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Dec 7, 2010
Blackadder's Lucius Pattern Reaver

Yes before anyone quips that I am crazy (but in a good way) let me acknowledge the fact.

Anyway I have been posed the problem of designing (And building) armour for a FW Mars Pattern Reaver à la mode Lucius Pattern. And before you ask, "No I don't do commissions!" however if anyone is inclined to follow along with this thread and build their own armour components they are welcome and I will answer any questions as we proceed.

Let me begin by stating that the Reaver is my second least favorite titan I see no need for it.

My biggest fault with the Lucius pattern attempts at the Reaver is trying to duplicate the contours of the Mars Pattern with slabs of plasticard. This gives the titan a sloped shoulder hunchbacked appearance that connotes weakness to my jaundiced eye. I intend to remodel the armour in a Lucius vein much as the Lucius Warhound carapace completely departs from the Mars Pattern carapace.

The first order of business is to design a new helmet shape for the FW Reaver cockpit. I think the head of the titans should be reminiscent of each other and sort of morph in shape from Warhound to Reaver to Warlord; evolve if you will.

So my design will be that middle ground and be domed, not the flattish pancake head of the FW model:


There will be a short snouted appearance reminiscent of the Warhound not apparent in the front view


Dec 7, 2010
Reaver Carapace Renovation

Really bad concept art Blackadder but it does convey the intent.....

We've all seen them beautifully rendered scratchbuilt Lucius Pattern Reavers that faithfully mimic the arms and armament of the Mars product but somehow they leave me cold. That trapezoidal carapace design, the hexagonal Apoc Rocket Pod (shades of the Armorcast original) and reminding me of that Surinam toad (No I won't include pictures of that again you can google it if you have the stomach....... :P )

I propose (represented in my pitiful sketches above) an Apoc 10 rocket battery on either side of the main carapace that pop up as required and snap down to give a clean front/side view of the side armour

Chest and back armour roughly angular in shape but the side carapaces jutting at slightly less than 90° to the perpendicular.

Naturally all the leg and waist armour will be angular copies of the Mars original and interchangeable with the FW original pieces and held in place with magnets so in effect there will be two; a Lucius and a Mars for the price of one.



Dec 7, 2010
Fitting the Torso Front to the Main Torso

I should have my head examined for taking this on but I couldn't resist trying to retrofit a Lucius Pattern armour scheme to an actual Reaver.

First I must fit the parts together so my modifications will fit when the model is assembled.

I want all the Lucius armour parts to be interchangeable with the original Mars armour and all the fasteners hidden so daunting as this task may be, its worth a go.

Below are the crude tools needed to shape the rough sections so they will interlock tightly, What is amazing to me is the precision fit of this model's castings.


Simply cutting and filing the flash and rough interstices allow the parts to interlock with a close tolerance.


Flipping the hull upside down show the good fit achieved without need for glue or reinforcement. Magnets may be all that is required to keep this assembly together.


The lower breast plate armour will be the first piece to fabricate. Here you see the Mars armour in place and ready to be duplicated in styrene.



Dec 7, 2010
Breast Plate Armour

The problem is to achieve the angularity of the Lucius armour without bulking up the rounded Mars panels. I have chosen to replace the Mars armour rather than just cover it in styrene.

This will give a leaner look to the finished model. That and the innovations I shall be implementing will hopefully make for a unique Reaver style that is more battle-worthy in design.



Dec 7, 2010
Reaver Breast Plate Armour 2

Here we see the two ways I intend to approach duplicating the Mars armour in the Lucius pattern.

The chest plate will directly replace the original Mars armour and will be held in place with magnets and aligning lugs. The original armour will have corresponding attachments so they can be interchanged.


The forward side armour will duplicate the moulded in Mars armour and clip over the original and likewise be held on with hidden magnets so when removed the Mars armour will be revealed and intact.


So far this idea is working.


Dec 7, 2010
Reaver Hull Armour 3

Fortunately there is a clip on shelf to fasten the rear lower vent armour. I made the clip out of a strip of 40 X 80 styrene and started the forward depth strip in the following image. Once completed it will be a simple matter of unclipping the Lucius armour to convert to the Mars armour.




Couldn't have worked better if it were planned!


Dec 7, 2010
Reaver Hull Armour 4

Copying the internal contours of the Mars armour is not as simple as these images portray. The problem is to not bulk up the Lucius covers to a point were they distort the overall grace of the model. Granted the Lucius pattern armour is a crude facsimile of the elegant Mars armour but it should not overwhelm the mechanical works so as to appear ungainly.


