As if I were needing help to find a reason to put a project on hiatus and begin a new one, the 2015 E Tenebrae Lux competition of the Bolter and Chainsword community is getting nearer, and this year I intend to take part in it. How does it work, you might ask? Well, the E Tenebrae Lux is a forum-wide event where all the factions there represented “fight” to see which one can paint the greatest army, judging from the point-value of the models. It usually runs for three months, from the 1st of May to the 1st of August, and the models can be assembled and undercoated before the competition starts.
I might have chosen to side with the Chaos Daemons sub-forum, but I had already started painting the Plague Toad, so these would not have been a legal entry. Also, with Codex: Skitarii finally released after a twenty years long wait, how could I resist to the call of the Omnissiah? So, while I was waiting for the other kits I had ordered, I finally started assembling one of the Imperial Knight I had bought last year. I decided to assemble it as a Knight Errant, striding through the desert in search of the enemies.
I must admit that the Imperial Knight is the best kit I have ever worked with. I had read other favourable and enthusiastic opinions on the Internet, but it is only when you start assembling it that you really understand how well it is designed. Each component fits smoothly with all its intended neighbours, and you might dry-fit almost the whole model, if you wanted to. Well, there is nothing that I could write that has not been better written already by someone else, so let’s go straight to the point, and to the pictures.
The variety of poses that you can get from the kit is enormous, so make sure to spend a lot of time trying them before gluing all the mobile parts. I tried different poses before the one I settled on, but none of them really satisfied me. In the beginning, I was thinking of assembling it like this:
… but the more I looked at it, the more it reminded me of Tony Manero dancing in Saturday Night Fever. I do not know why it was so. Maybe the sum of the angles of the sword, cannon and unmasked head gave me that suggestion, maybe it was just a moment of madness, but once you see something like that, there’s no way that your brain will un-see it. I will do something similar for my Knight Paladin, but its torso will be turned to the right and the head will look that side too.
Then I started detailing the base.
Having the desert as the main theme of the bases od my Mechanicum models, I did not want to clog it with too many details, so I opted for a simple set up: the ruins of a destroyed building, an unexploded missile (from a really old GW resin kit… released maybe at the time of the fourth edition, maybe of the first incarnation of Planetstrike) and a piece of wreckage. The rest will be mostly grass turfs and maybe the odd spare bit here and there, maybe an abandoned weapon or piece of tech from a Skitarii kit.
This is how the Knight will look on it (the carapace and the banner are just dry-fitted for testing purposes):
And then it was the time to start detailing it. First step was adding some cables to the ion shield generator (or at least what I think is the ion shield generator) and heavy stubber. There is nothing as too many cables on a model tied to the Adeptus Mechanicus, isn’t it? On the finished model they will be mostly hidden from the carapace armour, but when painted with the right colours, they will stand out on a closer examination.
As the Errants are the Knights that go nearer the enemy lines, I think they should have more sensors, antennae and relays, to acquire essential data and transmit them to the HQ. I have tried using some Land Raider Crusader components to cover that strange hole on the top of the carapace, but still I am not fully satisfied. I wish I had not glued the heavy stubber in place yet, as I could have substituted it with the antenna from the Land Speeder kit, sigh.
I must admit that I like that sort of radar that you can see in the first picture, while I am not completely sold on the other antennae. I might try to place them somewhere else, though (after cutting part of the highest one, probably), or I might try to integrate somewhere the backpack from a Cadian vox operator, that has similar devices on it.
On the thermal cannon shield I added some purity seals to cover a previous mistake that included a drop of plastic glue, a hobby knife, some and a couple of rivets being removed. It’s not exactly what I was thinking to do there, but I think the effect is nice. Maybe those are prayers to the Omnissiah to invoke his blessing on a weapon recently repaired or brand-new from the forge.
On the Knight’s back, instead, I added the chain with skulls that comes with every Chaos vehicle kit. I thought of putting it on the front of the model, but unfortunately most of it would have ended up being covered by the chest-piece of the armour. This position, however, is in fact more advisable, as those are not trophies – I cannot see the pilot of such a giant machine considering small human skulls as trophies taken from worthy enemies. Those are, instead, the skulls of the most noble of the previous Knight’s pilots, ad as sacred relics it wouldn’t be wise to put them where the enemy is most likely to hit them. Being on the back, they are surely more protected.
I do not know still if the skulls will be covered in gold or will be bare bones. It is a decision that I am leaving to the painting stage.