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John wants Bears and Horses: A Battletech Journey

John wants Bears and Horses: A Battletech Journey

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Project Blog by johnlyons

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About the Project

I decided to dive deeper into Battletech and wanted to pick two factions I liked the look and sound of. On top of that, I am building a complete gaming experience for myself by also constructing a table to play on! And maybe more... who knows??

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Finishing the Eridani Light Horse!

Tutoring 9
Skill 9
Idea 9
1 Comment
I painted the base black and then added Astrogranite over the base, and then added patches of Astrogranite debris to add a bit more texture.I painted the base black and then added Astrogranite over the base, and then added patches of Astrogranite debris to add a bit more texture.
I then gave the texture on the base a black wash (Yep...Nuln oil again)I then gave the texture on the base a black wash (Yep...Nuln oil again)
to tidy the wash, I drybrush the base with grey. This tidies and tightens up the wash and begins highlighting (Citadel Dawnstone Dry)to tidy the wash, I drybrush the base with grey. This tidies and tightens up the wash and begins highlighting (Citadel Dawnstone Dry)
Focussing on the more gritty texture, I drybrushed a white (Citadel Praxeti White Dry)Focussing on the more gritty texture, I drybrushed a white (Citadel Praxeti White Dry)

To finish the mechs. I airbrushed a matt Varnish (AK Interactive Ultra Matt Varnish)

And then gave the rim of the base a final coat of matt black (Scale75 Decay Black)

AND DONE. My Eridani Light Horse force is complete and PROPERLY documented! AND DONE. My Eridani Light Horse force is complete and PROPERLY documented!

Painting the Eridani Light Horse CANOPIES

Tutoring 11
Skill 12
Idea 12
No Comments
First step, basecoating the canopy glass in red (Citadel Khorne Red)First step, basecoating the canopy glass in red (Citadel Khorne Red)
Next is to wash the glass, ensuring it pools to the outter edges (Citadel Nuln Oil)Next is to wash the glass, ensuring it pools to the outter edges (Citadel Nuln Oil)
Now, I make a large L shape on the bottom and left side in the base red (Citadel Khorne Red)Now, I make a large L shape on the bottom and left side in the base red (Citadel Khorne Red)
In the upper and right side I aded another layer of black wash (Citadel Nuln Oil)In the upper and right side I aded another layer of black wash (Citadel Nuln Oil)
Back to the bottom and left side, I added a smaller L shape within the clean red base colour in Orange (Scale75 Tiamat Orange)Back to the bottom and left side, I added a smaller L shape within the clean red base colour in Orange (Scale75 Tiamat Orange)
Finally, in the bottom left, I added a smaller, again, L shape in white, along with a white dot in the upper right within the darkest patch (Literally any white paint!!)Finally, in the bottom left, I added a smaller, again, L shape in white, along with a white dot in the upper right within the darkest patch (Literally any white paint!!)

Painting the Eridani Light Horse

Tutoring 10
Skill 10
Idea 10
No Comments
Painting the Eridani Light Horse
Over the Wraithbone spray undercoat, I airbrushed my green (Vallejo Russian Uniform)Over the Wraithbone spray undercoat, I airbrushed my green (Vallejo Russian Uniform)
Next is adding the camouflage with the airbrush (Army Painter Spaceship Exterior)Next is adding the camouflage with the airbrush (Army Painter Spaceship Exterior)

Since the decals are pretty transparent, I used a white paint pen to ,roughly, make a white backing. And once the decal is down it pops really nicely.

After adding decals and markings, the model gets a heavy application of spray varnish to seal everything down (Citadel Munitorum Varnish)After adding decals and markings, the model gets a heavy application of spray varnish to seal everything down (Citadel Munitorum Varnish)
The next stage is to slap on some black wash over the whole thing! (Citadel Nuln Oil)The next stage is to slap on some black wash over the whole thing! (Citadel Nuln Oil)
A drybrush of the base green now helps to highlight the model, clean the black wash and fade down the camo work. (Vallejo Russian Uniform)A drybrush of the base green now helps to highlight the model, clean the black wash and fade down the camo work. (Vallejo Russian Uniform)

For the metal work of the mech, I basecoated with Citadel Iron Warrior.

I then gave it a coat of Citadel Nuln Oil wash.

And finally, a light drybrush of Citadel Runefang Steel.

 

 

ON TO CANOPIES!!!

Decals and Camo, For the Clanners.

Tutoring 13
Skill 13
Idea 13
2 Comments

Onto making the markings for my mechs!

Now that I have the factions picked, I went to etsy for appropriate decals for the markings for both factions and some generic numbering and so on.

I found Defiance Industries who have an amazing range of decals that covers most of the factions within the universe, plus a lot more, ad decided to take a selection of their decal sheets and work from there.

Decals and Camo, For the Clanners.

So onto the mechs. I’ll use my Ghost Bears as an example of the next couple of steps.

First off, the decals are great BUT they do not have a white background. This means that, as bright as they look on the paper, they are actually quite transparent without that layer of white ink behind the colour. So, how to fix this?

