All CAVs and other Vehicles are Property of Reaper Miniatures
My name is John Bear Ross, and I was one of the principal digital sculptors that helped get Reaper's game of CAV, or Combat Assault Vehicle, off the ground. CAV is kinda dormant, lately, but its awesome vehicles are still available for purchase from Reaper and others.
Anywho, here, in alphabetical order, are the builds I did for Reaper during my tenure with them as a freelancer.
The Ashigaru, a sleek little vehicle with a pop-up missile launcher.
The Assassin, one of my first CAVs. Blocky and Slabby, without much refinement or detail, but it established the "Grundor House" look, which was distilled quite nicely in the form of the Butcher CAV (see below). I later put out a modification on Mil-Net on how to chop and repose it to look like the fierce CAV-of-the-line that its stats portrayed it to be.
The Banshee, a nice little hovertank. You can just barely see the fighter-stlye canopy under the cannon.
The Blitz. A squat little fire support CAV, also known as a "missile boat" by the CAV true believers.
The Butcher! One of my favorite CAVs, this bad boy was immediately approved, based on only a concept sketch. This beast took on a life of its own, and remains a fan favorite to this day. I'd love to see it in a large-scale kit format.
The Centipede APC went through two iterations, one tracked, one wheeled. Due to a miscommunication, I mistakenly made the first Centipede with treads. It's still lurking somewhere in my digital archives.
The Centurion. Another one of my favorite CAVs to sculpt. I was finally given a Superheavy to design, and this was the result. Many of this faction's CAVs were done by me, and I was glad to help establish the "look" of them.
The Chieftain actually started as a "keep my skills sharp" project I did on my own, in between CAV miniatures orders. Matt and Ed liked it enough that it was bought by them, and I like the look of it very much. Very clean, very sleek, yet very powerful.
The Cougar. I'm not a great fan of reverse-leg (or chicken-walker) designs, but hey, what the client wants, the client gets. This was described to me as a retro version of the Jaguar, with whom it shares a common faction.
The Despot! This Koda Works tank was based on the Brazilian Osorio, though it looks like the M-1 Abrams. Well, hell, the Osorio and the Abrams look alike, so that's not too far of a stretch. The pop-up missile launchers were my touch, as were the detailing on the side skirts. A very nice, very popular build. I later re-worked this as a 1/60th scale kit, and it was the last release from my previous company, Hellion Productions. Not many sold, but those that did are usually treasured by those lucky enough to have purchased them.
The '70 Dictator, or Dictator II. This was actually based off the digital sculpt for my 1/60th scale Dictator kit that I offered. The beauty of digital sculpting is that you can scale projects up or down, and are limited only by the amount of detail you want to show, and the machine that transforms your blueprints to reality. The Dictator II had upgraded cannons from the original version, and whooped some major patootie.
Yes, I said patootie.
The Dingo was a quick little sculpt, on the tail end of the second wave of CAV releases. If I recall, it was one of the first builds that was done straight to N-Scale, without being resized.
The Fenri. Oh, the Fenri. This was such a cool design when I first sculpted it, with moving wing pods that swiveled, because it was a VTOL attack craft. Then, it was resized so two would fit in a blister pack. No more tilting wings, and much detail was lost. People didn't like it too much. Then, Reaper re-released it at the original size. Much happiness ensued, and I stopped feeling embarrassed for having sculpted it.
The Gladiator II was one of the first CAVs done via the digital process. That targeter box on the missile launcher, the one that doesn't look like it belongs there, was sculpted on by Reaper Ed because of a casting flaw in the silver master. The Gladiator II was a solid CAV, and I enjoyed playing it. I still have four Gladiators I hand-poured myself at the Reaper plant when I was flown out there. It was fun, slinging molten metal in a spincaster, but I don't think I'd like to do it all day.
A Gladiator III was commissioned and purchased by Reaper a few years later, but I don't believe it ever saw the light of day. It looked a little too "bulldog-ish", too, due to concerns of having to fit in the blister packs. If Reaper ever goes ahead with that design, I'd like to take a whack at giving it some length of bone before they release it.
