As previously mentioned, I decided to take a break from fantasy and paint up a Ral Partha BattleTech Atlas. I didn't originally plan on doing any sort of tutorial or step-by-step, but as I went along I found myself taking some WIP photos and work notes, so what the hell, without further ado, I present to you my "How I Stopped Worrying And Started To Paint My Atlas" step-by-step:
Hmm, so many colors, so many potential schemes, where does the BattleTech noob start??? The shot above shows my Atlas as it arrived in my mailbox. Should I paint the torso one color, the legs another? Or give the right side one color, the left another? Stripes? Camo? How about sticking with what I know? That will do in a pinch. I decided to go with GW Dark Angels Green for my main color, and since the head of the Atlas reminds me of a skull, GW Bleached Bone it is. BattleTech meets Warhammer 40K. Original? Not very. But it works for me, so we can now get to work.
After a couple of days had gone by, I fished him out of his Simple Green bath, and gave him a good scrubbing. Presto! Almost all of his old paint was gone, with just a couple of tiny stubborn spots clinging on for dear life. I gently scraped away most of them, and now have a clean slate to begin anew with.
First, the basing. I glued him into a RP hex base, and when that dried, I added the spackling paste to fill in the gaps. That was easy enough, because I was going for the level terrain look. The next day, I applied the Elmer's & water wash to the base, and dipped him into the fine-grain basing sand. Once that dried, I applied a second coat of glue wash to seal it. Later that day, I used super glue to attach the two small rocks you see, and that was that.
Next, the antennae. The first attempt looked OK, but I decided the wire was too thick. Hmm, I though about stretching a piece of plastic sprue over heat, but decided it would be too brittle, so what else could I use? How about a staple? This worked nicely, so we have a keeper. To finish the antennae, I dipped the ends in super glue about three times to form the smallest antenna end I could manage. Done.
After cleaning up a few stray mold lines and some stubborn flash, it was off to the garage, ending with a nice coat of GW Skull White primer. That dried at least a day and only then did I move on to Phase I of painting. I can hardly wait!
To tackle the main body, I started with two thin coats of GW Dark Angels Green (thinned with water). Next, I mixed a 50/50 blend of DA Green and GC Scruffy Green, and drybrushed the hell out of Atlas. I was hoping to mostly catch panel lines, hard edges, and other parts subject to wear and tear. In hindsight, I probably could have added another lighter drybrush to really pick out the edges, but since this was my first 'mech, I didn't want to overdo it.
The wrist-mounted weapons were classic GW - paint black, drybrush MC Gunmetal Grey, drybrush GC Silver to pick out highlights. For the feet, I gently drybrushed some MC Flat Earth to simulate mud, and a few highlights of GC Silver for random scuffs that expose metal.
The last step was to tackle the skull-like head. I REALLY wanted this to stand out and look menacing and grim. A uniform coat of GW Bleached Bone went on, followed by a wash of 40/40/20 GC Smokey Ink/Water/Future. Next I drybrushed with GC Bone White and then GC Dead White. The eyes next, starting with Black, then GW Red Gore, 50/50 Red Gore+GC Sun Yellow, a highlight of Sun Yellow near the bottom, and a small dot of GC Dead White in each corner. After I sealed the entire model, I went back and used some GC Gloss Varnish to coat the eyes, and hopefully give them a nice sheen.
The base was a simple affair: a thin coat of watered-down MC Flat Earth, drybrushed with MC Dark Yellow, drybrushed with GC Dead Flesh, and washed with some thinned black. The rocks were drybrushed with GC Sombre Grey and then GC Stonewall Grey. The edge of the base was last, and I went with GC Filthy Brown.
I had a blast painting up my Atlas! It was a fun departure from my normal menu of D&D fare, with the added bonus of firing me up to continue work on my Dark Angels army. If you are looking for a great diversion, I would tell you to paint a BattleTech or CAV 'mech for the fun of it. And if you are a BattleTech player who has yet to paint any of your own 'mechs, stop stalling and pick up a brush! You don't need to field an award-winning lance, just one that you personally painted and are satisfied with.