Saturday, October 18, 2008

Reaver Titan Pt 10 (Banner Mock Up)

Finally another update! I'll say it so you don't have to... but you can.

I've been working on ideas for paint schemes and think I know what I want to do. However, I have to figure out banners first, because I'm going to embed magnets in the Reaver to hold the banners. This is for two reasons. Number one, in the fluff, banners are usually removed before going into combat, they are more for parade ground and public appearances. Second, I can remove them during transportation and games to help ensure that they stay in good condition. In the following pictures I've rigged up magnets to do a sort of dry run of how the banners might sit... er... swing? What I'm really looking for is some opinions.

So let's get to the pics!

These first two shots are the banners and sizes I'm favoring right now. The weapon banners are long and, I think, dramatic.

Now, I've been looking through Imperial Armor Six and the Reavers pictured therein have a small banner on one arm and just a large purity seal looking banner on the other. I know from looking at theirs that I don't like the purity seal banner. But, to be fair, I've done a dry fit with one of their style of small banners. Here is a pic of the Reaver with one of each Weapon Banner. What do you think?

Admittedly, the longer banners may touch/rub the outer leg armor, but I don't think it will cause it to look awkward based on what I've seen here. Plus, there may be some billowing affect on the banners that make them miss the legs altogether.

The center banner I'm happy with as it's shown. The size and shape are taken from the Imperial Armor Six book and I think it will look fine, though you may certainly voice your opinion on that one too!

As to what may go on the banners, I will base them loosely off the banners in the book. Kill markings, maybe some other esoteric symbols, and unlike the book I'm thinking of naming the weapons in which case the names will be on each weapon banner. I'm also hoping to get Ron over at From The Warp to get the banners designed and painted for me. Ron is a Banner Ninja!

That's it for this time, sorry for the small post. Once I get these magnets mounted and I can finish priming, I think things will pick up a bit. Thanks for stopping by and be sure to leave a comment and let me know what you think... it doesn't even have to be in the form of a haiku, though you'll get extra points if it is!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Imperial Armor Six is here!

The book has finally arrived! I've not read it all the way through yet, though I've skimmed the Titan bits and have a good start on the, "Fluff Section". I will share my initial thoughts though for those interested.

The quality of materials seems fairly high. The only physical problems upon arrival are very slightly dented corners on the hard cover, most certainly from shipping. The box arrived looking like it had spent some time in the trenches of Vraks itself. But, it has that new book smell, and the binding has already held up to being opened more than five times so I'm not complaining!

The quality of editing also seems, sadly, about par for the course. I'd like to take this opportunity to personally offer to proofread future releases. Forge World, call me, I'll work for resin. While what is being said is of high quality, better than some actual 40k fiction in fact, the typos give it a rushed feeling. The word, "we" where the word, "were" was meant to be and several other typos have already shown up and I'm not nearly halfway through the fluff section. We all make typos, I feel bad and go back and edit when I catch one that I let by for my readers. You can bet if I charged you guys to read my blog I'd have the best edited, typo free, blog that no one would ever read! As I've said, the quality of the story is there, I just wish there had been a little more proof reading before the book went to the presses.

The book is full of great pictures. Both the in action war film style and the color plates of armor and paint schemes look great. There are illustrations of markings and other great reference for units. The pictures in this book I give two thumbs up, only because I have no more thumbs to offer.

I'm working my way through the fluff of the book now. I'm hoping to find tidbits of information on the Legio Astorum (also woefully misspelled once in the book so far) as the actual sections on the Legio and Reaver Titans is a little sparse on fluff. There is a great diagram showing all the Engines used on Vraks, with paint schemes and names. This alone has given me tons of ideas on how I want to paint my Reaver.

Overall, so far, my impression of the book is positive. It has the typos we have pretty much come to expect, but this is not enough to ruin a book like this.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoyed my rambling about Imperial Armor Volume Six. If you have any question about the book or its contents (no I can't scan the entire book for you, sorry), I'd be happy to answer them or watch for the answer as I'm reading the book. Just drop me a comment.

Friday, October 3, 2008

"Titanicus" book review plus news...

I know the book review got top billing, but let's get the news out of the way first.

I've had a rough couple weeks recently. Seasonal allergies were really tearing me up, and when they weren't, the medicine to alleviate them was! So, I've really not got a lot done on the Reaver Titan project. This is not such a big deal as I'm patiently waiting for the new Imperial Armor book before getting too serious about the paint. There will be a quick update on the Reaver at the end of this blog, a bonus for folks who read it even when it doesn't have Reaver Titan Ptx in the title! Also, I am lucky enough to be part of a collaborative product test with Ron over at From The Warp. That's still a little ways off and will be featured on his blog, so keep an eye out for news from him on it!