The Hedgehog. Oh, Gott in Himmel, the flak I caught for this sculpt. Like the Fenri, it was resized from the original so that two could fit in a blister pack. People hated it. It looked like a pewter turd. Only when it was re-released in original N-scale did people finally appreciate the work I put into it. Vindication was finally mine!
Can you tell I love my sculpts? heh...
The Hunter tank was a World War One inspired design, with minimal suspension, and side sponsons. Quirky, but strangely out of place next to more sci-fi inspired designs on the gaming table.
The Jaguar was the latter-day descendant of the Cougar.
The Katana CAV was fun to sculpt, and turned out great, but was a victim of disappointing game statistics, so it never got the glory it deserved. This is another CAV that would look great as a larger-sized kit.
The Knight was assigned to me as a troop-killer CAV from the Hughes-Marrieta faction of CAV. This guy was finely detailed, and came out great. It carried the characteristic H-M "chipmunk cheeks" to another level. In an infantry game, this, along with the Vanquisher, would be great 1/60th scale terrors.
The Lance tank was my first multi-part, treaded build done for Reaper. Fitting its barrel into the main hull and creating a system to attach its separate treads was a learning experience for a young digital sculptor.
The Nomad. What was I thinking? I dunno. Armored dune buggy, I suppose.
The Raider APC was a fast-attack tank that would deliver a small squad onto the battlefield, and stay to support them. I don't know why the gatling barrel is warped.
The Regent CAV was originally designed with a much harsher cockpit and nose, more like a fat knife blade turned on its side. Reaper must have changed their minds when it arrived from the printer, and had James Burrell resulpt a softer canopy area on it. The flip-up missile launcher was fun to design, and the legs were a headache, what with their curves and soft edges. I preferred at the time to work in hard, angular shapes, so this was a challenge when I was first starting out.
The Ripper was a design response to the Whisper, a heavy, self-guided anti-CAV missile. The Ripper was meant to be a self-guided cluster bomb, slaughtering massed infantry where they were foolish enough to congregate. I originally proposed this be called the Carnivore, but Reaper had other plans.
The Scorpion was another design I reworked to make in 1/60th scale. That was a great kit that was marred by crappy casting. I went with an unknown, first-time caster, something I won't do again. The stuff came back stinky, runny, and I eventually sold them all as factory seconds at a loss. Expensive lesson, for sure.
The Tsuiseki was, obviously, influenced by the A-10 Warthog. I added a sleaker profile, and tilting fans in the wings to give it VTOL capability. Like the Fenri, the moving bits were fused to the body when a tiny version was released, but brought back again when a true N-Scale version was made.
The Warden started in my mind as a pick-up truck with a heavy gun in the back, with a dash of old WW2 M-3 armored car thrown in for good measure. The concept grew from there.
The Warlord CAV you see was the second iteration of the design. My first was met with such a lackluster response that I went back and hacked it to pieces (digitally), and stitched it back together. It turned out much better the second time around.
The Whisper missile launcher was described to me as a SCUD missile that homes in on CAVs and blows them to pieces. I basically took the Soviet SCUD launcher and reworked it, keeping most of the same design traits. I have yet to recieve any criticism from the former Soviet Union, so they must be OK with my creative license with their product.
The Wolverine was another favorite design of mine, because it's so damn beefy. This Main Battle Tank just looks like it's aching to burn a hole through somebody. I made a sister hull for this, a Weasel APC, that used the same flamer secondary turret as its main armament. Reaper took a pass, but alas, what can you do. The original design of the Wolverine must have been dazzling enough. I tend to agree.
Well, there you have it, a few of the designs I did for the late, great game of CAV. CAV is still kicking, in one form or another, due to the efforts of the guys over at www.mil-net.net. Check them out, when you're done tooling around my site.
Also, check out Reaper's Site when you have a minute.
Copyright (c) 2007 John Bear Ross