Legio Solaria Warlord and the anchor in my ‘mandatum’ maniple is “Imperatores Venandi”. This model was an absolute joy to put together, even despite the challenges of the stippled armour pattern having to be done on all the feet and leg components. Similar to the approach I took with one of the Mortis Warlords, I built the base up using cork to give me height for the stride pattern and also depth to sink the weight of the trailing foot into. The other reason I created some 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 I’ve already covered in previous posts about the warhounds, 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 guides which I add to all the time)

Solaria red

For the small sections the red is just a pre-shade of white over black to create a greyscale. Over this I airbrushed (or brush painted if a super small area) Vallejo game air (VGA) bloody red. To shade this I applied Vallejo game air (VGA) scarlet red and reinforced with Games Workshop Drakenhof Nightshade in the deepest shadows. A final glaze pulls the red together of super-thinned blood red with a couple of drops red ink. I used Scale ‘Inktensity’ red if you wish to follow along but any artists red ink should work as well. For the larger armour panels I used exactly the same method as above with one exception; the preshade was built up in a marble effect by airbrushing the white through a stretched piece of 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 really double down on the specialist game art plates in the book(s) which show the red having a slight marbled effect. The red as described above is then applied over the marble pre-shade, although I strongly recommend building the colour up using progressive thin layers so as not to completely obscure the underlying pattern.

Only once the red was complete did I move onto the transfer and weathering stages, just for efficiency so I didn’t have to do them in some areas and have to come back later to finish others.

Who doesn’t like banners?

In the warhound posts 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 of the original war engines. These were predominately hand painted and although I do not have anywhere near enough the freehand skills needed I came up with my own approach which kind of created a similar effect whilst leaning heavily into the skills I did have. This ended up being a mix of hand painted banner base, to which I added a mix of GW and custom homemade 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 to reinforce the look. I was super-pleased with the result and how successfully the ‘Divisio Militaris’ and other text came out so strongly, enough so that I may use a similar approach for the next maniple.

Plastic Warlord Titan painted in Solaria colours with large back banner

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”.