Hoi Folks,When thinking of armour, images of armoured vehicles thundering over chaotic battlefields or knights in shining armour come to mind first and foremost for many of us. Now even though I have some conventional armour lined up, for painting this Challenge, I have chosen to go a different path: that of the absolute best form of armour available to man from 3025 and onwards. Some of you may have guessed it from my mentioning of the year 3025: I am going to list a lance of Battlemechs from the Classic Battletech universe.
While I fully realise that many of you might not have heard of this game or the miniatures, I will be prone to use terms and references to the game which I cannot explain in full here but for those of you interested enough, go have a peak at the Sarna March (http://www.sarna.net/wiki/Sarna_March) wiki and all will be explained.
To me Battletech is probably the one game I like to play best and immerse myself in it's background totally. With a huge range of novels, sourcebooks, computergames and a RPG you cannot but get hooked. The shear amount of digital support, sites where you can get literally hundreds of paintschemes, (http://camospecs.com/) online armybuilders and fan-sites is incredible and gives you quite a lot of choice to pick the unit you want to paint. The game is in 1:285 ish scale, but the 'mechs shown here are just about a bit bigger than 28mm figures. I have been playing this game for some 15 years now and keep renewing interest by reading novels or picking pieces out of sourcebooks. For I while I have been looking into some new units to paint and stumbled along the 17th Recon Regiment or Camacho's Caballeros. (http://www.sarna.net/wiki/17th_Recon_Regiment). For those in the know: they are a regiment created from the South Western worlds who are part of the Free Worlds League. They sided with the wrong throne pretender and had to flee FWL-space. As a mercenary force they enlisted with the Federated Commonwealth Armed Forces to fight the Clans and gained some Clan 'mechs and gear. They subsequently were hired by a scion of the Kurita family, the ruling family of the Draconis Combine. This is all described in 3 novels written by Victor Milan, who has done a brilliant job of transplanting Mexican, Native American and Old West style peoples into the 3060's in a more or less believable way.
"Enough of the babble get on to the miniatures!" I hear you scream at the screen, well yes but I had to tell you all this to explain my colourscheme since there we encounter a problem. While there are canon colourschemes for about all units mentioned in the fluff, the 17th Recon is an exemption. In the novels it is stated that all mechwarrior of the unit are allowed to chose their own scheme, so no uniform colours are apparent. This might actually work in a piece of written fiction, but less so on the tabletop. So I had a long think about what to do, the easiest solution is to seek the middle way; in my eyes this would be taking one unifying colour enhancing it with unique markings for each separate mechwarrior. In order to achieve this I went online to look for inspiration, there's loads of Mexican, Texan, Native American and even Aztec patterns available but they are in the brightest and most conflicting colours you can imagine. As a unifying colour, or base-colour, I had to make due with a more subdued one, so I went with brown.
Well here are the figures in their full and clashing of colours glory!
The full lance (i.e. unit of 4 mechs) from left to right: a Conjurer (captured Clan mech), Catapult (missile battery mech), Rifleman (AA or FLAK mech) and a Phoenix Hawk.
Some details of each vehicle are shown below.
The Rifleman was piloted by Lt. Annie Sue Hurd and since this was my trial figure I went easy on the patterns for this.
The Phoenix Hawk is listed in the books but has not got a named character driving it, you could say it's the 'llero version of a "red-shirt". On this one I went a bit further with the patterns.
The Conjurer (or Hellhound as it is known in the Inner Sphere) is not mentioned in the books, but it IS stated that the 'llero's made off with a lot of Clan mechs and since I really like the model it got drafted in.
My absolute favourite is Diana Vasquez's Catapult. I really like the flower pattern I put on there and the contrast with the very loud and uncomplimentary leg scheme.
All mechs have spaces left uncovered with patterns because I ordered decals with the unit logo (a coyote howling at the moon of course) from Fighting Pirannha (http://www.fightingpirannhagraphics.com/), who have decals for just about ALL the thinkable CBT units. Plus quite some useful more generic decals like numerals and pin-ups.
Well that basically concludes my entry for this bonus round!
S.L.I. van Straeten