The Saga Continues!
|Ira Metallum marches ever onward towards completion!
Welcome back for another mega update on the Imperator titan build project. It's been quite some time since I posted on the subject, so there is a LOT of progress to post.
I've put a few of the latest pictures at the start of the post for those of you that can't be bothered to scroll through over a hundred WIP images!
For those of you that reach the end of the post... well done, you've made a tedious man very happy! 😂
Overall progress and some interesting tidbits
My build schedule for the project is now very tight as I am aiming to have the whole project fully completed by the Titan Owner's club walk 2022 in November where she will make her first outing in the name of the Omnissiah!
Although I only have a few months left, the big structural changes I completed over the last week were the most time intensive, so I'm on track to finish on time - wish me luck as I get my head down and plough on!
What follows now is the full build log for the more hardcore project followers - if you make it to the end of the article, you'll get a sneaky peek at the Hellstorm Cannon's 'party trick' as a reward!
|No Cadians were harmed during the gathering of these parts
I painted the partially crushed defensive wall to match my existing titan bases. The array of wall mounted flash lights were picked out - details like this help to give scale to the piece.
|A test fitting with the pelvis showed that everything would match up nicely.
Legs & Pelvis
The legs and pelvis have taken more than half of the total build time due to their complexity and the need to stand up to the weight of the body and arms pressing down on them. I was very glad when the glue finally set and everything had worked out as intended!!
The weeping toe
First things first; I had to remove one of the rear facing support toes from the painted leg. I had an inkling that there was an issue with the resin when I first took it out of the mould, but pressed on with it. What I should have done was scrapped it straight away, but I foolishly assumed I could seal the weeping resin. It continued to bleed through the paint and ruined the finish, so I finally relented, broke off the toe and cast up another toe. Lesson learned... shortcuts will eventually bite you in the arse.
|The new toe next to the disgusting weeping toe. You can see that the original is shiny - that's oozing resin muck and it's horrid :(
|New toe - note the lack of melty gloop!
The final leg of the race...
|The rest of the foot and shin guard was painted in exactly the same way as the first leg
|A quick test fitting to check consistency before another oil wash!
|This also gave me a chance to test the pneumatic pipe lengths
|One last check with the knee and thigh armour in place
|The electrical cables were painted in an assortment of colours including yellow and black - these were black wire with masking tape applied before a yellow spray. Easy peasy!
|The hoses were painted black them washed with oils before being glued into the pelvis receivers. You can just see the thick wire I put through them poking out of the end. This acted as a pin on both ends and allowed me to shape the pipes once glued
|Each of the six electrical cables was pinned into the inner leg ports before the left leg was given an oil wash to match the right
|The cables on both legs were crimped together into bunches with metal links
|To enable an extremely strong bond, I keyed each of the shin and legs, drilled shallow holes for extra grip and pre-drilled holes to put two 6" screws up through the bottom of the foot into the leg
|I then used a LOT of JBweld epoxy glue scraped onto both areas and clamped everything overnight
|I drilled glue anchor holes into the base as I'd done for the shins and also pre-drilled pilot holes for me 6" screws before JBWelding, screwing and clamping the left leg
|Yep; this thing isn't coming apart...
|The final stage was filling the hips and pelvis voids around the spokes with JBWeld (and the sole of the right foot) and use a ratchet strap to secure it as the glue cured. I then put the screws into the the bottom of the right foot through the base.
I deliberately left the pistons until last as I knew they would need to be adjusted to fit the specific positions on the final assembly. I created one piston with a slightly longer shaft than necessary as they are easy to cut down. I made a two part silicone mould and cast up 5 extra pistons so I had 3 for each side.
I love to add shell casings to my titan bases and given the fact that this guy has a Vulcan Mega Bolter installed in each shin, I just had to make some for his base as a finishing touch!
I made as many VMB casings as I could stand and a few spent Hellstorm cannon shells too.
|Hellstorm cannon shells lay on the ground by the right foot
|While the left foot is covered in spent VMB casings having recently fired...
