A Character profile and painting overview of Francis Rajinder in his Blackjack Narashima
Francis Rajinder, heavy machine operator
Francis Rajinder was an outspoken and opinionated construction mech operator on the world of Nanking. He enjoyed voicing his opinions, loudly, to anyone in earshot, whether they wanted to hear him or not. His favored topic was the government, Federated Commonwealth, and how much he despised the Lyran half’s influence around him despite that union taking Nanking and a host of other worlds from the Capellan Confederation. He claimed Lyran machinations crept into all aspects of people’s lives from children’s entertainment to news media and business, ignoring the reconstruction work he did was a result of such influence. Most people ignored him and his hypocritical vitriol but it wasn’t long before he said the wrong thing to a client with deep Lyran ties and was promptly fired.
This did little to mellow his attitude and he took to posting his hyperbolic musings to local chatterweb forums. There he established connections with others who felt strongly about such topics, including local FedSun nationalist groups with curious Blakist backing. When Katherine Steiner-Davion assumed the role of Regent and tensions began to rise his rhetoric grew more extreme.
TinCap’s War on Nanking
When war came to Nanking Francis joined the nationalist militias and mounted Narahima, a suspiciously customized BJ-1 Blackjack, painted in old gaudy patriotic colors. Facing both Lyran Loyalist and Capellan invaders in battle, Francis fought with furious zeal. He earned the name “TinCap” both for his wild conspiracy theories and his joy in scoring headshot kills in the field. Though he scored relatively few battlemech kills he and his ultra AC2s were absolute terrors to the mechanized infantry and combat vehicles of the enemy formations.
Stability returned swiftly to the planet but with no enemies to focus on Francis started looking homeward at the coaxing of his Blakist AsTech and friend. Through him He began to see the flaws of the Federated Suns and the excesses of their leadership. Where once he felt pride and patriotism he began to feel shame and anger. The Lords of the great houses only brought death and destruction. They were liars and hypocrites who only worked to enrich themselves. One day soon a reckoning would come and he and Narashima Would be there to strike down the Apostates.
This model is a Blackjack BJ-1, Designed and illustrated by Duane Loose in the Battletech sourcebook Technical Readout 3025. The model was sculpted and cast in pewter by Ral Partha(Now Iron Wind Metals).
I acquired this model second hand via eBay in bare metal. Once it was washed in alcohol, I fixed it to a printed hex base and glued an assortment of sand, small pebbels, and bit from my “Debris” box to give it the look of urban ruins. This model was a challenge as both its color scheme and story took some time to evolve. At first I imagined Francis being a member of a regular force and began sketching a more reserved but iconic scheme. But as I mulled it over and looked into other schemes, a more bold and ostentatious statement was needed. Francis must be seen and heard by all!
After priming in Black, I dry brushed the model in layers of grey and white, keeping the brightest colors to the head and shoulders. For the shoulders, arms, and legs I used Citadel Talassar Blue Contrast paint and dry brushed a very light coating of Vallejo Steel Grey. The white portions were difficult. I started with a grey ink that was too opaque, took a long time to dry, and covered all the highlights and shading from the first steps. Once it was dry, I applied a black wash and carefully glazed a light grey followed by white. It was a painstaking process requiring going back and forth between shades to get the effect right. I covered the head and center torso with Citadel Flesh Tearers Red Contrast and highlighted with brighter reds and a touch of orange for the brightest spots.
A Battlemech cockpit canopy can be either a joy or a pain. The Blackjack is the latter. Thankfully I have a few tools to make it a little easier. I used the grey ink from before to fill in the area. Once the Ink was dry, I assed a touch of Citadel Tesseract Glow Technical paint for a nice fluorescent green to contrast with the test of the Mech.
The Blackjack is the first Mech I made a connection with. It was my starting mech in the HBS BATTLETECH PC game, which I’m currently streaming on Twitch! You should follow if you haven’t. If you subscribe I’ll add you into the game as one of my Mechwarriors.
I am happy with how this mech came out and I learned a lot in the process. The story was a little torturous at first but overall I’m satisfied. Eventually I’ll do some short fiction based on the character and the others I’ve created as I’ve painted. This series of projects has been a lot of fun and I’m eager to start on the next one. I have a small force of painted mechs I haven’t given characters too yet as well as a host of 40k heroes. There are fin time a great stories ahead and I’m grateful to all of you for being a part of it.
Until Next time: