The Rhino was built so that it could be redily converted to meet various specialist requirements. many were hastily uparmed during the early days of the Horus Heresy, to cope with the increasing demand for heavy firepower. The Sabre Tank Hunter was the result of one such modification.
Vehicles formed by adding a fixed forward-fireing heavy weapon to a Rhino have become known as Tank Hunters, after their major role during the Heresy. These vehicles also possess heavy frontal armour to protect them from enemy fire. But while there exist Tank Hunters with missle launchers, lascannons and other heavy weapons, the autocannon-armed Sabre is the most common.
The Sabre is the best remembered for the role it played in the latter days of the siege of Sebundapor. The city had been retaken by the Dark Angel Space Marines from a combined force of Chaos Renegades and Ork Freebooters. On the arrival of unexpected Ork reinforcements, however, the Marines found themselves pushed back into the Capital City of Kalinoo, their numbers severly depleted. The Orkish hordes saw their advantage and pressed towards Kalinoo across the famous Black Gorge - a mile wide crack in the earth, separating the advancing hordes from the city itself.
A single Tank Hunter squadron under the command of Marine Captain Ican Mandro took up positions in the Kalinoo heights, overlooking the Gorge's only remaining bridge. The bridge was made from solid adamantium, and had stood since the Dark Age of Technology. All other bridges across the Black Gorge had been destroyed, but this ancient structure had resisted all attempts at demolition.
Mandro allowed the advancing column of Ork vehicles to almost cross the bridge before ordering his gunners to begin shooting.
With deadly accuracy, the Sabre Tank Hunters picked off the lead vehicles, thereby blocking the bridge to the front. Once the column had halted, Mandro ordered his gunners to fire at the vehicles at the other ends of the bridge, so that the Orks were unable to retreat. Once both ends of the line were blocked by destroyed vehicles, those in the middle were trapped, and Mandro's Tank Hunters cooly picked them off one by one.
For his bravery and cool-headedness Mandro was acclaimed as Saviour of the Chapter and Hero of Sebundapor. The bridge still stands today and is known as the Mandro Crossing after this famous incident.
The Sabre Tank Hunter Differs slightly from the standard Rhino. The Sabre Tank Hunter carries no additional troops. It is armed with a single autocannon and a bolt gun, both designed to shoot straight ahead.
Sabres are generally painted in the standard Marine Chapter or Imperial Guard colour schemes, although bright colours on the vehicles are rare as they are usually employed in ambushes and hit-and-run attacks. Blood Angel Sabres, for example, are mainly painted in Codex Grey rather than the Chapter's usual red.
Camouflage schemes are popular, as is the attachment of local vegetation to the vehicle's hull.
Identification symbols on the roof are not common as on the other Imperial vehicles, as it is felt it may compromise the vehicles concealment.
Quoted from pages 45 to 49 of white dwarf #120. Writen by Rick Priestley, Model by Tony Cottrell.