imperial knight, thank you. Here is part 2 detailing the actual building and painting of the model.
I'm going to start with the instruction booklet itself as it has a couple things in it that I think should be noted. First the diagrams in the booklet are the "new" style 3d imaging that GW went to a number of years back. I don't know exactly when they switched over to this, but I'm a fan. That 3d style really helps you see depth and exact fittings. In the past they've had some instructions that were not exactly clear, looking at you drop pod, but this booklet is free from errors. The last couple pages in the booklet are of particular note in that they lay out places to put the transfers for a particular faction. They lay out a mechanicum house and a regular house. If you didn't have access to anything other than the images on the box, I think this would be of real help. I didn't personally use those diagrams because I was basing my knight off of a specific imagine in the codex, but I think its nice none the less. I think that people who have no real interest in 40k and are just buying it because it looks like a cool model would probably find it pretty useful. Its just something new that I haven't noticed before in any instruction booklets from GW.
As far as putting the model together, again great job by GW. Everything fit correctly and I didn't need to do any kind of crazy cutting or heating to make something fit. Ever built a land raider? Those things were notorious for not fitting right together and having some significant gaps. Ever built anything by forge world? Again most of the stuff they put out has gaps that need filled or resin parts that need heated so you can bend them to fit right. I also didn't run into one of those moments where I wished I had a 3rd or 4th hand in order to hold something while the glue set. I was worried when I noticed the thin metal railings that go on top of the carapace that when clipping them off the sprue they would be prone to break, but that was not a problem for me. All in all I think its a pretty easy model to put together. I don't think you need to have amazing skills to put this guy together.
On to my favorite part, the painting. I always paint my miniatures in pieces and then assemble them. Sometimes this can be a bit tricky to avoid glue getting on your beautifully painted surface, but again I didn't run into that problem. Most of the sections where you're going to glue are pretty hidden. The shoulder pads are glued under at a point you really can't see. The only parts I had to worry about this were the railings on top but that just took some care to not get a ton of glue on the parts.
I based my paint job on house Taranis. There are pictures of 3 imperial knight in the codex of house Taranis. I like the symbols of the house and the back ground so that's why I picked them. One really nice thing about the digital codex is that I was able to zoom in on the image of the knight I was painting. For the most part that's not really needed for the colors, but for the transfers that came in real handy. Looking at the painted model in person I'm pretty impressed with how it looks painted up. I'm not saying that I am an impressive painter, more so that pictures don't do this model justice if painted well. Painting in pieces ensured that I didn't have a hard time reaching anything, but I also think that it wouldn't be to hard to get at most of the nooks and crannies if it had been fully assembled. Painting anything in the inner carapace might have been hard but I'm sure a lot of people will skip any detailing of that anyway. I chose to paint some of the wires and piping in order to help it stand out. You won't see it without looking for it because its not the part that catches the eye, but its there to see. I think the paint scheme I chose would be pretty easy to do for most people if they wanted to take the time to do it. Its colorful but not filled with a ton of different shades. I avoiding any edge highlighting because while it can look great, it just didn't seem right to me.
Last but not least, the transfers that I talked about. I put a fair number of them on the imperial knight. I would guess about 20. For the most part it was pretty straight forward. I did have trouble with one on the shoulder pad. Its a fairly long transfer and thin. In the process of trying to get it in place it curled up under itself and no matter how carefully I tried I couldn't get the thing to uncurl itself. So I had to sadly give up on that one. Otherwise I didn't have any problems. Some of the transfers on the sheet are really close to each other so you have to go slow and take your time cutting them out. This is because of the large number of transfers on the sheet. Given that I took off about 20, I'd estimate the sheet has about 120 or more transfers on it, looking at what's left on it. I use vallejo's decal medium and decal fix to apply my transfers. The decal medium is alcohol based and you put a layer of that on the surface where you're going to place your transfer. It helps to make the edges of the transfer disappear. You also want to put some on top of the transfer after you've placed it and wipe off any excess while making sure to brush out any air bubbles as best you can. Also having a layer underneath helps you to move the transfer where you need it exactly. Once that's dry the decal fix is brushed on. This obviously "glues" or fixes the transfer permanently to the model. Its basically a clear acrylic paint, that has a matte finish. It will show up when it dries which is why you have to overcoat your model with whatever varnish you chose. The varnish will fully hide the presence of the fixer and give a single smooth surface to your model. I use a matte varnish because I am not a fan of the glossy look except for things like gems or eyes.
All in all it was a lot of fun painting and assembling this beast. I may in the future do a part 3 about using it in game. Thanks for taking the time to read and enjoy the pictures.