Monday, 12 September 2016

Titan Owner Interview- Jonathan B., Helios Iapetus, Hyperion

Sometimes there comes along that one hobbyist that's happy to share his ideas, float around a site, and even "steal" the ideas of others while giving due credit and comes up with something absolutely amazing.  BigJon is one of those hobbyists and he's also a TOC member.  We sat down with him and picked his brain recently to give you the scoop on he and his two death dealers.

TOC: It's always a pleasure to speak with one of the TOC members since you are the driving forces of the blog.  You have two entries in the form of Hyperion and Helios Iapetus.  What drove you to start with the two biggest Titans on the block?

Jonathan B.: When you go, go big.  I've done a couple of Warhounds in the past but they have come and gone. It seemed that when your site was coming alive it was within my project window.  I also have another Reaver on your site, Anima Messor, #182, but he was eBay'ed.  He was sold to fund Hyperion.

TOC: As I understand it, Hyperion's certificate number had an ironic tie to Anima Messor's certificate number in the long run.

Jonathan B.: Just matching in the 18.  182 vs. 1833 that's a lot of Titans between there.

TOC: It's poetic in a way.  And I notice that your engines are Legio Tempestus, a very common and loved Legio.  What drew you to them?

Jonathan B.: That's a complicated question really. After selling Messor I wanted to do an established Legio; one that could fit in both the 30k and 40k "universes".  I had read of Titanicus by Dan Abnett and loved it. I also had the Forge World book covering the Sabbat World Crusade that also had Tempestus in it. Then Mechanicum by Graham McNeill came out and I was decided.  I also have the old Titan epic game and noted the camo, so to pay tribute to the old game I wanted camo in my paint.

Hyperion looks resplendent in the Tempestus colors.

TOC: Very fluff-driven; it's led you to a very strong choice.  Did the fact that the Legio split in half during the Horus Heresy impact your decisions as well?

Jonathan B.: Sure, I love the drama. Good guy, bad guy; depends on who he is shooting at really. From a gaming perspective a banner swap and a chaos missile launcher and bang, a pre-Heresy chaos Titan.

TOC: Options seem to be important to your builds, and the magnet work that you've done on your Titans reflects that.  You've also done some inventive things by using screws.  What prompted such a unique solution?

Jonathan B.: I can't take credit for the screws. There is a site called Tanks and Trolls where I got the idea. The Warlord is a large and heavy kit; it just didn't seem pins were going to cut it. The screws increase the surface area inside and provided a better join.  I pre-drilled and then routed out where the screw goes, coated it with JB and secured.  It also let me handle a part that might otherwise need to sit for 24 hours.

A different and great solution to a hard to tackle problem.

TOC: It's a good solution for a very heavy kit that you certainly don't want to get ruined or broken.  As I understand it from when Col. Hertford was interviewed you're also having a build competition with him.  What inspired that, and how does it help you look at the process of your Warlord build?

Jonathan B.: It started with the Reaver.  I was looking up as much info on Tempestus as I could and found his blog. It helped motivate me to catch up, next thing you know my catching up resulted in a gentleman's race. I wanted to match his colors so we exchanged some messages and tips.  I truly think a Titan build is a community effort. I still reference every source I can find during the entire process of building and painting.

TOC: What would you say is different about the TOC community compared to the 40k community at large?

Jonathan B.: A Forge World Titan is more than a gaming piece or model toy. I've been scale modeling since I was a child with my grandfather. These Titans are a true test in skill and patience. It's an investment in time, effort, sometimes blood, and money.  I think everyone pulls for each other knowing what is involved.

TOC: The blood part was shown off in your Warlord's original post.  You've definitely got a sense of dedication about your big resin babies.  What drew you in to Titan ownership?  It's a big step for any player/hobbyist in the hobby.

Jonathan B.: When I first got into this hobby my entrance was Adeptus Titanicus. Titans, and big giant robots in general as a kid, was my thing.  My first Titans were Armorcast Reavers and Phantoms; I've owned a few in my time and am currently working on one of each for a guy I know.

When FW put out the first Reaver I knew I wanted one. When the Warlord was introduced I felt like a kid again with that Adeptus Titanicus box with theses foam buildings. I don't play as much, but the building and painting will always be my hobby. My grandfather did model trains into his 80's; I'm sure I'll be the same with large FW kits, with a focus on the Titans.

Both Titan and owner stand tall and proud.  Helios has made a lot of progress since we last saw it.

TOC: Which Titans are next on the list for you, if any?

Jonathan B.: Well, I've done three Warhounds and have sold them all. Time for a fourth.  After that I hope to have a lot of Titans in a much smaller scale when FW releases the new Horus Heresy Titanicus.

I do commission work on the side; a client is thinking of adding his own Warlord and asked me the cost of assembly and painting and I told him it was going to cost him a second Warlord, so it's not out of the question.

TOC: Any Skitarii or Secutarii like you see in the stories?

Jonathan B.: I have a mound of it, just waiting on the FW bits to be released (they had not at the time of the interview- TOC). My Reaver is on display at my local GW and I was asked to paint up a supporting force. They look good in the blue/gray camo so I will paint to match.

TOC: What are you most excited about for the future of Titans?

Jonathan B.: I hope the smaller scale game will bring people into the larger kits so we can see more fantastic builds. I would like to see more weapon and head options.  Of course I dream of plastic Titans but alas.  I also can't wait for GW and FW to fill in the blanks. More source info and fluff; more background.

TOC: Last question, and always the fun one.  Any shout-outs, challenges, or words of encouragement for the TOC at large?

Jonathan B.: Thanks to you and the entire TOC community. Special shout to Col. Hertford. Thanks to Dave Taylor's build, 30mm madness, Tanks and Trolls, and Battle Bunnies, very core sites that helped me along.  A word of encouragement. I had my first Titan for several years before I finally sat down and did it. Don't let the kit intimate you, take your time; enjoy it.


  1. Cool interview TOC, and a great fellow to boot. Always helpful if you need it. I'm really looking forward to more Titans from the man behind "Two" Titans!

    1. We need to make it Ten Titans! :) A lot of thought goes into his builds and paint jobs and it shows very well on his two beautiful engines.

  2. You do great work BigJ, and your blog has been very very helpful (as had Hertford's) to me. I'm probably close to the halfway point on my first Reaver build. Can't thank you enough for sharing your experience!

    Hyperion is really a beautifully done Titan and I am very impressed with the warlord thus far!