XIII Legion – In the pipe

After rolling out the armour the other day, it’s the turn of the transports. I may as well start with the big guy; the Caestus Assault Ram. This was a beast of a kit, not particularly difficult to assemble but boy it’s a heavy chunk of reason.

Caestus Assault Ram

Just like the tanks the palette and methods are largely the same with again a couple of minor deviations to accommodate for sheer size and the fact it is a flyer rather than ground unit. I applied a lot less oils in the weathering and instead used the airbrush to apply dust along lower edges and where the backwash would throw it over the wings. I also focused more black along leading edges off the front and wings to simulate the effects of atmospheric re-entry and the scorching on inner hull from the massive Magna-melta.

Stripey McStripe-Face

With so much flat surface I felt some contrast markings were needed to break it up so I broke out the Tamiya masking tape to create a few extra geometries. They also help emphasise the speed and movement. To get the chipping effect I stippled on masking fluid before applying the off-white. This was removed after the paint had dried with a piece of poster putty (Blu-Tac) to reveal the paintwork underneath. Simple.

Caestus Assault Ram

I also painted the interiors, not just for the Caestus, but also the two Rhino’s below. The front ramps are also magnetised so they stay shut during flight. Not essential but I get frustrated by flapping doors on model. Or flapping ‘anything’ for that matter!

Similar to the Scorpius tarnished metal featured strongly in my palette for the Caestus as I wanted it to look heavily reinforced; this is a ship that ramps itself into the side of Starships to board them. All of the metals shown are a base of Games Workshop Leadbelcher, through Ironbreaker up to Mithril, the difference in tones is purely down to selective glazes of sepia and black

Caestus Assault Ram

I will talk briefly about the base however before moving onto the Rhino’s. I used the exact same method of cork tiles, mixed talus and pigments to create the groundworks. With a large base however I find that’s often not enough and at least one of two interest pieces need to be added to fill the otherwise rather empty space. In this instance I used a couple of pieces of plastic gothic ruins which I set at a ‘jaunty’ angle for fun to play with the flyers movement. These were airbrushed same time as the rest of the base for speed and given a wash of camo shade. To avoid getting any unwanted paint or pigments on the flight stand itself I taped off the bottom with masking tape and covered the rest with plastic food wrap (clingfilm).

Phew, that was a lot for one party-bus! I was very happy with the final outcome, the Caestus is an imposing miniature but wasn’t convinced I was playing it correctly as it always started in reserve for me and half of the games it never even turned up, which is a bit of a problem with riding inside is my Praetor and Cataphractii bro-band. I also found the ‘scary-on-paper’ Magna-melta a bit of a let down when the massive 5″ template kept scattering wildly off target. Overall score – “could try harder”

Nice brute of a model though. Next time, old faithful; the Rhino.

Have a great week.


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