Wednesday 6 December 2017

Battlemechs, NTC's new equipment and some terrain WiP

I haven't gotten much done in the last few weeks, but I thought I'd show off some pieces that are nearly ready for the table:

 For the first time in many years, I've been painting some Battlemechs and they will probably even be used for Battletech! These four constitutes my first order from Steel Warrior studios and they are awesome, so there will most likely be more minis from them in the future. They will become my first lance of Lyran Guards, with some CGL and RPE/IWM mechs to flesh out most of the rest of the company.
 I've started thinking about opponents for them with FWL, DC or some Merc unit all being strong contenders. They just need some basing and then they are ready for the battlefields of the Inner Sphere!

 Not unlike a lot of HW players, I have quite a few EM-4 mechs. I decided that I wanted to make a few more conversions after the first two, so I got to work. The two right-most minis in the front row some of you might recognize as the original conversions I showed a pic of earlier this fall. In the end I made another few for a total of 7, but none of the others are as kitted out as the first two, who will likely be fielded as P4+ due to their extensive mods.
 These mechs are going to belong to the NTC since they only have the not-votoms mechs from before, giving them some bigger, stompier robots of their own.
 I'm trying to decide if I should make a dedicated batch of EM-4 conversions for another faction as well or just let them face off against either the NIJA or USS, who both already possess some EM-4 mechs in their ranks..

 I also got hold of a foam cutter and started experimenting with some rocks/small hills that are mech sized, to increase the amount of terrain that can actually block LoS for my various mechs.
 These two with their irregular shape, are supposed to be made out of volcanic rock.

Finally we have some more "traditional" rocks/hills. I think they look good enough, but we'll see how they appear with a first layer of paint..

That's what I'm working on right now that's at least close to finished, there are a few other terrain bits and the Blotz buildings that are coming along too, but not really much in terms of progress to show just yet.

Til next time!

Monday 13 November 2017

Getting somewhat sidtracked

I haven't managed to post something in a few weeks now, because like a lot of us I easily slip into a new project before finishing an old one.

Around this time every year there is a smattering of video game releases that tends to take up quite a bit of my time and this year has been no exeption! But adding to my distractions, there has been a resurgence in my interest in 3D modeling.

I started a bit last summer but never really got anywhere, shelved the whole idea for the moment and forgot about it mostly. Until about 2 weeks ago.

I've been experimenting, to various degrees of success and have managed a few models I thought I'd share with you today. They are very basic and not too detailed, so don't get too exited;

This is my first one, in it's 3rd reworking, since I was having some issue with certain aspects of it. A basic combat walker with a rail-cannon on the right side, a autocannon on the left and a missile box on the "shoulder", it's unnamed as of yet.  

The second one I tried my hand at came out a bit better, as I had some more practice and more source material to look at before I started it. A heavy assault walker, it's as brutal and subtle as a charging rhino and so I call it the Boxmonster. It might get a more appropriate name, but it will suffice for now.

 You can hardly have mech's without having at least one or two humanoid ones, right? I got the idea for this one from a number of sources, BT and the Eldar Wraithlord chief among them. The trickiest part if this whole model was the hands. I'm not too happy with them still, but for a first go they do ok.

 This last one is loosely based on the Cauldron-Born Omni-mech from BT, with some other elements thrown in there.

I'm thinking of printing at least some of these, so physical models might very well show up in the future.

Before I got myself tangled up in all this I was making some mechs using traditional sculpting as well as being in the process of modding a few EM-4 mechs. I haven't managed to get any paint (or even primer) on them yet, but I have a few naked shots I took with my phone:

First we have the aforementioned EM-4 mechs. Raiding my bits box and grabbing the GS where necessary, I've turned two of the mechs into walking arsenals. Each of them got a close combat weapon too for good measure: A chainsaw instead of an arm for the left mech and a resculpted arm with an axe for the right one.

There is an individual shot of the back of both mechs, so you can see the other addition: the nozzles for their boosters/jumpjets. I know the picture quality makes it a bit hard to see, when I get some paint on them I will take some new ones! 

 My first attempt at creating a mech in the style of the HW's cover. I'm not too impressed by my result, it looks a bit too clunky compared to the source. I had to make a few design decisions on some parts since you can only see parts of the stompy robot on the cover. Since I finished it up I will paint it, it might grow on me..

The second one is inspired by some of the mechs from the game Hawken. Armed with a auto-cannon and a tri-barrel rocket launcher, it's relies on speed and firepower over massive amounts of armor. This one came out fairly close to what I imagined and I might try to make a digital model of it as well.

