Today, we get to pick the brain of James, owner of Ignum Mortis, a very lovely Legio Atarus Reaver that not only came together swiftly, but epitomizes the Firebrands aesthetic.
TOC: It's a pleasure to have you in the hotseat today James. Ready to talk shop?
James: I sure am!
TOC: We don't see the Firebrands too often, even though they're one of the most well-known of the Collegia Titanica forces. What made you choose them?
James: That’s a good question, with a funny answer. It was their decal sheet! I didn’t know anything about them, but I loved the symbols on the decal sheets so I chose them.
TOC: It was the flaming sword, wasn't it?
James: Yeah, I thought it was really cool-looking and unique.
TOC: How much have you learned about Atarus since picking them? And did the choice of Legio come before or after picking your Titan?
James: Oh I became a quick study of them and their background, which made me fall in even more love with them. I’ve always wanted a Reaver. So when I had the opportunity, I grabbed it!
TOC: Is that why you started with the Reaver? Many hobbyists feel that of the three Titans, the Reaver is the most difficult to build due to its legs and center of gravity.
James: Yep, it’s so iconic that I didn’t care. I had to have one. I didn’t find it too hard to build. It was the largest Forge World kit I’ve built so far. I just took my time. The Omnissiah blessed me with a great kit.
TOC: “So far” seems to imply a Warlord is in the cards. What can we expect to see in the future from you?
James: Another Reaver for sure, a Warhound, and a Warlord. My friends and I are on a mission to play epic in 40k scale.
TOC: That will be quite the Maniple. Has any of it been inspired by any of the lore you read? And EPIC in 40k scale would be amazing. I imagine the upcoming Adeptus Titanicus must be an exciting prospect.
James: No, the maniple is more because it would just be a legendary game to play in. And yes, I’m super excited about Adeptus Titanticus. I CAN’T WAIT!!
TOC: What excites you most about the future of Titans? We still have weapons that Forge World needs to create for our existing kits, there are rumors of a new chassis of Battle Titan coming out in the next year or so, the Secutarii have rules once more, and Adeptus Titanicus is coming.
James: Man that’s a good question. The thing that excites me most about Titans is more of them. That may sound funny, but the more that are out there, the better for the whole community. Owning a Titan or more is great. Finding out there are other people with them out there is even better. As far as options and new chassis go, it’s all very exciting news/rumors. It’s a great time to be in the hobby.
TOC: You mentioned finding others with Titans, which is one of TOC's aims. Is that what brought you to the club, or did something else create that path for you?
James: That’s exactly what brought me to the club. I stalked the page forever, way before I purchased my Titan. I loved looking at everyone’s finished Titans.
TOC: Many consider a Titan to be the largest canvas we have in our hobby, and the penultimate piece of a collection. Is that what drew you into Titan ownership, or was it something else?
James: Yes, that’s what drew me to it. It’s so 40k! When you put it on the table, it helps spin the narrative that it’s a larger engagement going on. It really helps drive the narrative.
TOC: And drives a battlefield. Titans can turn the tide of a game just as much as they do in the lore. What do you hope to get most out of Titan ownership? And what do you hope to be able to add to it?
James: My big hope from my Titan ownership is inspiration. I want to inspire other hobbyists just like I was inspired. I want hobbyists that believe that they can aspire to larger games that include God-Engines. I hear so many people say they can’t ever get one. Yes they can, and I’m proof of that! The thing that I would want to add to it is simple. MORE! Not just for me, but in general. I want more people joining the TOC, I want more games that are God-Engine friendly. So hopefully my activity in my local area will drive that.
TOC: I imagine then that the Chapter Approved points increase from 2017 was a bitter blow to see them in more games. And you say that you're proof of being able to get one. What advice would you give to those that think they can't afford a Titan?
James: Nah, we just play bigger games! The best advice that I can give someone is to just save a little at a time. It doesn’t matter how long it takes, as long as you’re doing it consistently.
TOC: It's the same way I did my Warlord; or, as one TOC member has previously called it, "being responsible." What started the love of Titans and wanting one?
James: Being responsible is exactly it. It started with Epic, then the old Armorcast ones. Seeing a Forge World Titan in the flesh, just put me over the edge, and I had to have one.
TOC: And then the rest becomes history for you. You lurk around TOC for a while, save money patiently, rip the bandage off, and buy a Titan. Going back into history briefly, what inspired you to get it done so quickly? And how did you go about deciding how you wanted to paint the Titan's scheme?
James: Yep! Now I HAVE to have more! We have an annual gaming event at my house called Week of War. It’s a week of nothing but 40k, maybe another game here and there. But it’s 99.5 percent 40k this year; we decided to step it up. I quickly painted mine up, and my buddy purchased two. As far as the paint scheme, lots of Google searches.
TOC: You've definitely come up with something that fits the Firebrands. Maybe some tutorials will be in order later on? The carapace sword stands out really well on the Reaver. It pops, but doesn't dominate the model. How did you achieve that effect?
James: Thanks, sure I can do a step by step. I can’t take credit for the sword; it’s a decal from the Forge World sheet.
TOC: Just applied right to it? No special effects on your end?
James: No, not really. I airbrushed the shield, highlighted it, and slid the decal on. The clear coat did the rest.
TOC: So, what comes next for you, Ignum Mortis, and the Legio Atarus?
James: The banners for the Reaver and then the new Warhound and Reaver. The goal is by this time next year I’ll have it all done. You guys will be the first to get updates!
A great start to the banners.
TOC: We look forward to seeing them. And you've handled the hotseat quite well. Of course, we have to ask our traditional and favorite question at the end. Any shoutouts, words of wisdom, or bellowing challenges?
James: Have fun, first and foremost. And I wish to thank Randy Bertok and Jerrome Miller for being all in for the Weeks of War; this is going to be our 5th anniversary!
<warhorn blaring> Any foul Xenos or Heretic engines roaming the north Texas area need to make sure their void shields are charged! The Ignum Mortis will exert her wrath upon you!!
TOC: Fine words, Princeps! Thank you for your time today, it's been a pleasure.
James: That was fun. Thanks for having me. I’m still coaxing Randy to register his engine. It’s beautiful!