Archive for baron harrowthorne

A Child for the Warrior King, pt.3: The Hound

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 30, 2018 by krautscientist

With the ETL VI deadline fast approaching, this last week was mostly given over to the task of completing my Renegade Armiger Warglaive, and I would very much like to share my progress on this project with you today! It wasn’t all smooth sailing, either, because Germany has been in the iron grip of a heat wave for quite a while now, with temperatures solidly in the mid-30s Celsius degrees for most of last week — certainly not unheard of in other parts of the world, but not something we are all that used to in my particular neck of the woods…

But I soldiered on regardless, so let’s take a look at what I have to show for my perseverance:

Here’s where we left off last time:

The biggest task at this point was to paint the bigger amour plates for the legs as well as the top carapace. In order to save myself some time, I decided to use GW’s Mephiston Red spray as an undercoat for the armour plates. But while it did end up laying down a nice, even coat of red, the red was also fairly flat and chalky — so I did end up re-painting all the red areas anyway…

In the end, it probably did save me some time, after all, but it was certainly not a game changer on par with, say, the Leadbelcher spray.

Anyway, I tackled the armour plates one after another, picking out the various details and blocking in the different colours. The biggest piece of work was the top carapace, of course, so that’s where I started. Here it is, with most of the detail already blocked in:

As you can see, I also added some decals during this stage: These days, I never save the decals until everything else has been painted, because that will invariable make them look tacked on, almost like an afterthought. By applying them sooner, they can be weathered and damaged along with the rest of the model, as needed, in order to actually make them look more realistic. Now in this case, this only really involved a subtle pass of sepia wash to make them look just a bit more natural, but it’s a habit I have picked up. Besides, none of them were in the way of the eventual highlighting, so that helped, too 😉


Some of the decals were actually chosen to tie the model into the lore of my World Eaters army: The paw print hints at Gilgamesh’s honorary membership in the Legio Audax, the “Ember Wolves” (while the Titan Legio is an actual part of the background, as of “Betrayer”, I did make up Gilgamesh’s membership in it as part of my own head canon).

Meanwhile, the numerals on the right pauldron stand for the XII Legion’s IVth company — mirroring a similar marking on Gilgamesh’s right shoulder guard:


So here’s what the carapace looked like at this stage:


And here it is, a short while later, with all of the missing detail painted and a pretty serious (at least for my standard) amount of highlighting in place:

The rest of the armour plates were given the same treatment, and while none of this is any award winning stuff, the subtly higlighted red ended up looking quite a bit deeper than the armour on Gilgamesh, while still fitting the overall look: While the Armiger should still look like it belongs, it also shows off how I have grown as a painter over the last couple of years, and I like that, to be honest 😉

So anyway, here’s the Armiger in its almost finished state:

At this point, I made a To Do list for myself listing all the small cleanup work and small tweaks I still needed to do before the model would be finished. I also made an eleventh hour decision to diverge from the original conversion, as the original plan had been to add some marauder shields on top of the Armiger’s pauldrons, for an even more baroque, chaotic look. Like so:

But when I added them to the pauldrons, I just couldn’t shake the feeling that the model actually worked better without them, so after hemming and hawing and asking for feedback over at the forums, I eventually decided to leave them off — something about them just didn’t quite click with me, while the model did seem complete enough without them.

So at this point it was mainly a matter of checking all of the boxes on my To Do list, one after another.

One area of notice was the detailing of the cockpit and reactor section, and I am pretty happy with how that area came out. Take a look:


For the cockpit displays, I chose an approach I had seen on a Knight by fellow hobbyist Noigrim — I really liked the idea of approaching enemies being visible as red dots on the radar 😉

And here’s a closer look at the reactor section:

This is how the whole assembly looks when seen from the side, by the way:

From a conversion perspective, this is probably the most involved customisation on the entire model, but I do think it has been worth it.

The other big thing to take care of was the base. Here’s the completed build I came up with:


Gilgamesh’s base uses several pieces of broken imperial statuary (courtesy of GW’s “Honoured Imperium” terrain kit), and I thought it would be cool to match that look, albeit on a slightly smaller scale. So the base was built around a shattered statue’s broken sword (once again, a very apt metaphor for the failing Imperium of Man, and all that), and I used different kinds of slate, sand and cork to build up a suitable amount of rubble and texture around it all. The main floor texture was, once again, created using Vallejo’s Sandy Paste.

I also did a preliminary dry fitting to find out wether the model would fit neatly onto the base:

And after that, it was off to the painting desk for one last time. Here’s the finished base, completed a short while later:

As you can see, some skulls and broken Ultramarines armour pieces were also added to the base, if only to tie the model into the 28mm scale a bit better (and make for smaller areas of visual interest).

And with that, my Renegade Armiger was finished. So let’s take a look at the model, shall we?

 

The Hound

Enkidu Lance
attached to the XII Legion’s 4th assault company

 








And a couple of detail shots, of course:

First up, the Armiger with its carapace removed and a closer look at the pilot:

The plan was to make the pilot look similar to Gilgamesh’s pilot, the Baron Harrowthorne:

At the same time, I wanted it to be fairly obvious that the Hound is below the Baron in rank, so his uniform is just a bit plainer. I think the finished look works pretty well:

The top carapace will – obviously – stay removable, if only because it allows me to show off the custom cockpit and pilot every once in a while 😉 In fact, the entire model retains a certain amount of modularity:


This should provide a nice extra bit of flexibility once the second Armiger (codenamed “The Huntress”) has been completed! Incidentally, the harpoon arm I shared with you in my previous post will actually serve as the Huntress’ stock armament…

Here’s a side view that gives you a better idea of the detail work on the undercarriage:

The amount of detail on the Armiger’s skeleton owes a lot to the “JeffTibbetts school of Knight painting”, as it were 😉

Another area of the model I want to showcase is the banner between the Armiger’s legs:


While loyalist Armigers appear a lot less draped in personal heraldry than their Imperial Knight masters, I wanted to invoke the impression that Armiger pilots may serve their lords for far longer in the Great Eye, so it seemed appropriate to include a banner showing the pilot’s battle honours: It shows both the World Eaters’ legion badge as well as the War Hounds’ old symbol — probably a shout out to the Hound’s epithet.

At the same time, I also wanted to make the banner look more rugged than the banner on the bigger Knight, so I painted it as some kind of roughly tanned hide. I used the approach outlined in Brandon’s tutorial here, with a couple of minor tweaks, and am pretty happy with the finished effect.