I'll get back to most of these models in the future, painted and table-ready. I also hope to finish up the buildings from fairly soon.

Til next time!

Tuesday 24 October 2017

Mercenaries clash, a Horizon Wars AAR

This engagement is from a few weeks ago, when I decided to try tinkering a bit with HW again, this time with less of a success than I hoped for. I had hoped using a firing solution somewhat like that of aircraft in HW but with the twist that you could only fire your full F if anybody in your army had a lock on the target in question. This turned out to be more reductive than I had hoped and didn't noticably add more movement, which was what I'd hoped for.
 But every failiure is an opportunity to learn and I have a few more ideas on house rules to try out before I'm done!

 The battlefield. A single mine stands in the badlands surrounded by rocky hills and boulders, the objective of both sides.

An unknown merc force, hired by some corporation or consortium to secure the resources the mine produces. 3 heavy walkers with autocannons and one with a set of plasma cannons make up their number.

Opposing them is a lance of Warg Industries mechs. Two assault mechs, one on either flank along with a long-range and direct fire support mech each in between them.

Coming under fire from the unknown force's plasma cannons, the warg missile-mech advances into the relative cover of a small hill. There it returns fire with a salvo of missiles, scoring several hits!

Walking into the incoming fire of the enemy, one of the tan mechs accept some damage..

..And in return manages to score a hit on the flank of the missile mech!

With the plasma mech critically damaged, one of his lance-mates decides to take up a covering position before him. It is a decision that costs him dearly, as both armor and arms start falling apart under the incoming fire.

Wethering the attacks, he soon finds a chance to counter with a few shots of his own, causing some damage to the close assault mech barreling towards him.

It's not long before the incoming fire becomes too much however, and the warmachine collapses!

Start of the 2nd turn. Two of the tan mechs are down, the CHQ plasma mech one of them. The Warg mechs are a bit worse for wear, but two of their machines are completely unharmed as well!

Getting close enough to do what it does best, the assault mech charges! It's powered claw rips and tears, but the enemy mech takes a toll on it, firing point blank and crashing into the Warg mech whenever able.

With both meleƩing mechs locked in combat, the remaining mech manages to swing around behind the combatants and lay into the unprotected rear of the close assault mech. A group of lucky shots penetrate the armor and wreck the powerplant, sending the mech crashing into the ground!

The this is where that pilot's luck runs out. As he moves to take down the long-range mech with the missiles, he is charged in the flank by the second close assault mech. His rounds critically injures the target, but it stays on it's feet. He does not, as the Warg mech easily picks apart his already damaged mech.

With only a single (barely) functioning machine, the unknown mercs signal surrender and withdraws, leaving the Warg mercenaries in control of the mine and it's riches.

This fight ended up being kind of one-sided, but a combination of poor decisions and bad luck on one side with a lot of crits on the other made it somewhat inevitable. It was fun either way, even if my ideas didn't really work out.

With the benefit of hindsight, I realized you could just use the aircraft firing rules as written (but still no firing when using rapid move), but applied to mechs. I'll have to try that and see how it affectes the rest! 

I have another AAR in the works, using Starport Scum with a few tweaks and fixes that I'll share, hopefully rather soon. I still need to paint the buildings I showed last time and there are a few new mechs being sculpted.

Til next time!

Monday 16 October 2017

New buildings on the workbench and another mech finished

I saw a few of the buildings from a few weeks back and having a some extra cash to spend, I decided to order a couple.

I haven't had the time to paint them just yet, but here they are assembled:

I might have gotten a bit enthusiastic, with these 12 buildings I've just about doubled the number of large buildings available to me. I'm currently agonizing over what colors to paint them, maybe I'll break out the airbrush again..

While I was putting the above buildings together, I also started painting the last two of my ME mechs.
So far I only finished one of them, but here it is:

Callsign Warlord, a freelancing merc. Armed to the teeth, this mech has DEWs, autocannons,machineguns and a mix of rockets. Warlord has managed to make quite a name for himself on the fringes of human space, as a one man army. While he is not above working with others, he often takes solo contracts.

So that's todays little update, I have a few photos from some recent games that I managed to find the time for. I have (again) been playing around with using some alternative rules to play my mecha games, more on that soon.

Til next time!


Saturday 7 October 2017

The Dart Frog lance

The Dart Frog lance, what is that then?
Last time I shared some workbench photos of the mechs from Maelstorms Edge, so unsurprisingly they were the next thing in line to be painted.

