Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Initial Project- 1/60 Scale Battletech

It began in 2011 or 2012, when I stumbled across the three major blogs for 1/60 scale Battletech: Battlemech Club, Scott’s Messy Desk, and Ravenstar Studios. The first of these, run by TC Fusco and Scott Murphy, respectively, provided a huge inspiration for me in reviving the 28mm Battletech gaming started long ago by Armorcast; while Ravenstar provides high quality 1/60 scale kits as well, though their product line is not 100% Battletech focused.

Sadly I missed out on the Armorcast years, I was in high school at the time and Battletech was in something of a lull (no Mechwarrior video game released since 2002, Mechassault was subpar and too arcadey, and Mechwarrior Dark Age had pretty much taken over as the most affordable miniatures game for the franchise). Not to mention few high schoolers would have $100+ to spend on a 1/60 scale ‘mech model.

Anyway, I was swift to get into 1/60 scale Battletech modeling, and bought a 1/100 scale Glaug Commander Pod off of eBay (the unseen version of the MAD-5L Marauder….although I soon discovered it was far too small for the scale). Regardless, I modified it, painted it up in Eridani Light Horse colors, and considered it a mild success.

It was a good start, but I needed something to truly scratch that 28mm itch, in scale or as close as I could get. After seeing a post about it on one of the blogs, I found Ravenstar’s 1/60 scale Panther, a favorite DCMS ‘mech that I knew I just had to have. I spent a lot of time building the model, made from a hard, high-impact resin, and repositioned it to be in a running pose, which necessitated the use of two bases to keep it upright. Now- I generally like my Battletech models free standing, so they can more easily be used in tight alleyways and streets on urban game boards. So instead of a single large base like with the Marauder shown above, I used two small bases on the feet of the Panther- one 60mm and one 40mm, with urban rubble on them, so the ‘mech could both stand and have minimal wasted space below it. 

I painted it in a winter/urban scheme consisting of Citadel and Formula P3 colors- a heavy basecoat of Space Wolves Grey, heavily weathered using fine graphite smeared onto it with tissue and cotton swabs, resulting in a very nice gritty, realistic look. I added in a speckled, disruptive camouflage scheme of irregular, geometric patterns in P3 Greatcoat and Iron Hull Grey, Citadel Skull White, and Citadel Shadow Grey. To top it all off, I painted the jump jet cowlings and PPC barrel in Citadel Boltgun Metal, judiciously weathered with Citadel Chaos Black to represent the scorching of jet heat and discharged weaponry. Lastly, courtesy of Fighting Piranha Graphics (the same source of my Eridani Light Horse markings seen above) I added in some warning markings and an awesome yellow and black checkered marking on one shoulder. 

Alas, the rigors of moving apartments took their toll on both ‘mechs, and they were utterly smashed by shifting boxes and not enough protection. Obviously, with such large models, precautions need to be taken when transporting them. Battlefoam or Army Transport cases for miniature wargaming come highly recommended. Miniature wargaming is an investment, not just in money, but in time spent building and painting your models. 

I’m undeterred however, and I will be ordering a new Panther before the year is out, and most certainly looking into a more accurately scaled 1/72 Glaug Command Pod for a new Marauder model. What’s on the workbench for now, you might ask? Well I’m currently working on painting a Joyride Studios Mad Cat, and within the next day or two I should have on my doorstep a CPLT-C3 Catapult purchased from Scott Murphy. I will be updating the blog with those projects as we go into this long holiday weekend here. 

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

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