On to the book review! I bought my copy of Dan Abnetts' Titanicus as soon as I could get my hands on it. I've been reading it like mad the last few days and have just finished it this evening. This is not my first Dan Abnett book, but it is my first titan related Dan Abnett read. I know he wrote some for a titan graphic novel, but I've not had a chance to read that yet, so I can not compare the two at all. Here is a shot of the book...

(look for it, buy it, read it)

All of Dan Abnetts books are great, and Titanicus is no exception. Dan has done a commendable job telling the story of a war from a whole new perspective and scale. As is often the case, he gives you characters to care about... and some will be taken away. There are a couple of minor side plots that don't contribute to the story directly, but do an amazing job of either making you understand the perils of a situation, or the mood of the story at that point. Then, there are side plots that are also pivotal to the story line.

The book also immerses you in the culture of the Cult Mechanicus as a whole, as well as that of a Titan Legion. Just as all of the Dan Abnett books introduce us to a future culture with their own slang words and vocabulary, this one does so with the Mechanicus. I'll give an example without giving anything away. When one character remarks that Macaroth will be "pissed", he is corrected for using the lingo of the "unmodified" as non Mechanicus refer to us. The correct phrase is "Macaroth will be very error shunt abort with us". It's little touches like this that make you feel like you are peeking in on a completely different culture. The Legios have verbage all their own too. I had no idea the word 'Princeps' could be used as a verb, as in "Biggus Titanus is Bubbas' Pricepture", or "Bubba is Princepting that engine".

The Titan Legions featured in the story are the Legio Tempestus and the Legio Invictus for the Imperials. The Chaos Titans allegiance is never made clear. Sorry Chaos fans. There are many descriptions of Chaos Titan names, paint schemes, and general attitudes though. Likewise, there is no shortage of interesting Titan names on the Imperial side.

There is, of course, a political tale within the book. Thankfully, it involves only the sci-fi world of 40k. Much to be learned about the politics of the Mechanicus can be found in these pages. I can't go much deeper on this subject without spoilers, and I'm trying to avoid those.

The book is not without humor. There is a bit of comic relief dotted throughout, but it is used sparingly. There is one interaction between a Legio agent and his three Skitarii body guards that is just hilarious as he tries to help them work out for themselves why violence is not, in this particular case, the means to their end. Not a ton of laughs, but that's not why you read a book like this.

And speaking of the Skitarii! This book makes them sound like an army you'll wish you could play in 40k. Bred for violent tendencies and then rebuilt to cause fear as well. You have to have some serious stones to chase down titans on foot and try to get grappling lines on them for immobilization and boarding! I don't think they're tougher than Marines per se, but I can tell you that the Mechanicus is definitely not sharing all their technology in regards to bionics and lethality.

Only one thing really bothered me about the book, and it may be something that I just didn't understand. But in one battle, one of the main Titans featured in the story is about to be attacked in melee so it charges its energy maul... shortly after (same scene), it's described as letting loose with both arm mounted weapons at a ranged enemy. So, one arm seems to have transformed to an energy maul and back. It's a questionable passage, but not enough to make me error shunt abort.

I hope I've not given too much away, but have piqued your curiosity. This is an excellent book, full of awesome fluff for fans of the Cult Mechanicus and the Titan Legions. I can truly say that I know fathoms more about these two entities than I did before. Good story, well written, I recommend it!

For the small Reaver update...

I've spent some time working on getting the large leg armor plates to fit as they should. There is some discrepancy between the UK right and left, and the US right and left I think. After some major thinking I figured out which armor plate should go where. I still stand by my original word that this model is cast very well. That said, some minor adjusting using a heat gun and boiling water was needed to make things fit to perfection. I also pinned the arms and head. They'll not be attached till after painting, but they are ready for assembly when the time comes. The arms connect at a rotator type joint, so they received two pins each, the head and neck also got the two pin treatment as it's a ball and socket type joint. More little pieces have been glued together where doing so is not inhibitory to later steps. Painting techniques are still being played with on scrap plasticard in preparation for the big paint. I've set a goal for myself to have this Reaver done by the first week of November, though I'd like to see it done sooner. I've also purchased some fine chain and will be experimenting with how I want to attach banners. The arm pins hold the arms on in a dry fit, so that will make banner shape and size design a lot easier. I know it's not a lot that you haven't seen before, but here is a shot of the Titan with the arms dry fit in place...

I appreciate you stopping by and checking out my book review on Titanicus. If you have any comments, queries, or ponderances, leave a comment by all means!

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