Thursday 30 April 2020

Papa's got a brand new Turbo

Ferrum Dominus - Carapace Turbo Laser

Stomping forward with a brand new carapace weapon - Ferrum Dominus loves his new turbo!

Titan flexibility

Since I completed Ferrum Dominus, Adeptus Titanicus was released and I attended a Titan Owners Club (TOC) Titan walk using the rule set.  Although Ferrum Dominus performed well, he lacked punch when facing enemy titans and was in danger of being overrun by large knight banners.  When I originally constructed him, I fixed the arms in place permanently, meaning his battlefield flexibility was always going to be limited.  The Apocalypse Missile Launcher was left detachable and this gave me the option of swapping it out for a different weapon if needed.

I decided that the although it looks great and is useful at long range, the Apocalypse missile launcher lacked the punch to hurt an un-shielded titan and wasn't high enough strength to consistently harm knight banners.  As my reaver already has decent medium / close range shield stripping armaments in the form of the Gatling blaster and Laser Blaster, I felt that he needs to be deployed as a medium range brawler, which the Apoc launcher is at odds with.

I could have added a Vulcan Mega Bolter or Warp Missile, but decided that having another weapon capable of causing hull damage to titans and effectively deleting knights was the best idea.  As such, I started work on scratch building a Turbo laser destructor turret for Ferrum Dominus' carapace.

Out with the old...

The first thing I decided to do was see if I had anything which I could rework into a suitable base for a TLD.  I've recently decided to resurrect my Imperator Titan project and part of that involved a complete overhaul and redesign.  I had already decided to rework a few key areas; one of them being the weaponry on the Imperator's carapace.  I had decided that the scratch built gatling blaster wasn't quite what I wanted, but it was approximately the right size to fit on a reaver...

This is the gatling blaster turret before being reworked for my reaver
After sourcing some spare gun barrels, the first step was to bring the design in line with the Reaver Titan aesthetic as it was significantly different in its current form.  I had originally studded the surface with square rivets and the platework was quite square and blocky.

I carefully removed all of the square rivets then sanded the surface flat.  I then moved on to the square armour plates, rounding the edges and making the joins less visible.

After cleanup, the gun barrels were added and a mounting was made with foamex
 Once I was happy with the overall shape and build, I filled gaps, created the panel edging and applied new large round rivets using bearings to mimic the reaver titan detailing.

Adding the armour edging was time consuming but definitely worth it!
After this test fitting, I decided to move the turret mount forward about 2 cm as the turret seemed too far forward and a little overbalanced

The finished Turret

I painted the turret armour to match Ferrum Dominus' Legio Metalica colours and tried to bring the Turbo laser barrels in line with the ones on the arm mounted Laser Blaster.

The black and white chevrons are a classic hallmark of Legio Metalica
I added one of the new Legio Metalica symbols to the rear of the turret and kill markings at the front
I was really pleased with the heat discolouration on the turbo laser barrel tips
Kill marking are also displayed on the left side along with the Opus Titanicus at the rear
From above, I think it's quite reminiscent of a Malcador super heavy tank turret
The power plant at the rear of the turret complete with warning emblams

 Ready to rumble!

Overall, I'm happy with the final look - it certainly makes Ferrum Dominus appear more squat and chunky.  He looks like a proper mid-range brawler now!


Tuesday 14 April 2020

Excidium Rex Walks and House Raven Rolls out!

Warhound Titan Excidium Rex

I started working on this Warhound over a year ago and managed to get him 'table ready' for the 2019 UK TOC Walk, but felt a little ashamed that I had to rock up with an unfinished model in play.  Well, I have now eliminated that shame waith a hail of bullets and plasma, for Excidium Rex is finally complete!
Bracing itself with one enormous foot on a defence wall, Excidium Rex scans the battlefield for prey...

To set him apart from his pack-mate Fulgur Manus, I stripped his carapace of detail then sectioned off an area on each side where I could add some nice unique designs like this chequerboard pattern with kill markings
On this side a large Aquila and the unique registration number of this engine
The main carapace proudly displays the old-school Legio Metalica emblem as well as a House Raven crest honouring the Legio's closest ally 
As with my other two titans, I applied a large amount of weathering to the armour plating.  As I hand paint everything, this took some time!
A close up of the Vulcan Mega Bolter where you can see the symbols I applied on the top edge to add some variation
I was very pleased with the heat staining on the barrel of the Plasma Blastgun
I added some white and red symbols to this large black plate to make it stand out against the extremely bright glowing green plasma cells
I like that he looks quite menacing, peering over the wall!
I added some stripes to the crotch plate, but kept the familiar colour scheme.  The black cogs running down the centre stripe give just enough detail without overwhelming it
I deliberately reversed the shin pad colours on Excidium Rex so that he and Fulgur Manus are like the Yin and Yang of Warhounds - unique, but still clearly linked
I used some of the new Legio Metalica symbols which were recently released for Adeptus Titanicus on Excidium Rex's head.  Although they're for smaller scale models, I think they work well on his smaller plates!
Again, a new symbol can be seen on this side of his face plating
One of my favourite features of this titan are the Vulcan Mega Bolter shell casings scattered all over the floor at his feet.  Each shell was hand made with styrene sheet and tubing. I actually measured the barrel and ejection port to make sure they were perfectly in scale!
A lot of people don't base their titans, but I do as I like to add to the story of the finished piece - the heavy bases also mean that they're impossible  to knock over!
And here is the completed Warhound pack in all it's titanic glory!
The only problem with such huge bases is the fact that you need an enormous box for transportation and storage!
As a treat for a good little puppy, I added one of the new transfers to Fulgur Manus' head plate as well
Metalica and Raven Walk as one

House Raven Dice Tower - Ready to Roll!

