It has been a while since I last posted! A poorly managed workplace Covid-19 scare, where I was only notified about a close contact when a concerned supervisor broke protocol and told me, has left me pretty rattled. A negative test luckily followed, but I left that job. It was in manufacturing, and my hands were pretty sore by the end of each shift, leaving me unable to paint, type, or build much. Not much content for the blog!
But, now that I have some time again, I decided to crack into my Battletech backlog. I have a simply disgusting amount of the new plastic Inner Sphere mechs, almost enough to form a Regiment. That is crazy by Battletech standards, with most mercenary outfits sitting at Company strength.
We also have a Battletech campaign starting soon. Set in the Periphery in 3049, we are fighting over the planet Auster. Most of us are playing Mercenary units, while one player is playing a Clan offshoot that is running away ahead of the full invasion that is on its way. Our trip to Miniwargaming got us a few new players, and everyone is quite eager to start playing!
Of course, I wanted to have some of my Lances painted before the campaign starts. I chose to start with a Marauder and Orion, two very well designed heavy battlemechs.
The Marauder was what I started with. I started with a Vallejo Grey spray primer, and dry-brushed Vallejo Bonewhite over that. Some details were picked out, and after a wash I was left with this!
Next up was the Orion, the Atla’s uglier, smaller cousin. A similar weapon loadout to the larger Atlas assault mech makes it a solid choice for any situation.
I didn’t intentionally make it a dirtier mech, but the wash settled a lot darker….but I don’t mind it at all! I feel like it actually works better. Perhaps the Marauder jockey prefers a cleaner ride, but this Orion pilot prefers it a little less tidy.
For our campaign, I’ve chosen to play an offshoot of the Northwind Highlanders. This is a mercenary outfit with a colourful history. Sarna.net does a great overview of them, but I’ll cover them quickly here!
The Northwind Highlanders hail from the planet, appropriately enough, of Northwind. Settled in 2362 by Clan Stuart, these Scottish settlers had roots with the Scottish regiments of ancient Terra. They continued these traditions by founding the 1st Kearny Highlanders, and many more regiments followed. They primarily defended Northwind at first, but eventually became mercenaries in the service of the Great Houses.
When Star League was formed by House Cameron, also of Scottish descent, the Highlanders were prime recruits for the Black Watch, Star Leagues bodyguard unit. The Black Watch is exactly the same regiment of our history, just continued into the future. Apparently the amalgamation of regiments in our timeline never took place!
While the Black Watch was never formed entirely of Northwind or Scottish recruits, the kinship between the Regiment and those of Northwind would continue until Star Leagues demise.
After the fall of Star League, The Northwind Highlanders fell into the service of House Liao, serving the Capellan Confederation. This loyalty would cost them, when House Davion of the Federated Suns conquered Northwind. This loss was borne by the Highlanders with stoicism, and much of their recruitment from that point on was varied. No longer was it primarily a Scottish unit, but a multicultural force. Still, pipers were maintained, the kilts remained as part of the dress uniform, and traditions were continued.
Eventually, House Davion allowed them to return, if they betrayed House Liao. Which they did, gladly. The Highlanders primarily are loyal to Northwind itself, and helped defend the planet alongside Davion defenders, against attacks from the Draconis Combine.
The Davions rule was rigid, and eventually through some plotting Northwind would gain its independence from both the Confederation and the Federated Suns, becoming a “Mercenary Star”, a recruiting world for mercenary outfits all across the Inner Sphere. While it would never reach the heights of Galetea or Outreach, the Highlanders benefited from this immensely, as fresh blood was mixed with local tradition.
The Northwind Highlanders feature tartan on their mechs, a crazy idea that some people actually paint on! I will be using custom made decals in my case. Highlander mechs can be in any paint-scheme, as their commanders are given a great deal of latitude. The tartan on each mech can be the Royal Stuart pattern of Northwind, or the units own tartan.
My regiment for the campaign will be Maclean’s Lancers, a unit of my own devising. While falling under the Northwind Highlander command structure, they are currently fighting in the northern Periphery. They will feature the Maclean tartan, my mothers clan. I have yet to decide if its the hunting tartan or the regular one!
All in all, a fun little project. Mech’s are fairly quick to paint, so unlike all my other projects this should be a fast one.
But, today is also Christmas Eve!
I wish you all a safe and happy Christmas, and I hope Santa brings you lots of miniature goodness and various other bits of good cheer! So as always, Happy Wargaming wherever you are, and enjoy your holiday!