Painting Battletech (Part 4)

Here’s the last two of four Iron Wind Metals BattleTech mechs. I finished them just over a week ago, but I’d been waiting for some warmer weather to be able to spray varnish and let them dry.

The Dola (on the left) is quite large and was rather fiddly to assemble. A complete rethink of the basing helped made it stand up properly and I feel looks really good. The sword it holds has a fine joint between hand and blade, and bends too easily. It would be easy to break off if care isn’t taken with handling. The Gurhka was a bit easier, but I would have spent more care positioning the legs at the time of gluing if I’d realised that early that it could end up bot being entirely vertical in stance. By the time I was basing it, and realised, I wasn’t going to pull it apart and try again.

The DOL-1A1 is an Inner Sphere mech used as a skirmisher, primarily by House Liao’s Capellan Confederation. As such I’ve gone with a colour scheme used by the Capellan dragoons. It mounts a pair of medium lasers in addition to the sword.

The Gurkha, also an Inner Sphere mech, was developed by the Word of Blake. The GUR-2G is fast with good armour. It has a four-laser hand, sword and particle projector cannon. (I presume the PPC is the chest mount.)

I’m very glad to have these all done and even happier with the way they all look now. Here’s a shot with all four together:

That almost completely clears my painting tray. Of the six figures remaing, I only want to paint two of them – a Warhammer terminator and a possible Drizzt figure. (Warrior with two scimitars) Two more are old skeletons that need paint removed before I could start on them, and that’s part of the reason I’m not enthusiastic about them. Then I have a metal two-part black orc shaman, and a bones priest. I have a non-bones prepainted plastic of the priest already, and the shaman doesn’t really fit with my other orcs.

Painting Battletech (Part 3)

Two of the four BattleTech mech’s are completed. I’ve been doing a little bit each evening during the week and thoroughly enjoyed painting these.

On the left is the Roadrunner RD-1R (also called an Emerald Harrier) and the right the Lament LMT-2R.

For those who may be interested:

The Roadrunner is a Clan Jade Falcon mech, 15 tons from the Late Succession War (2901-3019, and used up to 3058). It’s a fast, lightly armoured mech with two medium lasers.

The Lament is a heavy Inner Sphere mech, 65 ton created for the armed forces of the Republic of the Sphere about 3127. (Dark Age 3131-3150) Mostly used by regiments of Stone’s Brigade. This heavily armoured mech has a heavy particle projection cannon on each arm, and three medium lasers on the upper torso.

Painting Schemes:

I couldn’t find specific colours for the Jade Falcon Clan (and didn’t look too hard) but did find many other JF mech’s painted in dark green with yellow panels… worked for me!

The Lament is painted in Stone’s Brigade spec’s, specifically following that of the 52nd Shadow Division. I’m not a Battletech nut, so I’ve ignored the “fact” that this divisiion was mostly active about 50 years earlier. I like the colours! The figure had a distinct hole/dimple in the lower right leg. I tried filling this, but wasn’t entirely successful and decided to do it up as battle damage.

EDIT: Got my colour scheme and mechs confused. Shadow Division is actually ‘Word of Blake’ which should be the Gurkha. Stone’s Brigade has a bunch of designs (not red) that were possibly beyond my skill, but I still like the red and black I used.

Here’s an outside image taken which brings up the colours differently for some comparison.

If I had decals or much better freehand, it would be nice to add insignia on some of the panels, but I don’t… so this is it. Two done, two to go!

PS: Hope you like them my friend Asmodeus!

Painting BattleTech (Part 2)

BattleTech has been around in multiple forms since 1984. The closest I got to it myself was watching Robotech (and similar anime) and playing a little bit of the Robotech RPG (Palladium 1986).

These metal figures were produced by Iron Wind Metals in 2011-2015, though I noted the Gurkha actually had Ral Partha 2002 on the frame.

Separation and clean up was pretty easy. Lots of flash and a fair number of mold lines, that meant I spent a fair amount of time with clippers, knife and file.

The Roadrunner is the simplest of the lot, but the other three are exactly what I don’t like with multi-part figures. The only advantage I see in multi-part is if it allows alternate posing or positioning.

The Gurkha is 5 parts, and could have been two. (I would think the arm with the sword is good being separate)There’s really only one way to put it together without bending the metal.

The Lament is 8 parts and the feet should have been part of the legs. You can, at least, swivel this at the waist, and with careful filing possibly tilt the arms.

The Dola mech is the best and worst simultaneously. 8 parts, almost all with ball and socket joints, do allow some potential for posing, but making sure it all stays together and can still stand upright is going to be… interesting!

