+ inload: Raising Coropedion +

+ Raising Coropedion +

+ The Bakka Campaign saw conflict between the Sons of the Temple and loyalist Army, supported by Astartes elements. +

+ Theoretical +

+ Choosing a scheme can be a bit intimidating; you can never be sure it'll work. However, that shouldn't stop you from trying. Always painting forces based on a scheme someone else has worked out misses one of the most fun parts of the creative process, and discourages you from writing your own material. Doing this can really tie you into the world you're playing in, and can be very rewarding. +

+ Generally speaking, I consider the following things when picking a scheme:
  • Tonal contrast – Generally speaking, your scheme should include both light tints and deep shades. This can be as simple as picking a light-coloured paint and a dark-coloured paint; or, as I've done here, two midtones that I will 'force' either way to get that contrast in.
  • Hue – Contrast in hue is also generally a good way to get impact. Complementary pairs – orange and blue, green and red etc. – are always effective. Picking too many colours can quickly get messy and hard to control, so I recommend you minimise the 'core' hues to two or three.
  • Ease of replication – if you want a consistent army, then something that requires lots of mixing and layering may not be practical. If it's a small group, the extra effort may be worth it.
  • Accents – Having a hue that stands out from your core colours (see above) is a great way to pick out important details and direct the eye. For this turquoise and terracotta scheme, I've gone for acid green – it complements the rusty-orange and contrasts with turquoise.

+ Try checking out the things around you. If you can find an animal or plant with a similar scheme, you know it'll work – in this example, the colours are similar to those of a kingfisher. +

+ It also offers a great chance to experiment. If you're unsure whether your scheme will work, use a spare model – I used some crew models [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+] to try out this turquoise and terracotta scheme before starting this Warlord Titan. +

+ Practical +

+ I really like these models, so I want to take my time and enjoy them. Part of the appeal of them is the scale, which lends itself to slight variance – entire plates might have been replaced or cleaned at different times, so slight variance in the finish can work really nicely. +

+ It's also a great opportunity to experiment. I've been using granulation medium on these plates – this is a colourless medium that you add to wet paint. It encourages the pigment particles to clump together, creating visual texture. It works best with inks, so I've been using lots of sepia here, and gradually building up the tone and hue. +

 + I think I've probably gone a bit overboard on the weathering/damage here, but that's what experimentation is about. I can always return to refine this later – but I may find that in the context of the whole titan, this detail works better than in isolation. +

+ The lesson, then, is to take the rough with the smooth, and move on. Don't let the perfect become the enemy of the good. +

+ inload: The Sons of the Temple +

+ Legio Nikator +

Title: The Legio Sumer-Nikator Ordo Titanicus
Militaris Grade: Secundus
Patent: Pre-Unification, Martian Mechanicum
Warden Domain(s): Sumer (Forge World)
Cognomen: Sons of the Temple
Allied War Houses: None
Allegiance: Fidelitas Scindere

Tincture: Terracotta and turquoise; representing the fertile land and open skies of Sumer.
Charge: Hand with Coronet – the coronet surmounting the hand on officers; and grasped in triumph on Titans, to represent the joining of man and machine.


+ Titans of Sumer-Nikator + 

Emperor Titans

  • Great Hegemon

Battle Titans

  • Gaugamela  Warlord Battle Titan 
  • Ipsus Granicus, known as Manifest Law  Warlord Battle Titan 
  • Coropedion  Warlord Battle Titan 
  • Dread Hellespontion  Warbringer Nemesis Battle Titan 
  • Tripolis Rex  Reaver Battle Titan (Hun class)
  • Megasthenes Dura  Reaver Battle Titan (Goth class)
  • Lord of Ash  Reaver Battle Titan (Hun class)
  • Codomannus – Reaver Battle Titan (Hun class)
  • Dura-Yurobus – Reaver Battle Titan (Vandal class)

Scout Titans

  • Kar-zari – Warhound Battle Titan (Vandal class)

+ Principal officers +

+ Crew of Codomannus +

+ Teutates Polassar, Princeps Senioris  +

+ Adept Xhao Non, Over-enginseer +


+ Crew of Coropedion +

+ Hamilcar Syphax, Princeps +


+ Crew of Dura-Yurobus +

+  Mauryan Magon, Princeps +

+ inload: Bristol Silence, Epic marines and oddments

+ Now, where were we? +

+ Those of you following the Alien Wars shared project might well be wondering what's happened to it. Rest assured that it's still ticking over. A couple of weeks ago I received a very cool fan-sculpted dreadnought based on the Rogue Trader-era version. I had been planning to make one myself after discovering a picture of one with the WD138 army on the back of a White Dwarf, but hey, why take the road less travelled – particularly when the alternative looks like this:

+ A really cool sculpt, and beautifully cast. I couldn't resist a few tweaks to the pose (achieved with some simple cutting) to add a little dynamism to what is inherently a static pose. I've used a penny as a waist gimbal to compensate for the material lost when cutting through with the razorsaw. +

+ Size-wise, he's a bit of a beast, standing slightly taller than a Contemptor, which is probably what he'll be used for. +

+ The Aldebaran troops, who will be pulling double-duty for the Alien Wars and the Bristol Silence campaign weekend, continue to get some paint on them – though I won't bore you too much. In the pict-capture above you can see a (rather messy!) painting desk, covered with guardsmen/brood brothers as the grinding painting continues. Last night was spent painting fatigues, straps and respirators with Calth Brown, and then washing them with Agrax Earthshade. All very factory-line, but at least it'll keep them consistent. +


+ Basing Coropedion +

+ The batch painting was pleasantly meditative, but when it started becoming a bit boring, I switched projects and spent half an hour on one of my new Warlords for Legio Sumer-Nikator. +

+ Yesterday we looked at building a board [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+], and this is a related part of that process: basing. Creating your own board and base is a great chance to make sure that they match, which again adds to the immersion. +

+ Bases add a great deal to a model; working as a contrasting setting for the figure itself. It is important to make sure that the model fits into that setting, or you risk things looking off – an ice-world trooper in a desert environment, for example (which isn't to say such things will never work, merely that it's harder to make it seem natural). This needs to be balanced against visual contrast. White-coated ice troopers on snow white bases will blend in. Great in real war, but not for visual appeal. Instead, consider tonal contrast. If you models have a light scheme, go for a darker-toned base, and vice versa. In the case of my Aldebaran soldiers above, I'm going to use mid-grey urban rubble to contrast with the bright white overcoats. +

+ The second aspect of basing, and one that is particularly important for large-based figures, is interest. An over-busy base can detract from the figure, but one that's an empty plain can look dull, making the figure appear toy-like. For Adeptus Titanicus, a nice compromise is to break up the flat surface by adding cork, card or similar scenic elements. Above you can see that I've added some rubble (from a broken resin base I had), plus some of the same ruins that I'm populating my board with (from Epic: 40,000). These are all tied together with some Gold Acrylic coarse texture gel, a goopy textural medium that you smear on and allow to dry. This ties together the different elements. +

 With similar grittiness and features, the resulting base complements the board rather than matches it. As part of the model, it needs to be treated with a greater level of detail than the broader board, while still echoing it and looking like a detail of the area. +

+ With Coropedion primed and ready to paint, I spent far too long making pew-pew noises, and didn't much done beyond a gunmetal over the whole legs. +

+ With the mandated-somnolence cycle approaching, I thought I'd have fun painting the marines on the base rather than rushing any more of the Titan itself. Although the Legio Sumer-Nikator is a traitor Legion, operating away from Calth, I've added some Ultramarines. I leave the story to the viewer. Perhaps they're falling back after the rest of their squad was destroyed; perhaps they're calling in co-ordinates on the Titan as it walks past, oblivious to their presence; perhaps they've thrown their lot in with the Warmaster?. Hints like this add a little narrative to your base, and also help to evoke a sense of scale. +

I spent a very enjoyable half-hour highlighting and detailing very small marines!

+ inload: Adeptus Titanicus board-building +

+ Welcome to Calth: building an Ithraca board for Adeptus Titanicus +

Sound the warhorns! Like me, lots of happy hobbyists received their copy of Adeptus Titanicus over the weekend, and I spent my spare time reading over the rules, poring over the models, and generally enthusing. I haven't played it, but the genuine enthusiasm that the designers have poured into the game is obvious. The rulebook is littered with thoughtful designer's notes that make it clear this new game is a love letter to its forebears, but it has been redesigned from the ground up, streamlined and generally combining the best bits of history to make something very impressive (entirely fitting for the Adeptus Mechanicus!) +

+ There are lots of reviews and discussions on various aspects of the game, so I thought I'd exload some thoughts on building a board, along with what little advice I can offer. The third army is something I think will be vital to a good game of Adeptus Titanicus which, like Epic, appears to be a game of manoeuvre. +

Look at how the Titan is given context as a giant within even this work-in-progress cityscape.

