Dog of the Machine

Despite me loving cosmetics so very, very much, I’ve never been much of a fan about cosmetic sets. Part of the joy of cosmetics for me is coming out with my own sets that I like and uniquely represents me. However, there is one particular set that I personally love, and it just so happens to be a Halloween set. Tremble, humans, as the Canis Ex Machina roams among you all.


Added during Scream Fortress 2014, the Canis Ex Machina is a reference to the series of infamous Soviet experiments, Эксперименты по оживлению организма (Experiments in the Revival of Organisms). The most famous experiment of the bunch is the one where a severed dog’s head is kept alive via a device supplying oxygenated blood to the head. It responded to external stimuli much like a real dog would, but it can’t run to its master anymore. It was just a head, placed on top of a cold tray in a sterile lab, forcefully kept in the realm of the living by machines making a mockery of the natural way an organism functions…

Anyways, the set comprises of three parts, which we’ll look at individually.


The Hundkopf (“Dog Head” in German, unsurprisingly) is the #1 furry hat in TF2 until the addition of the Head Prize in Smissmass 2016. Now that I got that out of the way, let’s move on.

The Hundkopf is a white canine head that replaces the Medic’s own head. It resembles the severed head of the dog used in the Soviet experiments, and for those squeamish folks out there you’ll just have to take my word for it. It has a whole range of facial flexes and lip-sync animation sliders, making it a lot more expressive than one might expect. One little detail that I like is the tuft of fur on the Hundkopf’s forehead mimicking the curl of hair hanging before the Medic’s forehead. It is a very nice touch.


The Kriegsmaschine-9000 (“War Machine 9000” in German) is, in my opinion, the weakest of the three. It’s a mechanical armour that seems to be just here to fulfill the “Machina” (“Machine” in Latin) part of the Canis Ex Machina name. Ol’ Kriegsmashine is a rather heavy-looking metal armour covering the top part of Medic’s chest and arms. It doesn’t look too bad, but it has a tendency to clip into itself. I supposed it can’t really be helped considering how bulky it is, but that still irritates me a lot.


The Herzensbrecher (“Heartbreaker” in German) gives Medic a large metal belt buckle with his class emblem on it, with two canisters containing glowing team-coloured fluids beside it. There are also two other similar canisters at the back. On the Medic’s chest is a team-coloured heart encased in a transparent dome. The heart dome and the canisters have black rubber tubes leading out of it.

It brings my mind to one of the experiments where a heart is kept alive and beating while isolated from the body, which is part of the Experiments in the Revival of Organisms. And… wait a second, that’s not the Medic’s heart, it doesn’t have the Uber device attached on it! Besides, it’s way too small to survive the procedure even if it does, since Meet the Medic establishes that only a mega baboon heart can survive the procedure! Where did you get that heart from, Medic? Put! It! Back!


Fun fact: The Herzensbrecher adds a small backpack for the Medic that is normally covered up by the Medic’s default backpack. Which means the only time you get to see it is when you have the Vaccinator equipped with it. Which means you have about as much chance of seeing it as winning the lottery.


This set, thematically speaking, is perfect for Medic. Considering his tendency for … research, if not for the fact that he much prefers to experiment on humans and actually gets a supply of test subjects rather regularly, I could see him finishing the whole series of Experiments in the Revival of Organisms before lunch.  The set itself, barring my personal dissatisfaction with the Kriegsmashine, looks really good. And whoever’s trying to shame you for being a furry is probably just jealous of your sweet, sweet looks. This is my go-to Halloween set every year, in fact.

This set is, as I said at the beginning, my favourite cosmetic set of all time. And as Halloween sets go, this is one of the best out there for most people. I kind of wish that the set gives Medic a more hunched posture and animal-like movements, but I suppose it would have messed up the Medic’s silhouette’s readability. Maybe a wolf howl taunt? That would be nice.


Also, happy Halloween!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *