Something big…

Today, I have a pretty huge post for you that will deal with an equally big project of mine. But what is this about? Here’s a first glimpse at this mystery project:

Chaos Knight WIP (1)
Now who might this be…?

The answer is that I have finally begun working on my own Chaos Knight Titan! I realise that I am rather late to this particular party, especially since I purchased the kit back when it was released, but that gave me the opportunity to collect lots and lots of inspiration for building 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 kit.

The most important influences were definitely Jeff Tibbett’s amazingly, almost obsessively detailed thread, Skrundle87’s mutated Daemon Knight and InsanePsychopath’s Chaos Knights, among others. Each of their Knights is amazing, but even more importantly: Their threads taught me that this is a model where “good enough” is not really an option — you have to give it your all with this big guy!

Hence the model shown above, I suppose: So yeah, that sour looking guy is indeed the pilot for my own Chaos Knight: One Knight Captain Harrowthorne, to be exact. In fact, you’d be amazed by how detailed his backstory is — it was what made me purchase this kit in the first place, to be honest, and after seeing so many hobbyists building pilots for their knights, I knew there was not easy way out of this for me.

Now the obvious thing to do would have been to build a completely mutated pilot fused to its machine, right? But in keeping with the rest of my CSM force, I decided that Baron Harrowthorne would remain surprisingly untainted in body (if not in spirit). While a more detailed background will be forthcoming at some point, let me just give you the gist of it:

Harrowthorne sided with the World Eaters during the Heresy because he felt he owed them a debt of honour for the liberation of his homeworld. That honourable decision, however, cost him dearly as he became a traitor, to his own world as well as to the Imperium at large. His rivals back at home took also this chance to wipe out his entire house and its ancestral holdings, putting themselves in power.
Beside himself with grief, Harrowthorne returned to his world to seek revenge (and presumably his own death). The World Eaters accompanied him and made sure he got the revenge part, at least. Afterwards, his world lay in ruins and everything that was important to him had been destroyed — except for his honour, ironically enough — being damned by your own sense of honour is a bit of a running theme for my World Eaters, in case you hadn’t noticed… Anyway, Harrowthorne was still seething with fury at an Imperium that held a thing like personal honour in so little regard, so he kept following the 4th assault company, fighting with them during the siege of Terra, his only wish to see the world burn.

The 4th assault company made him into a honorary member of the XIIth legion, to give him a new home and band of brothers, so to speak. Ever since, he has been hunting alongside the 4th: In his opinion, all servants of the Throne of Lies deserve to die…

Anyway, here’s a closer look at the Baron:

Chaos Knight WIP (6)
Chaos Knight WIP (5)
Chaos Knight WIP (4)
Chaos Knight WIP (3)
Even though this character was what originally inspired the whole project, I hadn’t even planned on building a pilot for my Chaos Knight in the first place: Granted, there are quite a few awesome pilot and cockpit conversions floating around the net, but I just couldn’t find an approach that I was confident I could reproduce. That changed when I found the threads of Spamus and Jeromgb, both of which contain awesome ideas for kitbashing a Knight interior. While the former makes excellent use of sentinel bitz to create a very “hands on” pilot, the latter makes the most of some Space Marine Landspeeder parts.

In the end, I decided that it would be awesome if a noble like Baron Harrowthorne were to actually sit on his Throne Mechanicum with an air of authority and majesty instead of looking like a pilot from a mecha animΓ©. I was also particularly inspired by this particular Titan princeps. Plus I have this picture in the back of my head of Harrowthorne laying waste to an entire Imperial army, and then the last thing his opponents see is a transmission of his gaunt, utterly emotionless face when he tells them, in a deadly calm voice: “Pray to your false Emperor. Perhaps he may yet save you.” before cutting contact and obliterating them.

The model itself consists of half the cockpit section of a Space Marine Landspeeder, while the Baron was built using a mix of Cadian and Tempestus Scion bitz. The legs came from the kneeling pair of legs from the Eisenkern Stormtroopers which were perfect to achieve the sitting pose. The head is from one of the Forgeworld Legion Praetors.

