Warhound Titan WIP – Part 3

Go back to Part 1.

Go back to Part 2.

In the home stretch now.  Time to break out the BIG guns.


Shoulder mount and bolts.

There are no two ways about it.  This is an expensive kit and Warhammer 40k players tend to want to stretch their hobby dollar to the limit.  They also want as much gaming flexibility out of a model as possible. In the case of the Warhound Titan, this means setting the kit up for multiple weapons systems.  Accordingly, the client for this project wants to have the option of swapping the weapons that he ordered for weapons that he may purchase later.

This is no mean feat.  The weapons are long, heavy, vulnerable to breakage if the model is tipped over.  My solution to the problem is similar to what many other titan builders have used – bolts.  I will be inserting bolts through the arm joint of the titan after firmly attaching the bolt heads to the weapons.  The bolt will then pass through the existing hole in the shoulder mount and be attached with a nut and washer.

Here is the parts and tool list for this little adventure:

  • 1/4″ x 2″ x 28 stainless steel bolts (2)
  • 1/4″ x 28 stainless steel hex nuts (2)
  • 1/4″ x 1″ stainless steel fender washers (2)
  • Dremel drill or power drill
  • 1/4″ ans 1/16″ drill bits
  • 1/8″ to 1/4″ grinding bit
  • quick-setting epoxy – putty preferrable
  • narrow, rounded end sculpting tool
  • hobby knife

You can alter the steps that I use here to suit your painting/building style.  For me, I chose to prime and complete the majority of painting of the weapon and arm pieces prior to adding the bolts.  I’ll be adding some banners and detail painting after so there will be ample opportunity to tidy up any dings later.

The hardest step to the whole process is drilling out the arm for the bolt.  Because the weight of the weapon forces us to use such large hardware, we have to make some really big holes in the model.  If you have access to a vice, I recommend you use it.  You’ll want to ensure that the hole is drilled straight through.  Just wrap the arm piece in a soft, texture-free cloth or have no-mar covers on the vice jaws.  Personally, I just did it by hand.  I first drilled pilot holes as deeply as possible using the smaller drill bit.  Then, using the existing holes as a guide, I used the 1/4″ to complete the path for the bolt.  You may need to let the bit pass in and out several times to allow the bolt to pass snuggly yet freely.  go slow.  You don’t want the assembly to wobble.

I know.  It’s a lot of work for something that wont be seen on the finished piece.  But, it gives a great result.

NOTE: if you are looking at the nut above the shoulder and thinking “the cap the model came with wont cover that”, you are right.  We’ll be addressing this a little later on.  But, I promise that this was in the plan.


Nuts and bolts.

Unless you want to see a stainless steel bolt head protruding from the bottom of the weapon, you don’t want to drill all the way through the socket.  I am using a small grinding bit in the Dremel tool to create a socket to receive the head of the bolt.  the smaller the bit you use, the longer it will take.  However, there is a lot less chance of going too big or too deep.  (insert Dark Eldar joke here)

I first scribed the outline of the head into the arm socket of each gun.  Then, I wrapped a piece of tape around the grinding bit to keep it from going to deep… possibly out the bottom of the piece.  Slowly grind out the shape of the head of the bolt.  Clear away the shavings often and test fit the pieces often.  You want the socket to be slightly larger so that you get a good amount of epoxy in when they are joined.  Be sure that you are using a breathing mask and operating in a well ventilated area while you do this as the resin dust is hazardous to breathe.

The inside edges of the recess should stay rough to give a better surface for the epoxy to adhere to.  you can even scratch or score the socket to enhance the grip.  Now, take a few moments and use a soft brush to sweep any last bits of resin dust off of the pieces and your work surface.  When we attach the parts, dust or debris will impair the bond.


Shoulder caps (pads?).

So, the nut, bolt, and washer combination has a height profile of about 1/4″.  The shoulder cap that comes with the kit is just a flat disk so there is about 1/32″ of space.  My solution is to make a magnetized cover that incorporates the stock piece while giving room for the new hardware.

To give me height, I am using some 1″ inner diameter PVC pipe left over from a terrain project.  I used hacksaw to cut off two 3/8″ sections.  Making sure that these are straight and have smooth edges is important.  Take your time or make as many attempts as necessary to get pieces you like.  They will be very visible.

