TOC: We have seen no shortage of Titans in the United States, a decent handful of them coming from California. You've joined that list of Titans yourself with a very beautiful entry in Viduus. What inspired that lovely Reaver?
Jesse: Firstly, I want to convey my thanks to both you and Drake for creating this incredible community for us. It's always fantastic to have a place for like-minded people to come together and share their hobby, especially for those of us with arguably a bit more enthusiasm than sense!
I have noticed that a fair few of us are located in California. I still have yet to come across anyone else who is a member of this site however (Referring to meeting them in person- TOC). Maybe an organized Titan event is in order! As for the inspiration for Viduus, I always used to pine over the large Forge World kits, especially the Titans. There was just something awe-inspiring about them.
I always used to consider them the pinnacle of 40k modeling. And once I found myself graduated and working a month of particularly heavy overtime, I decided to finally take the plunge. I settled on the Reaver as initially I had planned on only owning one. Needless to say, that plan didn't last long.
The lovely Viduus.
TOC: And why hasn't that plan lasted long? Bitten by the hobby bug?
Jesse: Absolutely. Once you have one you want to bring a whole maniple to that next Apocalypse battle. I also have a close friend who is currently the proud owner of two Warhounds, a Reaver, and a Warlord. He is currently working on building an Emperor-class Titan. You might say we have a bit of a rivalry, as we always find each other on the opposite sides of the table. Unfortunately, the vast majority of his are the Armourcast variants. However, you never know. Maybe I can convert him yet.
TOC: What inspired the decision to pick the Warp Runners?
Jesse: Well it came down to practicality, really. Due to my severe colorblindness, I have difficulty seeing any color with certainty. I have found that following painting guides saves me a lot of stress. I've always liked the color scheme Forgeworld chose initially, and they were kind enough to give us an excellent guide in their Masterclass Series. It just happened to all fall together really.
TOC: For your condition you have done a wonderful job. The blues in particular are extremely rich (in a good way) and the carapace is amazing. How did you achieve that?
Jesse: Thank you! I always loved the deep, rich blue portrayed in the Siege of Vraks illustrations. As for the carapace, other than closely following the guides in Imperial Armour, I spent a great deal of time blending the Forge World decals with several layers of blues, whites, and blacks. Followed by adding the stars and constellations by hand. The scroll work was straight out of the Imperial Armour book, with the Forge World Legio Astorum scroll work over the top. I really can't praise the Imperial Armour Masterclass Volume 2 enough. They really gave a comprehensive step by step guide.
The internals are amazing on such an engine and compliment the Titan's amazing paint job.
TOC: It is quite the impressive job. And it sounds like she has already earned honors and a reputation. How has it been commanding a God-Engine in game?
Jesse: I know it sounds ridiculous, but there is something about having the might of a Titan at your command. Embarrassingly it almost always brings a ridiculous smile to my face. We have a thriving Apocalypse community here, and it's been fantastic watching everyone come together with their own super-heavies.
TOC: It’s hardly a ridiculous thing. Titans are extremely powerful models that remove other models from the board with sickening ease. It's good to have a thriving Apocalypse community available to play since it means your God-Engine is likely to see more than one game per year. Maybe we'll see a Walk After-Action article with your lovely engine later on. How did the name come about?
Jesse: As far as the typical naming convention of the Collegia Titanica, I know Viduus isn't typical. However, ever since university the love of my life has always been fascinated with the Greek and Roman myths and legends. In Roman mythology, Viduus ("divider") was the god who separated the soul and the body after death. She felt this was a fitting name for a God-Engine capable of being the last thing many souls see before the afterlife.
TOC: You allowed someone special to you to be part of your hobby and that's a great thing. And the name is certainly fitting. What drove you to seek TOC membership as part of your hobby?
Jesse: TOC, to me, is an exclusive group of individuals who want to support the growth of the Legio obsession as well as support the community of us who are just crazy enough to own them! It provides a platform for everyone to enjoy the absolutely breathtaking accomplishments of these members. I wanted to join TOC because of the stated reasons above, but also because of the incredibly positive support this community has for each other. I simply wanted to be a part of that.
TOC: How were you introduced to the Titan Owners Club?
Jesse: Initially I was completely unaware of its existence. It was while Googling images of Legio Astorum Reavers in particular that I stumbled across some the beautiful work by Tagsta, Ian D., and Siph Horridus. After that it was just hours spent pouring over the lovely work everyone here has achieved
TOC: What do you ultimately hope to get out of having Viduus and Titan ownership in general?
