Tuesday, 20 January 2015

From GregB - Reaver Class Battle Titan, 28mm "Scale" (100 Points)

Reaver Class Battle Titan from Armorcast
So far my entries have been mostly 20mm figures, and it has been a lot of fun.  But I mentioned at the tag end of my last entry that I was getting an itch to switch over to some sci-fi. Well I decided to do so in a big way (literally) with this entry.  This is a Reaver class battle titan, a giant fighting machine from Games Worskhop's dystopian Warhammer 40k setting. The model is 13 and a half inches tall, from the toes to the top of the missile launcher on the top carapace. It's a big sucker!

Crew would be inside the "head"
Obviously this is a fairly unusual war gaming model, particularly for many Challenge participants who don't know much about or care much for GW's Warhammer 40k setting. I will try to provide a little bit of background about these vehicles, this specific model and why I bothered to paint it without blathering on for too long (I hope).

Heavy laser cannon of some sort on the right arm
In GW's Warhammer 40k setting there is always a bigger gun, so to speak, and no part of the setting embodies this more than the "Titans". They are large bipedal machines, armed with incredibly heavy and powerful armaments. Organized in pseudo-monastic formations, each pledged to a particular "Forge World" (i.e. planet or system given over completely to the manufacturing of arms and weapons), Titans are of course the "killer app" of the Warhammer 40k universe.  Whoever or whatever human faction or alien race resisting the Imperium in any given conflict is unlikely to last long against whole detachments of machines like this.

View from the top
Titans look like killer robots, but are in fact vehicles, walkers with crews - a commander ("Princeps"), gunners and tech-types ("Moderatii") and a few unpleasant/unfortunate former humans who are essentially just installed directly into the machine ("Servitors" - yuck).  This Titan, a Reaver class, is a very large fighting machine, but is actually classified as a "medium" class (!) battle titan.

These figures are just to show the size, but they are actual Titan Crew figures from GW's Rogue Trader period; I painted them years ago - now they have an actual Titan to crew!
The Titans first came to the GW gaming table in 1988 as part of a game called "Adeptus Titanicus".   The game featured large walking machines battling each other on the table in 1/300 or 6mm scale/size.  Fun! The first model Titans were about three inches tall.  In time, this game expanded - infantry were added, tanks were added, and more Titans, for the humans and the aliens, were added to the figure line.  The game evolved and went through many name changes, but would be known by most GW players as "Epic".  Epic was a great game, and because GW is singularly incapable of supporting anything people enjoy, Epic now sits, to borrow a phrase from Curt, "mouldering in GW's IP graveyard." For a relatively recent example of an Epic game featuring a number of Titans, see here.

An example of the "tech guys" who would help maintain the Titan from the Adeptus Mechanicus; the figure on the right is a Rogue Trader vintage, but I'm not certain of the origin of the one on the left.
So how did the 1/300 combat walkers make it to the 25mm/28mm gaming tables? Well, there was a period (in the 90s, I think) when GW had issued/sold a license to a company called Armorcast to make 40k models.  I was just getting into gaming at this time, and I can remember cruising their web site looking at all of these models I was sure I would never own. Armorcast had set out to make 28mm-scale versions of the super-heavy vehicles which had started to appear in GW's "Epic" game.  Included among these were models of the Titans.  

"Before" - this the model after it arrived via EBay
So this model is very old - perhaps as much as 20 years old.  I can't recall how long ago the Armorcast license expired, but GW has subsequently issued many, many new models, including many new version of models that were once sold by Armorcast (such as the Baneblade - a really large tank).  It also offers models of some of the Titans through Forge World, although those models are beyond my price point and my skill to assemble or paint.

A WIP shot of the torso and legs receiving base colour coats
So why, all these years later, track one down and paint one up now? For starters, as some may have noted in prior Challenges, I really have a soft spot for the old GW "Rogue Trader" era and I actively collect and paint figures from that period.  But a second jolt has more to do with a decision last year to dive into collecting figures for the Horus Heresy - see here for more on that.

Basic colours on the head
It was my very good friend Dallas who suggested that, if we really wanted to go nuts with Horus Heresy stuff in 28mm, we would get Titans for a "really, really big game".  I thought he was kidding, but he wasn't!  He tracked down a model on E-bay.  I was shocked - while Dallas is prone to provocational collection escalation, this was a new level entirely! I couldn't let that stand! Dallas connected me with the same seller.  So before we knew it, we had Armorcast titans to paint up!

More WIP - one of the weapon/arms and the shoulder carapace plates

But as happens so often with hobby projects, it took a while to get it under the paint brush, which is why this Challenge is great. A few weeks ago Dallas finished off a giant alien walker, and he seemed likely to jump from there to painting up his Titan - hinting as much in his blog post.  I suddenly felt the race was on.  Having completed a long run of 20mm stuff, it was time to hit sci-fi again, and so I painted this model.

