Testors/Bandai 1/200 Macross Officer's Pod
|NOTES:||Used 'Fighting Piranha Battletech' decals|
Battletech MAD-3R Marauder Heavy BattleMech
House Davion 1st Federated Suns Armoured Cavalry
Marlowe’s Rift, Draconis Combine 3028
Chu-i Paul Abashiri allowed himself a slight smile as he skirted the rivers edge that bounded the forest beyond. The Davion raiders had jumped in-system a week ago and been conducting nuisance raids since landing. Now elements of the Davion 1st Armoured Cavalry had been contained in the area and it was time for the forces of the Dragon to wipe out the dogs…
Adjusting his sensors, he took quick note of the two approaching sensor contacts that his Panther ‘mechs war-book had tagged as two more lights. A third contact fluttered in and out of his display like a ghost.
The targeting info from his sensors still struggled with the third contact, which seemed to be masked by the two light ‘mechs in front. Unperturbed, he began to move down the slope towards the more heavily wooded valley floor, heading towards the contacts.
“Chu-i?” one of his lancemates questioned, “I can’t get a positive lock”
“Steady, Piotr, the Davion dogs will be here soon enough”
“Iie!” the pilot of the Stinger light ‘mech ahead of him screamed as a large shape emerged from the deep waters, streaming water. Twin bolts of azure blue lightning turned the Stinger into a expanding fireball, the thunderous clap of the explosion echoing across the valley walls.
A Marauder! He screamed to himself, the savagery of his lancemates destruction causing him to back pedal faster up the slope, frantically trying to find cover. While all the while, the giant heavy ‘mech’s crab like shape turned towards him, the high mounted AC5 autocannon tracking his movements with unrelenting precision….
What is Battletech?
In the late 28th century, the Star League collapsed and the Successor States were born. For the last three hundred years, these mortal enemies have fought over space, land and politics in an effort to be foremost amongst the Successor States.
Battletech is a game of armoured combat, set in the 31st century. It is not a role-playing game, although there are role-playing supplements in Battletech. It is not a computer game, although there are many computer games set in the Battletech universe. It is a war game, played on a map sheet, using dice.
All this does not express the essence of what Battletech is, however. Battletech is more than just Monopoly or Trivial Pursuit - Battletech offers us the opportunity to pit our tactical skill against the tactical skills of others, and if that fails, to pit our design skills against the skills of others. In Battletech, it is possible to design many types of military vehicles and equipment, and fight them against each other. Seldom is one battle the same as the next.
The Battletech universe has a history so diverse that it can never be told in one volume. The Inner Sphere of human-occupied space is composed of 5 major Successor States, many smaller powers and of game date 3050 - 6 invading Clans, all engaged in combat with each other. Some are fighting for glory, some for wealth and power; some are fighting for survival. Some, tired of fighting, have fled to the Periphery, the less-civilized region around the Inner Sphere.
For those interested in more information, below are two links that explains the Battletech game and background ion more detail.
What is a BattleMech?
Foremost among the weapons used in this struggle are BattleMechs. Loaded with autocannons, missile launchers, lasers, and charged-particle beam weapons, these fusion-powered war machines of articulated armour stand upward of ten meters high.
Piloting them are MechWarriors, the best, most intensively trained men and women available. Like the armoured knights of an earlier age, MechWarriors are popular heroes, and their exploits are the stuff of legends.
MAD-3R Marauder Heavy BattleMech Data
Originally intended as a heavy attack support ‘mech, the addition of sophisticated Dalban Micronics comgear enabled the Marauder to function as a command vehicle in areas of heavy fighting. The Marauder often appears in command lances.
Mass 75 tons
Chassis: GM Marauder
Power plant: Vlar 300
Cruising Speed: 43.2kph
Maximum Speed: 64.8kph
Armour: Valiant Lamellor
Armament: 2 x Magna Helstar PPC’s (particle projection cannons)
2 x Magna MkII Medium Lasers
1 GM Whirlwind AC5 Autocannon
Manufacturer: General Motors
Comms System: Dalban Micronics
Targeting/Tracking: Dalban HiRez
Data taken from FASA TRO 3025
As a big fan of the Science Fiction table top miniatures war game called Battletech, I had always wanted to build a bigger version of one of the most distinctive battlemechs of the game, the crab like Marauder.
