Imperial Knights, Part X

Okay, so... when I left off I’d finished all the cannon elements, but it struck me I hadn’t shown off the assembled cannon.

The battle cannon barrel glued into place with no problem.  I’d though about adding an internal brace, but with the detail wraps, it had a solid ring for the glue to grab.  Also, the top edge of the barrel can glue to the underside of the hood, which means it’s held from two directions.

The heavy stubber was the same.  The detail pieces gave it enough surface area for the glue to adhere, and the top edge could press up against the base of the battle cannon.  Again, held in two directions.  It was very, very solid.

Helpful Hint—I glued each barrel so the seam where it came together would be against the seam from the other barrel.  If you look close, you can see the edges between them.  This only takes a little work but makes everything look much cleaner.

For the reaper chainsword, I had a sudden realization.  There are four layers of “teeth” on the template.  However, as I’ve noted a few times now, this template is designed off the idea that it’s being built just with paper. Did I really need all four layers if I was building with card?

In a bold move for me, I decided to test-fit some elements.

There are three components I’ll call the sides (2) and the housing.  I assembled all three, let them dry, and then set just placed them together without any glue.  Turns out the two sides fill the housing pretty solidly, so more than one layer of teeth would probably be too much.

So I cut out one set of teeth.  Because of the curves, this is very slow-going, and I highly recommend going slow—no matter how comfortable and confident you are with a hobby knife.  This is a weapon, so it’s going to be a high-attention area.  Everything here needs to be sharp and slick.
Once the teeth were done, I assembled them with the sides, and then put that piece into the housing.  I also added a pair of 1/4” discs from my hole punch for a little bit of extra detail.  This all fit together so well that I just needed to hold it for a minute or two and then it was done.

Now I needed to assemble the back half of the reaper chainsword.  The other big part —we’ll call it the motor—is just a box.  It goes together in a very straightforward way.  No real problems there.  But it does get a lot of detail...

There’s a disc that matches the one on the cannon (we could call it the elbow) and also another one on the back.  I added a 1/4” disc to that, too, to layer the detail a bit more.  And then there’s a large piece that wraps around half of the motor—I’m not sure if it’s a blocky manifold or an oversized head block.  Either way, it adds to the look of the motor.
Once that was dry I glued the chainsword blade in place.  There’s a tiny gap at the back—right between the housing and the motor—and it kind of gnaws at me.  So I think I’ll need to cut another small piece of card to cover that up.  If I layer it right, it should blend right in.
So... I have the body, the legs, and weapons for both arms.  Next time--the eleventh chapter in this ongoing saga (only one more than the Baneblade/ Plaguereaper)—final assembly and a last few detail bits.


Imperial Knights, Part IX

So, much thought was had about how to do the armor plating on the Knight’s legs.  While the current GW model has a single large armor piece over the shin/calf area, this paperhammer model has a pretty elaborate set of sections that go around the leg.  I debated trying to merge them into a single piece, but I didn’t feel confident that I could do it in a way that would look good (and that I could re-create here).  In the end, I decided to simplify.  I’d do the two big side pieces, the knee, and the front ankle, but not the back sections.  That would match up a little more with the GW model, too.

I added the armor supports for the upper sections.  They’re the oblong boxes on pages five and six of the template

Helpful Hint—the boxes attach so their small/short end is at the top.  This is important so the armor ends up angled in the right direction.

I also added one of the longer supports for the front ankle—it sits between the two armor supports, but its top lines up with their bottom edge.  The angle on this one is steep, so it’s a bit tricky getting it in the right position.  Patience is important on this one.  I held each one for a good six or seven minutes while it dried.
However...  this left some empty sections around the ankle.  This is one of those models where a lot of detail is “printed on,” so not adding the armor (or its support) would mean, well, a hole in the detail.  I decided to make up for the lack of printed pistons by adding real ones.  Or, at least, something close to real ones. 

