 'smorgasbord' squad with several different Hunter variants, plus one of the 'big guys' from the boxed set. Why not get to know the variants?

Constructing a Headhunter

I decided to start with the Headhunter. (A Headhunter is a Hunter with a communications upgrade, and has a unique head piece. Any Hunter variant can be upgraded to a Headhunter.)

First of all, the vital reference you need before building a squad is the Plastic Miniatures Assembly Guide (updated 2021), a 39-page PDF which is a free download on Wargame Vault. This includes a sprue photo with parts explanation, and advice on the construction sequence.

The recommended construction sequence is:

  1. glue legs to hips
  2. glue legs to base
  3. glue engine to torso
  4. glue weapons to arms
  5. glue arms to torso
  6. glue torso assembly to hips assembly
  7. glue head to torso
  8. glue rocket pod to torso

I followed a different sequence (you can decide which you prefer). For this project, I used Testors Liquid Cement for Plastics, which is a solvent that melds the plastic parts together. Use adequate ventilation.

Conveniently, all of the basic Hunter parts are on the same sprue:

Hunter sprue

Above, you can see the torso (left, upside down) and hips pieces.

Hunter torso and hips

A pin on the torso fits into the round opening on the hips, allowing the torso to be posed facing any direction.

Hunter legs on sprue

The sprue provides three leg pieces: right and left 'standing' legs, and a 'running' leg which works for right or left.

Hunter assembled body with legs

Here is the assembled body with the leg pieces. The long tab on the leg piece fits into the hip piece, but make sure the leg is oriented correctly – if you put it in backwards, it still fits!

Hunter on base

I've added the engine to the back of the torso.

Hunter on base

The model has also been glued down to the base provided in the boxed set. Unfortunately, the base provided is a slottabase, which means you'll need to cover the slot or fill the base. (I filled my bases.)

Hunter arm and weapon

According to the Hunter gear listing, the basic Hunter is armed with "LAC (Arm), LRP, LAPGL, LPZ, LVB (Arm)." The LAC is identified on the sprue chart, and if you're wondering what it is, the weapons identification chart says it's an Autocannon (LAC) – maybe a light autocannon? You have to cut off the weapon's gun grip (it's assumed to be in the gear's hand), then glue it to the arm. (I also filled in the hole in the shoulder.)

Hunter with arms attached

The other arm weapon is the LVB, which is the 'vibro blade' on the sprue. Again, slice off the grip before attaching to the arm, and it's delicate so be careful. In comparing with other Hunters online, I noticed that most gamers seem to leave off the vibro blade. It's delicate, it might not survive the tabletop, but I included it.

Since this would be the command figure in the group, I chose to have the weapons in 'at rest' poses rather than up and firing. At the bottom is the Headhunter head, cleaned up and ready to attach. Take care to prep the front 'eye', which unfortunately is where the sprue connection is.

Hunter with head attached

The head fits on a pin on top of the torso. I decided a 'looking around' pose was appropriate for a command figure.

Hunter with rocket pod

Now the rocket pod has been attached to the shoulder. The trick here is to realize that the peg on the pod fits into the mount on the shoulder (push it in, then glue it). It's also useful to know that the pod is reversible, in case you want it on the other shoulder instead.

finished Hunter (back)

This is the rear view. It varies by gear type, but with the Hunter, the foot-tires go in the back.

Hunter with panzerfaust

Here's the Headhunter with the panzerfaust (right). I left this unattached, as I couldn't find a place to put it, it looked like it would easily break off, I didn't understand how the gear used it, and I couldn't find any examples online of models that had it attached! (I can always add it later.)

One gear down, three more Hunters to go…

Building More Hunters

Assault Hunter and Headhunter

Here, I've built the Assault Hunter (left). It has the regular Hunter head (not the Headhunter head), lacks the rocket pod, and carries a Medium Snubcannon.

Hunter UC and Headhunter

And now I've added the Hunter UC (left). (I have no idea what UC stands for.) It's armed with the Medium Frag Cannon, and is otherwise similar to the Headhunter I built already. I used a 'running leg' to give it an action pose.

Destroyer Hunter and Headhunter

Now comes the Destroyer Hunter, armed with a Medium Bazooka (not on the Hunter sprue, grab one from the Jaguar sprue in the boxed set). I built this one as a 'leftie'.

Destroyer Hunter and Headhunter

I glued the weapon to the arm, then found I had a fit problem with the engine, forcing the gun to fire to the right. Fortunately, I used a running leg again, so it looks OK. If I build another one, I'll attach the arm first, then attach the weapon so I can angle it on the arm to avoid the engine.

Adding the Big Guy

So at this point my combat group has four Hunters, and is at the mimimum required size (4 Action Points). I've decided its primary role is General Purpose.

From the Northern Army boxed set, I can also add a Kodiak. This gear is not general-purpose, so I have to declare my combat group's secondary role as Strike (or Fire Support, either would work). I've spent 4 Action Points so far, and can spend half more on the Kodiak (which, conveniently, is 2 Action Points).

Destroyer Kodiak and Headhunter

I choose the Destroyer Kodiak variant, which is armed with a Heavy Bazooka. It gets a larger round base (from the boxed set). Unlike the Hunters, the Kodiak's wheels are in the front of its feet.

Destroyer Kodiak bazooka arm

I had the same fit problem as with the Destroyer Hunter, forcing the gun to fire upwards. If I build this model again, I'll add the bazooka after attaching the arm, and shift it farther out on the shoulder.

Assembled Group

Combat group

I proudly took a picture of my assembled combat group, when I noticed a problem: some of the Hunters had backwards legs! How did that happen? Since I used plastic solvent-type glue, there's no way to pull the legs back out from the hips…

Fortunately, the Hunters are small and delicate models – which in this case is an advantage. It was surprisingly simple to break the legs just above the knees, reverse the legs, and re-attach with solvent-type glue.

Repaired Combat group

Here they are again, with all legs in the proper direction!


Painted combat group

I wanted to stay with the same urban camo idea as my Recon Squad, so I painted the gears gray with blue highlights.

Towering Kodiak

The Kodiak towers over the Hunters.

General Purpose Squad

My two Northern squads work out to 97 TVs, which is enough for 'Quick Match' games. Now, I really, really need to acquire an opposing force…