Two of the figures had no bases, and I’m not using the two small thin bases that were supplied. I was thrilled to find some good sized metal hexagonal bases (and a round one that’s had some filing) in my stuff to better suit the size and weight of all this pewter!

Left to Right: Dola, Gurkha, Roadrunner, Lament. From assembled but unpainted, through varying degrees of painting.

Making sure that legs line up in three dimensions has been harder than I’d expected. I’d been mostly concerned with gluing the legs “straight” and having the mech stand properly on the base. What I hadn’t considered was doing this and having the rest of the body in a balanced looking position.

The Lament intentionally leans slightly to one side because I positioned it with one leg slightly raised as if stepping forward. The Gurkha has legs cast in different positions and he ended up with the feet somewhat closer together than they should have been giving him a bit of an unintentional lean. (I’d done him first and once I realised this, didn’t want to break or dissolve the bond to try repositioning) The Dola was last, and all looked good until I realised the arms when joined to the rear of the broad flattened torso, would make it look like it was leaning back. It is sculpted to be stepping forward, which isn’t as bad as if it was meant to be standing upright. Not the effect I wanted, but only distinct from a side/rear profile. My image from the net has the torso at a steep forward angle that I didn’t like, and this is likely the reason why that was done. I’m going to re-do the base with a slant that he’s walking down. I’ve got some nice pieces of slate that need trimming and filing/cutting.

Painting Battletech

I haven’t really had the interest to paint much this year… the summer heat, the distraction of reading, computer games, and writing role-playing stuff have all been factors. My tray of stuff to paint has been nine figures (four of them daemonettes I’d prefer to sell or give away) for months and aren’t inspiring me.

On Friday I had lunch with a friend who gave me four Battletech mechs to assemble and paint. These are quite different from my usual figures, but are interesting enough to keep my attention for a while.

These are a Gurkha GUR-2G, a Dola Mech, a Lament LMT-2R and a Roadrunner RD-1R. The first three are Inner Sphere mechs, and the last a Clan mech, all from slightly different Era’s – Jihad, Civil War, Dark Age & Late Succession War. That all means very little to me, but I’ve only started my research so that I know both what I’m painting, and how typical colour schemes should look like.

All are metal figures produced by Iron Wind Metals. Finally some painting to look forward to!

 

 

 

 

Tabletop Games for the “holidays”.

Not much painting over the last few weeks. Lots of writing, reading and playing board games!

My work has only been closed on public holidays, but that’s still given me two long weekends with chances to catch up with friends and do stuff at home. My wife and I spent one week playing Kingdom Builder (2011+), and another playing Alhambra (2003+). Both of these are great games where its hard to be sure of who’s winning till the end, and every game plays very differently. Sadly to say, when it’s just the two of us, she wins about 3 of 4 games! When we have played these with 3+ players, wins are more evenly distributed.

For the New Years weekend I dug up some of my older board games: RISK Lord of the Rings (2003, Trilogy addition), The Lonely Mountain (1984) and Talisman (1985, 2nd Edn). I think she’s played Talisman with a larger group of us once before, but not the others.

We set up RISK yesterday and ran one long game. Long, because I’d completely forgotten all the rules and so both of us were learning. Turns mostly became a case of each of us assembling one or two concentrations of forces and claimed a lot of territory, then losing parts of it when the other player did the same thing. Our biggest mistake was not defending some areas enough and over-extending our forces in attacks. My wife got a slight advantage in territories (individual areas) early on, and then regions (a group of territories) which gave her more reinforcements. I realised about halfway through that I wasn’t likely to fight my way back.

This shows the board after seven turns at the main turning point. My wife (Yellow) has reinforced her troops and is about to sweep straight down through Rhovian (yellow area on right) and take 1/2 of Mordor. With only minor reinforcements for me (and lots for her) from here on, the game only lasted about four more turns.

We swapped sides for another game today, and had a very similar game. I only held her off in Eastern Gondor for an extra turn before being wiped out.

This is quite fun, with the LotR cards adding movie stuff into the game to give bonus reinforcements, or affect battles, and scoring. I’m hoping for a three player game next weekend, which should be very different. Tonight we play Talisman.

There are 400+ figures for the game, which is far too many to paint. They are also smaller than my usual 25-30mm figures, and not so detailed. I did decide to paint the shield tokens – each represents a leader. (Gives bonus to a dice roll.) Elven shields for the good armies, and orc shields for the evil armies. All were single colour plastic tokens, that will stand out a lot more on the board now that they are painted. It was easy to miss the detail on the front (particularly on the elf shields) when they were plain colours.

