Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Gallery: Robot Cluster 0110

The last cluster. This one features the few commercial castings included in this force.

A - Rezolution spider bot.

B - A very old, single piece casting. This figure is certainly lead, and the detail is very soft. I'm _guessing_ old Asgard, but I don't know. I found it in the "bits bin" of used figures at the local game store. Anyone know where this little bot comes from?

C - Legs are the arms from a MicroMachines Star Wars droid (second row, far left, in the linked picture). The head is from another MM Star Wars droid (first row, far left, in that same picture).

D - "Leg" and head swap, part two. The second MicroMachines Star Wars droid from C contributed these legs. The head from the droid that contributed "legs" to C came here.

E - Monsterpocalypse Ion Cannon Tank, repainted.

F - Rezolution bot, from the same pack as A.

I just noticed that this group doesn't have a shield droid. I have the bits to make another, and it'll do nicely as the subject of a step-by-step assembly/painting demo post.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Gallery: Robot Cluster 0101

We're almost done. Second to last cluster.

A - Another mouse droid. The torse/tracks are one piece, with a small detail piece added on top for a "head" and a missile pod on the left side. Two circular bits were attached at the back for a drive.

B - The other foot. The torso and legs are one piece - the foot of a light MW mech. An antenna was glued to the back. This little bot will be either a command unit, or a spotter to call in more accurate fire from the big gun bots.

C - Legs from a MW mech claw hand. The torso and tall "head" are one piece, the mount and forearm from the pincer claw of a MW ConstructionMech Mk II. Another extra MW vehicular MG on the right side, and a little detail box on the left (covering a big square hole in the chassis).

D - A "hopper" shield droid. Legs are from the heavily cannibalized Heavy Gear walker/roller model. Torso is the shoulder block from a MW ForestryMech. A small MW vehicular turret sits on top.

E - Mini shield droid. This cluster has two shield droids, which helps as they're almost all small bots. Track unit and torso are the elbow joint from a MW MiningMech. The upper structure is part of the 1/35 metal AA gun kit. The front sensor is actually the seat from that kit. Googly eye shield dome on top.

F - "Hawk" droid. Track unit and torso are another MiningMech elbow joint. The head is a single large claw from a MW assault mech's hand, mounted upside down to form the head and beak. The "wings" are structural pieces from the bits box...can't recall what they were originally.

G - Another mini walker. Legs are from a MW industrial mech's claw hand. Head/torso and gun are details from a MW vehicle.

Note: links out to Troll and Toad are used here only because they offer decent images of the MechWarrior figures. I have no relationship to that company, not have I bought from them. Not to say I wouldn't, but I haven't yet.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Gallery: Robot Cluster 0100

Team Caterpillar! I generally avoided easily recognizable paint schemes. No yellow and green John Deere bots, for instance. But I could resist the iconic yellow/black Caterpillar scheme seen around construction sites everywhere. I made some small changes, using a true yellow instead of a yellow-orange, and adding white accents. I'm quite happy with the result on this cluster.

A - Anamorphic missile bot. I don't remember where the monowheel comes from. The torso comes from a MicroMachines Star Wars humanoid droid. The head is a sensor pod or something like that from a MW mech. Arms are just straight bits cut from some detail part. The weapons are halves of a MW SRM missile system (the one that sacrificed its base to a droid from the previous cluster).

B - Torso and monowheel are another MW AgroMech rotary saw arm, with the saw teeth trimmed off of the wheel. It's topped with some kind of control gizmo from a plastic GW Imperial Guard figure. The round antenna on top is a 1/35 model tank detail part. Probably a tow ring.

C - Missile mouse droid. I can't remember where the chassis for this one comes from. Wherever it was, I got a pair (see later post for the other one), so I'm guessing it's part of the leg assembly from a MW mech. It's topped with the "canopy" from a MW Fenrir battle armor. The "missile" on the side is one shell from a chain of ammo feeding a MW Legionnaire's massive chain gun.

