One of my favorite Battletech tanks is the Ontos, the original version. Death by a thousand (mostly short ranged) paper cuts, woefully inadequate armor for a beast of it's size (due to the inefficiency of an ICE power plant and a bucket load of laser weapons) and mud slow, or in other words: 95 tons of pure mediocrity! As everyone knows, mediocrity is usually what I strive for in my gaming armies. In all honesty, the original artwork is how this tank first caught my eye because…well, it use looks cool!
|Image is the copyright of Wizkids.|
That said, the miniature which closely mimicked that artwork (something Battletech isn't always good at) is a piece of garbage! Or rather was. The 3050 redesign on the tank I think had more to do with the shitty mini than it did fluff.
Ya see, that angled up and raised rear deck, and matching turret, they look great visually, but in reality…when swiveled to the sides, or worse yet to the rear, the turret rides right up that incline and falls off of the model. Being a heavy block of pewter means that in most cases, the lasers glued to the front of the turret invariably snap off as a result (on the redesigned mini its a 1-piece turret).
As such when you find used Ontos minis on ebay, they tend to look like this one:
|I doubt Noble Knight will ever sell these junkers...|
Well, aside from being painted by the visually impaired they look like that, i.e.: at least one laser broken off and missing (but plenty of gunked up glue remaining to show of the protracted battle was fought to prevent that from occurring).
I've proxies other tanks for the Ontos in the past, but have never been happy with them visually. My latest try is using converted Oro heavy tanks which are the same approximate size of the Ontos mini. The original dorsal laser was removed, and the AC20 covered up with a bit to represent the 8 medium lasers. I also added a missile launcher bit to the top to serve as the twin LRM 5s, though I've yet to drill the missile tube holes at this point. I also added a strip of plasti-card to the top to clean it up, as well as a small piece to the front to cover up where the hull mounted laser was.
|Scale, never one of Battletech's strongpoints is obvious here as the SRM carriers just behind these 2 conversions are supposed to be of the same approximate size, but side-by-side they are anything but!|
Hopefully once painted, these will work for me, though in hindsight I ought to have converted them to look like the LRM Ontos, as that is the best of the original variants. Oh well, perhaps I'll do that if I get some more in the future...