Employing the gap of the filigree border of the armour I added thin strips 0,25 mm for a gluing base and added strips of 0,3, 0,5, 0,75 and 1,0 mm casing so at no area have I added more that 2,0 mm to the overall size of the panel i.e. 1,0 mm to each side.


I apologize for the fuzzy image.

Shaving down the edges so the Void generator housings fit snuggly in place required no alterations in the Mars armour so the basic model is not compromised in any way other than the usual adjusting required in your typical FW project.


Aside from a minor cut out around a hidden conduit cable housing the fit is pretty good.


I intend to angle the housing around the rear facing vent on a separate piece.


Dec 7, 2010
Reaver Hull Armour 5 Vent Cover

Update on the hull armour; the vent cover is roughed in.


The vent cover can be removed and installed independently of the shield armour.



Dec 7, 2010
Duplicating the Components

Now that I have a plan to make the previously demonstrated parts I can proceed to duplicate them more quickly with out as many errors.............

Although my bane is my first attempt always come out best. "Repetition is not my forte."

BTW you may notice tiny holes drilled in the styrene, that is where the styrene crosses over a rivet and in order to keep as close to the original size as possible (without the obvious remedy of filing off the rivet) I drilled a recess to accommodate the rivet head. This also has the added benefit of locking the Lucius armour in more tightly.


Dec 7, 2010
Reaver Vent Update:

Before I tackle the Main Hull Carapace I think it apropos to update the very difficult to make vent covers. The problem is the thinness of the material necessary to follow the contours of the vent housing. 0.010 inch styrene is extremely susceptible to melting through when glued with ProWeld thin cement and what I had to do is leave the cap loose for an hour or two to weaken the volatiles in the glue so these thin pieces don't turn into a puddle of goo.

zDYuv2xl.jpg r

Anyway the problem is solved and the vents are done and the few images I have show the bits of construction.



Dec 7, 2010
The Main Carapace


I've given way too much thought to how to proceed with the Main Carapace.


The difficulty lies in the layered sculpted armour of the Mars pattern.


The thought finally hit me that the redundant armour above the head is not necessary in the Lucius version. The downfall of the Epic Lucius Reaver is attempting to incorporate the neck shield with the main carapace armour giving a pyramidal appearance to the upper hull. The whole overall perception is that of a round shouldered hunch appearance lacking in appeal and functional strength.


These armour sections would look better if treated as separate components as with the Warhound.

BeOnRcPl.jpg yoAGbIWl.jpg

The clue to the revision of the armour is in the underside of the main carapace.


There is a boxlike structure on the underside that forms a ready base to start my Lucius design.


Dec 7, 2010
Interior Carapace Basic Structure:

The basic plate to build on is a simple shallow box 50 X 68 mm with a 3 mm flange around the upper surface.


The front flange is an attach point once I establish how much the carapace will overhang the hull front plate.



Dec 7, 2010
Reaver Interior Bracing:

Carrying on the interior of the carapace why not add a bit of panache since the exterior will require significant bracing for durability.


This little diversion cost me about a half hour but I think it was work it.



Dec 7, 2010
Reaver Asymmetry

The problem of designing armour for resin models is the asymmetric left and right sides of the moulded pieces none so egregious as the front hull piece at least that I have come across thus far. A simple tracing reveals the mirror curve is very different so to make a front piece in the angular Lucius pattern I shall have to model the greater arc of the curve.


BTW If you examine closely the sculpted front and rear ends of production autos where clay model mockups are made of the new year offerings you can discern just such subtle asymmetry.


Dec 7, 2010
A Tale of Three Titans

In designing the three titans there appears to be great similarity regarding the carapace between the Mars Reaver and the Mars Warhound. Both are designed with the long axis fore and aft the Reaver carapace being almost exactly a scaled up version of the Warhound.

The Warlord having the long axis side to side the same as the imperial titans so in essence there are only two vehicle classes in the Titan hierarchy.

If the Mars Reaver/Warhound class is so similar in aspect it stands to reason the the Lucius versions should also display this similarity. Based on this premise the 'Epic' Reaver is an anomaly.

I shall base my version on this rational and see where it takes me.

This is the fun part of not having a plan!..................?


Dec 7, 2010

The Blackadder is back from vacation with a few new ideas on how to proceed with the armour but first a bit of technique training might be beneficial for budding scratch builders.

