More more shadings and stuffs, coming along nicely :)
WIP of an earlier scene in the sequence of this and this, with Ingrid's tank stopping at a countryside gas station to refuel after the Battle of Sarren Valley. The crew of the escorting IFV are taking the chance to nap or stretch their legs.
Pictured is Ingrid's S-3 Black Swan heavy main battle tank, here equipped with a 40mm automatic grenade launcher on the commander's flex mount rather than the 8.1mm medium machine gun fitted when she was deployed to Omar, and an MC-2 Broadsword IFV. MC-2s are heavy IFVs based on the running gear of the Black Swan's predecessor, the S-2 Swan.
The Broadsword, like the Black Swan, is a modular design with a variety of turret configurations; the commander's flex mount and side-mounted launcher brackets on turrets that have them are designed to accept a variety of weapon packages, and the hull can mount either a low-pressure 108mm gun / missile launcher, high-pressure 75mm cannon (with troop capacity reduced by ammunition stowage) or high-angle 50, 40 or 30mm guns. This one mounts a 50mm gun, along with eight Silver Dart surface-to-air missiles in the launcher boxes (the same portable IR-guided SAM used by Aludran infantry) and two 8.1mm machine guns, one coaxial and one on the commander's mount. While no match for a large Air Destroyer, this armament would be a substantial threat to a smaller Leviship or a conventional aircraft.
Aludran vehicle crews still wear an updated, fireproof version of the Reformation War-era field grey uniform, while infantry wear a more modern dark green camouflage uniform.
Ingrid's Black Swan is vehicle number 97, actually the fifth tank off the assembly line since Aludran numbering systems are usually non-sequential to hide the number produced
*. The vehicle's callsign is assigned on a per-operation basis (on Omar it was Delphinium 1) but to Ingrid it's always Claudia IV, after her first wife
The kitty in the foreground is named Naomi, she's a young mom who's just on her own way home from a museum visit with her little daughter. Naomi makes wedding cakes for a living; due to the Aludran tendency to never do anything by halves, she got a full scholarship from the Reidan City College of Fine Art and her degree includes baking, fine art, sculpture and short courses in structural engineering and applied chemistry.
She's also a minor noble, a title conferred to her by the Empress after she made the cake for the recent wedding of the Princess Imperial.
On the pump there are two clocks showing the same time in the Aludran and Chiran systems; this became common in Aludra following the first period of relative peace with Chira. The Chirans count in base-9 save the second digit which is base-10 (nine stripes on their tail counted with ten fingers), so their day is nine hours of ninety minutes of ninety seconds, with the clock only going around once a day. The intervals on the clock are 10 (for them 11) seconds rather than 9 (10) seconds for the sake of not having two different sets of numbers on the face.
Chiran immigrants are given a codewheel or slide rule to translate numbers into their system, but it was felt it would be obnoxious to ask them to do this with public clocks.
*The Chirans eventually discovered the "board of assignment" for vehicle numbers was an actual board with hooks marked 1-350, which was used to hang birdseed to attract birds with numbered tags on them.
**Claudia is not sure if she finds having a 97-ton tank named after her flattering, but she is at least smug that Ingrid's on her fourth tank while she's still the original. She does not appreciate Ingrid saying she's the easier to handle of the two and this is a good way to earn a cat glare.