More Undead

Three more undead completed yesterday. These are all Citadel metal figures – Wraith, Ghost and Zombie.

Wraith, 1985 C18 (66) from ‘Night Horrors’; “Spirit 3” of the 1999/2000 Spirit Host (Vampire Counts) and  Zombie, 1988/89 130608 “Kand-Meet”.

The wraith is a typical “death” figure but would (I feel) have benefited from either holding a sword or scythe rather than the over-size sickle. I do like the absence of hands, feet and head. Painting was very straight forward being a mid-grey with black shading and then lighter gray highlight. This goes in a slotta-base very nicely, so that only a bit of robes actually seems to be in contact with the ground. I should have glued it to its final base much earlier – painting while it was held in its old base with ‘tack wasn’t balanced or steady.

The “Spirit”, which I’ve always termed a ghost was a gift from a friend who’d bought the full 3 figure spirit host. My web-search to identify the figure brought up Azazel’s painting of these and I used his painting as inspiration – just a bit more green! Also fairly simple to paint. I went for some lighting on the base (as if the spirit glows) which didn’t come out quite like I wanted but it’ll do!

The zombie took the most work since he’s fairly detailed. The plastic shield may or may not be the one I originally bought him with, but it had a depression for the nub on his arm and fitted perfectly. The armor is marked and has holes and rents, so I did the same for the shield. I thought some battered heraldry would also suit.

I dug up three metal and four plastic Daemonettes of Slaanesh for my painting tray earlier in the month. The metal ones probably got a bit of use for Warhammer Quest a decade ago. I had 8-10 plastic given to me back then that I assembled, and then sold most of on eBay. I rather doubt I’ll ever use them… ended up selling the three metal ones on Gumtree, and I’m down to the last four plastics. I may try eBay for these, or end up painting them. It’s time to dig through my figure boxes and see what isn’t painted… I know there’s still a few adventurers, and a bunch of Citadel Beastmen.

…and stay dead!

This isn’t the post I envisioned… this is a painting project that I’ve given up on before even spraying the figures with undercoat.

A long time ago, a mate bought a box of multipart plastic skeletons and assembled them. He gave me four, that haven’t seen much use in that time. As part of my three-day weekend, I decided to paint some more undead. I  cleaned up three metal undead and started work on the skeletons…

I’d say these fit most of the things I don’t like about multi-part figures – fiddly and fragile. (Why do this with Skeletons!) If I’d been the one assembling them I likely would have cleaned up the mold-lines, etc at the time. Doing that after they are assembled is much more of a mess. I’ve cut off a thumb, broken two in cleanly in half (at join points), and detached an arm. A third’s upper/lower torso is glued slightly out of alignment; just enough to annoy me that I want to break it and re-glue correctly. He also has the tip of his bow missing. (Probably me in the past, or moving around in storage.)

I’ve decided that I’m not happy with the way this is going, with the expectation that painting them would be annoying and I’d probably break something else. So, it’s into the bits box with them for future use as base decoration or whatever – skulls, bits of skeletons, bows and quivers.

The suns out, so I’ll spray the three metal undead so they’re ready to paint. Then maybe I get all my Warhammer Beastmen out of their storage trays and start preparing them.

Mantic Dwarfs

These guys are Mantic Dwarfs, multi-part plastic figures, that I was given (years ago?) by Azazel. (Mantic calls them Dwarfs, not Dwarves.)

I generally dislike multi-part figures, mostly because when I was first buying miniatures they were mostly metal, and awkward to assemble – often because parts didn’t fit smoothly together.

This lot were mostly assembled when I received them and look to have been two or three pieces – just enough to give a good variety of poses, weapons, etc. I have nine dwarfs, and while there are similarities, all are unique! I may have to watch out for some more of these. I like the style of Mantic’s dwarves; they were easy and fun to paint and it would be really nice to have more of them. I really like the idea of building a dwarf army, but I don’t know if I would ever get to do anything with it.

When I eventually decided to add these to my painting tray, I found I had three headless bodies, two loose heads, and two figures with no weapon. This is an excellent reason to put figures into plastics bags when you get them and not have them lying around on a shelf or mixed with other components in a box! I’m certain that I’ll turn up a dwarf head sometime in the near future.

I took the head-less body I liked the least, and cut his hand off to get a hammer for one of the other figures, and cut down a long spear in my parts box for the other. Heads were glued, a few small gaps were filled and many images of Ironclad, Sheildbreakers, etc were browsed on the ‘net.