Oh, and I also finally managed to take a picture of the face that shows of the Armiger’s glowing eye:

The missing optical sensor on the right side was originally a consequence of a slight miscast of the face, but I think it gives the model an even more sinister and chaotic look, so it actually works in its favour, wouldn’t you agree? 😉

Oh, and here’s a picture of the Armiger and my Renegade Knight Titan, Gilgamesh, “The Warrior King” — “Father and Son”, so to speak:

In fact, I discovered that my older Wargrinder conversion could actually work as an Armiger fairly well, at least from a scale perspective:

And with that, I have managed to finish both my entry for this year’s ETL event as well as my contribution to Azazel’s “Jewel of July” challenge. Pretty nifty, eh? 😉 To be honest, I am immensely pleased with the finished model — I actually put this off as long as I could, and I really had to force myself to start painting, but I couldn’t be any happier with the result. That being said, this has been a pretty involved project, so I think I’ll allow myself a bit of rest and mostly focus on small fry for a bit 😉

But anyway, so far for my first Renegade Armiger Warglaive. It goes without saying that I would love to hear your feedback on the model, so leave me a comment! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

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A Child for the Warrior King, pt.2

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 24, 2018 by krautscientist

It has been a couple of months since the Forgebane boxed set provided us not only with a very cool – and entirely Space Marine-free – 40k starter set, but also with the Armiger Warglaive, a very interesting smaller pattern of Imperial Knight:

In the interim, we have seen a full release of the Imperial Knights as a faction, with new smaller and bigger Knight models to boot. And some of you may still remember my conversion of a Renegade Armiger from a while back:

Of course I just had to build some chaotic Armigers to accompany my Chaos Knight Titan, Gilgameshthe Warrior King – and the guy you see above was my first proof of concept — and one that I am still very happy with, it must be said!

However, with my recent focus on painting INQ28 characters, the poor Armiger has remained unpainted all through the recent Imperial Knights release — high time, then, to return to the model and finally give it some much needed attention!

 

I. “Fire the Ursus Claws!”

First up, something I have wanted to share with you for quite a while now, but the chance never presented itself:

After building my first Armiger, I realised that I wanted to get a bit more creative with the CC weapon on the second model — and there was also something about the way Armigers are portrayed in the fluff as support to bigger Knights in the fluff, helping their masters to bring down their prey and soften up bigger opponents, that drew me back to the World Eaters’ background and the armament of their warmachines in the lore — and then fellow hobbyist Augustus b’Raass put words to the vague idea I had been thinking about all along:

OOOH OOOOH this gave me an idea: how about the World Eaters Harpoon thingy whatsitcalled -you know, that traditional thing. Dammit, the name eludes me, but you must know what I mean!

And Augustus was perfectly right, of course: I really needed to build an Armiger-sized Ursus Claw harpoon!

I had already used the idea on my second World Eaters Contemptor, Raud the Hunter, a while ago, albeit at a smaller scale:

So for the sake of visual consistency, one objective would be to make the weapon resemble the Ursus Claw on my Contemptor, so they would at least seem to be variations of the same weapons system.

Now when it came to actually building an Armiger-sized Ursus Claw, Talarion’s approach to building a lance weapon for an Armiger served as invaluable reference material. So between his version and my own-Dreadnought sized proof of concept, here’s what I came up with:

This was just the basic setup, mind you, with very little chaotic decoration in place, and the weapon also still lacked the drum-fed chain attached to the harpoon (the drum bit is already visible in the picture, though). That being said, it was also a pretty simple conversion, really, spliced together from the Armiger’s stock chainblade arm and a couple of additional bitz.

In case you want to reproduce the design – or build something similar – here’s a mini-tutorial for you:

Tutorial: Building a Knight Armiger harpoon arm:

First of all, here are the bitz you will need (keep the red parts for the conversion, while the grey parts go back into the bitzbox): 

  • I. the stock Armiger Warglaive chainweapon arm — just carefully get rid of the blade (and of that one small, greyed-out area towards the back!).
  • II. a lamp post, either from the 40k basing set for big models or from the old City of Death terrain. I used two parts from this piece, although the foot is by far the more important one, as it makes up most of the actual harpoon.
  • III. The spiked tip from another small terrain piece, that is – again – available both in the aforementioned basing kit or the City of Death terran kits.
  • IV. a small piece from the Adeptus Mechanicus Kataphron kit — I only really chose this for visual balance and because it makes the harpoon look as though it might actually be a bit more sophisticated (and able to carry an electrical current, for instance).
  • V. The shaft from the Blood Angels Librarian Dreadnoughts psi-weapon — although there are probably many bitz that would work just as well. You could even use a piece of plasticard to fill the same role.

All you have to do is to carefully line up these bitz and glue them together (of course you can always pin the entire thing, if you want to make sure it’s ultra-straight and stable): I’ve made you a diagram about what goes where:

As an aside, I actually love the fact how part IV. – coincidentally – mirrors a very similar part on the Knight Valiant’s Thundercoil Harpoon, even though my design predates the release of the new model by a couple of months 😉

I also chose to include a chain drum, made mainly from a leftover Imperial Knight weapon part (if I recall correctly). You can basically use any round, hollow shape for this, though — even any kind of (half-)barrel might do. I added a piece from a WFB plastic spear to the centre of the drum, then carefully wound some Gale Force Nine model chain around it and attached the end to the harpoon, in an attempt to actually suggest a mechanism.

Here’s a look at the finished arm, with a bit of chaotic decoration in place.

Two additional remarks about the conversion:

One, I do realise a more ornate, spiky tip would probably have made for a more Khornate look, but I kinda wanted to retain a certain sense of internal consistence across my collection. Well, that and I also like the idea that the weapon itself is so blunt and brutal that it’s mostly designed for efficiency, and less for show. If you decide to build your own harpoon/lance weapon, however, swapping in a tip of your liking should be the easiest thing in the world.

Two, elsewhere on the blogosphere, it has been pointed out how the chain mechanism could never work from a mechanical perspective. That is probably correct. I went with a setup that seemed at least a bit logical to me, while also looking visually balanced. But I definitely did not get into the actual engineering of a working mechanism, so feel free to make any necessary adjustments on your own version, especially if you have a better grip on mechanics than I have! 😉

If nothing else, I do think the finished arm looks pretty cool when mounted on an Armiger:



Here’s a closer look at the chain and mechanism:


Since my first converted Armiger will be going with the chainsword arm shown at the beginning of this post, the harpoon arm serves as a bit of a teaser for the second Armiger I am going to convert. That being said, I’ll definitely leave the arms interchangeable, so they can be swapped between models as needed.

 

II. Gearing Up!

The building optional Ursus Claws notwithstanding, there was still the matter of the unpainted Armiger to deal with — even moreso since I have vowed the model as an entry for this year’s ETL event over at The Bolter & Chainsword. So it was time to finally get this bad boy painted. Just to remind you, here’s what the conversion looked like:



Unlike the last time I had to undercoat a Knight, there were no spraying mishaps this time around, fortunately enough, so here’s what I started with:

Now the first painting session was mostly spent on the – rather thankless – task of darkening down the body with black wash:

In order to make things a bit more challenging – and rewarding – for myself, however, I did sneak in some painting on the Armiger’s head (which I finished in one go)…

And on the pilot, laying down the base colours and the first pass of washes:

Since then, the paintjob has mostly consisted of chipping away at the model one area at a time so far. Starting with the Armiger’s metallic base structure and leaving the armour plates for later seemed, once again, like the obvious way to go.

