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Author Topic: 3rd Edition Plastic Unseen Mechs painted up.  (Read 560 times)

Phocion

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3rd Edition Plastic Unseen Mechs painted up.
« on: 29 February 2020, 06:48:12 »
Hi  All

I thought I would post these up as I have finally finished the first batch of my old 3rd Ed. plastics, which I have been working on for a while, in snatches.  I have one of the old 'Mechs' boxes and managed to snag a couple of the old plastech minis off ebay to make a reinforced company of 4 lances.

Apologies for the poor quality photos.  I only have my cellphone camera, and these were usually taken late at night on the kitchen table (when I get any painting time), in artificial light, and usually I was tired. 

Cleanup and prep has been a bitch so far, with some quite large miscasts and distortions (like the Battlemaster’s back, which was entirely sunken in), big air bubbles leaving gaps that had to be filled, and the obligatory mountain of flash common to victims of 80’s plastic molding technology. For anyone who hasn’t dealt with this kind of plastic before, sanding is difficult as the plastic ‘threads’. I resorted to my jet-lighter to flash-burn the little threads away and smooth out the surfaces prior to priming. Care has to be taken, if you try this, to only make short passes over the mini or the plastic will melt and run due to the high temperatures the jet-lighter can reach, which wouldn't likely be an issue with a standard lighter and a cooler flame.  I exploited the jet-lighter to flatten out the underside of the bases, melting the uneven plastic and then pressing it to a flat surface to get a usable base. 

I have seen other old plastic mechs which came off the sprue in better condition.  I think I was unlucky and just got a poor box.  Any of you BT veterans out there who have had to struggle through building and painting these back in the 80's have my sympathies.    TLDR: these minis are a labor of love. 

The Victor is quite heavily converted, with a rebuilt left arm and reposed right arm and left leg.  I brought the shoulders in and made it look a little bit more proportional.  Quite a lot of work, but actually a huge improvement.  I also added gun barrels to the Wolverine's chin turret.  It was a simple thing, but added a lot to the mini.  Antennae are just toothbrush bristles, but they are a nice little touch which adds some character and detail.  Again, worth the effort. 

Once the prep was done, I started with a coat of Krylon plastic bonding primer, which helps paint adhere to the non-stick plastic (I mean, seriously?!) used to cast these minis.  I also went for a simple paint scheme which would help cover up some of the casting sins.  Paints used are mostly Vallejo, unless otherwise noted.  The base color was Stone Grey, and some panels were picked out in Tan Earth. Highlighting and panel lining was also done with mixed Tan Earth or Stone Grey and white, which was quite heavily thinned. The grey areas are German Grey with a Basalt Grey used as a highlight. Gunmetal for the metallic areas highlighted with an old GW chainmail I am trying to use up. Hot Orange as the base for the orange, with Orange Fire highlights.  Cockpits were based with GW Regal Blue, another old paint I am trying to use up (although it was going to have been Vallejo Imperial Blue) highlighted, with a little wet blending, up through Ultramarine blue then to Ultramarine and white.

Once painted, the minis were washed with a 70/30 mix of Army Painter Quickshade Dark Tone and mineral spirits.  I did try the un-thinned Quickshade over the Wasp, as the first test subject, but found it too dark for my liking. Minis were finally gloss varnished with 2 thin coats of Pledge floor wax and then a brush on Liquitex matte varnish went over that to dull the shine. Cockpits were reglossed using Pledge. 

The Quickshade was a bit of an experiment, I thought it would help cover up some of the imperfections in the models, however I actually really liked the effect it left on the minis, and started using it thinned enough to bring out the very fine details, such as the hex paneling on the Battlemaster, which I don't think an acrylic wash would have done without extra effort.  The one regret is that I didnt spend more time on the highlighting and a bit more blending, as the Quickshade wash really exposes the color gradient on the orange, for example.  On the whole though, I am happy.  These would look entirely presentable on any table or game, and I actually enjoyed painting these, despite the difficulties.  I am going to start on another batch shortly, and will stick some more pics up once the next batch are done.

