Armed to the teeth

Imperial Knight Conversion: Pt. 26 — Weapon arms almost finished, sans details.

My good lady is coming along, slowly but surely–advancing towards completion with the implacable sureness of the death she brings to her enemies.

I need your help with a couple of things. But first, have a look at some pretty pictures. I know y’all are into that. 😉

Remember, I’ve fully magnetized every piece of the gun (read how to do it right here) so it can be configured as either a battle cannon or a thermal cannon.

Rapid Fire Battle Cannon

I’ll be doing the main gun housing in armor colors, after careful deliberation. The gun arm will be on  the black side of her anyway (as I’m doing a halved color scheme) so it should look a bit lower-key than if it were yellow. That’s why the metal on the main housing seems less finished. I still have to pick out lots of details as well, but this version of the cannon has a lot less work than the melta. I’m pretty pleased with the way the Tibbs-pattern Heavy Stubber turned out. Very subtle conversion, and it doesn’t look out of place.

Thermal Cannon

I need to do the heat-staining on the brass, and the fuel canisters need detailing. I’ll need to decide which of these tubes are hard pipes (and therefore my copper color) or blue wires. Should be pretty intuitive but I’ll need to keep an eye on balance as well. Here’s the first thing I need help on… Everyone online that I’ve seen does heat staining towards the tip of the gun. This is true for everyone from Forgeworld to random tanks and whatnot you see around the web. You may have noticed that the brass on my exhaust stacks was “backwards” from conventional wisdom. My reasoning is quite simple: it would be hottest towards the base, where the heat wash is coming from in the first place. This heat shrouding on the cannon is there to help disperse the heat and also protect the barrels, I suppose. That being the case, the hottest part should be closest to the rear of the gun, right? Not the front, as surely it would be projecting the heat beams well past the very tip. If you’re not sure what I mean, look at a motorcycle’s exhaust pipes sometime. They’re almost always discolored right by the engine, and then it fades from there. I guess I’m a little concerned that it will look funny to some people if it’s backwards. Now, on a flamer or plasma gun I see it the other way around, where there’s scorching around the barrel. But on melta weapons it should really be the other way around I think.

What are your thoughts? Please comment below and let me know: Rule of cool towards the tip or heightened realism towards the back? 

Reaper Chainsword

As you can see there’s a lot left to do on the sword side. There are more details in general. I still haven’t decided 100% whether I’m going to glue the arm in place so I don’t have to worry about that tight fit on the piston at the rear of the arm. Right now it scrapes the paint right off. I could either use a silver powder pigment (which I don’t own, so I’d have to find one) or just glue it since I know the pose I’m looking for anyway. I’m leaning toward the latter.

What’s in a name?

I’ve decided the scroll on the sword will read “MORDENT” which is the name of the sword. I was trying to think of a cool name for it, and since she’s the Queen Bee I wanted something like stinger or sting. I’m a huge Hobbit fan as well, so the idea of calling her sword “sting” was appealing in a goofy way. Of course, that’s too obvious so I started looking up Latin translations. My brother happens to be a classics major so we brainstormed and came up with mordent for a couple reasons. First, it’s the active present participle form of “to sting” so it means, basically, this thing is stinging you right now. Also, ‘mor’ is the root of the word for “death” and ‘dent’ means “teeth” (hence, dentist). The thing is covered in chainsword teeth and it definitely kills lots of stuff, so something like “the teeth of death” that happens to also mean “sting,” as in the stinging sensation of getting stung by a bee, seemed super appropriate.

Now here’s where I need your help

See those little canisters on the side of the sword arm? What the heck are they? I had initially thought they were fuel for the engine that drives the chain. With that in mind, I figured the ovals in the middle were clear armored glass so someone could visually check the fuel level at a glance. I imagine there are a LOT of manual/analog workarounds on these machines. They’re very practical. While there’s probably a gauge for the levels, they’d have a backup in case that fails. So, I worked up a little rig to test the way light would interact with that sort of thing. It looked like this:

Light reference for tanks on the Reaper ChainswordI took a few pics in different light, and settled on this angle. I gave it a little shake as well to get some little bubbles. That’s just water with food coloring, by the way. I was pretty okay with this and I posted it on Twitter for fun. This Guy (Parker, that is) pointed out that it looks like the cowling where the blade enters the casing actually has a little vacuum that sucks blood off the blades and dumps it into these little containers. Like a cleaning mechanism (or something more sinister).

Now I can’t shake the idea that’s exactly what those containers are. Why would they need to harvest blood? Is it just to get the gunk off the teeth? Who knows? It’s pretty clear the tube is going into that piece, and it seems just odd and quirky enough that now I’m convinced they’re not fuel canisters at all (after all, they look different from just about any other fuel things) and are either just as Guy suggested, and are part of some kind of cleaning system, or perhaps they can be used to squirt poison or something onto the blades. Another poster on Bolter & Chainsword suggested that they actually squirt some kind of lubrication onto the teeth. He even said some modern chainsaws have something like that.

Now, if it’s cleaning off blood that means they’d likely be at least partially full of the Necrofluid (the green-tinted oil that I used almost like blood on the base with the Necron wreckage) of Queen’s most recent victims. So, I guess I might paint them with a deep green instead of the reddish fluid I was setting the light test up for. It will be, again, a VERY subtle detail that very few will see but I’m completely cool with that, if you hadn’t already noticed.

What do you guys think? Are those fuel canisters, vacuum tubes, poison injectors, lubricant tanks or something else? I haven’t really noticed them painted on any other Knight models I’ve seen. Did you do something cool with yours? Please comment below and let me know what you think. I need your feedback so I can get that painted and move on.