Hats off to Element Games (and Royal Mail). I ordered two Imperial Knights (one for me and one for my brother) and my order arrived on Saturday morning, which means I got them on release day.
Needless to say, the Knight did get opened and inspected and I have to admit, it’s a beautiful kit. Now first off, let me clarify – this kit is NOT for the beginner. If you struggle to get the tracks correctly straight on any vehicle in the Games Workshop range, don’t even consider getting one of these if you want to do justice to one of these behemoths. There are many, many components and as with the Forge World Titans, quite a few pistons that need to be glued precisely in place.
Rather than one of the traditional top/bottom cardboard boxes that kits come in, the Knight arrives with a cardboard inner tray, protected by a corrugated outer. One of my boxes had a massive dent in the outer which would have ripped through if it were a normal box.
Unlike some kits, the vast majority of components will be visible in some way. The Baneblade for example has quite a bit of “internal” structure that you can be pretty slapdash with assembling, the same goes for the Landraider. The Knight is mostly external though, so each piece needs to be painstakingly tidied up and checked for fit. In principal the Knight consists of a skeleton, weapons and armour plating. The skeleton will need to be mostly painted in metallics, which for most people will mean lots and lots of washes and drybrushing – which means mold lines are just going to be unacceptable (unless you want it to look crap). Some of the larger pieces (legs, guns) come in two pieces which means you’re going to want to do a bit of overgluing* and tidying up the next day.
Although it sounds like I’ve got a downer on the ease of assembly, my opinion couldn’t be further from the truth. Most gamers/hobbyists love having a suitably imposing centre piece to game with or display, the Knight provides this by the spadeful, more importantly it also provides something most hobbyists dream of – a challenge. This isn’t something you can knock together in five minutes, or even half a day. Instead for the best results you’re really looking at a slow and steady week’s worth of gluing, tidying, posing and should end up with a nicely constructed piece with no flaws.
Looking at the kit, the only real criticism I have is that their isn’t enough articulation in the legs. The knees and hips are both fixed in place, so if you’re thinking of having a Knight walking over something, be ready to get out a fine saw and do some conversion work.
Painting is not going to be a walk in the park either and I think anybody without an airbrush (and skills to use it) is going to have quite a challenge on their hands. The top carapace and pauldrons are huge – the size of a battle tank and curved to boot. Because of the size of it, just a “plain” paint job is going to look quite un-imposing, so you’re going to be looking at stripes, checks and other such decoration, things that need careful masking and painting to ensure things are neat and crisp.
My biggest problem is that my painting desk is currently full of miniatures I’m trying to get ready for the end of the month, so sadly my Knight is going to have to take a little bit of a back seat for a while. However there isn’t anything stopping me from gluing the two part pieces together so when I do clear my decks down a little, I can jump straight in.
* overglying is when you apply enough poly-cement glue that you get a little bead of seepage when the two pieces are pressed together. Once fully dry (12 hours+) you can scrape and sand this as if it were plastic, which eliminates the need to fill gaps.