Legio Solaria Warlord Titan Imperatores Venandi is the undisputed anchor in my ‘mandatum’ maniple. The kit is an absolute joy to put together, even despite the challenges of the stippled armour pattern. Which I had to do on all the feet and leg components. I gave the base volume using cork for height, similar to how I did the Mortis engines. For the stride pattern this created depth to sink the weight of the trailing foot into. The other reason I added vertical depth to the base was to accommodate a breached fuel pipeline as part of the battlefield theming. The crushed supply container coming from one of Forgeworld’s Titanicus scenery packs.

All of the painting and weathering techniques have covered in previous posts, but I want to talk a bit about the red used on Solaria in case anyone is interested.

(Tip: You can find guides on all of the schemes I use in the main ‘Titanicus’ page by scrolling down to the ‘Forges of Mars’ section where there are handy expanding sections)

Solaria red

For the small sections the red is just a pre-shade of white over black to create a greyscale. Over this I airbrush (or brush painted for super small areas) Vallejo game air (VGA) bloody red. This is then shaded with Vallejo game air (VGA) scarlet red, and reinforced with Games Workshop Drakenhof Nightshade in the deepest shadows. A final glaze of thinned blood red with a drop of red ink ties it all together. I recommend Scale ‘Inktensity’ red if you wish to follow along, but any artists red ink works well.

The armoured carapace preshade I built up in a marble effect by airbrushing white through a stretched piece of dried wet-wipe. You should be able to find many online guides and YouTube videos how to do this technique and it’s very much an optional extra. I only did it to double down on the specialist game art plates which picture the red having a marbled effect. The red as described above is then applied over the marble pre-shade. I recommend building the colour up using progressive thin layers, so as not to obscure the underlying pattern.

When the red was complete I moved onto the transfer and weathering stages, just for efficiency. This meant I did all together so I didn’t have to return later so as to finish others.

Who doesn’t like banners?

I mentioned a big goal for this battlegroup was blending the *new* Titanicus models with some of the original art style and heritage. And that was always going to be about the absolutely enormous over-sized back banners featured on many classic war engines. These were predominately hand painted and I do not have anywhere near the freehand skills needed. So I came up with my own approach which kind of created a similar effect, whilst leaning heavily into the skills I do have. This ended up being a mix of hand painted banner base, and a mix of transfers, weathering effects (including setting fire to them to create the burned edges. Less an effect and more an exercise in controlled destruction) and finally some varnish sealing. Shaping and streaking effects reinforced the look. I am super-pleased with the result and how successfully the ‘Divisio Militaris’ text has come out. Enough so that I may use a similar approach on the next maniple.

Plastic Warlord Titan painted in Solaria colours with large back banner

Sizzle effect

Oh I guess one thing I haven’t talked about is the plasma effect on the Sunfury. I plan to revisit this at some stage in the future to refine it a bit more, but the thinking behind this was to come up with a transient effect. What I mean by that is I’m really not a super fan of the plasma glow or object source lighting (osl) effect for plasma weapons as unless it’s done really well can look a little distracting. I generally do the coils as cooled just using metallics, however I thought for the Sunfury I’d go a third route which is the recently fired and cooling down effect. Something like glowing embers or forged metal is the best way I can describe it, or if you are as old as I am the colour of electric bars in an old electric fire when you turn them off. Suffice to say it’s a work in progress so I may over-paint it in the future if I don’t like it.

So that’s it, the mandatum maniple is complete and that leaves me with just one final engine to talk about in the next post. The Reaver class engine “Manibus Ignum”.