So yeah, about that Knight Titan…

Knight Release (11)

First of all, let me apologise for posting an incomplete version of this post a couple of hours ago — I didn’t pay attention and messed up. However, what better incentive to finally finish that post, right? So here goes:

I surely took my own sweet time to finally get around to talking about this kit! But while the internet was already abuzz with all kinds of unboxing videos, sprue diagrams and what have you, I did want to take it a bit slower, carefully looking at the kit and waiting for the first builds and conversions to appear. But when it comes to Imperial Knights, some pretty sweet content has begun to appear online over the last few days, so I guess the time is right!

I’ll gladly admit that my jaw pretty much hit the floor when I first saw the Imperial Knight: Once again, as they did with the Lord of Skulls, GW have taken a model from the days of Epic (or, indeed, Adeptus Titannicus) and brought it over to the 28mm scale — and what  model it is!

Knight Release (3)

I have gone on record stating that the 40k universe feels really unique to me. Sure, there’s a number of possible inspirations for the setting, but no other IP mixes medieval, renaissance and futuristic elements with quite so much aplomb! The Imperial Knight is a perfect example of that in that it is clearly both a futuristic walker and a wildly eclectic, medieval looking machine. It also really does look like a knight!

The model also clearly improves on the older versions of the model, keeping hallmarks of GW’s classic titans (the spindly arms carrying comparatively huge weapons, the hunched over look with the head emerging from the chest,…) while bringing it all in line with the more recent design.

Knight Release (2)
I can still remember one of the first pieces of 4ok artwork I saw while browsing through the instruction manual for Space Crusade: It was a battle scene focusing on what must have been a Knight Titan, with Space Marines scurrying antlike between its legs. I can remember my wonder at that piece of artwork, specifically at the strangely medieval banners and heraldic elements adorning the huge robot-thing. Looking at the new Knight recalls that moment and provides the best possible kind of nostalgia: I remember the older Knight models not as they actually looked but as they should have looked.

The kit is also full of amazing details: The heraldic plate on the right shoulder, the banner between the legs or the hatch leading to the cockpit, all of these are great little touches. The chainsword is a bit of a no-brainer, because it’s so iconic of the GW titans, but the weapons for the other arm are really nice as well.

Knight Release (5)
The different faceplates have got to me my favourite elements, however: It actually took me a while to realise that all of them use the same basic head construction and merely function as masks, but they are all great: From suitably knightly to creepily skeletal, there is much to like about the designs — even using the bare head without any masks on top is a cool option, leading to a suitably inhuman AdMech look:

Knight Release (6)

The model is also really interesting in the way it uses heraldic elements: Much has been said about the various decal sheets for the Knight, but while I am feeling mostly apathetic about decals in the first place, the Imperial Knight is a stunning example of what can be achieved once the decals are basically turned up to eleven:

Knight Release (8)
On the other hand, I was surprised to see that the Knight also works with relatively simple colour schemes. In fact, one of my favourite Knights so far has one of the simplest colour schemes:

Knight Release (1)
Already, people all over the internet are coming up with visually stunning Imperial Knights, and it will be fun to see what can be done with the model over the coming weeks and months.

One last thing that I love about the Imperial Knight is not so much the model itself but the lore surrounding it: The Imperial Knights are, at the same time, a perfect embodiment of the 40k universe and yet also avatars of something even more archaic and medieval: The whole culture surrounding them is really interesting, and the concept of knight world and knightly households is not only very interesting but also hasn’t been done to death — a much needed breath of fresh air, so to speak!

There are also the possible myteries surrounding those huge warmachines: How does the Throne Mechanicum work? What does the cockpit of a Knight look like? Is it your classic mech cockpit with lots of screens and HUDs? Is it a steampunk extravaganza, complete with analogue gauges, brass piping and an upholstered pilot chair? Could it be more like an amniotic tank, with the pilot floating suspended in liquid (the top hatch does have something sinister, doesn’t it?)? It’s fun to imagine all kinds of stories about the Knight, and to explore the parts you cannot see as well — is it any wonder that there are enterprising hobbyists endeavouring to fill the gaps, so to speak? And to great effect, I might add!

