Friday, March 5, 2010

Welcome to the Mobile Infantry!

I figured that since I was already thinking about powered armor, I might as well go ahead and design the gold-standard of powered armor, the Mobile Infantryman's suit from Starship Troopers.

This isn't to say that I've never tried to design this suit before. Oh no, I've tried plenty of times. The problem is that the MI Armor is has a lot of shit tacked on. Going by the first chapter, we see four atomic rockets, grenades, fire-pills, a beam-knife, a Y-rack that automatically launches ordinance every time the suit lands from a jump, and multiple different-sized flame throwers. Weapons are "unslung", there's a specific line later about how letting go of your rocket launcher causes it to "snap back into place'', and I haven't even mentioned the jump jets yet!

The only description in the text about the suit's appearance is "looks like a steel gorilla," and later a line saying that the helmet in particular looks like a "hydrocephalic gorilla". Using all of that and ample reference of modern military forces, I've got this:

I been focusing on the basic design of the suit so far, but I'm going to have to figure out where other weapons attach and how. Also, I'm going to do a shot from behind, to show off the jump jets and weapon attachments.


  1. It looks really good. If you wanted to make it look more gorilla like, I would suggest more of a bend in the knees. How mobile are they supposed to be? Do they carry the weight themselves, or does the suit do the work? It seems from this like it's a little bit of both. Are they capable of running, or do they kind of just plod around?
    (it's saying that I'm my friend Viktor for some reason

  2. The "mobile" part of their name is not understated: In the book, these guys get dropped from space and then use jump jets to hop a mile or more.

    The suit itself is powered, letting the user run and jump and punch walls down.

  3. The suit is also described as small enough that the trooper can walk down the halls of the ship and pass through the hatchways, but they can't walk right and must "shuffle" along.
    In one scene they unbolt the helmet and try to remove a wounded soldier, so the access would seem to be the helmet.
    I always invisioned weapons and tools all over the front of the suit and upper legs at easy access. Perhaps as described with the atomic armed missle they would be more of a micro tech weapon that would be quite small.
    The "Flamer" and other heat weapons might even be a broad beam laser.