What a week it’s been! After what feels like an eternity I finally completed my second legio and just in time.Yeah, I know everyone has been in the same boat. But being able to roll some dice and engage in hobby discussions at a one-day Titanicus narrative event felt like a return to normalcy. My Legio Solaria Titans maniple, cognomen the ‘Imperial Hunters,’ has roots tracing back to the original ‘Adeptus Titanicus’ in 1988.

Their palette has evolved from the original mottled yellow/green to a more nuanced green and red. However, what truly defines them is the distinctive mottled pattern on their armor. This pattern drew me to paint a maniple, and I settled on a method I loved over a year ago. I experimented with spare carapace armor from a Reaver and Warhound. Unfortunately, that’s as far as it went for me. COVID forced me to re-prioritise my hobbies. Nevertheless, I’m delighted to share that they made their way back to the painting station when I returned to my brushes, now in full maniple strength.

Although the Warhounds of Solaria get a lot of the attention in the Horus Heresy books, especially the “Bestia Est” and they do proportionally have a large number of scout engines overall, they are not solely a Warhound legio. Even though the temptation was to gravitate to a ‘Lupercal’ light maniple I preferred instead to take ‘Mandatum’ which let me take a full squadron of four hounds with a solid Warlord to anchor the centre.


The presence of the Warlord on the battlefield grants a bonus to all the hounds’ command rolls. Combined with the legio princeps trait, the warhounds have a high chance of successfully receiving orders during the starting phase, especially when operating as a squadron. Additionally, the warlord enhances their accuracy, increasing their chances of hitting targets within its range. This simulates Solaria’s exceptional coordination displayed by their hunting packs.

To complete the battlegroup for the event, I also included a support Reaver, bringing the total points close to the event target. Unfortunately, I couldn’t include a banner of Vyronii knights to represent the forces at Lake Voss (from ‘Siege of Terra’ book five “Mortis”) due to limited points. However, I plan to add them as an addendum to the battlegroup for casual games in the near future. In fact, I have already begun assembling them!”

I will be making individual posts for each of the engines in the battlegroup so I can talk a bit more about some of the techniques I used, or thinking behind specific basing, but I should probably talk about the armour scheme and the theme as a whole as there were some quite deliberate choices I made early on.

Matching Mortis

When I assembled and painted my Legio Mortis battlegroup after the game’s re-launch, little did I know that I was also laying the foundations for Solaria, quite literally. Initially, my intention was for them to represent forces at Beta-Garmon and the events described in ‘Titandeath.’ However, due to the long delay between starting the test models and resuming the project in 2021, I had the opportunity to read “Mortis.” This prompted an immediate pivot in the theme of the battlegroup, transforming Solaria into the shattered remnants of the legio, defending the Imperial Palace at the Mercury Wall. This alignment against Mortis worked perfectly, prompting me to maintain a similar palette and basing style.

Since I had incorporated some of the original scale Epic miniatures on the Mortis bases and ruined architecture, I needed to adhere to the same styling and ensure that any defenders were drawn from the same collection. This turned out to be a fortunate circumstance as it allowed me to utilize old Epic miniatures dating back to the original 1st edition game, including the ‘Necromunda IXth’ guardsmen models, among others. They represented the surviving amalgam of imperial forces from shattered regiments. To me, it felt like a wonderful tribute to the original game, seamlessly blending the old with the new.

I carried this idea of homage into the back banners of both the Warlord and the Reaver. Deliberately, I incorporated elements of the old designs, such as the prominence of the ‘Divisio Militaris’ mark and the iconic use of “Perfidi Pergendi” on the alternative side.

This is almost certainly a theme I will continue with when I get to legio Ignatum and the opportunity to introduce Blood Angels and White Scars into the mix.

So, let’s delve into the topic of armor. The palette I used was a variation of a well-established technique that involves sponge stippling to achieve a mottled effect. However, I made a few adaptations to refine the process. Instead of using one sponge, I employed a range of natural sponges to reduce the surface area and create smaller marks, resulting in a finer-grained effect.

The base colours, in sequence, are Caliban Green, Irati Green, Rotting Flesh, Bone White, and finally White. After varnishing, I applied a light coat of Viridian Hue oil paint and, once dry, buffed it out using a sponge dampened with white (mineral) spirit. I then applied another layer of gloss varnish and performed a ‘polishing’ step using a rubbing compound (toothpaste or Tamiya compound, if available). Another round of varnish, and the armor is now ready for decals and oil weathering.

For the oil weathering, I utilized water-activated oil paints from Windsor & Newton, applying them thinly over a matte varnish. This step is crucial as a gloss varnish does not provide enough grip for the pigments, while a matte finish allows the oil pigments to act as a filter, creating a more nuanced and visually pleasing result. Of course, this depends on the desired finished effect, so feel free to adjust to your preferences.

My objective was to achieve a worn and dulled appearance, conveying the impression of engines that had minimal time for repairs and re-arming after the hardships of Beta-Garmon before being thrust into the defense of Terra.

Next up I’ll cover each of the Solaria engines individually, along with any unforeseen challenges they introduced into the project. There were more than one!