4.11.2014

Imperial Knights

I have to be honest.  This was on my list for sometime in June or July, probably after this new book was done and turned in to my editor.  But Games Workshop seems to have forced my hand, and it’d be silly not to work on this right now when everyone’s interested in such things.

Not to mention if I can show how to build a half-decent model for ten bucks or less instead of $140, well, I think that’d go over pretty well.

I’d also planned to do two—a loyalist and a Chaos one, but now I think I'll just stick with loyalist.  I doubt GW will do Chaos rules without building any actual Chaos models.  Partly because of the whole Chapterhouse thing, partly because... well, Chaos gets screwed a lot.  Sad but true.

Anyway...Imperial Knights.

This is a great little template I found through the BWC group on Yahoo a few months back.  You can join up there, and I’ve added it to my own archive as well.  Feel free to grab it and follow along.  I’m also probably going to be doing a few small changes and tweaks along the way to bring it more in line with the new GW model.  You can ignore, improve, or mock those changes as you see fit.

Also, this template’s in full color—intended for the paper to be left on—but I’ll be building it from card and peeling the template off (as I usually do).  This may result in a need for more detail in some places, but I think it’ll all work out fine. 

Let’s get started with the basics...

I printed out two sets of templates (in black and white, just so there's no confusion) and I glued one set onto bulk cardstock (a.k.a. frozen pizza and cereal boxes).  The other set is a spare for possible accidents of detail pieces as they become necessary.  Or if this goes insanely fast and I decide to build another one.  Not likely, but I'm trying to think positive.

I decided  to start right on page one with the main hull/ torso.  I gently rolled the piece around a thin bottle to give it a nice curve for that “beetle back” look.  I’ve used this technique before for small detail pieces on engines or weapons.  This is the same thing, just on a slightly larger scale.  It's a bit trickier and takes a little more work, but it makes everything so much easier I think it's worth it in the long run.

Helpful Hint—I want to make sure I only roll the back/top of the hull.  If I put a curve in the side pieces, it’s going to make assembling this section a pain.

This section is going to take a lot of work to make it all fit well.  I spent almost an hour on it, working each tab to make sure they were solid.  I didn’t want to rush it and have it popping apart later.  It really is the core of the whole model, so it needs to be solid.

Helpful Hint—I didn’t close the hull quite yet.  I left the last panel, the bottom, free so I could reach in and apply counter-pressure when adding a lot of these detail pieces.

There’s also a small detail piece—a box—on this first page.  It sits right between the bases of the engine stacks, more or less in the small of the Knight’s back (there's a clearly marked spot for it on the template--I love it when people add stuff like that to their designs).  Assembling the box is very straightforward and I glued it in place with no problem.

Helpful Hint--This little box is one of the first places you might have tab issues.  They're snug here, so if I've leaned a little too far one way or the other while cutting this piece out, the tabs won't fit together well.  Always remember--tabs aren't seen.  They can be trimmed, cut down, or even removed if you think there won't be a structural problem.

Next up are the engines themselves.  All the tabs make these look complex, but they really aren’t.  There’s only two tabs that actually connect to assemble each piece.  The rest are to attach it to the back of the hull. 

Also, just like on the hull, I want to curve these pieces, but I don’t want to curve all of them—just the section that’s going to wrap around and be the engine housing.  These are a little bit tricky because they only hold together at the very top and bottom.  If there's not a really good curve, they're a chance they could splay out in the middle and cause problems later.

There are three big vents on each engine.  After a bit of debate, I decided to cut them out for extra detail.  I did all the cutting before I assembled the engine.  Once it was together, I curved another piece of card for some backing and it glued it inside.  Wipe off the excess glue and it looks great.

I used my 1/4” hole punch  and added a disk to the bottom of each engine stack.  It replaces some of the 2D paper detail.  Plus it looks good in that semi-circular section.

There’s also a 2D Mechanicus logo that goes between the two engine stacks.  I held off because I didn’t want to create any problems on the off chance the stacks didn’t fit well—I didn’t want to end up with a weird overlap.  And as it turns out I was right to hold off.  As I worried about above, the engine pieces are splayed out just enough that the logo won’t fit.

I like the general level of detail, though, so I played around and found something round to trace that fit the space (an old Warhammer fantasy shield--you may need your own object depending on how yours turns out).  I also added another 1/4” disc at the center of this piece.  It doesn’t look like the logo, but it looks a little more like the “engine core” on the GW model.  It’ll probably look even better when I hit the rivet phase.

More next week.

4.02.2014

Yet Another Pathetic Minor Update

If anyone’s still bothering to read this, you have the patience of a saint.

I could give you the usual list of excuses.  Book release.  Appearances.  New book in progress.  Far too much dental work.  Printer issues.  It hasn’t left me with much free time for other stuff.  Heck, I think I’ve managed to play two games this year, and they were both Kill Team games.

But you don’t care about any of that.

Good news is, a large number of these issues have been resolved.  So this time next week, I should have the first part of a new project up.

Give you a hint... it rhymes with Ethereal Blight.


1.12.2014

Flayed Ones, Part III

 Wanted to post some of these ages back but with the holidays and other stuff, I’ve just been swamped.

Speaking of which—new book comes out next week from Broadway Paperbacks.  Ex-Purgatory, fourth in the Ex-Heroes series.  Check it out in whatever format you like from your preferred bookseller.  It’s a (hopefully) fun read and you can passively support this page at the same time.

Anyway, Flayed Ones.  Now in color.

As I’ve said before, I’m not the greatest painter, but here’s what worked for me.  I primed them black and then hit them with an aluminum chrome spray paint I’ve used on all my Necrons.  It’s quick and fast and I like the shine white-silver shine it gives them.  I’ll probably take these guys down a bit with a drybrush of Boltgun a.k.a. Leadbelcher.

These are just base colors, mind you but hopefully they’ll give you a sense of how the whole thing will turn out.  I added Abbadon Black on the thighs, upper arms, and spine.  The skin’s all Kislev Flesh, but I’ll be making some distinctions with my next pass.  I dabbed the last of my red gore on the mouths and also under the ribcage, as if all the blood and flesh is leaking down through.  I also ran a bit of it along the edges of the skin flaps and on some of the blades.  All the assorted skulls and bones got a base of dark flesh.  I also realized most of my browns have dried up...  Good thing I'm going to the store tomorrow.

Skin is like a beer label.  The goal
is to get it all off in one piece...
With my next pass I want to add some brighter blood.  I’ll drybrush the bones, too, and bring the bases in line with the rest of my Necrons.

Next... I’m going to try to push my plastic models over to the Relictors page I set up, so here I can focus on the Paperhammer Destroyer I want to try.  Mostly because I’ve wanted to do it for ages and (if rumors are true) I might get it done just as GW releases a plastic model for it.