These articles relate my experience on how to design, build and paint models.

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Painted models fight better. Don't be "that guy" who brings naked models to the table.

There are many levels and standards of painting, from unpainted to Golden Demon (sorry for the GW reference). I will tell you up front that you will not learn GD level skills from me. My painting skills are not that good and I do not have the time or patience to acquire those skills. If you want your Mechs to look like they are ready to step off their hex bases and start walking around, stop reading this and go somewhere else.

fig painting a figStuff like this is out of my league, and I know it.

DISCLAIMER: I am not financially or contractually bound to any company mentioned in this article. I have found what tools and materials I like, and will promote them by name because I like and use their products. I receive no compensation from anybody for mentioning (or not mentioning their competitors) any specific tool, material or method.

Still with me? Good. I will teach you how to paint your Mechs and units to a tabletop standard. That means your units will look good at arm’s length, not necessarily under a magnifying glass. I will teach you a quick way to reach that standard, without spending multiple hours on each of your Mechs. If you have a battalion of Mechs, and you spend 2-3 hours on each Mech, that's a minimum of 72 hours to paint them. If you only have 2-3 hours a week that you can spend painting like I do, that's going to be at least 9 months painting them. I certainly don't want to spend that kind of time, and you probably don't either.

So, if I told you could paint your battalion in 10-20 hours, would you be interested? I thought so.

First, let's talk about the tools and implements necessary to achieve this goal. You are going to need paint, paint brushes, a palate and a small water container. I use the top of a discarded spray paint can to hold water to wash my brushes. NEVER use a glass or a cup. If you use a drinking glass, your spouse will be very upset with you (see the section on "sleeping on the couch"). If you use a disposable water cup, sooner or later you will reach for your brush cleaning water rather than your beverage of choice by accident and drink from it. Brush water is nasty. But then again, I know a couple of guys who have done that more than once. A "nice to have" item is double-sided tape.

Before I go any further, if you haven't already read my article on Assembly so you know how to assemble and base a Mech before you start painting it. If you assemble and basecoat a Mech without doing the preliminary basing, you will make your job a lot harder than it needs to be. So, go and check out how to put your Mechs together, and then come on back.

Ready? Let's go!

If you followed the instructions from Assembly, you have a naked Mech on your workbench. If you have a battalion of Mechs, so much the better. You can do it on an assembly line. When you can take 8-10 Mechs through a step together, you maximize your efficiency during those few hours you can devote to the project.

I use and will show you the Army Painter system. This system uses the assembly line method to paint your Mechs to a tabletop standard.

You can download a PDF of the Army Painter system here.

Basically, there are 5 steps to take a Mech from blister to battle ready: Assembly, painted, detailed, based and sealed. Let's go through the steps, shall we?

We've already done Assembly. No need to go into further detail.

Painted

Here is a short YouTube video of me explaining and performing the process:

You should already have a color scheme in mind before you purchase your paints. Know what colors you want to use. Now we start to paint the miniature. Take a disposable box, put it on an outside table (or a small box for those of you who have an indoor painting setup. Sheesh, I hate people who have money! ;) ) Lay down a strip of the double sided tape, sticking the miniatures to the tape. This will prevent them from falling over when they get hit by the spray paint.

Keeping the nozzle of the spray can about 6-8" away from the miniatures, aim off to one side of the group, start spraying, and move at a level with and at a steady speed parallel to and across the miniatures. Once you have passed the last miniature, release your finger and stop spraying. Go back and forth several times for each side. You will want to spray the miniature on the front, back and both sides. Make 2-3 passes, then wait at least 20 minutes for the paint to dry. Make a "high" pass, where you aim down upon the top of the miniature to make sure that part is covered. Then turn the miniatures 90 degrees, and repeat the process. The trick here is to make multiple light passes, rather then 1-2 heavy passes. Heavy passes will fill in and hide details because you globbed the paint on.

WAIT AT LEAST AN HOUR BEFORE THE NEXT STEP.

