When I commited to assembling the Ultramarines for a horus heresy event weekend I knew I needed at least one unit that would just pop! colour wise from the rest of the force on display, but still look cohesive. Mechanicum units have that ability to stand out in any army but back in my first edition Epic days there used to be a range of ‘Robots’ including an awesome Mantis looking unit that went by the designation ‘Crusader’ and I am sure Forgeworld used it as inspiration for the ‘Vorax-class’. I literally constructed the army list around finding a way, any way of including a unit of the killer automata. That meant including a Praevian Consul as one of my HQ choices but that was a small price to pay. The Vorax were a star unit for me as they gave me the opportunity to introduce a contrasting spot colour to the blue and thus my orange murder-bots came into being.
The Praevian Consul and his murder-bot cohort
The Vorax are fiddly kits to assemble with a large component count, but that does come with the advantage of being massively flexible from a poseability perspective. I had a very clear vision that I wanted my Vorax to be highly dynamic, loping along in an aggressive hunting pose. The reverse jointed legs help in that regard but the one I was most pleased with, my star unit in the entire army is the one I built leaping over a Dragons Teeth tank trap with its claws grasping the fractured stonework. The balance of this one was sublime and I couldn’t have been happier with the end result, all credit to Forgeworld for designing such a flexible kit.
Usually I lay down the base metallics first with an airbrush then refine by hand using a regular brush, but to get the Orange I wanted I applied the colour component first, starting with Vallejo hot orange and working my way up to sun yellow. This I varnished before masking for the blue stripe which I chipped back to give a worn appearance. Finally the legion icons and marking were applied and these further weathered back to create a battle-worn appearance. I was then able to use a masking putty to protect the main chassis and leg armour while I airbrushed the gun metal and steel skeleton. The rest was finished by hand using a variety of metallic tones and oil washes.
I don’t know if I would increase the Vorax to six units as I feel I’ve already got the dynamic look I wanted, so to add more would just be repetitious. Instead I would like to add a different class of automata, possibly Castellax as they have even more surface area on the armour to add legion iconography. This might be a small ‘side project’ for the future, but for now I’m weighing up where next for my XIII legion Ultramarines. It seems to me they could do with a couple more infantry units and possibly an extra tank or two. We shall see.