My first thought was round toothpicks, but I decided pretty quick they’d be too small.  Small coffee stirrers might work, if I could find single ones somewhere (instead of the double-shaft ones).  Inspiration came from my girlfriend’s garden bag, where she had a bunch of bamboo skewers she used for marking plots and making small frames for seedlings to climb. And these came from the dollar store, so they’re still keeping this project cheap.  I used two of them and cut sixteen pieces (eight pairs), each one 1” long.

I arranged these so they lined up between the armor supports.  The front ones went on either side of the support for the front ankle armor.  A dab of glue on either end held them in place.

Then it was time for the armor itself.  First off was what to use.  Again, this looks very complex, but mostly because (as mentioned before) the template assumes you’re just working with paper.  All of this is supposed to be doubled up.  But since we’re working with cardstock, I only needed half of these pieces.  And only one of the eight ankle pieces (since front and back are identical).

I gave each piece a gentle bend around my utility knife.  That’s the knee, the ankle, and the two large sides.  The large sides got more of a bend, because they need to go around the entire leg.

Helpful Hint—If you look at the lines for the side pieces, you’ll see they’re not straight up and down.  That’s because the side armor flares out (like huge, 41st Millennium bellbottoms).  So putting a bend in them involves moving the knife shaft across the piece and bending along each line individually.  Don’t roll the whole thing around the shaft or nothing will line up later.

Then I attached the ankle armor.  This one was tough, because the support’s angle makes it hard to put any pressure.  It’s another exercise in patience.  It also sticks out just a tiny bit more than I’d like, but not so much that I feel the need to tear anything apart.

I took the small box that’s supposed to be the kneepad support and cut it into four parts.  I layered these together to give me a spacer that was about 1/8” thick.  Once it was dry, I glued it right below the knee joint.

And this made the legs pretty much armored and done.

Which meant it was time for the best part... weapons.

The design on this cannon is kind of magnificent, to be honest. As I mentioned, it’s made around the all-paper idea, but it still works great in cardstock. Simply put, the designer made the barrel and details all one piece.  I cut it out, wrapped it around the hobby knife twice to give it a good curl, and then glued the main part of the barrel (where the tab lines up).  I put some clothespins on this and let it sit for a while.

Once it was dry, I wrapped the rest of the detail work around the barrel.  Normally I try to go easy on the glue so nothing slips, but here I went a little heavy just for that reason. I wanted to be able to slide the cardstock a bit so I could make sure things lined up.

Helpful Hint—Pull these pieces very tight.  It’ll make the whole piece more solid and it’ll also help all the seams line up as much as possible (which makes them easier to hide).

The co-axial heavy stubber barrel goes together the same way.  I gave it a curve on the knife.  I glued the main section together and then, once it was dry, I wrapped the detail around.

Helpful Hint—Because this barrel is so narrow, I had to fold the tab in half.  I couldn’t bend it enough for it to fit well inside the rolled-up barrel.  You may want to trim it with a hobby knife.

The body of the cannon is a simple box. Rather that cut out the three circular vents for the back, I just used my 1/4” hole punch to make three discs.  They’re slightly smaller, but it’s so much easier and faster... I decided I could live with that.

The cannon also has a “hood” of sorts that fits over it.  The extra section actually folds under the hood, so when it’s in place the front edge is double-thick and has a small ridge underneath it. This ridge will but up against the box when they get put together.

There’s a big magazine for the cannon. It looks a little complex, but it goes together very easily (alas, most of the detail here is only printed on). Just remember to score the top half on the opposite side, because it’s going to be a concave bend, not a convex one.

(yep, I’m bringing geometry into this...)

I glued the hood onto the main body.  Once it was dry, I added the magazine to the bottom.  I also punched out two more 1/4” discs and used those for detail on either side of the cannon. 

Helpful Hint—If you’d rather have a Knight Errant with a thermal cannon, there are lots of titan models out there with other weapons options.  You could use part of the melta cannon from the  Warhound Titan template and I don’t think anyone would question it.

Next up is the chainsword. Which we will get to... next time.


Imperial Knights, Part VIII

Hullo, there, and Happy New Year.  If you’re reading this, many thanks for about six months worth of patience.  You’re automatically a much better person than me.  For what that’s worth.

