Happy New Year! It turns out that business was good last year, the upshot of which was Santa coming along and delivering my first ever titan -- a Warhound.
Each and every titan comes with a unique owner's certificate. Mine is serial number 0004232. I must admit that I am very impressed by the implication of this serial number: it means over 4000 of these machines have been sold to date. The full certificate can be seen in the image below.
For reference, the full transcript of the certificate reads as follows.
"The Fabricator General had decreed that your army may deploy the might of a Warhound Titan of the hyena configuration".
"May your weapon be guarded against malfunction as your soul is guarded from impurity. The Machine God watches over you. Unleash the weapons of war. Unleash the Deathdealer".
Interestingly, the double headed eagle at the top of the certificate has both eyes open. If you examine the literature and pictures of the double headed eagle elsewhere in the setting, you will find that only one has its eyes open. This is an obvious nod to the Martian government within the greater Imperium in my opinion.
Although it says I can deploy it, I don't think I'll be doing so outside of an Apocalypse game. Even in the Horus Heresy, its rare that I would consider deploying a titan. I think I would sooner have Alpharius on the field to be perfectly honest. Equally, its is tempted to deploy it in a game once it is constructed and painted.
For me though, its the journey of assembling and painting the beast that is going to be the prime source of joy. I will freely admit to being both a gamer and a hobbyist, as my long term readers will no doubt already realise.
As people who own any resin from Forge World or elsewhere will already be knowledgable about, it is necessary to clean all the components prior to assembling the titan. The reason for this is that the resin is coated in a release agent to ensure it comes out of the moulds well.
A decade or more ago, this was a much more significant issue than it is in the present day. There was literally a whole heap of release agent on every bit of the kits that came out. Not only does this prevent good contact for the purposes of glueing the model together, but it means that painting becomes a real nightmare. In essence, without watching and scrubbing the components, the paint will literally not stick to the resin in any good way. A rub here, or some masking tape there will ensure that the paint will slip off the resin and ruin any work that is being undertaken.
Therefore, as much as my wife might giggle at me, I take the washing step seriously. Arguably, it is probably the most important step in the entire process to do well as it ensures a great finish. It follows, naturally, that anyone working with resin should take this step seriously and not skimp on it. Indeed, I do this on any resin from Forge World that I purchase.
To clean the resin bits, I use an old circular washing tub. In turn, I dumped each of the bags that the titan bits came in into the tub. Using both semi-warm water and a dash of washing up liquid, I then cleaned each and every component in turn using an old toothbrush (I use either medium or soft bristled toothbrushes here). Each and every component - no exceptions. Once done, I leave to dry and then return to their bags so that they don't get mixed up with other components. This is also important, as the instructions recommend building the model in a particular sequence.
Whether or not I will follow the recommended sequence is another matter entirely. By ensuring that the components remain with their immediate friends, it makes my life easier for the future assembly.
I poured over the four possible weapons available to the Warhound before purchasing the model. I wanted to get something that I was going to enjoy and that wasn't particularly drastic against enemies.
The four weapons available are reviewed in my Horus Heresy review of the Warhound Titan. In brief, they consist of a Vulcan bolt thrower, an Inferno flamethrower, a Plasma gun, and a Laser. Of these, the laser is a D-class weapon. I immediately ruled out running a double laser configuration as I didn't want to be spamming D-class pie plates everywhere. That said, if I am going to be gaming with the titan, it stands to reason that enemies will also have access to D-class weapons. Hence I wanted at least one of the lasers.
For the second weapon, I was a bit torn. The Inferno cannon has its uses - being able to flush out space marines from entrenched positions in buildings with ease. Getting the titan in to position to use it could be an issue, even for a fast titan like this one though. Hence, I didn't favour the Inferno cannon.
That meant that the second weapon was going to be one of the bolt thrower or the plasma gun. The rate of fire of the bolt thrower is excellent. Yet this has to be weighed against having to roll to hit for each and every shot. Additionally, I considered the fact that it could be the only titan weapon that is anywhere near effective against fliers. I personally think this ruling has to change for titans. Enough of that though. The alternative is the plasma weapon. This has two modes - one big circle, or two smaller circles, each of slightly different strengths. It is because of the flexibility in the firing modes that I ultimately selected the plasma blaster. It provides a threat, and something to face off against that is not a D-class weapon. It is competitive, but not game dominating - arguably. The configuration of the laser and plasma weapons is therefore a strong one, sometimes not so fun to play against, but reasonable if the opponent is also toting D-class weapons, or it is an Apocalypse game.
A Note on the Future.
I will be assembling and painting this model in fits and starts over the coming season. With a family and work commitments, it is a model that I do not want to rush, nor am I in a situation to be able to rush. Hence, I fully intend to enjoy the journey with the titan.
In other words, I will update my progress on the titan as and when I have had the time to do significant work on the build and paint job. In the meantime, if you have recommendations, hints, tips, conversion ideas, or anything similar, do jot me a note and tell me about it.