Not so fine-tuning

I'm sorry but I forgot to take proper work-in-progress pics of my moddings because I got so excited while hacking around. So I'll try to explain things without all the images I wanted to show.

To begin with I started with the Cyclops because I thought it's going to have the easiest modification I had preplanned. And it's a new unit for me because I've only built Clan OmniMechs so far, these freeborn tin cans have only been around in the games, novels and as the cardboard stand-ins in our BT sessions. So here it goes:

As the first step I started to look for the AC/20 that was supposed to be molded somewhere. Then I checked what the wiki and a bunch of pictures say about its location. After learning what I wanted, I chopped off some kind of a random lump off the Right Torso and wondered what sort of a tube I'd install there. In the end I chose a piece of a Tops stick: I cut a short piece off and cut a nice ~45º degree slope in the rear end of said piece. Then I tried if it sits in nicely and glued it.

That was quick and easy, next one was going to be a bit more complicated.

As I had started replacing the AutoCannon barrels, the next target was obviously the Atlas. Whatever those things on top of its hips were, I chopped them away for they were horrendous. To describe the quality I tell this: I couldn't tell which of the turds was a laser and which one an AutoCannon... My three-year old memory of my Model Expo diorama told me that the AC belongs on the Right Torso but the reference pictures I checked said it's on the Left Torso. Somehow I decided to put in on the left side.
Because I had already decided that this gun is going to be Big, I cut a nice piece of that copper pipe that I bought this spring from the Model Expo. It's diameter is 5mm IIRC. While I was pondering on the location and testing how it fits, I also noticed that yeah, this model is anorectic and that looks bad. I rolled a chunk of Greenstuff to make a new Center Torso for the Atlas and I even scraped the panel lines on that thing. In a couple of minutes from a starving skinny person from a KZ to a middle-aged beer-bellied geezer. Not bad.

While I was at it, I rolled the already mixed surplus Greenstuff into some sort of filler between the new AC barrel and the torso. Sculpting is so nyt my thing.
After pondering for a while, I decided that the laser gun barrel on the other side torso was to be made of something else than that Tops pipe. Somehow I came up with the thought of using a piece of a sprue. I cut a piece of one and carved a hole in the end to make it look more like a gun of sorts. Maybe it's good enough after some painting.

At this point the whole pose of the miniature bothered me quite a bit. Even with the replacement parts something just didn't look right. It looked somehow submissive. To fix that I cut the Right Arm off, attached pins and reattached the arm at an angle, so it looks a bit less static and boring.

After these two monsters I started working on one of the main things I wanted and needed to do. Catapult's LRM launcher doors. To build them I cut two small sheets of thin styrene and tried to make them match the shapes of the launchers. That match is somewhat far-fetched but maybe it looks decent enough after the painting.
For some obscene reason the plastic used in this miniatures is weird and it doesn't play well with anything else, including that styrene and glue. Oh, I did think that it worked until I made the mistake of poking one of the doors. They didn't stick after all.
As I'm a cruel and evil person, I lit a tea candle and warmed the upper edges of the LRM launchers a bit. They softened up enough for me to just press the new doors in place.

While that candle was still lit I used it to clean up all the random crap in the minis I had prepared. With "random crap" I mean those annoying random flaps of plastic that just don't want to go away with an xacto or a file. So melting them away worked.

In general I have to complain: that plastic is something incomprehensible. I have never, ever crossed my path with anything that bad. My (rather extensive) collection of swearwords is not even nearly enough to describe it.
And I haven't even started painting on that stuff...

Here's a group pic of the miniatures that are more or less ready for painting. Most of them didn't need anything more than regluing a loose limb, head or so. And getting rid of those enfuriating mold lines. Many of them, if not all, need an antenna or a couple. For those I need to consult images and all that, I didn't want to do that just by guessing. That's not a big deal anyway and it won't take long to do, whenever I get to start.

I don't think it makes any sense to start painting individual 'Mechs but a Lance at a time. In that picture I have arranged the minis so that there's a column for a faction and as you can see, two of those columns have all four BattleMechs in place. Those are the ones to be painted first.

The Lance on the left side is going to be painted in one of the DCMS patterns, mostly a red one because that's how the Combine is easily recognized. With this in mind I'm most likely going to choose one of the Sword of Light units or any of the Legions of Vega (those are commonly red-gray). Because the SoL's unit logo is the same as the logo of Draconis Combine, just with a different coloured dragon, it'd be easy if I manage to freehand the DC logo to begin with. That sword-wielding rat of LoV units would be a bit much for a guy like me who can't draw at all ;)

The other Lance is earmarked to the Lyran Alliance and so far I don't have a good clue of what to do with them. Those chaps at Tharkad like blue and that's just about all I know about Lyrans and their colour schemes.... I guess that those Lyran Guards RCTs are the most recognizable with their blue-white parade schemes. Those also seem to have unit logos designed, unlike most of the other Lyran units seem to be.

Whatever happens, at least I get to try a bunch of new paint schemes.

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