Monday, August 15, 2011

Battletech: Steel Wolves Mad Cat III (Timber Wolf)

Presenting a Battletech Steel Wolves Mad Cat III (Or Timber Wolf III if you're Clan) Battlemech. I do believe this was built by WizKids Inc but I'm not sure and I can no longer find any reference to it on the Internet. It's as if it was never made.

Anyway, I don't know where I first saw or experienced it, but I can never get the sound of a woman piloting a Battlemech screaming on an intercom "Mad Cat! Mad Cat!" right before the Mad Cat kills her and the intercom goes dead. If there is one Battlemech that I'm sure dominates the mind of anyone who has ever played Battletech when the word "Clan" is mentioned, I'm 100% sure it's the Mad Cat. And why wouldn't it? The Mad Cat has a ferocious visage, power to fight at any range and speed: an almost perfect killing machine. Mad Cat is an Inner Sphere term for this Battlemech which was known as the Timber Wolf to the invading Clan forces.

This particular Battlemech was released quite a few years back when someone realized that Battletech could make a fine transition into the world of Warhammer 30K.  This Battlemech is a Mad Cat III a 20 ton lighter variant of the standard Mad Cat III trading firepower and weight for an additional 10K per hour speed increase. The Mad Cat III clocks in at 97km/h versus the standard Mad Cat's 86.4 km/h.

 Now classified as a Medium Battlemech instead of a Heavy Battlemech, the Mad Cat III swaps the following:

  • 2 - Extended Range Large Lasets
  • 2 - Extended Range Medium Lasers
  • 1 - Medium Pulse Laser
  • 2 - 20 Rack Long Range Missile Launchers 
  • 2 - Anti-Personel Machine Guns
And downgrades them to:
  • 2 - 15 Rack Long range Missile  Launchers
  • 2 - Extended Range Medium Lasers
  • 2 - Extended Range Small Lasers
  • 5 - Extended Range Anti-Personel Micro Lasers
Personally I'm not sure if the firepower and armor loss is worth the additional 10kp/h speed boost, but I do see the need for versatility in a Battlemech army. 

The toy itself is pretty solid. The Mad Cat III is hefty and made out of durable plastic. The only parts that you have to worry about would be the two lasers jutting out on either side of the plastic which tend to be easily bent.

Articulation is sadly quite limited. This is a display piece nothing more. Battlemechs should be able to turn their torsos a complete 90 degrees left or right, this can, at best do a little less than 45. Articulation is also limited for the Mad Cat III along the legs and arms. the arms can move up and down at the shoulders and swing side to side where the elbows are, but that's it. The leg on the other hand do not extend. You can tilt the Mad Cat III, but making it walk or pose as if it's in stride is out of the question.

There is a small cockpit up front, though it leads to a poorly sized pilot inside. Strangely though if you look into the cockpit from the front, you will see another pilot - but without any coloring details.

The detailing is pretty decent. Though the entire body is a boring silver, you do have the "fire" burn marks and a wonderful Steel Wolves decal on the left side of the cockpit and a Heroclix rank of veteran on the right side.

Lastly, the joints loosen up far too quickly and therefore Mad Cat III tends to sag in place. Getting the Mad Cat III to stand proud and tall takes patience and a lot of balance.

I'd only recommend this particular Mad Cat III to hardcore fanatics of Battletech, but only as a display piece. It's not really play friendly and will just be disappointing.

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