This paper model is a Basilisk tank, standard mobile artillery piece of the Imperial Guard in the 41st Millennium, and is also the most common artillery piece used by the Imperial armed forces across the galaxy, based on the game Warhammer 40K, the papercraft was created by Patoroch. The Basilisk is produced in vast numbers on all of the known Forge Worlds in the Imperium, and almost every Imperial Guard regiment maintains several in their arsenal. The Basilisk uses the same versatile and rugged chassis used by the Chimera armoured personnel carrier, and retains all of its features with the exception of its troop compartment, which is replaced with the Basilisk’s main gun and gunnery platform. There are several different patterns of Basilisk tanks produced on different Forge Worlds, such as the Armageddon and Vanaheim Patterns, which offer enclosed crew compartments to help protect the gunnery crew from small arms fire. A Basilisk with an enclosed crew compartment is incapable of firing as far as the open-topped version, due to the recoil restrictions of the enclosed crew compartment.
The Basilisk is used to provide direct artillery support for other Imperial units that are fighting on the frontlines. Unlike other Imperial Guard artillery units such as the Griffon and the Bombard, the Basilisk is capable of leveling its weapon at the ground and can directly engage enemy units. The most common role of the Basilisk is the indirect bombardment of enemy units and fortifications, and it is usually held near the rear of the frontline alongside the Medusa and Manticore mobile artillery pieces. When needed, the Basilisk can be used as a frontline assault tank, but due to the vulnerability of its crew it is never a commander’s first choice for this particular role.
The Basilisk’s main weapon is an Earthshaker Cannon, a 132 millimetre caliber gun that is capable of firing its shells over 15 kilometres at a velocity of 814 metres-per-second, and is fully capable of destroying enemy tanks and fortified structures with a direct hit. The weapon usually fires High Explosive shells but is also capable of firing Incendiary Shells, Smoke Shells, and Illumination Shells. The tank retains the use of the Chimera chassis’ hull-mounted Heavy Bolter, which the vehicle’s commander can use when under close-range enemy infantry attack. The Basilisk can also be outfitted with several enhancements including an enclosed crew compartment, camouflage netting, extra armour plating, track guards, a Hunter-Killer Missile Launcher, improved communications equipment, rough terrain modifications, a Pintle-mounted Heavy Stubber or Storm Bolter, a searchlight, and smoke launchers. During the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy eras, Basilisk artillery pieces could be outfitted with other upgrades such as an auxiliary drive system and Pintle-mounted twin-linked Bolters. The Basilisk was sometimes also used as a command vehicle for artillery formations.
The Basilisk was first used by the Imperium during the Great Crusade in the late 30th Millennium, where it was fielded in great numbers by the Imperial Army and Mechanicum, and in smaller numbers by the Space Marine Legions. The Basilisk artillery pieces used by the Space Marine Legions were usually crewed by the Legion’s mortal personnel, but they were also crewed at times by the Space Marines themselves. The Basilisk, along with the Medusa (Siege Tank), saw only limited usage by most of the Space Marine Legions, as the Astartes preferred to use the more versatile Whirlwind artillery tanks, which were based upon the Rhino chassis and thus were easier for the Legions to repair. There were some Legions that made heavier use of the Basilisk, such as the Iron Warriors and Imperial Fists Legions, who specialised in conducting or defending against siege warfare. During these ancient times the Basilisk could be outfitted in much the same way it is in the late 41st Millennium, but the artillery piece could also take on additional upgrades and attachments which have long since been lost to the Imperium.
Known Patterns of Basilisk
- Standard Pattern Basilisk – The standard pattern Basilisk has an open-topped crew compartment and a forward-mounted gun shield.
- Armageddon Pattern Basilisk – The Armageddon Pattern Basilisk possesses a fully-enclosed crew compartment.
- Vanaheim Pattern Basilisk – The Vanaheim Pattern Basilisk is outfitted with an enlarged gun shield that offers additional protection for the gun crew from the front and sides.
Notable Users of the Basilisk
- The Imperial Guard – The Basilisk is the main mobile artillery piece of the Imperial Guard and is used by nearly every regiment.
- 28th Valhallan Armoured Regiment
- 9th Dniepr Tank Corps
- 142nd Cadian Armoured Regiment – The Basilisk was used by the 142nd Cadian Armoured Regiment in the defence of Cadia during the 13th Black Crusade of Abaddon the Despoiler.
- 7th Mortant Regiment – The Basilisk was used by the 7th Mortant Regiment during the Sacking of Colonia.
- 27th Konig Armoured Regiment
- 66th Arcadian Armoured Regiment – The 66th Arcadian Armoured Regiment was a part of the Toal III Invasion Force.
- 12th Tallarn Armoured Regiment – The 12th Tallarn Armoured Regiment used many Basilisks during the Taros Campaign.
- 17th Tallarn Armoured Regiment – The 17th Tallarn Armoured Regiment used many Basilisks during the Taros Campaign.
- 331st Tallarn Armoured Regiment – The 331st Tallarn Armoured Regiment used many Basilisks during the Taros Campaign.
- The Death Korps of Krieg – The regiments of the Death Korps of Krieg used myriad Basilisks during the Siege of Vraks.
- The Vraksian Traitor Militia – The Basilisk is so ubiquitous amongst Imperial Guard forces that it was also used by the Vraksian Traitor Militia during the Siege of Vraks after large numbers of the artillery pieces were liberated by the Forces of Chaos from Vraks Prime’s extensive Departmento Munitorum storehouses.
- Iron Warriors Traitor Legion – The Iron Warriors Chaos Space Marines often use the Basilisk during sieges.
- Tyrant’s Legion – The Tyrant’s Legion used Basilisks against the Loyalist forces during the Badab War.
- 8th Pardus Armoured Regiment
- Ketzok 17th Armoured Regiment
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