4 maanden…

Morgen is het 4 maand geleden dat mijn vader is gestorven. Ik zal waarschijnlijk nooit vergeten hoe mijn echtgenote klonk aan de telefoon. IK was nog bij een klant toen de GSM ging. Ze klonk ernstig, zeer ernstig. Ze vroeg me even apart te gaan en brak het nieuws, direct, zakelijk maar duidelijk. De rit naar huis duurde lang…ik geloofde niet echt de boodschap, kon ze niet vatten, niet plaatsen. Verdrietig was ik (nog) niet, alleen wat verdooft.

Een uur later was ik in het ouderlijk huis. Net op tijd voor de begrafenisonderneming te ontmoeten. Een brede man met een vriendelijk gezicht. Hij wist zeer goed waar hij mee bezig was, kalm en duidelijk.

Hij moest nog beginnen aan zijn taak en toen daagde het volledig… mijn vader was dood. Het was de start van een lange weg die me veel zwaarder is gevallen dan ik ooit had gedacht.

Het zal wellicht nog lang duren vooraleer ik het volledig heb geplaatst, maar ik heb goeie hoop dat deze blog me zal helpen.


Waarom Papa

11 augustus om 16u30 is mijn vader overleden, longembolie. Hij was 61 jaar.

New kit : 1/60th Summoner

Well the Guys from Battlemechclub surprised me once again. Besides the two new kits from a few weeks ago, they also launched a 1/60th model of the Summoner !

The Summoner is a highly mobile heavy OmniMech that is commonly used by Clan Jade Falcon in a wide variety of roles. Barely a second generation OmniMech, the Jade Falcons introduced the Summoner just after becoming the first Clan to win OmniMech technology from Clan Coyote in 2863. The Summoner earned the code name Thor for its powerful, yet simple arsenal. The Summoner’s balanced mix of speed, mobility, armor, and firepower make it a highly effective and reliable OmniMech.

The Summoner is powered by a lightweight 350 XL engine that gives the ‘Mech a top speed of 86.4 km/h. The mobility of the Summoner is enhanced with five jump jets that allow it to jump up to one hundred and fifty meters. The Summoner has fourteen double heat sinks which are capable of handling the heat produced in most of the ‘Mechs configurations with ease. To protect it from damage, the Summoner carries nine and a half tons of Ferro-Fibrous armor.

In its primary configuration the Summoner has a basic yet effective arsenal. The primary direct fire weapon is an ER PPC backed up by an LB 10-X Autocannon that can fire both standard and cluster ammunition. For fire support and bombardment, the Summoner has an LRM-15 launcher.

The kit itself is already based on the TRO 3050 Upgrade and features a lot of nice details. But I won’t get into to much words, I’ll let the pics speak for them, enjoy !

One kit is already on its way to me as the production is limited to 50 pieces or so, so hurry up if you want one of these : ravenstarstudios@charter.net for more info. Just let Chris know you’ve got the info from me, Geert.

Hellbringer : Part II

Another thing I wanted to do was to add mobility to the mech. This was not very difficult. Just some reshaping of the knee-joint. But of course, then came the challenge. The foot wasn’t prepared to be positioned any other way. So some creativity was used to get a fix for that.  I used some kids toys, I’m not sure how they are called in english, but basically they are large colored knobs that can be pinned in a cradle for form all kind of figures :

Only thing left to do was to hollow out the lower legto make room for the head and one leg was ready :

After that, the legs where tested with the torso :

Ofcourse, now I had a hole between the lower leg and the top of the foot. Again I turned to my kids toys, but this time I used Lego Technics to make some kind of ankle joint :

Once these where all done, it was time to add the last pieces and prepare the kit for the paint, some more impression shots :

Next up, painting time 🙂 Hope you guys like.

1/60th Hellbringer

I realised I haven’t posted any mechs yet. So here goes, this one is a 1/60th scale Hellbringer from the ‘Battlemech Club” .

The Hellbringer is a very widespread design developed by Clan Hell’s Horses. However, due to its poor armor, the Hellbringer is often passed over for more robust OmniMechs. The Inner Sphere first encountered the Hellbringer facing Clan Jade Falcon, which favors the design for its immense offensive potential. Earning the codename Loki by Galen Cox, an AFFC officer who declared each of the Hellbringer’s various versions as an “utterly mad configuration”, the ‘Mech does at first glance appear to be highly unusual, mounting a spread of weapons, anti-personnel equipment and electronics. The Hellbringer utilizes a standard internal structure, and has decent mobility, with a top speed of 86.4 km/h. Though it has vast firepower at its disposal, the design is not particularly durable, mounting a mere eight tons of Standard armor, and the Hellbringer is not particularly suitable for defensive situations or extended engagements. (according to http://www.sarna.net/wiki).

