Semi-eternal Project II/13

The long break's duration

I was thinking that I haven't touched my metallic BattleTech miniatures in a good while. In that I was correct, but I was far off the mark with the duration. Based on the emails I ordered these pieces in the early 2009, and after the Pesterers diorama nothing else got even half-finished. We're talking about more than four years.

The todo list

Right now I have four slightly customized OmniMechs on my desk, none of them will be a Prime. Both the Summoner and Hellbringer are A variants, the Mad Dog is going to be a C and the ugly beast Gargoyle has a custom loadout. Looks like it has an (Ultra) AutoCannon in the left arm and a couple of beamers in the right one.


Hellbringer A

Mad Dog C

Summoner A

There was supposed to be a Turkina in the shipment, but instead of that I got an IS can called Strider. So my target detachment grows in its own pace. As well as these 'Mechs I also received a bagful of 30 Elementals (6 Stars), of which I used 5 in the diorama. In no circumstances am I going to try to work on the small guys at the same pace as I'm working on the 'Mechs, just to save my poor nerves, if nothing else.

Ancient doings

Yeah, I had poked these a bit all these years ago. The pieces were more or less cleaned, cut, dremeled (I had opened up the feet of the Hellb & Summoner) and even partially assembled. Most of the pieces were also partially painted black. Whatever caused the project to be dropped, did that in the middle of it.


The first thing I did was to continue setting them up and wondering which variants I was working on after all. As I said, the Gargoyle is apparently just a random setup just so I didn't have to get another Prime of them in my glorious Cluster. Yes, I know, Falcons should have plenty of Gargoyles but because I find them so ridiculously repulsive, two are more than enough, thank you!

Brothers H & S didn't need anything special, just the assembly. At some point in the past I had chopped the Summoner's left leg from the knee for a different pose. Let's see what I do with that in the end.

That Mad Dog... Well, you can see in the photo that it was totally and completely unassembled. All the C variant is armed with is two Gauss Rifles, so the LRM racks need to be emptied or closed up or both. All the more violent modifications are to be done before the assembly, of course, because otherwise the smallest pieces would end up flying all around the house. And end up lost, most likely.


Completed: project I/13


The first modeling project of the year is now completed. This took exactly five months, as I took the final photos yesterday. Reporting overflowed to today, but that's not important. Following the glorious traditions of Projectmumblings my pace has been random and everything (beginning from the weather) has affected it.

There's nothing really spectacular or special to say right now. Mostly I'm just content that this thing is finished and I even look at the results benevolently. Of course there's always room for improvement, so I don't get caught in that anymore. I'm so pleased, actually, that I have considered working on other flying deathtraps in the same scale. If I get even madder than I already am I could go for something modern, can you imagine?

A bunch o' photos

Without further ado, here's a load of photos with a hastily prepared A4 background. Each of the pictures needed to be straightened up afterwards, thanks to my ultraexcited photo assistant. While I was telling how the tripod is used and not to be poked around all the time, I noticed that one of the leg extension blocks had fallen out of its place...


The final wash

Decision making

As is very well known, I'd been pondering on washing the plane for a good while. Until yesterday my dominant thought had been "nah, I'd ruin it", but after staring at the model and the paintjob for weeks I just couldn't unsee the detail-loss on the panel lines. There was no alternative, my mind was set.

Surface wash

I dug out my Devlan Mud and applied it all around the damn thing, with long swipes along the lenght of the plane. The result I was looking for, as with the base, was a rain-beaten look. You'll see how it ended up:

What else?

The end is nigh. Though, I was still pondering if I should apply Badab Black on the mouth of the cannon before I declare this project finally done. At long last.


Enough is enough

The twinkling of the nested stars

Instead of playing even more with masking tape (or, as Lasse mentioned in an earlier comment (on the finnish side), buing a thin, fine red marker) I picked up a narrow piece of plastic. Everybody knows those plastic things you find in the clothes tags, I assume. So, I dipped one of those in red paint and drew the borders. For a bothersome and yet again undocumented reason I made the border lines thicker than what they actually needed to be or what they could've been. Life is hard and art requires sacrifices.

Here we are today, I think I'll try to get the panel lines washed one of these evenings. Then we've reached the final photos stage both before and after attaching the plane on its base.