In order to get what was missed, lay the miniature on its back, and spray from the bottom to get underneath. You want to make sure the paint is completely dry before you lat the miniature down, else when you pick it back up, you will find a bald speck where the miniature contacted the box you are using and the paint stuck to the box there. You want to get the miniature front and back. Make sure all parts are covered by the base coat. Don't forget to basecoat the base as well. This will seal the grit applied during the assembly phase to the base.

Detailed

Here is where you obviously paint the details on your miniatures. Weapons, cockpits, Regimental patterns, whatever you want. If you have a lance/company/battalion's worth of units you are detailing at the same time, do this as an assembly line. You pick one color you are going to paint. Pickup your first unit, apply the paint in the manner you desire, then set it down, pick up the second unit and repeat the process. Repeat until you have added this color to all the units.

By this time, the first unit will be dry and you can apply the second color, repeating the entire process.

Shading

The other "secret" to the Army Painter system is the dip shade it uses. A can of the shading dip is expensive, but will do several hundred miniatures. The dip will wick itself into the crevices of the unit, making the detail "pop" out.

The methodology is very simple: using something like slip joint pliers, grip the unit by the base and immerse it into the dip. Pull it out of the dip, holding it over the can for 10-15 seconds to allow most of the dip to drip off the unit. Then you want to "whip" the unit to fling any small drops off the unit. Do this 4-5 times. Watch where you're "whipping it," e.g. at the Dining Room walls your spouse painted last week would be a bad idea. Then set the unit where the dip can dry. Keep some cotton swabs handy to wick off where it pools and becomes unsightly.

Back to painting. Next, we paint the base. I use four colors to make the base. Black, Beasty Brown, Plague Brown and Dead White. You paint the entire base Beasty Brown. Take your drybrush and go over the base with a light coat of the Plague Brown. Clean your drybrush, and go over the very high points of the grit on the base very lightly with Dead White. Last step for this phase, you paint the edges of the base black. If you have multiples of this model, some kind of labeling (on the back face of the hex base to make it less obvious) is recommended. Either dots of a color that stands out, or painting that entire face in a particular color, whatever suits you.

Sealing

This is the next-to-last step. You must do this right the first time, or you will have to strip all of the paint off the unit and start from the beginning AGAIN.

You can only do this on a low humidity day. If the humidity is too high, the unit will "frost" and it will become very unsightly. Using the method described earlier, make several very light passes over the unit, allowing each coat to thoroughly dry between sprays.

For a final touch, dab some white glue on 2-3 small areas of each base, and dip the base in your supply of static grass. Shake off the excess, and you’re done! Your Mech is now ready to take to the battlefield!

Battle Reports

I welcome Philip back to Battletech from a 10 year
Get the Centurion!
We tried out a new scenario.
The long way
Okay, I met Don Saturday at gaming at Comic Cellar.
War At Sea
On 6/26/16, I organized a Battletech battle. I asked for something to speed up play and possibly welcome new players.
Close enough to shave with
Ernie and I showed up at Mid-South Hobbies today to kick off the Brush War Campaign, and have a pick-up game to get back into the Battletech mood.
Fall down, go BOOM
"It seemed like the thing to do at the time..."
We are the Dead
I just had my first battle of this Brush War Campaign. I thought I was in a pretty good position.
Whack-A-Mech
Today's Lesson: If you're going to try some new tactics, study them before the battle. Don't wing new tactics on the fly.
A 'Wild Hair' Batrep

Ouchies YouTube Batreps

#88 I don't like Change…

Nothing like the first time again...
#88 I don't like Change…

#87 No Refunds

The Prodigy would be proud of the Dervish, Quickcell not so much.
#87 No Refunds

#86 Lake Front Property III

100% legit all the way.
#86 Lake Front Property III

#84 Lake Front Property

Defiler and I assault a quaint vacation home.
#84 Lake Front Property

#80 Jacques! Start the engine!!!

It's not exactly 2v1. More like 2vRUN!
#80 Jacques! Start the engine!!!

#79 When in doubt...

Who needs ranged combat in the 31st millennium? I'm not *trying* to club baby seals I swear.
#79 When in doubt...

