Adeptus Titanicus Reaver Titan

Here’s a Reaver titan to go with the Warlord titan I finished late last year. Definitely much easier to paint! I managed to slightly mis-position the feet and toes, meaning that the armour plates on the leg are a bit wonky, but thankfully it’s not too noticeable. I won’t make that mistake again!

I’m now working on some Cerastus and Acastus knights. Rather than going for a homebrew House I’m going to paint them as House Malinax.

More pictures below the fold.

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Legio Pantera Custodian Titan

My copy of the new version of Adeptus Titanicus should arrive today, but that hasn’t stopped me from continuing to paint classic Epic titans! Here is a rather esoteric one: a Custodian Titan. Each titan legion has a single Custodian titan, which replaces its carapace weapons with a Devotional Bell, built from sacred Terran metals and annointed with drop of the Emperor’s blood. The bell acts as a mobile shrine for the Imperial Cult and a rallying point on the battlefield. The presence of a Custodian Titan in a battle is a complete anathema to daemonic intrusions into the material universe as it directly extends the Emperor’s will and spirit to his mortal followers.

As well as its Devotional Bell, this titan also has a Command Head and Carapace multi-lasers, and its arm weapons are Lucius-pattern weapons from the Mk III Warlord Titan.

More pictures below.

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The War Engines of Legio Crassus

Long time no see! I won’t bore you with the tedious details of why I haven’t been blogging much (too much Real Life getting in the way), but although I haven’t posted here in over 10 months, I haven’t been idle: I’ve just finished the titan legion I posted about last June:

The legion consists of four Warhounds, three Reavers, four Warlords and a repainted and refurbished Warmonger (which still needs a bit of attention as one of the Hydra turrets has lost a barrel).

with the exception of the arm weapons on the Warmonger, and the Carapace weapons on the Lucius-pattern Warlord, every single weapon is magnetised, meaning that I can customise the weapons load-out of each titan as I see fit. In addition to a lot of classic metal and plastic titan weapons, I’ve also included some of the weapons from the Defeat in Detail Cybershadows Leviathan models to proxy as various different weapons.

These titans are painted in the colours of Legio Crassus – a titan legion that was loyal to the Warmaster during the Horus Heresy. None of the titans show the corruption of Chaos – but that might change in the future! For now, they are just a Heresy-era traitor legion, and wear the Eye of Horus proudly over their metallic green armour.

More pics below.

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Reaver Round-up

2014-12-16 09.04.07-1I started working on the Reaver in May, and finally finished it at the beginning of December. That’s six months!

I am generally very happy with how it’s turned out. There were a few glitches along the way but as is the case with any hobby project, those problems that did come up were fixable.

The paint scheme is, of course, the same one I have been painting my Epic titans for 25 years. Here’s a quick run-down of how it was achieved:

  • Prime with Vallejo black primer (via airbrush)
  • Mask off armour plates leaving edge banding exposed
  • Airbrush Vallejo Model Air Brass on banding
  • Wash with Army Painter Soft Tone through the airbrush
  • Remove masking and remask to expose quartered sections
  • Spray with Citadel Skull White spray

The exposed metal of the superstructure was primed black as above then sprayed with Army Painter’s Chain Mail, then washed with Strong Tone through the airbrush. Weathering was achieved using Citadel’s Nihilakh Oxide, Typhus Corrosion and Forge World weathering powders.

The base is a simple cake base with a belt of plasticard around the outside. It’s supposed to match the basing scheme I’ve used for my Salamander and Necron armies and the Leviathan. There is a layer of cork on top of the base to allow me to create depressions into which the titan’s feet can be placed (to create the effect of the ground sinking beneath its feet). I added some crushed up aluminium foil and some craters from Amera Plastic Mouldings to add relief. I then painted with PVA and applied sand. once dried, I sprayed the base with a mix of Army Painter leather and Plasti-kote sprays, drybrushed with a few GW paints and then added static grass (GW’s Dead Grass).

Overall, I’d say this project is pretty straightforward, requiring a lot of technique but not much skill: for example, knowing how to pin the leg joints in the most effective way. Since the model was painted almost entirely using the airbrush, the amount of masking required was pretty exhausting and very boring indeed!