D - Another MW MiningMech foot, topped with a short superstructure piece and a MW vehicle mini-turret. The gun on the right side is another MW vehicle supernumerary weapon.

E - Go cart droid. The chassis is a metal casting. Part of a 1/35 metal AA mount I picked up with a lot of such things off eBay years ago. The wheels are MechWarrior trike wheels. Turret on top by MW again, off a light vehicle.

F - Heavy shield droid. The wheels are actually a clip of grenades from a large scale mecha robot model. On top I glued a head, from a MicroMachines Star Wars droid, and a rear "engine/shield generator" assembly from a GW 28mm heavy flamer and two googly eyes. The shield from this bot will be bigger and/or stronger than from the others.

G - Wheels/chassis are one piece, of MW origin, but I don't know which model. I attached the sight from a 1/35 metal AA gun kit for a head. The probe/laser on the left side is a wind speed pitot tube from a large scale model jet fighter kit.

Note: links out to Troll and Toad are used here only because they offer decent images of the MechWarrior figures. I have no relationship to that company, not have I bought from them. Not to say I wouldn't, but I haven't yet.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Gallery: Robot Cluster 0011

This is the other cluster with a strong theme to it. All of these droids are armed with missile launchers. OK, some are tiny, but it ties the group together, I think.

A - Tiny scout droid. The whole body and leg section is a single piece. A foot from a small MechWarrior mech. The grenade pack from a Heavy Gear walker has been glued to the back as a small missile launcher, and that's about it.

B - Top-heavy monowheel. The wheel is from that Heavy Gear walker (roller?) that gave up so many of its parts to this droid force. The torso is a MW heavy mech weapon mount. The head is an angular piece trimmed from a MW mech. The launcher "arms" are small launchers from a MW vehicle.

C - Heavy missile bot. This one reminds me of a runt version of the old Robotech Spartan mech. The torso is the torso of a MechWarrior ForestryMech, with a tiny gun glued on top where the head used to be. Missile arms are from a MW Koshi. "Leg" piece is from one of those land mines I took from a Spawn action figure.

D - The torso is, I think, the bottom of an engine from a car model. The head is the canopy from a MW ForestryMech. Legs are mechanical pieces from the crane from a MW J110 Recovery Vehicle. Missile launcher is from a Behemoth tank. Those launchers are a good example of taking advantage of the overgunned MW tank models. In my opinion, the Behemoth is far more interesting looking without those two huge missile racks hanging off the turret.

E - This little bitty droid has wheels from a 1/35 scale pulley, head from a 1/35 missile launcher sight, and a small MechWarrior vehicle launcher pack glued onto the side.

F - Legs are the base of a MW SRM Battery. The upper body and head are a detail piece from a 1/32 car engine...or maybe transmission. The missile launcher on the right side is off the top of a MW Maxim, glued onto the bot sideways. On the left, another googly eye makes this bot the shield droid for the cluster.

G - Another land mine set of legs, topped with a column of plastic...I think its part of a large beam weapon from a MW mech..., topped with another Maxim turret.

Note: links out to Troll and Toad are used here only because they offer decent images of the MechWarrior figures. I have no relationship to that company, not have I bought from them. Not to say I wouldn't, but I haven't yet.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Gallery: Robot Cluster 0010

This cluster brings together some of my favorite "walker" droids. Legged mobility is the theme for this group, and they rely on agility and firepower to make up for their smaller numbers.

A - The shield droid for the team. The body is from a Heavy Gear walker. The legs are individual fingers cut from the hand of a large MechWarrior mech - a Legionnaire I think. The missile pod came out of the bits box (which is to say, I've forgotten where it came from).

B - The chassis and rear "fan" tail are a single piece. I think they're the pelvis of a large MW mech. Two missile pods from a MW vehicle were mounted forward. The legs, again, are individual fingers from a MW mech claw hand.

C - One of the biggest of the droids, and one I'm quite proud of. The combination of head turn and mid-step pose give it tons of movement and energy. Which is much needed because the body and legs are so linear. The chassis is from a stripped-down MW ConstructionMech chassis. The legs are hydraulic bits from an early MW construction mech. The head...I don't remember. MW bit of some kind. The gun (which is hard to see here) is a Necron cannon of some kind from GW.

