Saturday, 10 March 2012

Mecha in 15mm

2012 is being touted as "the year of 15mm mecha battles", so my entry to the fray comes in the form of these Robotech Destroids released as part of the Exofleet range.  Their first appearance was in the original Macross series but their technical specifications were reworked for the Robotech series.  They were re-worked again to become some of the first BattleMechs of the BattleTech game, though they are now known as the "unseen" due to copyright issues resulting in their disappearance!

These came from e-bay for the princely sum of £8.50, a purchase with which I am extremely pleased!

To add to the confusion,all are known by at least 3 names, the original Macross name, the Robotech name (those given here come from the Palladium Games' Robotech RPG) and the BattleTech name.
Phalanx or Spartan Destroid / Longbow BattleMech
Defender or Raidar X destroid / Rifleman BattleMech

Tomahawk or Excaliber Destroid / Warhammer BattleMech
I'm thinking about colour schemes, I'll probably go with something similar to the Tomahawk/Excaliber/Warhammer that I've already painted in a UK temperate green/black pattern (see it here).

I'll need to do a little work on them to add some detailing, I'll also need to work out how to add markings.  I don't have any transfers to match the original one I painted so I might try making some stencils so that I can paint them on.


  1. cool, I will be watching this project.

  2. Paul,

    This is exactly what I want to get into! However, I'm confused by the scales and availability. Seems people are mixing 1/144 and 1/200? Hate to buy something unseen. Would prefer the cheapness of re-purposed kid's toys but also want some quality so would be willing to be building plastic model kits.

    Can you give me any headstart as to where to start?

    My background is in 40k and the whole 15mm scale is new to me.


    1. Hello Jon,

      Well, 1/100 scale is approximately 15mm, but because some manufacturers measure the 15mm from bottom of base to top of head and others measure from bottom of foot to the figure's eye level, it's fairly flexible. Mechwarrior clicky figures are quite good for smaller robot fighting suits, they're 10mm scale (approx 1/180) but can look good if you hide the cockpit or pretend that it's only a sensor unit with the actual pilot hidden in the main body (might need to paint over the windows!). The 10mm vehicles don't work so well but can provide a good source of parts such as missile pods (try the "Jes II" missile carrier).
      Plenty of kid's toys are nominally 1/72 scale or thereabouts, with only a little work they can fit in with 15mm vehicles.
      As far as mecha goes, Zoids are a great source (see my other Mecha post), also lots of Gundam & Robotech figure kits though these can get quite pricey.
      I'd suggest having a browse on e-bay, that's one of the best sources and they usually have reasonable pictures. Be careful of the postage costs though, especially from overseas! Also try your local cheap shops (99p store or Poundland etc. if you're in the UK), keep an old 15mm figure in your pocket at all times for comparison purposes and see what sort of chunky robot figures you can find. Try to see beyond the garish and clumsily applied paint schemes that many seem to have!
      With the addition of a little plasticard or weapons/stowage (either from plastic model kits of from the increasing range offered by various 15mm figure companies) you can turn amazingly bad figures into nice bits of fighting equipment.. and if they go wrong they can always become a terrain piece for mission objectives (rescue the pilot from a downed 'Mech, retrieve the vital technology before the enemy can destroy it).
      Happy hunting!