Epic Battle Report: The Author (et al) vs Dan Abnett

As (possibly) previously mentioned, my home town is lucky enough to have (a) a great independent wargames store, and (b) a High Lord of Terra and New York Times bestelling author, who is also the unofficial patron the aforementioned store.

Last weekend, No Mans Land had a grand re-opening in its new location in a swanky shopping arcade, and Dan came along to sign books, answer questions from the gathered throng, and throw some dice and push some models around a table.

2013-02-23 21.07.22

Dan played two games of Epic – one versus me, and then another (which I GMd) against Darren (also known as The Burning Beard), another store regular, using the NetEpic rules, slightly modified to suit small Adeptus Titanicus games.

In the first game, we took one Warlord, Reaver and Warhound each and squared up against each other. I was able to knock out his Reaver in the first turn. My Warhound survived a strafe from his Warlord and ended up in close combat with the Dan’s Warhound. Meanwhile, our Warlords went toe-to-toe with almost identical loadouts: my titan had twin Gatling Blasters, A Quake Cannon and a Volcano Cannon, Dan’s had twin Gatling Blasters and twin Volcano Cannon. Dan’s only mistake was moving his titan when could have stood still; that meant that I could open up on him in First Fire before he could hit me (he’d won initiative). My Gatlings and Quake Cannon stripped his remaining shields, and the Volcano Cannon dealt the final blow.

For his second game, Dan wanted to do something a bit different, and decided that he wanted to take out my Imperator, Machinator Formidabilis (“Fearsome Engine” in Low Gothic), against a pack of four Warlords, commanded by Darren.

The game began, and the Imperator stood and watched (and saved up plasma in its reactor) as the Warlords approached.

But calamity! In a well co-ordinated (and unexpected) surprise attack, all four Warlords pounced at once, stripping the Imperator’s shields and starting to do damage! First a gun tower was knocked out, then a sensorium. Just when it seemed that the Machinator was going to survive the turn without any serious damage, a deflected shot took out the coupling on the left arm, and the mighty Plasma Annihilator came crashing to the ground!

With Machinator’s most deadly weapon wrecked, and surrounded on all sides, there was little that Dan could do as the Warlords moved in for the kill. One of the Warlords was reduced to slag by the defence laser, but in the same turn, a shot from the rear penetrated the plasma reactor, and KABOOM! For the first time in twenty years of combat, my beloved Machinator Formidabilis was destroyed in a mighty conflagration.

Despite the ignominious defeat of an ancient and noble God-engine, great fun was had by all, and No Mans Land had a fitting and enjoyable (if rather chilly) re-opening.

On Warlord Titans, and Hyperbole

For #MiniatureMonday, I posted this picture with the following tweet:

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Here’s the last #Epic Beetleback Warlord Titan that I will ever paint (I hope)

I immediately regretted the above sentence, because I know that it isn’t true: I am pretty sure that at some point in the future, I will repaint all the old Beetlebacks in my Titan Legion, using a different colour scheme so that I have two opposing forces to play against each other.

Even though this is the last Beetleback Warlord to emerge from my bits box, there’s still the milk float Mk II warlord to paint, and a pair of Reavers. So don’t expect the photos of stompy castle robots to dry up any time soon!

2,500 Point NetEpic Ultamarines vs Adeptus Mechanicus

Today was a bit of a first for me: I played an Epic game against a complete stranger. PapaRomeoJuliet (real name Pete) contacted me via the Facebook page after we’d chatted on the Tactical Command forum. We agreed to play a 3,000 point game, which got amended to 2,500 points, when I realised I’d left a pair of Warhound Titans at home!

My army list:

  • Paladin Household
  • Castellan Knight Squadron
  • Reaver Titan
  • Robot Maniple
  • 2 Robot Squadrons
  • Ordinatus Golgotha

Pete’s:

  • 2 Battle Companies
  • 2 Land Speeder Squadrons
  • 2 Thunderhawk Gunships
  • Predator Squadron

As before, the result was a convincing victory for the Mechanicus. I lost a handful of robots and a couple of knights, and did substantial damage in exchange. I think Pete himself admitted that he was a bit too cautious with his Thunderhawks, which contained Assault detachments, and should have committed them (and the Devastator detachments which teleported in) earlier.

This was the first game of Epic that I’ve ever played against someone outside my close-knit circle of gaming friends, and it was a most enjoyable experience. I’m looking forward to the rematch!

Pics from the game below.

