• Roll-up! Roll-up! Come one and all the fantastic Turning the World to Darkness painting competition. Welcome to any skill level, you can find out more here.
  • It's time once again to ferret out those murderous vampires in a new VAU - Vampires Amongst Us. A cross between Cluedo and a roleplay, sometimes gory and often hilarious! Find out more here.

Blackadder's Lucius Pattern Reaver

Dec 7, 2010
Off on a Tangent:

I started making the external greaves and suddenly I decided I wanted more.

Rather than have the Lucius greaves clumsily hiding the Mars greaves I want a solid Lucius structure so all the bells and whistle show though (That is to say all the piston and cylinders and their covers).

To accomplish this I have to duplicate the Mars openings so here is the start of that process; and yes I did glue the Mars greave in place to do this but only with tiny tacks of Cyano-acetate glue.



The insanity continues....................
Dec 7, 2010
Ah yes, this is the way to go................

Now there is something for the greave to attach to. I'll leave the Mars greave in place while I cut out the openings for the cylinders and cylinder strut armour

Once all is in place and glued I can remove the Mars Greave and the Lucius component will stand alone.

Then I have to figure how to make them interchangeable.

Right Front view:

Left front view:

Rear view:
Dec 7, 2010
Without a Clue:

What I am attempting here is unprecedented in my personal building experience.

I am trying to build a greave from the inside out and have it match the external surface of the outer greave skin.


Since I have the outer greave shape established it seemed a simple matter of paring down both inner and outer components concurrently until both mate in a contiguous manner ideally with the cutouts just outside the wells.



I'm hoping the other three will go smoother for the experience I gain from this first one.
Dec 7, 2010
One down three to go.

It took quite some time to get this right not the least of the problem was an error in the FW IPC manual. Parts 11 and 13 greaves halves belong with the right leg and toes 'FL' 'RL' and of course the two 'SIDE' toes belong with parts 10 and 12 greaves:

What do you expect for 1100 bucks; accurate instructions?

Don't take my word for it but if you build one check it out.

Once I got that figured out the rest was easy.





Dec 7, 2010
Of the four greaves required for the two titans I now have the two left greaves ready for the internal detail.

This will make it easier in the long run to swap them out with the Mars greaves:



The mirror cutouts need only be transferred to the Right greaves which should be less troublesome to build the interior shank structures now that I know how to make them.
Dec 7, 2010
Greave Construction:

Now that I have a plan as to what the basic greave will look like it's a simple (yet tedious) process of duplicating the work


As I build these they become more refined so the second set are virtually without construction blemishes.


Not a big problem as most of the indiscretions will be covered with detail anyway.
Dec 7, 2010
Greave Cutouts Roughed In:

Wow this was a fast week here it is Saturday already and since there are virtually no readers of the weekend I don't want to waste a lot of time updating but I worked on these greaves quite a bit last night finishing up the rough cutouts for the pistons and cylinders and since I probably will have the openings dressed out by Monday I think this update is necessary.


This one image slightly out of focus shows left to right R1 and L1 for the number one titan and R2 and L2 for the number two titan not that it matters which titan get which set of greaves but the greaves themselves are dedicated to the internal armour and Mars greaves which themselves are neither perfect matches nor mirror images of their counterparts on the other titan.

I made a error selecting L1 as the prototype as it was the most perfect of the 4 units of course there was no way of knowing that initially but the three other units required much more fudging to obtain a comparable fit. Surprisingly the greaves are almost interchangeable between titans but its best to assign each now than risk misalignment later.

The three units other than L1 show the extended plasticard not trimmed at all other than to allow the fit of the external greave sections. With luck over the next day or so I will have the excess removed on all and the internal structure of the greave made on at least the prototype L1.
Dec 7, 2010
The Method to My Madness:

Now perhaps the method to my madness is becoming apparent. The idea to make the Mars/Lucius greaves interchangeable necessitated the removal of one to install the other. So utilizing the Mars greaves as a template I duplicated the shape and structure of the Mars greave inside the Lucius greave. After the glue dried overnight I was able to extricate the Mars greaves leaving the shell of the inner structure (right foreground L1.)


Ascertaining that the Mars greave was indeed removable I reinstalled the greave and applied the exterior structure and glued in place.

switching my prototype from L1 to L2 right rear (to maintain the homogeneity of variance and not compound errors) I finished up the basic greave on L2 and used that form to duplicate mirror greaves R1 and R2 center rear and left rear of the photo.

Now it remains to duplicate the mirror of the right greaves on the remaining L1 original prototype so any deviations are ostensibly the same on all four structures.

Dec 7, 2010
Partial Assembly:

Okay here we see the lower assembly; the whole d*mned mess rather precariously balanced together I hope to have the posing pins installed later today so how it will look with the hull installed for the first time will then be revealed to both you and me.


In the typical Blackadder dyslexic fashion of putting the cart before the horse after the barn door is shut I relied on my gut sense rather than a concept art rendering and neglected to size proportion the hull to the proposed greaves. I am hoping the greaves are either spot on proportion-wise or a tad smaller than the ideal so I can bulk them up with an external suit of armour.

