Warmachine, Warhammer 40k, & Terrain Projects

Painting the ForgeWorld Reaver Titan Legs

  1. Start with a partially assembled and primed set of legs. I left off the leg piston guard assemblies, all pistons, leg armor, front & rear pelvis armor, leg cabling, toes, and knee plates)
  2. Using 3M 1/4″ Vinyl Tape, mask off the top and bottom of the upper leg main pistons.
    Reaver Titan Legs, masking upper leg pistons

  3. Airbrush on Alclad II gloss black lacquer base to the upper leg pistons. The smoother the underlying finish, the shinier the end result will be. I was a bit too aggressive with the Dremel tool when finish the leg pistons and didn’t go back and spend quite as much time as I should smoothing it out. (it still turned out good, just not great).
    Alclad II Lacquer air brush cleaner and gloss black baseReaver Titan upper leg pistons with gloss black base
  4. Let the black base dry overnight, and then airbrush on Alclad II Chrome Lacquer. Let dry overnight.
    Alclad II chrome lacquer paintReaver Titan legs with Alclad II chrome
  5. Mask off the cylinders (I used blue painters masking tape, it did leave behind some fogging on the underlying chrome paint. If I were to do this again I’d use tacky airbrush frisket.
  6. Airbrush on a base coat of your primary metal choice. I chose Games Workshop Boltgun Metallic thinned with Createx Wicked W100 reducer.
    Reaver Titan Legs with Boltgun Metal basecoat
  7. I then mixed quite a lot of Reaper 9208 Black Ink with Pledge Future Shine and tinted the Boltgun base coat down  few few shades, again using an airbrush. Let dry for 30 minutes between applications.
    Reaver Titan Legs tinted with black ink and future
  8. After the tint dries, hit each rivet with a dab of Badab Black Wash.
  9. After the was on the rivets completely dries, lightly dry brush on some straight GW Boltgun and/or Chainmail over the details.
    Reaver Titan legs, dry brushed with GW chainmail
  10. For the leg piston guards, airbrush on a basecoat of Vallejo Acrylic/Polyurethane black primer.
    Reaver Titan Leg piston guards with black base coat.
  11. I then hit the highlighted surfaces of the piston guards with a VERY light airbrush application of Games Workshop Charadon Granite thinned with Createx Wicked w100 reducer.
    Reaver Titan Leg piston assembly with grey highlights
  12. Basecoat the trim with Reaper 29830  HD Ruddy Brown.
    Reaver Titan Leg piston guards with ruddy brown trim
  13. Apply several thin coats of Games Workshop Shining Gold
  14. Once the gold trim has completely dried, brush on a thinned coat (1:1 wash/water) of Games Workshop Devlan Mud.
    Reaver Titan piston guards with washed gold trim
  15. Glue on the Toe piston assemblies! I first tried super glue, but it didn’t have enough ‘body’ to fill in the gaps in the sockets at the bottom of the guards, so I ended up using JB-Quick epoxy, which created great bonds. I was careful to scrape paint/primer off any surfaces that would be within a glue joint for the strongest bond possible. Because I had masked most of these areas off with poster tac during painting this only took a few minutes.
    Reaver Titan lower legs with piston guards attached
  16. Apply the same coloring technique to the toes (black primer base, GW Charadon Granite highlight, brown/gold/wash trim)
  17. Use JB-Quick to attach the toes. It’s a bit fiddly to get the toe pistons cut tot the correct length and aligned correctly, and I had glue on both ends of the piston as well as the toe/foot joint as well so there are five surfaces with epoxy on them (2 pistons with two ends each + the toe/foot join) so be very careful to keep everything clean (especially your fingers! I used a few pairs of nitrile gloves). It’s good to have the stronger epoxy instead of super glue here, as a single toe can take quite a lot of force as you pick up and set down the entire model. Once the model is sitting flat most of the weight is on the ball of the foot and the toes just add more surface area to reduce risk of tipping.
    Reaver Titan lower leg with toes attached
  18. Airbrush on the Vallejo Black primer to the ‘back/underside/inside’ of the leg, knee, and pelvis armor plates.
  19. Airbrush a thin blended black ‘edge’ on front of the leg armor, extending a bit (1/4″ to 1/8th”) inside of the leg trim itself. This isn’t pictured here, but will be shown in step 34 below. This is not the traditional azimuth lighting technique often used on normal minis… shade all around the edges. This lays down a nice color gradient that will give the somewhat red transparent overcoat a lot of depth. Optionally, you could highlight a mottled pattern on the armor plates with a lighter grey or even VERY LIGHT touch of white… if you want to get the mottled effect you see on some of the professionally painted titans on the forge world site.