Here’s the first, very early mockup I made of the Baron inside the cockpit:

Chaos Knight WIP (8)
Chaos Knight WIP (9)
But more about that particular part of the model later in this post…

While Harrowthorne himself may have been the catalyst for this whole project, the next step was to actually deal with the huge, walking deathmachine piloted by him. So let us take a closer look at the part you’re probably most interested in: the actual Knight model.

I started by assembling the general parts of the kit as per the instruction, already adding the first “chaotic” touches along the way:

Chaos Knight WIP (7)
After spending quite a bit of time with the Imperial Knight kit, here are my two most important observations:

1. The kit itself is extremely well planned and the instructions are extremely well done as well, making sure the kit goes together remarkably easily, especially for such a monster of a model!

2. However, due to both the various modifications I am planning and the planned way of painting this thing, working on the model can get a little frustraing, because I just cannot glue the bigger sub-assemblies together just yet, and a model of this size is nearly impossible to temporarily tack together with modeling putty: You sometimes have a minute at most, before the separate sub-assemblies start pulling themselves apart under the combined influence of gravity and the hateful, spiteful machine ghost that doubtlessly already sleeps withing the god machine…

Chaos Knight WIP (10)
Chaos Knight WIP (11)
As you can see, the top of the carapace now sports several trophy racks, which makes for a silhouette that is instantly recognisable as chaotic. At the same time, going for several smaller trophy poles like this seems more practical than adding that enormous chaos icon from the warshrine, as several people have done.

Speaking of the warshrine, many people have used it to great effect on their chaos knight conversions, although I’ve only ever seen the huge, stylised daemon face used either on top of the upper carapace or, in one noteable instance, as a decoration for the knight’s shoulder pad. I knew from the start that I wanted to use it as a breastplate, and while working on this part of the model, I realised that, adding the lower half of a standard from the Ogre Kingdom’s Ironbreakers creates something looking like a complete daemon face, if seen from the right angle:

Chaos Knight WIP (12)

I am seriously happy with that incidental idea at the moment!

Regarding the Knight’s head, I realise that the skull face plate seems like a bit of a no brainer for a Khornate Knight, but the longer I thought about it, the more it felt like the slightly more sinister of the two knightly faceplates might actually be a better choice for a disillusioned fallen hero of the Imperium like Baron Harrowthorne…

I also started adding various armour plates to the legs, using both stock parts from the Knight kit (with some added spiky bitz) as well as armour plates from different kits (Ogre gut plates and fiend armour plates, mostly):

Chaos Knight WIP (13)
The main issue here was the position of the thigh armour: The fiend armour plates I used fit the Knight legs beautifully…right up to the point were I added the leg pistons and attached the legs to the pelvis, which seriously messed with their arrangement. So I buckled up and shaved off quite a bit of the armour plates. They now fit much better, I think:

Chaos Knight WIP (14)
As you can see, I also cut off the lower part of the “crotch plate”, because I wanted the slightly chaotic decoration on the exchanged banner to be visible.

Then I began assembling the Knight’s chainsword arm. While this may be disappointing to some of you, I’ll definitely stick with the standard weaponry that comes with the kit because the combination of a cannon of some sort and a huge chainsword is such an iconic part of Knight Titans for me. That said, both arms will of course get decorations to make them look more chaotic. Oh, and let me also add that the construction of those arms is extremely clever, making them very poseable and easily attachable to the model without a drop of glue!

Chaos Knight WIP (15)
Afterwards, the next step was to add a couple of details, so I broke out the etched brass and spiky bitz. Here’s the Knight as it stands right now:

Chaos Knight WIP (19)

Chaos Knight WIP (20)
The most noticeable addition is the use of the etched brass symbols: A small Khorne rune for the face plate, a World Eaters legion badge for the heraldic tilting plate and a bigger Khornate symbol for the hatch leading to the cockpit:

Chaos Knight WIP (21)
I also worked on the left shoulder pad. Here’s what it looks like now:

Chaos Knight WIP (22)
So, with the Knight himself coming along rather nicely, I was free to take a closer look at the model’s hollow interior and tackle what has been the most fiddly part of this project so far: the actual cockpit.