+ Theoretical +

+ First off, why build a board at all? The answer to that is fourfold, and it ties in with the different ways of playing listed in the rulebook. 

+ Open Gaming  This most accessible way to play, when you simply pick models and get going, is sometimes sneered at; but I think it's the core of play. It's simply more fun to play on a pleasing-looking board, and if you're looking for new people to try it out, having something beautiful is more likely to attract and interest them. Adeptus Titanicus is also aimed at older games, who may well have children of their own. If they're interested, Open Gaming is a natural way in; and what better way to get involved than with the art and craft of building a board? +

+ Narrative Gaming  From a narrative point of view, a modelled gameboard helps with immersion. It's much easier to imagine yourself as a Princeps stomping through a city when there are some tiny walls, car-parking lots (or the distant future equivalents) and so forth to suggest scale. Building a new board for every game you play is all but impossible, but creating something for a specific campaign – whether all the way through, or for a special scenario – will help set the scene and make your storytelling all the sweeter. +

+ Matched Gaming  You can, of course, use an existing table or board, but the more you use a board or mat, the more familiar it becomes. Testing your skill as a general in the real world is as much about mastering the terrain as your troops; and having a new board will give you some and your opponent new challenges. +

+ Finally, if you're not confident with your painting skills, then be assured that fielding even the most basic models will be hugely enhanced by a nice gameboard. In the same way that a good frame can gives a touch of class and status to an average painting, a proper gameboard will enhance your work and show it off to best effect. The converse is also true: even the most beautiful models are made to look less interesting on a undecorated table surface. This really gets to the root of tabletop wargaming as a visual spectacle: models are small (well, duh!), and from a gamer or spectator's viewpoint, they have much less impact than the board itself. +


+ Practical +

+ To hobbyists used to lavishing hours on a single model, it can look exhausting even to consider modelling and painting such a relatively large area. However, building a useable board can be surprisingly quick. Remember, don't think of it as the artwork; think of it as the frame. A good frame enhances the focus, but doesn't draw it. Unless you're going for all-out one-off visual spectacle – as in the astonishing Legen project of (the equally astonishing) Gardens of Hecate [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+], and Iron Sleet's brilliant Thorn Moon project {+noosphericinloadlink embedded+] – you don't want to overdetail an all-purpose board, as it'll draw attention from your models, and be less versatile, giving it a shorter gaming lifecycle. +

Board-building can be cheap: I built this Ithraca board using junk from my garage, some DIY materials and a few select bits from my bits box, but to make a similar board from scratch would cost just a few quid.

 It can also be spontaneous. Having built my first Warlord (see below), I took it downstairs to prime, and got completely carried away. A bit of texture gel, PVA and polyfilla later, I'd turned a spare bit of thick MDF into a serviceable little board. It's an odd size – roughly 3½ft square – but that's right in the middle of the suggested sizes for smaller Titanicus games. +

+ While I do encourage you just to get stuck in, as I did for Ithraca Calth, If you do want to make a board, here are some practical considerations that can help make your board more useable for Adeptus Titanicus in particular:

Keep texture subtle  Gluing sand down is a time-tested way to create texture on the board; but for smaller scale gaming, it can look too coarse – particularly for urban areas. Instead, try skimming the surface with polyfilla or similar [+LINGUOSERVITOR APPEND+I think Spackle is the US equivalent] will approximate tarmac texture and give visual interest to large flat areas. Plaster will also work, but make sure to 'key' (i.e. rough up) the surface beforehand to prevent it flaking off. This is a lesson learned from my Purefinder Chanterwick boards [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+], built for Court of the Sun King project [REF: pagetab above]. Heavy texture looks great, but it's awkward to place large buildings on, particularly if they themselves have a flat base. You end up with wobbly or awkward placing, which breaks the immersion. +

+ Consider incorporating a feature  A focal feature is optional. Leaving it off will make your board more flexible and versatile, but less characterful. I chose to add a large crater, which I embedded into the surrounding polyfilla, to help hide the ugly edges and improve the immersion. A crater is anonymous enough to add to the visual without completely taking attention. Other features like hills or parkland would work similarly. If you're building a feature board, you might consider something more eye-catching, like a mine entrance, landing pad or other definite feature. +

+ Break the lines  Avoid placing roads, rivers, canyons, building foundation plates and similar features at right angles to the edges of the board, and each other. A grid system feels 'safe' and will allow you to tile your board with others more easily, but always looks less interesting and natural. It's also bad for Matched Play, as it allows for metagaming distances etc. Keeping the terrain at angles other than 90º will keep you and the other player guessing. Similarly, avoid placing features too near the centre, as it makes for predictable games. Having a clear area here gives maximum versatility – remember you can always place scatter terrain or a standalone feature here. +