Starshatter Plasma Annihilator
To say that this arm is big would be an enormous understatement! My initial design sketch should demonstrate that the thing is colossal when compared to the Warlord Sunfury!
|As I'd already constructed the barrel cells, I worked out the rough dimensions of the body including the depth of panels then cut out the components in layers
|I sketched out the placement of components and tested the fit with some physical parts
|Throughout the Starshatter build, I refined my design for certain key areas with drawings like this one
|Once I was happy with the general layout, I started fixing parts in place then duplicated this for the second side
|A quick size comparison with my kit-bashed Drukhari Tantalus (pictures of that little project to follow as it's nearly complete now!)
|And another scale comparison with my cat...
|Side panel detailing was mocked out then I made all of the same components again so that I could easily repeat it on the other side
|Once all of the side details were done, I started to close up the top and bottom of the... hull?
|I was especially pleased with the slightly curved armour plating and the ribbed power supply at the back!
|Although it is much larger than the sunfury, I still maintained several of the design elements from it
|Due to the size of the Imperator, I'm integrating the Void shield generators into each major area - you can see the one installed on this arm at the top of the armour panel
|Cabling was added as per the design
|I started the nose of the cannon by shaping some Worbla over a round jig then coating it with a shell of Milliput. At this point, it looks like a sandworm from the classic Dune film!
|The arm articulation was completed with pistons over an elbow socket
|Several templates later...
|I assembled the inner core of the nose with an ovoid guide for the outer panels then cut curved guides to mount them
|Following days of fitting, sanding, filling and repeating, I eventually got everything to fit correctly
|After each quarter was completed, I fitted them to the main core and fixed everything to the rest of the arm
|The vents on the inside of each quarter are only just visible, but I couldn't leave those big flat areas blank!
|The completed arm after several weeks of hard work!!
|Pretty darn close to my original design I'd say! I did intentionally enlarge the front plating as I still wanted to call back to the bell shaped nose on the original epic scale Imperator design
The head of the titan was very unusual as it needed to be built from the inside out to house all of the crew. I did a lot of sketching and mock-ups before starting work on it, but I'd pretty much settled on a three tier deck for the moderatii and steersmen with screens and controls up high for the ceiling mounted princeps overhead.
|The three Moderatii
|I built the three steersmen into a pulpit area similar to that of the Warlord with steps leading down past the 2 moderatii on the middle deck
|Another moderatii sits up on the third deck with more stairs either side
|The third deck connects to the inner hatch
|The deck layout next to the ceiling carriage rail for the princeps
|Once the main crew decks were built and the princeps rail was mocked up, I then started cutting out the outer hull shapes
|Testing and refining of the princeps positioning led me to shorten her carriage arm
|You can start to see things taking shape now
|I had to build a little stand for the neck to stop it toppling over!
|The basic structure in place
|Warlord head for size comparison
|The top view really shows the size difference!
|The rough shape of the outer head is currently very 'duckish'
|This is how the face will eventually look. Much less like a duck!
Carapace and Body
The body needed a bit of an overhaul in that it required a lot of structural work to strengthen it, particularly around the shoulder brackets. I ended up completely removing the shoulders and cable connectors then moving them up and backwards once I'd reinforced the carapace. This was fairly laborious and I didn't take many pictures as I just needed to get this stage done!
|The shoulder sockets were removed from the red area and relocated to the green box. I then added reinforced sections to the body and carapace in the amber area
While working on the body, I also had to redesign part of the carapace and strengthen it with additional layers of foamex for rigidity as I was worried that it might start to bow under the weight of the arms. To do all of this, I also needed to map out the location of all the towers etc on the carapace, so most of the basic structures were also built and tested in place.
|The new missile tower design - spires will be added above each launcher
|The carapace now sports a pair of shiny new radar dishes!
|And two turbo laser turrets
|The turbo laser turret housing was painstakingly cut from a ball-cock
|Two magnetised lascannon turrets were made for the front corners of the carapace just like the original epic miniature!
|And two AA quad autocannons operated by integrated servitors!
|Power conduits run between the radar dishes and towers
|The quake and volcano cannon towers are still under construction
Well, if you made it this far, I congratulate and thank you in equal measure! So far, I have only built the barrels and the housing to allow rotation, but I have also added a motor so the barrels will spin!
|Basic barrel components ready for assembly
|I cast up a number of barrel supports in order to help keep them stable
|Getting the barrels precisely aligned was quite tricky!
|The cannon barrels assembled