For me the Hellbringer, together with the Timberwolf, Summoner and Mad Dog are the mechs that defined Battletech for me. When I saw a review one day on Starship modeler (http://www.starshipmodeler.com/mecha/tf_hell.htm) I was hoping this would one day come available as kit. Little did I know that this kit was the basis for the 1/60th variant of the Battlemech Club.

When I ordered the kit I knew I wanted to build it according to the drawings of the Technical Read Out of “3055 upgrade”. The kit istelf was mastered according to the Technical Readt Out of “3050”. It has a lot of difference in the details, but see for yourself :

TRO 3055 The return of Kerensky :

And the same design in the TRO 3055 Upgrade

As you can see, the main difference is the SRM launcher on the shoulder and a lot of details on the Torso. Also note the missing hiplaunchers.

The kit itself went together very easy and I used a wealth of greeblies to make all the details. It started out with littel beads and pearls to curtains and pieces from an old M113 kit :

It was a very fun build adding, but the best thing was yet to come 🙂

But that will be for next time.

Kit Alert : new kits

It’s been a while, but the ‘ Battlemech club’ came through again. Two new aditions to their line :  a 1/60th Hunchback II and a Panther. Chris from Ravenstar was kind enough to send me some pics of the new creations. Please enjoy these pics as these are the only game in town when it comes to large scale Battletech figures :

Hunchback IIC :

This even has a cockpit molded into the head. After building, you can leave the hatch open so you can look inside, nice touch :

The kit’s break down :

The Panther :

This is what you could call the 2.0 version. Redesigned to be completely posable and with two weapons options it’s a very nice kit (for an Inner Sphere design 🙂 )

Parts breakdown of the Panther :

Both kits compared to each other, Heavy Metal mayhem :

If you’re intersted in one of those kits, just contact Chris on ravenstarstudios@charter.net.

Be sure to check out Chris’s blog for other model kits : http://ravenstarstudios.blogspot.com/ and the main site of the Battlemech club : http://battlemechclub.blogspot.com/. I know, I know, shameless plug, but these guys are the only ones making these kits, so a little help won’t hurt them 🙂

Stay tuned for a new kit I bought : a 1/60th scale Thor, also from Ravenstar

For love of the game

When I finished my second year in Social Work I gave myself a pat on the back for a job well done and went out to search for a new model kit. I wanted something else so I started searching for anything that would help me out of a modelling dip. In a model store I found a giant box with a vinyl kit of a robot the likes I’d never seen. It was quit expensive (around 100 €) so I didn’t take it with me. I went further in the street and passed along “Eichpercher”. A shop I hadn’t noticed before. When I looked inside I saw a book which had the same robot on the cover as the one I’ve just seen;

My curiosity won out and I stepped into the store. I asked for more info on the book and what it was all about… After 10 min or so I was back on the street, had a new book that would set me on a journey into another realm.

I discoverd Battletech

Like a little boy I read every page of it. I didn’t quit get the rules of warfare, but I just loved the “fluff” and the entire universe. A few days later (yes I know, I’m quite impulsive) I was back in the same store for more books. To my surprise there where paperback novels, Sourcebooks on the different fractions  expanding the universe even more. It was overwhelming and I was hooked.

I went out to search for someone to play Battletech, but that wasn’t very easy. Most gaming clubs I went to  knew about the game, but it didn’t appeal very much to them, unlike the neighbouring countries like Germany and the Netherlands.  But I got lucky and I found a guy who knew about the game. The first  year we played every weekend and every thursdaynight.

I fell even more in love with the game and finally decided to name the Jade Falcon Clan as my home.

But somewhere along the road, we discovered that it wan’t that easy to find the miniatures. Back then, it wasn’t as easy to order online, heck, we didn’t even had the internet 18 years ago ! And our game weekends slowed down to twice a month and suddenly it was over. I never heard of the guy again, Eichpercher closed shop so I was left with not much options. The other shops I visited still had some Battletech books and stuff but they all told the same story… Fasa shut down Battletech

I worked as a sales rep that time so I spend a lot of time in the car. If I had a change I stopped and looked for gamingstores to buy everything I could find from Battletech.

A few years later I went to FACTS in Ghent. One of the largest SciFi and Anime gatherings in Europe. My wife was with me and at the end of the day she pointed out a game she tought was Battletech, it had a mecha on the box and was called mechwarrior. I bought myself a starter box and got an invitation to another fare in Mechelen the next week. There would be a demo and a possibility to play the game. So a week later I went and discovered that this was basicly Battletech revisited…. well you see me coming…. hook, line and sinker….I was off again.

On this Wiki page you can read more about the game and the different spin offs : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BattleTech

This site has everything to get started, even a free intro to the universe (40 or so pages) and the qick start rules : http://www.classicbattletech.com/

Oh yeah, and the model kit it all started this crazy journey, it was a vinyl kit of the Mad Cat and ofcourse I got it.