Improving a Melta Cannon

Having raided my bits box, I finally selected a Melta Cannon for the previously mentioned Mark II “milk float” Warlord.

The Melta Cannon is fairly plain, but the version created for the Forge World Reaver Titan looks rather cool, so I thought I’d have a go at improving the stock version.

Apart from the arm, which I made from plastic rods of various sizes, there are three new additions. First is the piping on the back – this is from the arm of a 40K scale Necron Destroyer (the arm is discarded when you upgrade to a Heavy Destroyer). Second, I’ve added the muzzles from a Necron Immortal’s Gauss Blaster to the front of the gun.

Finally, the underslung piping and housing is from the powerfist of a Space Marine Terminator.

Here’s the Melta Cannon, attached to the main body of the Titan:

Here cometh the Milk Float!

I have the legs, torso and carapace of a Mark II “milk float” Warlord (the other bits have gone into other models). Despite being quite detailed, this model has a very boring, static pose (example here), so I thought I’d try giving it a more dynamic pose by twisting and bending the legs.

I also raided my bits box, giving it a close combat head and a pair of Exodus Wars Edenite Reaper turrets as Vulcan Mega Bolters on the carapace. I’m still not sure what I’ll be mounting on the right arm.

The new pose means that the feet are no longer flat on the base, so I built up a pile of rubble using pieces of cork to create a stable platform for the front foot. The rear foot is pinned to the base.

Click to embiggen.

6,000 NetEpic Game: Adeptus Mechanicus vs Squats at No Mans Land

Earlier this month I took my Knights down to No Mans Land for a 6,000 game of Epic with @StegTheDinosaur, my gaming partner in crime, who used his Squats.

The battle was incredibly one-sided, as you can see from the live-tweet below. This was primarily due to the cheesy nature of my Adeptus Titanicus army, which included ten titans, combined with the relatively inflexible Squat army list which had been designed to deal with swarms of robots.

Here are the pics we took during the game:

Reaver Titan

I recently finished the Reaver titan that I showed you a Work-In-Progress shot of last month. I originally started building and painting it in May, which should give you an idea of how fast I work.

Here are a few shots. You can also see this beastie in the background of my EpiComp submission.

The Epic reaver is Games Workshop’s oldest model still in production, and this item does sort of show it: it’s hard to guess how old the cast is (I bought it off eBay, so it could be two years or twenty years old), but the detail is pretty poor, and the flat surfaces are rather pitted.

Colour-scheme wise, this guy is nothing new. He has the same black and white checked pattern I’ve used on all my titans (one day I’ll do a big family shot so you can see them all), with the additional bronze edging that I’ve given to the “elite” titans (on the Warmonger side of the family).

This is the first Reaver I’ve painted since the mid-nineties, and I have two more to do to complete the second battlegroup. One thing I’ll do differently next time is paint them in pieces and then assemble afterwards: there are a lot of fiddly bits!

EpiComp 2012 – My Submission

It occurred to me that I with a bit of work, I could probably get my knights into a state where I could submit them to this year’s EpiComp.

For those of you who don’t already know, EpiComp is the premiere (ok, probably only) annual Epic-scale painting competition. It regularly brings in some amazing work by the best painters and modellers working in the 6mm scale.

You can see my submission above. I took a load of photos, which, due to the limitations of the competition rules, I can’t submit, so I’m posting them here.

This represents about one third of the models that are going to form the Knight army. I still have another squadron of French chevaliers, two squadrons of Castellans, and a load of Paladins still to paint, not to mention a Leman Russ Company, a Stormblade Company, two Ordinatii majoris, and some Skitarii. You’ll be seeing more of them in 2013. In the meantime, these photos include everything I’ve painted (Epic-wise) in 2012. Enjoy!

Getting back in the swing of things

In my last post I mentioned that my wife and I had put our house on the market, so I wasn’t allowed to make any mess. Well, it’s now been about three months since we started having viewings, and we’ve not made any progress. The place that we fell in love with has been lost to another buyer, so we’re at the point of not really caring any more about the whole moving-house thing, and will probably taking the place off the market soon.

This is a bit disappointing, but it does mean that I’ve been able to break out the toy soldiers again!

While my wife took the kids to visit her sister, I’ve had a few days entirely to myself, and I’ve been making good use of them. Apart from making inroads into the 3rd edition of In the Emperor’s Name (for which I’m the editor), I’ve also been working on some more knights.

