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Homebrewed CAV: Swallowtail

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The Swallowtail is a heavy recon chassis produced by Borsig-Spline for the Adon Economic Confederation. Roughly the size of the Mantis, the Swallowtail sacrifices armour for what is an impressive speed for a CAV its size, preferring to flank enemy forces for a surgical strike with its twin Herker heavy PBGs.



Click here for a 360 degree animated gif


Comments and feedback welcome!

Edited by SparksMurphey
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I have a lot of comments on this one. First off, the overall design is great; it clearly identifies as a Borsig-Spline CAV (hard not to with that cockpit) and looks both fast and threatening. One nitpick: the raised rectangles on the shoulder area are a bit unusual for B-S, they read more as Grundor House or RMI to me. They seem to work well with the overall design though. My only real issue with the design is the double cockpit. In many of their designs (Scorpion, Spider, Ogre, Recluse, Mantis), Borsig-Spline utilizes a unique cockpit configuration where the pilot and wizzo are seated side-by-side in a configuration akin to riding a motorcycle, rather than the traditional upright seating with the wizzo behind the pilot. This results in the distinctive short and wide cockpits on all those models.


As for the designation and description, I'm going to have to take issue with a few points. Primarily, anything with that much firepower and that many damage tracks simply isn't a Recon model. I would classify it as Attack in-game and designate it a fast-attack design (for comparison, see the Mantis FA in the Black Cobra army list in War For Sale). It actually has enough visual similarity that I personally would be inclined to describe it as a streamlined Mantis variant; the sticking point then becomes whether it mounts the Ogre's Herkers or the Mantis's Vartins. The Herker style gives the model a nice look but whether anything smaller than the Ogre could meet their power requirements is debatable; I might reduce their RAV by 1 and describe them as a lighter variant, given the shorter barrels.


Still, very cool model and nice job tying it visually to the existing line. Well done!

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I think any model could be developed for recon. Earlier CAV constructs kept recon models in the lower end of the build size, but if its fast, why not build something that could shoot its way out of a bad spot? or provide protection for recon models with more devoted scanning and detection equipment?


With that being said, Im not wild about the double cockpit but with new manufacturers coming online the options and designs are unlimited. The days of cookie-cutter CAV models are over...unleash you imagination!

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Fast enough to find the enemy - check
Able to survive finding a superior force - if it runs away fast enough, maybe.
Able to skirmish - with the pitiable range of the PBG, not a chance.
Cheap enough to be expendable - not really.

In my opinion, this is -almost- a recon design, but not quite. More a heavy cavalry  model; flank-turning, pursuit, rapid reinforcement, and shock


any chance of you putting that model on shapeways or similar; or is that banned because you posted it here?

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On 11/27/2018 at 12:54 PM, Corsair said:

I know it is 2 1/2 years late,but I really like this CAV! Nice job

Thanks! This and a few others (the Vindicator became the Fire Drake, the Silverfish became the Growler, and the Dart became... okay, the Dart, actually) started my path into designing for CAV. It's a little short on detail for my current standards - but that's mostly because it's two and half years old, and hasn't been subject to the the expert critiquing that CAVBoss and SCUG give my official models (It's a pain at the time, but they really do know how to make a model pop).


With the Adon somewhat covered in KS2, the Swallowtail's chances of making it into the official line is slim... and with that cockpit, it really has to be an Adonese CAV rather than being repurposed for someone else like the Silverfish was. I may go back over it, detail it up, and put it up on Shapeways at some point... though there are other, newer designs that haven't quite fitted in and have never appeared here, and I might work on them instead. We'll see. :D

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