Ignatum

This week has really rekindled my passion for painting 6mm scale, Epic in particular. I have been delving deep into the old rule books and supplements, poring over elderly copies of White Dwarf from the late 80’s, generally hunting out all of the original colour schemes for the Titan Legions and in particular the “Fire Wasps” (Legio Ignatum). What I came to quickly realise is, they were great! Ok, to be fair they looked a bit rough and ready and were not as crisp or over-decorated as they were during second edition. Nevertheless they had a real character about them. The ‘current’ vogue seems to be to paint them in a more subdued, but still heraldic palette, inspired lately by Forgeworld’s Imperial Armour books. That is probably the design I lean more towards personally and I feel it stands up well even on something as small as 6mm scale.

What it lacks in my opinion however, is some of the character the original Titans had when they were all dark and moody. Back in the days of Adeptus Titanicus there wasn’t a huge difference in the palette of colours or designs between Loyalist and Traitor legions. Before everyone started adding the ‘spiky bits’ and eight-pointed stars to represent ten-thousand years of alignment to the ruinous powers, all Titans looked broadly the same. It was the look of this era that I most wanted to re-capture, at least in part for the “Fire Wasps”. Along with the “Warp Runners” they have long been my favourite Legion and the one I felt lost the most individualism during second edition. The colour and designs for the loyalist legions like Metallica and Ignaturm ended up looking broadly similar with very little to differentiate them.

I think Forgeworld went quite a way to re-establish their uniqueness by re-introducing the strong black and yellow stripes, whilst still keeping with the traditional palette of red, black and gold. For my own version I wanted to keep this pattern theme, but make a few changes to bring it more in line with the whacky feel of the 80’s look. To do that I simply darkened the red to something closer to magenta and re-introduced the trademark camo patterned carapace as the ‘hook’ to bring the old and new designs together.

Clearly, the concept of a disruptive pattern and something the size of an Imperial war Engine shouldn’t make any sense. Even when you consider the patterns the German’s painted their warships in during the second World War to make identifying their class or name difficult, it doesn’t stand up in the canon of 40K fiction as war engines were as much identified by their reactor signature or auspex return as their build or markings. This is even more comical when you consider quite often only the carapace was in camo; the rest of the behemoth engine being daubed in bold colours and dressed with pennants proudly proclaiming their heritage and kill markings. It was this slightly comical grimdark contradiction that I found appealing in the original designs and the thing I most wanted to re-capture in my own revision of the Fire Wasps. Blending the different designs from three very different era’s of Epic was a bit of a nightmare if I am honest. I had no idea whether the mix of bold stripes, flame pattern (yet to be added), strong red and camo would really work together and I am still not totally sold on it yet. I feel it ‘sort‘ of works and the three War Engines I have done so far do look the part on the table. The one saving grace of Epic scale is you can really caricature your paint schemes and get away with it, the armies being so small. In fact I have often found it is the most extreme of palettes that work best in Epic; the Orks being a classic example as they always stand out well on the battlefield in a riot of colours.

The first of the Warhounds (shown here), is at the pre-weathering stage. A few details are still to be added; lights, markings and lenses, then after that I will add some Legio and kill banners before weathering the legs and hull.

The Reaver on the other hand is already partially weathered and is just lacking the last banner and a flame pattern on the Multi-Launcher. I am still hesitant about adding a third contrasting pattern to be honest and may well opt out and leave it black. This was never the best of the Reaver designs to be quite frank, the legs in particular being rather static. However, I still wanted to blend it into the ‘Battlegroup’ as it added yet another pattern of War Engine helping to reinforce the idea that each Titan is unique. For that reason I also re-configured the weapon loadout, swapping the resin Multi-Launcher it came with for a first edition Inferno Gun and replacing the right arm with a rounded launcher from the original Reaver. Breaking up the weapon symmetry like this also creates a much more interesting and appealing appearance in my opinion.

This isn’t actually the first time out for this Reaver either, as it has a bit of heritage to it already. Anyone who has followed my old website may have recognised it from the base, as it was actually one of the early Forgeworld pre-releases I took to Games Day as part of a demo game over a decade ago, when it looked like this:

This photo was actually taken by James Clay I believe during Games Day. Hopefully he doesn’t mind me using it here.

It is amazing what a short bath in some Dettol will do to restore a miniature to it’s former naked and paint-free glory. In fact, the Warhound is also from that exact same show as well and was in a similar uninspiring desert colour. Personally, I feel they both look much better now for their updated paint scheme and new lease of life.

With the two test pieces out of the way, I have now set my sights on adding the first of two Warlords to the Fire Wasps. Shown alongside the Reaver above, this is based  almost entirely on the first edition plastic kit, with a couple of very minor tweaks to the head and weapons. Since taking that photo, things have progressed quite a bit and the bulk of the block colours and camo patterning is in place. All being well, I aim to finish it along with the banners and final detailing for the other two by the end of the weekend so expect some updated photos sooner rather than later.

So where to next for my fledgeling ‘Battlegroup’?

First and foremost will be a hunting-mate for the Warhound. Most likely it will be another Lucius pattern, although I wouldn’t rule out a first edition warhound yet. Would dearly have loved to have a stab at painting one of those beautiful Mars Pattern Warhound prototypes that was digitally sculpted a few years back, but sadly I do not have one, so will make do with what I have in the bits boxes. I mentioned a second Warlord and have a few ‘ideas’ on the pattern and loadout, but not firm enough to share yet. Finally, there will be something bigger, although not another Imperator (I am saving that for Legio Mortis). That lot, I reckon, should be more than enough for Ignatum to put up a good showing in any war.

At this rate I may need to dig out the rules for Adeptus Titanicus II and polish them up for a proper old school Engine Battle.

Until next time, have a great week.

CW

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