A Merry Christmas, with a dash of Battletech!

Totally not Com-Guards I swear! Once I add some tartan patterns to these mechs they’ll hopefully look more like the Highlanders they are supposed to be!

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!

My last practice game, a simple Lance on Lance fight to control the centre. My Orion got knocked out early, and my opponent while savaged by heavy blows to all his mechs, got the win. Play the objective folks!

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!

Generals Motors best product! The Marauder is a fantastic addition to my forces, and will probably be the ride of my Commander.
I purposely kept the paint-scheme simple. While they look very much like Comstar mechs at the moment, the addition of tartan decals later will help drastically in making them look like Northwind Highlanders
I went heavy on the carbon scoring and weathering…these mechs are working machines, not parade ground ready.
I do like the plastic mechs more then the readily available 3D prints, mostly due to the impressive amount of panel line detailing.

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.

A much filthier mech then my Marauder, but fitting for this brutish mech.
The laser housing would probably develop the carbon scoring, and the paint damage makes sense given the heavy combat Battlemechs encounter.
The LRM housing was prime for some extra weathering!
The metal details just add a little colour to a otherwise fairly plain paint-scheme.

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!

File:NorthwindHighlanders.gif
The logo used by all the various companies and regiments of the Northwind Highlanders. Featuring the Stuart tartan, as the planet Northwind was originally settled by that clan in 2362.

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.

File:HighLander.jpg
A formation of Highlander Mechs(both the name of these specific mechs and the fact they are Highlanders…this gets confusing) salute during a parade. Note the Cameron Star on the archway, and the flags of Scotland and the Northwind Regiments being borne by kilted soldiers.

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!

Maclean Of Duart Modern Scottish Tartan Fabric Material Medium Weight
The Maclean tartan, regular version!
MacLean Hunting Modern Heavy Weight Tartan Fabric | Lochcarron of Scotland
The hunting tartan variation, which might also look really good!

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!

A Christmas Doggo for your enjoyment. Misha enjoys the holidays!
And a goofy cat to brighten your day!

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!

7 thoughts on “A Merry Christmas, with a dash of Battletech!

  1. Hope you had a great Christmas! Good to see Battletech managing to survive this many years on! I had the first edition and a couple of models but never managed to have a single game – it sure looked good when I saw other people playing, though! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ll definitely be posting more Battletech soon, it’s gotten a pretty good reception. Honestly if it wasn’t for that Kickstarter giving my local community a huge boost I may have never touched it.

        Liked by 1 person

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