#78 Clan GETSUM

Gotta go! Go! GOOO!
#78 Clan GETSUM

#77 Rock 'Em Sock 'Em

We needed a micrometer to determine the winner in this match.
#77 Rock 'Em Sock 'Em

#76 Jade Falcon vs Society Aid Division

TRAITOR AND SWINE! Our uneasy truce on Akuts falls apart as a shady ally does what this band of allies do best.
#76 Jade Falcon vs Society Aid Division

#75 Jade Falcon vs Knights

#75 Jade Falcon vs Knights

#74 Jade Falcon vs. T-Rex Society

In this engagement I sorta over compensate and sell a little bit of my soul to make a point on a world of little value- fighting my ally.
#74 Jade Falcon vs. T-Rex Society

#73 Jade Falcon vs. KWSN

Campaign #2 (2015) continues! Engagement 1, Turn 4. The Jade Falcon Expeditionary, repels a blind raid of their campaign staging area.
#73 Jade Falcon vs. KWSN

#72 Jade Falcon vs. Society Aid Division

Campaign #2 (2015) continues! Engagement 3, Turn 3. The Jade Falcon Expeditionary, Beta Cluster, takes on the SAD 101st Unit for the southern continent of Akuts.
#72 Jade Falcon vs. Society Aid Division

#71 Jade Falcon vs. Davion 109th RCT

Campaign #2 (2015) continues! Engagement 2, Turn 2. The Jade Falcon Expeditionary, Alpha Cluster, takes on the 268th Thunderers from the Davion 109th on Panjang in a brushing conflict.
#71 Jade Falcon vs. Davion 109th RCT

#70 Jade Falcon vs. KWSN

A new campaign! The Jade Falcon Expeditionary opens up an LZ on a hostile world. It was supposed to be a milk run, not an ambush. Will they succeed?
#70 Jade Falcon vs. KWSN

#66 Fusiliers vs. TRC

The last round of the brush war campaign, we fight on the loosely populated Panjang against the scummy TRC.
#66 Fusiliers vs. TRC

#65 Fusiliers vs. BLNR

The BLNR have committed their forces to the siege of Carnot while far flung warlords pick off their less defended territories. This is the game that will make or break both them and the Fusiliers.
#65 Fusiliers vs. BLNR

#64 Fusiliers vs. TRC

Interception of the tide of landings over Carnot!
#64 Fusiliers vs. TRC

#63 WoB vs. Mercs

Round 3 Tourney Game at Midsouth Hobbies (9/27/14)
#63 WoB vs. Mercs

#62 WoB vs. Taurian

Round 2 Tourney Game at Midsouth Hobbies (9/27/14)
#62 WoB vs. Taurian

#61 WoB vs. Clan

Round 1 Tourney Game at Midsouth Hobbies (9/27/14)
#61 WoB vs. Clan

#60 Coalition vs. WoB

The air above gets hot as the battlefield gets contested in this Battletech game.
#60 Coalition vs. WoB

#59 Coalition vs. WoB

In this batrep I give the wrong name to everything proxied.
#59 Coalition vs. WoB

#58 Coalition vs. WoB

Boot up the C3i, it's time to buy some time.
#58 Coalition vs. WoB

#57 WoB vs. Coalition (Shiloh 5)

The Word of Blake Shiloh campaign comes to a close as a data breach forces this skirmish to be the last.
#57 WoB vs. Coalition (Shiloh 5)

#53 Cappellan vs. Taurian

DUST OFF THE FUSION REACTOR. Battletech 10k bv2 vs. 10k bv2; Inner Sphere theme.
#53 Cappellan vs. Taurian

#52 A&A WaS US vs. IJN Rematch

We play Axis and Allies War at Sea because the viewers requested it and we would of played it on our own anyway (protip: because it's fun).
#52 A&A WaS US vs. IJN Rematch

#33 Battletech!

Same as the last one, just less "Copyright-y". Riots abound and the HPG grid has gone off line. Is something afoot?
#33 Battletech!

