Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Venatrix Nocturna. Part II: Princeps Discordia

Princeps Octavia Faust

Courier-thrall Vadesh made his way quickly through the shadowed access conduits of the Vengeful  Spirit, eventually emerging into the vast expanse of the Titan hold. This was the home of the Legio Mortis; the Titan Legion had long ago been granted this part of the Warmaster’s flagship as their own, a base of operations, dry-dock, and staging area. Vadesh paused for a moment, his breath caught in his throat as he looked up at the long row of god-machines preparing for war. Nothing could stand before these giants, thought the courier, not even the Astartes whom he served.

The thrall accessed the Legio’s order of battle and located his target. The Venatrix Nocturna was to be one of the first Titans dropped onto Istvaan III, so she was already in phase three loading status. Vadesh found his way through the controlled chaos of drop prep to the Warhound. He found her moderatii running final diagnostics at the foot of the Mars-Pattern scout, but couldn’t immediately locate her Princeps. As he scanned the area for the commander, he felt a chill, the still-flesh parts of the courier crawled as he became aware of a presence behind him.

Princeps Octavia Faust was rumoured to be Terran, though no data Vadesh had access to would confirm this. She was tall and pale, her visage changed from hundreds of years in service to the Venatrix and the Legio. And the Warmaster. Her bearing and baroque uniform gave her an aristocratic air, but her red eyes hinted at something different, something feral. There was an intangible menace exuded by the commander of the Venatrix Nocturna and Vadesh decided it would be prudent to deliver his charge with all haste. He removed the small bit of cloth from his tunic and handed it to the Princeps.

“What is this?” Faust asked the thrall, her voice betraying annoyance.

“It is from the First Captain himself. It is a token he believes will bring you luck in the coming battle.”

Faust unwrapped the cloth slowly. Inside she discovered a tarnished coin marked with the Eye of Horus. The Princeps held the coin for a moment, then tucked it away. She returned her attention to the courier.

“Give the First Captain my thanks. Tell him he greatly honours the Venatrix Nocturna with this trust. His gift will be repaid a hundredfold…in skulls.”

Converting the Princeps

John Blanche's Pythone. Inspirational.
I knew that I wanted to convert my own commander for the project. I have nothing against theVenatrix’s commander to look like, based on the idea that while the taint of Chaos isn’t yet visible on the Legio Mortis machines, its crew might be showing the first hints of the effect of the Warmaster’s treachery. Being the “Night Huntress”, I figured her Princeps should be slightly vampiric. Using bitz from the Vampire Counts Coven Throne, daemonette box, and Dark Eldar Wyches set, and a few other kits, I tried to build a thematic character. The fact that Forge World gives you an empty command chair is alone almost worth the $20,000 this model costs.
royal Titan dude that F World gives you, but you also don’t want every Princeps to look the same, right? I had a rough sketch of what I wanted the

I wanted a character that portrayed both the gothic-aristocratic nature of the Princep corp, but also look like they’d be cool with doing some dirty work, like putting Loyalist Astartes on big stakes, for example. I also wanted, as always, to honor the great patron of Warhammer 40,000 design and base her, in part, on the work of John Blanche.

If I had more time, I could certainly spend a month on her alone. But with something like 11 weeks left, I have to call her done (or really close). Sometimes moving on is the hardest part. Her and her moderatii get primed this weekend. And I’ll start doing some base-coating on the Titan itself.


NEXT: Colour Schemes, The Mortis Aesthetic

Monday, January 20, 2014

Venatrix Nocturna. Part I: Adepticon Titanicus, The Big Show.

+++Level IV Trans code…01.20 Vengeful Spirit to Legio Mortis all sections. Execute Istvaan drop +++ reply…coded 786.52…Venatrix Nocturna begin Walk 05052014…For the Warmaster+++

The Project
Adepticon 2014 sees the addition of a brand new Warhammer 40K-background game, based on the venerable Adeptus Titanicus 6mm rules. But, as with most things Adepticon, the scale (and the ante) has been upped considerably…to 28mm. The event description is Adepticon Titanicus.

3-D Roleplay!
With an incredibly small amount of convincing necessary, I decided that I would register for this game, which I imagine will be a truly historic event to behold; this event could conceivably be the coolest looking game ever to portray the Warhammer 40K universe. And I say that without hyperbole.

It does, however, mean that I need to paint a Forgeworld Warhound Titan…

The Blog
I am going to make a very real and determined effort to post my progress, for two reasons. First, it will keep me on schedule and motivated. Motivation is really tough these days, so I’m hoping that by keeping an online journal, I can keep the work moving at a good pace. Secondly, I figured someone might wanna see pictures of a Titan in progress. So this is for the 2-3 of you who might be interested.

The Warhound is, thankfully, (mostly) constructed at this point. The credit for the build (and dynamic posing) goes to the profoundly talented Dave Taylor
The Nocturna during simulations.
( Dave is a master hobbyist with lots of Forgeworld experience - something I admittedly lack. So recruiting his services was the prudent thing to do, I’m sure you’d agree. I can’t thank Dave enough. You’ll see me buying him drinks at Harry Caray’s come April. But I also plan on thanking him during the game (he’s bringing a Legio Crucius Reaver!) with a well-placed Inferno Cannon shot to the back of his Titan (once its void shields are gone).

The Venatrix Nocturna
I’ll be posting more about the “history” and background of my Warhound over the next few months. But know you this – the Venatrix Nocturna (Night Huntress) is a Mars-pattern scout Titan serving with the Legio Mortis. Her Princeps, Octavia Faust, is a loyal (fanatical?) follower of the Warmaster, and has served with the His Sons of Horus Astartes on countless worlds, through hundreds of campaigns. The Venartrix was one of the first Titans to open fire on the Loyalist hold-outs on Istvaan III and it is that engagement that the model will portray.

So please feel free to comment or make suggestions. This is my first time painting something of this size/scope, so any advice is very welcome. And thanks for reading.


NEXT: Princeps Discordia