A sprint down memory lane--it's paved, so watch out for the skid check PSR!
This Arcturan Guards unseen Thunderbolt was painted as part of a Camospecs Online Christmas exchange. This piece, if I recall correctly, went to B1BFlyer.
When I work with unseen pieces, floods of nostalgia inundate my creative process. I reference old FASA source books, anime art, and the Battletech CCG-my gateway to Battletech, 'Mechwarrior, and now Alpha Strike. It's pretty easy to tell when I'm painting in a nostalgic mood because of the look. Expect metallic hands, feet, joints, and weapons. Often, the color paler will be a bit more retro, but faded a touch to give it an "old" look.
To enhance the old look, I used a brown based white (blue would have been okay too, since blue and orange are complimentary colors). This piece started with a white base coat. From there, I diluted bleached bone into an ink-like consistency with water and polish and lined the piece with a size 1 brush. From there, did the same with sepia ink and a size 1 or 0 brush. The final lining layer was brown ink and a size 0 or 000 brush. After that, I carefully washed the entire piece in several coats of watered down sepia ink. A bit of white highlighting helped to make it "pop."
This was also a fun piece to experiment with the tiger stripes. Using just orange would have resulted in a flat, uninteresting highlight. After researching rich color photos of tigers and painted tiger stripe patterns and miniatures, I decided on a fade to yellow, with the white being like the underbelly of a tiger. The base of this fade was orange, since yellow is notoriously challenging to paint. The yellow was added a bit at a time and layered. You'll notice, however, different highlights on the orange and the yellow. For the orange, I added bleached bone and for the yellow I added white. The stripes were carefully painted with black and designed to be asymmetrical.
I didn't want to hide all that work with excessive wear and tear. To add a bit of worn paint, I rubbed a pencil lead on the sharp sides of the piece. The ridges on the body and around the left weist are good examples of this.
I really enjoyed working on this piece. Unseens are always fun for the history (and usually easy to repose). The scheme was a great change to try new techniques. Most of all, I enjoyed this because I knew it would end up in the hands of someone who would appreciate it. Being a fellow artist, this drive me to push myself and my painting even further.
Welcome to Mod Monday! One of the best ways to make your force stand apart from the rank and file and attract new players to the table is with creative and unique game pieces. While Battletech and Alpha Strike aren't WYSIWYG (wee-see-wig, "What you see is what you get") like other games, modifications, reposes, and creative construction enhance the gaming experience. In Mod Mondays, we look at cool modifications and tutorials to build dynamic and different models.
For this initial post, I'm sharing some of my favorite bitz that I keep stocked in the box. These are my go-to for their flexibility with sizes, aesthetics, and ease of use. We'll look at common pieces, their use, and finally how to order these from Iron Wind Metals.
Primitive Thunderbolt Missile Pod (from IWM 20-5076 Thunderbolt TDR-1C)
Thunderbolt TDR-10M Missile Pod (from IWM 20-5032 Thunderbolt TDR-10M)
Primitive Griffin Missile Pod (from IWM BT-346 Griffin GRF-1A)
Reseen Griffin Missile Pod (IWM 20-200 D Griffin Gun/Missile Pod)
Primitive Shadow Hawk Missile Pod (from IWM CE-001 Shadow Hawk SHD-1R)
Missile pod upgrades and modifications are one of the easiest to make. Whether it's customizing your merc company's fire support lance or adding a bit of lrmageddon from MWO to your table top, these long-range death-dealers and short-range cris-seekers make for interesting modifications. Missile boxes come in a variety of shapes and sizes to meet your individual needs. The Viking missile boxes, for example, are a great addition to make a long-range, indirect fire beast variant of the Legacy, like this example from Camospecs Online artist, DAK, or this up-gunned Jagermech by B1BFlyer.
Cannons, PPCs, Etc.
Other Useful Bitz
One modification sitting on my workbench to be completed is upgrading a standard Kintaro to the jump-capable KTO-K. By adding the jump jets from a reseen Ostscout onto the back of the Kintaro, you have a quick switch to make a dangerous C3 spotter. If you're into using magnets to make easily-changable variants, you can have two mods for one model by magnetizing the jump jets and the miniature.
Although it makes the miniature a magnet for incoming fire, adding pitz and pieces to show a C3 Master piece is one of my favorite mods. This is also one of the most challenging--how do you show on the outside of a piece equipment mounted on the inside? One of the easiest methods to do this is add extra antenna or a satellite dish from the Crab or Mobile HQ models. If you're wanting a more robust bit, then use the top turret from an Owens to represent the computer suite.
Being harassed by lrmageddon from the first bitz picture? Then strip a handfull of Fenrir turrets to use for antimissile systems! These little bitz are just the right size to mount on nearly any miniature to swat down incoming fire! This piece by Master Gunz is a great example of using these turrets as AMS and other added pieces to make a dynamic, interesting, and unique piece (I know, it's Jade Falcon, but otherwise, it's an awesome model).