Hope you like ‘em.
« Last Edit: 29 February 2020, 07:02:04 by Phocion »

Daryk

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Re: 3rd Edition Plastic Unseen Mechs painted up.
« Reply #1 on: 29 February 2020, 07:15:54 »
Great work, and thanks for the very thorough write up!  :thumbsup:

klarg1

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Re: 3rd Edition Plastic Unseen Mechs painted up.
« Reply #2 on: 29 February 2020, 10:46:57 »
You did a beautiful job on those. The 3rd ed plastics were pretty badly made; I'm not surprised you had to do a ton of work to bring them up to that standard of quality!  :thumbsup:
Read about my travails with miniatures:
http://blindmetalminis.blogspot.com/

DEZOAT

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Re: 3rd Edition Plastic Unseen Mechs painted up.
« Reply #3 on: 29 February 2020, 13:11:44 »
 :thumbsup: Well done sir.

worktroll

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Re: 3rd Edition Plastic Unseen Mechs painted up.
« Reply #4 on: 29 February 2020, 15:19:26 »
Very good work! I have  perverse fondness for the old 3rd Ed & CityTech minis, and these show your work off very well.

One reason I love the CityTech ones (like the Victor) is that they're really good to work with for reposes & corrections. I confess I usually crop the Victor's inner shoulders off a little more, but it's great how the easy reposes add life to the mini.

And you've done well getting mould lines off the 3rd Ed, which is a challenge.

Looking forward to more!
* No, FASA wasn't big on errata - ColBosch
* The Housebook series is from the 80's and is the foundation of Btech, the 80's heart wrapped in heavy metal that beats to this day - Sigma
* To sum it up: FASAnomics: By Cthulhu, for Cthulhu - Moonsword
* Because Battletech is a conspiracy by Habsburg & Bourbon pretenders - MadCapellan
* The Hellbringer is cool, either way. It's not cool because it's bad, it's cool because it's bad with balls - Nightsky
* It was a glorious time for people who felt that we didn't have enough Marauder variants - HABeas2, re "Empires Aflame"

Phocion

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Re: 3rd Edition Plastic Unseen Mechs painted up.
« Reply #5 on: 29 February 2020, 17:39:57 »
Thank you for the kind words, guys.  They are much appreciated.

---snip---
I have  perverse fondness for the old 3rd Ed & CityTech minis, and these show your work off very well.

One reason I love the CityTech ones (like the Victor) is that they're really good to work with for reposes & corrections. I confess I usually crop the Victor's inner shoulders off a little more, but it's great how the easy reposes add life to the mini.
---snip---

I like the old minis too, they have a quirky character of their own.  And I agree with the ease of conversion of the citytech plastics.  Its amazing how much improved the plastic and molding is over the earlier generation.  They are a different game entirely. 

I know what you mean about the Victor's shoulders.  I have to admit the challenge of cutting the shoulders to fit the heavily angled torso was one reason I didn't go too heavy with the knife. I was also being a little conservative, as this Victor is the first of two I have, so was a testbed of sorts and I wanted to keep the wide-shouldered look as I think that is very iconic of the Victor.  I like how this is emphasized on the recent redesigns.  Also, I didn't want to have to rebuild the shoulders entirely, like I have seen others do with this mini.  Call me lazy, I guess!  ^-^.

I quite like the slouchy, shoulder heavy, advancing look the repose has, it suits the Victor's role as an assault trooper mech well.  I will probably be a little more aggressive with the second Victor's shoulders, as I have an idea for an arm-outstretched firing pose.

jimdigris

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Re: 3rd Edition Plastic Unseen Mechs painted up.
« Reply #6 on: 29 February 2020, 18:08:58 »
 :thumbsup:

worktroll

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Re: 3rd Edition Plastic Unseen Mechs painted up.
« Reply #7 on: 29 February 2020, 23:26:19 »
A hint - if you have bitz, replace the VIctor's right lower arm & hand completely ;)
* No, FASA wasn't big on errata - ColBosch
* The Housebook series is from the 80's and is the foundation of Btech, the 80's heart wrapped in heavy metal that beats to this day - Sigma
* To sum it up: FASAnomics: By Cthulhu, for Cthulhu - Moonsword
* Because Battletech is a conspiracy by Habsburg & Bourbon pretenders - MadCapellan
* The Hellbringer is cool, either way. It's not cool because it's bad, it's cool because it's bad with balls - Nightsky
* It was a glorious time for people who felt that we didn't have enough Marauder variants - HABeas2, re "Empires Aflame"

