Down to brass tacks

Imperial Knight Conversion: Pt. 30 — Weathering mostly finished, metal trim started.

The time is coming. Soon I’ll be able to start final assembly and finish the minor details. As of now, the armor plates are highlighted, oil paint weathered, and pigment weathered. Even though there are spots I’d like to touch up.

Painted armor weathering.

Highlighted and weathered.Here’s a quick test fit with the leg armor. I hadn’t gotten all the metal trim started yet, but I wanted to see how the colors looked on the frame. It was no surprise to see the yellow looked much more impactful as a color, but had less contrast with the metal trim. This would change slightly, but I was liking the way the legs were coming together.

Highlighted and weathered.The black shoulder with weathering oils and pigments was looking proper filthy at this point. Just the way it should. Those paint chips look brighter in the photo than IRL, and the haziness in the oil drips will be cleared up with the final varnish, but the effect is pretty solid.

Highlighted and weathered.And the yellow side. I love the effect of the weathering on the yellow paint. The way the chips seem so real, and the rain streaked rust trails really evoke the sense of age and wear I was shooting for. The black honeycomb pattern ages right into it as well, and the whole piece really has a lot of character.

Highlighted and weathered.And finally the carapace. Again, I think the way the chips look here is really powerful. Once I add the ladder bits you’ll be able to easily imagine the pilot scampering up and down the top of the knight on her way to the top hatch. Remember, the Queen Bee doesn’t live with others of her kind, and her throne mechanicum stays inside the cockpit almost all the time. That means the pilot has to crawl into and out of it, unlike most knights where the entire throne is inserted and removed, with the pilot still on it.

Metal trim process

I wanted to do two things with the metal trim on the armor plates. First, I wanted to try to balance it between the black armor and the yellow armor. I debated long and hard about what kind of metal finish I wanted, as gold on yellow lacks contrast and interest but looks fantastic against black, cold blue steel just looks strange with yellow, and rusted red iron would lack contrast against the black armor plates while looking great against yellow. Such is life. I settled on an aged, patina-stained brass because it would be a much cooler metal color, with lots of blue-green undertones and a greenish tinge that should help it stand out against such a deep, orangish yellow. No matter what it would look better against the black, but I figured there would be a balance: metal trim would pop better against black and look okay against yellow, while rust chips would pop better against yellow and look okay against black. In both cases, I shifted towards the middle of looking alright on both.

Here’s the process I used for the polished brass:

It takes a little while to get it right, but it’s worth it in my opinion. You get the look of old brass that’s been well polished, but still shows it’s age in the recesses where the polishing can’t reach as well.

Two thigh guards, side by side.With the two thigh plates side-by-side you can see how the metal trim looks against both yellow and black armor. The brass ends up having a rather cool tone with all the green in it, which stands out adequately against the much warmer yellow. Of course, it looks boss against the black. I love how much it jumps out.

All metalwork started.Now I’ve got most of the metal trim started, ready for stage two. That carapace is going to take some time… No way around it. But, it’s nice to see that almost every surface now has at least a base coat on it. It doesn’t take much imagination now to see how it’s going to look.

Speaking of which… I couldn’t help but do some more test fitting on the torso. It’s just too cool!

And that’s it for now. I just need to keep on keeping on, before I can start adding the actual final details. I feel like there are about 18 ‘final’ stages that I’ll need to do. It’s going to be like the end of LotR: Return of the King, with all the different endings. At some point, it really will just be done, though. At some point…