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.

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