Tuesday, March 6, 2018

MWO: Mech Conversions.....

Three conversions to wrap up the MWO stuff before moving on to other things. Many moons ago, during the original Battletech period of the 90's, I modified those old Ral Partha models higgledy piggledy before getting out of it for a number of years. So, in that spirit, here are three mecha based on other designs from other lines. 

This walking weapons factory is Agni, from the Armored Core series. He's the poster child of Armored Core V, I believe. Anyway, he's made form the torso and arms of a MWO Dragon, a pair of shields that came with the Catapult-K, and extra Cyclops legs amidst other bits and bobs. Agni is classically presented overarmed with 1 of every weapon AC has to offer, and as an option has an enormous weapon made of six chainsaws on an articulated rig. He's meant to kneel down and stabilize that sniper rifle prior to firing, and the left leg has an articulated shield that folds out, hence the way it looks. 

Incidentally, if you were a fan of the Japanese Battletech designs, Armored Core is where they went, in evolved form. Shoji Kawamori does more than Valkyries, folks. 

Usually my practice with these models is to do 3-up photos, but I loved some of these shots so much I let them stand by themselves. His massive sniper rifle is a composite of numerous bits, and sharp eyes will recognize that Tau gun on his right binder. 

If I skimped on anything it was his rear; the original's butt is a complex proposition. I tried to do it justice here but it falls short for me somehow. Ah well. 

The two Kagatsuchi-Otsu mecha, Sniper and Fencer, are from the Frame Arms model series by Kotobukiya. There's a third, standard version  that came first, but I didn't reproduce him. I suppose I should've. The Kagatsuchi has a lot in common with the Front Mission Whisk, but I haven't researched into whether it's the same designer or not. The squat build and stag-beetle head are definitely similar. 

At any rate, both are based on the MWO Thunderbolt, an excellent little model. A lot of sawing was required to remove the missile drum and head nub, but the result gave me an excellent canvas on which to build. The extra armor was made from GW tank treads, and the shields are landing skids. Both sport missile racks from Heavy Gear Blitz Spitting Cobras. The originals had machineguns in back racks, but I eschewed those as their hands were a bit full already. In retrospect, I probably could've stayed truer to the designs, but the missile racks made sense as a secondary armament. Both still have the Thunderbolt torso lasers exposed, so if I ever designed them for the tabletop they'd have them for close-range support. 

A long-range specialist, the Otsu-Sniper is less heavily armored than his close-quarters-focused brother. He also sports better optics, courtesy of some GW binoculars. 

His enormous sniper rifle has an articulated arm from his back for support, as well as a giant ammo drum. For this and Agni's rifle, you'd probably have to design a new type of gun that penetrates the armor and does internal damage with each hit; a Gauss gun wouldn't fill the bill. 

He also needs to kneel, like Agni, to stabilize and fire, hence the bipod, which I suppose he's in the process of doing here. If you really want to make him a horrifying opponent, you could give that ammo drum a reason to exist like a rapid fire or special ammo capability. All things considered, I should've reversed designs and given it to his brother. You'll see why...

Try as I might, I couldn't replicate the massive chopper they gave the original to a degree that pleased me, so as an alternative I gave him a wicked-looking combination of that and a gatling cannon, courtesy of a bunch of leftovers from a Forgeworld robot. The ammo belt, being resin, snapped despite my gentle heating and bending, so it's reinforced by yet another spare belt and a paper clip running between the two. His ammo drum, based on the LRM-15 drum from the stock MWO Thunderbolt,  is smaller when it should be larger, but he should be trying to close with is target rather than standing off and shooting. 

I made his front skirts longer as well to give a more heavily protected appearance, and left his head with the stock visor, as the binocular approach didn't make much sense for a brawler. The head horn is a bit different, as I only had the one curved bit for the sniper, so his more angular one adds to his individuality. I imagine he and his long-range focused brother engage their targets as a pair. If I'd made the "general purpose" original version (I still might) I'd accent his machine-gunner look a bit more, and this triple threat would have all three range bands covered. 

If you're a mecha modeler and were unaware of the Frame Arms and Armored Core series, I'd recommend you look into them, as they have a lot to offer.