20th November 2018 – the birthday of the Unit Color Compendium Search Engine / Database

It is a bit more then two years ago since I’ve started to work on the Unit Color Compendium book.
I would have never imagined back then that today there will be a website.
About the Unit Color Compendium
The Unit Color Compendium was an idea of having some sort of unit paint scheme resource for BattleTech enthusiasts utilizing flyingdebris awesome redesigns of Mechs for MWO. The resource is aimed at people who want to paint their minis and fans who’re looking for a new paint scheme idea for MWO or HBS BATTLETECH or any other BattleTech related game there is. This “idea” has, over time, transformed into a non-printable book (PDF) with over 300 pages. However, there were some disadvantages which came along with the book format. In the following I will tell you the story behind it in more detail as well as line out the future of the Unit Color Compendium.
THE STORY so far
This project began in around October 2016 when a first idea of displaying „some“ color schemes in forma of a PDF or book arose. Quickly the idea expanded but only when I first did the layout for the Capellan Confederation a minor glimpse of the sheer scale of this project was to be seen.
In the following months the project grew immensely and it daunted on me that I never had the slightest idea of how many units there actually were in Battletech. And still I hadn’t seen it all because every time I thought we had them all @Justin Kase or someone else found more and more and more.
Eventually, I had to finalize the layout and not admit any more additions to it. Hence the book is still missing a couple of units. Still, I believe we managed the impossible and accumulated an extensive and vast source of accurate and complete information for all BattleTech enthusiasts. A lot of work has gone into sorting out units and making sense to conflicting and confusing unit name issues. For instance some unit incorporate a „the“ while others don’t. But still the latter are listed with a „the“. Sometimes there were name changes for the same unit. So, some units came with 2-3 names but were still the same unit. And so on and so on.
In the beginning I made some mistakes as it didn’t occur to me that some of the listed units were from pre-Mech eras. After a while of contemplating I decided that I will leave them in the book since I see it as inspirational and do not have the necessary drawings at hand to display infantry or submarine units.
I found it to be very fascinating to learn so much about camouflage. Hence, I thought it to be a good idea to incorporate passages from Wikipedia into the book for conviniance reasons.

When working on the project I realized how „black and white“ the BattleTech Universe has been to me without knowing it. Sure, Kell Hounds were black and red but I never thought of the Wolf Alpha Galaxy of being mainly green. Even though I might have been reading it somewhere. Other units, actually plenty of them, had no color scheme at all. The universe in that regard felt almost bleak.
While laboring away, colorizing Mechs and such, I felt more and more like I am adding color to an old black and white film and thus seeing the BT universe in a totally different and new light.
I didn’t plan initially to do so much myself. However, the project has such a dimension that I just wasn’t able to find enough „manpower“ to work on it. That said, I want to highlight the outstanding work of @Flamestalker and @Horus who’ve, not once, let me down and who’ve labored away on this project from the beginning to the very end. I can’t thank them enough for their efforts. Most of all they encouraged me with their display of enthusiasm to continue with the project.
NUMBERS so far …
An estimated amount of 5000+ hours of work of all contributors combined. That’s 208 days of 24/7 work on the book. 2 years of continues and daily work on the project by myself. My spread sheet has currently 1418 rows. That means that there’s probably around 1370 of known units and sub-units (not all sub-units are counted since they don’t have a mentioned colors scheme anywhere and no one has made up one for them). Horus has created around 230 unit logos. I’ve submitted around 517 unit logos, paint schemes and repaints. Flamestalker has submitted around 100 repaints and paint schemes. There’s around 650 officially known paint schemes (including the ones from Camospecs)
Thank you very much for everyone who involved themselves by actively contributing to this project so far. Namely these people are: @Justin Kase @Hatchy @Flamestalker @DAV @GrayMouser @Horus @Michael F @TitaniumBurn @Prussian Havoc @Xinxspuz @Deadborder
Special Thank You for letting me use their artwork and contributing passively: Odanan, Viereth, SpOoKy777 (spooky777.deviantart.com), JPArbiter, Flyingdebris, Piranha Games, Harebrained Schemes, King Phoenix, and Sightsonyou.

Over the last couple of months I found myself thinking about extending the project by creating a website.
I thought about how to approach the task and how to present the site. Doubts and the, again, enormous task have prevented my from realizing the project until now. However, it was when I had the idea of creating a search engine or database rather than a “portfolio”, that I finally found enough energy to start.
You can see the first steps in a row of many when you look at the site. Much work has to be done in many areas of this search engine/database but slowly and gradually I will try to build it up. Not only am I now flexibel enough to correct mistakes and errors quickly but can also add more repaints, paint schemes etc. without limitation. Many changes my or may not lie ahead.
In the process I hope to encourage many of you to contribute to the success of the Unit Color Compendium. There’s still plenty of work – repainting mechs for instance. Check out Contribute for details.
I also hope you enjoy and, moreover, can make good use of this resource for our hobby and your own projects.
Connect with me on social media to get the latest news on developments and progression.
Enjoy, cheers!