With White Dwarf being released in a matter of hours and Skitarii being flavour of the month, I thought it might be interesting to look back at where it all began in, oddly, the very first issue of White Dwarf I ever bought, issue #120 way back in 1989. Aaaah, to be a Beardy!
Issue 120 was right at the start of the release of Adeptus Titanicus, the first incarnation of what was to become Space Marine and then Epic 40K.
The section in this issue concentrated on the War Griffons, a Titan Order, and their heraldry. On the second page there was, under the armoured vehicle section, information on the "Scutarii", the infantry units attached to Titan Orders.
Far from the red and black hooded figures we know today, the "Scutarii" were Imperial Guard, but better trained and armed, using Rhinos and Land Raiders to charge across the battlefield at the feet of the enormous Titans.
+ + More After The Jump + +
Not stated in this issue but later, the "Scutarii" (by then having changed their name to the Skitarii) were described as heavily armed Imperial Guard, favouring the Bolter rather than the Lasgun.
+ + It should be noted that at this time some Imperial Guard could use Bolters and also used Rhinos and Land Raiders for transport + +
Incidentally, this look and feel for the Titan Orders and the Skitarii was the brain child of the legendary Jes Goodwin.
The idea of Skitarii as augmented part-man part-machine soldiers didn't come about until the advent of the term "Ad Mech" which not only replaced Skitarii in Games Workshop literature but also moved the role of the Skitarii as soldiers from the same Homeworld as the Titan Order providing a support and also tactical force for the lumbering Titans.
From now on the Ad Mech would be wholly owned units of the Adeptus Mechanicus, augmented humans part of an army of machines pouring around the feet of the Titans.
Later incarnations of the Skitarii have even seen them as tentacled and hooded servo skulls almost, which is a world away from their original vision.
Personally I've always hated the part-man part-machine idea of the Skitarii. For me they have always been the original vision of heavy Imperial Guard with better equipment, raised and trained on the same Homeworld as their Titan Order they now fight with... and this is how I converted my models also!
As you can see from below, the officer is basically an Imperial Guard with a Space Marine driver chest and a whole lot of Green Stuff.
I made both of these about 8 years ago and like the look of the officer so much I never painted him. My Green Stuff work was much better in those days! How annoying...
There is to me a sense wonder being such a small part of such a huge thing as a Titan Order. You have all the best equipment and armour & at the end of the day can be crushed under the foot of a wayward Titan
Feel free to add any comments and here's to a really brilliant looking release next week of some amazing looking Skitarii models.