#32 Solaris Death Match

We try a slightly different narration style and game altogether.
#32 Solaris Death Match

#31 WoB vs. Coalition (Shiloh 3&4)

Round 3&4 (out of 5) of Operation Scour follows into double jeopardy as the Word of Blake struggles against the Coalition forces.
#31 WoB vs. Coalition (Shiloh 3&4)

#30 WoB vs. Coalition (Shiloh 2)

Round 2 of Operation Scour continues as the WoB reel from the LZ and setup a hasty blocking formation.
#30 WoB vs. Coalition (Shiloh 2)

#29 WoB vs. Clan (Shiloh 1)

Operation Scour kicks off during the invasion of the WoB held planet of Shiloh in this 30k bv2 opening scenario. I like big games because the odds of the things that make battletech awesome are mediated by the sheer volume of things going on.
#29 WoB vs. Clan (Shiloh 1)

#28 WoB vs. Clan

Clan takes on the Word of Blake in Hasty Escalation... again. 5000pts
#28 WoB vs. Clan

#27 WoB vs. Clan

Clan takes on the Word of Blake in Hasty Escalation. 5000pts
#27 WoB vs. Clan

#26 WoB vs. Capellan Confederation

Capellans takes on the Word of Blake in a meeting engagement. 5000pts.
#26 WoB vs. Capellan Confederation

#25 WoB vs. Clan

Word Of Blake takes on the Clans in a meeting engagement. 5000pts.
#25 WoB vs. Clan

#21 Clan vs. Inner Sphere

Battletech BattleReport. 10k pts/side, 'Meeting Engament'. IS vs. Clan.
#21 Clan vs. Inner Sphere

#20 Domination

Battletech BattleReport. 30k pts/side, 'Domination'. BluFor vs. RedFor
#20 Domination

#19 Domination

Battletech BattleReport. 20,000pts, 'Domination'. Clan Jade Falcon Vs. Clan Chromium Pigeon/Taurian
#19 Domination

#17 Domination

The endangered Jade Dodo's breeding grounds are threatened by hungry periphery raiders. Will the Jade Falcon clan push them back or will a new bird enter the fried food arena in this play test of a "Flames of War" inspired scenario?
#17 Domination

#16 Group W vs. Comstar

Battletech Battle Report: Comstar and Group W go in the final "final" round. As Comstar finds themselves entering a quagmire they are unwilling to support, they make it one for Group W as well before dis-involving altogether.
#16 Group W vs. Comstar

#10 A&A WaS US vs. IJN

I get my feet wet in a naval game. Then feel bad about it. Axis & Allies: War at Sea Battle Report. Japanese Vs. Americans at 300pts.
#10 A&A WaS US vs. IJN

#7 Sorta Batrep

When life hands you lemons… Somewhere between getting to turn 3 after 5 hours, multiple equipment failures and a family emergency, this batrep wasn't meant to be done.
#7 Sorta Batrep

#6 Group W vs. Comstar Fight 3

Comstar and Group W go in the final round in a best of 3- and I find myself biting off more than I can chew.
#6 Group W vs. Comstar Fight 3

#5 Group W vs. Comstar Fight 2

Revengence! Tanks and mechs meet again in the hilly country land as Comstar pursues the Group W mercenaries into the rural areas.
#5 Group W vs. Comstar Fight 2

#4 Group W vs. Comstar Fight 1

Mercenary Vs. Comstar, Mech's Vs. Tanks, Long Distance charges vs... stacked dice? We got it all in this batrep.
#4 Group W vs. Comstar Fight 1

#3 Group W vs. Jade Falcon

In this battle report, Group W is tasked with probing the clan defensive line. Will they gather the recon data without incident or will clan Jade Falcon gather their salvage? Find out!
#3 Group W vs. Jade Falcon

#2 Jade Falcon vs Marik/Kurita

Will the Clan's let the lostech hardened candy shell technology fall to Innersphere hands? Find out!
#2 Jade Falcon vs Marik/Kurita

#1 Lyran/JF vs. Pirates/Mercs

Proof of concept time lapse shoot of a 20k/side BV meeting engagement.
#1 Lyran/JF vs. Pirates/Mercs

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