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Mingati - an East African Knight Titan project

Imperial Knight African Edt Wip Heresy

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#1
EdT

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***********


(Taken from “The Edge of Illumination” by Solomon Voss, 950.M30)

“He dashes on with diabolical cries, his shield in his left arm and in the right his uplifted spear. Such an apparition strikes terror into the hearts of the enemy, and at its approach they flee without coming to blows at all.”


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MASAI-13.jpg



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(Taken from “The Armorial Questoris”, attr. Lucifer Hajime, 001.M31)

House Ilmeluaya

It is perhaps inappropriate for our dynastic examination of the honourable Questoris Familia to dwell too long on “House” Ilmeluaya, for it is no true House, but rather a loose collection of individual warriors who call themselves "the fearless" in their native tongue. Its members are not drawn from a single noble bloodline; even those from the basest of lineages may enter its ranks, for the steeds that bear its Scions have long since lost the ability to discriminate between noble and common blood.

This is perhaps the natural consequence of the barbarism that holds sway upon the moon of Kalenjin Minoris, from whence the “House” is drawn; for unlike the homeworlds of the Great Houses, which retained the strength of character and purity of spirit to resist the chaos of Old Night, the Kalenjin system once hosted an advanced human society which succumbed to the decadence and self-indulgence suffered by so many other civilisations in that troubled time.

The degenerate survivors of this holocaust eke out a poor, nomadic living on the savage plains of their moon, overrun by all manner of deadly beasts and dependent on a caste of half-mad tech-shaman to maintain their machinery.

While “House” Ilmeluaya can deploy more than a hundred engines, their numbers are irrelevant, as they are piloted by a half-naked rabble who adorn their mounts with barbaric fetishes and crude hand-daubed designs in complete ignorance of the accepted rules of Heraldry. Further examination of such a crude society would only serve to corrupt the morals of the reader.



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Hi all, and welcome to my new WIP thread.

I’ve wanted to do a Knight ever since the Paladin got released, and very nearly bought one after seeing the love and care that was put into the incredible Queen Bee, but had never quite got round to it. I love the fluff for the Knightly Houses, particularly the whole techno-barbarian element- proud warriors using ancient technological marvels that they don’t understand and can hardly maintain- but the chivalric element has never really caught my imagination enough to invest in buying one.

Doing a ‘knightly’ knight using the established techno-medieval theme just didn’t appeal to me, but there are loads of other cultures with honour-based warrior nobility to choose from, and I figured that, especially during the Great Crusade before the cultural homogenisation of the Imperium, Knight Households might come in a range of interesting flavours.

My first idea was to go with a Samurai theme- plenty of fun background potential there, and it’s easy to imagine a Knight World where the scions are all adolescent girls defending the population from the rampaging Kaiju. But despite not having seen anyone else use this theme on a Knight, it all seemed a bit obvious and unoriginal somehow- surely I could find a more interesting concept?

Then I saw the lithe and slightly insectoid Knight Atrapos, and was reminded of this photo of the actor who played the Xenomorph in Alien. I had a vague memory of him being Kenyan (inaccurate as it turned out- he was from Nigeria) and then I realised that the Masai traditions of lion-hunting and individual valour would be a very nice fit with Knight Suits- how else would you go about killing gigantic predators on a death world?

So that’s the plan; my Atrapos is going to be the basis for a Cerastus Lancer, but one rooted in East African cultural traditions rather than the Western European one. I want it ancient, intimidating, crusty and roughly patched up over thousands of years of service, festooned with beads and feathers, and very much a focal point of veneration for the society which maintains it- as its former pilots imprint a fraction of their personality on their steed during their service, the Knight is effectively a living ancestor spirit.

The Knight will be called "Mingati", which means, in Masai, "Swift one who does not lag behind".

This is going to be quite a big project- I’ve never made a model this large before- so it’ll be fun to see how it progresses.

So, let's get started! I'm still waiting on the Mingati himself- it should hopefully be delivered next week, but this has given the the advantage of being able to do lots of planning. It's also let me occupy myself with Mingati's pilot.

As mentioned in the initial post, House Ilmeluaya hails from the moon of Kalenjin Minoris. In the Age of Technology, Kalenjin Majoris was a centre of human civilisation in the region, and was apparently wealthy enough to maintain its moon as a sort of nature reserve; when Old Night fell, the well-regulated biomes of Kalenjin Minoris collapsed as the planet above fell into anarchy , and the various megafauna brought in from all over the galaxy escaped their enclosures to form a new and deadly ecosystem. Thousands of years later, Kalenjin Minoris has effectively become a death world; the descendents of the few surviving colonists live a nomadic lifestyle as hunter-gatherers, protected by the Knight suits that the machine-doctor caste maintain.