While on vacation I had a chance to read some of the blogs written about the models I have built and the one point that stands out is my seeming precision of fitting seams together. Of course this is utter hogwash as my seams leave much to be desired in my estimation and only I know where the grievous mistakes lie and how many times I have had to scrap work and redo various pieces. I have a box full of failed constructions.

But anyway I gave some thought on how I manage to get decent fitting pieces and it came down to sanding blocks and files.

Now on various other threads I alluded to filing and sanding to fit but I never expounded on a basic tool that I use although it is present in a lot of photos I present because it also serves so well as a support when presenting a partially finished part. That tool is a common sanding block.

I have used sanding blocks for many years starting when I was rather young and building balsa model aircraft. balsa is an extremely soft wood and cuts and shapes like cheese with the proper tools much the same as styrene.

The basic block I make is rectangular 5/4 inch by 2 & 5/8 inch pine (29 by 68 MM). The blocks I use are 5 and 1/2 inches long 9140 MM) and almost perfectly squared sides and edges for a reason that will be clear in a moment.

The reason I chose those dimensions is that I can get two full blocks of sandpaper out of a single sheet of 8 1/2 by 11 standard paper with very little waste.


BTW 5/4 lumber is an industry standard finished lumber for fine woodwork such as panel doors and the like and most woodworking shops have lots of scrap available. I got mine from some panel doors I found in the trash.

Anyway once I established the blocks were 'true' I covered the blocks with double-back adhesive tape:


used for securing carpet. I use that in lieu glue to secure the sand paper to the block so its easier to remove and replace without changing the dimensions of the block. I have had a roll for many years and nowhere near using it up so the stuff I have probably isn't even sold any more.

I make(d) blocks of fine, medium and coarse but I primarily use the coarse block. I have six blocks all totaled which are older than some of you reading this......

Enough about tape.

Cut your sheet of paper in half and carefully wrap it around the adhesived block so the corners and edges are straight and true and cut off what little excess there is and you will have a sanding tool that will last for years.

Any questions?

E. Blackadder


Dec 7, 2010
Front Carapace and Neckshield:

There is fortunately a rectangular vent protruding from the front panel onto which I can affix my front bulkhead panel so the main carapace has a decent front anchor point.


The front panel I intend to drill and tap so it will always be removable even when the model is completed. The reason for that is to tighten the neck joint assembly for I intend to design a flexible neck joint coupling to allow the the head to move. I already have the particulars ensconced in my brain so the actual execution is just grunt work. I'll cover this idea when we come to it in the build.


There is on the FW model a double neck hood which I may leave out because the redesigned head shape will need that extra space especially since it will be movable. I see no purpose for the extra hood anyway although it would be quite simple to replicate in a Lucius pattern. My main concern is to not too obviously replicate the Warhound armour but to make the Reaver unique in design but also relatable to the other Lucius titans.



Dec 7, 2010
Reaver Asymmetry:

The asymmetry of this model is mind boggling, I suppose it's all right for the compounded curves of the Mars pattern but the Lucius requires square and true edges and panels for its faceted armour. The hull varies 1.0 to 2.0 MM between sides.


The inner surface of the carapace will have to be trued before the outer surface is applied.

Again where there are gaps between the hull carapace and the shoulder armour on the Mars the Lucius will have continuity in that the hull and shoulders will be joined and most probably a single unit. Not a problem but an interesting exercise.

Fortunately the shoulder mounts display very little Mars filigree so I should be able to get away with out replicating them in styrene. As with the Warhound the basic shoulder and legs are the same on both the Mars and Lucius.


It may be worthy of note the liberal use of rubber bands to hold the components together during this construction and fitting stage. Apart from the styrene work nothing is glued and all the parts are fitted to a fraction of an millimeter gap/clearance tolerance. It is worth the small added effort and time to achieve a professional looking assembly. The big failing I find with assembled (derelict) Baneblades I purchase on Ebay are the huge gaps between components usually filled with putty or glue.


Dec 7, 2010
Finally a Neck Armour I Can Live With:

After much trial and error I have come up with a hood design that seems workable.

Naturally the side angles need to be pared down but the overall concept mimics the Mars shape but also the Lucius motif. What is seen here is the underside skin of the shield; the exterior surface will give thickness to the armour.