Thanks to a bitz donation from fellow hobbyist Belphoebe that arrived earlier this week, I was finally able to start working on this part of the model. And while it felt like I was getting nowhere for several hours, I am now really happy with the result. Let us take a closer look and peel back the layers of the onion, so to speak:

Here’s the Knight’s torso once again:

Chaos Knight WIP (25)

Now let’s remove the top hatch:

Chaos Knight WIP (27)

Why look, it’s Baron Harrowthorne!

As you can see, the Baron is perfectly visible through the open hatch — just as planned!

Now let’s remove that carapace plate:

Chaos Knight WIP (28)

In front: Harrowthorne in his completely scratchbuilt cockpit. And in the back: The Knight’s engine block.

Now let me tell you one thing: The hollow interior of the Knight may seem huge at first glance, but if you’re endeavouring to add both a pilot and engine, you’ll find yourself running out of room very quickly! Figuring out where to put what was probably one of the most difficult things about this conversion!

Another look from the front:

Chaos Knight WIP (29)
As you can see, Harrowthorne fits in rather nicely — although it is a slightly tight fit

Now let’s take a closer look at the actual conversion work, warts and all:

Chaos Knight WIP (30)
The cockpit itself was mainly constructed from Land Raider parts: The floor is a shaved down Land Raider turret hatch, while the screens came from one of the inside panels from the same kit. The cockpit’s back wall was made from plasticard, and a couple of additional bitz were used to blend in the seams of the conversion.

The engine block is a cut down Land Raider engine. As you can see, the engine compartment is mostly hollow, except for a lonely support strut made from leftover sprue…

This all looks so nice and tidy now (at least for my usual, sloppy standard), but figuring out a configuration that worked almost drove me up the wall!

Here’s a look from a different perspective:

Chaos Knight WIP (31)
Chaos Knight WIP (32)
I’ve left the Baron himself removable for now, both in order to have an easier time painting him and to be able to take him out and glance lovingly at the model, every now and then πŸ˜‰ Here’s the cockpit without him:

Chaos Knight WIP (33)
A piece of sprue was glued to the floor to help position the Baron. Etched brass grating from the 40k basing set was used to detail the cockpit’s floor.

 

Now this part of the model was really a pain in the behind to get right, but having finished this also fills me with a real sense of achievement. I’ll gladly admit that I am standing on the shoulders of giants here, though: I’d never have been able to build this without taking inspiration from projects like Jeromgb’s and Spamus’s Knight conversions (which I linked further up in this thread) and Nicorex’ wonderful Black Templar Knight.

So, while I have liked the Knight model from the start, it’s now actually starting to feel like this could be a pretty awesome centrepiece model. Wish me luck! πŸ˜‰

Chaos Knight WIP (24)

One last thing I would like to share with you: Fellow Dakkanaut dantay_xv came up with an amazing idea for Barrow Harrowthorne’s background. To quote dantay himself:

The other idea I had, but again might not work would be bloody hand prints on the lower limbs and small totems or skulls at the feet of the knight like offerings or devotions

As the 4th company go to war, they walk by Harrowthornes Knight & touch a bloody hand to its armour in the hope of receiving Khorne’s blessing for a good hunt etc before going to battle.

Harrowthorne despises the men of the 4th Company for such acts of brutish superstition, but by their simple acts, his pride has been rekindled by regaining a small measure of the power he lost when honouring his debts to Angron and his World Eaters.

Like the Lord of War that the Baron is he, strides forth amongst his “charges” and reaps terror and discord on the weak and pitiful worshippers of the Corpse God.