Last week - basic colours and highlighting applied, waiting for decals, weathering and other finishing touches
The colour scheme, and markings, are for a formation known as "Legio Mortis". This Titan unit sided with the Warmaster Horus and his rebellion against the Imperium, so this machine is one of the bad guys.  The Titan itself is named "Ferrum Mori".  I haven't the slightest idea if those words actually mean anything, but this was apparently the name of a Titan among the forces sent down to finish off loyalist troops in Horus' first action in his rebellion - the purging of his own forces on a world called Istvaan. I have been painting figures for this setting, so I thought this name would make as much sense as anything else I might try.

Another view of the laser weapon on the left "arm" - sadly this weapon has just the slightest bend in the casting...
Assembly of this model is interesting.  The model is cast in a very, very solid resin, and the components are bolted together.  This allows different parts to be swapped out. This is the only war gaming model I have which needs a ratchet :) I tried to use some rare earth magnets, but it was far too complicated and I didn't want to risk damaging the model while doing modifications, so I stuck with the original tried-and-true bolts.

No magnets on this sucker...you literally bolt it together!
You can see the bolt in the shoulder holding the weapon in place; unscrew the bolt, and you can switch the weapon
The model came with three arm options - two different gun mounts and a giant powered fist, useful for smashing opposing Titans.  This is absurd, of course, but I love it and it adds to the enjoyment.  After all, if there is a Titan on each side, well, they just have to fight it each other in close action.  Anything less would be a travesty!

The "power fist" - an arm specifically designed to allow this Titan to tear apart other Titans it encounters on the battlefield; the decal is from the Imperial Knight kit, but I freehand painted the name and banner - I'm surprised at how well it turned out
The decals are mostly spare ones from GW's Imperial Knight model kit, with some assorted ones  coming from spare model aircraft kits.  I tried to give it a little wear, but I did not weather it too much.  For all of the combat action these things would see, there are casts of hundreds of mechanics who (literally) worship the thing and bring it back to snuff after every single battle. With that in mind, I mostly tried to scuff up the feet a bit, and left it at that.

Another view of the "power fist"
Although Dallas is not participating in the Challenge this year, credible intelligence reports in Winnipeg indicate he is already painting his Titan - it will represent one of the Loyalist Titan orders from the Horus Heresy.  While details are still fuzzy, we do aim to have a rather large engagement sometime where we can put these bonkers things on to a gaming table for a scrap - that will be quite a day!

I purchased a spare banner from a GW Imperial Knight kit to add some flair;  drawings in the books show much larger banners, but those are hard to do and make this even harder to put on a table - or even a shelf - I like how this turned out

In terms of using this in a "skirmish" game, well, other than perhaps an immobilised objective of sorts, it has no practical application.  The statistics of the weapons reflect its stature on the battlefield, and this thing would blow away entire segments of an enemy force with every turn.  To take just one example, the launcher up on the carapace is called an "apocalypse launcher".  How will your infantry squad do under fire from that? Not a fun game. But a fight against another Titan? Well, that will be fun!

Cousins - the smaller model is a Reaver Titan from GW's Epic figure line...
As for how many points this is worth for the Challenge, well, I'll leave that to Curt.  At the end of the day, this is a 28mm scale vehicle - a very, very large one, but still just one.  Whatever the tally, it is a real jolt to have this finished and on patrol in my gaming room. Use for gaming? Pretty limited - but for fun, well, this project has been a real hoot.

From Curt:

Dude, that thing is the t*ts!! (Ahem, sorry girls...)

Back when I was a fully follicled 40K dork (as opposed to the denuded 'History dork' I am today) I had one of these bad boys and a Warhound from Forge World in my collection. (Yes, almost grounds for divorce.)  They were completely stupid, and as Greg says they have almost no gaming utility, but I've always loved the 'fluff' supporting them in the 40K universe and, hey, they just look so freaking cool. Greg, this Reaver looks waaay better than my stuff ever did. This is amazing!

The purple and copper paint scheme works very well and I really like the heraldry /iconography (especially on it's left leg and power fist). The only thing I would suggest is that each section should be festooned with purity seals from the Mechanicus (a bit of the quasi-religious fluff from the 40K history that I've always perversely enjoyed).

As far as gaming is concerned, I would suggest (here I go again: big mouth / no trousers) organizing a scenario where you have the Titans deployed on the floor in a good sized room. Otherwise I think they will look completely naff facing off on a typical tabletop as the scaling would be just too ridiculous.

For points? Well, I think we can safely say that the mass of this thing is easily the equivalent of six 28mm vehicles. So let's go with 90 points with another 10 for the hand-painted heraldry and sheer scale of the thing.

A great addition to your collection Greg!


