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E4-GTM "Efrem" . Ground Tactical Mech Expanded 4, nicknamed Efrem. Features refined articulation for superior weapon and mission versatility and thick armor coverage for super durability. . When the Titan 3 was finally discontinued and the Titan 4 was being produced in large numbers, it seemed the Minsato Corp was set as the king of upright tanks. Their biggest buyer are the Exploriens since they encounter the Krym so much on distant planets, and the increasing expense was beginning to take it's toll. The problem was, as efficient and useful as the T4s are, they are incapable of taking on a single RED-SHIRT with less than 3 units. This meant the Exploriens had to invest a lot into multiple units, and yet they were still spread thin where needed. So, when two of Minsato's smaller competitors merged- Roboforce and Futuron- they had the perfect plan to get a foothold on Minsato's monopoly. This new group, called Future Robotics, secretly delivered test units of a new mech to the Exploriens with the sole purpose of proving their merit in battle. The Exploriens were immensely impressed with the results, but found the cost of the new units to be even more prohibitive than the T4s. Still, word traveled quickly and Minsato was in a panic about this new mech. They offered to buy the design and the whole company in fact, but Future Robotics had another plan. They offered to partner with Minsato, who would invest in their company to offset the cost of the new mechs, and in return Minsato would maintain their foothold and acquire an impressive new team of designers and engineers. The result was the mass production of the Ground Tactical Mech Expanded 4 (limbs). (PLEASE NOTE: Some of you will recognize this as another popular mech, the Gundam Ez-8. Yes, I did draw HEAVY inspiration from the Ez-8, but this is NOT a Gundam; it's simply not the right scale, and I couldn't have gotten the details just right at this scale. Hence the different name. That said, it is basically a Gundam... oh well) Nicknamed Efrem, a basic unit is approximately 200 tons and has a maximum ground speed of 62 kph (+/- 5 depending on gravity). The actual MOC is almost 17" tall, and has the most human-like profile of any previous mech. The arms are a tad too long, but it's also got a fat chest so longer arms is a good thing for some poses. The cockpit is very cramped, and requires the pilot to slide in head first until the suit can attach to the hardpoints inside. Once sealed up it's actually rather cozy and comfortable, and the intuitive displays and controls make even the most claustrophobic pilots feel at ease. The armor makes the hatches alone weigh nearly a ton each. Our pilot today is Cpt. James Fintle, a seasoned mech operator and decorated Explorien officer. The first to have his own Efrem, he quickly gained acclaim with his first solitary RED-SHIRT kill. For visibility, the Efrem is equipped with a high-resolution optical matrix in the head, as well as a wide-angle camera on the cockpit hatch. It also has smaller cameras hidden in various spots, but they are mostly used for obstacle avoidance. The sheer size of an Efrem is revealed with Cpt. Fintle standing at it's feet; and just look at that smug little guy. He knows he's awesome. Despite comprehensive armor coverage, plates are easy to remove for servicing or replacement as seen here; and don't believe what he says, Cpt. Fintle CAN NOT bench press ANY of the plates. Those vents on the back of the calfs aren't thrusters, but rather armored heat-exchangers. The Efrem is purely a ground unit and there won't be any silly flying and leaping about. In fact, in standard gravity, a fall of more than 5 stories would shatter the knees and ankles beyond repair. The grey sections on the back of the feet are kinetic dampers that absorb shocks from walking and running. Because it's a military unit and having exposed machinery would be silly, I didn't bother to add a lot of greebles but there area few spots I snuck them in. While we're here, I just want to say the Efrem has the best elbows of any of my mechs. The feet are pure SNOT and almost studless. The tire is just wedged in there to give the feet traction on smooth surfaces, and they work very well as long as they have contact. The 'crotch' is actually pretty simple and it's easily customizable for her pleasure. Wait.... The shoulders and hips use the same technique; a rubber tire wedged into the appropriate cylinders for friction, with a round 2x2 block in the middle to squeeze the tire more. So really the arms and legs are held on with 1-3 pins and pure friction, but they're actually harder to take off than to put on. DO THE ROBOT WALKING Because the Efrem is so poseable, it's really easy to do ANIMATIONS! But since the gifs are kinda big and would bog down the page, I've only linked them. The only thing better than a big mech is big guns, and the Efrem has plenty to choose from. This is a common equipment choice for the Efrem, and includes a shield, 200mm semi-automatic pistol, and 12-count anti-vehicle rocket pods on each leg. Efrems do have some built-in weapons though. On the head are anti-infantry 30mm autocannons, and each shoulder holds short-barreled shotguns that use shells 10 inches long and filled with eye-ball sized shot. The shotguns are devastating up close, but become significantly less effective if the target is more than 100 feet away because of the spread. Thanks to it's articulation and joint stiffness, Efrem is capable of defending with the sheild and holding it's weapon at any angle to achieve target lock. The bracket for the shield itself is also pretty stiff and adds a lot of potential to it's placement. Efrem is also able to swap ammo clips using one of the two other clips on the legs. With 100 rounds per clip, the pilot needs to be conservative to prevent the need to reload at the wrong time. When needed, Efrem can be deployed with an optional Backpack that can carry more weapons, ammo, or other supplies as the mission dictates. The backpack rack has other uses as well... The collapsible bazooka is easy to assemble in the field and has a clip of 10 high-yeild bunker-busters or 10 radar-guided missiles. This massive weapon is basically a bazooka as well, except it fires plasma instead of rockets. It draws air in from the vents on the top and compresses it in an inner chamber where it's superheated and contained in a magnetic field. When fired, a magnetic sheath is extended to provide a corridor that guides the plasma away from the weapon and accelerates it towards the target. It's range is limited to about 500 yards before plasma looses cohesion, but within that range it's explosive power is devastating. While it can be wielded with one arm, it's weight makes it a good idea to use two when firing for stability. The most popular alternative to the pistol is this Macro Dillinger Rotary Canon. It fires 130 mm shells almost 300 times per minute. Despite the long barrel, it has significant kick that makes two-handed firing almost a necessity. The ammo pack holds 3500 rounds and it can feed into either side of the gun to suit the pilots preference. Because of it's large ammo reserve, it's the best suited to long missions out of any of the weapons. I don't think I need to say anything here... I do? Oh. Well, the chainsaw is basically a chainsaw. It was adapted from Ice Planet mining equipment and given superheated cutting tips that can chew through the toughest of enemies. It's main downfall is that it's basically a melee weapon and difficult to use. That's it! Thanks to everyone for looking, and please leave me a comment if you liked what you saw. There will be a special suppliment that stars the Efrem, but it's not done yet. To see all the images (including a bigger version of the first image), click here. Thanks again!


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