Something as simple as this design should have been obvious to me but I was working under the constraints that the armour must not appear too bulky. Also since I am eliminating the hidden neck armour (The Hull Carapace will be removable in one piece) I had to allow for the hidden neck armour side flanges. This will become more apparent once the entire interior level of the hull carapace is completed.


In this top view note the original measurements and the fillet pieces necessary to amend the hood to its final configuration.


Finally, a shot of the sub-structure that will flesh out the original contours to mount the sub hood assembly components I shall be retaining.


I still haven't worked out these details.


Dec 7, 2010
The Hull Carapace Ad Nauseam:

Once more into the breach dear friends, working the Mars carapace into a viable Lucius pattern without making it look too much like an L. Pattern Warhound takes a bit of doing.



I've decided to try some vents on either side of the centerline, that might be fun. I need something to break the line so it doesn't ape the Mars carapace too closely but isn't the truncated box on the Warhound's back.


Anyway I seem to have a lot of space left above the hull compartment and the Void generators won't conflict with anything I have built thus far.



Dec 7, 2010
Reaver Carapace and Hood Extension

So the Reaver has a hood the fairs into the main hull carapace and for some reason has a second hood beneath that hood.

Well initially I thought to eliminate the lower hood but I found I cannot as it projects rearward beyond the main hood which seemed irreconcilable until I hit on a solution unfortunately at 02:30 AM. awakening with that epiphany I lost sleep for a good portion of the rest of the night.

I shall build an partial under-hood and secure the exterior hood to the under-hood and thereby eliminating the excessive construction that would bulk up the carapace too much, simple Huh! Well it took two days for me to come up with the solution.


Shown here is the under-hood with the side flanges in place and cut at what I hope will be the angles and sizes but I won't know that until I build the exterior hood and carapace.


The only plus on this construction is that it doesn't follow the Reaver model from Dawn of War pattern but still maintains the Reaver configuration.


The inner hood extends 45 MM from the front hull and the external will extend 60 MM the same as the Mars design.


So far it's working.


Dec 7, 2010

Void Generator Housings:

Here is where we get into the nitty-gritty of this project.

I have to duplicate the Void Generator housings instead of just covering them with styrene else-wise they will be too bulky looking.

Fortunately there is an inner flange that locks the generators into place in the model so duplicating the area that locks behind the flange Part 1R will also lock the L. Pattern constructs as well.


I am going to make the rear floor under the generators one continuous piece instead of two separate generator housings to take advantage of the locking effect as well.


Once the Lucius Generators are assembled I plan to fill them with putty or some other weighty material as the Gen's. also serve as counterweights on the original model.


Dec 7, 2010
The Void Generator Housings 2

Its a real pleasure to work on this model, all the angles are crisp and true; now of the warping so prevalent on older FW castings.

Below we have the base of the void generators, a continuous floor plate instead of two separate housings


The two interior pillars that lock the generator housings into the hull strangely distorted appearing in this image but they are not.


The interior view of the pillars in place showing the close tolerance fit.


The exterior with foot plates and mounting stringers in place ready to receive the housing inner walls.



Dec 7, 2010
Void Generator Housings part 3

Yeah I know lots of pictures of virtually the same thing but anyone interested in copying this construction will probably appreciate the step by step process.

The rest of you will just have to bear with the redundancy.

I made a tracing of the inboard generator housing profile and squared off the corners. Due to the flexibility of the construction I took a guess and a gamble at the placement of the two dimensional pieces as it was impossible to glue, align and clamp at the same time. Actually having a helper at this time would be well er helpful.

Fortunately the alignment of the pieces were spot on so no need to cut the glue joint and redo.

Note in the profile image below the generators are parallel with the forward carapace but about a millimeter or two lower. This is as it should be to allow for the surface sheet styrene pieces which will be applied after the counterbalance filler material is installed.


Here we see in this quarter view the slight step down of the housings compared to the main carapace; this is intentional.

Note also that the housing profile pieces appear to converge toward the front, that is because the center section is still not installed. I've decided to make a Lucius center piece and glue it in place rather than use the one that came with the kit for both versions.


In this above shot you can see the construction is pretty much symmetrical even though at this stage the components are relatively flimsy.


Heres a view of the bottom that I neglected to show in the previous post showing the aligning channels that keep the Generators centered on the model.



Dec 7, 2010
Ventilator Unit:

Between the Void Generators there is the Ventilator Unit. Since I want the generator assembly in one piece I need to make a second set of vent housings.

The build is pretty straightforward with a bit of Lucius angles to keep things interesting.



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