My First Imperial Knight: Part 1
Despite having a sizable backlog of primed and unpainted minis waiting in the wings, I impulsively went ahead and bought an Imperial Knight from Games Workshop. I’m not sure why exactly. I had just finished my largest diorama piece to date and maybe just wanted to try my hand at painting something larger for once? I also just finished painting the Master Balthasar miniature, which is probably my most detailed model so far, so I was feeling confident in my ability to finally tackle this thing.
I’m writing this post about a third of the way through the painting process, so unfortunately I don’t have any early progress pics to share, but I’ll be sure to take some from now on to document my process with this particular model. So far I’ve been experimenting with layering shades on my metallic sections, then very faintly drybrushing them back up, wet blending with the Liquitex Slow-Dri Blending Medium, and magnetizing parts of the model. Why the hell did I decide to experiment with these things on such an expensive model.
All that said, I’m pretty happy with how things are going so far. Typically I find that my ability to paint finely detailed things is still pretty awful, so I tend to build and paint these in a modular fashion. I started by priming all the combined chunks (legs & pelvis, torso, arms with weapon attachments, head, outer carapace, and various shields) with the Citadel Chaos Black primer. Unless otherwise specified, assume the paints I’m using are Citadel – I just really like the quality of their paints, what can I say.
I started with some Leadbelcher to cover the whole metallic skeleton and any parts of the arms and head that I needed to match. Once dried, I took some advice from the official Games Workshop paint tutorial for these guys and threw on a layer of Nuln Oil liberally. I then did that two more times. There was something that just seemed to look cool and worn about the darkened metal. Once that was dry, I went back and very very very lightly drybrushed the edges of the whole thing with Leadbelcher.
When it came to the armor and shield-looking sections, I was slightly torn. I fucking love how the red & black & white Imperial Knight looks. Seriously cool. But I kind of leaned toward making this model match the rest of my army, so I’m going with a Dark Angel color scheme. My goal ultimately is to even take some leftover transfers from my Dark Angels Rhino and slap them on this guy. Hopefully that won’t look too awful. We’ll see.
I started with some Caliban Green as a base coat. As that quickly dried, I prepared my palette with Caliban Green, Warpstone Glow, and Moot Green, all with a bit of that Slow-Dri Blending Medium mixed in. I’m attempting wet blending for the first time (having stuck to just simple layering for the past few years), so I of course have no idea what the hell I’m doing. For anything where I wanted a gradient that went from dark to light near the center of the piece (i.e. the shin and thigh guards), I spread a good amount of the Caliban Green toward the sides. I followed that up with a rectangle of Warpstone glow, and starting spreading the area between the two colors. I then added a thin amount of the Moot Green near the middle and brushed that toward the Warpstone Glow.
So far so good, but I don’t think the blending is looking too good (especially as I can see streaks of the colors where they aren’t quite mixing). To solve this, I actually ended up going back to the Caliban Green and gently used it to brush from the Moot Green side all the way back to the Caliban Green side. This darkened the brighter spots and left it feeling less like it had a random neon edge in the middle. Perhaps not the best method, but I’m happy with it given what I’m trying to do with it.
Once that dried, I took an extra fine brush and patiently went around the plates with Nuln Oil (creating a faux shadowy look between the green section and what will ultimately be a more silvery outer section. Doing this really seemed to make the green areas pop more. I’m not super confident with my ability to go back and highlight the upper edges between the green and the silver like I’ve seen in all the example models and box art, but I tried to do a thin line of Warpstone Green near those edges when possible.
After the Nuln Oil dried, I went back and added a thin outline of Warpstone Glow around any holes or vent-looking things on the green section. Then I covered the outer area with Leadbelcher so it’ll stand out a lot more compared to the darkened metal skeleton. This didn’t stand out as much as I wanted, so I added a layer of Runefang Steel to really make it shiny. Kind of ironic given that I wanted a very dirty looking skeleton, but at least it looks good. I attempted to create an edge with some Necron Compound, but that wasn’t as effective as I had hoped, so I took a silver Sharpie and added a thin edge instead.
And that’s where I’ve left off. Until next time!