Painting a Clan Mongoose Mercury II
Without any previous references for how a Clan Mongoose mech would be painted I was left with the need to create a suitable scheme from scratch.
I began with an assembled miniature that’s been spray painted with a thin coat of Krylon gray primer. A white primer would also be effective here since I will be using light colors.
My basecoat color is Vallejo Model Color 858 Ice Yellow. I was looking for a color you don’t see used often and a faded yellow is unusual. On their original Operation Klondike invasion world of Circe I figured the near-khaki color would fit right in.
Be sure to apply your basecoat in thinned layers. The first layer should not be totally opaque. To get full coverage you would probably have to apply the paint too thick. After two or three thin coats we can progress to the accent color.
I pick out various sections of the mech to accent using Vallejo Game Color 816 Luftwaffe Uniform WWII. This has a nice blue tone to it to add a touch of color and will call out the blue to be seen later in the Mongoose insignia.
My third color will be used more sparingly as trim. I use Vallejo Game Color 72038 Scrofulous Brown. The Mercury II miniature has some ‘naturally occuring’ areas marked on the surfaces. I simply use these as the trim. Sections on the shoulder intakes, the side torsos, I border the wrists, and do some striping around the lower legs. With the panel lines of the mech helping, its easier to freehand stripes.
I also add Vallejo Model Color 800 Gunmetal Blue to the gun barrels and a few other metallic areas of the miniature. The cockpit windows are filled in with Reaper Master Series 09208 Black Ink. A tiny dot of Reaper Master Series 09039 Pure White in the upper left corners of the windows gives them a little life and character.
Once my base coats are applied I can add some further dimension. Drybrushing is a common technique for painting three dimensional surfaces. I dab the tip of an old ragged brush into a light colored paint (Vallejo Game Color 72034 Bonewhite) and wipe away nearly all of it on a dry napkin. Small particles of paint will remain in the brush and with a motion similar to dusting the miniature the raised surfaces and edges will scrape the minimal paint out of the brush bristles. The lighter ice yellow of the mechs main basecoat doesn’t show the bonewhite well, so I apply a lighter drybrush avoiding most of the gray areas with Pure White (any white paint would do).
To clean up some of the excess drybrushed color, I retouch a few of the gray areas leaving the light spots on the edges of the panels and plating.
My next step is applying decals.
Since there are no Clan Mongoose decals in production when I did this miniature, I made some myself. Using clear decal paper available from various websites, I print a tiny Mongoose insignia (with several duplicates since they can be easily ruined). A few tiny dabs of blue and white paint fill in some color on the decal since my printer is black and white (and the backing will be transparent). Microscale Liquid Decal Film is used to seal the decal, otherwise soaking it in water will destroy the paint and break up the printer toner.
Once the decals are dry I can apply my wash. A wash is thinned paint that will pool in the panel lines and recesses of the mech, essentially painting the details in for me. My washes are made from a bit of water, Vallejo Model Color 596 Glaze Medium, and a paint color. Black would be too drastic against the ice yellow, so I chose Reaper Master Series 09136 Walnut Brown.
After the wash is applied I usually go back and touch up areas with the original colors. The overall grunginess the wash can create is one of personal choice. I usually prefer my mechs to look well worn and used in the fields of battle. This can be adjusted by the ratio of paint, water, and glaze in the wash mix.
My hex base is filled (using DecoArt Texure Terra Cotta) and painted with a basecoat of Walnut Brown and drybrushed with various shades of tan and olive greens (use whatever seems natural and is on hand).
The next step is to seal the miniature and I always rely on my Krylon Matte Finish spray. One or two coats will give the piece a great, consistent sheen and protect it from handling. A quick dab of Delta CeramDecor Clear Gloss Glaze in the viewports to give them some additional shine (and a touch on the weapon ports as well) will finalize the miniature.
My Clan Mongoose Mercury II is now ready to make his first-ever battlefield appearance!