As a result, the Scions of House Ilmeluaya are very much techno-tribals; there are no great fortresses for their mounts to be repaired, so everything is done on the fly. This doesn't mean that they are unsophisticated though, as a surprising amount of technology survived the collapse of Kalenjin's civilisation and contact has been maintained with the Forgeworld of Mordax, whose representatives have managed to conflate the Omnissiah with the inhabitants' own ancestor spirits.

In putting together my pilot then, I wanted to really stress the techno-tribal thing, with added nobility- think this picture, but with electoos. After playing around with the torso from the electro-priest set, I wanted to make him quite tall and wiry, but with a technological twist; and then I realised that the Sicaran Infiltrator legs bore quite a resemblance to the Atrapos Knight ones. So here's a tradition from Kalenjin; to mark the passage into adulthood, a warrior's legs are replaced with bionic improvements to let them run and jump like a gazelle. Here's where I got to at this point;

Knight1.jpg

Obviously the groin area is very rough, but that doesn't matter- I wanted this guy to have a Masai-style toga. This was the first time I'd ever tried to make a cloak this way, so it was a bit nerve-wracking; but after half an hour of cursing, here's what I ended up with. The skull-cog brooch is shaved from an electro-priest's backpack.

Knight3.jpg

It's currently curing, after which I'll tidy it up, but I'm quite pleased overall- not to mention relieved!

Finally, I had some greenstuff left over, so I did a little experiment; I wanted to Africanise the Knight's command throne, and I thought a nice hide covering might be good to replace the stock cushions, along these lines. I wanted the hide to have a subtle texture to it, and found something appropriate on the cover of an old book; here's my proof of concept. Reckon it should paint up quite nicely...

Knight4.jpg

Edited by EdT, 03 November 2015 - 10:08 PM.

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#2
Halandaar

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Seriously cool, looking forward to seeing this progress!

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#3
BrotherCaptainArkhan

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This is an awesome idea. About time some more world cultures became tabletop inspirations as well. Really keen to see how this develops.


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#4
Kierdale

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Extremely keen to see this develop too. Excellent work so far and it promises to be very original!



#5
Father Mehman

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really want to see this progress. Well, I'm done looking for the next thing to look at now. Here it is happy.png!


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#6
Hallar

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A very interesting topic and will be great to see how you develop it! As somebody who was born and also worked in East Africa this brings a refreshing taste to the hobby. 

 

If I may be permitted to make a few lore suggestions...the perceived "savagedom" of these Mingati Knights by the Higher Houses is a gross error of judgement because underneath lies a very sophisticated family and blood-line systems:

 

Mingati culture is as you say much more tribal but the mistake that the other Houses MIGHT make is this:  

 

A tribe is nothing more than a massive family or "House" spread over a vast distance. This means that whilst the aristocrats of the other-world houses are much more centralised, insular, incestuous and wealthy.....the Mingati have a vast pool of talent to draw from. Mingati do not consider nobility to be the same as leadership. Leaders have resources,wealth and power at their disposal which can change....but nobility goes beyond titles. Blood and family are simply the constant which the Knights themselves judge. 

 

As Ancestor Spirits the Knights determine the flow of the Blood and generations of pilots themselves pretty much like witchdoctors! Members of a tribe can identify one another through names, Knight and tribal markings alongside speech patterns and call-signs. There are formula's for the way people greet one another which tells a lot about that person.

 

Depending on the region the Mingati have to marry into other tribes to stop inbreeding but the Knight or Warrior machines themselves will determine the blood connection and its worth. These will be friendly tribes who then come under one Grand Title: Mingati. The Other-World Knightly Orders will see this all as a sign of degeneration of blood rather than the strength that it is :]

 

However should a Foreign Pure Breed or Enemy even attempt to pilot a Knight...The Ancestor spirit will of course fry the trespasser.Therefore potential pilots have to prove themselves worthy of a Knight through a series of painful and potentially lethal tests...To the Knight itself which will set the tasks.

 

You of course have human corruption and power abuse but to the Mingati Knights it is irrelevant. Their vision is broader and goes beyond simple human greed.  This is what the Off -World Chivalric Great Knightly Orders have missed and looked over...probably to their peril.

 

Please excuse my enthusiasm for your project but have been trying to think along these lines for projects as well. It would be great to discuss idea and designs further with you.