Since it was to be a merc outfit and they often feel the need to stand out in a already crowded market of hired guns, crazy aliens and others willing to fight others battles for them, I decided that they should have a paintjob that stands out. In combat the active camo and other countermeasures will make the paint of the units less of an issue unless they want to make their presence known of course.

 So I decided to give them a highly contrasting color scheme, based loosely on the tropical and highly toxic dart frogs.

And that's why they are known as the Dart Frog lance:

The full lance of 4 mechs. Bought at an auction for surplus military hardware, the team spent a few months and not unconsiderable amount of credits to restore the mechs to working order.

The first of the lance, the same mech that I showed off last time, callsign Toxic. Equipped with an autocannon, double sets of swarm rockets and a pair of anti-armor missiles, it's ready for any number of different missions.

Yellowjacket is the callsign of the second unit. Modified to carry a machinegun/laser combo attached to the left arm, a DEW on his right and one each of swarm rockets and anti-armor missile on the shoulder hardpoints.

Bringing the long-range fire support is callsign Zeus. With a pair of autocannons and a mixed set of rockets this mech is perfect to keep enemies at arms length.

Finally there is Strawberry. Equipped for close assault with the combo of rockets, a pair of machinegun/laser mounts and a DEW, this ensures that anything in close proximity is in serious trouble. 

That's the first four mechs all done. I have some ideas for the remaining two but I'm unsure where they will end up.

I just got my order from, so I will have a few new buildings to show off in a while.
I tried some house rules for Horizon Wars to make all-mech battles closer to my perfect idea of a ruleset, I hope to post my findings soon.

Til next time!

Wednesday 27 September 2017

Something stompy this way comes

After the recent completions of Heavy Gear models and the showcase that followed, I thought I'd be a bit proactive and make a Workbench post as I got started on my newest set of mechs:

The Maelstorms Edge Epirian Hunter mechs!

Having the double qualitites of being multi-part with lots of options and plastic models, I knew I'd have to get some eventually.

Priced at 9.49$ US/ 6.49 £ GBP they are a bit more expensive than Reapers CAV and EM-4's plastic mechs, but come with more options and are a fair bit heftier than the latter. So a fair price I think.

The shipping was 4.20£ GBP, certainly affordable since I ordered 6 of them. It took about two weeks for them to reach me which is pretty standard these days.

So onto the models themselves:

As you can see the mech comes in 3 sprues; The torso and some arm parts(left), weapon and hand parts (middle) and arms, legs, feet and more weapon parts (right). Mould lines are present on some of the pieces, but very faint and nothing that can't be fixed in a few seconds.

The company website contains building instructions along with a few helpful tips and some pictures showing off some modifications you can to to the parts to get a unique look for a special mech.

Moving along, I used tack to stick on various mixed setups so you can see what the assembled pieces can look like: 

The "standard" setup as seen on the website store, armed with double twinlinked machineguns and rocket pods on the shoulders. There is a second option of bigger, single warhead shoulder mounts as well, shown in a later picture. Since the model is made for 28mm if you use it with the companies game system, the mech stands just shy of 50mm tall, not counting the missile pods. So it makes quite the mech when used with 6mm models like I will be doing!  

 The second option for the mech is know as a Flak cannon, shown on the mechs right arm in the pictures above. With the right paintjob it can probably be any number of projectile or energy weapons, I think it will make a good plasma projector or maybe an electrolaser.

 The last weapon option is the "Maglock Chaingun". A standard long-barreled affair, this weapon looks like a great contender for any sort of autocannon or similar projective weapon. With a little bit of putty to make a lens it would even make a good laser cannon. On the left arm this mech has the optional forearm with a hand/manipulator that only fits this side of the mech.

Here you can see the optional bigger missiles.

This setup is the one I went with for the first of lance I'm putting together. I made a small mod after adding the autocannon to to right arm and a manipulator to the left. By cutting and filing the large missiles and then glueing them to the forearm to give the mech some extra punch.

I also took a few quick shots next to some other mechs to give you an idea how the hunter mechs compare to some other mechs:

From left to right: Mecha Front Lynx, EM-4 mech, Hunter and CAV Halbeard.

So with the first mech assembled, I have 3 more that will form a merc lance to fight with and against the other forces I have collected. I hope to show off a the full lance before too long.
I have started looking at making a few more pieces of terrain for both 6mm and 3mm, while we wait for the vanguard 3mm models to be released.

Til next time!