So here’s the Armiger’s “skeleton” with most of the base colours blocked in:

While this may not seem like riveting stuff, the extra depth provided by the bronze detail should make quite a bit of difference on the finished model, I hope. Plus this also allowed an early idea of how the bone faceplate would eventually contrast with the red armour:

I’ve learned from JeffTibbetts’ absolutely amazing “Queen Bee” project that it pays to take some extra time on a Knight’s metallic skeleton, adding areas of grime, scratches and all kinds of wear and tear for that extra bit of realism (or rather, plausibility) and texture — true, most of it will be covered up by the various armour plates later on, but being able to glimpse something that resembles an actual, working machine underneath it all makes the whole war machine, preposterous as it may be, more grounded in realism.

With this preamble out of the way, here’s a side view at the mostly finished “skeleton”, showing off some of the carefully applied dirt, grime and lubricant 😉

The same process was then repeated on the arms, finally making the model look as though it were actually going somewhere:

And the pilot has also been finished (after another round of highlights and the application of a decal to his shoulder pad):

So here’s the current status of the model:



As you can see, the arms are basically done at this point — including the plasma “special effect” on the right arm, obviously. This also means that, with the exception of a bit of cleanup and some minor finishing touches, the Armiger’s “skeleton” is now finished, and I’ll be focusing on the armour plates next.

In fact, here’s a sneak peak of the model with the undercoated top carapace provisionally mounted in place:

The ETL event ends on August 1st, so that leaves me with about a week to paint the rest of the armour, perform all the necessary cleanup and add the finishing touches, then maybe add a base — while I am definitely going to base the model with all bells and whistles, it is not something that’s required for finished models that are part of the ETL, so if I have to cut some corners, it’ll be there. All in all, in spite of my general laziness, it seems like a realistic task. However, my neck of the woods is also currently in the midst of a heat wave that renders painting more complicated than it needs to be — so wish me luck! 😉

Oh, and in addition to being my first (and probably only vow) for this year’s ETL, this guy also counts as an entry for Azazel’s “Jewel of July” challenge.

So keep your fingers crossed for me, as I brave the hot weather in an attempt to get this guy finished in time! It goes without saying that I would love to hear any feedback you may have! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

A Child for the Warrior King, pt.1

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 7, 2018 by krautscientist

Most of my recent hobby time has been spent working on characters for my INQ28 collection — and rightly so, because I have been having a blast powering through all of those neglected models that have sat in the cupboard of shame for ages.

But the ruinous powers demand observance every once in a while, so to prove that my allegiance still lies firmly with the pantheon, let me show you something related to my other big ongoing hobby project – Khorne’s Eternal Hunt – again. So what is this about?

Long time readers of this blog might remember this guy: Gilgamesh, the Warrior King:

Building and painting an allied Renegade Knight for my World Eaters easily remains one of my most complex and involved hobby projects so far — and one that, incidentally, even got me mentioned on the GW page.

In fact, if you want to read up on Gilgamesh, a comprehensive collection of posts on the project can be found if you follow the link above this picture.

But why bring Gilgamesh up yet again? Don’t I have anything new to show you? The reason is that I immediately had to think of the Warrior King when the Forgebane boxed set was released fairly recently:

Arguably the star of the set are the two smaller knights – Armiger Warglaives – that come with it. They are intended as smaller men-at-arms to escort and protect the bigger Imperial Knights, and in that function, they make for a rather exciting addition to the severely limited options of an Imperial Knight player (Forgeworld variants notwithstanding). The models are also rather lovely, which made me feel that I would need at least one of those Armigers in my collection at some point…

But I decided to hold off on yet another boxed set purchase — until a recent visit to Berlin not only provided me with the opportunity to visit the massive temple of hobby goodness that is Battlefield Berlin, but also presented the chance of getting the AdMech half of the Forgebane set for a pretty good price — and I caved in, of course, taking all of those lovely sprues home and poring over them. The fact that the other AdMech models from the set are also rather lovely did, of course, help 😉

But back to the Armigers, because it was clear to me that I would have to turn them to the service of the ruinous powers: They would become servants of the Warrior King, accompanying him in battle, scouting ahead and softening up his enemies.

Meanwhile, with fellow hobbyists extraordinaire Biohazard and Jeff Tibbetts (of Queen Bee fame) already on the game as well, I knew I needed to give it my best shot to come up with something suitably cool 😉

 

So where to start? In a slightly weird parallel to my approach when originally building Gilgamesh, I actually focused on a slightly unexpected question that nevertheless fascinated me: How to add a pilot to the Armiger Warglaive interior?

Then again, I am in love with the thoughts of these machines actually being defined, to some degree, by the pilots that ride them to battle, and seeing how adding a pilot and a cockpit to the model remains one of my favourite parts of my Imperial Knight project, it probably shouldn’t surprise you to learn that I was feeling just the same way this time around.

That being said, the Armiger is a fair bit smaller than the Imperial Knight, making for an even bigger exercise in managing real estate inside that torso. The good news was that fellow hobbyist Biohazard had already come up with a supremely clean and elegant solution for building a cockpit for the Armiger, using Sentinel and Storm Talon cockpit bitz. The bad news was that I didn’t have access to any of the bitz he used, so I had to cobble something together with the bitz I had.

So here’s what I have to show for my efforts:


As I had already expected, lack of space was even more of a problem this time around. I managed to get it all weged in there somehow, but it was a close thing. From a structural perspective, the Armiger cockpit basically mirrors my build for the bigger Knight’s cockpit, albeit in a slightly stripped down fashion. Here’s a side view, showing you the basic setup, warts and all:

Admittedly, it all looks pretty messy, but once both side walls are in place, all the rough bits of the conversion actually get covered up rather nicely. And while I initially regretted not even building an actual seat underneath the pilot, it turned out the entire area’s not even visible anyway, after everything has been assembled — in fact, it’s such a tight fit that I even had to file the side of the pilot’s right arm flat in order for him to fit flushly into the cockpit.

As for the bitz I used, the part used to represent the engine was a bit of a surprise discovery: It’s a part from the vox relay that comes with the Sector Imperialis Objectives kit. All it needed was a bit of shaving down, and it fit like a charm, and even provided a bit of a headrest. The pilot was mainly assembled around a sentinel pilot body — the torso seemed too pedestrian for me, so I cut it off and replaced it with a Vraksian Renegade Militia torso that had the added benefit of looking a bit like a flight jacket, which seemed like an excellent fit for a pilot 😉 I used some Cadian arms and spliced together a head from a Skitarii Vanguard helmet and an Empire flagellant head (for that slightly unhinged look I thought matched a follower of chaos). My overall aim was to come up with a pilot that resembles Barron Harrowthorne, Gilgamesh’s pilot, to a certain degree, while also looking like his subordinate:

I think the finished pilot works rather well in that respect — I regretted not actually having built a seat underneath him at first, but it turned out you don’t really see anything except for the actual pilot once the whole cockpit is assembled:

In fact, I even had to file the side of the pilot’s right arm flat in order for him to fit into the cockpit 😉 Oh, before I forget, the controls for the Armiger are actually a shaved down console from a Space Marine Rhino interior panel:

So with the pilot out of the way, I only had the entire rest of the model left to build, right? 😉

I started by simply working on the Armiger’s basic assembly. It’s astonishing how much the Armiger works like a smaller Imperial Knight, from a structural perspective, with the whole assembly process eerily familiar, yet slightly simplified. So in addition to actually getting the model’s basic structure built, I was also able to start throwing bitz at the model to see what would stick:

I quickly discovered that some vambraces from the plastic Bloodthirster made for almost perfect leg armour, both because they were a perfect fit and because they provided some instant Khornification 😉 In fact, decorating the Armiger is quite a bit easier than working with the Imperial Knight, as far more Dreadnought (or even infantry) bitz are rendered viable for the conversion by the slightly smaller scale.

