TOC: It's easy to tell that you've been an active part of the hobby community and within the Titan Owners Club because your name pops up in the comments section often. But you do more than just watch the hobby because you have two Titans (A false statement as we later find out). A Warlord and a Reaver. What makes up your hobby arsenal and what drove you to get into owning Titans?
Hertford: Well, the main reason I got into the hobby was Titans. I was lucky enough to get a copy of Codex Titanicus, Space Marine, and a set of battle Titans back in 88/89. I used to play games of 3 x 3 with my brothers on the dining room table. Later these expanded to more as we got more Warlords, Reavers, and Warhouds. Later Orks and Eldar got added. For me, Titans ARE 30/40k, not the Space Marine pin-ups.
TOC: For you, it’s the big God-Engines. I take it Epic was a big part of your hobby back then when it was around?
Hertford: I also love modeling; I do game once in a blue moon with little grey men. But my gaming buddy is... well, brutal with Tau.
Oh, and I have a Warhound in the Club too...
TOC: Considered punishing his Tau with a Titan before, or does it seem too overkill given how powerful they are in the Lord of War slot without the 25% restrictions of 30k?
Hertford: Or run a leviathan list? I have, but it seems a little unsporting.
TOC: They can be quite overkill. And I just looked up your Warhound entry. Your Warlord and Reaver bear the colors of the Legio Tempestus, while your Warhound bears those of Gryphonicus. Both are very loved and iconic Legios. What made you wish to do two different Titan Legions?
Hertford: Yes in answer to you earlier question, Yes God Engines and scale. I would regularly have games with twenty companies per side and two dozen Titans.
TOC: Those are indeed some very large forces in terms of the normal tabletop; though Epic made such large battles much easier to handle because of its rules, scale, and setup. Is that what inspired ultimately owning the Forge World Titans in a larger scale, with three split among two Legios?
Hertford: I think the change of Legio was brought about by Book IV: Conquest. I'd loved Legio Gyrphonicus since Codex Titanicus, but the dirty, grimy look of the Legio Tempestus art work sealed it for me. They are in Titanicus, They are an original Titan Legion which fought on both sides of the Heresy, and continue to fight in 40K. They also have battleship dazzle camo on them and being a bit of a warship fan I find this endearing too.
TOC: What usually fights in support of your Titans, especially since fluff does seem to have a hold for you?
Hertford: Fluff is important as it, and the iconic units such as Titans, are what separate said 30/40k from the other game systems. Imperial Guard, at the moment I'm generally displaying one painted model, 6 or 7 half-painted, and the rest of my guardsmen are unpainted. Building an infantry force of Alpha Legion, with an allied contingent of House Makabius Knights as I'm tired of little grey men. In the long term I have Mechanicum and Death Guard purchased, but in need of TLC. I also plan on building a contingent of House Taranis Knights. Just to be fluffy. The Mars book is a coming at some point, and Secutarii.
TOC: You beat me to the Secutarii question. It sounds like you have quite a lot that you want to rally around your Titans and that you're very much setting up an expeditionary fleet of your own centered around the Titans. What are you hoping to see from the Secutarii? And how do you feel the current Skitarii range does in protecting the Titans if you've used them at all?
Hertford: Yes, the idea is to have an expeditionary fleet, and what better a focal point? I'm hoping for some nice models and tactics. Yes, Titans are not invulnerable; Warhounds in particular are quite fragile for the points, so something to help them out would be nice. I really like the models shown already. I was at the HH weekender when they were shown. They got a cheer almost as big as Russ! Honestly, the Mechanicum are quite well-supplied these days, as long as they have a couple of new troop types as shown, and can make use of the current Mechanicum vehicles, then I'm happy. I haven't really delved into the current Skitarii range, though I'm painting a tech priest at the moment. I do hope FW introduce them into 30k.
TOC: Warhounds are relatively fragile, and they very much live and die by their void shields. That's quite a cheer to receive when it's as large as that of one of the most beloved and anticipated Primarchs. What has been your biggest moment to you as a Titan owner?
Hertford: Yeah, but I still love the beasts. I think the problem is they shouldn't live in a gun line. They should be at the flanks and rear. To be honest the cheer was probably a symptom of the fact they had models. The Custodes and Sisters didn't. The best thing about the club is that I love seeing the all the Titans. There are some really beautiful ones. The biggest moment was finishing the build of my Reaver. I had paid for the Warhound to be built and painted; I wanted the Reaver to be all by me. To be honest during the build I got used to the model’s scale, then I got a good clear day and took an upshot photo. Seriously, that's how Titans MUST be photographed.
TOC: The pride is evident in your Reaver. Is there a special bond with that particular Titan since it was done by your hand personally? And how has it inspired your Warlord build?
Hertford: Simply put, yes. I've spent 30-ish years in the hobby and have a massive pile of unpainted metal, resin, and plastic and I'm talking thousands or more. The Reaver signifies this battle. It's been a blooming pain at times, the low points being the dreaded oily resin and the cursed power fist, but slowly the Reaver is taking shape. He's my challenge. The warlord build will be slower. I want this to be right. I know more what not to do. I will still make mistakes, but hopefully not the same mistakes. I think the Reaver also taught me how to deal with modeling problems. On a cheap model, I’d have a moment and throw it away. A Reaver is somewhat harder to replace.
The Reaver standing tall and proud.
TOC: What can we expect to see after the Warlord? Plans to add a Warhound pair to the Legio Tempestus?
Hertford: This year, the main hobby expense will be building a proper games room and a nice big display cabinet to put my models in. I've been tempted to get a pair of Warhounds, but I think the models may get an update at some point. It’s my 40th at the end of this Year, and Legio Tempestus need someone to fight against. I'm putting some leg work in on another Titan. I guess the class will depend on my good lady wife.
TOC: We never get far as a hobbyist unless our spouse approves, and the pocket book. What do you think defines Titan ownership the most?
Hertford: I think it's wanting to push yourself to the hobby limits. They have everything: fine details, large difficult surfaces, faces. Being a little bit mad helps too!
TOC: What is the biggest thing on your Titan wishlist? Be it owning a new one, changes to rules, or even seeing new items come out.
Hertford: Ah, it's a hard question. My favorite model of all time is an Ork Gargant. I'd love an update model. GW bringing back Adeptus Titanicus is number two. A Corvus assault fist would be cool too!
TOC: And last, though certainly not least. Any advice for your fellow Titan owners or bellowing challenges to friends and rivals?
Hertford: Well, I'm kinda in a build war with BigJon, a fellow Legio Tempestus Princeps. He finished his Reaver first, now we are on Warlords. I want to throw down the gauntlet to Drake, the esteemed founder of the club. Mortis must pay for Mars! And finally, if you have a Titan, join the club. The more Titans here the better. It's all good reference material for the community!
Thanks for your time Shadow, it's really good to see the club alive again.
TOC: Thank you for your time, it was a pleasure.