This paper model is a Land Speeder, based on the game Warhammer 40K, the papercraft was created by Patoroch. The Land Speeder is a light anti-gravity vehicle which serves as the primary reconnaissance, scouting, resupply and fast attack vehicle of the Imperium of Man’s Adeptus Astartes.
The Land Speeder is based on a Standard Template Construction (STC) design that was recovered early in the 31st Millennium by the Techno-Archaeologist Arkhan Land during his famous expedition into the Librarius Omnis on Mars. Land’s Speeder, later known simply as the Land Speeder, was soon widely produced and used throughout the Imperium of Man by the various Space Marine Legions and the Imperial Army. The use of Land Speeders by the Imperial Army’s successor, the Imperial Guard, was gradually fased out, as over the millennia since the Land Speeder’s rediscovery the plasma and anti-gravity technologies required to manufacture it became increasingly rare. As such, only extremely resource-rich Imperial planets or Adepta such as the Forge World of Ryza and the Space Marines can afford to create and utilise them.
As the Land Speeder design was only rediscovered at the time of the Horus Heresy, and due to the difficulty and expense of maintaining them, there are no Land Speeders amongst the Traitor Legions of the Chaos Space Marines, though they are available to Renegade Space Marines who turned to Chaos from a Chapter created after the Heresy. On the battlefield, Land Speeders are often deployed in squadrons of 3. Land Speeders are fast-response units, quickly dropping down from orbiting transports to add their firepower to the Space Marine forces deployed on the ground. The Land Speeder is not an aircraft, and is not capable of flight in the truest sense. While it is capable of reaching altitudes of up to 100 metres and is capable of gliding down to a planetary surface from obit, it is much more suited to skimming the ground.
The Land Speeder’s main feature is its powerful anti-gravitic field emitting ventral plates that allow the vehicle to move without touching the ground, and to glide if dropped from orbit or off of a high structure. How these plates work is a mystery to all but the most senior and high-ranking members of the Adeptus Mechanicus. It is believed that Mankind once made much wider use of anti-gravity technology like the Eldar during the Dark Age of Technology, yet in the late 41st Millennium it is almost a lost art. While the xenos Eldar and Tau make use of far-superior anti-gravitic technology, it is forbidden for any Magos of the Machine Cult to study these devices, and any caught doing so usually receive the harshest sanctions. The anti-gravitc plates of the Land Speeder are positioned around the vehicle’s nose and cockpit, and when they are activated they create a powerful inverse gravitic field, which is repulsed by natural gravitic forces and thus pushes the vehicle upwards. The vehicle is given forwards motion by a set of afterburning ramjets positioned on the rear of the Land Speeder. The Land Speeder is equipped with small stabiliser wings on its sides. The Land Speeder’s anti-gravitic plates may be powerful, but they can only support approximately 4 tonnes, and thus the Land Speeder is only equipped with light armour. In truth, the Power Armour worn by the vehicle’s crew usually provides better protection from enemy fire.
The Land Speeder’s origins date back to the first century of the Great Crusade, when Techno-Archaeologist Arkhan Land led several expeditions into the uncharted and extremely dangerous depths of the Librarius Omnis on Mars. During these expeditions Land rediscovered the Standard Template Construct (STC) designs for two heavy tracked vehicles. The first was the mighty battle tank which would later be known as the Land Raider, and the second was the humble utility vehicle called the Land Crawler. Land also discovered information regarding powerful and compact plates capable of emitting an anti-gravitic field and Land later developed theories on their uses. Unfortunately, years before the first Land Speeder was built, Arkhan Land and his entire expeditionary force were wiped-out by an unknown, yet extremely powerful psychic entity while conducting yet another expedition into the Librarius Omnis. All three of the designs he found were ultimately named after him.
Some time after his death, the anti-gravitic plate technology he had discovered was used in the construction of the Land Speeder. The Land Speeder was issued to the Astartes Legions and to the Imperial Army as a light vehicle intended for scouting and lightning-fast assaults. During the Horus Heresy the Land Speeder was used on both sides of the conflict, yet due to the difficulty and expense of maintaining them they are no longer used by the Traitor Legions. After the Horus Heresy, and the reformation of the Imperial Army into the Imperial Navy and the Imperial Guard, the Land Speeder was no longer issued to non-Astartes soldiers, as their technology has become far too precious and complex to be risked in the hands of Imperial troops who are not the elite of Mankind. The original Land Speeder had several different patterns, several of which were slower than others. These early designs were dropped from use completely as they had only been used by the mortal soldiers of the Imperial Army and the Land Speeder patterns used by the Astartes are far too fast and difficult to control for non-enhanced human reflexes.
The standard Land Speeder is used as a fast scouting and reconnaissance vehicle and as such is only lightly armed and armoured. The Land Speeder is armed with a single pintle-mounted Heavy Bolter that is operated by the vehicle’s gunner.
The Heavy Bolter can be switched out for a Multi-Melta to give the Land Speeder better anti-armour firepower. The vehicle’s weapon is mounted on an L-shaped rail system that allows the gunner to fire straight ahead of the vehicle or to the left, and while this limited movement would normally be deleterious in most tactical situations on other vehicles, the Land Speeder’s anti-gravitic propulsion system allows it to quickly turn the entire vehicle towards the gunner’s target. There are some Space Marine Chapters that use a slightly different non-named pattern of Land Speeder that is equipped with twin-linked Heavy Bolters in place of the single one.
During the Great Crusade and the Horus Heresy there were several different variations of the standard Land Speeder, some of which included hull-mounted cannons and different pintle-mounted guns, but these variants have long since disappeared from most, if not all, Imperial armouries. Unlike many other Imperial vehicles, the Land Speeder has no upgrades or attachments that can be equipped.
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