As a fun surprise, the head from the FW World Eaters Dreadnought Augustus b’Raass gave me last year (and that is rapidly turning into one of my favourite 40k bitz, see here and here) worked rather nicely here as well, although there were several alternatives I also wanted to look at (the simplest option seems to be to just use Defiler face masks on top of the stock Armiger head).

I also decided to add a “mini-banner” between the legs as an opportunity to include some personal heraldry and battle honours. Granted, Armigers are only men-at-arms, but I still think it’s a nice touch for a machine that has probably been serving the ruinours powers for a couple of centuries, at the very least.

During further experimentation, I actually found an even better head for my first renegade Armiger — the one from Forgeworld’s Blood-Slaughterer Impaler:


I think the head adds an istant “Khornate Daemon Engine” feel to the model, plus it’s also a really cool bit in its own right.

The next thing was to figure out what to do with the weapon arms. After giving it a bit of thought, I decided that I would choose a fairly conservative approach for the first round of weapon arms, then try some more adventurous options (like another Ursus Claw, maybe?!) for the second Armiger — just as Talarion has done with his truly stunning Armiger Warglaives.

That being said, I realised that the extosplasma cannons from the Forgefiend kit were a pretty good match for the thermic lance from a scale perspective, so I wanted to try and use one of those for the gun arm.

Here’s my first mockup for the weapon arms:

A chain weapon is a no-brainer for a Khornate Knight, so I decided to keep it. At the same time, I did want to make the weapon look quite a bit more vicious, so I added a spiky bit that also has the added benefit of making the sword look less stubby 😉 Since the chainblade completely lacks a cover, I had to come up with a solution that seems at least slightly plausible from a mechanical standpoint. And while the entire element was added purely based on its visual impact, fellow hobbyist TURBULENCE actually came up with a really cool explanation for its presence: Maybe the spike hammers down into an armored vehicle and keeps it in place as the chainblade keeps grinding into the hull?

For the gun arm, it turned out the Forgefiend plasma cannon was really easy to graft to the Armiger’s upper arm by simply cutting a matching hole into the upper side of the gun — it even retains the full mobility and poseability of a stock Armiger arm!

While the weapon is surprisingly close in proportion to the Armiger’s stock thermic lance, it is just a little bit clunkier — I do think the pose helps mitigate the added mass, though.

So with both the basic assembly as well as the weapons taken care of, all that was really left was the final round of cleanup and detailing. It was tempting to go overboard with decoration, but when all is said and done, this is just a man-at-arms for Gilgamesh and his pilot, the Baron Harrowthorne, so it was important to both make the machine look suitably chaotic, but to also know when to stop adding detail before the model ended up looking more ostentatious than the bigger Knight. Keeping that in mind, here’s the finished look I settled on, some minor cleanup work notwithstanding:



It’s not that easy to make out in the pictures, but I’ve added teeth to all the armour plates, mirroring a design element you see often on the more recent chaos plastic kits. I also tried to replicate the battle damage you see on the Bloodthirster vambraces on the upper leg armour, to tie both elements together.

Oh, and while I was at it, I changed the one element that I really don’t like about the stock Armiger: Those weird twin coils/stabilisers/whatever on the back of the legs. I think it works much better like this:


What’s really great about the kit is that, as has been the case with the bigger Imperial Knight, it’s possible to keep the top carapace plate detachable, so we can still get a good look at the pilot and cockpit:

In fact, such a setup is actually preferrable, because it also allows access to the arms. So whatever crazy weapons options I come up with for the second Armiger could theoretically also be swapped in on the first model — I really like added flexibility like that!

So that’s it — my first Renegade Armiger Warglaive. To be honest, it took me quite some time to find the right approach for the model, and I am all the happier for it with the finished conversion! This model was originally planned as yet another entry for Azazel’s Assembly April challenge, but then I ran a bit too late to make it, and I am actually glad to have taken some extra time to get it just right — maybe I’m at least in time for this year’s ETL event over at The Bolter & Chainsword…?!

Until then, however, I would love to hear your thoughts on the model! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

The Warrior King Reloaded — one last look…

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Fluff, paintjob, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 4, 2015 by krautscientist

At the risk of boring you all to tears, today I would like to take one last look at what is probably my big hobby project of 2015: my customised Chaos Knight Titan. Don’t fret, though: There’s actually still something new left to say about the model, so you won’t merely have to look at the same pictures yet again 😉

In fact, with a project of this size, it’s probably not even a surprise that I ended up with some loose ends to tie up, even after finishing the model proper. So here’s a couple of small concerns left to address:

 

I. It’s getting hot in here…

The first thing I still wanted to do was to paint the alternate weapons option for the model. Even though I only purchased the original (2014) version of the Imperial Knight kit, that still provided me with two different long range weapons. And why I clearly favour one of them from a visual standpoint, I still  left the gun barrels exchangeable, so all I needed to do was to get some paint on the Thermal Cannon muzzle in order to make my Knight useable as either a Paladin or Errant. Take a look:

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (39)
Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (34)
Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (33)
To be fair, though, it’s a fairly lazy version of this particular conversion, because it doesn’t extend to the tanks on the side of the weapons and is limited to the actual barrel of the gun:

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (36)
While I did want to have the extra option, I far prefer the long-barrelled weapon, and it’s also very much a visual part of my Chaos Knight, so I went the easy route for once. I did some minor conversion work, however, in order to bring the look of the thermal cannon in line with the warlike, spiky look of the rest of the model — and that juggernaut armour plate makes for an instant Khornate look, wouldn’t you agree?

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (38)
Nothing’s really magnetised (yet): The long-barrelled weapon is neatly kept in place by the model’s construction while the Thermal Cannon has to be helped along with a bit of modeling putty. I’ve already put the structure for magnetisation in place, however, so all that’s left to add are some actual magnets — I suppose I’ll be getting there at some point 😉

 

II. Stories of the Warrior King

It should come as no surprise that a monstrous warmachine like Gilgamesh has a lot of history behind it — ten millennia of service alongside Khorne’s Eternal Hunt will do that. What did come as a surprise, though, is that I didn’t even need to come up with all of the background material myself: While the model was still very much WIP, fellow hobbyist and blogger Inqmikaelovich sent me a rather excellent little story vignette kindly starring Gilgamesh in a support role. Allow me to share it with you:

 

Freeze frame.

A well trimmed grey beard fills the picture. It covers scars; errata in its patterns tell stories of hundreds of years of combat. It is about an inch and a half long and is the color of a cloudy sky.

Scroll up.

Between the beard and a similar mustache lies a mouth. It is smiling, a smile devoid of tension or stress. It is the smile of a man who has seen his fate, and, despite how dark a fate it is, finds peace in knowing it. With all uncertainty removed, his path is now clear.