(The above statement is made because I invariably will be asked for drawings and templates to replicate this work (If successful) as I still am for both Lucie and Luteus to which I ruefully have to reply, "I'm sorry, there are no plans...........")

This way I can refer back to this post so I can't be accused of pumping smoke.....

There are no plans.


The back view is most gratifying I particularly like the triangular protuberances with are unique to the Reaver and sets it apart from the two previous scratch-builts.

The triangles flank the rear actuator piston assembly and so serve a purpose besides covering the rather primitive construction work beneath.
Dec 7, 2010
Reaver Standing on It's Own:

I have to admit that for the first time I'm impressed by the Reaver.

It was never a fav of mine but seeing it all in one piece it does have a certain appeal Lucius armour not withstanding.

As I had hoped the greaves are a tad undersized giving me leeway to add some interesting surface armour.


The side view shows the greaves have to be angled back a bit at the top but the overall effect is powerful even with the top hamper not being fleshed out.


I call this pose, "Eeewhew! I stepped in gum............"


Just a little putty to keep the trailing foot on.

The Mary Poppins view...........


Bird's eye view............

Dec 7, 2010
Power Fist:

The power fist is not my favorite weapon so I'm doing it first because if I don't it might not get done.

The Lucius cover has to fit rather tightly on this gauntlet or it will look ungainly so the styrene has to follow the curvature pretty close.


The wrist will be held on with neodymium magnets so changing from Mars to Lucius and back should be literally a snap.

I hope to have this armour done tomorrow............. except of course for the detail.

Dec 7, 2010
My Mistakes or Theirs:

One question that I am continually asked is, "Wouldn't it be easier to just buy a Titan than go to all the trouble scratch-building one?"

Well here we have a prime example because of which my unqualified answer is, "NO!"

I spent the better part of yesterdays construction period shaping, scraping, re-cutting, filling, sanding, and fabricating parts of a supposed 'Kit'. I think I would have been far ahead of the game were I just to start with a thousand bucks worth of precision cut Evergreen Styrene. Warped parts, millimeter high mould lines, misaligned castings, broken and missing pieces; Fah! give me a pile of pristine styrene any day.

Don't get me wrong I think the Reaver Titan is a masterpiece of sculpting and engineering and considering the medium of casting they do a bang up job getting the parts to mate as well as they do but the translation from the design board to the manufacture output leaves much to be desired.

Case in point, the 'Turbo Laser Assembly:

Looking at the image below; four pieces reasonably trimmed and adjusted, how long would you suppose it would take to assemble the four components?


Would you believe in excess of an hour?

In this blurry photo can be barely discerned the styrene fillers needed to take up the gaps of the piping and the rear component housing to the main body of the laser.


Below can be seen the nice little step that is supposed to intersect the arm joint...


Well I had to cut that out with my Dremel rotary blade because all that was supplied was a generous nurdle of misshapen resin with a casting vent attached.

And I haven't even begun to address the mould lines as yet.

Easier than scratch building? I think, "Not!"
Dec 7, 2010
I do Love Snow Days:

Ah Sunday and a snow day to boot. Thank God for global warming.......

Anyway to forestall 'Cabin Fever' I've made some inroads into the weapons armour

and typically I'm building the Power Fist armour backwards i.e. "from the outside in"


Before anyone asks, No I don't know how I am going to get the resin fist out yet...


A couple of plastic piano hinge devices I am thinking right now.
Dec 7, 2010
Lucius Weapons Armour:

The Power Fist is the most difficult weapon to Lucius-ify............

I need to keep the Mars palm encased within the external Lucius armour so I can maintain the original finger mounts.

Since the Lucius armour wraps around the core there has to be a way to remove it if I want the model displayed in its Mars iteration.

The best way I can come up with is a removable lower panel so the Lucius armour can be removed.


I start by adding a thin hinge point of 3/32 tubing and 0.038 inch hinge pin of piano wire.
Dec 7, 2010
The Other Weapons:

The two other weapons I have are the Turbo Laser and the Gatling Blaster both of which have rather minimal Mars armour.

The Turbo laser will be a simple swap of armour; i.e. slide the Mars off and slide the Lucius on and vise versa, piece o' cake.


It's going to take a bit of imaginative detailing to punch these bland constructs up but right now the basic armour needs be our only concern.


The Gatling Blaster will sport a simple clip on cover over the moulded in Mars armour.
Dec 7, 2010
Turbo Laser:

Far better the plan for the Turbo Laser.

The basic rectangle is done and the internal structure allows for the armour to slip on and off with a few tabs locking it in place when installed.

The arm fits snugly in its receptacle so all that needs be done is carve out some interesting access ports and cut some step ins into the boxlike structure.


The Laser tubes will get encircling rims similar to the mount arm:


The rear view needs some embelishments:


Likewise the top:


Very little of the bottom will be changed:


The internal structure is neat and simple with enough flexing of the side walls to slip the armour on and off easily.

