The Warrior King

Baron Harrowthorne try04b

“Pray to your false Emperor with all your heart. Perhaps he might yet protect you, after all.”
Baron Augustus Melchiah Harrowthorne

 

So, a rather early update this week, but I just cannot sit on this any longer. So here goes:
More than a year later, here we are: Today’s post will finally showcase one of my most ambitious hobby projects to date, and certainly the biggest model I have ever painted — my very own converted Chaos Knight that will accompany the warriors of the World Eaters’ 4th assault company into battle. Regular readers of this blog will already be rather familiar with the model’s various stages of completion, but since I want this to be a fairly comprehensive showcase post, those of you who haven’t seen the Knight take shape yet will find all the various posts on the subject linked below:

PRELUDE

– THE BUILDING –

PART I
PART II
PART III

– THE PAINTING –

PART I
PART II
PART III
PART IV

Oh, and you might also be interested in this companion post over at Dark Future Gaming, where I discuss some of the excellent conversions that have inspired my own take on the Chaos Knight.

But let’s get to the actual showcase, right? So when we last saw the Knight, there was still some work left to do. One very important thing that I definitely wanted to incorporate was an effect suggested by dantay_xv a while ago:

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.

I really loved this idea, so I had to make it work somehow. And I basically left this effect for last during painting (because I was really rather anxious about messing up, to be honest). Anyway, my approach was to make a press mold of a hand bit from a WFB trophy. I used GS for this. Then the mold was filled with latex milk, in order to create a suitably floppy and flexible copy of the hand that could then be used as a “stamp”, so to speak:

Handprints (1)
The stamp was then coated with Tamiya Clear Red, the colour I used to create the actual handprints. However, I quickly learned a couple of things: One, in spite of the flexibility of the stamp, actually creating some believable handprints on the shin armour’s curved surface turned out to be quite a bit of an ordeal. Two, there was actually even less room than I had anticipated. Three, while I had planned to add many, many handprints, I realised that the limited space resulted in a very real danger of all the handprints just mushing together into a solid wall of glossy red. So In the end, it was rather about suggesting the intended effect without going overboard — and I actually ended up painting most of the handprints by brush. Oh well…

Here’s the armour after the application of the handprints:

Handprints (3)
Handprints (4)
I am pretty pleased with the effect as it stands. It’s a rather subtle effect, to be sure, and one that does not come across all that well in photographs, but if you have the model in front of you and turn it, it’s really a rather cool effect when you suddenly glimpse the silhouette of handprints, created by the Clear Red’s glossy finish (the effect can be seen pretty well in the pictures above).

All that was left to do at this point was a lot of minor cleanup work. I had drawn up a list of many small parts that needed some more attention during the earlier stages of painting the Knight, and now I carefully went down this list and cleaned up every part of the model in turn. While this did take a while, I really didn’t want my attention to detail to wane so close to the finishing line, so I stayed focused. I may not be able to hold a candle to, say, JeffTibbett’s kind of perfectionism, but I can be obsessed when I need to πŸ˜‰

So, without any further ado, here’s the finished model. I give you Gilgamesh, the Warrior King, the Twice-Consecrated, Son of the Ember Queen, the 4th assault company’s very own Knight Titan:

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (1)
Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (3)
Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (5)
Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (6)
Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (8)
Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (9)
Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (11)
Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (2)
It probably won’t surprise you that I am just immensely happy with this model right now: It has been quite a journey, but in the end I ended up accomplishing pretty much all that I had set out to do with this model, and all without cutting any corners, which is no small feat for me πŸ˜‰ Oh, and the fact that the start to painting the model was rather bumpy and almost made me abandon the piece in frustration makes this success all the sweeter now!

Oh, and I do realise that painting all of the armour red may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it really creates the kind of look I wanted: The colour scheme and many bitz leave absolutely no doubt as to the machine’s allegiance, wouldn’t you agree?

So let’s take a closer look at some of the detail, because that’s really the fun part with a model of this size: To add stuff that may not be immediately noticeable but that hints at the machine’s backstory and long years of service. Again, some of you will already be familiar with most of these details, but please bear with me here — I am just really proud of the model right now πŸ˜‰

So, we have seen the red and brass, and so it’s no surprise that the Knight proudly displays the heraldry of the XII Legion Astartes, be it on the heraldic plate…

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (14)

…or on its right shoulder pad:

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (15)
In the latter case, the legion badge is supplemented by the Legion and company number, respectively. The other shoulder pad, meanwhile, shows a massive brazen icon of the Blood God, chained into place in the gladiatorial style of the legion and decorated in many smaller totems and icons:

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (16)
The World Eaters legion badge is also on display on the banner between the Knight’s legs:

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (17)
Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (18)
Also take note of the bloody handprints on the warmachine’s shin armour, left there as an oath of moment by the legionaries of the 4th. And there’s also a symbol of the Legio Audax (“Ember Wolves”) on the right kneepad, symbolising the machine’s honorary membership in the mighty Titan Legio. After going back and forth on the design several times, in the end I decided to combine an AdMech cog symbol (as a symbol of a Titan Legio) and a SW paw print for the actual Ember Wolves look — I just liked the way the paw print mirrored the (bloody) handprints used by the World Eaters as a sign of accomplishment in the official fluff.

Meanwhile, the rear side of the banner displays a collection of the many battle honours won by the Knight during its long years of service among the World Eaters:

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (7)
Like I said, I had quite a bit of fun with this small detail, and it’s also a callback to some of the really old Adeptus Titanicus and Rogue Trader artwork: Even then, Titans were covered in battle honours, hung with kill banners and what have you.

The Knight is stalking through the rubble of a vast battlefield, crushing the remains of a toppled Space Marine monument underfoot — a fitting metaphor for the failing Imperium of Man:

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (19)

But what of the pilot? A look into the opened cockpit reveals Baron Harrowthorne himself, strapped into his Throne Mechanicum:

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (21)
As I’ve said in an earlier post, this was probably the most complicated part of the whole conversion, but also the part I am most proud of now: Opening the hatch really shows you this perfect little vignette of the Baron in his fully realised cockpit — there’s even a design for the interior part of the hatch, of course:

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (22)
Oh, and while this doesn’t have anything to do with the Baron, the Astartes helmet tropy to the left was actually painted in the colours of my INQ28 DIY Space Marine Chapter, the Golden Legion — I thought this was a pretty cool shout out πŸ˜‰

Anyway, getting the pilot’s position to really match the hatch above took some doing, but the finished piece makes me feel it’s been well worth it:

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (20)
And as it happens, I have left the entire top carapace detachable, so let us take a closer look, shall we?

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (23)
The carapace can be taken of with a bit of fiddling and will also reliably snap back into place, so it seemed like a no brainer not to glue it in. So we can get a better look at the cockpit. Like so:

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (24)
And here’s a view from the top, showing both the cockpit and engine compartment:

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (26)
And a side view, showing the construction below it all:

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (25)
In this picture you can also make out the piece of sprue I have used to keep the joint at the waist flexible.

And here’s a look at the monitor banks showing vital battlefield information to the Baron:Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (27)
All of this has been kitbashed from different vehicle bitz and some plasticard, but I think I’ve managed to combine it into a rather cohesive whole. What’s more, the design even resembles Forgeworld’s “official” Knight interiors released for the Cerastus Knight variants — no small feat when you consider that those versions weren’t even available yet when I started converting my own Knight.

In addition to the to the carapace, the shoulder pads and arms have also been left detachable, so the entire Knight can be disassembled fairly thoroughly. Take a look:

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (29)
Since all of the parts lock into place fairly reliably without glue, there was really no point to attaching them permanently. Plus the weapons can be properly aligned and turned towards the enemy during games. Oh, and I am also free to maybe build an alternate pair of weapon arms for the Knight one of these days…

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (30)
Before I started working on the Knight, the biggest conversion I had ever tackled was my Wargrinder, a custom Dreadknight conversion. And while I am still very proud of this model, it does look almost puny when placed next to its bigger brother. Take a look:

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (31)
Quite a difference, eh? Speaking of which, the picture also shows that the red used on my Knight noticeably differs from the red used on the rest of my World Eaters. While I would have loved the colours to be the same, I ultimately had to make this decision because my World Eaters colour scheme relies on the – now OOP – GW Blood Red, and my reserves of this colour would never have sufficed to paint a model of this size to a standard I was happy with. In the end, I chose to make the Knight the best it could possibly be — at the price of a bit of visual coherency. But when all is said and done, I think it’s a difference I can easily live with: The model still looks like it belongs with the rest of the army, and a Knight Titan is really different enough from an Astartes vehicle or daemon engine to warrant a bit of visual divergence.

