Building a Dishonored Knight

A few weeks ago, I opted to join the ranks of proud Imperial Knight owners.  But I wanted a Knight whose model told a story, and one I could use in any army without concern about it looking out of place.  With that in mind, I opted for a “dishonored” Knight.  No one knows the true story of what happened, just that some terrible betrayal occurred – by the Knight or against him – and it cost two of his fellow Knights in the process.

To represent his being dishonored, I had a few ideas for the model:

  • The shield should be upside down, just as some medieval knights had their shields displayed upside down when they were dishonored.
  • All Imperial symbols and heraldric displays would be trimmed and filed off of the model.
  • His shoulder heraldry would be covered by large swaths of cloth.
  • There would be no “fresh from the factory” look.  This was a Knight who has seen a lot of war, with no end in sight.

With that in mind, I set about with the initial stages of modeling.

April 21, 2014

Initial construction was complete.  You can see the upside-down shield, the green stuff “cloth” (itself tattered and damaged) covering the shoulders, and battle damage all across the model from shells, creatures scraping at it, even flyers strafing it as they passed overhead (as a nod to the Knight’s biggest weakness).

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April 26, 2014

Painting started in earnest once the model was assembled.  Through this process, I kept the Knight in multiple pieces for easy painting, and it’s transported in those pieces today:

  • Legs
  • Upper Body
  • Individual Arms
  • Individual Shoulder Guards
  • Mask

I started with a spray of Games Workshop black primer, which coated it well.  Then a quick brush over the entire thing with Ironbreaker.  I followed that up by brushing Army Painter quick shade over the entire model from a can of it that I had, which was a mistake as I didn’t shake off the excess and later had to clean off some of it (in fact, you can see some of it pooled on the table in photos).  I highly recommend Nuln Oil instead, and after my experience I stocked up on it (cleaning out the local GW store temporarily in the process).  I decided on purple and blue as the contrasting colors, with brass for the trim.  I have to admit now that I don’t recall every paint used in the process of painting the model, but all of them were Games Workshop Paints (sans the aforementioned quick shade).  However, some of them are no longer available (such as Foundation paint Mordian Blue).

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You can also see work beginning on other pieces, such as the book above the Knight’s head showing tales of its deeds to tally up in the hopes it might earn its redemption, and the cloth on the shoulders, which at this point was tan washed with Agrax Earthshade.

April 30, 2014

Work progressed at a furious pace from there.  I added hints of heraldry under the cloth covers and finished them up.  I added the brass trim and a lot of the battle damage (Ironbreaker with a thin Abaddon Black outline).  The shield and banner were painted with bits of heraldry, such as an ahnk, a bird of prey, and the numeral II (all of which are left to the imagination of the viewer as to what they represent… but basically, he’s number two in a household, and the rest are religious symbols).  The melta cannon and smoke stacks also had black brushed onto the ends to represent soot and scorching.  You can see how leaving the mask off left the face easier to access.  Numerous other details were picked out, such as cables and the tanks on the side of the chainsaw arm.  You might also notice the masks from his fallen comrades share the same purple with brass trim but have an alternate offsetting color to distinguish them (green and red), showing  they are from the same household but individuals.  The banner hanging from his back was given a basecoat of multiple colors to represent being stitched together from numerous foes.

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May 1, 2014

Almost finished!  More detail work is done here.  All of the armor plates have gotten a thin outline of a lighter shade.  The end of the melta cannon was brushed with Ironbreaker.  The glass on the top hatch is painted to represent glass.  Eyes are glowing green inside the mask.  The tanks on the chainsaw arm now appear to have a green liquid.  The banners of his foes now have some distinction (of note are a Blood Angels banner – which will be important later – as well as a Khorne and Nurgle banner).  In addition to the battle damage, light bits of rust show up across the model in the form of sepia wash, Nuln Oil represents oil smudged in places, Blood For The Blood God represents the end of some unfortunate victims, Abbadon Black scorch marks show where some sap with a flamer tried to fight back in futility, and dust covers the Knight from his trampling across the battlefield.

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May 3, 2014

Before I could use the model in a game, I had to base it.  I hated the idea of using a boring, flat base.  First, I grabbed some textured grey paint from the GW store.  But that wasn’t going to be enough to look interesting.  So I rummaged around in my various bits and found some pieces of a Land Raider I’d converted to an Ork Battlewagon, as well as some Terminator bits.  These got tossed on the base, which was then painted with the texture paint, lightly drybrushed to add some “texture” to the texture, and the Land Raider and Terminator pieces were broken a bit more (by twisting them apart for a better look) and strewn about the base, then painted in a “generic” blue that everyone just assumes is Ultramarines (because really, who likes those guys?).  A bit of dust on those pieces, some smears of blood, a pool of blood here and there, and it tells the tale of the Knight wrecking a Land Raider and its contents, which looks a lot more impressive than a flat base with some texture paint!

The following pictures were taken on one of the tables at the local Games Workshop store.  The last one is entirely random… someone suggested a “selfie” and then next thing you know, an Imperial statue is photobombing it.  Yes, even with a model with this much work in it, we can have fun.

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Performance in Battle

So far, the Knight hasn’t performed below expectations.    In his first match (Dark Angels), he blew a Land Speeder Vengeance out of the sky, assaulted a squadron of Black Knights and wiped them out, then stomped all over a Tactical Squad and Commander… and that was just the first two turns.  In his second match (Sisters of Battle), he destroyed an Immolator, a Sisters of Battle squad, and squashed Celestine horribly.  In his third match (2v2 against Blood Angels and Sisters), he destroyed a Land Raider Crusader and Immolator before being destroyed in a hail of fire (which left my ally’s Tau vehicles and battlesuits mostly ignored, a valuable bonus).  And in his last match (2v2 against Blood Angels, Sisters, Necrons, and Death Korps… both opponents used allies), he only managed to knock a hull point off the Crusader, then my opponents circled him, shot him up, and in his death throes he stumbled perfectly right between the Crusader and Immolator, taking them out and a number of infantry models.  It’s been assumed he has a thing against Blood Angels Land Raiders.


Wrapping up, I’d say that it was a very satisfying project to work on this (not so) Imperial Knight.  He certainly has a unique look to all the factory-fresh Knights I see, and always looks and performs impressive on the table.  I was initially shy on spending that much money on one model, but I have to admit, it does look really, really nice.  I also have to admit, that price point is my excuse for using it in games.  If you do get a Knight, I highly recommend going with the Errant variant and using it aggressively, as I do.  Run it at your opponent, shoot his nastiest vehicles, assault a nasty target, and dare them to blow up the Knight in the middle of their own army.  It’s a lose-lose for them, which is a win-win for you.  And besides, playing aggressively is a lot more fun.