A (Reinforced) Lance of WhipIts

I have to admit, even as long as I’ve been playing Battletech, I’d never heard of Ace Darwin’s WhipIts before last week.

Sure, I’d seen pink-painted panthers around, heard the jokes, that kind of thing, but I never really looked into it to see if it was more than just a meme. Now that I have, I love the idea of this group. They’re the ultimate mercenary group for people who like to paint every mech with a different look, and that’s a camp I definitely fall into. Sure, the WhipIts only existed for eight whole years in canon (a little restrictive, but not too bad) but what an eight years. Also there’s Jackie Darwin’s WhipIts in the IlClan Era, but that’s something else entirely. 

For the WhipIts, there really is no unifying paint scheme because Ace Darwin had a habit of pulling single merc mechs together for one-off jobs only, varying the size and composition of his force with every mission. The only thing that tied all these units together is the single pink pawprint on the heel of each of the mechs in Ace Darwin’s force for a given mission. This is awesome, and so easy to do, paint-wise.

So how did I find out about Ace Darwin’s WhipIts? An ebay sale. 

I trawl Ebay pretty regularly looking for Battletech deals, and once in a while I even find something that piques my interest. These two, Ronin and Ravyn (above) definitely did. Even better, once I had them in my hands, I had to know their stories, and Da Master Cheef over at The Buffet Assault Group (the original commander for Ronin and Ravyn) was happy to oblige.

It’s always wonderful to connect with other Battletech players across the globe and to share our passion for the hobby with each other. This was a classic example of such a sharing, and after a bit of talking (and reading his blog) I knew what I had to do. Ronin and Ravyn were just half of a lance. This was a wonderful opportunity to create a full lance with a theme. It was time to paint some WhipIts.

For the first two units I added, I chose a K2 Catapult and painted it in honor of my fallen Battletech brother Randy Morgan. This is the Catalyst official sculpt, and I’ve been saving it because I wanted to do something special with it. Randy always was fond of the Catapult and Mad Cat mechs, and the colors I chose for this K2 are his favorite colors. Painting it up for use with Ace Darwin’s WhipIts just seemed perfect.

Alongside “Randy” I also put another mech I had been saving. “Rage” is named after one of Randy’s favorite bands, and I think it makes a good callsign for this Griffin. Plus, it keeps the “R” theme we’ve got going.

Rundas came in the same dropship as Ronin and Ravyn, and I was so excited to finally have a metal Thunderbolt on my painting table, I couldn’t help but paint him at the same time as the others. Keeping with the “R” theme, I named him after an old Hittite god. Seemed appropriate.

Will I paint more WhipIts? I think so. It’s fun to experiment with one-off paint jobs, and I think I might even go back and revisit a few of my older ones and put that pawprint on their heels. I even have a Pink Panther now (I touched up a Panther I’d painted purple a long time ago to go with my Marik lances) which rounds out the reinforced lance. Well,  I needed an excuse to paint something besides more Lindon’s Company and more Word of Blake anyway.


  1. They all look excellent, even that awful old T-bolt Frankenmech! Yes it really is enjoyable to make new friends across the inter be it via blogs (from which I now have several in England) or yes even eBay from which you're my second (and luckily didn't start out this time with 'so I totally cyber-stalked you after buying theses...')!

    In an odd twist, a buddy of mine is currently painting up a merc company in what looks to be a very close, if not identical color scheme to Randy's K2.

    1. That's excellent! Well, I tell ya, I'm super happy to have the old T-bolt. Thanks again!

    2. Oh by the way, just a word of caution: I've never had 'Ace' survive beyond maybe turns 2 or 3 in either Classic or Alpha Strike. Apparently having your commander out there in a pink, 35 ton light mech marks him out as an easy target or something. Not even hanging back and positioning him conservatively helps.


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