However, the aloof-ness of the Baron, plusΒ  the veneration which some of his men heap upon the Knight is beginning to grate on the Huntmasters nerves and some speculate that there will come a time when the 4th are called upon to go big game hunting before the Baron’s hubris becomes a threat to the Huntmasters’ rule.

 

I think this is an absolutely fantastic idea, and something that would perfectly fit my World Eaters! I may have to do one or two small adjustments in order to make the fluff fit my idea of Harrowthorne (there is no actual hubris to him, for instance, at least not when dealing with the legionaries of the 4th, and I also don’t see any emnity between him and Lord Captain Lorimar), but I’ll definitely adopt this overall concept into the “official” lore of Khorne’s Eternal Hunt :)

 

So yeah, so much for my rather obsessive work on the Chaos Knight so far. I would love to hear any feedback you might have! I have to give you fair warning here, though: I’ll only ever realistically build one of these beasts, so I will definitely take my sweet time with this! I cannot guarantee that this project will get finished quickly — so bear with me here, okay?

In any case, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Chaos Knight WIP (23)

 

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23 Responses to “Something big…”

  1. 40kterminatus Says:

    Looking forward to this πŸ™‚ You really look like your taking your time over this project to get it just right. Please, please modify away as much as you can as its so good to see something slightly different from the norm.

  2. Very nice post that makes you wish for more. The conversion work you show is a great inspiration to all of us Chaos enthusiasts!

  3. Whoa, I love baron Harrowthorne and the knight. But especially the baron, he is just perfect.
    Dantay’s fluff idea seems like it could have come directly out of the 40k canon, it fits perfectly with the reverential way technology and power is treated in the 41st millennium. I am certainly looking forward to seeing more(but take your time, good things come to those who wait) πŸ™‚

    • Cheers, Quinn! I am stupidly happy with the Baron, to tell you the truth πŸ˜‰ Oh, and dantay’s fluff idea really is amazing, isn’t it? It also gave me all kinds of ideas for the model and its background — just watch this space πŸ˜‰

  4. MadHatter Says:

    Absolutely stunning! I really like where the design is going, especially the armor on the legs. Can’t wait to see more

  5. beautiful work on making a great kit even just that much more stunning.

  6. Wow, great work on the knight. I like the daemon face in the torso and the thigh armor in particular. The shoulder pads seem like they could be a good place for dangling skulls and heads, sort of a continuation of the the trophy rack idea.

    What are you going to do with the cannon? Another banner or a daemon face around the barrel?

    Will you blood spatter the left side of the knight to show how messy it is to take down monsters with a chainblade of that size?

    As you can see, I think it is a very exciting model.

    • Cheers, mate! There might be more dangling skulls yet, never fear πŸ˜‰ For the cannon, I am probably going to use a daemon face as the muzzle of the weapon — we’ll see.

      As for adding blood spatters to the chainsword, I don’t know about that: What kind of creature that size would actually bleed red? πŸ˜‰

      • Good point about the blood… but if Orks can have red blood despite being plants, then I am sure that all the beasties in the 40k universe can too. (and in the fluff, I thought knights were originally created to herd dinosaurs for meat…)

  7. That is seriously awesome work – good stuff, man! Looking forward to seeing it painted up!

  8. Great work so far. I love the use of the shrine bits. I cannot wait to see more!

    • Cheers, TJ! That shrine looks terrible on its own, but it just provides the best conversion fodder (they should probably sell it as Chaos Knight armour to begin with πŸ˜‰ ).

  9. […] then, why not check out my posts on the creation of my Chaos Knight Titan here and […]

  10. […] the heraldic shield and the hanging banner as well as the top armour section. Krautscientist made a version I liked a lot with an interior. I’ll use that as my main direction but with some major […]

  11. […] the sicarian box. It’s a simple kitbash but very effective. Much like Krautscientist and his build from where I took most of the inspiration from. For the cockpit I added some simple details, I […]

  12. […] this is what the finished conversion looked like (the entire project so far has been chronicled here and here, for your […]

  13. […] PART I PART II PART III […]

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