By Joe Roberts
Scroll down for the full story
Videographer / director: Adam Gray
Producer: Joe Roberts, Ruby Coote
Editor: Ross Dower
Bryant Havercamp, a phone technician from Michigan, built the incredibly-detailed replica completely by himself, using traditional fabrication methods, a 3D printer, and the frame of a 1984 Chevy K10.
The fully street-legal recreation is based on a 3D model extracted directly from the Halo game, allowing Bryant to match the truck’s measurements to the in-game version.
Bryant told Barcroft Media: “Most people when they see this thing are just absolutely floored with how realistic it looks.
“I’m a big Halo fan. I have been ever since I played it back in 2003. I’m trying to build this thing as close to the actual Warthog as possible.
“I have built it from the ground up, completely solo, on my own. This is actually the first vehicle I have ever built from the ground up. I have worked on my Mustang’s bodywork but never engine work. Never framework or structural work.”
In the Halo 3 game, the ‘M12 Light Reconnaissance Vehicle’ is a four-wheel drive, all-terrain utility truck, and Bryant decided to build a real-life version while playing the game with a friend back in 2003.
He managed to find a stripped-down 1984 Chevy K10 pick-up truck, which he split into three sections and reconstructed to build a frame that fit the shape of the Warthog.
The body was then constructed from iron, sheet metal, and plastic, which sits on 35x15x15-inch super swamper tyres. But the engine was Bryant’s biggest triumph.
“The engine is based off a 1984 Chevy 350,” he explained. “But I rebuilt it so that it’s got Vortec heads with a 64cc combustion chamber, roughly 9.3 to 1 compression ratio, long tube headers, stock cam shaft, nothing too aggressive.
“I would say my favourite memory out of the entire construction process was probably three months into it. It was the first time I have ever built an engine. I had no idea if it was going to start up.
“But when I turned that key and the engine fired right up, it brought a smile to my face. And just the best feeling ever.”
Bryant says his work has resulted in about 350-400 horsepower, which means the vehicle can reach up to 85mph, but the Warthog is about more than just performance.
All the extra details make the difference on this particular recreation, with Bryant adding a custom-made functioning winch to the front bumper, designed to look like Warthog tusks, which took him two weeks of welding, grinding, and fabricating to make from scratch.
He said: “A lot of time and effort goes into building something this complicated. All the little details, they add up. Five and a half years and I’m still not done.
“It’s got fully functional lights, brights, high-beams, blinkers, off-road lights on the top to match the Warthog’s actual functional lights.
“The front of the Warthog is actually a functioning hood. It flips open like a snowmobile hood, front-ways, and gives access to the engine in case you have to work on something.”
For the body, Bryant used galvanised steel, and 1/8-inch thick tubular square steel for the roll cage, using a 3D printer (which, naturally he assembled himself) to print smaller parts such as the rear-view camera cover and the gas cap cover.
Other features include a fully-functioning custom illuminated dashboard, and racing seats Bryant bought on eBay and which keep occupants safe during off-road adventures.
With this much attention to detail, it’s no wonder his creation draws attention. Bryant said: “Everywhere I seem to drive this thing it turns heads. Pulling into a gas station people are stopping to take pictures. Asking questions about it.
“People may not recognise that it’s a Warthog, but they just think it looks cool so they want to take pictures. Pretty much, this turns heads all around.”
The project has been a gruelling one at times, with Bryant having to go to hospital twice after injuring himself on the build – once for burns and once for carbon monoxide poisoning.
He also estimates he has spent around $11,000 on materials, with the hospital bills adding an extra $5,000 to his overall spend.
But, after he adds four-wheel steering and some extra aesthetic pieces, Bryant hopes to sell the Warthog for between $75,000 to $100,000, and plans to use that cash to fund a Phd in Physics.
It’s a realistic goal considering the effort he has put in to building the vehicle, though when the time comes, he might find it difficult to part with something he worked so hard on.
“Some of my favourite memories from building this thing were actually when I had it up and running for the first time ever,” he said.
“I was able to actually take it out on the road, take it for a test drive. And just the feeling of driving this unique, beastly-looking machine down the road that looks like nothing else, it just puts a warm fuzzy feeling in your heart.”