Thursday, March 6, 2014

Imperial Knight Unboxing

Although the lineage is clear, the Knight has come a long way.
It is rare that Games Workshop really surprises anyone with a release, but I admit I was pretty shocked to see that they were releasing a plastic Imperial Knight. I was even more surprised and thrilled with how effectively it captured the image that I had cultivated in my mind of how a Knight should look, maintaining the bulky, hunched look of the related constructs of the Titan Legion. With their release slated to be Saturday, I decided to pay my local hobby shop a visit the Friday of, hoping to at least get a look at the new Imperial Knight. I was not really expecting to buy one because in the past GW has asked stores to only sell their new releases on the the actual Saturday release date. After talking with the store owner, he told me that GW was now letting him sell most of their new releases on Friday, and proceeded to go into the back of the store and bring out all of the Imperial Knights he had ordered for the shop. Interestingly, while the store had only ordered seven of the kits they received nine in total. Furthermore, eight of the nine Knights were packaged in the plain white, “Direct Order” Games Workshop boxes, rather than the proper Imperial Knight ones (likely confirming the rumors that have been in circulation of supply issues).

Opening the nondescript white box, I was greeted with 3 sprues densely packed with components. For the price, it is a bit underwhelming to find so few sprues, but at the end of the day the conservative part placement makes it easier to keep track of all of the parts. The kit also contains a rather impressive transfer sheet, filled with all manner of sigils and icons, each grouped by major Knight lineage. Usually the first thing I do when I open a GW kit is throw away the transfer sheet, having so many of them and preferring freehand over transfers. But these ones are intricate, big, and colorful, filled with new symbols and crests that beg to be studied and enjoyed. And with all the broad armor plates on the Knight, I could actually see them being used by a lot of people, so it is nice to see that GW actually spent time on them. The model also comes with a new base specifically designed for the kit. It is quite a bit larger than the oval flying base, nicely accommodating the width of the Knight’s mechanical legs. It may also be a portent to the future, as GW would not design a base with only one model in mind...

The white box conveys little of the pure excitement that is contained within. 
The amount of detail on display with the kit is impressive, with vents, cables, pistons, bolts, and railing, everywhere, all without looking cluttered. They also provide 3 different faceplates to cover the suitably robotic head.  Each is impressive and imposing, whether it is a medieval fashioned helm, or the visage of a stylized skull, it is clear that they are bringers of death on a massive scale. They also provide three sigils to adorn the armour cowl that crests the head, allowing you to make a Knight that owes it allegiance to the Imperium, or the Adeptus Mechanicus.

The three sprues with the kit.  I could not resist snipping a few parts off immediately to start working on it!
The cast is excellent, with remarkably crisp and fine details.
Although the legs are posed in a suitable dynamic stride, it was still a disappoint to confirm that the Knight’s legs are fixed and therefore not posable (even the direction of the feet are locked in place by tiny pegs). Thankfully, the arms have a lot of articulation points. Additionally, I was pleasantly surprised that the arms of the Knight have a locking mechanism that allows them to easily be taken on and off, making the possibility of getting future weapon releases more likely, and not necessitating that you make clever use of magnets.

All the head options are much appreciated, and all of them even look nice!
I have only just started the assembly process, trimming off mold lines and tabs, but I must say I am pleased with how the sprues were cast. Games workshop has really done a good job of minimizing the amount of mold lines on each piece. While each piece invariably has a few mold lines to remove, often times they are cleverly placed such that they fall on edges or seams. With some of the smaller detail pieces, like the ribbed cabling (which sprout from all over the model…) the trimming pace slows down considerably, but such a thing is unavoidable. They have also put a considerable amount of thought into how many of the pieces come together, hiding some of the noticeable seams with additional pieces (the leg carapace for instance).

No matter how much GW has advanced in moldline placement, cables like these will always be a problem.
I plan to use a combination of super glue (Krazy glue) and Tamiya Extra Thin cement to assemble the Knight. Over the years I have used Krazy glue on all sorts of models (metal, resin, GW plastic , Wyrd plastic, etc.), large or small and had excellent results. The majority of my Leviathan Crusader was even assembled with it. During the assembly of the aforementioned kit, I discovered Tamiya Extra Thin cement. For complex kits that have many of little pieces and require a lot of dry fitting to ensure things go together, it is fantastic. Rather than having to put super glue on all the little tabs that connect two pieces and quickly press them together (hoping to do it before the glue sets, which sometimes does not work out too well…), you can simply dry fit the pieces and touch the application brush of the thin cement to one of the seams, and the glue is wicked in without leaving a trace. And that is all there is to it, the pieces are fastened together. Glancing through the complex instruction manual that accompanies the Knight, I think the glue will come in handy.  If you have not used it before, I strongly recommend you give it a try; it has certainly saved me a few headaches.

Given the complexity of the kit, it is wonderful that GW has finally started to produce clear and informative instructions.
Having been out for less than a week, we are already seeing a lot of great stuff from many hobbyists with the kit.  I am particularly excited to see the Eye of Error finish lacing his Knight with LEDs. Garfy and ThirdEyeNuke over at Tale of Painters are both working on Knights too.  Garfy has some fantastic images of this WIP Knight alongside of some of his other models for size comparisons (Including a stunning Ultramarines Thunderhawk and a Tyranid Hierophant). I will be sure to keep you all updated on the progress of mine, even if it is slow work. Until then, It will also be interesting to see what Codex Imperial Knights has to offer this Saturday; hopefully it adds a slew of interest options and weapons (although at 64 pages I am not holding my breath)!

-Adam Wier


  1. GW really nailed this release. It really does look a fantastic kit. I'm glad they kept the styling in line with theFW Titan range. I have a Warhound that could do with some friends, though I'm too scared to put paint to it for fear of making it look like arse.

    Very much looking forward to what you and a few others can do with these. I've already seen a few awesome conversions where a pilots throne has been put into the mini.

    1. I have a Warhound that is in desperate need of some attention. It still needs a huge amount of touch-up and assembly work done on it. I hear you about painting something that large too. I feel I really need to buy myself an airbrush for such a painting project.

      Progress on the Knight is slow and steady. I am still not exactly sure what I want to do with it and how much converting work I will do. I think at the very least I will try and change the location of the co-axial heavy stubber.