Scroll up.

Above the mouth is a nose. It is perfect for the man’s face; neither too long nor too short, not too wide nor too thin. It is a noble nose, betraying a sense of humanity and sophistication.

Zoom out.

The full face is in the picture now. It is completed by well groomed hair and eyebrows, the same color as the beard. The man’s eyes are devoid of any emotion save peace of mind. They are a stormy blue, and seem too kind to belong with the war scarred beard.

Zoom out. Resume play at one thousandth speed.

The man is in a chair, hands gripping controls and the eyes fixed on an archaic HUD. An intimidating, impossibly loud roar fills the small chamber, and yet he does not flinch. There is now a sense of motion, as if he were falling forward, the tip of the beard lifting from his chest.

Zoom out. Pan 90 degrees left.

The function of the controls is now obvious; the last remaining suit of Knight Titan armour of House Tetsonar fills the frame. It is coated in black camouflage and Kill Markings, and is charging. An immense power sword, underslung on a massive mechanical fist, is swinging forward, and a deafening scream matches the roar as a massive plasma cannon powers to life.

Zoom out.

The roar’s source is now visible; an opposing Knight is counter-charging. The titanic duel fills the frame. It is painted red and brass, and dozens of bloody handprints adorn its adamantine greaves. Spiked chains are dangling from its form and its right arm that ends in an enormous cannon, its muzzle wrought in the shape of a snarling daemon. The other arm bears a chainblade of impossible proportions, hefting it above the machine’s head; it is the source of half the roar. The other half issues from the machine itself. In the distance, Imperial Aircraft are exiting a massive fortress, the last lifting off as the Knights are in mid-charge. The thousands of red and brass infantry at the giants’ feet turn, knowing their quarry gone, to the last Imperial Warrior standing – the Knight.

Pan 180 degrees right.

Our hero is bringing his blade around for a killing strike, one that will skewer his opponent, but it misses its mark. The enemy’s chainsword is swinging downward, ready to smash the hallowed Knight’s armour in. The last Valkyrie clears the walls of the fortress and begins to exit the atmosphere.

Resume at full speed.

As the Loyal Knight’s sword harmlessly scrapes yet another deep groove into the baroque armour of the Chaos Knight, the latter’s chainblade crashes down with irresistible force. The curved carapace of the Tetsonar Knight caves in, metal screeching on metal. A golden aura surrounds the god machine – a teleport is imminent. The archenemy titan rears its head and roars all the louder, angry at its prey being so cruelly snatched from its grasp.

A new scene, a massive hangar bay in orbit.

The last Valkyrie is docking a hangar over. Our hero appears, but all is not well – the giant crumples to the floor. Medical personnel and Tech Adepts swarm the titan, and the pilot is recovered. His smile still perseveres, but his eyes are closed. His beard is equal parts red and grey now, the crimson flecks telling one last tale. A tale of a stand, a tale of a fall.

A year has passed.

The Knight stands tall once more, its armoured form restored, new heraldic colours proud
and flawless: resplendent and rechristened, armed with new and far more fearsome weaponry, it’s original weapons joined by a fearsome shoulder mounted titankiller array, and a new name on it’s hallowed heraldic shield – Mercy’s Revenge. Before it stands an Inquisitor, an honoured servant of the God Emperor, with a servo-skull hovering above his shoulder. There is something familiar in the curve of its features, the geometry of its brow. The skull hovers silently, devoid of flesh and life, but ready to serve evermore. A younger man stands next to the Inquisitor, silent in contemplation.The Inquisitor’s voice is hardly a whisper.

“She is your ward now, my boy.”

 

Very cool, eh? It goes without saying that not only was I really flattered by this but I also wanted to reply in kind. So here’s another small story for you, depicting the same event, albeit from a different point of view. For some extra fun, I tried to stay fairly true to Inqmikaelovich’s piece and mimic the narrative structure rather closely. Check it out:

Baron Harrowthorne try04bFreeze frame.

A face fills the picture, half-lit from below, its sharp features hawkish, yet noble. The face of a military man, of a warrior, born and bred. A proud face, yet the set of its features  speaks not of haughty arrogance, but of a pride well deserved. The scars of many battles can be glimpsed in the half-gloom, lending the owner of the face an aspect of martyrdom. Hints of juvenat treatments are visible, but subtly so. This rejuvenation has not been applied for vanity, but for preservation. The eyes are closed, as if in deep contemplation.

Resume at one tenth speed.

The man’s eyes open, and everything is changed. Like words gaining an entirely different meaning in a different context, the face, too, is re-contextualised, yet in the most sinister way: These are eyes that have seen too much and gone too far. There is old pain there, and old hatred. And a cold fury that is truly chilling to behold. The corners of the man’s mouth turn down into a frown that is somehow more intimidating than any grimace of rage could be.

Zoom out.

The man is seated in a throne, surrounded by controls and arcane auspex arrays. The interior of a gunmetal cockpit trimmed  in brass. The cockpit of a warmachine, a Knight Titan. The pilot’s pose is relaxed, but not without focus. His economy of motion betrays an amount of experience and unity with his machine that is uncanny.

Zoom out. Pan 90 degrees right.

The pilot’s suit of Knight armour is now visible, and it is truly terrible to behold:  armoured in arterial red and darkened bronze, its form bedecked in spikes and chains, a walking altar to the War God.

The machine is known by many names: the Crimson Noble. The Warrior King.  The Twice-Consecrated.
Gilgamesh.
It is feared across the galaxy, and rightly so.

Like any Knight, it flies its honours proudly, its many marks of distinction. Yet their meaning is lost to Imperial history, with those who would understand their significance either mortal enemies of the Imperium of Man or long in the ground. They tell a tale, however, these marks and seals. As do the dozens of bloody handprints adorning the Knight’s adamantine greaves, placed there as an oath of moment by the legionaries of the Hunt.

Zoom out.

The Knight’s quarry comes into view now: A black-armoured loyalist Knight, covered in battle honours and kill markings that, likewise, speak of an eternity of war and honour. None of this matters, though, save for the icons of subservience to the Throne of Lies. They cancel out all honour. They are the reason the machine and his pilot have to be brought down
Gilgamesh’s war horn blares with the sound of a bellowing Titan of legend as he stands ready to face his foe. The loyalist Knight pulls back for a blow with its massive chain fist. A killing blow, this…

Resume at full speed.

…but sloppy, way too sloppy. The underslung chainblade merely scrapes yet another inconsequential groove into Gilgamesh’s armour, nothing but a minor concern for the Sacristans maintaining the giant warmachine. Yet the blow has unbalanced the loyalist Knight, and there’s nothing it can do to stop the massive reaper chainsword descending on its carapace with terrible force, caving in the curved armour plates and creating a torrent of sparks as metal screeches on metal. But then, a golden glow surrounds the maimed loyalist machine: A teleport device, a priceless treasure hidden within the ancient carapace. A final trump card. An escape. Man and machine roar as one, enraged at their denied kill. As the golden flash of light dies, only blackened pieces of scrap metal remain, sheared off by an imperfect teleportation. The enemy, however, is gone.