Next, I took my Dremel (you can also use a pin vise) to drill two 1/8″ holes across from each other on the same cut face of the pipe pieces – check the picture below.  These holes are shallow and are to hold the two 1/8″ x 1/16″ magnets that will keep the covers firmly in place.  Because the washers are stainless instead of galvanized, the magnets will allow me to remove the covers whenever I want to remove or swap the weapons.  Just make sure that the magnets are glued flush and not recessed.  If you drilled the holes too deep, add a little green stuff or a small shaving of sprue.

Once the superglue for the magnets has set, glue the cover piece on.  The outside diameter of the 1″ PVC is slightly larger than that of the cover so you will have a nice 1/32″ or so reveal.  Be sure to leave an even amount of space all the way around as you glue it down.  If you wanted to, you could add some rivets to the outside of this.  But, I didn’t feel it was necessary.  Let us know what you think in the comments – link is at the top.


Weapons assembly coming together.

So, in the earlier parts list I forgot something.  You are going to want some gloves and some paper for catching any spills.  The adhesives that you should use on this assembly stage really stick to stuff.  If you get it stuck on your skin, removal means removing skin.  Also, eye protection is strongly advised.

Now, I am using a two-part epoxy putty with a set time of 5 minutes and a cure time of 15 minutes.  You could also use a liquid or gel two-part epoxy.  But liquids have the potential to drip or spill and lack the ability to be shaped with a tool during the working time.  The putty I use is for automotive and plumbing use and can be drilled or filed when cured.  It can be found at local DIY or home improvement centers.

To anchor the bolt to the arm, I will take a piece of putty about twice the size of the bolt head and place it in the recess we drilled out earlier.  This should fill the hole almost entirely before the head is inserted.  When the head is pushed in, the putty is squeezed against the bottom and sides of the recess while the excess oozes up and out.  Work quickly to get the bolt at the angle you want and the use your sculpting tool to smooth out the putty that escaped.  Be sure to spread some of the material onto the underside (not facing upwards) of the bolt head.  This will strengthen the hold of the putty on the bolt.  Lastly, before the stuff sets up, slide the arm piece onto the bolt to ensure the angle of the bolt allows the arm all the way into the socket.  Once you are sure, remove the arm from the bolt as you do not want it accidentally stuck down.

Allow the material to cure for the fully recommended time listed in the instructions.  In the mean time, make sure to get any excess off of your tools, work surfaces, or skin (forgot the gloves, didn’t you).  You wont enjoy a delayed clean up.  Trust me.


Weapon arm assembly.

The rest of the assembly is fairly straight forward stuff.  Pin the peg on each barrel and then score the mating surface with your hobby knife.  Add receiving holes for the pins in the weapon body peg holes and score the mating surface here as well.  If you are building the same weapons that I am, you might need to trim off the rivets on the sides where the barrels will touch.  On mine, the rivets prevented the barrels from mounting flush.  They would have been “splay-footed” if I hadn’t test-fitted the pieces in advance.

When gluing, make sure to get adhesive (CA or super glue in my case) on the pin, the peg, the receiving holes, the mating surfaces of both pieces, and the side of the barrels where the touch each other.  Use shims as necessary to keep the pieces aligned for the drying time.  This time may need to be longer than normal due to the amounts you will use.  To short cut this I used a spray on accelerator for near instant curing.  If you do this, make sure to be in a WELL ventilated area and try not to get any on you.  Wash up immediately if you get it on your skin.

After some minor cleanup, all that is necessary now is for me to complete the banners, purity seals, and iconography and then install them on the weapons.


On your FEET!

Earlier, in Part 1 of this tutorial, I explained the assembly of two bases from used compact disks.  Later, I took these bases and added a layer of air-drying clay to give them a more natural and irregular look.  While the clay began to dry, I placed the feet of the titan on the bases and pressed them firmly into the material.  Pressing straight down so as not to smear the detail, I was able to capture the footprints of the titan.  This would enhance the bases as well as giving the feet a custom “socket” to be glued into.  These parts were allowed to dry thoroughly – in my case for the two weeks I was building and painting the rest of the piece.

To attach the feet to the bases, I put the foot into position and then drilled up through the base and into each toe.  Because I wanted the bases to rest flat on a gaming surface, I then used a larger drill bit to make recesses on the underside of each base to receive the head of a nail.  The nail’s head in a socket would provide for a better join; lending strength to the base/foot attachment.

Test fit each nail and cut them to the length needed for its individual toe.  Before glueing, take a moment to sweep away all of the dust and any loose clay.  Apply your CA glue to each toe hole, the tread of the toe, the nail socket in the underside of the base.  Now add some glue to the length of each nail as you insert them through the base and into the toe.  Make sure that the nail heads are flush or recessed so that the titan will stand flat and level.  Once all of the pins are in place, set the legs aside to dry.


