So on the occasion of the arrival of my boxed set of BattleTech: A Game of Armored Combat, I noticed some small differences in the new plastic models, as opposed to my 30 year old Ral Partha metal miniatures.
I’ve got some pictures of the old vs new here. And some photos of my collection.
Comparing the Mechs
First up, a Shadow Hawk, a 55 Ton mech. During my playing of Mechwarrior (the original PC game) this was my go to Mech. With the long reach of the auto cannon, I could engage the enemy mechs well before they could approach my lance.
Then the Battlemaster. An 85T assault mech, and in the first set (and this new version), the largest mech included. Later, playing the Pirahna Games BattleTech game, I could never get a Battlemaster that really seemed to work for me. Either no hitting power or too much heat. It stayed in the Mechbay.
Okay, here they are. My entire holdings of Mechs. Arranged by weight, from 100T Assaults on the left to 20T Lights on the right. As you look through the pictures, they are divided into 3 phases of purchase. Painted mechs are Ral Partha (except 1 plastic has been done). 2 are painted in a funny mix of colours, these were second hand and I have not yet repainted them. The grey plastic ones are the new ones.
Now, sorted roughly into lances, is the Bleeding Skulls Merc Company.
Assault / Command Lance
Leading the way, in the iconic Atlas painted as if it’s a Bleeding Skull, with the blood of his enemies on his hands is the leader of this band of Mercs. Backed up by (now) a trio of Battlemasters it’s a powerful assault lance.
Backing up the Assault, is the Heavy Lance with a lot of firepower. The Grasshopper provides a way to swiftly flank using its jump jets.
Swift with some solid firepower, the Medium Lance provides some flexibiliy for the company. All jump equipped for extra manoeuvrability.
Fire Support Lance
A trio of LRM carriers with a dedicated Anti-Air Rifleman provides fire support to the company
An enhanced scout lance provides the company with the ability to split into seperate teams, or to provide a couple of mechs as flankers, or extra security for the fire support lance if needed.
They also joined the Bleeding Skulls. The Dire Wolf would fit into the Assault Lance, the Warhawk and Timber Wolf augmenting the Heavy Lance, and the Stormcrow backs up the Medium Lance or provide the Scout Lance with some heavy firepower.
So there are my Mechs. Having spent my entire life until these, painting 1/72 or 1/48 aircraft it was a big challenge and this was before there was an internet to get tips, advice and painting ideas. So most are painted in sort of aircraft style camo, rather than the more colourful ones seen in the current books (and those who are used to painting Warhammer might have done). Some experiments worked (like the Atlas) and some did not (I’m not sure where I was going with the white Dire Wolf, now I’m thinking an ex-ComGuard). And if you check out the shiny Griffin you’ll see the difference between painting metal using matte enamels vs plastic using acrylics. The light also makes the woodland camo seem like some sort of crazy colour mix, when it’s actually quite similar to the Shadow Hawk next to it.