Most gamers know the sinking feeling which accompanies the sight of a handful of dice disappearing over the edge of a table.  I've used many different dice trays in the past, but have always wanted a proper dice tower.

Well, thanks to the additional spare time I've had over Easter (and being stuck in the house because of lockdown), I finally got round to making one of my very own!

I modelled it on the Keep Inviolate symbol from my Knight Raven Household - Unfortunately I didn't document the build process, but I'll give you a brief summary.

I sketched out the design and made some rough measurements for the parts I'd need.  I marked these out on some 4mm thick Foamex board then cut out the components with a knife and steel ruler.

Foamex is really easy to cut at an angle and can also be sanded to make sure that all of the joins fit flush. It may look like a straightforward shape, but this tower tapers and has a lot of awkward angles. I cut the angles by eye after a bit of test fitting.  Foamex is quite forgiving and is easily filled, so mistakes are not as much of an issue as with some other materials such as styrene.

The other main reason I have started using foamex is that it can be quickly assembled with superglue. Most lightweight materials such as extruded foam melt, but foamex actually soaks up the glue and dries almost immediately without melting or deforming!

No more scrabbling on the floor for me!
I added transparent windows to the front in order to mimic the Keep Inviolate's iconic design
The studs around the tower were plastic half pearl craft stickers which were glued in place
The rear of the tower - the 'detail' on the back was made with offcuts and actually caps off the styrene tubing which runs through the tower
I kept the tower sides fairly simple, but added House Raven iconography to the tray walls
The styrene bars, walls and slopes inside the tower were painted to look like weathered steel
I stencilled the House Raven lightning symbol into the tray bottom. The concrete texture was added by pressing a ball of aluminium foil into the Foamex

On the horizon...

In a previous post, I showed my TOC Walk progress list - here's how it looks now...

Venator Light Titan Maniple:
Reaver Titan - 100% complete
Warhound Titan - 100% complete
Warhound Titan - 100% complete

Acastus Knight banner:
Asterius - 100% complete
Porphyrion - 100% complete

Cerastus Knight Banner:
Lancer - 100% complete
Lancer - 100% complete
Lancer - 0% complete (Optional)
Acheron - 0% complete (Optional)

Questoris Knight Banner:
Knight Errant - 100% complete
Knight Preceptor - 75% complete
Knight Paladin - 50% complete
Knight Gallant - 50% complete
Knight Crusader - 50% complete
Knight Warden - 50% complete

WIP House Raven Knight Preceptor

Monday 6 April 2020

Acastus Knight Porphyrion 'Siegebreaker'

Siegebreaker Walks!

House Raven Knight designation: Siegebreaker.  Engage locomotors..
I completed my House Raven Acastus Knight Porphyrion 'Siegebreaker' at the weekend and I'm really happy with how he turned out.  It was a nice kit to work on although I did have to replace some of the elements which I wasn't too keen on (see my previous post for more detail).

I tried to keep Siegebreaker close to the original House Raven Questoris colour scheme as I have a real soft spot for the yellow chevrons and red armour plating.  As House Raven famously work closely with my Titan Legion Metalica, I've tried to make sure that they complement each other.  The large metal skull on the rim of the carapace is a nod towards Metalica's Iron skull symbol.
From the side, you can see the kill markings on the black / red armour plating typical of House Raven Knights
Another common feature of House Raven and the Mechanicum in general is the black and white helmet, which also helps tie in with the Legio Metalica colour scheme as well
You can see in the re-levelled gun barrels from the side.  I much prefer this to the staggered layout.  I went all in on the heat staining as well - I normally keep it more subtle, but the length of the barrels just demanded more!
The reactor housing on the Knight is just visible through the additional rear plating.  There's a reason these machines are incredibly hard to bring down...
In this image, you can better see the protruding head and reworked carapace railings.  I like that the head is smaller and less integrated than the original version.  It makes him look even stockier
Proudly displaying the House Raven colours!
The maker's stamp is just visible between the hatch hinges
A top view of the carapace which took longer than any other surface to paint because of the chevron pattern.  I started seeing black and yellow stripes in my sleep...
A nice view of the rocket hatch open.
You get a better idea of how much larger and bulkier an Acastus chassis is when stood next to a Questoris Knight!
And finally, a picture of Siegebreaker and Quake Hydra together as I don't think I've ever seen the two kits compared before.  The two Acastus variants look very different - the Asterius is wider with a more rounded silhouette whereas the Porphyrion is blockier and more static like a siege engine
I'm glad to have finished another kit on my list - next on the table is Excidium Rex, my second Warhound Titan who just needs finishing touches.  After that... more House Raven Knights!