Here’s the first finished squadron of Castellans:

And here’s some Errants, which just need a decal on the right shoulder and they’re done:

Finally, here’s a Reaver titan, the first I’ve painted since the mid-ninities:

Distractions

Like most hobbyists I tend to have a lot of different projects on the go at once. Here is a list of my unfinished projects as of writing:

  • Firedrakes 40K Army
  • Khador Warmachine Army
  • Epic Knight Army
  • Inquisition retinue for In The Emperor’s Name
  • Epic Tyranid Army
  • Praesentia Army for Critical Mass (15mm SF)
  • Blue Moon Shivan Sisterhood Army (also 15mm SF)
  • Khurasan Mekanoid Army (ditto)
  • Terrain projects for all of the above

In addition, I also have some repairs on my Warmonger to do: as predicted, the fragile resin Hydra turrets have been damaged, so I need to replace them with spares from the bits box.

So what have I been doing today? Starting something new of course! Some more titans:

I have another Reaver waiting to be assembled, and want to get another one to form a Battle Group. This will leave my Titan Legion army with 2 Warlord BGs and 2 Reaver BGs which, along with the aforementioned Warmonger and its Imperator counterpart is quite enough I think (although I do need more Warhounds…)

I’ve also been sorting out some mechanised firepower to support the Knights and Robots. I’ve just finished stripping, reassembling and basing these:

Ordinatus Golgotha
Ordinatus Golgotha

The Ordinatus Golgotha has a fearsome reputation as an anti-Ork unit: any Ork unit that’s even targeted by one of the six missiles has to take a morale check (which is 5+ for Orks) making it highly effective at breaking large Ork companies.

I am planning to scratch-build at least one other Ordinatus using miniatures from Brigade Model’s Neo-Soviet range.

Stormblade
Stormblade

Stormblades are Titan and Super-heavy hunters. They mount a Plasma Blastgun which is normally carried by titans, as well as a number of specialist and one-shot weapons. I have a couple more coming from eBay to form a Stormblade Company.

Deathstrike Missile Launchers
Deathstrike Missile Launchers

These are also basically tank-mounted titan weapons. You can pick any of the one-shot titan missiles to mount on each model.

Leman Russ Tank Company
Leman Russ Tank Company

The mainstay of any Imperial army!

This is the first time I’ve based vehicles and I am starting to think it’s a good idea!

Work-in-Progress: Epic Imperial City

I’ve made some progress on my modular Imperial city. I still need to add more colour and detail, but here’s what I’ve got so far:

Imperial City

With the building modules removed, you can see the road layout:

Imperial City

There are pieces of plasticard in the slots to elevate the building modules. This gives the effect of a slightly elevated pavement. The buildings represent three generations of Epic: the original foam buildings from the Adeptus Titanicus boxed set, the ruined buildings sprues from Epic 40,000 and the later Forgeworld Epic buildings:

Imperial City

Imperial City

You can also see a building from Gateshead Gaming, and the previously mentioned Kibri church, which is the centerpiece:

Imperial Cathedral

I’ve also created some ruined buildings, which could be used to replace buildings destroyed during the game:

Ruined Building

The roads are arranged so that another board can be slotted in on either of two sides (assuming S6 starts selling the road system again, or I’m able to find suitable replacements). The other two sides will have a reinforced defensive wall from GameCraft Miniatures.

“Over-the-top” Warlord Titan Finished

Here’s the finished titan that I posted back in May, Interfector Tertio:

Interfector Tertio
Interfector Tertio

I replaced the normal Warlord head with a Deathstrike Cannon, which (in 2nd Edition Space Marine and NetEpic) halves the Titan’s movement to 8cm. I mounted a Edenite Reaper Turrent from Exodus Wars at the front of the carapace to give it a face: this counts as an additional weapon (a Vulcan Mega-Bolter), at the expense of weakened armour. The arm weapons are from a Mark II Warlord.

More pictures below.

Epic Necron Tomb Stalker

Time for a confession: I’ve been working on an Epic Necron army! Just because there are no official models doesn’t mean it can’t be done: there are a number of miniatures from other manufacturers that work excellently as proxies.

Necrons don’t use Titans per se, the closest thing to a Titan on the Necron Epic army list (a fan effort) is the Tomb Stalker, which is described as an oversized Tomb Spider. This makes it very easy to create one: all you do is take a 40k scale Tomb Spider and mess around with it a bit:

One of the things I’ve learned from painting this miniature is how to produce “seamless” decals: I’ve had some very bad experiences with decals in the past which has put me off using them. I decided to bite the bullet this time and am very pleased with the technique I came up with (which is probably worth a post of its own).

I have a few more miniatures to show you from my epic Necron army: keep ’em peeled!

Mk I Warlord

I just finished painting a Mk I Warlord Titan. This is going to form part of a Battle Group that will be an Honour Guard to support to my infamous warmonger titan:

This is actually a repaint of a Titan I’ve had for many years: it took a bath in Dettol which stripped the paint off very nicely.

Obviously I have one more Titan to paint to go in the Battle Group. But I can’t decide whether it should be a Mk I (like this one), Mk II (they’re pretty rare but I have one) or Mk III (the modern “Lucius” pattern).

Rebasing a Reaver Titan

Reaver Titan
Reaver Titan

I have quite a few Epic Titans: most of them (apart from notable exceptions) are quite old. Although my painting skill level hasn’t really changed over the years, the amount of attention I pay to basing and terrain has; so while I’m happy with their paint jobs, I can’t say I’m too pleased with their bases.

So a while back I took one of the first Reaver titans I’d ever painted (probably around 1995 or even older) and had a go at rebasing it. The titan was based on one of the old Adeptus Titanicus era bases (the ones with the void shield wheel), which I took my knife to. I trimmed the sides off, and filled in the window at the front with putty.

While at Salute I picked up some Basetex textured paint, so I gave the old base (which was just a bit of putty painted dark green), and then applied some static grass.

And yes, this titan does field three Vulcan Mega-Bolters!

Mk II Warlord

Following on from my article on casting a titan foot using green stuff, here’s the finished miniature:

The photos are a little pink, thanks to the shirt in the background. But a nice piece I think. The Plasma Cannon on the left arm was attached to the mounting taken from the original chain saw. A little green stuff around the joint made it seemless. I used Citadel’s washes to give the metallic parts a dirty, heavy industrial feel. This miniature is a companion to the warmonger titan I recently finished.

I now have most of the materials I need to start on this year’s summer project: a modular city system that integrates with the Ziterdes modular gaming board system that I use. Stay tuned!

Casting a Titan foot using Green Stuff

I’ve been trying to get my hands on an old-style Mark II Warlord Titan for quite a while. This miniature, made for only a couple of years from 1995, is the “transitional form” that links the old-school “beetleback” warlord titans from Adeptus Titanicus to the current Mk. III “Lucius” pattern Warlord titan, and I’ve always really liked the design.

I was finally able to get hold of one from eBay, and for a pretty good price. Unfortunately, the reason was that one of the titan’s feet was missing. Ever the optimist, I decided to turn this problem into an opportunity, and have a go at making a duplicte of the foot using Green Stuff (aka kneadatite, basically two-part epoxy putty optimised for miniature modelling).

The first step was to take the foot piece that I did have and glue it very lightly to a piece of plasticard. I used a very small amount of superglue, as I wanted to be able to separate the foot from the card:

Then I made up a large chunk of Green Stuff — more than I probably needed, but that’s better than not having enough — and covered up the foot. It’s important to push down firmly when applying the Green Stuff, as you don’t want creases, voids or bubbles. I applied the Green Stuff a small piece at a time, slowly building it up so that it covered the entire foot:

I waited a couple of days to give the Green Stuff plenty of time to cure. Then I removed the plasticard backing to expose the original, embedded in the Green Stuff mould:

The conventional wisdom is that you should use a “mould releasing agent” to prevent the Green Stuff from sticking to the original, but I’m a physicist, and I had a more elegant solution: heat. When heated, different materials undergo thermal expansion at different rates, so all I did was run it under the hot tap: the Green Stuff and the lead original expanded at different rates, and the foot just popped out:

The next step is to make up another load of Green Stuff, from which the casting would be made. Since I’m using the same material as the mould, I can’t use my heat trick to remove the casted piece from the mould, I had to use a release agent this time: once I’d made up the Green Stuff and rolled it into a ball, I dipped it into some olive oil, and pressed it down into the mould:

After leaving it for a few hours to cure, I was able to remove the cast from the mould very easily:

I waited overnight for the Green Stuff to harden, and after giving it a good clean to remove the oil, I then used my trusty razor saw to remove the foot from the rest of the Green Stuff, and hey presto:

All it needs now is some cleaning up and trimming, and it’s ready for painting.