 

I love the idea of Knight being fixed on the fly as this is exactly what happens for real in down-town Nairobi and Kampala. A man or woman will just turn up out of no-where, totally barefoot with just a screwdriver or welder...do the job that a highly expensive machine will do in other world...but quicker. The Knight will work BUT because it has been done by hand in a very practical and seemingly non spiritual manner...the Chivalric Orders will frown upon it.

 

Looking forward to seeing more work!



#7
BassWave

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Oh my Omnissiah this is refreshing! Considering how often we see Vikings, Samurais, Romans, and knights, this is a huge breath of fresh air! I'll be watching this ;)

Edited by BassWave, 01 November 2015 - 07:19 AM.


#8
Noctus Cornix

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I absolutely cannot wait to see how this works goes. 



#9
FuriousFerret

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A very novel approach and an awesome modrl. I'll watch this with interest.

#10
Teetengee

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This should be cool.


My Chaos WIP Thread (Bigger Pics and Foul Xenos offsite) Hall of Honour, My Storm Reavers (DIY SM Chapter) Story, My Chaos 7.5 Homebrew Codex Thread
In us burns a fire for vengeance that will only be quenched when we stand triumphant over the smoldering ruins of Terra. Our laughter on that day will haunt their survivors till the end of time. We will stride forth victorious through the shattered gates of their fortress, holding high aloft the defiled corpse of their rotting god as our prize.
Wulfkry, on 02 Jul 2013 - 3:38 PM, said: So an inquisitor is receiving SM implants using GK geneseed stolen off the fields of armageddon interesting..
Captain Semper, on 29 May 2015 - 4:10 AM, said: There is crazy and there is Teetengee crazy... ph34r.pngnuke.gif

Warsmith Aznable, on 30 Jan 2016 - 01:16 AM, said: 13. Teetengee wrote "Warp Born" and I won't even go into how disturbing the subject matter was.
The Psycho, on 26 Apr 2016 - 10:50 PM, said: That's either really disturbing or really cute, I haven't quite made up my mind yet.

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#11
Lemainus

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This is going to be really, really cool.


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#12
EdT

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Really glad to see people are so enthusiastic about this- I can't wait to get properly started! I do think it's fun and interesting to introduce some other cultures into 30/40K; Grimdark doesn't have to mean Western European Gothic. I've seen some great examples here of other people introducing more varied cultural elements into their work (Lady Atia's Mechanicus comes to mind) and it's certainly something I've always tried to do, although perhaps in a less in-your-face way than this project.

 

I've had the opportunity to give this project a lot of thought, so hopefully that will pay off as the components actually arrive.  As always with these sorts of things, it'll be interesting to see if the components I've been piecing together in my head actually fit in real life...

 

@Hallar, thanks for your thoughts. It's very encouraging; a lot of what you've said meshes very closely with my own intended approach! I completely agree that the other members of the Questoris Familia are making a big mistake in underestimating the Knights of Ilmeluaya; but then there is a pretty large amount of cultural ignorance for both sides to overcome. The wider Imperium will have the same issue; the Scions of Kalenjin Minoris are a very proud and honour-bound bunch, and this will make them very reluctant to perform battlefield roles that offend their propriety. I can see them as being very dependent on being deployed by a commander who understands their strengths; give them a Titan to bring down or an enemy Knight household to harass and they'll be massively effective, but they'll be worse than useless on the defensive or employed against infantry.

 

On which later!

 

For now, here's a very quick update; the Scion's toga has cured, and here he is with head and left arm back in place. The next step will be to tidy the cloth, particularly on the left where it's a tad thick, and then add various bits of detail. These will involve a bead belt and necklaces, as well as dreadlocks. I hope to replicate a lot of this in a large scale on Mingati himself.

 

Knight5.jpg

 

 

All of this is really treading water of course- I need my Forgeworld order to turn up before the real work can begin...


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#13
Paladin7221

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This, this is going to be special. There's a wealth of other civilisations and cultures that for one reason or another simply have not made the transition to 40k because of the Euro-medieval centering it's been given for so long. This will indeed be one to watch!


"I once met one of our cousins in more peaceful times, a noble captain of the Ultramarines. He branded me a cur and a soul-less butcher without even the merest shred of honour. I laughed full in his face and asked why that surprised him."