Oh, and while we are on the subject of scale comparisons, here’s a picture showing a power armoured World Eater, a Terminator, a Dreadnought, the Wargrinder and the Chaos Knight, just to put the scale in perspective:

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (32)

All in all, this has been an absolutely fantastic project for me, because it has really taught me so much, both about big models, but also about giving a model the time it deserves in order to really make it shine. What’s more, this Chaos Knight really turned into a bit of a community project somewhere along the way, as the feedback I received here and on forums like Dakka, The B&C or The Ammobunker really provided immensely helpful advice and helped me to stay focused whenever there was a danger of slacking off πŸ˜‰

If I have to name on source of inspirations above all others, it would have to be JeffTibbett’s brilliant Freeblade, the “Queen Bee”, though: Jeff’s work really taught me a new way of looking at a Knight and how to do justice to one of this ancient, hallowed warmachines. So thanks a lot to all those who provided valuable feedback and cheers to you, Jeff!

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (13)
So, anything else? Well, speaking of the amount of history behind Knights, we cannot possibly wind up this post without taking a look at the history of this particular machine and its pilot, can we? So here’s what I’ve come up with for the two:

 

Baron Harrowthorne try03b
Baron Augustus Melchiah Harrowthorne

Knight Baron Harrowthorne was the leader of the honourable Covenant of Paladins, an alliance of knight households formed to defend a forgeworld in the eastern fringe. While several of the other powerful houses were forever planning and plotting to engineer their own rise to power, Harrowthorne’s honour and purity cemented his position as the Covenant’s leader, and his ancestral fortress, the Harrowspyke, remained the seat of government of his knight world.

When the world came under heavy attack from an Ork invasion, an expeditionary fleet made up of elements of the XIIth and XVIIth Legion Astartes arrived in the nick of time, supporting the Covenant of Paladins and routing the xenos attack force. With the world saved, Baron Harrowthorne felt honour-bound to not only pledge allegiance to the Imperium of Man, but also to join the expeditionary fleet himself as a representative of the Covenant, in order to pay back the debt of honour he owed the Legiones Astartes.

Harrowthorne fought alongside the XIIth legion during the latter Great Crusade and was still attached to the World Eaters when the Horus Heresy broke out. The events at Isstvan made him realise that the Warmaster’s forces were now considered heretics and traitors by the rest of the Imperium. To distance himself from them would have been the most prudent course of action, and possibly the only way of preventing his own knight world from being purged by the loyalists. But Harrowthorne still felt indebted to the legion that had saved him.

Harrowthorne came up with the only compromise that would keep both his knight world and his own honour intact: He stepped down from his position as head of his household and leader of the Covenant of Paladins. He would remain with the the Astartes of the XIIth legion, to whom he still felt indebted. He also sent word to his sons to fight him and bring him to justice, should he ever return to his homeworld, for he was to be considered a traitor.

As prudent and honourable as this course of action had been, it did not work out: Word was sent by astropath that Harrowthorne’s whole household had been wiped out by the rivaling nobles. The Harrowspyke had been razed to the ground, and Harrowthorne’s two sons had been shot dead in sight of the smouldering ruins, without even a chance to prove their honour in a knightly duel.

Harrowthorne was beside himself with grief and self-hatred, when Lord Captain Lorimar of the 4th assault company approached him: Lorimar proposed to accompany the Knight Baron to his homeworld, where he would have his revenge. His debt of honour, Lorimar argued, went both ways, and the World Eaters would not forget Harrowthorne’s brave service at their side.

The Covenant of Paladins may have been a formidable force, but it was all but powerless against the wrath of an entire assault company of World Eaters: The 4th fell onto the world like a pack of wolves falls upon its prey. With Harrowthorne leading the assault, all the noble houses that had engineered his downfall were wiped out. The leader of the conspiracy was shot in the head with a mere service pistol on the plains surrounding his smouldering keep, denied the courtly respect that he himself had denied Harrowthorne’s sons.

Afterwards, Harrowthorne felt nothing but a great emptiness. But Lorimar approached the Knight Baron and offered him a chance at revenge even beyond his own homeworld: Once again, the Baron and the World Eaters would be united by a common goal: Terra must burn!