Dec 7, 2010
Question for Reaver Owners:

The image below is the underside of the Reaver Turbo Laser.

In the image below between the cooling fins there is a rectangular cut out. This looks like there should be a part mounted in this area but I received no part for either of the Reavers I have.

Does anyone have a picture of this part? I can fabricate it if I can get a good image of it.

Dec 7, 2010
Destructor Laser Housing:

So the basic Lucius armour for the Turbo Laser is done;




The two interchangeable parts slip and lock on the basic weapon with equal facility, now all that needs be done is make the second one.

Time to move on to the Gatling Gun......
Dec 7, 2010
Gatling Blaster:

The Gatling Blaster Lucius armour was simple to make being ostensibly a styrene box following the shape of the Mars armour.

Once made I added a rim around the arm attach ring of 0.040" / 1,0 MM strip to give the edge of the mount receptacle a more finished appearance.


To make the strip curve simply draw the strip between thumb nail and fore finger applying slight pressure with thumb nail to the strip a few times and then glue in place progressing around rim of arm mount as the glue is applied.

The entire procedure taking less time than it took me to type this.
Dec 7, 2010
Basic Weapon Lucius Armour:

Below can be seen the basic Lucius weapons armour including the failed fist gauntlet which I am still pondering to resolve.

Not bad for a weeks work and to tell the truth I am greatly relieved to have this part over as it was of great concern to me how to eclipse the Mars equipage without bulking up the escutcheons too much.



Now I can devote my time to the biggest design effort namely the Lucius Cockpit armour.
Dec 7, 2010
The Head Armour:

This will be the most difficult of all to redesign.

The Mars Pattern head is a work of art and well suited to the Mars Reaver but I want to depart from the flattened toad's head for my Lucius design.



Googling "Armorcast Reaver" shows the original Reaver head is more domed in appearance but still far too organic for my taste. What I need is a midway morph between the "Peterbuilt" cab look of the Lucius Warhound and the "Totenkoph"/"Minnesota Vikings" visage of the Lucius Warlord.


Surprisingly the SDK-FZ design was staring me on the face for quite some time but I failed to take up on it.

The "head" will take the shape of the SDK-Fz series armored cars more or less and the first order of business is to make a working frame that is compatible with the Mars cockpit but small enough to allow my modifications and still fit under the hood............
Dec 7, 2010
Inner Core of Cockpit:

We'll start with a close tolerance internal fit so the armour will lock in place similar to the original:


The inner cockpit frame has numerous points that allow for locking a styrene inner component.


This image shows the internal panels that lock the armour in place:


This image shows the close tolerance component in place the excess plastic a handy anchor for the exterior surface of the finished armour which will be quite different for the original:


The only pity is I have to make another......
Dec 7, 2010
One Armed Juggler:

Wow I'm busier than a one armed juggler; 'way too many projects in progress at the moment.

This weekend I made the interior buttresses of the second Lucius head so when the model is complete the Lucius head helmet will be interchangeable with the Mars style helmet just by popping it off. A simple straight forward design utilizing the faceted angle to lock the respective helmet to the original cockpit.



Now with most of the major Lucius components made I am ready to start detailing the exterior of various pieces.
Dec 7, 2010
Reaver Head Mental Block:

I've reached an impasse coming up with an original design for the Reaver head. I don't want to copy the FW style Mars flattened pancake as a Lucius angular flattened pancake but rather a midway creation somewhere between the Warhound and Warlord.

Below is what I have come up with given the space allowed under the carapace which is a limiting factor height wise.



This design will have a four pane wrap around windscreen which although completely useless as in the Warhound and Walord, the two Moderati sitting much to low to see anything but sky through the glazing it does anthropomorphize the cockpit visage.
Dec 7, 2010
Test Model:

I'm going to need a test model that is always assembled for the rest of this/these build(s).

It's just too much trouble assembling and reassembling each time I have pieces to fit. fortunately all the pieces so far are interchangeable so the one test model will be enough.

The front view showing the new snap on thigh armour and codpiece looks amazingly in proportion (at least to my eye and surprisingly the camera's eye as well.) I was not prepared for that.....


It seems I won't be needing the kneecap armour after all which is fine with me as it would have been a nightmare to make the kneecaps ride up and down with telescoping pistons as the knee flexes. Maybe someday in a moment of insanity I'll try making that mechanism but not this year.

The rear view still has pleasing proportions although I note I forgot to mount the after part of the groin armour.


The side view shows that I haven't as yet resolved the neck issue but I think the head is finally starting to make some sense as far as appearance.


Gone is the squashed toad look which I categorically do not like even in the Mars Pattern, by extending the chin down and increasing the height of the brow the head now fits well as an intermediate between the Warhound and Warlord so there is a continuity of design.

I had hoped to have these completed by Christmas but it looks like February is the new target date.

On the plus side I think I am ready to start detailing