 

 

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#14
Aqui

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Such a cool idea! happy.png

Once, a Novice Cantus came to me, troubled and uncertain. A slip of a girl, only a few strides down the eternal path leading her to the Golden Throne. She asked me a question. She asked me how we can ever truly understand what faith is. I told her that there is no coin to measure what we feel in our hearts. There are no scales upon which we might weigh the faith of one woman against another. There is only duty and blood. There are only deeds and words. There is only the service to the God-Emperor, and the price that demands from each Sister can only be known by Him. But know that whatever fears must be faced, whatever hardships endured, that price is forever worth its full cost.
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#15
Hallar

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Looks great so far! happy.png

 

Hope that Forge World order turns up soon



#16
Corswain

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Fantastic idea. It's a really exciting and unique theme and I am looking forward to seeing it.

#17
Luther - the fallen

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Looks great so far. I love the Masai connection, not one I've ever seen before so quite refreshing.

 

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#18
malika666

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Can't wait to see him next to his Knight!

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#19
EdT

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A small update for tonight- still no Forgeworld order and the stuff I need to finish off the pilot hasn't turned up either, so I've been trying to keep up my momentum by doing some small things around the edges.

I've been thinking a fair bit about the practicalities of operating a Knight without the same support network enjoyed by the Great Houses; no fortresses with repair bays, no recovery vehicles, no sacristans, and so on. To a very large extent Mingati's pilot will be fixing problems with his mount on the fly, but this didn't seem quite enough for me; there's only so much that one person can do. I felt that the pilot needed a servitor assistant R2D2 style, something that could make battlefield repairs and minute adjustments to the Knight's systems while the pilot gets on with the business of operating the thing.

A servo-skull didn't seem very appropriate, but then I hit on a better idea- who needs a regular servitor when you've got a Cyber-Mandrill to hand? I rather liked the idea of a primate scrambling around Mingati in the middle of a battle, frantically duct-taping things; plus it gave me an excuse to model a little hammock and tool kit for him somewhere on the Knight.

He's still WIP, but here's a photo; I still need to give him a greenstuff Mandrill beard and pointy head, and possibly a bionic eye to reinforce the augmented element.

Knight6.jpg

I'm conscious that you can't really see the base model very well in the photo- it's this one from Reaper, in case you're interested! It should paint up better...

Edit: Sorry. I really should have explained; the base model is a Baboon, which is pretty similar to a Mandrill. A Baboon would be far more geographically appropriate for an East African theme, because Mandrills live in the rainforests on the Atlantic coast and never go anywhere near the Rift Valley. But I can't resist doing the blue and red face on a Mandrill, and this is the far future after all- what's a few hundred miles compared to the thousands of light years from Terra?

Edited by EdT, 03 November 2015 - 10:15 PM.

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#20
Noctem Cultor

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Really liking how this is coming along. The new addition fits in great with your unique theme. Keep up the good work!

#21
CaptainStabby

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That Scion looks great, as does the cyber ape. Im a huge sucker for anything monkey/ape related!

 

What head is that on the Scion btw?



#22
EdT

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Hi all,

 

Another update; not as big as I'd like sadly.

 

Unfortunately, my Forgeworld order still hasn't turned up- and according to the website hasn't even despatched yet. Given the eye-watering amount I was charged for "shipping" (£20+ for a domestic delivery should have it turning up within minutes, on a silver platter, in my view), I can't say I'm very impressed by this, but there we are; I suppose I'll just have to be patient.

 

I have got a few things done, however. Firstly, I made some more progress on the cyber Mandrill; I was conscious that he was still looking a bit too much like a baboon, so I found a Baboon-to-Mandrill conversion guide (seriously, you can find anything online if you look hard enough) did a bit of greenstuff work to alter the shape of his head a little. Here's the result, which is pretty difficult to make out- I'll have to slap some paint on this chap soon to make him easier to see.

 

Knight10.jpg

 

 

Next up, I did some more work on the Scion. Beads are a massive thing in Masai culture and a major source of decoration, so I wanted to make sure that my Scion had some on there. To do this, I broke out a new purchase- some micro-beads, which are absolutely tiny and normally used in water filters and some exfoliating cosmetic products (although apparently the latter is very bad for the environment).  I've seen these used in several projects to make rivets and/or studded armour, but I figured that they'd make good bead strings too if placed in a line.

 

Knight7.jpg

 

Knight8.jpg

 

To add them to my model, I picked them up using a greenstuff shaper and then, having placed a small bit of greenstuff where I want the belt to go, carefully placed each one on the model, occasionally using the shaper to nudge them into exactly the position I wanted.