Phocion

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Re: 3rd Edition Plastic Unseen Mechs painted up
« Reply #8 on: 01 March 2020, 04:34:27 »
The right arm?  Thats the gun arm.  I didn't see much of a problem with the right arm originally.  Just bending the elbow and filling in the paneling on the now open elbow to make it look like an armor covered joint

If you mean the left other right arm 😋 I did convert that arm significantly, bulking up the forearm with green stuff, adding a twin laser mount underneath (cant see it in the original photo), and building something that is identifiable as a hand, compared to the bizarre looking appendage the mini came with 😋.

Dont really have much in the way of bitz, which is why I went with green stuff
« Last Edit: 01 March 2020, 04:53:24 by Phocion »

Vaaish

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Re: 3rd Edition Plastic Unseen Mechs painted up.
« Reply #9 on: 01 March 2020, 11:08:33 »
It looks like you did a similar change as I did on my citytech victor. I'd agree that bulking up the arm and clipping that excuse for a hand is a good way to go. I think that GS is probably the best choice to do that.

I rebuilt the shoulder armor on mine too, but that was just a quick plasticard construct.

Looking back at it now, I think that perhaps the gun arm could use some modification. It always looks weird to have a normal elbow with that huge gun and doesn't counterbalance the shapes as nicely as it should.

Phocion

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Re: 3rd Edition Plastic Unseen Mechs painted up.
« Reply #10 on: 01 March 2020, 13:10:05 »
Your amazing conversion was the inspiration for my own less impressive effort.  Although I wanted a different pose, I pretty much echoed what you had achieved with the left arm conversion, sculpting the fist, adding the paneling and the dual laser mount underneath.  I was toying with side-mounted twin MLs, a' la the updated Victor in MWO/MW5/HBS BT etc., but it just seemed to look a little neater and more protected underneath.

I haven't much experience at plasticard building, so I stayed away from rebuilding the shoulders as it seemed like a lot of work to add to the existing conversion.   But I do think the rebuilt shoulders add a lot to your mini, and that attention to detail is one of the reasons it is so impressive.  Your sculpting on the hand is also more detailed than mine.  Your conversion reminds me of the metal sculpt (which I have and love) and the Alpha Strike plastic sculpt, which are less broad across the upper torso, but I wanted to try and emphasize the wide shouldered look.  It is probably the most visually striking thing about the Victor, after the honking great gun masquerading as a forearm....

The Plastech Victor is very close to the VTR-9K line art drawings in the TRO and the gauss rifle arm  is depicted almost identically.  You have to hand it to the sculptor for heeling so close to the source material.  However it isnt particularly detailed or interesting, and  I guess if you were modifying the right arm one thing you could do would be to extend the arm rearwards, past the elbow,  similar to how the MWO designs have done it.  This would make the entire forearm basically a giant gun hanging below the elbow, rather than forward of it, and would look a little more counterbalanced and roomy.  It would also give you scope to change the aesthetics from the anonymous tube to something more obviously an autocannon or gauss rifle.


Cazaril

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Re: 3rd Edition Plastic Unseen Mechs painted up.
« Reply #11 on: 01 March 2020, 23:25:56 »
I'm also a huge fan of all the plastics, even with all their deficiencies...

Sadly, most treat them like garbage, spend no time prepping them, slap paint on and then wonder why they don't come out looking as good as the metal. But as you've shown, a little attention and you can end up with really nice results. Bravo

Strangely enough, considering how I pretty much repose every mini I own, I never do it to the plastics. Sure, I'll add greble and try to match the fluff, but I don't chop them up.

Caz

avon1985

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Re: 3rd Edition Plastic Unseen Mechs painted up.
« Reply #12 on: 02 March 2020, 22:35:31 »
Sweet! :thumbsup:

Valkerie

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Re: 3rd Edition Plastic Unseen Mechs painted up.
« Reply #13 on: 02 March 2020, 22:54:35 »
Sweet work.  I'm not very familiar with those plastics, so I would have assumed they were metal if you hadn't said otherwise.  8) :thumbsup:
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