Within the half-light of his cockpit, Baron Augustus Melchiah Harrowthorne reclines, the pulse of adrenaline slowly abating, just like the machine spirit’s wrath. The anger is still there, however, like smouldering embers, ready to be fanned into a blazing flame yet anew, when the time comes. There will be other battles. The Long War is not over.

And neither is the Hunt.

 

III. Bwood for the Bwood God!

Another pretty major loose end regarding my Chaos Knight is the fun little gaiden project born from the model: I am talking about the “Chibi-Knight”, of course 😉

Chibi-Knight WIP (19)

This model was basically created on a whim, after I had discovered fellow hobbyist Paule’s very cool thread full of kitbashed Epic Titans. Now I don’t even have any fond memories of Epic 40k myself, as 40k proper always seemed more interesting to me. But here’s the thing: If GW ever were to release a Titan-based boxed game at the Epic scale or a redesigned Adeptus Titanicus, I guess I’d be first in line for picking it up. I love the concepts and designs behind Titans, but I cannot see myself ever putting together one of those massive resin models from Forgeworld. But a roughly Epic-scaled Titan game would be excellent for scratching that itch without having to saw through all that resin (as well as having to sell a kidney to be able to afford it all) 😉

Anyway, the Chibi-Knight turned out to be an unexpectedly enjoyable little hobby project, as I found myself digging through the old bitzbox in an attempt to match the model’s bigger cousin as closely as possible — within reason, of course.

I did have to make some compromises, as not every part of the model would have been easy enough to recreate at a smaller scale — and some elements simply wouldn’t have worked. But in the end, I used parts from about twenty different GW kits to make a model that I believe is a fairly close re-imagining of its bigger cousin. And it goes without saying that I also tried to mimic the bigger model’s paintjob as closely as possible on the Chibi-Knight.

So without further ado, let’s compare the two finished models, shall we?

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh in two scales (1)

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh in two scales (3)
Chaos Knight Gilgamesh in two scales (4)
Chibi-Knight Gilgamesh (1)
So, let’s take a closer look at the Chibi-Knight 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 well):

Chibi-Knight Gilgamesh (4)
Chibi-Knight Gilgamesh (5)
Chibi-Knight Gilgamesh (6)
Chibi-Knight Gilgamesh (7)
Chibi-Knight Gilgamesh (8)
Chibi-Knight Gilgamesh (9)
Chibi-Knight Gilgamesh (10)
All in all, I think it’s a fairly close fit. However, I did have to make some small allowances due to the differences in scale: The legs and feet are a bit different, for one, although they were still quite a bit of work: As you can see, I used a pair of Raptor legs as the base, but then I cut off the feet and tried to make something as close as possible to the original Knight’s feet. A cookie goes to whoever guesses what the toes originally started out as 😉

I also made some concessions when building the torso: The carapace doesn’t quite look like the original, but it’s still close enough to be recognisable, I believe — as I have learned from the great Ron Saikowski, the most important part of a conversion like this is to get enough parts right that the elements that aren’t quite perfect will still work in the context of the whole model. So let’s take a closer look at the parts that did up looking rather close to the bigger version of the model:

One thing I am really happy with is the smaller version of the daemonic breastplate — it was really fortunate that the warshrine of chaos kit basically contained two very similar daemonic faces at wildly different scales 😉Chibi-Knight Gilgamesh (13)
Oh, and I definitely had to replicate the heraldic plate with the World Eaters legion badge on it, of course, (even if working with those FW decals almost drove me up the wall yet again=.

I also tried to closely recreate the designs on the pauldrons: The right one still has a World Eaters legion badge (albeit of a slightly different design), as well as a hint of the legion and company markings underneath:

Chibi-Knight Gilgamesh (12)
While the right was done using some bitz for a pretty close recreation of the bigger version:

Chibi-Knight Gilgamesh (14)
There is another World Eaters symbol on the leg banner, thanks to one of the really tiny decals from FW’s World Eaters decal sheet:

Chibi-Knight Gilgamesh (16)
And I even managed to squeeze in a smaller version of the battle honours on the rear side of the banner as well:

Chibi-Knight Gilgamesh (15)
One element that is slightly different from the original model is the base: It still features fallen Space Marine statuary, but instead of a crumbled statue, I decided to use the one legitimate Epic 40k model actually in my possession (kindly provided, once again, by Drone21c) and paint it up as a heavily verdigrised statue:

Chibi-Knight Gilgamesh (11)
I rather like this element, and it provides a hint as to the model’s actual scale. Plus when it came to building the bigger Knight’s base, this little statue was the most important influence that actually inspired me to use the Space Marine statue from the Honoured Imperium kit in the first place!

So yeah, that’s the little guy. I am really rather stupidly happy with the model, to tell you the truth, even if there’s not even a real use for it 😉

Chibi-Knight Gilgamesh (2)

 

IV. A bit of advice…

So, after spending so much time with my Knight(s), I thought I’d wind up this post by giving out some advice to those of you who might be contemplating an Imperial Knight project of their own — you should definitely go for it, by the way: It’s a fantastic kit, and working with it has been lots and lots of fun. Here are some small pointers to set you on your way!

Don’t be afraid!
I know I was really apprehensive about the whole idea of tackling such a big model at the start, and maybe so are you. Don’t be! Like I said, it’s a terrific kit, and it’s also perfectly explained and goes together like a dream. The model also breaks up rather beautifully into several sub-assemblies which is excellent both for the building and painting phase. And building and painting a Knight is an excellent, self-contained hobby project that will really be worth your while. So if you are at all interested in the Knights and their look and backstory, go for it!

Do some research!
At the same time, this is not a kit to be slapped together hastily for the game next week: Before you even start, you might want to do some research online to see Knights that might inspire you and to figure out what things you do and don’t like. Hobbyists online have been doing fantastic jobs with their own Knights, and the inspiration ranges from complete, brilliant models to small but essential tips for creating certain effects, assembling some fiddly parts or what have you. I myself have a folder of about 1 Gigabyte of Knight-related pictures, and that material has helped me so much with my own model. In fact, I am still collecting pictures for my inspirations folder, even though my Knight is already finished 😉

You should really add a cockpit and pilot to your model!
One of the most important things about Knights is how individual they are. But that amount of individuality doesn’t stop at the machine itself: What better way to customise your model than to add your own Cockpit and pilot as well — in fact, coming up with a pilot to match your Knight is not only fun, but also really rewarding, while just gluing that torso shut seems like a huge missed opportunity. So take my word for it: Build a cockpit and pilot! It will take some doing, but there are many cool examples out there, and few things made me feel as accomplished about my own Knight than this part!

Take your time!
This should go for all hobby projects, but it’s especially important here: You can only really mess up by being too fast and getting sloppy. But this huge, beautiful model deserves your attention, so TAKE YOUR TIME! Seriously, this is key! 🙂

The devil is in the details!
Again, this also applies to hobby projects in general, but there are so many details you can add to make your Knight even cooler. Take a page out of JeffTibbetts’ crazy perfectionism! It’ll teach you a whole new way of looking at the model, and suddenly adding more and more detail won’t be a chore anymore, it’ll be fun! Small things really go a long way, especially on such a big model!

