For the Omnissiah!
|Ira Metallum Stands!
I've made a huge amount of progress on my Imperator Titan build since the last update I posted; mainly thanks to having booked a week off work and getting a lot of time to crack on with the beast!
My aim was to use my time off wisely and get the lower half of the body into a state where it could be painted. This would allow me to fully and permanently assemble the legs, base and pelvis. This sounded pretty straightforward, but in reality was actually a huge task as I had so much detailing to complete, some minor structural issues which needed to be addressed and the one part I'd been dreading - making the shin guards...
As much as I am chomping at the bit to work on the body, carapace, arms and head, I knew that getting the legs completed to give me a really solid foundation was key. I'm almost at the finish line with the legs and have continued to document the process as I've gone along! Enjoy the pictures and my rambling...
Although I'd completed the first thigh armour plate in my last post, I still had a second one to make. The build was relatively uneventful as I followed the same process as the first plate.
|The two plates side by side - the left plate was still in progress when this picture was taken
|With only a small amount of work left on the second plate, I did a test assembly to make sure everything fit. I also test fitted the pneumatic hoses to see how they looked
|Note the titan's proximity to the wall which it required in order to stand at this point! At this point in the build I also hadn't added the hose ports to the rear of the legs which is why they're not fully attached
Outer Shin Armour Detailing
I've mentioned before that I put together an assembly process for big projects like this one where I come up with the order in which I intend to build components as some need to be completed before I can fit the next part correctly. Although they didn't have much of a structural impact on the build, the outer shin guard details needed to be added before I could construct the front facing shin guard plates which will be made to overlap the side facing panels. I also needed to complete them before I could make the toe joint armour plating as that would also need to be made to fit a very particular area.
|For clarity, the highlighted area is the panel I needed to detail on both sides of each leg as the shape is mirrored
|I traced out the shape on graph paper then drew up the design over a couple of evenings. I carefully used some high quality masking tape to thicken the paper then painstakingly cut out the design with a knife. This would now act as a template
|Once I had cut out the design on 2mm foamex, I tested the master on the panels to make sure it would fit as intended
|I cleaned up the casts with a sander, making sure that they all ended up the same depth...
|...while burying myself and everything around me with a blizzard of resin dust
|And here is a detail plate fixed to the shin with the rivets added. I had to glue on the rivets after casting because I needed the design to be usable for both sides
Toe Joint Armour
The groundwork for the toe joint armour plating was laid when I first designed and attached the toes, adding the circular joints on each side of the two side facing toes. The intention was always to hide the join with armour and also make sure that the joint plates could move independently of the foot and toes to accommodate posability,
|Here's a rough sketch showing how I intended to layer the armour plating and integrate the toes
|I wanted the toe joint armour to have a nice rounded Mars pattern feel to tie them in with the rest of the titan
|After drawing out the design on graph paper again, I made some templates then assembled four identical copies from foamex and styrene
|I continually checked the fit while cutting the components, making minor adjustments as I went along
|Once I was happy with the fit for the plates, I coated them with epoxy putty and made some nice rounded plating before sanding them to a nice finish. Note that I also hardened all of the joints and connections with putty as they needed a very slight bend to clip them in place so I needed them to be strong
|Once I was happy with the filling and sanding, I added trim, details and rivets
|Test fitting them to the toes went perfectly so I called this stage done!
|Here are the four plates sprayed with a silver base coat - they look great once they're not a hodge-podge of coloured parts!
|The secondary toe socket was made in a similar fashion to the toes themselves
|I test fit the parts while making the sockets to make sure the fit was correct
|Here is the final socket with the details such as trim and rivets added
|I made callbacks to existing titans and my own designs during socket sculpting. Most people probably won't even notice, but the details are there!
|After a lot of deliberation, I decided that the toes didn't work on the front of the foot, so I went back to just adding them to the rear either side of the heel
|Other little details which I was quite pleased with are things like the pistons which would control the toe movement. Again, it just reinforces the realism of the piece even though I could have left them out
|While I was working on the disconnected toes, I also added some heavy duty treads to the bottom - it's about 10mm deep, so it's got some brutal grip!
Shin Armour Plates
|I began the process by making cladding to match the existing shin plates then cut them to the shape I wanted for the finished greaves. You'll notice that I had started marking up the area for the Vulcan Mega Bolters
|Shin guards with the first layer of body filler
|Annoyingly, at this point I ran out of filler so left them to cure overnight and sought out some more the next day...
|The next day I put on the last coat with a nice new tin of Isopon!
|And here are the final plates after some painstaking filling and sanding to correctly profile them.
|I made a master emitter on a flat plane so it could be moulded in one piece. I have some standard counters which form the underside of each emitter
|Two emitter casts next to the master mould
|A rectangular gap was cut through into the void of both shins
|The Vulcan Mega Bolter housing was designed to provide a mechanical connection, tightly fixing the plates together
|The Vulcan Mega Bolters fit snugly into the housing to provide some brutal point defence for the legs
|Adding trim to the armour plating is a fairly long winded process, but it it's much easier with the components I'd previously cast up to add flourishes on the plating
|The skirt on this side of the plate between the toes was built up with epoxy putty and sanded into shape. I deliberately left this area until the panel was fixed in place as it's over a curved area and was easier to marry up in post
|In order to prepare the parts for their silver base coat, I cleaned the components one last time and then used plastic primer to seal them and help them to bond a little better with the paint
|The first batch of components sprayed silver
|I love this stage as it pulls everything together and allows you to see it as a single entity rather than a patchwork of layers
|Sprayed detail on the outside leg -really shaping up well
|The inside leg features a service hatch and ladder as shown in my last blog post. I had to remove and reinforce the ladder guards with metal wire as they were way too fragile in just plastic
|The rear of the leg sports a number of huge pistons, service panels and other details. You can also see the pneumatic hose port I've added to the upper thigh
|I found that the teeth of the locking pins weren't long enough to lock solidly enough into the pelvis so I drilled into them, added 3" screws for the core and extended the flat surfaces with putty.
|The legs now lock into the hip sockets very tightly and once filled with epoxy resin WILL NEVER MOVE AGAIN!!!
|I am particularly fond of the token storm bolter mounted in the rear of the pelvis.
|I decided to paint the panels before fixing them permanently and have started with the crotch plate - I'm going with classic Legio Metalica colours, so black and white hazards are a must!
|I've marked out the footprint of the Imperator onto the base as I will be building up the rest of the base to simulate the weight of the titan pressing into the ground in a similar way to what I did with the Reaver's feet
|Here is a munitorum armoured container...
|...and here it is after an Imperator has stepped on it!
|It was a lot harder than it looks to crush half of the container without completely ruining the detail
|I ended up smashing the crate after assembly then heating, deforming, flattening and then partly reassembling the crate over a couple of hours. Eventually it will be placed just under the back half of the striding foot
A Final Look at Ira Metallum Standing!
|From above you can see how the legs and armour plates all lock together
|As soon as I've finished the shin guards I'll be gap filling and detailing everything before getting the base done
|From above you can see the large slot in the waist which the body slots into
|It's all coming together!
|Here's a 28mm miniature to give you an idea of just how huge this guy is!
|This was my first sketch - I like the crenelations at the bottom of the banner and the two side sashes which will take the kill markings. I wanted an armoured figure in the central window, so started trying to work out a look
|I tried a crusader styled warrior, but this came a bit too close to the look of a black templar
|A skeletal warrior in armour is closer to the look I want, to represent the iron skulls and their martial prowess. I'll keep sketching until I reach an image I'm happy to translate into a banner image!