I decided to try something different when undercoating – spraying with black from the sides, then white from overhead, aiming for the contrast of zenithal highlights that I’ve seen in many painting videos. (“A technique that quickly reproduces the light and shadows produced by an imaginary light source directly over the subject.”) I didn’t like the final effect. White undercoat makes detail stand out more – very helpful with my eyes when painting fine detail – and black means the final result is dark. I might go for this with monsters, but I don’t like the idea for characters. If do it again, it’s going to be with less black, and much more white.

Armour is primarily antique copper, with bright bronze for highlight. Gun-metal and silver highlight on some armour and weapons. Various browns, a few greens, some red and silver (chainmail) to add some variation.

I have very few decals left in my parts box, with nearly all of those being chaos related. At some point I think I need to look for some decal sets that would go with more “good” aligned forces, or that are more general in style. My free hand painting can’t do the fine detail that people like Azazel have achieved. I went with a variation of an online shield design. I’m glad I only had four shields too, not a whole unit… even when pencil lines marked in advance, trying to get all four looking the same wasn’t easy. A hammer or axe symbol on top would have been perfect.

These are also an entry in the Mo’vember challege by “Rantings from behind the Moustache

Back from the Dead…

The title reflects both the state of my computer and the undead I painted during October, while mostly not online.

It was a remarkable month for many reasons: my PC died, I had a Covid test & a day of working from home when one of the guys at work might have been exposed to Covid, the last of our three chickens got sick and died, and we had a windstorm that left lots of people in Melbourne without electricity, including us for 30 hours. Since we don’t have a gas connection, this meant no lights, hot water or cooking. Thankfully, the end of lock-down the week before meant we could go over to my Mum’s for dinner and a hot shower.

Being able to travel and visit people again is great, and with the fantastic assistance of a mate I now have my computer working (upgraded MB, CPU and RAM!) and everything on it working normally.

While I had no PC, I did a lot of reading and got back into some painting. Now I’ve got blogs to catch up on, and pictures to take and post myself. I was lucky enough to be able to bring a work laptop home to keep up on some of the forums I read. I’m determined to make more regular backups of stuff on my system, and not just to a secondary hard drive, but to a USB. An up-to-date printed page with logins, passwords and site references, etc is also a must.

The three undead today all came from the UK in a miniatures swap with Subedai of the Lost and the Damned. One had been painted before and needed a clean up first. All are metal.

The first is a Prince August figure (1984, SK6, Skeleton) This one is history revisited for me: There are seven figures in this range (SK1-7) and I bought a blister pack of three (SK5-7) in the late 80’s. I dug them out to make sure this guy was painted in the same style. I first thought I had a slightly different figure, then realized that he’s actually missing his right arm. After painting, he looks like he has an arm there. (Only a humerus, not a radius & ulna.) The last picture shows him on the far right with my original three.

The next two figures are Citadel (I think) – I did look at the slotta base before filing it down to fit a plastic base and all I recall about them now is that each said “Skeleton”. The internet suggests these two are both from GW Citadel: UN2 (20) Agog Deathblow (Skeleton Infantry) and C17 (CJ-07) Skeleton Gunner, both 1987.

These three figures were all fun to paint. I particularly enjoyed the “gunner”. I’m saving him for my Gamma World game, though he might fit into a fantasy game in the right circumstances. He has hints of fluoro green that the phone camera hasn’t really picked up. I’m particularly pleased with his left eye – I got a dot of fluoro green in that eye socket with one attempt that I couldn’t replicate in the other. (The right eye has some green, but its not a fine point, nor as bright.)

 

Painting Skaven #6: Warlock (Final)

Finally, the last skaven – unless there’s a figure or two in the wrong storage box! That’s a group of 24 all done.

This is a metal slotta-based Citadel (Games Workshop) figure from 1995 – #74472/2 “Skaven Warlock with skull”.

I’d considered doing his robes in purple, and when I got started on Friday night realised that there’s a separate jacket over the robes. The jacket was done in fushia with the lower robes in the same but lightened with white. Then I red inked the jacket, and purple inked the robes. Everything went smoothly from there, with colours suggesting themselves as I went along. A final bit of black ink over everything make the holes and folds were distinct, then highlighting. When taking the photographs this morning I noticed I hadn’t coloured the chaos symbol on the belt buckle. That’s now been fixed.

I’ve really enjoyed these last two skaven, and I like the warlock more than the plague monk. I’m very pleased to have got through the whole group, and they make a very nice force.

Last of all, a group shot. I had a lot of fun setting this up, which is a sure sign that it’s been way too long since I’ve done any table-top gaming. I already had planned to write these guys into my mega-dungeon. Now I want to set up something like this seen to play out a really big battle. You should be able to click on the pictures for a bigger image.