This year, I had some unusual Christmas preparation. I really enjoy Christmas and my gift list for buying/making presents is about 30 people between friends and family. This year… that was reduced to 3. One of these was a wooden bowl I made at work in a day for my wife, just so she would have something to open from me, another was a diorama I had made for competition earlier in the year… the 3rd, is the subject of this post.
The reason for the sudden reduction in present buying was due to a bathroom renovation draining our financial reserves, but that was AFTER I had already bought some of the materials for this project. With nothing else to work on, this conversion became the focus of all of my Christmas spirit and affection. If I couldn’t give a lot of people nice presents, I was going to make damn sure that this one present would melt my friends God damn face off.
(…with the intensity joy and cheer it summons)
This project started sometime near the middle of October and I estimate that I spent on average, two hours a night working on this. So by my estimation, since I finished on the 20th of December, I think I must have spent well over 100 hours working on it. Since I intend to avoid being so fiscally challenged (broke) around Christmas time again, this is a unique circumstance and I doubt I’ll be in a position to put this sort of effort in again. I’m quite pleased with the results and finally I can share the process of the build with all you guys. so buckle up… because I’ve been waiting to post this for some time. (alternatively, skip to the end of the post to see the finished knight…)
LETS DO THIS!
It all started with the idea I could convert something for my friend for Christmas to save buying him something… this became kind of irrelevant because I spent more than I meant to Ebaying parts anyway. The two options were an Chaos Dreadnought, or a Renegade Knight from the box set Renegade that we went halves on. It may seem like the obvious choice to pick the knight but the Dreadnought is exactly that, a Dreadnought, not a Helbrute. Its old, and Metal and he doesn’t like it… but being metal it’s going to be a pain in the ass to convert. He couldn’t which one he would rather me work on so I put it to a vote on Twitter and the Knight came out on top (obviously, people cant resist a BIG conversion).
What was the basis for this conversion… THIS, is where it started.
This is the hand of the Age of Sigmar Khorgorath, a model I got for some parts. This obviously looks like a face and so regardless of the model he chose I intended to see if I could incorporate this piece into the face somehow, just because I think it looks so damn cool.
I would however need some sort of body to connect it too and I think even though I chose this part very early it was some time before I actually started building this thing. finally I knuckled down and started chopping the legs to bits. You see, other than this “head”… I had one other thing I wanted to incorporate into the model. Movement. At least, the suggestion of it. You see he runs an entirely Khornate, Chaos Army. His play style is very much, run up to you and smash you in the face, regardless of how much sense it makes to do it. He used to be the king of the ramming move with tanks… with his Rhinos… and ramming was always rubbish.
So this massive war machine has been corrupted by Chaos, by Khorne… and what weapons does he want? I ask “do you want options or do you want to go with what it has out of the box?”, he chooses the Basic Renegade option of 2 melee weapons. So now I have a fully melee, bipedal, metal giant… that is fuelled by the fury of the Blood God. I didn’t want there to be a shadow of a doubt that this thing wants to be in your face, ripping and smashing your face, from the inside of your face, until everything around your little sad body is bits of your stupid face.
The basic Knight pose does not scream this… it screams heavy, slow, stomping engine.
Look at how static that pose is… its so… stationary. It reminds me of the old metal Terminators, one of my friend had massive Death Wing company of those guys, all standing there, looking hunched and still like they had all just filled their pants. What I want is something that hungers for blood and looks like it intends to get it. So step one was attacking the legs.
I had to cut both ankles, every toe, and cut and pin every piston around the ankle. Even this turned out not to be enough weeks later when I continued to put the knight together and the join beneath the pistons started to crack under the uneven weight, combined with the springing of the base as the foot in contact with the floor was off centre. had t run a pin up through the entire foot into the leg, and then more through the side toes to stop the foot tilting. To counteract the bouncing bend in the base, I glue gunned a steel plate under the base which eliminated the bounce and helped to stabilise the model with the low centre of gravity.
After this I started looking at the cockpit. Yes, the cockpit.