Use manufactured materials  For Ithraca, I laid down some mesh tape to indicate the roads. When I skimmed polyfilla over the top, it leaves a subtle ordered texture – using regularly-textured materials like duct tape, aluminium mesh or cross-stitch fabric helps to quickly build up large convincing areas of man-made (or xeno-made) construction that subtly break up the otherwise featureless plain. I incorporated some mountcard offcuts as raised concrete platforms/building plates for similar reasons. +

+ Scale-appropriate detail  I mentioned above not wanting to draw attention from the models, but a few hints of detail will make a huge difference to the overall effect. A few linear strips of low-standing ruins – from the old Epic: 40,000 base sprue – and some gravel and sticks from the garden give the impression of rubble and broken trees, helping to sell the specific scale. Of course, this does somewhat restrict the board's use to a particular game or scale, but I think that's a feature, not a bug – if you're going to the effort of making a board for a game, I think you should go the whole hog, or you risk making a halfway house that isn't particularly interesting. +

Coropedion, Legio Sumer-Nikator (Sons of the Temple)
+ Leave space  Don't overfill the board. Remember that you're creating a framing effect, and that you'll be playing a game on it. The more you cram onto the board, and the more complex road/canal/river systems you create, the less space your models will have, and the less versatile the board will become in terms of buildings/scatter terrain. However, this needs to be balanced. Part of the reason for building the board is to create interesting tactical challenges. You might intentionally restrict the space between two flat areas. This will allow you to create a narrow street that only certain models can fit down in some games by adding free-standing buildings on either side. In others, you can simply leave the flat area open as a market square or gathering area. +

+ Wobbly model syndrome  Due to the size of the Titan bases, texture is particularly important to bear in mind for Adeptus Titanicus games. It's partly for this reason, and partly to help sell the setting and scale of a ruined city, that I've kept the board mostly flat. Having your Titans canted awkwardly highlights their model nature, and generally causes problems. Give your Titans room to walk. +

+ Storage  Consider what space you have to store the board. The realtively small size of an Adeptus Titanicus playing area means it's potentially practical to create and store it as a single piece (as I've done), but you might want to break it into two or more parts. Consider also he height and delicacy of the details you incorporate – keeping things low and building them sturdily is essential if you have to store your board upright or against something. However, if you have the space to leave it set up, or to store it flat, then feel free to go to town on modelled-on mountains and spires!


+ Conclusion +

+ I hope that's given you some ideas – and it helps you avoid mistakes I've made in the past!+

+ The sample set-up below shows the sort of thing you can then create on your board with scatter scenery. Even very simply primed, it's already looking interesting with some WIP buildings on it. +

+ inload: Adeptus Titanicus 2018 +

+ Scesis Onomaton +

+ Painting is still going on, but I'm at a good stage – just the blue to highlight and white to clean up a bit on the upper body before I can turn to the fun bits like heraldry. +
Looks suitably immense next to some Ultramarine infantry, don't you think?
+ In Epic: Armageddon, Warlords are such big models relative to everything else on the table that it's important to 'sell' the size. You can do this with ultra-detailing, or careful weathering. The techniques are similar to those used at a larger scale, but there are some differences. +

+ Here, you can see the 'dirtiness' of the armour plates clearly. Titans are like battleships – when repairs are necessary, it's done bit by bit. For that reason, some plates here are painted with slightly different mixes of paint (I used touches of Kommando Khaki added to Instar white), and built up the effect with repeated glazes. The idea is not to get an eye-catching patchwork effect, but to create detail very subtly. +

+ The rear is looking fairly dull at the mo. I'll add some brass work, then brighten the rear deck. The dark gunmetal around it will act as a framing effect. Might add a spare Epic model or two, too. + 

+ Various tanks and infantry advance in the shadow of Scesis Onomaton. Even Space Marines have to respect War Engines! +

+ One of the  nice things about painting Titans is the freedom. Beyond using the basic colours, most Titan Legios give their Titans individual freedom for their heraldry, so you can mix and match the paintwork and plates as you wish. +


+ inload: Adeptus Titanicus – Naming your Titan +

+ The Naming of Parts +

+ I've been feverishly working away at my Titans in order to get them finished in time for the release of the new edition of Adeptus Titanicus – a deadline always seems to help me for contained projects like this. As you'll see below, I've got the legs mostly done, bar some heraldic devices and banners that I intend to cover in another inload. +