Warmonger Update #8: Painting the base

I had to wait a few days, but finally the weather has cleared up enough to allow me to start undercoating the various parts of the Warmonger titan. I decided to go for the “low hanging fruit” first and made a start on the base:

The base was sprayed black, and then drybrushed with several shades of grey, getting progressively lighter almost up to pure white. To distiguish the ground surface from the building rubble, I drybrushed it with a mix of black and tan to give it a muddier colour.

I have made quite good progress on the main body of the titan, but I think I’ll hold off on posting more updates until the “reveal” when it’s all finished. Then you will be able to see it in all its glory 🙂

One More Thing

Now’s your chance to help me: this beastie needs a name. Something impressive, menacing, powerful, and preferably in Imperial Gothic (or Latin, if you prefer). Any suggestions?

Warmonger Update #7: Building a Base

I decided that I want the Warmonger to have a base to stand on: it doesn’t really need one thanks to its enormous bastion feet, but I think it nicely finishes off a model.

I cut a 50mm x 100mm rectangle of 5mm polystyrene sheet, using the razor saw, which makes doing dead-straight precision cuts a doddle. Then I rounded the edges with a file. this gave me a solid foundation for the base.

I decided to go for an “urban warzone” style base, so I used some offcuts from the amazing (but now out of production) Epic buildings sprues, and a bit of finely chopped cork and gravel to create some rubble. Finally, I painted superglue onto the base and dipped it into some fine sawdust, being careful not to go over the outlines of the titan’s feet, which I drew onto the base with pencil.

In one corner, I sculpted a crater from “green stuff” (epoxy putty), which I finished up with a space marine figure lying face down. When the base is finished, I’ll use some water-effect liquid to make it look like he’s lying face down in a puddle.

I’ve taken this week off as holiday, and getting on with painting the Warmonger is my main priority for this week, so expect more updates soon!

Warmonger Update #6: Installing the Radar dish, first assembly

It’s taken me a few weeks to find something suitable to serve as a radar dish for the tower of the Warmonger. My first thought was to use the radar dish from the Ordinatus Golgotha, but I wasn’t about to ruin a rare (and extremely cheesy) miniature just to scratch an itch.

I decided to consult the wizened battle-brothers of Warseer and ask for their advice: a number of excellent suggestions were made, such as the radar dish from the 40k-scale Whirlwind, but then I got a PM from my new best friend yabbadabba offering me — you guessed it — a radar dish from an Ordinatus!

The piece arrived in the post this afternoon, and I decided to waste no more time and to install it on the titan:

The mounting is made from an old Warlord titan extension arm and the base of one of the Hydra platforms that I used for the AA guns. Looks pretty damn good, if you ask me.

What’s, that? Did I hear you correctly? Did you say that you want me to zoom out? OK, then:

Again?

If that’s whet your whistle, you can see a bunch more pictures below.

Warmonger Update #5: Test fitting the Hydra turrets

As predicted, the Hydra turrets from Forgeworld were waiting on my desk upon my arrival from Paris, so I wasted no time in prepping them. Here’s a photo of what they look like when mounted on the fortress of the titan:

Rather awesome, I think. The resin barrels of the AA guns are extremely delicate and I’m sure it wouldn’t take much to break them, so I’m glad I have a couple of spares left over to provide replacements for the inevitable breakages.

I also ordered some small link chain that I will attach to the underside of the fortress and to the main weapons to provide things to hang banners from. After that, I just have to fill all the gaps with putty and find something to serve as a radar antenna on the tower, and I’m ready to get painting!

Warmonger Update #4: Building the Landing Pad

I’m still waiting for Forge World to dispatch the hydras that will form the AA-platforms on the towers of the fortress, so I’ve been making progress on the other pieces of the titan. I’m still working out where to get the radar dish for the rear tower, that will replace the defence laser: if anyone has a suggestion, I’d be pleased to hear it. Scratch-building is always an option, but it’ll never look as good as converting something else.

