The wings of inspirationI really got carried away with these pieces. Every single evening I've done at least something to them, bigger or smaller jobs. I also managed to break a piece (a rubber pipe that goes in the paint pot) from my airbrush, but luckily only after I had done all I inteded to with it regarding this project.
ReprimingBeing the last incomplete one, I finished the Mad Dog. Not that it was missing anything but the arms, so it was quick and easy. Then I sprayed the group all around with Vallejo's Grey Primer. I thought that it would work much better than the randomly applied Chaos Black that I preferred years ago. For some reason I just can't recall why that had been my way of working back then.
Green basecoatI guess I've talked about this topic before, but do bear with me. The unit I'm working on is the 3rd Falcon Talon Cluster (that I chose semirandomly many solar cycles ago), also known as "the Jade Claymores" and it belongs to the Gamma Galaxy of the Clan Jade Falcon. Camospecs.com says the following regarding Gamma Galaxy's paint scheme: "Gamma Galaxy uses appropriate camouflage. Clusters trim their machines and equipment with jade". My artistic freedom was immense!
For another completely forgotten reason I had decided that my unit's theme would be a green-gray camo pattern. Therefore I loaded my airbrush with Vallejo's Field Green (Model Air 71093) and applied it all around. I think that most of my pre-existing OmniMechs were painted Goblin Green. Why did I change the paint now? That I did because I feel that not every single piece has to be exactly like the others, with the exact same paints and tones, but that different cans be varied. As long as the main colours stay.
CamouflageAt this point I had packed my airbrush away and taken my brushes out to strike random, form-breaking grey patterns (Vallejo Cold Grey (Game Color 72050)) on the 'Mechs. Three of them got more or less randomly directed thinner or thicker lines, but when I got to the Mad Dog as the last piece, thanks to a moment's insanity, I went for some kind of tiger-like stripes. Or tried to.
Later the pieces got drybrushed with a lighter grey (Vallejo Stonewall Grey (Game Color 72409)), concentrating on the gray surfaces. If some of it got on a green part, it wasn't a problem because to me it didn't look wrong at all.
DecorationsThat was it for the most creative part. As my next task I picked out some random parts with jade green (Vallejo Game Color 72026). All this was done just like with my earlier 'Mechs, pretty randomly so that not all the same or similar parts would always be "highlighted", even in the same variants of the same 'Mech. I guess I've been trying to achieve some kind of non-staticness or something.
Actually the only parts that are consistently highlighted the same way are the LRM/SRM launchers: the edges are always lined with jade green. No other Omnimodule has been done that way in my projects. I guess I had a reason for that back in the day, but surprise surprise, I've forgotten it already. Maybe I wanted to add just one constant element into all the randomness? Let's agree that was my explanation.
The only LRM launcher of this set got a grey-black face. In my unit all the missiles are red so that the LRMs are always plain red and the SRMs have white tips. The red stands out nicely from the green main colour and the white tip separates the missile types from each other - as if you could confuse the huge ones with the tiny ones, anway.
Each gun I painted simply with Gunmetal Grey (Vallejo Model Color 70863). Then I mixed something like 80/20 of blood red and red (Game Color 72010 and Model Color 20926 respectively). This mix I applied to the ends of the lasers and to the cockpit windows. Earlier I had always painted the windows with Citadel's Black Ink (which, as everyone knows has been renamed a dozen times), but I thought that I'd give a new idea a try. To me it looked pretty nice so I decided to update all my existing miniatures to follow this new design (or similar) of cockpit viewports.
In my MiG-29 model the brown wash worked really well, so I thought that I'd try that one on these miniatures, too. If it ended up looking good, I could update my old pieces with this as well. My wish was that the wash would tie the camo together and maybe make the whole thing look a bit less cartoony. It felt like a good idea to me.
InsigniaLast evening I started with the insignia and numbers. Yes, each 'Mech in my Cluster has its own random unit number. I think that the idea came from the art I've seen and the fact that I can't remember seeing too many BattleTech miniatures with unit numbers on them. After my short painting session was done I checked the old minis and to my slight (but happy) surprise I found out that I hadn't duplicated any numbers, even though it had been quite close. Go me!
What I did was choosing places for the unit and Galaxy insignia and painted the white dots on those places. As the Cluster insignia is a jade sword impaling a white-ish planet and the Galaxy insignia is a Jade Falcon over a white-ish planet, even I can freehand those semirecognizeably in this scale. I was also scouting for places for the Clan insignia, but didn't get to start anything yet.