The best chance of being able to build a bigger model of the Marauder was to locate a Ban Dai Robotech/Macross Zentraedi Glaug Battle Pod. This mecha is what the MAD-3R Marauder was based on, when FASA licensed the Robotech/Macross mecha for use in the Battletech game back in the early 1980’s.
The kit I most wanted was the 1:100 kit and after seeing the prices of them on ebay, I put out a “wanted to buy” post on Aircraft Resource Center. Within the space of a fortnight, I had a 1:100 Ban Dai kit in my hands along with a smaller 1:200 version. Thanks Tony!
This kit was released by Testors and consisted of 2 white plastic sprues with finely moulded parts. It was not in a box nor was there a decal sheet in my example, but another, different mecha of the same boxing indicated a comprehensive decal sheet would have been included.
A simple but very small instruction sheet explained the construction steps clearly in an exploded format.
Construction was very straight forward, with all joins and seams requiring light sanding to filling to remove. I left the shoulders and hip joints articulated to aid in painting and positioning the figure on a base. Construction took place over several nights. Cutting away the snap-tight connectors assisted assembly greatly, reducing the potential for problematic seams and the danger of cracking while the parts were being forced together. At least removing the connectors allowed the model to be built in a more traditional way.
Several joints needed a fair amount of filler to remove seams, regardless. In the end though, all went well and I had a white assembled ‘mech on my workbench ready for the application of primer.
|COLORS & MARKINGS|
I decided to finish my Marauder in the standard Davion Green field camouflage of the 1st Federated Suns Armoured Cavalry as the simple mono colour camouflage looks quite effective.
Even though the 1st FSAC prefer light to medium ‘mechs in keeping with their rapid strike operations I figured a company commander might well have a heavy ‘mech as his or her personal ride. This would certainly be a massive surprise to the opposing forces!
After some investigation and thought, I primed the mech in flat black and base coated using Ceramcoat Dark Forest Green, this was followed up with dry brushing using Ceramcoat Forest Green.
I then used Future to provide a gloss finish in preparation for a very dark grey sludge wash and some light dry brushing of edge and high point areas with Vallejo Basalt grey. This defined each component a little more, adding depth to the whole model’s finish.
Decaling followed and for this I used Fighting Piranha’s excellent Battletech decals designed for the white metal gaming miniatures. Fighting Piranha provide a wide variety of different size House and unit insignia on their ALPS printed sheets making selection pretty easy.
I also used several different types of warning placards from Fighting Piranha’s placards sheet and cobbled together the chassis number from another sheet.
|FINAL BITS AND BASE CONSTRUCTION|
Once the mech was finished, I turned my attention to the base. I had pretty much decided on a forest type base and to that end I cut some old styrene foam down and arranged the foam onto a MDF drink coaster (picked up at a large hardware store craft section of under a $1) so the ‘mech would appear to be on a small rise.
A mixture of PVA glue, burnt sienna craft paint and wall plaster was mixed with water to form a slurry. This was then applied over the foam to produce the ground base work. I then added some rocks and a real twig broken at an appropriate height to act as my broken tree.
This was set aside overnight to cure.
Now I like making bases most times and this was no exception, I used a method of making tree roots that my lovely wife Lori uses for her dioramas. Lori read in an article in FSM magazine explaining the use of wood putty to make the root systems of trees and this worked a treat, blending the twig into the groundwork really well.
Once the ‘mech was added to the base using 2 part resin epoxy, I added flock and static grass to the base, blending everything together with dry brushing of appropriate colours. The MDF base was painted matt black using acrylic craft paint thinned slightly with water.
The next evening I shook the base carefully to remove any loose groundwork material and fixed any “bare” areas. Once I was satisfied with everything, the mech and base was treated to Pollyscale flat clear.
The flat clear really revealed the weathered “heavy vehicle” final finish I was looking for, a most pleasing result!
This kit was great fun to build, providing you are not afraid of a little trimming, filling, sanding and cleanup.
Recommended as a great diversion to usual projects and certainly a great AMS killer!
Now to find the time to build the 1:100 scale Marauder!
Battletech is a fantastic game and concept with a plethora of novels and game background data to really fire the imagination.
FASA Technical Readout TRO 3025
FASA Field Manual: FM Federated Suns
FASA Battletech Camouflage Specs
Various Battletech Novels
20+ years of on and off thoroughly enjoyable gaming using the Battletech game system
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly, please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.
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