Category Archives: Mercs

MERCS Minis: KemVar

This weekend, Papa Nurgle knocked me on my ass with the flu, so I took the time to knock out one of my side projects. As a side game, I’ve been picking up MERCS, a small squad-based skirmish-level game with an interesting card-based mechanic. One of the great things about this game is the small buy-in; each faction is currently only 6 figures, and the ‘codex’ is an $8 deck of cards. I picked up the KemVar faction, a group of soldiers from Brazil who base their entire strategy around having active camo generators that give them the equivalent of Stealth (which, like in 40K, makes their cover better). I’d primed the minis a couple of weeks ago in Krylon grey primer, and Saturday afternoon I started working on them.

First up (from left to right) are the Assault Leader, Assassin, and the Monkeywrench.

And from the back:

The bluish circles on their backs are the active camo generators. I tried to give them a glowing effect by putting a Asurmen Blue wash over a Vallejo Stonewall Grey basecoat, followed by a drybrushing with Vallejo Electric Blue and Skull White. The Assault Leader’s and Assassin’s blades got a similar treatment, as they have blue energy fields around them.

The other three models (again, from left to right) are the Heavy Assault, Demolition, and Sniper:

One thing I like about this range of minis is the dynamic posing; all of the minis really look like they’re captured in the middle of action. With the addition of paint and basing, they really come to life. The basing is simple. I painted the inside of the base with Vallejo Beastly Brown, then used a 50/50 white glue and water blend to put down some spots of basing sand, followed by a layer of static grass. I also super-glued on a few pieces of rubble to add a bit of visual interest. All together, I’m very happy with how they’ve turned out. Since these are metal minis, I will absolutely be sealing them.

I look forward to taking these guys through their paces on the battlefield. MERCS isn’t going to replace 40K for me, but it looks like a fun side game, and thanks to the small unit size (most games are either 3-on-3 or 5-on-5) and the smaller board size (2’x3′), I imagine games will be much faster than a full 40K game. I highly recommend checking the game out; there are 6 factions out right now, and they have plans to release 4-6 more over the next year or two. Also, the full-color hardbound rulebook is very well put-together, complete with photographic examples, and is only $35.