Wednesday 19 December 2018

BattleTech: Shiro-Oni TO-DONE!

Hi folks,

It is that time of the year again, when I go a little bit off the To-Do list to finish off some special projects for my friends. The Shiro is a 75 ton Mech armed with some fairly useless weapons usually: an LB-2X AC (think long range pea-shooter), 4 LRM 10's (lightweight long range missiles) and a sword (good for when you are in an adjacent hex, otherwise useless). So, yeah, weak long range weapons coupled with a mediocre close range weapon... not exactly inspiring.

A Bishop Steiner from the BattleTech International group on Facebook, who does concept artwork and illustrations for the franchise, designed an alternate configuration that fixes a lot of the problems of the original. He suggested it should be armed with a mace/tetsubo (a more powerful close combat weapon), 4 Streak SRM 6s (efficient, close range missiles that very easily overwhelm Mechs by causing multiple critical and head hits; death by 1000 cuts) and a snub-nosed PPC (good at all ranges direct fire energy weapon). He also suggested adding triple strength myomer, which double melee damage and increases a Mech's speed when it is overheating. Coupled with the mace, the Shire-Oni could snipe with the PPC as it closes in, pepper the enemy with short range missiles then cleave just about anything in half in melee. I added to the design a PPC capacitor, which increases the damage output of the PPC by 50% at short range and increasing amounts at longer ranges. What you have then, is a monster.

The 40K fans out there will recognise the piece I used to convert the tetsubo as a power maul from the Ravenwing Command sprue. The nobori on this side says "Revere the Universe", the first part of a famous saying by Saigo Takamori (the real "last samurai").

The other nobori says "Love Mankind". Together, they are meant to be a philosophy on how people should be governed.  I added a smear of Tamiya Clear Blue to the tetsubo to represent Mech vital fluids; some poor chump has already have the life crushed out of him and his ride.

I added a blue glow effect to the snub-nosed PPC and PPC capacitor, which you don't see very often on Battletech miniatures. Something that painting 40K has taught me is that a little bit of OSL (just a little, sometimes) can make a model quite special. I know it isn't everyone's cup of tea, but, hey, you can't please everyone.

As this Mech is designed to overheat (!), making it more powerful, I decided to try and represent this on the model in some small way. I painted some heatsinks on the back, venting heat, which have singed the bottom of the nobori banners :-)

The Shiro-Oni will be heading out to The Trooper, who quite likes some Oni every now and then (see below...). Huge thanks to Bishop Steiner for the re-design, it is such a dramatic improvement, and to Iron Wind Metals for getting the model to me in record time; in time for a pre-Christmas construction and paint-job.

See you across the table,


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