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About the project
The versatile and robust Mule comes in a number of variants with the 4 wheel Troop Transport and longer wheelbase 6 wheel command & control Communications Van versions in addition to the Field Ambulance Rescue & Recovery vehicle seen here. All Mule variants feature a 1000hp hydrogen fueled internal combustion engine equipped with a continuously-variable transmission and all wheel drive. Long travel suspension and over a meter of ground clearance affords the Mule true all terrain capability. All Mule variants feature a V-section "boat hull" style armored body with identical modular 4cm thick plasteel canopies over the cockpit. The modular plasteel canopy will stop small arms fire up to a .50 Caliber round.
The M34 was developed prior to the Human-Covenant War as an up-armored and up-sized utility alternative to the ubiquitous M12 Warthog. The design rational was to create a more survivable vehicle in order to address colonial insurrectionists' propensity for roadside IED and ambush attacks against local peace keeping and UNSC expeditionary forces. However, the Mule's higher manufacturing cost and its reduced maneuverability (when compared to the Warthog's 4 wheel steering) translated to far higher numbers of Warthogs being produced and fielded. Still when the bullets/plasma are flying in a hot AO, the wind whipping through your hair doesn't really seem like such a great idea!
Optimized for battlefield rescue/recovery operations, the M34 ERV accommodates a crew of two SARtech trained corpsmen, one driving and the other attending to onboard casualties. The cabin is configured for critical care casevac with two litters accommodating seriously wounded casualties and two snug jump seats adjacent the rear ramp for “walking wounded”. In addition to the medical triage gear, the vehicle is also equipped with a motorized metal saw, “jaws of life”, and other specialized crash rescue equipment to facilitate freeing crew from downed aircraft or battle damaged vehicles.
Like my two prior Mule variants, I borrowed Mega Bloks' Warthog swing arm suspension design for this MOC. The canopies and wheels were sourced from the original Halo Wars Gremlin. The build would be 100% Mega but for the grill guard, two black angled rooftop skylight windows sections, six black funky multi-angle side panels, and a pair of black mud flaps sourced from the L*go catalog. Back when I came up with the prior Mule customs, the COD grill guard didn’t exist yet, so I’m committed to the L*go version at this point. Today there are still no suitable equivalents to the roof skylights and angled wall panels from Mega Construx. There are lots of other funky details incorporated in the build which I was unable to properly photograph due the compact size and intricacy of the build. There are grab rails running down the casualty cabin ceiling, portable cases of equipment beneath the litters, and medical displays of the passengers’ vitals opposite the SAR tech’s jumpseat. There is even a pair of wall mounted PDWs in case the crew gains some unwanted attention on the battlefield.