Many of you may already by familiar with Krautscientist’s Khornate Knight, but for those of you who are not… he put a pilot in it. Now while I was putting my work up on Bolter and Chainsword for feedback I sawthat Kraughtscientist was at it AGAIN, this time with his Khornate Armigers… and THEN another nice guy, Augustus b’Raass follows suit with his. Needless to say I felt inspired… but I don’t have the seemingly bottomless resources that these two chaps seem to have. I also dont really like the idea of hidden detail, you see their pilots are hidden beneath the Knights Armour. I had an idea though… what if it wasn’t hidden, what if the pilot’s door was open? then I faced the issue of not having a pilots seat… or an appropriate pilot model. Another Ebay purchase later and the new pilot was on his way. so I got to work on his chair…
I took the back of the Knights head housing, turned it upside down and it looked kind of like a seat. I mean it didn’t have a floor… or sides… or a front, but I had and idea to hide all the missing bits. Oh… and now I didn’t have a means to attach a knights head… but I wasn’t using a knights head, I was using a Khorgorath hand, so I was no worse of in that respect.
Another part I found that seemed to fit just just was a part of the Skull Cannon kit I bought. It turns out the top armour plating of that gun is a remarkable fit for the back of the huge gauntlet.
The fingers I made out of the spikes that fit into the Skull Cannons wheels and the thumb I made out of a spare fin from my Warp Talons.
For the other arm I also had some bits. I’d bought a sprue from the Lord of Skulls kit, which came with the huge axe wielding hand. He already has a Kyton Though so I didn’t want to use too many pieces that would match the Kyton’s Lord of Skulls parts.
That axe is pretty bad ass though right?…
…How about a Chain Cleaver?
So the initial stages have been started and gave me somewhere to work from. As you can see I flitted around piece to piece, probably as a means to maintain my sanity and wasn’t staring at the exact same part for hours on the same model day after day. So another around of work began…
My pilot arrived in the form of a pack of Garrek’s Reavers from Age of Sigmar. My master plan for the pilot being visible was to have the hatch open… but also… I wanted him to follow the knights lead and leave very little room for misinterpreting his intentions. One of the Reavers was perfect.
I finally got around to getting the legs together and getting my first glimpse into the final form the Knight might take. In addition, my solution to the re-purposing of the housing for the knights head was solved with the large wheel from Skull Cannon and the large armour plate from… what I think may have been an armour plate from the Lord of Skulls kit.
The head of the Knight didn’t really have a form yet and I did some experimental gluing, incorporating an orignal knight mask as a sort of twisted throw back to its uncorrupted origins… and also I had no way to attach the lower jaw to the mask. However then Hushrong over at Bolter suggested that it would look cool if the mask was bursting out of the mask.
I received some doubtful comments on Bolter about this head position, but I had a plan…
I was inspired by Angron’s aesthetics with his head cables and the Forge World Blood Slaughterer.
…I did add a little something extra though.
I got around to fixing the pilot in and started my master plan to hide all of the problems surrounding (or not surrounding) the cockpit and its absent walls. I had to cut down my pilots legs… but I may have taken a little more off than i intended, but that was part of the reason I came up with this creative solution, so… yey!
I almost forgot during all this that I still had a load of armour plates to attach and then when I tried to add the should plating, I couldn’t get the gauntlet arm as high as I wanted for the sprinting pose. I came up with a drastic gamble that paid off, cutting one of the shoulder guards in half, turning them by 90 degrees and attaching them facing forwards. this looked pretty good and gave the model plenty of room for arm swinging.
I modified some weapons for the pilot to hold that were a bit less AoS and a bit more 40k. I wanted to incorporate some of the archaic weapon the Reaver was wielding with the power supply and some chain teeth. The other weapon was a hammer from… I don’t know, and I added the tip of his knife to create a pick head. I thought it could be as if he had killed on of the adepts as he was wired in and took his maintenance hammer.
The Armour was pretty bare and I wasn’t sure what to do about it when Augustus over on Bolter posted some pictures of his new Nurgle Knight which had the Renegade Knight upgrade panels from Forgeworld and I decided to try something similar on my friends Knight.
I also noticed that when ever I checked the photos of the Knight, I kept noticing the large plastic shoulder joint I used in the back of the Knights mouth to glue the head together…
…I had an idea though for something to cover it up, and it was also an opportunity play the Green Stuff sculpting version of the 80’s children’s game Operation with all my tools bouncing off his teeth.
BUZZZZ!!! looks like it bit your hands off again…
Getting down some more details, I did some more work on the pilot, specifically his head. Krautscientist has some (as yet unexplained to me) hatred of the 40k topknot… which while I dont really care about them, led to these neural links/butchers nails being made out of fine brass wire.
