All super-heavies in 40K should have names. This is just a fundamental truth. And with the over-the-top, baroque style of 40K slathered in pseudo-Latin, there’s room for really fun names. Terminus Est. Fortress of Arrogance. These names add a lot of texture to the setting, and are sort of the capstone of projects that often demand a lot of time and hobby attention.
And in Adeptus Titanicus everything is a super-heavy. Which means everything needs a name.
For 28mm figures, you might just remember the name, or if you’re feeling especially fancy, put an etched plate on a display base of a Titan, like the kind you can get from a trophy shop. But what do you do for 8mm figures?
The answer? Versatile Terrain.
Versatile Terrain is a small operation based out of the UK, using 3D printing to primarily make nameplates that fit standard round and beveled base types found in most miniatures games. The configuration is easy enough – pick your base size and choose from a few styles – one that looks like a riveted on plate and one that blends closer with a standard base edge, plus a slimmer and taller style as well.
The plate size itself determines how many characters you have – and with Titanicus-sized bases, you’ve got plenty of room to work with with 30-40 characters or so. Even smaller 25mm bases give you enough for a character name at 18 or so characters.
Next up is a wonderfully broad array of typefaces:
I went with the standard “Gothic” font, but I could see “Castle”, “Celtic”, “Mythic”, “Runes” or “Knight” for heavily thematic forces, and of course the other fonts have pretty obvious applications to other game lines or non-Imperial races. There’s also a nice variety of symbols there as well, though some are notably lacking, like the Tau’s favorite ” ‘ ” mark, though it’s possible some custom work might be possible. You also get an option for whether or not you want a notch for the front fire arc on them or not.
Once you do that, you submit your order and pay, and it’s off to the races.
Shipping and First Impressions
So the nameplates aren’t exactly cheap. A full set for an AT Warlord, two Reavers and two Warhounds came to 29.50 GBP plus another 5 for shipping, which is about $44 US, or a little under $9 per Titan on average. This would be expensive to do up a whole army this way, but for small model games, special characters, etc. it’s a nice touch that I think isn’t too bad.
In the pictures on the Versatile Terrain site, you can see the name plates still attached to the 3D printer supports to give them a little strength. I suspect these game in handy, because while my order was well packed, all of them had broken off by the time they arrived in the states, presumably heroically sacrificing themselves to save the name plates. No damage was done though, and even haphazardly broken off by the trip around the globe, the nameplates required minimal cleanup to be functional.
In terms of quality, these are not your standard filament-fed 3D printer products, which usually only work for terrain and the like. Instead, Versatile uses a Form2 printer, which uses UV light to cure resin in layers. Depending on who you ask, it’s either a low-end professional printer or an unspeakably high end consumer printer, but either way, you get the sort of detail people think they should get from 3D printers. And, with the clear, fairly blocky shapes the name plates are made up of, there’s no resolution problem. For comparison, the artillery emplacements the nameplates are sitting on-top of are the likely more familiar Shapeway white versatile plastic.
They are resin, and behave like it, taking airbrush primer etc. just fine. The plates were bent at roughly the correct angle, so needed only a little holding while the super-glue set to fit nicely on the base.
So far, I’ve done one Reaver with it’s base on, painted using primarily Scale75 golds with some airbrushed Burnt Umber ink for deep shades. And I really like the effect it produces for what was really very little effort – maybe 10 or 15 minutes with the airbrush and a single edge highlight.
The bases aren’t intrusive and won’t get in the way of game play, but I think add a really neat element, especially on Titanicus bases, with both feature ancient and revered Titans which should get named billing, but also adding some interest to the bases themselves, which at the moment don’t have a lot of support with custom resin bases, deep bits boxes that don’t involve raiding old Epic miniatures, etc. It’s also drawn several comments, and so I think like many things basing related just gives the figure that extra little touch. At the moment, I’ve also seen no evidence that the plate is apt to fall off either, with a fairly broad surface for glue to hold on.
Another thing to note is that Versatile has the sort of outstanding customer service many of us value in small hobby businesses, but is sometimes lacking. They were really great about answering questions over email (I ordered my plates before the Warhounds had arrived, so I was nervous about getting the right size), indulged me in chatting a little bit about their experience with the Form2 (it’s possible I’m getting on for my lab), and their Instagram and Facebook pages are full of pictures of newly printed lots being shipped out, customer models, etc.
I’m extremely happy with my nameplates. I can definitely see adding these to other select figures – special characters or warlords, a small team for Guildball/Bloodbowl or a Kill Team. The one caveat as with many things is that shipping doesn’t scale up and down, so if you’re going to order, order everything at once. But as a neat little addition to Titanicus bases? Couldn’t be happier.
Overall Rating: 9.5/10
Versatile Terrain can be reached at https://www.versatileterrain.co.uk or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/buildyournarrative/ . For more pictures to give you an idea of what other folks are doing with the bases, I’ve found their Instagram to be the best source: https://www.instagram.com/versatileterrain/
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