As some of you know, Brent Evans and I are part of a company called Creative Juggernaut (www.creative-juggernaut.com). We have been working on a number of very cool game products under our Shock Monkey Games subsidiary, but recently, our focus has been on making a pair of variant BattleMech miniatures for Catalyst Game Labs. This post is about building and painting the Clan-Buster variant of the Black Knight.
Let me deal with the most common questions I keep getting up-front. These will be sold through the Catalyst Games Labs web site only. We will not be selling them ourselves. These are a limited run unless Catalyst wants to do something different down the road. CGL will set the prices on them. No, I do no know what that price will be. There are a lot of variants that we are jointly considering and we do not need suggestions.
Much of what we do is proprietary in terms of the casting process – so I’m not at liberty to share that. I had Brent send me a production Black Knight. We decided to produce these unassembled, since we figured that most mini fans of BattleTech are used to putting together miniatures. Also, it helps us keep the cost down.
The packaging will have a wrap-over piece of thin cardboard with the image of the assembled figure on the back. It’s in a ziplock baggie because, well, it’s simple. For the record, I did almost zero cleaning of the figure in terms of mold seams. I wanted to approach this like a typical gamer might.
Assembling this Black Knight you have to essentially make two decisions. One, what do you want to do with the hands. We cast variant hands, and what is really cool, we have some that are open (so you can see the fingers.) Me, I had to have the sword…duh. I went with the open hand with the autocannon just because I thought it was cool.
The other decision you must make is what legs you want to use. Brent included a bent leg which excited me. With a little kitbashing, you can actually make a kneeling/prone Black Knight, which is very cool. One of our team, Kevin, has a kneeling one that looks pretty incredible. I decided to use the bent knee to give the impression of the ‘Mech charging. I glued it to the base and liked it, for about an hour. I opted to make a change.
The parts fit together very well. The plastic is easy to work with – no pinning. The detail on the hands is something we just haven’t seen with ‘Mech minis in the past. Look at the photos and form your own opinions.
During the casting process, we always have a little left over resin. So what we have done is create some molds of various ‘Mechs and use them to pour our leftover stuff. These are not designed or intended to be perfect, but provide us with spare parts, limbs, etc, that we can use on the bases for terrain. Brent sent along a bunch of cast-off UrbanMech parts with this batch – so what I did was cannibalize an Urbie leg and re-pose my Black Knight so that it is standing on the blasted off leg. Why did the Clans have an Urbie on Tukayyid? That I can’t answer. Maybe this is some other ComStar operation…
For painting, I used my airbrush to lay down a base coat of black. It’s a ComStar ‘Mech, so I went with a white layer next, again with the airbrush. I used a light dusting of brown on the legs to show mud splatter. Total painting time was around 20 minutes, including the detailing. I didn’t use a wash. It took me longer to clean my airbrush than it did to paint. Usually I use white to show wear on the armor, but with a white ‘Mech, it did my chipping using silver – especially on the sword.
I love it. The Knight is beefy and looks ready to kick ass. My next one will be a Ghost Bear isorla version. My next assembly will be our production Stormcrow Tukayyid variant.