Careful with the glue!
Don’t glue everything together right away, because you’ll make your life much harder. Instead, think about which portions of the Knight should be kept apart for the moment — or, indeed, altogether: For istance: Keep the armour plates and “skeleton” separate while painting, because this will make your life much easier. If you’re planning on adding a cockpit, make sure to keep one side of the torso unglued, for easier access to the Knight’s interior. Oh, and the top carapace will snap into place without any glue (and can be taken off later that way), so think before you break out the glue.

Build a Chibi-version!
Seriously, though, this isn’t a must. But I had so much fun with my own Chibi-Knight that I can only recommend you build one yourself 😉

 


V. In closing…

I almost forgot mentioning a very nice observation that fellow hobbyist Freytag93 brought up over on Dakka:

Also, I like the statue on the base. To me, the face echos the face of the baron (probably cause of the shared scar), giving a contrast to his fallen honor.

While the effect is completely coincidental, I really love this! Isn’t it great when people discover something about your models that you didn’t even put there in the first place — at least not consciously?

 

So anyway, that’s all folks. I hope you enjoyed yet another look at this project! It goes without saying that I’d love to hear any feedback you might have!

And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh in two scales (2)

The Warrior King

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Fluff, paintjob, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 12, 2015 by krautscientist

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 😉

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 😉 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 😉

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 😉

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 😉

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)

Getting dressed… Painting my Chaos Knight, pt. 3

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 12, 2015 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, another Knight-related update today. The original plan was to post a review of the recent Stormcast Eternals release today, but I spent yesterday in Frankfurt, visiting a pretty cool exhibition about the intertwined histories of film and videogames at the Deutsches Filmmuseum — the museum also had some pretty cool stuff apart from that particular exhibition. Such as this:

Xenomorph (2)
Xenomorph (1)
Aaanyway, this left me with very little time for expansive writeups on the old blog, so you will have to content yourselves with some more incremental progress on my Chaos Knight — I realise that this style of updates may not be all that spectacular, but bear with me here: For one, this is easily the biggest and most complex single project of my hobby life so far, so I may be forgiven for taking it slowly (and also for documenting my progress rather meticulously). This also allows me to showcase some details that I am especially proud of, as it happens — so I hope you’re not yet bored of the model yet 😉

When we last saw the Chaos Knight, I was hard at work on its daemon-faced breastplate. And indeed, here’s the model with a more complete version of that breastplate already mounted in place:

Chaos Knight PIP (84)
I wasn’t sure at first about whether or not to paint the eyes, but in the end I think the effect works rather nicely without being to cartoony. The teeth will need some additional highlighting, though.

I quickly added the lower jaw as well:

Chaos Knight PIP (87)
Once again, the area will need some more work — in fact, most of the armoured areas that are looking pretty much finished in the pictures are anything but: I’ll still need to add decals, further detail, some grime and maybe a little weathering. Anyway, this is what the Knight looked like at this point:

Chaos Knight PIP (88)
And lest we forget, a quick look at the Baron in his cockpit 😉

Chaos Knight PIP (85)
While the top carapace has only been undercoated, I think the picture shows rather nicely how the design of the cockpit and pilot works rather nicely, even when only glimpsed through the open top hatch (in any case, I’ll be leaving the carapace detachable, though).

This was also the point where I had to start working on the more complicated parts of the Knight’s armour: The pauldrons were especially daunting to me, mostly because I had planned adding a World Eaters decal to one of them. Let’s take a closer look at how that went in a minute. Before that, here’s a look at the Knight with its mostly finished faceplate in place:

Chaos Knight PIP (89)
And, once again, the entire model so far:

Chaos Knight PIP (92)
Chaos Knight PIP (91)
Chaos Knight PIP (95)
I think by now we can really see this guy coming together, wouldn’t you agree? One armour plate at a time…

As for the pauldrons, I am really happy that they are mostly finished now. Here’s the left one, complete with a big icon of Khorne and some additional totems and trophies:

Chaos Knight PIP (97)
Paintig this part was a bit fiddly because all the small trinkets had already been glued in place beforehand, but it wasn’t that much of a problem. I really like the look and feel of the design — it seems chaotic without being overly warped or mutated. The chains are also a callback to the World Eaters gladiatorial tendencies. And the pauldron actually mirrors the design of the shin armour on the same side.

The true star of the show is the right pauldron, though — complete with a World Eaters icon and numbers for the legion and company the Knight has been attached to:

Chaos Knight PIP (94)
I had been planning to use a Forgeworld decal (kindly provided by Mr. poom, no less) for a long time, although the process turned out to be just the nightmare I had anticipated: Making a decal conform to a curved surface can be tiring enough at the best of times, but I found out that it was even more of a hassle here, in spite of copious amounts of decal softener. Which makes me all the more happy to have pulled it off like this — save for a few tiny irregularities, it ended up looking fairly convincing, don’t you think? I also added some weathering on top in order to represent places where the paint had been slightly damaged and nicked.

Once again, the right pauldron shares similarities with the corresponding shin armour — especially since both use the same spikes (which, in turn, are a callback to the studded parts of Heresy-era Astartes armour).

So here’s the entire model:

Chaos Knight PIP (100)
Next stop: the carapace. And boy what a job that will be! Wish me luck! 😉

Anyway, so much for the progress on my Chaos Knight. If you have any feedback or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you!

Before I tune out for today, allow me to share something very cool with you: Fellow hobbyist Bloodygoodtime sent me a wonderful little sketch of Lord Captain Lorimar. Take a look:

illustration by Bloodygoodtime

illustration by Bloodygoodtime

I almost laughed myself off my chair when I first saw it, because it’s just perfect: badass and adorable at the same time, and it really captures the very essence of the character for me — in fact, it makes me wonder whether the Eternal Hunt wouldn’t make for an excellent Saturday morning cartoon… Anyway, a huge thank you, mate! You rock!

And, of course, to everyone else: Thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

The Devil is in the detail… Painting my Chaos Knight, pt. 2

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 5, 2015 by krautscientist

Having managed to bring my Chaos Knight back from the brink after the undercoating mishap, it was finally time to get to work on some of the detail I hoped would make the model into something truly special. So today I would like to show you some of the detail work on the model — some of these areas seemed like very daunting tasks beforehand, but have ended up really well, if I do say so myself.

Anyway, after lots and lots of weathering and trying to make the metallic areas actually look like metal, it was good tor return to something rather different. I already showed you some progress on both the pilot and the cockpit in my last post, and so I got in some more work on those two areas. So here’s the finished Baron Augustus Melchia Harrowthorne in his cockpit.

Chaos Knight PIP (54)
This guy is basically at the heart of this whole project, as thinking of a backstory for a traitorous Knight pilot was what provoked my building a Chaos Knight in the first place. Which is why it feels really good to finally see him in his place of honour like that! 🙂

I actually spent quite a bit of time coming up with just the right look for the Baron, as I tried to figure out just what kind of pilot I wanted (and how I wanted him to interact with his machine). There are many different kinds of Imperial Knight cockpits out there, and I am very willing to accept any kind of pilot interface as long as the artist in question really, really nails it. For instance, my understanding is that control of a Knight is heavily based on some kind of neural interfacing, where you actually control the machine with your thoughts, right? But I also love the idea of some kind of mechanic control, and when it’s well realised, I think it really adds something to the model. Take Jeromgb’s absolutely fantastic cockpit here: It’s very retro, almost WWI in a way, and the pilot is much more “hands on” than my own take on the matter, yet it’s perfectly executed and absolutely believable, and it really sells the concept of a pilot doing his darnedest to stay one step ahead of his opponent.

By the same token, if you look at Forgeworld’s Titan Princeps models, they all seem to have some physical controls as well as neural interfaces — and I think it really makes sense for a setting as eclectic and retro-futuristic as 40k to fall back on a mix of both ways. What’s more, given the fact that the Knight Households are such a very ancient remnant of pre-Imperial times, with each machine a millennia-old artifact, I think it’s totally conceivable that there are as many types of interface as there are Knight worlds.

As for my own model, I wanted Harrowthorne to have some kind of physical control, but I also wanted him to look very dignified and noble, which is why I heavily based him on the Princeps from FW’s Warhound Titan. As for the actual points of interface on my model, Harrowthorne is rather extensively augmented, as you can see: In addition to that, there’s some cabling on the back of his head, and his throne has several parts that look like ports for a possible interface, so I imagine him to be plugged into those. All in all, I really think he looks like quite the character, and I am very happy with him:

Baron Harrowthorne PIP (6)
Fun fact: Harrowthorne’s paintjob was actually heavily inspired by the Dark Jedi Jerec, villain of the first Jedi Knight videogame…

Baron Harrowthorne PIP (8)

Here’s another picture of the Knight’s interior: You can see both the cockpit and the engine compartment in their basically finished forms. Since all of this was basically scratchbuilt and kitbashed, it remains among my favourite parts of the model — and it’s pretty cool that the solution I came up with ended up fairly similar to the “official” Knight interiors produced by Forgeworld (even moreso because I actually came up with mine before Forgeworld’s version was even available!):

Chaos Knight PIP (62)

The above picture also shows how I have gone for a little “special effect” with the flames emerging from the additional baroque outlets on the Knight’s back: My idea was that these would function as some kind of extra vent, allowing the machine to vent excessive warp power or what have you (don’t overthink this bit, I only wanted it to look cool 😉 ). Anyway, my original plan was to paint the flames in a slightly more supernatural blue, but I was afraid the effect would end up looking too unnatural and toylike. So I went with a slightly more naturalistic approach — and I was fortunate enough to find an absolutely excellent tutorial for painting flames over at Tale of Painters, which allowed me to finish the whole area in very short order, even though I’d never attempted painting natural looking flames before! The tutorial also provided a sweet tip for using a glaze made from Mephiston Red and Lahmian Medium to create an effect resembling glowing coals around the flames — just what I needed, as it makes the area surrounding the flames look interesting without diverting too much attention towards it.

Still inspired by the success of my first-time flame painting, I then tackled the one area I was really rather afraid of: The monitors and displays inside the cockpit. Since the cockpit had already been permanently assembled at this point, I had set myself up for a rather fiddly task. But while the challenge turned out to be just as fiddly as I had expected, I am really rather happy with the result:

Chaos Knight PIP (67)
I’m certainly not great with freehanding, but I am still pretty happy with the suggested data streams on those tiny monitors. I also used the aforementioned Mephiston Red glaze to give some of the buttons a glowing look:

Chaos Knight PIP (66)
And, once again, here’s the Baron inside the now finished cockpit:

Chaos Knight PIP (68)

Chaos Knight PIP (69)
Fellow hobbyist The Hydra pointed out that it would have been really funny to have one of the monitors display a game of Pong! Dang, what a missed opportunity! 😉

But seriously, I am really, really happy with the finished cockpit!

So the Knight’s skeleton is bascially finished at this point: I tidied up the last few rough spots and added some leftover Heldrake armour plates on the arms. Here’s what I ended up with:

Chaos Knight PIP (71)

Chaos Knight PIP (70)
Chaos Knight PIP (72)

Chaos Knight PIP (73)
Chaos Knight PIP (74)
Chaos Knight PIP (75)
Chaos Knight PIP (76)

Chaos Knight PIP (77)

Chaos Knight PIP (78)

On a related note, let me take a moment to address Forgeworld’s “official” Chaos Knight kit: It was actually interesting to see this being released recently, after it had already made a sneaky appearance in the new Warhammer: World displays… 😉

Forgeworld Chaos Knight (1)
Forgeworld Chaos Knight (2)
But to be perfectly honest, I am almost a little underwhelmed by the model. Sure, it clearly reads as a Chaos Knight. But doesn’t the design seem like they phoned it in a bit, at least compared with Forgeworld’s regular output? It seems very generically chaotic to me, especially with the warped armour and teeth around the head. And some touches are pretty close to my own version, as it happens: Just take a look at the chaos star on the back of the cannon, the spikes on the chainsword and the reactor section…

Forgeworld Chaos Knight (3)

I think when all is said and done, this should work as a pretty serviceable basic template for a Chaos Knight, although it might need some additional conversion and kitbashing to really bring it to the next level. However, if I need to further convert the model anyway, I might as well make it an all plastic conversion in the first place and circumvent the issue of potentiall having to deal with ill-fitting resin parts, right? Or one could go for the Kytan Daemon Engine of Khorne, which seems like the more interesting project, at least for a follower of Khorne like yours truly… 😉

It’s a nice enough kit, surely, but I am actually rather relieved that it’s not that much more awesome than my own conversion — at least that’s how I feel about it. This means I can happily finish my own model without feeling like I missed out on an even cooler version. And one advantage of the release is that we know have semi-official Chaos Knight rules! Yay!

 

All the more incentive to keep plugging away on my own Chaos Knight. And I have already made pretty good headway regarding the armour plates. Let me show you a final sneak peek or two of what is to come:

The Knight with its leg armour in varying stages of completion:

Chaos Knight PIP (79)
And here’s a first look at the PIP belly plate:

Chaos Knight PIP (80)
Oh, and there’s one thing you guys can help me with: I want to add a decal to the Knight that represents the Machine’s honorary membership in the Legio Audax (The “Ember Wolves”), the Titan Legion that fought alongside the World Eaters during the Heresy. So I was looking at a suitably wolf-y decal in order to represent that affiliation: At first I wanted to use one of the War Hounds decals, but those definitely show a dog, not a wolf. So which of the following do you think would work best for the intended effect (As for placement, I’m thinking one of the kneecaps)?

Possible Audax decals
As it happens, some hobbyists have suggested some very cool – and slightly less common – SW decals to represent the Legio: The flame wolf (playing on the whole “Ember Wolves” thing):

Flame WolfOr these very cool, slightly more feral looking symbols that I hadn’t even seen before:

Possible Audax decals (2)
Are these even available as decals? And if so, if anyone has some of these left, (especially the more hirsute looking wolf heads dead centre and in the bottom row), feel free to send them my way! 😉

 

So yeah, I think you could really say I am having a blast with this big boy right now, even though painting the model is turning out to be a ton of work. So stay tuned, there should be more shortly 😉

If you have any feedback or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you, of course. And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!