While we are on the subject of other hobbyists, let me point you towards several really useful resources for all your Imperial Knight discussion needs:

  • First, a supremely useful series of posts on Tale of Painters, discussing the kit and its various properties (one and two)
  • Then you should definitely check out JeffTibbet’s thread over at The Bolter and Chainsword, where Jeff builds a Knight from the ground up with an enviable amount of perfectionism and attention to detail — highly recommended!
  • For those who want to delve into the history of Imperial Knights and their models, this thread should be an awesome resource as well.

 

So, isn’t there anything bad about the kit?

As much as I love the model – and love it unequivocally, I might add – I once again feel that I am not exactly comfortable with the direction of the game as a whole: Sure, the Knight is amazing, and everybody and their cousin want one. It stands to reason that it should be given workable rules, because what use is a toy we don’t get to play with, right? But entire Knight armies consisting of multiple of these beasts? What role does that leave for the average infantryman?

I do of course realise that I sound a bit like a broken record here, but I think it needs to be pointed out that we are now basically playing with action figures, scale wise. This is both good and bad: Good because we get to use stuff that only ever had a place in Epic before, and this is very much like our children’s dreams come true, right? Bad because there’s this constant danger that any game below the Apocalypse level could end up more or less devalued.

Then there’s the fact that we should also consider alterntives to the Imperial Knight: I already mentioned Dreamforge Games‘ excellent models at an earlier date, and they are certainly first on my list of possible alternatives for a Knight model:

Leviathan Crusader by  Dreamforge Games

Leviathan Crusader by Dreamforge Games

Eternal Hunts Awards 2013 (2)

Leviathan Mortis by Dreamforge Games

The great thing about the DFG models is their almost ridiculously high amount of articulation, poseability and cutomisability: You can basically get these guys to look any way you want, and this is certainly the one area where the GW model falls a little flat. There’s also the fact that the Leviathans are available in loyalist and chaotic flavours, as evident from the images above. Plus they certainly provide some amazing value for the money. Strong contenders for the Imperial Knight, surely?

The one problem seems to be their size: There’s a pretty helpful side-by-side comparison of the Knight Titan and 15 mm Leviathan Crusader here on YouTube. The gist of it is that the 15mm is about 2 inches shorter than the Knight, while the bigger 28mm version is about two inches taller. So either will not be the same height as the “official” Knight kit. That’s certainly not the only important consideration here, but it does make a difference. Meanwhile, the bigger, 28mm Crusader would certainly make for a brilliant alternative to a Warhound Titan.

And you know what: You can call me crazy, but maybe we wouldn’t even have the Imperial Knight today if it hadn’t been for the Dreamforge Games models meeting with such positive feedback last year.

The good news is that, in this particular case, you, my dear readers, can have your cake and eat it too: While I might be endeavouring to build a chaos knight using the Imperial Knight kit at some point in the near future, fellow hobbyist Chris Harman has the Dreamforge Games angle covered — and knowing his conversions so far, we’ll definitely be in for a treat!
So, before I wind up this rambling post, let me take a look at some of the conversions that have begun to crop up all over the blogosphere. It probably won’t astound you that my main interest lies in seeing the Imperial Knight suitably desecrated and brought into the service of the ruinous powers — rules and allie matrices be damned! Fortunately enough, some fellow chaos worshippers have already done some truly spectacular work:

  • First up, Insane Psychopath’s conversion, making heavy use of a WFB warshrine of chaos — and to great effect, I might add!
  • Then there’s the ever-inspirational GuitaRasmus, with a more twisted vision. That head is just amazing, isn’t it?
  • Another – fairly straightforward but still absolutely awesome – conversion comes from greg0985: I thought the skull mask was a no-brainer for a chaos knight conversion, but this model seriously made me reconsider that…
  • And finally, there is this beauty, courtesy of Troy, that left me almost speechless: Troy also made good use of the warshrine bitz, but the red and gold really sold me on what clearly seems to be a Khornate Knight.

And there’s that most elusive and expensive of kitbashes: Combining the Lord of Skulls and Imperial Knight kits to make a truly enormous Khornate walker — many are theorising about such a conversion at the moment, but none have tried it so far. Maybe it’s the price tag? At 200 Euros, such a conversion certainly wouldn’t come cheap. Maybe it’s the fact that the kitbash would leave you with two leftover halves without much use for either — although some have pointed out that a Knight upper body and Lord of Skulls undercarriage could be combined in order to build a Kaban Machine. Anyway, sooner or later, somebody will take the plunge…

 

The Lord of Skulls was admittedly a bit of an acquired taste: While it stayed true to its roots in several old Epic models and nicely managed to transport them to the 2st century, it was too goofy for some and was thus derisively called the “Skulldozer”. The Imperial Knight tries the same, but with vastly more success and to near unanimous excitement. And rightly so: From a design perspective, it’s an amazing model. It has set the hobby scene abuzz with a thousand possibilities, and there’s no small amount of anticipation: Whatever may be next?

