Saturday, January 29, 2011

Mechwarrior Clix to 15mm Conversions (Part 1)

After deciding to start into 15mm, I realized I still had a lot of unused Mechwarrior Clix pieces about. While I only played the clix game for a little bit, I later intended to convert most of the pieces I had for use with Mekton, but decided against it as the ‘Mechs (which are around 1/220, IIRC) would be rather large for what little table, and thus, battlefield space I have access to. So, after recalling that most of the vehicles and infantry are about 15mm, I decided it would be excellent for my first and experimental army.
First, I began to cut the battle armor and infantry off of their old bases (which tend to be groups of 2, 3, or more) and then base them individually on pennies. I recommend being VERY careful here as a slip of the knife can cause one or more of your men to need a peg leg.
The following battle armor will make for some nice sniper or gauss-rifle support, three squads of three suits of it.
On the left here is a nice gun emplacement, while the one on the right is a broken SRM launcher that’s been converted into a command or comm post with the handy placement of a sewing pin.These, unlike the normal infantry, are based on nickels instead of pennies.
The following are two larger pieces of power armor, one is based on a penny while the other has an EM-4 25mm round base. (In the first shot is one of the smaller PA suits for size comparison)

Next up are the vehicles. While about scale, they do look a little shrimpy next to some of the infantry, but will do good for now. I’ll see how well they look next to actual scale vehicles sometime, once I manage to get a hold of some Khurasan or GZG armor.
The first vehicle up is a VTOL that will make for some nice light support. The base itself is actually some laminated floor tile cut to size and he flying stand is the actual clix stand. For some detail, I took one of my PA suits that met a hobby knife in a dark alley, and chopped it up some more. I reckon it will make for some nice blasted remains.
Here we have some GEV units that, after I pried them off their bases, decided to mount them on cut down flight stands to make them look more ‘floaty’ then most other GEV or hovercraft. I rather like this look, albeit some ground cover won’t cut it for them! From left to right we have an open air APC (with missiles!), a grav tank, and a grav artillery unit.
Next are two tanks to show how they look on their clix bases, and how they do after being removed.
Size comparison time!

Closing thoughts: So far things are going well. From what I can tell most of the stuff is fairly close to 15mm and it feels good to be using old minis for a new project. It’s nice they are already painted but I’ll probably and eventually paint them to fit with other parts of the collection as it grows. I intend to try these out with Fast and Dirty 4.0 but I also intend to give Gruntz a look.
But best of all… The little turrets swivel! :D
Tips: As aforementioned… Be VERY careful when cutting infantry free of their bases! Not only is it easy to damage them, being soft plastic, but from almost every angle you can cut from, your hands are in a good spot to get stabbed. This is especially true when trying to pry vehicles or entire bases away from the clix base. Patience and care are key here.
I’ve read on TMP that some people have a much easier time sticking the mini in a freezer for a bit, then prying it off. The cold makes the superglue holding it into the base brittle and easier to snap off. Though your minis could also become more brittle as well while cold.

15mm Wargaming

If you find your way on over to the TMP forums, you’ll usually see a lot of buzz about 15mm sci-fi. It was here that I first encountered the 15mm scale; before this, I was only really familiar with 6mm, 25mm, and fleet scale starship gaming. Of late, I’ve been more and more interested in wargaming in 15mm, and I intend to start a new collection in it fairly soon.
Something that began to interest me as I read, was that 15mm seemed to be a nice middle ground between 6mm and 25mm. In 6mm you can easily have a large battlefield with lots of units, but armor is the focus and infantry squads are often confined to a single base. In 25mm each squad member is separate and the focus is on fire teams with vehicle support. The drawbacks to 25mm is that you need larger terrain, and table size for games. 15mm is attractive to me because of how it combines both of what I’m looking for in those scales, it is the right size for large games, and easy storage, but each infantry or other small unit has much paintable detail.
Budget-wise I am liking 15mm. There are a number of great dealers of 15mm sci-fi figures (as well as pretty much any other time period) and most are quite affordable. As well, I can still have squad based games, but I require less storage room due to smaller units and terrain.
15mm is also about 1/100th scale, meaning HO model railroad buildings, and most matchbox cars look rather nice side-by-side with them, opening up more possibilities for terrain and units.