This paper model is a Space Marine Mk IV Vindicator tank, an Imperial siege tank based on the Rhino chassis used by many Space Marine Chapters that boasts the most powerful weapon of its type in the Adeptus Astartes’ standard armoury, the Demolisher Cannon, based on the game Warhammer 40K, the papercraft was created by Patoroch.
Vindicator is highly valued and can only be issued to company officers whose units have been tasked with a specific tactical requirement. Though short-ranged, the Vindicator’s Demolisher Cannon is capable of destroying enemy armour and fortifications in a single shot. The vehicle is an essential part of any armoured spearhead that the Space Marines unleash. The Vindicator is usually deployed during battles that take place in cities or other dense terrain, such as jungles, where the Demolisher Cannon’s lack of range does not effect its performance. Much like the Rhino and Predator tanks, the Vindicator is one of the oldest vehicle types still in use by the Imperium.
As with the Predator, the less-than-complete records of this vehicle’s history state that it was first deployed during the Dark Age of Technology. The reason for the Vindicator’s design was the high casualties taken by many human military forces during combat in dense forests and the concrete jungles of urban areas. Some document fragments found in the Librarius Omnis on Mars have indicated that a certain General Vindictus requested the design of a vehicle from the Forge World of Mars with a high calibre weapon that could shatter heavily protected targets with highly angled weapons fire, and at the same time was still mobile enough to keep up with advancing troops. The chassis of the Rhino was used as the foundation for the first Vindicators, with its front refitted with a high calibre weapon and reinforced with thicker armour plating. With this, the transport ability of the Rhino chassis is forfeited for ammunition stowage and a larger engine. These upgrades lowered the top speed of the vehicle, but were necessary for the large cannon to be fitted. More armour plating was added to the top hull to protect the tank from elevated attacks.
The Vindicator’s use was recommended by the Primarch Roboute Guilliman for Space Marine Chapters in the Codex Astartes. As such, all Codex-compliant Chapters make use of the vehicle when engaged in armoured assaults of particularly difficult targets.
The Vindicator has a very adaptable chassis, compatible with most standard weapons and engines in other Space Marine vehicles. They are produced in Chapter Forges alongside Rhinos. The construction process of a Vindicator includes checking the omens and supplicating the vehicle’s Machine Spirit to protect it from proving cranky on the battlefield. While the armour plating is being added, the Demolisher Cannon is blessed by Tech-priests. Each Vindicator takes a very long time to be converted from the Rhino chassis. They are the treasures of their Chapters, with each usually retaining a dozen in its Armoury.
The hardy Vindicator is built almost exclusively for urban battles where enemies are concealed within reinforced positions, such as large buildings, sewers, etc. The Demolisher Cannon of the Vindicator is used to destroy strong points in the enemy troops’ line, take away snipers and smash through thick walls for the Astartes to enter certain buildings. The assault dozer, on the other hand, is used to bulldoze through smaller obstacles in the rough terrain. Gathered in large numbers, Vindicators can unleash massive amounts of damage to any building, if they do not end up demolishing it outright into rubble. The Vindicator carries a fairly large Demolisher Cannon, which launches rocket-assisted shells towards the target at high angles, producing ground-shattering strikes.
The Vindicator is armed with a hull-mounted, forwards-firing Demolisher Cannon. This large weapon fires massive, rocket-propelled high-explosive shells that are capable of inflicting great amounts of damage against enemy structures. Several Demolisher Cannon shells fired from this tank are usually more than enough to bring down most buildings. The Vindicator is often used during urban battles, or battles fought in dense terrain such as jungles and forests, so that the weapon’s relatively short-range will not affect its performance. The Vindicator is not equipped with any other weapons, but can be equipped with a pintle-mounted Storm Bolter. Due to the size of the Demolisher Cannon and its automatic ammunition loader and storage magazine, there is only room for two crew members, meaning that with a pintle-mounted weapon equipped, either another crew member will be added or one of the existing crew will have to interrupt his previous duty to man the weapon. The Vindicator is usually equipped with an overly large and thick dozer blade known as a Siege Shield, which protects the tank from enemy fire and also allows it to push rubble and debris out of the way so other units can advance. The Vindicator can also be outfitted with several enhancements such as extra armour plating for more protection, a dozer blade if the Vindicator is not equipped with a Siege Shield already, a searchlight, a Hunter-Killer Missile Launcher, and smoke launchers.
During the Great Crusade and the Horus Heresy, it was possible for the Vindicator to be armed with a Laser Destroyer Array instead of a Demolisher Cannon. The vehicle could also be equipped with an auxiliary drive system, armoured ceramite plating, and a Machine Spirit, along with a variety of pintle-mounted weapons, including Combi-Bolters or other Combi-weapons, a Havoc Missile Launcher, and either a single Heavy Flamer, or a Heavy Bolter. It is unknown if these are still viable weapon load-out options in the late 41st Millennium.
Notable Users of the Vindicator
- Adeptus Astartes – The Space Marines of the Adeptus Astartes are the primary users of the Vindicator, and it is used by every known Chapter. The Space Marines use the Vindicator during urban, jungle, and heavy arboreal battles where its main weapon can destroy enemy infantry hiding in cover.
- Black Templars Space Marine Chapter – The Black Templars Space Marine Chapter used Vindicators during the Barbarus Incursion.
- Rampagers Space Marine Chapter – The Rampagers Space Marine Chapter used Vindicators during the defence of the planet Mackan against hostile forces.
- Raptors Space Marine Chapter – The Raptors Space Marine Chapter used Vindicators during the Taros Campaign against the Tau.
- Salamanders Space Marine Chapter - The Salamanders Space Marine Chapter used Vindicators during the Third War for Armageddon against the Orks, and also during the Badab War.
- Scythes of the Emperor – The Scythes of the Emperor Space Marine Chapter used Vindicators during the Defence of Miral Prime against the Tyranids of Hive Fleet Kraken.
- Space Wolves Space Marine Chapter – The Space Wolves Space Marine Chapter used Vindicators during the Magdelon Confrontation.
- Storm Giants Space Marine Chapter – The Storm Giants Space Marine Chapter used Vindicators during the Second Lastrati Punitive Campaign.
- Astartes Legions – The Vindicator was used during the Great Crusade and later the Horus Heresy by all or most of the original 18 Space Marine Legions. It is known that the vehicle was deployed regualy by the Iron Warriors, Ultramarines, and Imperial Fists, the vehicle was also modified to be used as a main battle tank by Legions such as the Sons of Horus and the Iron Hands.
- Chaos Space Marines – The Traitor Legions of Astartes that defected to the service of Chaos during the Horus Heresy and Renegade Astartes newly arrived at their allegiance to the Ruinous Powers use the Vindicator in the same way as Loyalist Astartes; namely as a heavy support vehicle during urban and dense terrain battles.
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