Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Go Big or Go Home- Battletech Gaming on a Large Scale

While many people still wax lyrical about the good old days of Classic Battletech, I’ve always found larger miniatures to be more appealing. I like the fact that you’ve got more to work with, painting details is much easier, conversions look better, and in 1/60 scale (which is pretty much identical to 25mm or 28mm, depending on manufacturer), you really get a sense of how Battlemechs tower over the modern battlefield, dwarfing infantry and vehicles alike.

The original bad boy: Armorcast Atlas
Now for the hard question though: where do you get 1/60 scale ‘mechs? From the late 1990’s to the early-mid 2000’s, Armorcast ran a line of licensed 28mm/1:60 scale Battletech miniatures. They managed to produce the Atlas, Mad Cat, and Vulture along with many omnimech-compatible weapons, a gun truck, and an Elemental battle armor for a short time before their license ended. There was also a prototype of a Centurion at one point, and mention of the Thor, Loki, and Ryoken on several of their product pages although I myself have never seen pictures of any of them in model form. Unfortunately due to the limited run and very few of these models ever being in circulation, Armorcast ‘mechs are in short supply, and very rarely will pop up on eBay, selling in excess of $200.

Now, the 28mm Elemental miniature is still available, albeit from Iron Wind Metals, the official producer of Catalyst’s Classic Battletech game miniatures. They also continue to produce old 25mm (ish) Battletroops miniatures of Steiner and Kurita soldiers.
New to their product line (all listed under the “Battletroops” label in their online exclusives section) are 2 variants of 28mm scale Hauberk Commando battle armor, beautiful miniatures that complement the clan Elemental very well, and look superb in large scale battletech games. Lastly, the Bounty Hunter Mech Pack includes a 28mm scale Nighthawk PAL battle armor suit, which is a very nice design- one which I will be showing on here in a future post.

Simon Kelly’s 28mm Elementals
While Armorcast may be extremely hard to get a hold of, and Iron Wind has yet to produce 1/60 scale ‘mechs, a number of innovative sculptors such as my friends Tim Fusco and Scott Murphy regularly cast limited-run sculpts of Battletech models. The latest available are the Flea, Deimos, and Vulture MK II from Tim, while I believe Scott is in the midst of sculpting the Mechwarrior Online version of the Atlas. These guys truly kick ass when it comes to building 1/60 scale ‘mechs, and their designs are top-of-the-line in quality, ease of assembly, and price. There is also a company called Ravenstar, which produces several Battletech designs right now- namely an Uller, Panther, Hunchback IIC, and a Thor.

Next time….we’ll re-see the unseen!

Nostra signing out.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the Blurb. I am doing my best to keep large scale Battletech alive!