D - Another larger droid. The chassis and head detail pieces are from plastic models, the provenance of which is lost to me. The legs are more hydraulic pieces from MW early industrial mechs. The cannon is from an old plastic model...a 1/72 artillery barrel I think. You can see here how much less engaging this model is than C, above. Similar, linear, boxy pieces, but a very static pose. Makes it look kinda "meh," to me.

E - Itty bitty spider droid. I can't remember what the chassis is made from. Some very small piece of a mech, probably. The "nose" is a single vehicular grenade launcher barrel from a MW DI Schmidt tank. The guns are from another MW vehicle. Legs are much-trimmed fingers from a mech hand.

F - One more time for the "mech fingers as legs" strategy. I really like this approach to making walker droids, because using the fingers individually allows me to make neat choices about where to join them to the bot, the angle of each, etc. The chassis is another MW mech arm joint (ForestryMech, I think), with a small MW vehicle gun attached to the side.

Note: links out to Troll and Toad are used here only because they offer decent images of the MechWarrior figures. I have no relationship to that company, not have I bought from them. Not to say I wouldn't, but I haven't yet.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Gallery: Robot Cluster 0001

These were the first of the robots I painted up. At first, I thought I wanted a very weathered look, reminiscent of machines put together from parts found in a scrapyard. To that end, I painted these in a less polished style, and deliberately painted on spots of wear and tear. In the end, I wasn't completely satisfied with how weathered they looked. Then, when I painted the next unit, I found I liked a cleaner style much better. I don't think I'll go back and re-paint these, as they're not different enough from the other clusters to really stand out from the rest. Lots of work, for little return.

This is the largest cluster, at eight droids. These are mostly small machines, with two slightly beefier models as well. I tried to balance each cluster, thinking ahead to fighting small skirmishes between the clusters, without worrying about specific game statistics of anything like "point value." So this cluster has numbers, others have fewer, larger machines. Others have specific themes that tie them together.

I've done my best to identify where all the parts came from, in case you want to have a go at recreating any of these models. But really, my bits box is deep and full of pieces collected over many years. As you'll see, I used bits cut from MechWarrior clix figures extensively. These are still available very cheaply.

A - This little guy is the "shield" droid for the cluster. Each cluster has one of more of these bots, featuring a shield projector dome (the red ball on top of the droid). These are made by gluing the smallest sized "googly eye" from the craft store onto the bot in an appropriate place. In game terms, these droids will project a protective field within which other bots can take shelter from enemy fire. The legs from this droid are from a claw hand, taken from a MechWarrior clix mech. The torso is a section from the arm of another mech.

B - The chassis from this droid comes from a mech jump jet. Wheels are from a MechWarrior towed gun of some kind. The turret comes from a small MechWarrior tank or armored car.

C - Another walker, with legs from another claw hand. The torso is an upside-down heavy weapon mount from a large mech. The head is a small box from my bits box - probably from one of the 1/35 plastic models I built years ago.

D - Legs from a MicroMachines Star Wars IG-88 droid, cut off at the knee. Torso is a mech joint. Head is another of those boxes. The gun is from a MechWarrior tank turret. One thing I love about MechWarrior figures: they tend to be just bristling with guns. I like my mechs and vehicles armed more realistically, which means I can trim off half the guns and use them for other projects.

E - Armored monowheel. The torso and wheel comes from a the saw arm of a MW AgroMech. I trimmed off the saw teeth, leaving a nice wheel in a boxy chassis. A small double-gunned turret from a MW tank finished this one off.

F - I had a string of what looked like land mines, or maybe round ammo drums, from a large scale Spawn action figure. Each "mine" is a thin tapered disk, with four "feet" around the wide end. As you'll see, I used these as the bases for several of my droids. These figures will suffer from low mobility. Most are bulky enough to justify heavy armor, to make up for their lack of speed. Torso is a MW ConstructionMech wrist joint. Weapon is another extra turret weapon from a tank.

