Tuesday 17 July 2018

New Armiger Warglaive - Shellback

When the King calls, his knights answer...

Today I wanted to share some images of a companion knight for The Fisher King.  As featured previously, the mighty Lancer piloted by Count Octurius Hiralden is accompanied by two Armiger Warglaives.  One of those Warglaives is Shellback, piloted by the Count's son and heir; Patrocles Hiralden.

Shellback is another highly modified knight chassis - smaller than The Fisher King, Shellback can get into places a Lancer just can't fit!  As with his liege, Shellback has been refitted for underwater operations, defending the colony world's sprawling artificial archipelago from the shoreline and the briny deep...

Shellback packs a heavy punch with an extremely large harpoon launcher which he can use to spear his prey before reeling it in on monstrous chain drives.  Like his father's suit, Patrocle's knight armour is equipped with helm linked manipulator tendrils which can be used to enact swift repairs or manipulate smaller objects on the sea floor.

Whether combatting colossal oceanic beasts in close confines or repairing essential industrial equipment, Shellback's double headed drill arm is just the ticket.

To help stand up to the monstrous force meted out by Corbenic's unusual tidal patterns, Shellback is also equipped with a weighty anchor which can be deployed from the rear of the knight, bracing it against all but the fiercest currents.

 He may not be pretty, but defending rigs and island settlements from marauding local fauna takes a toll on the paintwork!
When you have a giant double-headed drill, every problem looks like... A big hole?
Shellback's armour plating is chipped and covered with algae from being constantly submerged
Patrocles proudly displays the Hiralden family heraldry on Shellback's tilt shield
Anchors away!
The chain drive is used to reel in anything unlucky enough to be hit by a 20 foot harpoon - look out SpongeBob...
Even the exhaust housing has been modified for underwater ops
Old moisture processors and maintenance hatches litter the area...
Eat your heart out Captain Nemo!
Additional lamps, portholes and vents are dotted over the hull - essential equipment for any deep sea diver!
One big happy family...
Anyone fancy a swim?

As usual, let me know what you think in the comments section and share my blog if you like what you see! :)

Monday 9 July 2018

Rise of the Fisher King

Greetings Friend.  Rest upon the dockside and I'll tell you a tale of the King...

So, I hinted at a Freeblade Knight I've been working on in most last post; The Fisher King.  Well, he's finally finished and I'd like to give you a little background before we steam into the pictures...

In Arturian legend, The Fisher King was crippled and able only to fish from a small boat in the river near his castle.  He was also charged with the guarding of the grail.

My vision of The Fisher King is that of a highly modified suit based on the Cerastus Knight chassis but with a number of modifications which allow it to be completely submerged and patrol the icy depths of the Oceanic world of Corbenic which he is honour-bound to defend.

Corbenic is almost entirely aquatic and as such, settlers in the distant past built artificial stretches of land, rigs and floating platforms in order to colonise the planet.  Costal walls stretched across thes borders and a host of Knights would patrol both the land and sea bed where they were also tasked with capturing and hauling in titanic creatures from the depths to feed the colony and provide an offering for the Emperor's tithe.

Most of the colonists and Knights have been lost to time, but a few have remained...

The Fisher King, a Lancer class Knight, piloted by Count Octurius Hiralden is one such knight.  His remaining cohort consists of two modified Armiger Warglaive class Knights piloted by his children, Ivraine and Patrocles Hiralden.  They also have the unceasing effort and blessings of Sacristan Nautolex to maintain their suits...

And now for some pictures!

So far I've completed the Fisher King and Tech Priest Nautolex, with both Warglaives built and ready for painting!  Note that due to their smaller size, both Armigers have retractable anchors which are required during particularly stormy conditions!

Hail The Fisher King!
Striding out to defend the coastal wall, The Fisher King stands firm against the tide!