For now, let’s be happy with the Imperial Knight we got. It’s a stunning piece. Great job, GW!

As always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

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15 Responses to “So yeah, about that Knight Titan…”

  1. Very interesting post. Here I found another “Knight”-related blog post with a size comparision photo of the Knight and the 28mm Leviathan. It’s the first one I ever seen and it’s really interesting how non-detailed the Leviathan is: http://www.chaos-arts.com/2014/03/7-imperial-knights-heres-plan.html

    • Cheers, mate! And you really only saw the garbled, unfinished version of the post, so feel free to check out the “official release” 😉

      While the Leviathan may not be as detailed as the Imperial Knight, I think some decals and the judicious use of bitz would make it look very similar to “official” 40k models. And, like I said in the post, maybe we wouldn’t even have the Knight if it hadn’t been for the DFG models, so there’s that too.

  2. Am definitely considering the options for a lord of skulls. Since using the torso won’t touch the main chassis there are so many possibilities for Khorn war machines.
    Some old epic models

    Something like this amazing Cauldron of blood
    http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?135933-Ideas-for-Modelling-New-Chaos-Super-Heavies
    (possibly avoiding greenstuff thanks to the warshrine for some of the decoration.)

    Towers of skulls
    http://www.vampirecounts.net/Thread-Khorne-superheavy-tanks

    My personal favourite might be to make a Doomblaster,
    http://www.dakkadakka.com/gallery/152958-Doomblaster%20of%20Khorne.html
    But use the tanks from the lord of skulls for the mortars and a resin skull form basically any Goth/Hippie/Pagan shop. Raiding Goth/Hippie/Pagan shops for random props would give plenty of big skull options and other ornamentation.

    Cunning use of the kits could even get you a third vehicle as you have the whole armoured torso of the knight left so lots of options there.

    • Thanks for the links, dan! Enough projects to occupy a kitbasher for years, surely — although some of those Epic daemon engines are just a bit too corny for modern 40k, don’t you think?

      I’ll be honest: I am not even a big fan of huge models, quite the opposite, actually. I can usually suspend my dislike for walkers, because who doesn’t love huge mecha, right? But tanks, even Khornate ones, are just not that interesting to me, so I guess I’ll be able to resist temptation – for once 😉

  3. I do not think the Knight will devalue other styles of games – I still love Kill Team, low and high point games and Apocalypse, and still need to go through Planetstrike, City Fight, Escalation, Stronghold Assault and the Battle Missions book!

    • I hope you’re right! Although it’s really not just the Knight itself but the ever escalating nature of the game at the moment. Sure, GW are giving us more and more awesome toys to play with, but I have to admit I find myself intimidated by the sheer amount of stuff one needs to keep up with, more than anything else.

      • I think the approach of talking over the sort of game you’re planning to have with your opponent helps with what you have to “keep up” with.

        I’m just picking and choosing what to put my time and money towards. I know I can’t do everything, so I’m being selective.

        I think you’ve given me an idea for a blog post – if I can find time to write it!

  4. You’re too kind KS. I did get the model in the mail, this last week actually, and just one leg took 2 hours to build. So I’m taking my sweet old time with this project and working on it when I have some spare time.

  5. Jeff Tibbetts Says:

    Holy cow. Thanks for the shout out on my WIP thread. I was just reading along and BAM, my name was right there. Kinda fun to see that. I wish I were making faster progress, but I have so little time to work.

    Good post, by the way. You really cover a lot of angles.

    • Cheers, Jeff: Linking to your thread was really a no brainer, though: That amount of attention to detail really deserves all the attention it can get! Keep up the amazing work!

  6. […] my own chaos knight — some of the model’s that inspired me were already pointed out in my last post on the Knight model, where I also talked at length about my love for the […]

  7. […] Read my original review of the Imperial Knight here. […]

  8. led skull lights

    So yeah, about that Knight Titan… | eternalhunt

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