Welcome! This is the home of my tank people OCs, where I keep their profiles and some info on their world. Read on to find out the most important facts in a nutshell.
What the hell are they?
Tank people aka turret heads aka tank heads are something I certainly didn't invent, but found a really cool concept so I adopted it and put my own twist on it. I've started drawing them back in 2016 and soon started coming up with some personalities and backstories for them.
Some quick facts:
- Tank people are the reincarnated souls of destroyed tanks.
- They retain the memories of their past “life”.
- No, their cannons don't work.
- They live among humans.
- Sometimes their former crews are still alive; some tank people form a strong bond with them.
- Only their turrets are made of metal, the rest of their bodies appear human.
- After their reincarnation, if they are killed they stay dead for good.
- They can't eat or drink; they don't have to.
If you're curious and want to read further, there's more, rather detailed stuff I came up with. Check out the Lore page.
Did you know I made a video game? It's available for FREE on itch.io, click the banner below to get to the page where you can download it. If you like it, please leave me a comment there or donate to my ko-fi account!
Whoa, didn't expect you here. Hi. Let me just put on some clothes and then let's go down that rabbit hole, shall we?
Their bodies are made of flesh and bone as well and - except for the head - look identical to that of a regular human. All sexes, ethnicities, and body types occur. Typically, the sex appears to be random, while the ethnicity matches the population of the tank head's origin, and their body type / height is proportional to their tank body.
Only the outer surface and some of the interior of the head is made of metal. The extra weight that the steel adds leads to the neck bones being stronger, but not in an outwardly noticeable way. Due to big parts of the head featuring air pockets (similar to bird bones), the additional weight isn't great. The surface can be modified and repainted easily.
Inside the head, the organs are re-arranged and modified to suit the head. The brain is usually located near the cannon breech.
Airways and optical nerves are rerouted. There is no actual mouth present, but a pseudo-mouth allows them to speak, despite being useless otherwise. Breathing happens through the cannon barrel, and also through a hole in the turret's floor. This hole may be circle- or rectangle-shaped and leaves enough space for the neck as well as a range of head movements.
All hatches on the turret can be opened, and will expose the insides. Commonly just called "headmeat", it is the head's organs and the fleshy surface of the membrane that surrounds them. Opening the hatches should only be done in cases of emergency and by health professionals, since the insides are vulnerable to injury and infection.
Since the turret acts as the skull, a tank head that can't form a proper head at rebirth will most likely die immediately, akin to a human born without a complete skull. This concerns mostly open-topped or turret-less tanks.
Even though all organs of a human are present in a tank head, not all of them are functional. There are some similarities, but also some differences to regular human bodily functions.
- Lungs: Fully functional. Tank heads can suffer from respiratory issues and infections. They can get sniffly.
- Heart: Fully functional. Tank heads can bleed and die from blood loss. Their blood recovers normally.
- Digestive Tract: Completely dysfunctional. The organs are there and fully developed, but don't do anything. They may contract diseases, however. It's possible for a tank head to vomit, even though they only have a sort of slimy coating instead of stomach acid.
- Brain: Fully functional. The metal skull makes it very vulnerable to cold and heat. Concussions are more common than in humans due to the surrounding air pockets.
Hair and nails grow normally, and wounds from injuries or surgery heal at a normal rate. It is also possible for a tank head to tan. Their bodies don't age at all; combined with the fact that they are already reborn as adults, this means that they always appear as in their mid-20s.
The height, weight, and build of a tank head depends on what tank they were in their past life. Small tanks become shorter tank heads, big tanks become tall ones. A heavy tank will be meatier than for example a light tank destroyer. The tallest tank heads tend to be taller than regular humans, but so far the shortest known tank heads are about 1.50m (4'11') tall.
There are of course exceptions to this "rule", although they seem to be very rare. Despite some random variations, there are a lot of tank heads of the same tank model that simply look identical.
Tank heads are almost identical to humans, DNA-wise. Nevertheless, they're unable to produce offspring - neither with their own kind, nor with humans.
Relationships between tank heads are seen as unproblematic, but things get complicated when humans get involved. It is generally discouraged for tank heads to date humans. It's not only stigma - even tank heads themselves would often tell a friend not to get involved with a human. In fact, many relationships fail because of the fact that tank heads don't age like their human partners and can't have biological children.
Life and Death
When a tank is destroyed, a tank head gets reborn. The time this takes is seemingly random; it can take hours, or many years.
The process is unexplained. They just suddenly appear in the place that their tank self was destroyed, naked and with all the memories of their past life.
Like their bodies, their minds are those of adults when they are born. They lack life experience, though, which means that young tank heads act like young adults that lived a sheltered life at home and are now forced to deal with the outside world and their own problems for the first time.
When they are found after their rebirth, tank heads are taken to one of the special municipalities where their origin is determined. If possible, they are identified as their tank self and then receive whatever belongings or funds their crew intended for them.
Some turret heads are never reported to the municipalities and instead live their life as undocumented citizens. Reasons include trying to evade being transferred back to their countries of origin, or being victims of human trafficking. They often acquire fake IDs and work off the book.
Upon registration, a tank head is prompted to choose a first and last name for themself. Most go with random ordinary names, but some choose more unusual ones.
Many tank heads live in poverty. They usually don't have anyone to support them when they are reborn, and get a rough start in life. Finding education and jobs is tough for them, and many end up failing to get either. There are many associations and even private persons that try to support them, but successful and independent tank heads are still not the norm.
Once a tank head is killed, they stay dead for good. They can die from injury and sickness.
Many tank heads want to be seen as humans, but there are also ones who don't want to be associated with them. Those either see themselves as a sort of completely different species, sister-species, or just simply and plainly tanks.