The suit was based on an Atrapos model as the rounded components looked more nautical than the angular Lancer

The Trident was painstakingly carved from layers of styrene glued together in a rough approximation of the final weapon

Note the additional portholes in the Knight suit's hull - I imagined it to be like a giant diving bell...

The energy shield took longer to build than the rest of the knight put together...

Further use of the Count's personal heraldry - the Golden Kraken which also crowns his knight.

Bloomin' seaweed gets everywhere!


The rusted lookout post is built into the cliff face; notice how the barnacles are building up at the tideline...

The base represents a small portion of the coastal wall leading to scrubby beaches...

The transparent energy shield also contains view ports which Hiralden can use to view prey through his shield...

Note the golden 'crown' of the king...

Sacristan Nautolex - the faithful Techpriest that serves the Hiralden family.

WIP Images

Original concept sketch - it turned out to be pretty accurate!

This is the trident concept sketch which I used to help draw up a template.  Note that the prongs were angled outwards on the final miniature.  All the better to snare a leviathan of the deep!
This is the template for the energy shield.  I cut the shape from a sheet of blue and a sheet of green acetate, then used clear blue and green paints to create the swirling water effect between the two sheets of plastic.

The shield transmitter frame template - two of which were required to sandwich the acetate and avoid any discolouration with glue.  The mechanical fit was finalised with multiple styrene dowels which were secured with glue then trimmed down.

The final hand / shield assembly.  Made from a stripped down thunderstrike gauntlet with scratch built fingers, as I wanted to avoid using the original 'angular' ones.  A decision I lived to regret by the second finger!
I painted the trident lurid orange during sanding to help me spot dips and imperfections in the surface!

You can clearly see the dowels through the shield which were only trimmed down after painting.  The shield was painted in 6 components to ensure that the transparent shield was not discoloured during the process.  It was painful... but ultimately worth the effort!

In this picture you can see the large amount of plaster, rocks, filler and milliput which all went together to make the base.  It now weighs a tonne.  He will literally never fall over.

The Sacristan was a kitbash mainly using parts from several Mechanicus models and the body of a Genestealer Magus
The lancer towers over his Warglaive suited children!

Armiger Warglaive armed with Giant Harpoon gun, drill and wibbly face!  Note the Hiralden heraldry on both Armiger tilt shields.  I also added more streamlined ankle armour than that supplied in the original kit.

This Warglaive has also been heavily converted to give it a more nautical feel.  Of particular note are the hatch wheel and additional carapace ports.
Painting The Fisher King took a long time and consisted of multiple layers of paint to really drive home the corroded water damaged look of the suite without making it look as though it was no longer able to function.
  I did quite a lot of research to get him looking right.  Coastal corrosion is genuinely fascinating!

This is a selection of swatches I kept to help me get the corrosion looking right on the Fisher King...

At this stage, he reminds me of the Talos statue from Jason and the Argonauts!


Although it was only a small part of the overall piece, the seaweed was extremely difficult to get looking right, so I thought I'd pass on the method in case anyone else ever wants to make some!

I took a regular sheet of transparent green acetate and used transparent green paint mixed with some GW Nurgle's rot to give some texture and manage the opacity of the sheet.  Although seaweed is transparent under certain lighting, it's not completely see-through. 

Next, I used some nail scissors to cut a section of acetate into irregular lines, making sure that each strand finished just before the end of the sheet as I needed them joined together for the next stage to allow me to hold onto them all at once.

Next I used a hairdryer on a medium setting to shrink and warp the strands, shaping them slightly while they were still malleable from the heat.  Don't apply heat for an extended period of time or you will set fire to the strands and / or make yourself stupid with fumes.  Burnt carpet is not the look you're going for and it would be a shame to commit suicide with toxic fumes before finishing your pretend seaweed!

Once you have reached this stage, I would highly recommend adding some more Nurgle's rot then twist and fold the strands at irregular intervals to simulate real weed which never sits in a uniform manner.

Once you've finished painting and shaping, simply snip off the pieces you need and attach them with a small amount of super glue or PVA!