G - The early MW MiningMechs had tracked feet. I've used these feet as tracked chassis on a few mechs. The head is on the bits on sides of the cockpit and backs of the arms on a MW Spider mech. Two small boxy bits were added and two small guns trimmed from MW vehicles were added to the chassis

H - I can't remember where the wheels/chassis piece came from. Could be part of a MW towed artillery piece of some kind, or one of the small infantry vehicles (e.g. trike, etc.). The head is from that IG-88 MicroMachine I lopped the legs off of for droid D (above). The claw on the front is a tow hitch from a larger scale tank model.

Hopefully you aren't bored to death already. I'm going to go into similar detail for the rest of the droids too, so strap yourself in...

Note: links out to Troll and Toad are used here only because they offer decent images of the MechWarrior figures. I have no relationship to that company, not have I bought from them. Not to say I wouldn't, but I haven't yet.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Gallery: Robots, entire force

Warning: Those of you who've read my campaign setting are about to wonder what the heck I'm doing.

Let me explain. The campaign setting describes the world on which my little sci-fi campaign will play out. The major factors that shape the terrain and the main forces existent on Nusakan. But the campaign will take place in one or two specific locales set in that larger world. In those specific places, the broad stroke descriptions of the Xenos, Aridexion Solutions, mining concerns and colonists get much, much more specific. Individuals and their followers step out from the more generic masses, each with their own story.

And some new players, local to the sites of the story, show up.

I'm starting with one of those because...well, because they're the first figures I finished painting for the campaign.

Artificial Intelligences are common on Nusakan, and in the universe around it. They range for household aids and appliances to military grade independent smart tanks, to disparate communications networks. One of those, not too long ago, went a little bit crazy.

An inventory control system at a local company specializing in supply and recycling took it into its head to protect its inventory. Aggressively. And to acquire more. It's built an army of semi-sentient servitors from spare parts and it's extensive supply of hardware, fuel cells, tools and weaponry. Recently, these bots have stepped up their aggression, breaking out of the yards and into the surrounding neighborhood.

From a modeling point of view, this started as an experiment. The local gaming group was playing Alien Squad Leader in 15mm, and among the various army lists there was a robotic list. I wanted to build one, but wanted to stay away from Terminator and Trade Federation style figures, and away from generic robots all in the same configuration and pose. Some of the gentlemen in this club have very nice robotic armies made from things like the Risk 2210 pieces, but I wanted something different. I've been a huge Star Wars fan since the original release of the movie. I realized, after I'd built and started painting the army, that what I really wanted was an army of droids. Not Phantom Menace droids. Jawa fodder droids. Could I do it?

I started going through my bits box, sorting likely pieces into "motive systems," "chassis," "heads/sensors," and "weapons." Anything remotely useful would do. I also cut apart a large number of spare MechWarrior clix figures, cannibalizing them in various ways. I did a lot of dry-fitting, trying pieces out together, trimming and filing, and finally started gluing. To these kitbashed robots, I added a few commercial robot figures that fit the style of my inventions well.

The result was a collection of about forty robots, each unique. I did some web searches for industrial robot paint schemes, and chose six I liked best. They were brightly colored, and many features a lot of white. Right about now I realized the droid connection had been there all along.

I divided the collection of robots into clusters, each of six or seven droids, and painted each cluster in one of the paint schemes. I wanted many similar paint schemes that, when all mixed together on the table, looked like part of a distinct army. But I wanted them sorted into clusters, each painted in the same colors, so that I could potentially fight one cluster against another (think Junkyard Wars meets Necromunda).

The results are featured in the next few posts. I'll take better quality pictures once I have time to set up a proper photo getup. These are iPhone snaps. I'll also put together a step-by-step painting tutorial for these figures, and a discussion of how I based them. This basing scheme will be used for all of the figures in my Nusakan collection.

Shots, and discussion, of each cluster will follow. For now, here's the whole lot together. Enjoy!