 

This was pretty time consuming, as you can imagine, but in the end I got myself a nice bead belt. I'll do more, when I summon up the energy- I want the Scion to have a few necklaces and possibly a string running from his uncovered shoulder to his waist. Here's how the Scion looked at this point.

 

Knight9.jpg

 

 

Now, really I should have stopped at this point and done the other beads, but I fancied a change- so I turned my attention to the Scion's head (and @Captain Stabby, it's from one of the new AoS Blood Reavers). I rolled some greenstuff sausages between two sheets of sandpaper to give them some texture, and then put them on the Scion's head; before long, he had a nice head of dreadlocks which really changed his overall look.

 

Knight11.jpg

 

 

While I wait for those to cure, I moved on to the one bit of Mingati himself that I could do some work on. Mingati will be a Lancer, but the Knight Atrapos comes with a completely different set of weaponry, which means that I'll need to convert both his lance and his shield. The lance isn't so much of a problem- I want it to be a las-lance and so it'll basically be the Atrapos Las-cutter with a shaft at the rear- but the shield will need to echo the traditional eliptical Masai variety, and so I'll need to make that from scratch.

 

Looking at the stock Cerastus Lancer, the shield is a circular power unit mounted on the back of a fairly standard knight-sized power fist. Here's where I've got so far- I've taken this bit from the new Stormsurge kit, cut off all the bits around the side to keep it circular, and then replaced the Tau symbol in the centre with a Machina Opus. It's a start...

 

Knight12.jpg

 

 


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#23
Machine God

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A small update for tonight- still no Forgeworld order and the stuff I need to finish off the pilot hasn't turned up either, so I've been trying to keep up my momentum by doing some small things around the edges.

I've been thinking a fair bit about the practicalities of operating a Knight without the same support network enjoyed by the Great Houses; no fortresses with repair bays, no recovery vehicles, no sacristans, and so on. To a very large extent Mingati's pilot will be fixing problems with his mount on the fly, but this didn't seem quite enough for me; there's only so much that one person can do. I felt that the pilot needed a servitor assistant R2D2 style, something that could make battlefield repairs and minute adjustments to the Knight's systems while the pilot gets on with the business of operating the thing.

A servo-skull didn't seem very appropriate, but then I hit on a better idea- who needs a regular servitor when you've got a Cyber-Mandrill to hand? I rather liked the idea of a primate scrambling around Mingati in the middle of a battle, frantically duct-taping things; plus it gave me an excuse to model a little hammock and tool kit for him somewhere on the Knight.

He's still WIP, but here's a photo; I still need to give him a greenstuff Mandrill beard and pointy head, and possibly a bionic eye to reinforce the augmented element.

Knight6.jpg

I'm conscious that you can't really see the base model very well in the photo- it's this one from Reaper, in case you're interested! It should paint up better...

Edit: Sorry. I really should have explained; the base model is a Baboon, which is pretty similar to a Mandrill. A Baboon would be far more geographically appropriate for an East African theme, because Mandrills live in the rainforests on the Atlantic coast and never go anywhere near the Rift Valley. But I can't resist doing the blue and red face on a Mandrill, and this is the far future after all- what's a few hundred miles compared to the thousands of light years from Terra?

A debased Jokaero perhaps?

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#24
EdT

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@Scion of Ferrus- The thought had crossed my mind, and I'm sure that, should the Knights of Kalenjn survive to the Scouring, something similar will occur to the Ordo Xenos. I see the augmented mandrills as being rather less special than that though, really; they're just a furry servo skull in truth.

 

Speaking of which, I got him more or less painted. Here's a photo...

 

Knight15.jpg

 

 

I have some other progress too. Firstly, I did Mingati's shield hand; it's really just a Knight's Ion Shield attached to a Warden's power fist. This serves as a nice mount for the shield power-cell itself, as the right-hand photo shows. The next task will be to create the shield superstructure itself along the same basis as the stock Cerastus Lancer, and then to create the shield proper using (presumably) clear resin. You'll see a little bit of greenstuffing on one of the power cables; I'll be adding a fair few of these on Mingati, as broken cables are repaired by duct tape.

 

Knight13.jpg

 

 

And next up, some more progress on the Scion. I've added a whole load more beads and have also put in some more dreadlocks to make his harline look a bit more natural. I think he's more or less ready to get some paint on him...

 

Knight14.jpg

 

Hopefully the next update will involve the arrival of the Knight itself; but we shall see...


Edited by EdT, 08 November 2015 - 07:38 PM.

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#25
Hallar

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Looks amazing so far! Keep going and please keep posting