 

Warrior King
Gilgamesh, the Warrior King, the Twice-Consecrated, Son of the Ember Queen

Harrowthorne’s ancient Knight Titan has become a sight to be feared on battlefields across the galaxy. Its baroque form towers over the ranks of World Eaters marching to war alongside it, and seems like an avatar of the Blood God given form, clad in monstrous, barbed plate of arterial red and darkened brass. No traces of House Harrowthorne’s original heraldry remain on Gilgamesh’s body, as the Knight has been repainted and re-consecrated to mirror the post-heresy heraldry of the XII Legion Astartes – proof of the Baron’s honorary membership in the legion.

Trophies and totems cover the machine’s form, and battle honours from its ten millennia of service alongside the World Eaters are still displayed proudly on banners and armour plates: the details of bloody campaigns on Jubal, Badlanding, Armatura and countless other worlds. The badge of the Legio Audax, commemorating the day when Gilgamesh was named “Son of the Ember Queen” by the Legio’s Princeps Ultima. And, of course, the bloody handprints adorning the Knight’s shin armour, placed there before every battle by the legionaries of the 4th, both as an oath of moment and a good luck charm.

Gilgamesh’s metallic form houses a particularly vicious and spiteful machine spirit, driven to anguish over the fall of House Harrowthorne just like its master. In communion, man and machine now turn their cold fury towards the enemies of the 4th assault company, and few can stand before the wrath of the Warrior King and live to tell the tale…

 

So, when all is said and done, I hope you like this detailed view at my Chaos Knight. I’ll be honest: I cannot take my eyes off the model right now, as I really consider it one of my biggest hobby achievements so far. Getting to the point where I actually have the skillset necessary to tackle a model like this and end up with a result I am happy with has been quite a journey indeed!

So anyway, I’d love to hear any feedback you might have on Gilgamesh and the Baron — and, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (12)

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38 Responses to “The Warrior King”

  1. Absolutely stunning dude… this is simply one of the best Knights I have seen to date – the conversion, the finish, the detail, the background… all are spot on. Bravo sir.

  2. Amazing work, and something you should rightly be proud of. It’s been an absolute joy to watch this beauty come together, documented in loving detail on the B&C and your blog. I love how transparent you’ve been about both your influences and your process, as this very post attests to beautifully.

    As for comments? I don’t think the red is too over the top at all. You also mentioned the different color, and while I can see it in the picture I dare say the brighter red really works for Gilgamesh (I didn’t catch the name before. Did you just recently do that). It even makes sense that he wouldn’t have the same finish as the Legionnaires, since this would have been painted either by sacristans or Harrowthorne himself, using their own private funding and methods, I should think.

    At any rate, I don’t read a false note on this entire project. Everything went to the good in the end. Let that stand as a lesson in life, as well as this fine capstone model.

    • Thanks so much, Jeff! It should be well known by now that the Queen Bee is pretty much my benchmark when it comes to Imperial Knights, so your comment really means the world to me! As for the name, I have known for a while what the Knight would eventually be called, but it only seemed proper to “unveil” that fact along with the finished model πŸ˜‰

      Again, thanks for the heaps of inspiration! πŸ™‚

  3. Incredible! I’ve never been a fan of the Knights, bar this one! Taking the extra time to do the interior has really made it that extra bit special. The Baron has so much personality, despite being surrounded by something so huge!

  4. Truly one of, if not the greatest project you’ve run and one that has influenced beyond your own influences – myself included as I mentioned on the bunker πŸ™‚
    I’m actually most happy that you didn’t rush it for that B&C event but stuck at it and gave it the attention it deserved. That and the fact you continue to set the standard for thorough and honest blogging. Thank you for that and stick at it πŸ™‚

    • Thanks, mate! You’re quite right, taking my time with this has been the definite way to go, even though it has earned me that loser badge over at the B&C πŸ˜‰ As for the thorough blogging, that’s just my style: I am just a chatterbox like that πŸ˜‰

  5. Another great read with some wonderfully thought out narrative and a superb ‘miniature’ to boot.
    You should be rightly proud, Gilgamesh is a fitting centerpiece to a beautiful collection.

  6. An inspirational build and one to be truly proud of. Thank you so much for sharing this project as it has really helped me to pluck up the courage to start my own.

    • Hah, good to know I’ve managed to erode your defenses, then πŸ˜‰ Go right ahead, there is nothing to be afraid of! Just take your time and everything will work out beautifully!

  7. Wow. . . . just WOW!

    You have every right to be proud of what you have achieved and the effort you have put in has certainly borne fruit.

