Finally the Marauder and Warhammer that I had received in January, had gotten to the top of my FIFO-based TODO-list. Unlike mr. L, who attacked his Warhammer first, I went directly for the awesome Marauder that I've "always" wanted in one scale or another. Sadly the playable BT-scale Unseen Marauders are pretty difficult or impossible to obtain, so these'll do just fine at this point.
So, I started on Wednesday evening by opening the box and wondering, what it contains. Three spruefuls of pieces, an eight-step instruction sheet and a sheetful of waterslide transfers that I archived away immediately. This walking tank is not going to be a silly anime toy but the emperor of the 31st century battlefields: a Marauder IIC.
Firstly I snipped pieces off the sprues, cleaned them up and built what was to be built, just like the instructions told. While I was test-fitting the foot pieces I noticed that because they're movable, it wouldn't be a good idea to leave the insides like they are. I quickly painted just about all the insides of the white pieces black so that I wouldn't end up swearing my lungs out when I finally noticed that despite all the time spent painting this thing nicely, all I could see were the insides of the war machine, being white as fresh snow...
After a while I decided that finished arms, legs and the hip piece were enough for the first spring, so I documented my doings and packed my tools away. For the next round.
While I was tinkering around the next evening I noticed that the instructions suggested somewhat weird things with the wrist pieces. The gun pods would turn sideways and that'd leave them in a ridiculous angle when the guns point wherever. So I mengelified the nicely glued seams with my x-acto knife so I could pry the pieces off without causing heavy, permanent and irrepairable damage. With a bit of heavy swearing and support-taping I got the arms fixed the way I wanted them to be. In hindsight: I should've played with the pieces a bit more to see how they'll end up being to prevent this happening yet again.
While the arms were drying I attacked the Autocannon that's located on top of the torso. As the piece was a long one, it had to be taped to keep it tightly connected while the glue dried. I also decided against cutting the gun barrel open and I just left it as it was, I didn't see it worth the hassle.
I added the rest of those decorational and supporting pieces to the torso. I can't even guess what that spherical thing in the front was in the tv-show but in this model it'll be a sensor window or something. Or at least I'll try to make it represent one :P
Of course I had to test-fit them a bit, after the pieces had dried for a good while. Looking good, though the bottom could be a bit heavier to give some more balance to the model as a whole.
Because there were so few pieces missing from the torso, I decided to add them too. All that was missing was a couple of antennae and the Jump Jet pieces. After this all the building was done, nothing was missing from anywhere anymore, the arms and legs don't need to be glued to the torso at all.
Today I eagerly started basecoating the pieces - while waiting for the Duke Nukem Forever demo to be downloaded. They all were done nicely in two sets: first the top and sides, and after a few minutes for the paint to dry, the last surfaces. After yet another paint drying break I tested if the pieces still fit together. It still looks nice. Himmel, I haven't met many models that are this quick to build! Though, as we remember from earlier Spring and the experiences with the Imperial X-Wing, it doesn't matter how quickly it's built - it'll take a while to paint it anyway. But that time is really nicely spent :)
Now I really have to ponder what to do with this thing. Personally I'm such a fanatic Jade Falcon supporter that I was going to paint these in my "own" unit's colours. That's Gamma Galaxy's 3rd Falcon Talon Cluster, but my game master Viiru said that "I don't approve of old junk to be painted in the colours of a Frontline Cluster :)" and he's actually quite right with that. He suggested painting these in the Star League Defence Forces pattern, but after consulting a couple of sources I have to say that the SLDF pattern is a bit boring and as I said, my Crusader heart beats for the Clan Jade Falcon.
To my joy I found a reference that lists the Jade Falcon Touman after the Battle of Tukayyid, if I remember correctly. For a while I searched for a proper unit for both of my 1:100 'Mechs and then I found it: Omega Galaxy - 8th Falcon Regulars
, apparently a Second Line Cluster. It's more than likely that their view of Clan politics isn't something I'd tolerate but I'll worry about that a bit later. This way I'd get both of these tin cans in the same Cluster, Trinary and even the same Star(the Talon Star of the Trinary Charlie). Not bad.
The most important thing to find out right now, is what colour they'd be, if I chose this Galaxy and Cluster. According to Camospecs the pattern would be a "metallic emerald green on top and a steel finish on the lower halves of their equipment. This symbolizes Jade Falcon`s superiority over Steel Viper. Red paint is splattered on the feet and shins of their 'Mechs to indicate their intentions with the Viper Clan". I may have to browse a site or a couple, not to mention several pdf's before this is settled. But right now it sounds decent.
These are very, very important details.