  1. That was unexpected, to say the least! Great work on this massive project, Greg - well done indeed!

  2. WTF!!! And I thought I was mad.... Stunning stuff...

    1. And I think anything that needs t be bolted together deserves double points!

  3. Jesus I just wet my self.

    My kids are sooooo impressed and so am I for that matter


  4. Any positive comment (what else!!) would be an understatement....!!!!!!!!!!! Congratulations!

  5. Proof size DOES matter after all! Goodness Greg this is something else. I love all the Mechanicum touches you have thrown in and especially the old RT crew. Absolutely stunning. One of the best entries to date!

  6. To use the expression before WTF - "Gordon Bennett". Brilliant

  7. This. Is. Awesome.

    Adeptus Titanicus was my first GW game, and I've been getting back into collecting old Epic scale armies (my own version of "Oldhammer"), but this is a whole other level of EPIC.

    My own Amorcast titan story: back when my friends and I were getting into 40K, my friend (who has always been a "bigger is better" kind of guy) blew his entire initial starter army fund on an Armorcast Phantom Titan. We all oohed and ahhed over the contents of the bag, and then he realized just how insane he had been to buy it and returned it for the store for credit. :)

    It would be a real scream to see a 28mm-scale Adeptus Titanicus game played out on a gymnasium floor. Just a suggestion for down the line, once your local arms race has led you to collect several more titans...

  8. That is a very impressive rendering of Imperial Might!
    The mechanium touches are very nice. Fantastic effort!

  9. Huge. Massive. What a beast. Thanks for sharing this one. It's entries like this that make the challenge so good. Cheers

  10. Not much you can really say about that post and that 28mm model!

  11. Now, that's what I call an entry!

    Superb work Greg :)

  12. Greg, the "but I'm not certain of the origin of the one on the left." miniature is from the the 1989 catalog, he's called 401107 Servitor. He's found with the Imperial Guard Adeptus Mechanicus models.

    In the 1991 catalog, he's labeled as Servitor with Wrench. He was never seen again.

    Thats a terrific titan, I give you 200 Baconfat points.

    1. Geez, and a Baconfat Point in today's market has to be worth, what now? At least 5 normal points? High praise indeed! :)

    2. I'm taking these Baconfat points to the bank - with the state of the Canadian Dollar, I know they will come in handy.

  13. That is as unexpected as it is awesome!

  14. Thanks everyone - I'm glad folks enjoyed this one.

  15. Absolutely fantastic. And Bonkers. Count me in as another one with fond memories of the original Adeptus Titanicus/Epic games and all the cards and Gubbins that went with them. Great paint job on such a big model.

  16. I always wanted a titan, but could never afford on when young. But seeing yours I have started to want one all over again. Curse you sir, curse you!

  17. I'm just piling on here, but that is off the hook! Totally impractical and totally awesome!

  18. Well, that's truly a huge entry! Great work on a completely unpractical model. That's enthusiasm...

  19. That's immense, such a beast! I didn't know Armourcast did a reaver. Great job of it.

  20. Fantastic! I drooled for hours over the pictures of the Armorcast titans when they were first coming out but never had the money to get one. Very jealous especially with all of the extra work you put in on the details.

  21. This is simply fantastic, a legend coming tho The Challenge!!!
    Fantastic building and painting work!!!

  22. If there was a prize for "Maddest Gamer," I think you'd win HANDS DOWN!! Especially, considering the old "crew" and Mechanicus figures included.

    Seriously though, cracking good stuff, Greg! It will be interesting to see that monster in play! I always did like the Reaver best, out of the Titans, and I like the Armorcast better than Forgeworld (looks more like the old Titanicus model!)

    Well done!

    1. Thanks Kevin. To be fair, however, both Curt and Dallas should be lead contenders in the "Maddest Gamer" category. :)

  23. Maddest Gamer it should be a category... and this would certainly be a top contender.

  24. Astounding! I've got these in Epic 6mm scale, this is madness!! Great work!

  25. The shoulder armor is possitioned way to high up and is also way to level and the head is to low attached to the body. The upper legs are weird and not high-tech at all. The paint is nice but the free hand is a bit to messy. Nice overall but not smashing (But that's just my opinion)

    1. Riiight. Well, I'd say thanks for your opinion, but strangely, like you, I'm not feeling very generous today, so I'll take a pass. From looking at the comments above, its seems that well over 20 people seem to love the work, so I think we'll go with the majority on this one.

    2. *too

      Curt, you beat me to it. I'm not feeling very generous today either, and I think it's really bad form to come onto a post that's nearly a year old, crap all over someone else's hard work, and then hide behind the tired old saw of "that's just my opinion."

      I'll just point out to MrSandor that the Armorcast design was based on the original design for the Reaver Titan (seen at the links below), so if he has a problem with positioning of the head, shoulder guards, or leg design, he should really get in a time machine and take that up with Games Workshop and Armorcast's sculptors, not with the person for whom this was clearly a labor of love. "(But that's just my opinion[.])"