  20. Airbrush on the main color! I used Createx Wicked Crimson W015 reduced with the same W100 reducer used above. This is fairly straightforward, just make sure you do very light coats and have your paint consistency correct. The first time I use a new paint/color, I always mix it in a plastic palette and shoot it through my airbrush, testing on some unfortunate discard minis (that probably have a few dozen layers of various paint on them at this point). If it goes on and ‘beads up’ or ‘streaks’ it’s too thin. If it immediately clogs up your airbrush or after just a few sprays you start getting inconsistent flow from your airbrush, it’s either too thick or needs to be strained. I’ve never HAD to strain any of the Createx wicked colors, although I might should have with the golden yellow (will mention more about this below). Another thing to avoid here is ‘over painting.’ Going through the motions to prep paint at just the right consistency…having paint left over in the brush, and knowing how much effort it is to clean the airbrush… I have to fight the tendency to lay down too much paint..until the cup runs dry. When you have enough paint down, even if it’s just 4 or 5 strokes and you have another 50 in your cup… PUT DOWN THE AIRBRUSH!
  21. Do the brown trim base coat, several layers of shining gold, and devlan mud wash on the trim (same as the toe guards in steps 12-14 above.
  22. JB-Weld the leg armor to the lower legs. Scrape any paint off of surfaces that will be bonded, and rough up a bit with your exact-o knife. I used JB-Weld instead of JB-Quick because I wanted extra strength here, as this is one of the more fragile joins on the model. It also gave me more time to position and reposition the leg armor plates until I had them just right. I used some rubber bands (from broccoli bunches at the store) that were just the right size, secured the leg plates onto the lower leg, and walked away for the evening, letting everything cure up nice and strong.
    Reaver Titan lower leg armor plates being gluedReaver Titan lower leg armor plates, drying with rubber bands
  23. Airbrush the front of the knee-pad yellow. I used Createx Wicked W011 Golden Yellow. The back was primed black in step 18. I’m not sure why, but when spaying the golden yellow I was getting ‘dots’ of white. I’m not sure what they were… if it was a ‘sheared’ particle of yellow pigment, if there were actually white flakes in the paint, or if somehow my brush wasn’t clean? I’ll try this paint again before painting the head, and if I have the same problem I might try straining the paint or trying another batch… I don’t want to change colors as I want the yellow to match exactly.
  24. Choose an ‘angle’ that you want the danger stripes to go, and lay down an initial section of the 3m vinyl tape. Immediately parallel to the strip you just put down, put in a small length of tape near each end. Then, place the next full stripe down parallel to the two strips at each end. This will ensure that the lines are both parallel and of equal width of the yellow stripes.
    Reaver Titan knee pad with vinyl masking tape
  25. Once all the tape is down, airbrush black primer over the yellow paint. After the paint dries (a few minutes in this case) peel off the vinyl tape and you have a nice, consistent stripe.
    Reaver Titan yellow caution knee pad
  26. Paint the other kneepad and two pelvis plates using the same technique as steps 18-21.
    Reaver titan leg armor being painted
  27. For the other knee, I painted half the Legio Mechanicus cog black with grey edge highlights (Reaper HD Concrete Grey – 29832), the other our white, and the ‘T’ symbol of the Collegia Titanica GW Shining Gold. The banner was painted with Reaper Stained Ivory (9142) with black edge highlights. I washed with very thinned Devlan Mud and then re-covered with thinned stained ivory.
  28. Epoxy on all knee pads and pelvis pads (rough up the surfaces and use JB-Quick)
  29. Next, we need to shape the leg cables, and now that the pelvis armor is in place we can do so. The legs are surprisingly stable turned ‘upside down’… so turn ’em upside down so you have easy access. I heated up a small bowl of water in the microwave (about 4 minutes for this quantity, not quite boiling). Then, using tweezers (because the water is HOT) dip in a cable for about 30 seconds, or until it’s flexible. Then, quickly remove it from the water and gently bend it into the correct shape. It took me 2-3 ‘dips’ per cable to get the bend correct.
    Shaping the Reaver Titan leg cables with hot water
  30. Prime the cables. I primed with the Duplicolor Hotrod Grey sandable primer (like the rest of the parts)
    Primed Reaver Titan leg cables
  31. Paint the leg cables Reaper pure black, then run graphite from a pencil over the cables…smooth out with the tip of your finger to give them a metallic sheen.
  32. Glue the cables in place. I used thick CA glue. JB-Quick probably would have worked better here but I didn’t want to hold the cables in place for 5 minutes. Because the cables are too big to easily fit into the cable sockets, whatever glue you do use should have some gap filling capabilities. In any case, the super glue did the trick.
    Glueing the reaver titan leg cables
  33. The final piece to paint is the lower torso. Start by masking off the upper legs and pistons.
    Reaver Titan masked off lower torso
  34. Lay down the black ‘edge highlights’ described in step 19 above.
    Reaver Titan lower torso with black edge shading
  35. Airbrush on the crimson red.
    Reaver Titan lower torso painted red
  36. Edge highlight with brown/gold/devlan mud wash as described in steps 12-14.
  37. Take a moment to enjoy the painted leg assembly!
    Fully painted Reaver Titan legsCloser view of Reaver Titan painted legs

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