I suddenly realised at some point I would have to patch up a load of holes I’d left all over this machine so I got to work plugging holes with Green Stuff, sorting out those resized pistons and missing tubes from the leg adjustments.
I didn’t like how plain the trim of the armour was so again taking insparation from the Forgeworld kit I decided to add some Horns/Teeth to break up the some of the uniform lines. on the shoulders and shins. This modification drew some interest on Bolter and Chainsword so I did a tutorial for it.
Now the Knight was looking way better, but it drew a lot of attention to the featureless rubbish that was the Base. So I thought I better make a start trying to bring that to life. I knew that the recipient of this gift had started rebasing his models with these feature resin bases he was buying off the internet. To keep some continuity with his other models I asked him for a large base I could incorporate into this one.
I used some high density foam to bulk the floor to the height of the extra layer of base and make it uneven before adding my own basing material. I mentioned before how I wanted to really convey motion? well obviously part of that is weight so it doesnt look rediculous, so I always planned to build up the base around the rear toe of the foot. this would show the foot Sinking into the ground a bit as it slammed the food into the ground mid sprint.
I had some fun with this, another thing my friend gave me was a small box full of resin bricks. This would be perfect for helping to integrate my basing material and the resin base. I also used them to glue to each other, creating a sort of freeze frame of motion as the bricks scatter. The other thing I used was some wire form mesh to build a ‘splash’ of dirt up around the toe. I just had to do a few layers of PVA and basing material to cover it.
Between the Knights Legs theres normally a banner. Instead I really wanted to use some sort of Khornate symbol and to me the crest of the Lord of Skulls fit the bill. I used some fine brass wire to fit it and then glued chain to the wire to hide it. I used two lengths of chain per wire to do this, which looked right anyway because the chain is quite small and the Symbol is massive.
I quite liked it as it was but then a bunch of people unanimously agreed that that there should be something where the vertical ‘teeth’ would normally be on Symbol. I had no idea what to put in there though. Then it dawned on me that I had previously debated whether or not I wanted there to be a person or body chained to the knight as a trophy. I really wanted to do it but I had a couple of problems, like what chapter or model to use. More impotently still, I couldn’t decide on somewhere good to put the trophy where it would create too much density of detail or obscure some.
The void in the swinging symbol gave me an opportunity though. Blood for the Blood God, Skulls for the Skull Throne right? I decided to attach 3 hooks on chains to the symbol, each with a space loyalist space marine head on it. Which three factions? Why those of each of the blog contributors of course!
Unlike for the fixings of the symbol itself, I only wanted one chain on these, so in order to hide the wire that would control the shape of the chain I threaded the wire through the chain links and glued it at the ends.
I was so close to completing it now but much like with the base, as the model came together it highlighted a lot of the unfinished parts… this time, the foot. The feet are normally designed to both fit completely flush to the floor so there is no point in them having any detail underneath… or tread. So I used plasticard panels to cover the holes, Green Stuff tread and rivets, and a piece of the Skull Cannon to add some interest. It was put to me that some people wouldn’t bother as they could just cover the feet with mud… but it was such an obvious part from behind, it was impossible not to look at and I wanted it be worth a glance.
…And that was it! It was ready!
So then I had to get around to painting it, I wasn’t going to, I debated it, discussed it with others and even asked my friend. In the end I decided I would try to paint it too, which was a little scary because painting is not my strong point, I’m a lot more comfortable building. Also, it was already at a finished state… as soon as I started painting it, it would be the started stage of another project. I had to assume that I could finish painting it in time… which fortunately I did with much guidance from my peers at Bolter and Chainsword… with only 5 days left before I had to give it to him. So I would like to finally introduce my friend Christmas present and my entry for Azazel’s Bitz Box’s fortuitously named Diabolical December.
Ares the Reaper, pilot of Mors Machina
(formally of House Aerthegn)
… so that’s been my life for most evenings for the last two and a half months. It’s quite a relief that its over and I can work on something else, but it was a fun project that I was happy to do. I hope that those of you that read the post enjoyed it and the results of my work. Have a nice Christmas everyone and a Happy New Year.
…and Merry Christmas Ian, I hope you like the your new Knight.
~Pandora’s Bitz Box~