Imperial Knights, Part VII

So, it only took a little bit of work, but I managed to salvage and rebuild the toes  without losing too much time.  They're much more solid this way.  Now on to the legs.

They look complex on the template, but the leg sections are really the same sort of thing I’ve done in the past for gun barrels and towers and such.  They’re just octagonal cylinders.  The only difference is these ones have tabs and folds at each end for the hips, knees, and ankles to rest in and attach to.  Cutting them out is a bit of work, but once that’d done they go together very easily.

Helpful Hint –Cut the vertical tab (the one that runs the length of the thigh), a little thicker than it’s marked on the template.  There’s a lot of stress on that tab.  I’d give it all the room I can to grab hold with.

Also, it’s worth mentioning that you might not want to peel the template off the calf-section of the leg.  Some of those squares and rectangles are going to be helpful in the near future.  It’s not a huge problem if you already peeled it—you can just look at it on your computer. 

The hip and the knee are two simple cylinders.  I cut them out and then wrapped them around the shaft of my hobby knife to give the cardstock a good curve.  Then it came down to another bit of pinching and holding each one for about ten minutes.

Another little note.  The outside of the hip is a very nice piece that would give me a beveled edge on that cylinder-joint.  However, I made a pre-emptive decision not to use it.  As I’ve mentioned a few times before, this template is really designed around paper as a building material, not cardstock.  While that piece may look beautiful in paper, I think cardstock’s going to be too rigid, which means there’s a good chance it’ll be creased or wrinkled, plus it’ll be pulling itself apart as the cardstock tries to revert to its natural flatness.  And this will all be happening on the outside of one of the major, load-bearing joints in the Knight.  Instead I used a simple disc and made some more detail bits with my hole punches.

This gave me the whole assembly for one leg.  It also made it clear that there was some room for posing the Knight.  Not a huge amount of leeway, but the hips and ankle have some definite room for adjustment.  And small shifts in angle or direction can make a huge change in a model.  So I started thinking about how I could pose the legs.

Some of you may have noticed last time that the ankle isn’t a straight up and down arrangement.  This threw me for a bit until I realized that the model is built with kind of a splayed-leg stance, with its feet further out than its hips.  This is very true to the old Epic-scale Knight, but also feels a bit static compared to the more dynamic pose of the current GW model.
I decided to turn these ninety degrees to make a forward and backwards foot, as if we’ve caught the Knight in mid-stride.  I think this is going to work, but it’s going to take a bit of effort to make it all fit just right. 

And I’ll go into how I did that next time.

Yeah, I know.  It looks like it's going to have little chicken legs.  Don't worry...


Imperial Knights, Part VI

As I’ve mentioned once or twice, the legs on this Imperial Knight are fairly complex.  Enough so that I was already considering splitting the legs into two posts.  When I find out I had to do re-do a large number of components, well... that clinched it.

More on that in a few minutes...

So, let’s talk about feet right now.  Next week will be about the legs themselves. 

This template has a huge footprint.  By which I mean it has really big feet.  It is much more reminiscent of the classic titans, but it does look a little cartoonish compared to the new GW model.  I think one thing that will help that is a darker paint job—bright white toes do catch the eye.

The first thing I put together was the center part of the foot.  Even though it’s not quite accurate, I’m going to call it the heel, just for simplicity.  It’s a little challenging because of the extra angles, but it goes together quite smoothly.

The toes are probably the most challenging part of this model to date.  Because of their size and angled folds, the best I could manage was clamping one set of tabs.  After that I had to hold each toe together for the fifteen to twenty minutes it took for them to dry.  So that was almost two hours for all eight toes.  I highly recommend putting in Pacific Rim, having a drink nearby,  and telling yourself this is how all the Jaegers went together...

The ankle is very straightforward.  Cut, score, and glue the tab.  While it was drying I tried to figure out exactly how it attached, and that was when I realized I had the heel upside down.  That little Mechanicus symbol is (in theory) the footprint of the Knight.  So the ankle fits right into the octagon on the top (the real top) of the heel.

At this point I decided to check out how the toes fit into this.  Because of the way this foot is designed, I could put the foot together any number of ways.  It’s show on the template as cardinal points (front, back, sides), but it would be just as solid with the toes at NW, SW, SE, and NE positions.  Or two in the front and one in the back to give it more of a raptor-ish look.

But all this experimenting made me take a good look at the toes.  They just didn’t seem to mesh right with the heel.  Either they had very little surface contact, which meant a very weak glue bond, or the Knight was supposed to stand on its toes and the heel didn’t touch the ground (or its base, however you want to look at it), which meant solid toe joins with a lot of stress on them. 

I studied the pictures that came with the templates.  Alas, they’re low resolution and not  at the best of angles.  But the more I looked... the more I convinced there was something wrong with the toes I’d built.  I’d printed an extra set of templates, so I cut out another toe and played with it a bit.  And discovered one problem when you’re working with minimal instructions and bad final pictures...

You may remember I mentioned that this was a true Paperhammer template—it wasn’t built with cardstock in mind, only paper (or so it seems).  In a few places it doubles up on itself for extra durability, and that’s what it does here with the toes.  The darker, “bottom” sections of the template aren’t pads for the toes.  They’re actually meant to be reversed and folded into the toe to make it stronger.  This changes the way the toe sits on the ground and how it sits against the heel.

The upside of this is that it means the toes are much easier to build than I originally thought.  It takes an extra moment to line up the reverse-scores, but after that almost the whole thing can be clamped with clothespins.

The downside is it means I had to rebuild all eight toes.  So... learn from my mistakes.

Next week, legs.