You can either paint white over the area you want to place the decals, or, use paint pens to quickly put a white spot where you want. This is what I did and it worked out well enough. The other issue is that the film over the sheet is not “pre cut” for each marking, so careful trimming to make the film end closer to the marking will give a better, cleaner finish.

Decals and Camo, For the Clanners.

On the Stone Rhino, here, you can see the ghost bear symbol on the leg, this is applied over a white patch made with a white paint pen.

Using the paint pens further to make the camo spots by making a large, black spot, and putting a smaller white dot off to one side within the black dot completes the scheme.

(There are other steps here, like drybrushing and so on. But since I ran ahead of myself, I will cover each scheme in more detail further on as a “recap” on how to paint the mechs form start to finish! But for now, let’s see where everything is at!

There is a lot to cover properly later on. So I’ll paraphrase for now!

Every model got the following steps after airbrushing:

  • Markings added.
  • Matt Varnish spray
  • Nuln Oil wash
  • Drybrush (green on mercs, light grey on Clans)
  • Metal details painted, washed and highlighted
  • cockpit glass painted
  • basing material
  • Super Matt varnish

That’s the basics! I promise to go in and paint one mech of each faction to properly show those steps! But for now, enjoy the finished mechs!

(I have also decided to strip my previous mechs form the Clan Invasion and starter boxes to paint them up in these two schemes, hense being able to revisit the steps in a more tutorial format!)

Choosing Factions and Brushing with Air!

Tutoring 16
Skill 16
Idea 16
No Comments

Because I want to play the Clans Vs (insert every non clan faction here) It’s clear I am going to be playing in the Clan Invasion era, 3049-3051 roughly.

So, what Clan do I pick? And why is it Ghost Bear??

Well….. They have cool colour schemes. And using Camospecs COMPREHENSIVE list of factions and schemes I picked Ghost Bears’ “Alpha Galaxy”

I love their scheme, and It gives me an excuse to pain the magical “space camo” which, if you know the joke about “sea camo” uniforms for the US navy, might make you chuckle.

Choosing Factions and Brushing with Air!

Now then, on to the Innersphere. Oh boy….
The thing about Innersphere is that there is SO MUCH involved. So many factions and lore and schemes.

To that end, and looking more at what I wanted to play, I decided not to paint any of the great houses. Why?… Because they all have their pro’s and Con’s. Cool things and bad things. This is what makes Battletech interesting and very, very appealing when I look for a break from the overwritten WW2 era and the fever-dream of Warhammer Grimdark.

So, big houses aside, I became attracted to the Mercenary companies, and there is…a COUPLE of them Here ….and … here.

One that stood out to me was the Eridani Light Horse. Their lore is fascinating, in that they were part of the Star League Defense Force (SLDF) who refused to leave the Inner Sphere with Keresnski when he predicted the fall of Star League and the mess the Inner Sphere was about to become.

What’s cool about this is that the Eridani Light Horse COULD have become part of the Clans, but because they refused to leave with the rest of the Keresnki loyalists, they are now a potential adversary to the same people, whos descendants, would have been their comrades in arms.

And that really got my attention! So with the lore making the decision for me and Camospecs telling me “The Light Horse has always maintained their original SLDF olive drab paint scheme.” It was time to take some creative lisence, break out the paint and begin to bring my mechs to life!

 

Choosing Factions and Brushing with Air!

The Painting Begins!

Choosing Factions and Brushing with Air!

As you can see, the initial colours are pretty simple. Dark grey with a light blue/grey for the Clan mechs.

And an Olive green with a light grey for the Mercs.

I wanted the Merc mechs to seem like they had previously been on a more arctic world before being “rushed” to a planet being invaded by Ghost Bear. And I will lean into that narrative a little more as I get further into the painting process.

In the beginning. There was Grey Potential.

Tutoring 14
Skill 13
Idea 14
No Comments
In the beginning. There was Grey Potential.

This is my latest haul, the contents of two “Clan Star” boxes and two “Inner Sphere Lance” boxes. The front two rows are the Inner Sphere mechs and the others are the Clan mechs.

How did I choose? Well, I picked boxes based on the mechs I could identify and liked. So for the Clans, I already own a Timber Wolf (Mad Cat) and the other mechs that stood out to me from enjoying various Youtube content and the (weird) animated series, was the Vulture (Mad Dog) and the Hunchback.

The Innersphere…well. One box had an Atlas! Enough said.

So, with the mechs assembled, There was some prep to be done. Mainly washing the models (Because yes, the parts do have mold release on them, be aware!) and removing the worst of the moldlines. So with that done…

On to priming!

 

In the beginning. There was Grey Potential.

You see there are two cans of spray here, but the mechs looks like they are in one colour. And your eyes are not deceiving you! I started with Greyseer, with the intention of preshading, but I ran out and did the majority of the undercoat in Wraithbone. It really didn’t matter so much to me as adding the base colours would likely hide any shading the rattle cans were going to provide.

Moving forward, all mechs I do after this will just be done with Wraithbone.

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