Archive for warrior king

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!

Advertisements

Imperial Knights: Renegade — Gilgamesh Triumphant!

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Pointless ramblings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 18, 2016 by krautscientist

A short interlude today, before I return with a more sizeable new post soon: With the release of Imperial Knights: Renegade, Chaos Knights are now very much a thing, even for those who shun the rules by Forgeworld (that have already been available for some time now). Due to the strange ways of the webway, I am pretty certain that the new rules will find their way to each and every Chaos player in pretty short order, and there is much rejoicing about this turn of events.

What makes this even better though, at least for me, is that my very own Chaos Knight, Gilgamesh, has actually made it into GW’s daily blog as one of the examples for converted Renegade Knights. Yay!

Gilgamesh on GW blog 01
Now I should probably be far more nonchalant and humble about this whole thing, but I simply cannot pull it off: Gilgamesh remains my biggest and most involved hobby project to date, and one that I am incredibly proud of, so to see him being featured on the GW site like this just makes me incredibly happy! Thanks so much to all the fellow hobbyists who brought this to my attention. And to the content managers at GW, obviously 😉

But this post should have some kind of use beyond allowing me to talk about how great I think I am, right? 😉
So, to all those of you who are now looking at the option of adding a Knight or two to their Chaos armies with renewed interest, on account of the new rules, maybe my collected posts about converting and painting my own Chaos Knight may prove helpful, so feel free to check them out here:

PRELUDE

– THE BUILDING –

PART I
PART II
PART III

– THE PAINTING –

PART I
PART II
PART III
PART IV
PART V

Also make sure to take a peek at 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, because I am really standing on the shoulders of giants here!

The only cloud on the horizon here is how the ‘Eavy Metal Team seemingly didn’t convert and paint a dedicated posterboy Renegade Knight for the new game but rsther decided to paint over the heraldry of an already completed, pretty sweet loyalist model:

ImperialKnightRenegadeSeriously, guys: You have already painted a score of these beasts. Would one more really have killed you…?

But all in all, this has been an amazing surprise, both from a general hobby perspective, but also for my personal hobby life!

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

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (12)

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)