+I met a traveller from an antique land,//Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone//Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand,//Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,//And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,//Tell that its sculptor well those passions read//Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,//The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;//And on the pedestal, these words appear://My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;//Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!//Nothing beside remains. Round the decay//Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare//The lone and level sands stretch far away.” +
Ozymandias, Percy Bysshe Shelley

+ Theoretical +

+ I've given a rough outline of the painting below, but today I wanted to concentrate on something that I think there'll be a bit less guidance for, which is naming your Titans. +

+ To me, naming figures is not just a fun little addition, but a great way to help push your painting and modelling – even gaming – forward. That might sound a bit odd, but the underlying idea is that up an appropriate name will help spark some ideas for personalisation, or perhaps give you a starting point for how to differentiate your models in-game. +

+ Where to start? If you've chosen a 'canon' group – Iyanden Eldar, Khador etc. – you will likely have some examples of existing names. Riffing on those can give you some quick ideas; and if you recognise the underlying cultural inspiration, you'll be able to use baby naming books or guides on the noosphere. For example, many Blood Angels have names taken from Renaissance-period Italy, so looking up Italian baby names can help. Mixing in some names of mythological angels, from sites like this [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+], can also help. Real-world names give a little grounding, while fantastical names give that all-important flavour and interest. +

+ While naming like this can give good personal names for infantry, the system doesn't work so well for Titans. There is an existing and differentnaming convention for them: either cod-Latin High Gothic (such as Odius Trismegistus), or naval-style virtues/qualities (e.g. Indomitable). Working around those, then, is a good start. For the latter style, try looking up the names of warships through noospheric nodes like this [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+], or pick vessels from fiction, such as H. G. Wells' Thunderchild. +

+ When picking a High Gothic name, I think that the sound of it is more important than anything else. It's fine to get the syntax correct, but sometimes you'll get a punchier, more interesting name by playing fast and loose with the rules. Remember, High Gothic is not literally Latin; but a convention to simulate for us the archaic sound of it to the inhabitants of the far future. In general, I think the more pompous, the better. These Titans are godlike war engines, literally worshipped by their crews. +

+ A final consideration, when choosing a High Gothic name, is that sometimes its hard to know where to start. The simplest approach is to think of something cool in your native tongue, then translate it. While workable, I find that this can sometimes give rather generic, predictable names. If you'd like to try something else, but are stuck, try finding a theme. For the Fire Masters, for example, you might go with words that suggest flames, burning or destruction:
  • Incandens
  • Crematio Torrens
  • Causa Vastities
+ For another Titan Maniple I'm planning, I've created my own Legio Sumer-Nikator, and have taken Sumerian/Diadochoi history as my theme. Most, but not all of these Titans are named after ancient battles:
  • Ipsus Granicus
  • Coropedion
  • Tripolis Rex
  • Hydaspes
  • Codomannus
+ For those not directly named after a battle (Tripolis Rex, Ipsus Granicus), I've picked similar-sounding terms (geographical, here), so they fit with the theme. You don't have to stick with the theme rigidly, either. It'd be fine to slip in a Decimator or Silver Steed alongside them. In fact, I'd recommend you do. Variety is an important part of naming schemes. +

+ As a final point on naming Titans, remember that the theme is there to help you, not to restrict you. At root, you should pick names that you like. +

+ Naming my titans +

My Titan maniple is drawn from the Legio Praesagius, or 'True Messengers'. Using that as a starting point, I thought about messages; which led me to arguments – and I know there are some great Latin phrases for rhetorical devices. Having read English and Philosophy, the convention pleased me as a little tongue-in-cheek nod that's very appropriate for the retro-inspired Adeptus Titanicus. No harm in a little humour amongst the grim darkness of the far future; and if my Titans' names get an appreciative grin or two, that'd be brill. However, there's a difference between using a feather and a chicken, so I want to keep things fairly subtle – they should sound 'right', as described above. +

+ This Warlord is going to revel in the name Scesis Onamaton, which goes rather nicely with his multiple similar laser armaments. While a nice little in-joke, I hope you'll agree that it also sounds 'right' as a Titan name. +


+ Practical +

+ The painting is fairly straightforward; a white built up from a slightly creamy mix – avoiding using large areas of pure white helps to create the sense of scale, by forcing the apparent highlights to the midtones – and a blue very similar to that used by my Ultramarines: Mordian blue base, with highlights of Russ/Space Wolf Grey and white added after shading down with Liche purple. +

+ Here's the top half perched on top, along with some menacing Word Bearers: