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M61 Series CSS Vehicles
While the modular turrets of the M61A through D were inspired by the Swedish CV90, the series of hull variants are inspired by the venerable M113.
About this creation


This is the end of the M61 hovertank project. Four turret variants and now four hull variants to create a complete system of vehicles. Like real-world armoured vehicles, often a single chassis will be modified multiple times to create several distinct vehicles. The M113 series is a classic example.

These are CSS vehicles (Combat Service & Support) that serve in third echelon roles providing engineering, medical, logistics and command & control functions.

The M61 hull was used for these large CSS vehicles to support the CARA doctrine (Combined Arms Rapid Assault) so that the front echelon units did not outpace their supporting elements. In this way, an entire brigade can cover huge distances at a remarkably high tempo of operations.

Now, the vehicles.

MMU-H

Military Medical Unit - Hover



The MMU has been gutted of all combat systems and is unarmed. The extra space allows for several casualties to be treated at once and for a considerable storage of medical supplies.



The tent extension is normally deployed as a triage area.



In this case, two guards are stationed outside the triage area due to an enemy combatant being triaged within.

ARV-H

Armoured Recovery Vehicle - Hover



The ARV provides engineering support for construction of static defenses and recovery of other vehicles. Hover vehicles with damaged polarity drives can be towed back to friendly lines after a series of hover pontoons are secured beneath and their power supply connected to the ARV. The powerful crane can simply lift many smaller vehicles and carry them for the trip back.



Like all CSS vehicles (except the MMU), the ARV retains the forward 30mm barbettes for self-defence while extracting damaged vehicles.



The ARV has been gutted of other weapon systems and instead carries construction supplies, tools and a workshop within.

CPSC-H

Command Post System Carrier - Hover



The CPSC carries advanced long-range communications similar to the M61D Argus.



When on station, the orbital uplink tower is deployed. Like other CSS vehicles, this one has removed weapon systems for extra room for command staff and communication systems. The CPSC in conjunction with patrolling Polaris UAVs and forward Argus EWVs can network every vehicle in the brigade with orbital command ships, creating total dominance of the data-sphere.



Senior officers briefing the vehicle crew.



HLV-H

Heavy Logistics Vehicle - Hover



The HLV is able to forward critical supplies to front-line units and then get back to safety at speed. Heavily armoured and armed with the standard twin 30mm barbettes, the HLV is able to operate well forward of where conventional logistics vehicles would be easy prey for convoy ambush.



Supplies can be unloaded through the rear hatch or by crane through the top hatch.



Here pallets of ammunition and food are off-loaded.



As is the case with the rest of the CSS vehicles, the HLV has been gutted of all non-essential combat systems to create extra functional room. A single HLV carries enough supplies to replenish a tank troop for 48 hrs of operations.



FINAL NOTES ABOUT THE BUILD:

Eight vehicles, one MOC, not bad. I'm more than pleased to move on to make the 'bad guys' now in much smaller vehicles! A video montage of the whole series should be coming out soon. Other than that, you won't see the M61 again until I've completed the Brickfilm I have planned.

As to the modularity of the MOC, the turrets obviously just fitted onto the single turret basket seen on my other pages. The hull roof forward of the engines is really just one slab that connects to the back at two points, to each side up front with a single stud, and is kept taut by the driver's hatch when closed. I removed the standard roof that allowed for the turret basket and built a new one with a commander's hatch built next to the driver. I tried to keep things common from version to version because, like real military vehicles, the wheel isn't constantly reinvented. And so, you see the same comms, radar, doo-dads, thingys, grenade launchers, etc. The only new stuff was what was functional to the actual vehicle like cranes, sat tower, etc.

Rebuilding the interior to reflect these CSS roles was out of the question. I'm not that insane.

Hope you've all enjoyed the series. Time to move on to other (and smaller) projects.

Better resolution pics on my Flickr account.

Please rate and comment.



Comments

 I like it 
  November 3, 2012
This is what really ended my dark ages and got me back into Lego. Still truely genious!
 I like it 
  February 5, 2010
Wow, I really want to make this now. Do you think you can send me a list of pieces and instructions? I'll make sure you get all of the credit and besides most people know I can't make something that good off the top of my head.
 I made it 
  September 2, 2009
Quoting Josh LeBlanc I love this series! Do you mind me asking where you got your bricks from? What sets would be best to go after? Or did you order them online? I have a very small amount of tan and brown bricks and nowhere near enough to even attemp to start a gulf colored anythng. I am not sure if I have overstepped the MOC rules of conduct but I am very impressed and would like to know. My son says he wants me to build him one but if I do build one from your design I wouldn't want to give it up! hehe Has anyone approached you to aquire a build before?
No problem, Josh, I've been asked before. All parts were ordered online from Bricklink.com. No sets were used. I went through the whole tan catalogue of parts, made a matrix of where I thought they might go on the tank, noted their availability, and then started ordering from rarest to most plentiful to make sure I had what I needed. Quite expensive. Shipping can be a killer when you're ordering from Europe/Australia.
 I like it 
  September 1, 2009
I love this series! Do you mind me asking where you got your bricks from? What sets would be best to go after? Or did you order them online? I have a very small amount of tan and brown bricks and nowhere near enough to even attemp to start a gulf colored anythng. I am not sure if I have overstepped the MOC rules of conduct but I am very impressed and would like to know. My son says he wants me to build him one but if I do build one from your design I wouldn't want to give it up! hehe Has anyone approached you to aquire a build before?
 I like it 
  August 23, 2009
Thanks for looking at my Titan! The exhaust pieces are from the old Jack Stone sets, I got them when I started building at 4. They are the steering wheel holders, minus the steering wheel.
 I made it 
  August 3, 2009
Quoting ZEO CMF This is the Swiss Army Knife of tanks. have you made more then one of these M61s yet?
What I actually built: one hull, four turrets, Mr. plow and two roofs. One roof fits the turrets, one was modified four times to build the CSS vehicles. The CSS roof has been dismantled along with all the mods. I only have so many tan bricks ;-)
 I like it 
  August 3, 2009
This is the Swiss Army Knife of tanks. have you made more then one of these M61s yet?
 I like it 
  August 3, 2009
fantastic work
 I like it 
  August 3, 2009
Yes they are :)
 I like it 
  August 3, 2009
Your hover tanks are the best!
 I like it 
  August 3, 2009
BRICKFILM! BRICKFILM! BRICKFILM! BRICKFILM! BRICKFILM! BRICKFILM! BRICKFILM! BRICKFILM! BRICKFILM! BRICKFILM! BRICKFILM! BRICKFILM! BRICKFILM! BRICKFILM! brickfilms Pwnz especially ones with good mocs on them. cant wait :P
 I like it 
  August 3, 2009
Just mind blowing. Simply, mind blowing.
Brad Edmondson
 I like it 
Ryan Mitchell
  August 2, 2009
Swwwwweeeeetttt!!!!! So is it a smaller version of the MBT or is it same size just different features?
 I like it 
  August 2, 2009
Whoa...
 I like it 
  August 2, 2009
Wow that is very well built
 I like it 
  August 2, 2009
That's... AWESOME! ~ Chris.
 I like it 
  August 2, 2009
Once again, excellent!
 I made it 
  August 2, 2009
Quoting Ryan Mitchell Swwwwweeeeetttt!!!!! So is it a smaller version of the MBT or is it same size just different features?
Same size, rebuild of the top.
 I like it 
  August 2, 2009
I really like your M61 series vehicles. I can't wait for the enemy vehicles!
 
By Brad Edmondson
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