Edgy roundels

"Accepting the facts is the beginning of wisdom"

In case my memory serves me even half-decently, someone somewhere once said something like that at some point in the history. The fact that requires acceptance on this round of the Project Mumblings is this: had I decided to leave those white lines off my model, even though I knew they belonged there, I'd suffered plenty. So what else could I do but attack my stencils and masking tape...

Taking a deep breath and getting to work

This phase made me doubt myself quite a lot. I guess the main reason is that the previous attempt with slightly undersized roundels failed so miserably - luckily there's no evidence of it anywhere outside my brain. No guts, no glory, so I painted the edges of my stencils white. Six stars were easily ruined, but the waiting. Waiting was painful.

Intermediate result


After the paint had cured I was even more nervous than before I begun this step. Ultracarefully I peeled off my first target, the left horizontal stabilizier's masking tape star. Himmel! It actually looked like something!
Of course the red fill and the outer edges would need touching up but I wasn't nearly that concerned anymore.

A weight of tons fell off my poor heart. How in the name of the Empire can this hobby be so nervewracking sometimes? And right now I'm not talking about hunting sub-millimeter pieces from carpets, floors or wherever or fighting to get them where they belong. Those things are in a totally different league of issues :p

We're not done yet, oh no. There's still plenty to fix and touch up, but at long last we've reached that part of the project where one can actually believe to see the end somewhere. That is wonderful.


Game Dev Tycoon

A good while ago I encountered an article that told about Greenheart Games' first game, Game Dev Tycoon. The topic was their approach to pirated versions: these users had an issue where at some point in the game all the sales dropped down to zero, because as the game said "piracy ruins your sales" or something along those lines. Several unhappy players went and complained about this on the forums and listen to this, they were asking if they could research DRM or something equally stupid. And they were crying how their awful and unfair it was that their virtual game companies went bankrupt due to piracy.

I laughed out loud when I read about that and decided that I had to show my approval at this by buying the game that instant. Then, a bunch of weeks (or months) ago I got a Steam key to my email. Two weeks ago I finally had the time to try it out... It's damn fun, judging by the way it stole my little free time quite effectively.

Both thumbs up and a silly grin on my face. I approve of this. 8)



Painting and messifying the display stand

In case you forgot already, the last time I had finished with the plastic plates and that I had applied the ballast here and there. After that the whole setup was primed gray. Simple and quick.
The part of the stand that's not a part of the display was painted with Tamiya's XF-10 Flat Brown. Somehow I recall that there were some spots I painted badly, but then again, the already uneven coating might end up looking just fine and interetsing instead of a boring flatness. Maybe I'll drybrush some lighter brown here and there anyway.

A weather-ruined frontyard of a hangar

As with the stand itsel, a plain grey surface would've been really boring. So I applied a slightly hasty layer of darker grey on the slates and then drybrushed the edges gently with a lighter gray, using my trusty Vallejo greys. After that setup had dried I dug out the washes I received in the early summer. The concrete slabs were washed with Vallejo's grey and the gravely parts with brown wash (Model Wash 76.516 Grey; Model Wash 76.513 Brown).

I think the stand looked now nicely autumnish and to enforce that feeling I applied some puddles here and there with my old, trusty Vallejo's acrylic water (Still Water 26230). According to the internet, I could've done something to make the puddles stand out even better but let them be as they are, you may see them from a proper angle, if they're visible at all.

The everspreading weeds

When all this had cured properly overnight, I superglued a couple of Woodland Scenics' grass tufts in the edge of the bigger gravel patch and the broken concrete slab. Then I dropped a bunch of droplets of superglue in random places along the slab's edges and dabbed tiny amounts of WS foliage on said drops.

This had got me started with the weird details so I dug out the summer's Vallejo pigment bottles and the old Tamiya pigment box. From the first set I used the grey powder mostly on the edges of the concrete pieces and the light brown stuff on the gravel, wherever it happened to be. Then from the older kit I used "mud" on the top parts (in the picture) especially and some bigger empty areas, the "wet sand" around the bottom right, where the gravel lies.

Test photos


My idea was that the display stand would be a depiction of a front yard of a hangar on a slightly ill-kept air base, where the weeds are returning slowly but steadily. To my horrible eyes the effect is just what I was going for, but who can tell how you, dear readers and photo-oglers take it...