The landing pad for the spotter aircraft has turned out pretty well: as I am sure you can see, it’s a standard GW slottabase, sanded smooth, with an etched brass aquila and another piece of the ARC starfighter to serve as an antenna.

I’m catching a Eurostar tomorrow morning to go to Paris for the 32nd International ICANN meeting, and I’m staying for the weekend to visit with a friend, so hopefully by the time I get back, the hydras will have arrived, and I can put the finishing touches to the titan. I’m really itching to paint it!

Warmonger Update #3: Building the Doomstrike Missile Launcher

As promised, here’s the doomstrike missile battery which is the secondary weapons loadout for the Warmonger titan:

The missiles came from a model kit of an AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopter, which carries eight AGM-114 Hellfire missiles. The missiles in the kit were just about the right size for the Warmonger titan.

I attached two missiles to the top and bottom of a small piece of styrene I-bar, and then used another piece to attach them to a piece of tubing: my intention is for this to become the barrel of an additional weapon: one that can’t be used if you use one or more of the missiles in the same turn. The end of the tube is slightly mitred to make it look like the muzzle of a cannon.</p

I then mounted the entire assembly onto the breech of the Hellstorm cannon (once again, the razor saw made short work of would have been a difficult job — removing the barrel of the Hellstorm). A small rectangle of plasticard and an etched brass imperial finished off the job.

This week I decided to just order the Hydra turrets that I will use for the AA guns on the towers: once they arrive, I will only have the landing pad and the radar dish to build before I can start making the final preparations for painting! There is still a lot of filing and putty work to do to fill the gaps left by the previous owner, but once that’s done, I can give the thing an undercoat.

More updates next week, hopefully!

Step-by-step: Feral Ork Steam Gargant

Last year I decided that for a friend’s birthday I’d paint him a Gargant. He already has a couple of each of the main types of Ork gargants, so for it to be special, it had to be something new.

The Feral Ork Steam Gargant seemed to fit the bill – a nice model, reasonable price, but
most importantly Well Orky!

After the parts were sanded, filed, trimmed, washed and prepped, the main body of the Gargant
was assembled using superglue. The weapons and tracks weren’t attached to make them easier to
paint: instead, I glued them to cocktail sticks so that they could be held without touching the paint.

I also made a slight customisation, by adding a combined banner pole/observation tower, attached to the back of the miniature. The pole is an old aluminium “blind” rivet: I keep a bunch of them because the joint at the base makes them look great as banner poles. At the top of the pole is a plastic
turret from an unfinished Mega Gargant.

I drilled out the barrels of the guns and the flues of the smokestacks: it’s a simple job but it adds that touch of professionalism.

I took one look at where the the Gut-Buster cannon was supposed to be mounted and realised that it wouldn’t last very long if it was just glued, so I drilled holes in the two parts and used a small
piece of cocktail stick as a dowel to attach them to each other.

Next, everything was given a nice, even coat of Chaos Black undercoat. I normally do it in two stages: I try to cover 80% of the miniature in the first coat, then I take it inside so that I can see
where I’ve missed (bright sunlight can obscure the thin patches), and then take it out to cover the remaining 20% in the second coat.

Once the undercoat was dry I gave the whole miniature a heavy dry-brushing with Bolt Gun Metal. The intention here isn’t to give it a light coat – when it’s done it almost looks like it’s gone back to
bare metal. But the black undercoat shows through in the crevices and depressions, which is what we really want.

Then I gave the main chassis a coat of chestnut ink wash. I startedout with a 75% solution but quickly realised that it was better to use pure in wash instead. I also washed the wheels and suspension on
the tracks, but left the treads untouched. I gave the same treatment to the weapons, leaving the blade of the Choppa in Bolt Gun Metal.

The next stage is to dry-brush the miniature with several shades of Grazen Brass mixed with Mithril Silver, going from almost pure brass to almost pure silver. This is the pay-off really – all the
previous work is really in preparation for this moment, when the intended effect finally shows through. Then I painted in the essential details, colouring a few panels in bright red and yellow to
indicate that they’d been patched up from other machines, and painting the piping in red or brass.

Finally, the Gargant can be assembled: I needed to sand off some of the paint to give the superglue good metal surfaces to bond to. And it’s done! The only remaining task was to use a colour laser printer to produce a banner for the banner
pole, and attach it using PVA to glue the two sides of the baner together (I also touched up the edges of the banner with black).

