Imperial Knight Conversion: Pt. 5 — Heavy Stubber.
I’ve never made a model with a Heavy Stubber before the Imperial Knight. They looked to me like World-War 2/Korean War machine guns, so I decided to Google some pictures for ideas. I knew it wasn’t as simple as drilling through the holes. After all, no gun barrels have actual holes in them like that. After messing around, I found what I was thinking of was a Browning machine gun. That gun has a heat jacket around the barrel. What drives me nuts about a lot of the Knights I’m seeing online is that people are drilling out all the holes in the barrel of the Thermal Cannon and the exhaust vents. Those are just heat shielding around a core barrel. I mean, it looks really cool but to me it didn’t make sense. So, I decided that my HS guns had to look a little more realistic. Man, it was a lot of work…
- First things first, cut the tip off that sucker. I used a sharp chisel blade, to save as much of the plastic as possible. Again, stick the tip in a blob of blue tack to make sure you don’t lose it to the warp currents of the carpet.
- Mark out a line on top and bottom of the barrel. Use a ruler or something if you need it. I eyeballed it. Next, mark lines right in the middle between two side holes, so you know where to put the top and bottom holes.
- Core out the middle of the barrel with a drill bit. DO THIS BY HAND! It’s all too easy to get carried away and just start cranking on the drill. Since it’s so long, if you do that you will end up poking out the side at some point. It’s really important to start out dead center, and drill very, very straight and slowly. Depending on the size of your bit, you might even be alarmed to see little white stress marks in the plastic as you work. Take your time and pull the bit out and shake away the excess plastic as often as you need to. If you mess this up it’ll be tough to fix.
- Now drill out the side and top holes. You’ll have to do little pilot holes on the top and bottom as there’s no guide there for you. I like to use the tip of a hobby knife or even sometimes the awl tip of a sculpting tool to make these holes. Again, go slowly because getting it wrong will make it look funky. This is really not so different from drilling out bolter barrels, though.
- Slip a thin piece of plastic rod into the hollowed out barrel and cut it so it’s flush with the tip. You only need this barrel to be as thick as the thinnest part of the Imperial Knight kit’s original sculpted barrel. That’s not real thick if you look at it. You want there to be some room here to see around the internal barrel to get the full 3D effect. If your rod is too thick, it’ll look just like the original model.
- The plastic rod I used was hollow, which came in handy here. You can add a bit of plastic glue to the back and just stick it back there, but since there’s some play the front part can droop just from gravity and lay on the bottom. To fix that, I drilled a tiny hole in the cut off barrel tip and used a thin pin in the plastic rod so it’d sit straight down.
- Once this is all in place, you just have to glue the tip back on.
A lot of work? Yes. Does it look like an awesomely large caliber, brutal machine gun? Hell yes! It might not be a heavy bolter, but it’s certainly not a peashooter, either.
I did this for both guns and while it was nerve-wracking, it does look really cool in person. Details like this will never even be noticed by most, but that’s the whole point for me. I do it to kick it up a notch for myself, so I can feel like I got my money’s worth out of the Imperial Knight kit.