TOC: As ever it's a joy to sit down with one of the TOC members and pick their brain. This time I get to ask about the marvelous Odium Aeternum and the very unique Warhound that you have. What started the process of making such wonderfully converted models and the very gritty and realistic Nurgle feel to them?
Iosh: It's a treat to have the old brain picked, and I thank you for your time and efforts! I've always loved the idea of building a Warhound, but my pocketbook never allowed for such extravagance. I'd buy a little Forge World here and there, but nothing as extreme as a Warhound. Having recently expanded the Nurgle aspects of my army, a friend of mine made me a deal and I ended up with a Titan he called Disastron. "I have more money than sense," he said, "see if you can fix this!"
That's pretty fixed!
Well, as I slowly picked it apart with care and Un-Cure, I realized it would never look good, ever again, and that I had to capitalize on its chipped and sundered features. It was watching me apply myself to what I called "this odious task" that inspired my lovely wife to purchase for me a new Reaver. She is clearly insane.
TOC: That's an act of love in many ways. And I imagine this "odious task" is how the Reaver's name was born?
Iosh: It was! I actually looked up the Latin translation for grudge and it was Odium, and I clapped for delight. If one term sums up the Long War for me it's "Eternal Grudge".
TOC: And few personify the Long War as much as the Legio Mortis, infamous for being a beloved Legio of the Warmaster. What made you choose them?
Iosh: Serendipity actually made me choose Mortis. They were the first to follow Horus and among the founding Legios of Mars; and their fall to Nurgle rather made sense to me for their affinity with mortality. Their loyalist color scheme appealed to me much more, however, than did green and grey. As I also only had an Imperial Titan, I was almost compelled to make it a Mortis engine that had corroded and been ill-used.
TOC: Which is evidenced quite a lot on that converted Warhound. What helped you to give it that look? What inspired that particular design?
Iosh: Well, I really enjoyed Mechanicum, in the Horus Heresy series, when Mortis walked. So I dug around wherever I could to imbibe the fluff behind them, and any attendant images. That was what actually led me to TOC; and seeing monuments like Bone Garland cinched the deal as far as a Mortis scheme. The rust and corrosion effects were a natural go to for me because I figured flesh could turn green and putrescent as is its wont, but why would metal do so? Wouldn't it just rust? The designs were taken from the transfer sheet and sculpted or made from rubbish. There's also this lovely rendition of the Legio Mortis symbol you can find on Google search that I took as inspiration for the head and shin guard iconography.
TOC: With your Warhound it's a converted Imperial Titan that's been corrupted and done so by your own hand. The Reaver is the Chaos one by design. What extra flares and touches can we expect to see on the Reaver since it largely has the marks of Chaos already?
Iosh: That's been a sticky one for me! It's such an epic model that it needs no embellishment at all! I'm loath to do much at all, but what I've done so far is modest. There may be room for fading Legio iconography among the Chaos arrows and muck, but again, it really needs nothing in that area. I did adapt the skull and portcullis icon for the sake of identity, but much more isn't really needed. This is more of a painting project!
Very excellent start, and Iosh said there is more to come on the head.
TOC: The identity of the Legio and the Chaos iconography seem quite important to your builds. Between that and the previously mentioned fluff it sounds like you have a story you're ready to tell.
Iosh: It'll be nice to try a couple battles and let the stories write themselves. Knowing how Chaos works, I'll spend a fair bit of time rolling on the Catastrophic Damage chart, but that's the upside! The fluff is honestly so much fun and with so much room for personal interpretation. For example, I screwed up a bit and used a Warlord kill marking as a front for the groin plate on the Warhound. I suppose I'll just use that as the reason there's "no longer" a Warlord in my battlegroup. It'll be a spell before there's a larger engine with this detachment! I look forward to painting the Reaver with perhaps a bit more daring.
TOC: It sounds like you'll have what I call "living models" and that they'll be cherished. You mentioned that the Warhound pretty much fell in your lap and that the Reaver was a gift from a very loving spouse. That, I imagine, makes them special and makes Titan ownership less of a status symbol and more of a point of pride?
Iosh: It's not even that so much as it has been an act by folks I love to tickle an obsession I've had for years! Man, I've tried knocking out a scratch build and a kit bash and all I ended up with was a Non-Titan. I've had a delightful time with the few Forge World kits I have, but these have been so immensely rewarding to put together; it's more an honor to be able to do so than a point of pride in having done it, you know? They are both verrrrry much WIP, by the way.
Even WIP the Titan is quite imposing.
TOC: WIP, yes, but a labor of love. What comes next after they are completed? Many of the TOC members have taken to adding maniple brethren, Skitarii support, or even whole Exploratory Fleets.
