Prabal Nandy (nandy@U.Arizona.EDU)
Sun, 13 Dec 1998 21:46:30 -0700 (MST)
I was just looking at my Gerbera Tetra model today and planning how to
paint it (Primer Grey with red and yellow highlights I think) and I think
I just figured something out about Gundam weapons that's been bugging me
for a LONG time!
So far we've talked about EPACs and ECAPs when refering to various
Gundam weapons. There are weapons that have capacitors, such as the
original gundam rifle and the GMII rifle that we call ECAPs. There are
weapons with basically removable capacitors that we call EPACs. So far
it's not been totally clear to me whether these devices hold simply power,
or pre-charged Minofsky particle 'ammo' or what! Clearly, a weapon
requires not just M-Particles but energy to operate. I guessed that the
EPAC or ECAP actually stored the highly charged particles and that the MS
itself provided the 'firing' power... though it doesn't really explain how
the original GM's ECAPless gun worked. Also, it never really explained
why mecha like the GM-GS had that large, unique-looking bottle 'magazine'
on their weapons.
Then I looked at the Gerbera Tetra! To my surprise, the HUGE rifle that
this mecha carries has BOTH a large bottle-shaped magazine on it AND a
GP-01-styled EPAC clip on the rear of the rifle! What can this mean? Well,
there's one thing I can think of.... The EPAC/ECAP provides raw power to
the rifle, while the large bottle-shaped device is actually a Magnetic
bottle providing highly-charged particles for the weapon to fire. What
makes this theory kinda neat is that it suggests that the GM-GS's beam
pistol is really not that much different from the original GM's
beam-pistol, it still lacks an ECAP, but it has more particles to fire.
Hence, it can fire more M-Particle "Ammo" per shot than the measly
beam-spray gun carried by the original GM.
Well, what does that mean about the large number of MS that lack the
'magnetic bottle' that the GM-GS and GT carry? Well, I'd suspect that it
means that the beam-rifle must receive its M-Particles from the MS's own
reactor... possibly mecha like the GT and GM-GS have insufficent reactor
power to supply the necessary particles to the weapon and hence need a
Mag-bottle to contain extra particles needed during combat. You'll notice
that in all the cases when we see a Mag-Bottle on a Gundam MS, it's
inclined about 60-degrees to the weapon itself (what we'd expect for a
mag-bottle going into some kind of accellerator system.) Later-era MS have
plenty of reactor power and hence don't need the mag-bottle to supply
extra M-Particles... but since the power of the weapon itself has
increased proportionately, EPACs are still needed. (And they seem to get
larger as time goes on as well.)
My bet is that we can look at the way power and particles factor into
beam-rifle power as similar to E=1/2MV^2. The more particles, the more M
"Punch", the more power from an EPAC/ECAP, the more V "Shot Speed". This
makes alot of sense in the evolution of Gundam weaponry, as they chose to
create more powerful weapons by increasing the juice available for
accelleration 'speeding up' the M-particle shot speed by providing
MS guns with big ECAPs and EPACs rather than by increasing the "M", number
of particles per shot by adding big Magnetic Bottles....
Makes alot of sense, eh?
So finally, why does the GT carry both an EPAC and a Mag-Bottle? Well, I
think the answer is that while the GT carries a very powerful generator,
it's also designed as an 'interceptor' with lots of fuel and a Kampfer-ish
level of thrusters and nozzles. It's designed for fighting at high speeds
and at full thrust, when a MS might not have the juice available to divert
into weapons. Possibly as well, the GT, a new Prototype, might simply have
not been equipped with the hand-connectors needed to supply M-Particles
and power to the gun, so it may have been supplied with a stock Anaheim
"Standalone" weapon that needs no outside connectors. (You'll note that
the grip and trigger of this weapon are the thinnest grips ever seen on a
beam rifle, particularly one of that MASSIVE size! Perhaps there are no
connectors at all on the rifle?)
Of course, it is also possible that the bottle is nothing but some sort
of coolant supply for the beam-rifle. The GM-GS has some sort of tubing
going from the back of the gun to a 'sleeve' like structure under the
barrel of the weapon, while the GT has a large, thick 'jacket' wrapped
around the barrel of its beam-rifle, perforated with cooling vents, which
can suggest a sort of heat exchanger running fluid from the coolant 'tank'
around the super-hot beam-rifle barrel.
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