Many of the war machines used by the Imperium are derived from a small number of basic designs found in the STC system. The Rhino Armoured Personnel Carrier has proved to be one of the most versatile of these basic designs, with literally thousands of variants in service. The Vindicator is just one of these.
The Vindicator is a further example of the many ways in which the Rhino Armoured Personnel Carrier can be adapted to fulfil a huge variety of battlefield roles. the notion of fitting a large calibre cannon into the Rhino evolved during the very early years of the Horus Heresy, as a result of the fierce inner-city battles on Rothern I, when a method of destroying well-armoured enemy positions in cramped conditions was required. The ad hoc vehicles, which were later to become the Vindicators, were designed to take badly needed heavy weapons amongst the narrow alleyways.
The design proved to be tremendously successful; the prototype Vindicators (called thunderers originally "note by typer") were instrumental in the decisive clearance of Stahlenburg, and hence the ultimate victory of the Rostern I campaign. The design was quickly copied by Horus' forces, and comparable Vindicators fought on both sides throughout the whole of the Horus Heresy. Since the end of the Heresy, the Vindicator has been refined and now forms a standard part of the Imperial forces equipment.
Most of the modifications made when constructing a Vindicator are internal. The main sections of the bodywork, including the chassis, outer armoured frame and armoured body shell are retained from the Rhino. The front section is reinforced around the gun mantle, both to support the weapon and to protect the vindicator against frontal attack. But it is inside that the greatest alterations take place. The driver's compartment is moved towards the rear of the vehicle and shifted to one side to avoid the huge Thunderer Cannon that passes into the vehicle's interior. The crew compartment is refitted to take the cannon crewman and ammunition storage area. The latter is especially vulnerable to enemy fire, and is therefore heavily armoured.
The Thunderer itself is an awesome weapon, fully capable of destroying an enemy position with one shot. Unfortunately, given the large size of the Thunderer's shells - which are almost five feet in length - there is only room for half a dozen in the Vindicator's ammunition storage area. This rather odd situation arose when the Vindicator was first designed. Original versions of the stub-nosed, large Calibre cannon were made from the breech and cut-down barrel sections of a marco-cannon, as this was the only available weapon suitable for the role that the Vindiactor was expected to fill.
As the size of the vehicle was of paramount importance, the fact that it could only carry a limited number of shells was considered secondary.
The Vindicator has remained in service because this logic still holds true today. In amongst the labyrinthian streets of a hive-world, and other similar enviroments, the Vindicator is unparalleled. Whereas other vehicles would quickly be outflanked, the Vindicator can simply obliterate obstacles that lie in its path and power over the ruble.
The Vindicator cannot carry any additional troops. It is armed with a Thunderer Cannon. The Thundere cannon may only be used as a vehicle mounted or emplaced weapon; it is too heavy too be carried or mounted on a normal weapon mount such as a Tarantula or rapier.
Because of its mounting, when attached to a Vindicator the Thunderer may only fire straight ahead. In addition because of the limited ammunition carrying capacity of the Vindicator, the Thunderer may only fire six shots. (things have changed with this rule obviously "note from typer")
Vindicators are painted in the same colour schemes as the other vehicles of a Marine Chapter or Imperial Guard regiment. Vehicles frequently carry an identification symbol on the roof hatch. Although this varies between the various Chapters and Regiments, it is usually based around a 'V' shape, and a few examples are shown below. You can either paint the symbol directly onto your model, or stencil it on as described in the Whirlwind article. Alternatively, you may prefer o photocopy the examples we've provided, colour them, cut them out, and stick them on your model.
White Dwarf #118 pg 26 threw 32. Article by Rick Priestley, model by Tony Cottrell
(model and pics to follow in the next day or so....)
Like the predator, the Vindicator is a variant on the Rhino APC chassis. It carries a single heavy weapon in a front swivel mount - a heavy assault gun known the Thunderer. The Vindicator was originally designed by the loyalist forces fighting in built-up areas, where range was secondary to the gun's effect against buildings and enemy armour. After its decisive role in the clearance of Stahlenburg during the Scouring of Rostern I, the forces of Horus copied the design, and within months the Vindicator was in use by both sides.
page 34 of Codex Titanicus.