I have to admit... a large part of my absence has been a growing frustration with Games Workshop over how things are being run.  It really feels like their goal is to make the most expensive, needlessly complicated tabletop game on Earth.  And I have to admit... I’m just not into that.  It was sad when I realized I’ve gone a little over six months without playing a game of 40K, and even sadder when I realized I just didn’t care. I just feel like I’m being pushed out of the game as everything I like about is pared away in favor of maximum profits.

However, at about the same time I realized how much fun I still have building models and scenery.  I enjoy blogs and vlogs about the hobby aspects of the game.  I like digging through the bitz bins for cool conversion pieces. So I’m trying to have fun with it that way, and maybe save some of you a few bucks in the process.

Speaking of which... 

Since it’s been such a long time, I’m going to recap a little bit.  Let’s start with assembling the foot and work our way up.   Should be able to reach the torso with no real problem.

As I mentioned last time, I attached the toes front to back and side to side.  This takes a little bit of work because there are a lot of angles here between the toes and the heel.  One fold that’s a little off on either piece can make a very loose join.  Or a very odd one.  Five of the toes fit perfectly, but two of them needed a bit of pressure to sit tight and flat. 

The last one... well it was the worst.  As you can see, it’s a little raised up.  There was no other way to make it join.  I figure I’ll put some bit of scenery under it once the legs end up on a base and try to make it look more like dynamic action.

While the feet dried I attached the knees to the shin pieces (the leg section with the flat bottom on one end).  I made sure all the flaps and tabs were folded in, added some glue, and pushed the knee into place (making sure it was centered on the shin).  I held this for about three minutes to make sure it’d be solid—this was going to be a load bearing join, after all.
Helpful Hint—If you’ve detailed both sides of your knee cylinder, there’s nothing to worry about here as far as which way they glue in.  But it’ll be important with the hips—more on that in a bit.

Another Helpful Hint—You may have noticed that one side of the shin sits a little higher on the knee cylinder.  That’s not a mistake, so don’t worry about it.  In fact...

Once the shins were done, I attached them to the feet.  Now, that high side of the shin I just mentioned is the front.  It affects how the knee goes together with the thigh.  So I need to make sure the shins line up with the front of the foot, however I decided to assemble it.  All the little tabs got a blob of glue and these got attached.  Again, I held each one in place for a few minutes to make sure they were as solid as possible.

Next up was the thighs and hips.  This is going to be a bit more complicated.  On the hip cylinder, only the outside disc should have any sort of detail work—the inside disc should be bare. On the thigh, the uneven side is the knee (the bottom), and it’s set up just like the shin (the higher side if the front).  So the thigh piece only goes one way, and the hip only goes one way.  Make sure you’ve got everything straight before you start gluing.

Once I had all the parts sorted, I dabbed some glue on the tabs and pushed the hip into place.  As before, I held it in place for a few minutes while it dried.  And then I even poured a little more glue in through the knee-socket, swirled it around inside the thigh, and let that dry, too

Helpful Hint—When you push the hip cylinder into place, turn the seam down so it ends up inside the top of the thigh.  It’ll give the whole assembly a cleaner look.

Yet Another Helpful Hint—When putting these two assemblies together, remember that they’re for two different legs.  When they’re all done, they shouldn’t be identical—they should be mirrors.

Okay, next it’s time to connect the thighs to the knees and finish the legs.  I mentioned last time that I’d shifted the ankles to give myself a more dynamic pose.  Catch is the knight’s hips still need to be more or less even (for balance purposes if nothing else).  After a bit of adjustment, this is what I ended up with.  I held them in place for about ten minutes (this needs to be solid) and then let them dry for another twenty before moving on.

And moving on, at this point, meant attaching the legs to the hip/pelvic section.  It was pretty simple.  I glued and then squeezed for about fifteen minutes this time.  This will be holding most of the model’s weight, so I want it as solid as possible.

Now, with this much assembled, that chicken-leg quality I’d mentioned before is really clear.  The leg armor is going to help bulk this out a lot.  However, in an odd twist, the leg armor for this older Knight design is actually more ornate than the one on the plastic GW model.  So this might need a little bit of work.

Work I will show off next time.