On the painting table ... MERCs

MERCS – Several guys in my group have picked up MERCS starter boxes and have asked me to paint them up for them. The first one to come across my table is the USCR which I ironically just finished painting my own. Luckily my client didn't want the white color scheme and wanted something primarily red and black. Taking this cue I decided to base them on the old Soviet Flag. Red armor, with yellow marking and black/grey cloth with a deep brown leather for the pouches.

For the bases I chose to use my "Imported from Detroit" asphalt bases I think they work better with the support details that the models are standing on then my ice bases. Learning from painting my own it became obvious that the models have too large of a footprint to mount to jagged edges without some significant tweaking and gap filling. 

To paint these up I blocked in the red areas with a deep crimson, the areas that will be black with a dark grey and the pouches with a chocolate brown. I've found the easiest way to paint black cloth is to paint it a dark grey and wash with one or two coats of black. This adds the natural looking shading and is easier than trying to paint the highlights directly. Of course after the wash I go back in and pick out the highlights anyway but it's easier to see them after the wash as well as making the blending feel natural.

The red armor plates were painted the same way as I did with my sefadu, after the crimson base coat I used and earth shade and baal red to deepen the tone and then went back in with the base to pick out the edges. Once that dried I used the fluorescent any color red highlight I have to make the highlights pop. Next I'll add some simple yellow striping to denote the squad members.


On the painting table ... USCR

MERCS – The next Megacon I've decided to tackle is the USCR. From what I've seen of them on the table I'm not sure they fit my playstyle but with a small scale game like this it's helpful to have extra factions around. Most people I've played a few games with either really like the system or hate it. A good chunk of them don't want to invest in yet another mini game so having somthing for them to borrow means more nights that my group will play MERCS or at least consider it for the rotation.

Assembling these models was fairly simple as most of them are one solid piece. The mold line fall in an odd place on the "kicking guy" and were tricky to scrape/file off. Otherwise I didn't have any major issues with the models. As I plan on mounting them to clear bases I lightly glued them to the slotta bases they came with for priming and painting.

I like the look of the studio models so I decided to mimic that paint scheme. The cloth portions of the models were based with khaki, the pouches all with a bright brown and the armor with a light grey. After a quick wash of black on the grey areas I had a better idea of where the highlights would need to go. While the wash dried I worked on mixing up a white color using a light grey base, titanium white, some blending medium and water. This works well when I want to paint in layers as I can slowly build up to the final color with minimal additional shading.

After getting the majority of the paint work done I clipped the models off the tabs and pinned them onto my Rock Bases. This set was cast using clear resin like the Ice Pillars I've done in the past. Mixing some snow flock, white paint, tacky glue and a little water I created a paste that looks like snow. After applying it to the base I covered it with loose snowflock and let it dry overnight. After dusting it off you have a pretty convincing looking snow cover.

I'm trying to track down some star transfers to finish these off as I really don't like freehand symbol painting if I can avoid it.