Iosh: I would love some support, for sure! At the moment, there isn't much for Dark Mechanicus, but perhaps GW will amaze. I will absolutely have to round out with another Warhound, and it will likely also be an Imperial one. For now, I have Chaos and Imperial Armour 13, so all my support comes in the form of Daemons and Terminators. One of these days, however, things are going to have to escalate, and my lonely little maniple will earn its Princeps Majoris, and I will gleefully plow a fortune into building a Chaos Banelord! I share this dream with my children and they look at me as if my head just exploded, and ask me about lunch money and college.
TOC: Imperial so that you can do another conversion, or as the chance to make sure it's similar to the current Warhound? And a Banelord would be quite the cool project to see. What is your ultimate goal as a Titan owner?
Iosh: Yes, there needs to be a counterpart to this one, and I'd like to try a bit of striping! Maintaining continuity among them will be the challenge for me, but also the delight. My ultimate goal as a Titan owner is to blast my opponents off the table, and hopefully face down other, similar class war gods! I hope, in general, to be a decent player of these inspiring constructs. I really enjoy watching my own stuff go boom, however, so attracting fire from everything on the table and being able to return it sounds like a barrel of laughs!
TOC: Spoken like a Chaos player. What would you like to see most added to the Titans, either physically or rules-wise?
Iosh: I would really like to see different designs within the classes, such as Lucius pattern armor, Ursus claws, Legio specific weaponry, etc. An Imperator would be hilarious, but first up, how about some Gargant love? Maybe a Norn Queen? Back down on Earth, I'd really like to see Towering Monstrosity given to 40K Titans, preferably in a tome compiling everything about these massive avatars of battle. A codex for Titans would be nice, I guess is what I'm trying to say.
Some of the Secret Weapon skeletons I ordered to string along the carapace of the Reaver arrived just now! (This literally happened during the interview- TOC) I guess I just can't leave well enough alone after all. Legio Mortis loved to decorate their engines with the remains of enemies. I used up all my bones making the Warhound, so I am now replenished. Good timing.
TOC: Fortuitous timing indeed. And a Codex: Adeptus Titanicus, that would cover all types of Titans, would be a really interesting thing. What about Titan ownership inspires you most?
Iosh: What an interesting question! Aside from the hilarity and delight of being able to place one in front of an already enormous army, and the thought of twelve battle cannon shots scattering across the table? I guess I'd have to say that the most inspiring thing about it is being able to build one and NOT mutilate it! I've heard all kinds of nightmare stories, but even with the toe pistons being pinned, it took me only three days to get Odium standing. It waits only for paint and weaponry. An absolute blast to put together. They're just such incredible models... one need look not very far to be inspired!
I must admit, it is hugely exalting to have a partner in life that sees your passions and rewards your struggles with understanding. As my wife watched me slowly pick apart the Warhound, wincing and squealing, she made a decision to style me a new Reaver. That kind of love is a treasure for sure, and I do so hope to make this investment of hers an abomination to scorch the eyes. She knows this, and grins. I'm a lucky cat in most ways!
TOC: It gives you a chance to share your passion and your hobby. And TOC is often a way to do that amongst other Titan owners. What drew you in to joining the TOC and what do you hope to add to that community?
Iosh: I found TOC by searching everything I could dredge up on Legio Mortis and Titans and well, anything to do with the God-Engines! There are so many creative and inspired individuals here, so dedicated to the incredible feeling of fielding one of these monsters that it gave me tremendous insight on how to go about crafting my own maniple; and was inspiring to know that there are many others out there who share this particular type of battle lust, er...hobby.
I will happily add any mistakes I've made, that anyone might avoid them, but I sincerely hope to share my joyous sojourn into a corroded and misanthropic Nurgle-worshipping Legio. It is very humbling to have a place here at your table, everyone! I don't see any other Titans in Washington, but I do hope to network and possibly wage war with a fellow member one day!
TOC: We've heard similar things from fellow TOC members before and it continues with you. The final, and always fun question. Any shoutouts, challenges, or words of wisdom?
Iosh: A shout out to each of you here at TOC for your fraternity! It's always bracing to put your heart out there for all to see, and there are some brave and intrepid hobbyists and painters here for sure! I thank you, Shadow, for taking the time out of some pretty eventful days to converse with me, and I thank the founding members for giving us a place on the web to congregate! Um, wisdom, wisdom...hmm. Oh! Oven cleaner, such as Easy-Off and some very fine steel wool really helps with the Hellglaze, what I like to call that infernal FW mould release. Other than that little gem, everything I know was borrowed from greater minds! Like yours!
TOC: Thank you for your time. It was a pleasure