The Titan that started it all again for me. When Epic hit its 20th Anniversary in 2008 I wrote this piece as a weird way of marking the occasion; Epic and war engines in particular being favourites of mine. The idea was to create a hybrid design that merged the (very) old with the new. I’ve since gone on to produce a few more of these hybrid war engines which I really quite like. In many ways I find it ironic and amusing that Forgeworld today are doing very similar in their vision of the 28mm scale version which features noticeable nods to the original “beetle-back” in the carapace and head design. It looks terribly dated compared to my more recent Titan’s and I would love to re-do the head in particular. Never been satisfied with how that yellow came out!
MK I-b Warlord Class Titan conversion – ‘Legio Warp Runners’
As it was the Titan models which got me started in the hobby proper all those years ago, I thought it might be nice to begin by combining one of the original plastic Warlords with parts from the latest incarnation to produce a kind of ‘re-visioned anniversary hybrid-class’.
After a rummage around in one of my dustier bits boxes from a generally unexplored archaic corner of the workshop, I managed to extract an old plastic first-edition ‘Beetle-back’ titan. After removing it from its base, I tracked down a pair of the original Barrage Missile launchers, as well as what I think might have been a ‘Las-Cutter’ close combat arm, the latter being a candidate for some conversion into the base for a ‘Quad Turbo-Laser’.
The right weapon arm, head and feet were then selected from the current Warlord-class, as were a pair of turbo lasers which I mounted onto the cutters chassis along with a few more details along the underside.
With the construction work completed, I set about working out what livery I should paint it in. I wanted it to reflect the painting standard I work to today with my Epic armies, but at the same time be a nod back to the classic liveries of the Titan Legions introduced back in 1988. For me this meant one particular Legion; the Warp Runners. I remember it being one of the very first models I ever painted, so thought it might be nice to revisit this classic colour scheme, only with a modern take. As it happens, I didn’t have to look very far for inspiration as Phil Stutchinskas had already done precisely that for his stunningly painted 40K version of Forgeworld’s new Reaver. All I needed to do was reverse-engineer Phil’s modern interpretation of the Warp Runners palette onto my Warlord.
Starting with a black basecoat, I gave pretty much the entire model, with exception of the carapace and leg armour a light dry-brushing of boltgun metal. I then picked out the carapace banding and some of the weapon detailing with a mix of boltgun metal and brazen brass before highlighting the edges with shining gold. The armour areas were then given a shading wash of antelope ink mixed with a drop of black paint and left to dry.
Finally, a very light drybrush of chainmail silver was applied to the extreme edges of the carapace and leg armour before picking out a few of the details on the weapon barrels and pistons in mithril silver and burnished gold.
For the armour, I started with a 50/50 mix of midnight blue and Prussian blue (Vallejo), to which I added increasing amounts of the Prussian blue for the highlights.
To intensify the blue I used some of GW’s newly released blue wash and this was applied straight out of the pot.
The heraldry was then added to the left leg plate to mimic that seen on Phil’s Reaver and the imperial eagle painted in graveyard earth and bleached bone.
Out of all of the colours, it was the head that gave me the most trouble, being a very rich deep yellow. Avoiding using golden yellow as a base which would have come out too flat, I instead opted to use the tried and tested ‘flesh tones’ approach. Starting with a base of dwarf flesh, I then added increasing amounts of elf flesh for the highlights before finishing with a wash of yellow ink mixed with a drop of golden yellow to enrich the golden yellow base. The same mix was also used for the banding around the barrage launchers and the quartering for the Legio markings on the left leg.
To further enrich the blue armour and help protect the markings, I gave the entire model a coat of acrylic gloss varnish and left it to dry overnight.
The base and a little weathering.
For the base, I deliberately kept things simple and other than a few pieces of slate, simply gave it a covering of mixed sand and light gravel. A good trick to make doing the base easier when doing Titans (or any large models for that matter) is to attach the feet to the base before you add the texturing, but leave the rest of the model unattached. That way you can get at all of the base texture when dry-brushing or doing all the fun messy tasks like adding flock or static grass without fear of any of it going onto the main model. Don’t’ worry about the feet so much, I always paint those first then deliberately overpaint the base colours onto them a little to simulate all the dust and dirt that they would collect naturally.
With everything in place, my last task was to attach the model to its base and add a few spots of additional weathering using pastels around the base of the legs and over the lower armour to help blend in the markings, as well as over the weapon muzzles and around the exhaust vents. To seal it all in the whole model was then given a final coat of matt varnish. Job done!
Overall, I was really rather pleased how the finished model turned out and would certainly have no hesitation making it the centrepiece of any of my Imperial forces on the battlefield. The addition of a few banners would have maybe taken the model on a little further, and that is certainly something I will consider should I decide to do anymore ‘retro-classics’. For now though, that suitably celebrates Adeptus Titanicus introduction and even though it has taken me twenty years to get around to paint this model from the time I actually bought it, I would like to hope that in some way the passing of time has allowed me to perhaps do it the justice is really deserves.
Legio ‘Warp Runners’ Reaver Titan (Update)
When I painted the 20th Anniversary MK1 Warlord earlier in the year, I was pleasantly surprised how much I really like the revised Warp Runners palette that Phil had devised for Forgeworld and how good it looked in Epic scale. So pleased in fact, that I decided to paint a few more and make the Warp Runners a regular part of my Epic forces.
With a Warlord initially done, then next logical addition seemed to be the ‘middle weight’ Reaver class and a pair of Warhounds. As luck would have it I had a spare classic Reaver in the bits box which I dusted off and assembled with a pair of long-barrelled ‘Vulcan Mega-Bolters’ and a carapace Multi-Launcher.
Design wise, I kept pretty much to Forgeworld’s colour scheme and drew inspiration for the pattern and markings from the Seige of Vraks Volume II artwork.
Starting with a black basecoat I got the metalwork and banding out of the way first. I started with a light dry brush of boltgun metal over the weapons, leg pistons, feet and armour detailing. I then dry brushed a 50/50 mix of brazen brass and burnished gold over this very lightly to give it the golden lustre before dulling it back down with a wash of gryphonne brown.
This was then given a final extremely light drybrush of chainmail silver to pick up the detailing before the highlights were carefully picked out with burnished gold.
For the main hull, leg armour and carapace, I started with a 50/50 mix of night blue and Prussian blue (Vallejo), to which I added a small amount of lightning blue for the highlighting. This was then given a wash of Asurman blue to produce the same deep colour as found on the warlord. The markings other than the imperial aquila on the leg were simply painted by hand, the eagle being a decal from my bits box. The Reaver shown above is not quite finished as I want to add some more detail to the base yet and, along with the other Titans once they are finished a few more markings and legion banners to finish them off nicely.