Hobbyist David Urwin became the proud owner of a Warhammer 40k Warlord Titan, the most expensive model in a famously expensive game, using a refund issued by Google when it discontinued the Google Stadia game streaming service. Urwin bought “pretty much everything” on the Stadia platform during its short life, and the refund allowed him to acquire the $ 2,500 / £1,630 model and “have some spare to put into savings”.
Urwin has been gradually collecting the greatest warmachines of the Imperium of Man. “Two vehicles have loomed large in the lore for me”, Urwin says, “The Thunderhawk Gunship, and Titans”. A work bonus and the sale of some older minis got Urwin his Space Marine Thunderhawk “a few years ago”. When he received the unexpected refund from Google “I knew it was likely to be my only ever chance to take the plunge” and acquire a Warlord Titan.
“The whole build and painting took two weeks”, Urwin says. He reposed the legs on the model to give it a dynamic stance and to keep the footprint small enough to use in games against other Warhammer 40k actions. He says “unfortunately, I didn’t dry fit the parts, and discovered that the knee plate would not fit! I needed to use a saw, greenstuff and brass rods to rebuild the armour”.
Painting a Titan is a task on a completely different scale to painting miniatures. Urwin says: “I went through a rattle can and a half of Leadbelcher, and two pots of both Runelord Brass and Basilicanum Grey. I didn’t use an airbrush, but found the process of hand painting panels was very therapeutic. Finally, I used inkjet decal paper to complete the shields – I don’t have the freehand skills to do it justice!”
The Titan is painted in the livery of the Legio Ignatum, or Fire Wasps, close allies of the Adeptus Mechanicus, a faction Urwin also collects. The godmachine has walked to war three times so far: “in 40k it has taken on Thousand Sons, who are uniquely placed to obliterate it quickly with mortal wound spam and great invulnerable saves – but it is enormous fun to use”, Urwin says. He adds that in Warhammer: The Horus Heresy “it plays like a Titan should, shrugging off damage and deleting whatever it is targeting”.
Urwin says his experience with Stadia was very positive, citing “the speed of access to games (no disc swaps or downloads) plus the ease of transport (play anywhere, anytime you have access to a Web browser) alongside the cost of entry (£40 for a controller)” as strengths.
Urwin attributes the size of his refund partly to going “all in on the FIFA series” and its micro-transactions. He adds that “the arrival of lockdown gave me more disposable income, and fewer places to spend it”, which changed his spending habits from tabletop games to digital ones. Getting all the money he’d spent at once “certainly caused me to raise my eyebrows and pay much closer attention to my casual spending”, Urwin says.