Here are some pictures of the finished miniature:

Warmonger Update #2: Building the Vengeance Cannon

This afternoon I went down to my local HobbyCraft store and had a very successful trip: I picked up a couple of model kits in a clearance sale that should help me build the Warmonger’s primary weapons: the battery of eight deathstrike missiles, and the vengeance cannon.

One of the kits was a simple snap-fit model of the ARC Starfighter from the Star Wars movies. The engine pods attached to the barrel of the plasma annihilator make an exceedingly evil-looking weapon:

I also found a kit of an Apache helicopter that has the right number of missiles to make up the deathstrike battery: I’m scratchbuilding the mount for this weapon from plastic tubing and I-bar: but I’ll save that for a future update 🙂

So far I’m really impressed with the razor saw: it makes a whole range of very delicate cuts very simple indeed. I recommend you get yourself one.

Warmonger Update #1: Dismantling the Imperator

This saturday morning I found myself in the unusual situation of being awake before noon and not hung over, so I made the most of the time and picked up the razor saw that I talked about in my last post. Once I’d taken a look at it I realised that it would be narrow enough to do what I needed it to do.

So I took it home and it made pretty short work of the carcass of the Imperator:

The various components came apart pretty easily, so I can now start filling in the gaps left by the previous owner, doing various customisations, and building the components that turn the Imperator into a Warmonger.

Whereas the Imperator has the tower guns mounted on the upper fortress, the Warmonger fields four anti-aircraft guns. I’m thinking about using the turrets from the Forgeworld Hydra platforms: unfortunately they only come in multiples of three, so my choices are either to try to sweet-talk Mail Order into letting me have the bits that I need, or buying two sets and selling the spares on eBay. But I think that if I can’t do the former, I might try to scratchbuild the AA guns instead.

The first piece of customisation I did was to remove the Main Battery at the front of the fortress and replaced it with an imperial eagle taken from a Battlefleet Gothic ship. I think that it will make a nice centerpiece to that part of the titan.

I also had the chance to put the finishing touches to the troop stands that will form the final three companies of my space marine chapter, here they are, waiting to be undercoated:

What you see here is two companies (18 stands + HQ in Space Marine 2nd edn. and NetEpic) of tactical troops (one company in Mark VI “corvus” armour and one in Mark VII “Eagle” armour) and two detachments of scouts (I already have another detachment of scouts that are base coated). Once these stands are painted, I will have a full space marine chapter: ten infantry companies, including a full Terminator company (that’s 20 stands, not just three 20-man detachments) and the aforementioned scout company. When that’s done, I’ll be posting photos, so stay tuned!

I’m quite pleased with the way the scout company HQ turned out, here’s a picture:

To make the scout standard-bearer, I removed the blade and pommel of his combat knife, and then filed a narrow groove through his enclosed fist. I used a tailor’s pin to make the banner pole (anything else would have been too thick): the imperial eagle at the top is taken from the Forgeworld etched brass sheet.

My Summer Project

This week an item arrived in the post that is going to be a sort of summer project for me:

When I told my friends that I had acquired this choice item, they all had the same reaction:

not another one!

because, you see, I already have a fully operational Imperator class battle titan. Behold the “Fearsome Engine”, Machinator Formidabilis:


(By the way, if the above image looks familiar, it’s because the Wikipedia article on titans uses photos I took of some of my titans.)

The reason for their consternation is that Machinator Formidabilis has, in the ten years since its commission into the Legio Pantera (my titan legion, the Black Panther Legion), never even come close to being destroyed: not once. Even a massed rank of Gargants with their ultra-cheesy, shield-stripping, automatic-hit-on-the-legs GutBuster Cannon, has not managed to do it serious harm. So the thought of another indestructible castle robot on the battlefield fills them with dread.

Tempting though the thought is of fielding a 4,500 point army consisting of just two titans, that is not my plan: over the course of this summer, and described in depth on this nerdy gaming blog, I will be taking the above artifact and attempting to do what Christian Salling did and convert it into a Warmonger: a cousin of the Imperator, with a lower points cost, and a specialisation for long-range firepower and anti-aircraft support. Games Workshop used to produce a conversion kit, but they’re as hard to find as an honest politician, so I will probably end up scratchbuilding the bits that I need.

Stay tuned for updates!