Jesse: Well, as I said earlier, I’m uniquely blessed to have a thriving Apocalypse community here. Initially, I had purchased Viduus as Titan ownership was always a goal of mine to achieve one day. It also stemmed from my friend letting me borrow his Titans for an Apocalypse game and me absolutely loving the carnage they brought!
But I think what is making me want to continue my Titan maniple is that after Viduus' first walk, everyone has decided they all want super-heavies! Our resident Ork player is already underway building a great Gargant. Our other Guard player is working on a Leviathan, and not to be outdone, my fellow Titan owner is working on an Imperator class Titan!
I guess what I’m trying to say is Viduus ended up transcending my initial intent and inadvertently helped bring a community of massive hobby project together! I hope as my maniple increases in size that its walks will be able to showcase some of the incredible work and effort my group is putting into their Apocalypse games!
TOC: The accidental arms race. It's a bug that my local community also catches when new toys come out. What do you plan to eventually add to your maniple?
Jesse: Well, I know at the very least two Warhounds will be making their way to Viduus' side. As for after that, a Warlord would be a wonderful project, but that will most likely be a purchase only a few years of saving can justify. I'll just have to take it in stride. However, seeing all the work the members of TOC have done with theirs, not eating for a few months is looking incredibly temping!
TOC: We certainly don't wish to encourage starvation in the Omnissiah's name, but they are certainly great models. Does anything go to war at the feet of your lovely Reaver?
Jesse: My main and only force I own for 40k is a shamefully small army of Death Korps of Krieg. Currently, I only have about 1,500 points fully painted (only 50 Guardsman painted!). But, I always loved the imagery of the Siege of Vraks, and as the Legio Astorum stood by the Krieg Regiments there, so too does Viduus stand beside the Krieg 3rd Armored Division, the Iron Knights.
I have made an oath with myself that before I purchase another titan, I must complete more of my army. Let’s just see how long that lasts shall we?
What will eventually accompany such a battlefield god?
TOC: A very valiant goal. Viduus is certainly going to be in good hands from both owner and supporting force.
What would you like to see most for the future of the Titans, especially with the recent rumblings of games both on table and digitally?
Jesse: I am positively excited about the new Adeptus Titanicus game coming from Forge World. I am, as yet, unsure if I will be picking the core game up, but I certainly love the idea of having mini-me’s of the 40k-scaled titans. I just don't see very many people in my group going for the "epic 40k" scene.
As for the video game that was announced, I have been unable to find any additional information on it, and their link they provided takes me to an unrelated site. As much as I would love to have an awesome Titan video game, with all the incredible fire-power being actually visualized, I'm reserving excitement until I see it.
TOC: Do you think we may eventually see a Titan codex? (Meant in terms of special rules for the Legios and Titan Guard cohesively, and not allowing them to be abused in regular games as your entire force.)
Jesse: With the way both Games Workshop and Forge World have been cranking out codices, we just might. However this could also be my incredible desire to see it happen speaking! If it had a focus on the Titan Guard, I could perhaps see it coming, but with the minimum cost of a single titan being over seven hundred points alone, I would be very surprised if it ever made it out of an Apocalypse formation or lord of war choice. As much as I would love to see it come about, 1,850 point games just don’t lend themselves well to Titans.
TOC: I could easily see them staying in that spot. A codex would likely add Legio rules. Do you have any special advice for your fellow TOC members?
Jesse: Either way. It would be an awesome product! I have to say I find this question the most difficult to answer. Honestly, the community here has offered me so much advice through their step by step guides and their external blogs which greatly helped me through the building of my Titan. Perhaps the only advice I feel I could give is when starting the project don't give up! And don't be afraid of any perceived shortcomings! I was so nervous when I started this project, about pinning and my colorblindness, but finally seeing it fully complete has been the most rewarding challenge!
TOC: And the final, always amusing question for you. Any shoutouts for anyone out there or challenges to the others?
Jesse: As for shoutouts, it wouldn't be proper if I didn't give recognition to the individual Reaver owners that while Goggle searching brought me to this lovely site. That would be Tagsta with Invictorus, Ian D. with Malleus Imperatoris, and Siph Horridus with Honorum. It was these gentlemen and their beautiful engines that first introduced me to the Titan Owners Club and inspired me to follow in their footsteps and create my own God Machine of Legio Astorum. I also need to give credit to Justin H. for his fantastic guides for building these machines. It was has blog, 30mm Madness, that gave me the courage to actually undertake this challenge.
TOC: Thank you for your time in doing this interview. May Viduus see many a battlefield fall in her favor.