Once the glue is dry between base and foot, you can add your flocking material, any battlefield debris (Night Lords Chaos Marines in this case), or other detail.  I use a white glue (Elmers) to attach these materials; taking care to ensure that the flocking meets the feet and debris in a natural manner.

Give this glue plenty of time to set.  Because it is water based, you paints can loosen the flocking and foul your brushes, your paint, and even the base.  When you do put down your base color, use a smaller brush to get the paint right up to the model and around your painted debris.  you can use a larger brush to coat the remaining area quickly without possibly messing up the already painted feet.  It is best to slightly water down your base color so that it soaks into all of the crevices and detail.  this means extra drying time will be needed.  But, it is preferrable to having patches of unpainted flock.  After this base coat is dry, the rest of the painting of the terrain should go quickly.


Time to get hip man.

We can now move on to the most important part of the titan’s assembly – the hip-to-leg joints.  The full weight of the titan will rest on these two ball and socket joints.  I’d love to say that you can just smear some glue into each socket and call it a day.  You could, but the titan might collapse at the first rough handling it received.  to prevent this, we will be drilling holes through the hip sockets and into the ball of each leg.  The Dremel drill is a life saver here as it does the work quickly and neatly.  Dry fit the legs into the position that they will posed on the completed model.  You will want to drill two pin holes for each socket while the pieces are together – one at a downward angle and the other from below.  Make sure that you drill the holes from the front of the part so that the codpiece will cover the construction.

Once the holes are complete, dust off all of the parts.  Also, you want to use a hobby knife to remove the paint from the mating faces of the ball and socket.  This roughing up will give the glue a better surface to adhere to.  Cut extra long pins from sturdy wire (I use thick paperclips).  You will trim them to length once they are glued in place.  The extra length will make it easier to work the pins fully into their sockets.  Now, working with only one leg, glue a socket, the matching ball, the pin holes, and the length of the pin.  Slot the pieces together and then insert your pins.  Let the pins stay long until you have repeated the gluing and assembly process for the other leg.  Now flush-cut the pins and put a dab of paint over the hole.

There are six two-part hip pistons to attach now.  Each will need to be cut to length for its individual position.  You really want to have these painted before you attach them.  They will be really annoying otherwise.  Once these are in place, you can glue on the codpiece.


Let’s top it off.

The final bit of assembly on the titan is a little anticlimactic.  The holes drilled earlier in the engines, head, and body will now be used as we do the final glue up.  As in earlier assemblies, use a hobby knife to scrape away any paint from surfaces that will be glued together.  Do one last dry fit and ensure that you have pins cut to the appropriate length for each hole.  These pins will provide the real strength holding this heavy piece together.  Glue each face, the pinholes, and the pins and then attach the engine room to the control room.  Give this some time to dry, and then you can attach the head to the socket at the front of the control room section.

The client did not specify a magnetized or removable head, so I wont cover that here.  The final bit of assembly is the cables that run from the head to the body.  Once the head-piece is firmly attached to the body, you can cut your pre-bent cable to length.  Glue the cable sockets into place so that they can cure while you paint the actual cable. It hardly seems a crowning moment, but when these are glued in place, the titan is basically done.

I will be going over the entire model to look for errors, handling wear, or missed detail.  After clear coating the model, gloss (Ardcoat) is added to all of the flames, lenses, and targeting arrays.  Banners are attached, the Forge World serial number is painted onto the rear dedication plate, and I freehand the name and nickname of the titan onto the scrollwork.  Velox Venator (Swift Hunter) is ready for service.


Thank you for sticking with us through the entire tutorial.  I’ll be adding a gallery of pics of the completed work shortly and hopefully a brief Youtube video.  I had a great time building this piece for Jake and he seems to be enjoying it.  There will be an Apocalypse game soon at our local FLGS and I think this titan will see her inaugural service then.

If you have any questions about the steps I took on the model, comments about my process, or other inquiries, please feel free to use the comments section at the top.  If you are interested in commissioning your own piece, you can contact me at sarasotasteve@hotmail.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wildboargames .

Go back to Part 1.

Go back to Part 2.

  1. Joseph De Stefano says:

    excellent tutorial……..great cover idea to hide the bolts/nuts…..

  2. Christoph D says:

    where did you get those candle clusters ?

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