Ordering Bitz from Iron Wind Metals
Most of the bitz here, and many others, are available directly from the Scrapyard at Iron Wind Metals online store.
If you're a clan player and want to make sure that your Thor Prime and your Thor D are clearly different, the use the Onmi Mech Parts page to order variant pieces to make nearly all of the 3050 omnis. If you love omnis and Jerone Blake and his writings, and think that the rest of the Inner Sphere needs to love Blake or suffer their transgressions in nuclear fire, then be sure to outfight your rightesous army with Word of Blake Omni Mech Parts.
There is also a small selection of very special variant parts for the Koschi and Hammerhands located in the Mech Variant Parts section.
If you can't find the part you're looking for, use the Iron Wind Metals Contact Us page to ask, very nicely if they can spin it up for you. This is a great company, and they are always happy to work with Battletech fans and the community.
With the infinite possibilities of customizations, salvage, and field repair in both Battletech and Alpha Strike, you'll never be without an opportunity to build unique, new, and interesting models.
Want to see more great modifications, reposes, and custom work? Check out Camospecs Online for amazing work!
Have your own go-to bitz, favorite pieces, or boss mods? Share them below in the comments!
The list of artists who set the tone of the Battletech universe is relatively short. There are only a scant few pieces that we see and see again, across websites, blogs, and publications. These works inspired countless artists and players across the globe. On many occasions, these pieces both inspire and frustrate me, jumping from "I want to be like that" to "!@#! IT! I'M DONE!" When it comes to many of the most iconic images of Battletech created in the last decade, the artist of note is Adrian Gideon. Whether miniatures or illustrations, his work has been features across the gamut of publications ranging from the Battletech Boxed Set releases, to Total Warfare and Alpha Strike.
Adrian Gideon's style is characterized by rich contrast, bold colors, and dynamic, evocative poses. Renowned for his jeweling and reflective cockpits, each piece is carefully constructed with highlights and spot colors that compliment and "pop" with the rest of the piece. Whether it is his rich blues and reds or his hallmark black, his pieces always demonstrate rich variation of color without showing where the mixing or transition occurs. Whether a still and imposing Battlemaster or a leaping Mad Cat, each piece Adrian Gideon creates tells a story; each miniature construct a tiny narrative of the Battletech universe in itself.
Though his portfolio contains models and schemes from across the Battletech universe, he has a clear favorite faction. Long-time followers of his work will likely be unsurprised to learn that Adrian Gideon's preferred schemes hail from the Federated Suns. Many of his most viewed and frequently published pieces bear the colors of the Davion Bridage of Guards or Crucis Lancers as well as their FedCom Civil War allies, the 10th Lyran Guard.
His preference for AFFS-aligned models is apparent in his collected works as well, with many--even in other faction schemes--using the blues and greens of the Federated Suns. When asked what his favorite miniature is, he replied: Marauder MAD-3R. "The unseen or the classic?" you may ask. His favorite is in fact, both the unseen and the classic redesign by Anthony Scroggins. "It stood out of 3025 as something alien and predatory like a shark, and its name perfectly matched," said the artist.
More than his artistic contributions, Adrian Gideon has worked tirelessly to ensure that the production of quality miniature art of the Battletech universe continues. As the stable master of the Catalyst Game Labs Camospecs painters, Adrian Gideon has worked uncountable hours behind the scenes to coordinate this team of volunteer artists to produce amazing content for publications, websites, dioramas, and events. The success of Battletech miniatures in product and art would not be what it is today without the immense contributions of Adrian Gideon.
Below is a selection of the outstanding work produced by Adrian Gideon over the last decade. These works range from diorama's to publications and contests. More than any other artist, he has set the bar in our world and brought the Battletech universe to life.
These are not just miniatures--these are in the truest sense of the phrase game pieces elevated to art. In that, Adrian Gideon achieved one of his major goals--to turn "unpainted minis [that were] pretty ugly that way" into things "at the top end, treated as works of art," (Adrian Gideon on why he began painting Battletech miniatures, December 2016).
With the painting legend's permission, Dave "Hauptmann" Fanjoy's website www.heavygauss.com is now listed on the links page.
Before Camospecs, Fanjoy was one of the early notable painters and electronic publishers of Battletech minis. Pieces like this Cerberus from 2003 were some of my earliest inspirations to get into miniature painting. I remember spending hours at work during university years studying the images on his website. Though it may not be readily visible in my current work, his style is an important influence in my aesthetic.
It's also worth noting that he is one of if not the first airbrush artists of Battletech minis.
Be sure to check out his page, www.heavygauss.com!
Tutorials and Projects