  8. Awesome work man. I can tell you’re proud of this model, and every bit of it is deserved. I really can’t wait until I get my own Knight model to work on, and hopefully my own project log for it will be half as entertaining as yours. Once again, you’ve lit a fire under me. My bank account shakes a metaphorical fist at you.

    • Well, I guess then I’ll just have to flip your bank account a metaphorical bird, eh? πŸ˜‰

      But seriously: I am really looking forward to your own Knight project. Knowing your ambition and the amount of thought you put into your models, that should really be a treat!

  9. Dave Taylor Says:

    Congrats on completing this excellent Knight. While all the little details are great, my particular favorite are the handprints!

    • Thanks, Dave! I was kinda nervous about those handprints, but it is a lovely detail, isn’t it?

      Again, coming from an elite hobbyist like you, this kind of feedback really makes my day!

  10. very… very nice; the soulgrinding journey of painting this beast is evident in its bearing and presence. the building and painting of chaos models (khorne, more specifically) should be a soul wrenching, sphincter puckering journey… IMO.

  11. greggles Says:

    I lost it at the hand print. Between you and Tibbs, I am utterly awestruck by the detail and time put into your knights. I hope one day I see this in a display case in competition so I can vote for it!

  12. InqMikaelovich Says:

    I hate you in the best possible way.

    Two things –

    One – Would you consider making the bit of lore I wrote about my own ((sadly, never to be completed, or even begun)) knight project part of this guys profile? Just since it includes reference to Knight Baron Hawthorne and all.

    Two – Were you going to try moss on the statue?

    • Cheers, mate! I’ll accept your hatred as a compliment…I guess?!

      As for your questions:

      I ultimately decided against using a moss effect because it would simply have removed this base too far from those on the rest of my army. However, the addition of mix of brown washes has actually provided the base with some much needed colour variation — even though the effect doesn’t photograph all that well, unfortunately πŸ˜‰

      Regarding your, excellent, little story vignette: Rest easy in the knowledge that I do have one more post on Gilgamesh left in me (in order to tie up some loose ends, as it were), and your piece of background will go in there, I believe. What’s more, I remain committed to my earlier plan of actually writing a short piece of fiction to complement your story — it should be easier, now that the model is actually finished πŸ˜‰ So just watch this space — it shouldn’t be that much longer! πŸ™‚

      • InqMikaelovich Says:

        Yes! Definitely meant as a compliment!

        As for featuring my story, I am incredibly excited! I am terribly sorry that there isn’t a model forthcoming to compliment it, though…

      • Haha, well, that’s where you come in, mate πŸ˜‰

        Seriously, though: If the prospect of actually building and painting an Imperial Knight is too daunting (and/or expensive) a prospect, how about just kitbashing an Epic scale variant (as I’ve done with the Chibi-Knight)?! That should be reasonably easy to achieve, it’s a lot of fun to figure out how to approximate the “official” look with bitz, plus you can always make it a real project if you like the result. Just sayin’…

  13. InqMikaelovich Says:

    You have me there, Kraut… I’ll be on that soon. xD

    • Sounds promising πŸ™‚ I’ll be giving you the same advice I’d give to everyone tackling a Knight, then: Just take your time! Seriously! It took me more than a year, all things considered, but it feels like hobby time well spent in hindsight!

      • InqMikaelovich Says:

        Ah, but only on the Chibi knight. I just got accepted into college, so I don’t have much money to spend.

      • Haha, no problem! It’ll still be a fun challenge. Plus you’ll have to treat it as a blueprint for a potential (eventual) full size Imperial Knight, so there’ll be quite a bit of concept work involved πŸ˜‰

      • InqMikaelovich Says:

        True – Man, this is why I love your blog

  14. Just outstanding work, mate. I’ve followed it on here, and it’s been areal treat to see it take shape. kudos!

  15. InqMikaelovich Says:

    Hey, just for the record, since I’m taking your challenge to build a Chibi knight, I’m going to redesign my knight slightly to fit some less mainstream knight lore. In light of that, maybe hold off on posting my lore bit for a little while until I can modify it to represent the model I have in my head? Thanks!

  16. Stunning! Absolutely brilliant!

  17. […] all by itself (I’ve arranged the pictures just like those of the bigger version of Gilgamesh in the respective post, so if you want a real side by side comparison, feel free to check out those pictures as […]

  18. […] in case you’re interested, feel free to read up about the Warrior King and his smaller […]

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