One of the many delights inside (and surely the others will receive attention in due time), are the vehicle rules to the then new game of titanic battle robots, Adeptus Titanicus.
Commonly known as colour text, the article opens with what could safely be called a short story: a full page of Land Raider vs Titan combat, with a sequel page a little later on, packed with imagery that still lurks in the recesses of this scriveners mind, (What does an amniotic smear really look like, when spread across a wall? Did Rittman ever shoot the Tech-adepts responsible for the demise of Sword Seven?) Indeed, articles of this era were liberally peppered with short tales or quotes, little axioms for the thoughtful general on the grimdark battlefield. (Most gamers of a certain age will remember that Carab Culln of the Red Scorpions wasn’t very fond of abhumans. Same issue.)
The same background detail, the fluff that built up in our mental pockets over many years to truly give the impression of a long and vast history to the WH40k universe was also applied to many of the accompanying images of painted miniatures arrayed in dioramas, in this instance set against a backdrop of thoroughly kitbashed Star Wars toys, lego and electrical components.
(The upturned track section of a Star Wars Battle for Hoth laser emplacement is visible on the left. We don’t remember if it had tracks in the movie, but we do know it had realistic battle exploding action, and the parts were easily misplaced, which probably explains its presence on Paramar V.)
In the centre of this image, and visible in more detail on the rear inside cover alongside a rather attractive Warp Runners Reaver are a pair of Engines in grimy black metal and fiery orange: Traitor Titans of the Tiger Eyes Order.
This scribes first impression was that the large oval thingy at the top was the machines head. Turns out is actually a multi-launcher, but even today that first impression has stuck, and it often takes a moment for the mind to re-orient itself.
When the new edition of Adeptus Titanicus was announced, released, sold out and subsequently re-announced for a reprint, (in broadly the time it takes for someone to say ‘Adeptus Titanicus Grand Master Edition) hereafter called AT2018, the imaginary, definitely non-existent break room (as described here) of the Lead Mountain were filled with excited whisperings, as the Tech-Adepts and Cogitating Servitors struck upon the idea of recreating the Tiger Eyes in an updated version.
The current Reaver model is substantially larger than it’s predecessor. It is a reasonably easy build although slightly misleading in places. An attempt to paint on the sprue was begun, but after the initial coats of yellow, this budding tech-adept decided he lacked the patience to do it the proper way, and started sticking carapace segments to the skeleton.
It was at this point that he discovered that the amount of flexibility suggested by the construction of the leg pistons is massively inaccurate once one tries to apply the smaller pieces of armour plate, and that the splayed leg pose would have to be tightened up a little. This led to a substantial body (an opus even) of colourful invective and much wiggling and grunting.
There may also have been some scalpel activity, the end result of which is that the pose is not quite as faithful to the original as intended, and the feet are now on opposite legs. Maybe there will be an attempt in the future to put that right, maybe the designers can just suck it for making ‘opposite toes’ on a machine that didn’t need them. Or ball joints which imply greater movement than is actually possible, for that matter.
Substantial amounts of Averland Sunset supplied the overall colouration, washed over with Casandora Yellow, then stippled with an ancient pot of Sunburst yellow to create an ‘Anti-Crisp’ surface. Leadbelcher was roughly drybrushed over black on all the metal surfaces and edges, then given a heavy wash of Sepia to create the oily, grimy effect. Streaks and discolouration was added with light strokes of Agrax Earthshade, Nuln Oil and Sepia again. The armour is deliberately glossed, as an experiment in making the engine look damp. This is because this scrivener has an image in his head of a powered down Titan standing motionless in the rainy darkness, then suddenly powering up and lurching forwards, causing much fear and consternation among anyone stood nearby.
The base was coated with loose sand and tile fragments, then weathered and powdered in much the same way as the base of Inquisitor Vidua and her marine cohorts.
This is now one of the largest models under the mountain, and a happy return to an old favourite. There are endless things that could (and probably will be added), including some more scale base details, and kill-banners in the classic style. Much intriguing is the idea of recreating the ornate banner pole from the original, perhaps with an undead spear culled from the bits box, a little like the one used on the Plague Marine champion here
This engine may live alone as a mere vanity project, but the siren call of the Warlord and Warhound is powerful, and although this scribe never had opportunity to play the original, the new rules are not prohibitively expensive, and a fair force of titans might be built up over time. The original Tiger Eyes Reaver also had a friend….