I needed an armature to build the legs around, so I started by drilling a hole through the lowest part of the peg I had placed for the knight’s midsection.
I ran a piece of 22 gauge picture wire through this hole…
…and then bent it into the correct lengths for the segments of the knight’s leg. I had initially been concerned about a mismatch in scale between the knight and the bike, but was relieved to find that the knight’s foot fell at almost exactly the same spot as the riders in all of the reference photos I had been looking at. 🙂
To immobilize the wire, I wrapped a thin layer of putty around it. On most models this foundation layer would be much narrower, but PanO knights are HUUUUUUUUUGE, so I wasn’t concerned about over-puffing the outer layers by putting on a bit more putty at this stage.
Once the base layer firmed up, I applied a sheath of putty around it and pressed in PanO braided muscle cables as detailed in (once again) my muscle underlay video. It’s a really great video, you should definitely go watch it. 😛
I realized I was going to need a bit more space to create the chest armour, so I used a power drill to punch through more of the knight’s original chest metal, and then removed the excess scraps with clippers.
Putty went into this cavity.
I was trying to match the Montesa’s armour design as closely as possible, so I straight reproduced the wide pecs of the body armour. The “belt buckle” here is a modification, which I’ll explain a few steps from now when we get to the cloth layers.
Once the muscle underlay was set, I started applying armour plates over top of it. I had to be pretty careful when applying the putty for these layers; I’m usually pretty sloppy at the edges and just blend any excess into the surrounding areas, but in this case, that would cause the excess to fill in the details on the underlay. To avoid this, I just had to be fairly precise when depositing putty and carefully cut and lift excess material away if I overshot it.
I pressed details into the knight’s thigh and knee pads.
It’s pretty appalling for me to look at these detail shots now, because they’re SUUUUUUUPER soft and round. Sigh. Stupid putty. 🙁
The boots were probably the most complicated part of the entire model, as the art dossier doesn’t convey their full geometry very well. I had to dig around on Google Image Search and find a blog post with good, close-up 360 shots of the model to get a better idea of what I was building on the sides and in the back.
As always, putty was put on, then mashed into a single mass and sectioned out.
I used metal tools to distribute material more precisely and better recreate the boot’s panel shapes.
Finally, everything was smoothed out with clayshapers.
Once that was done and hardened, I added a final “front flappy ankle bit”.
Yes, that’s the technical term.
I knew from the outset that I wanted to mimic the Montesa’s armour design as closely as possible, but a lot of the details on the Father Knight are close enough that only a PanO player would actually recognize the difference. I went back and forth on whether I cared enough to fix the faceplate– the Father Knight has a double-armed cross, while the Montesa’s visor has only a single set of arms. I eventually concluded that the double-armed cross is distinctive enough to the Father Knight’s design that I would benefit from replacing it.
Soooo… clippers. Sigh. :/
It wasn’t a lot of work to replace.
FUN TANGENT TIME. With the armour nearing completion, I started to notice some problems that I was going to have transferring the layout of the Montesa’s robes into a mounted pose. Here’s a stock Montesa:
They have the standard Knight robes, which drape down in both the front and the back. This is fine for knights on foot, but it interferes with riding– from what I found in my reference research, the tabards have to drape to one side, which can cause awkward tangling with the bike’s moving parts, restricting movement and even risking to pull them off the bike in some situations. For this reason, there have historically been a few different ways that armor and cloth were modified to allow riding. The first was to make the skirt short (typically mid-thigh level) so that it wasn’t long enough to catch on anything:
The second was to split the cloth along the front instead of the sides, letting it fall neatly on both sides of the motorcycle:
There were also examples where both were done– cloth down to the knee with a split either in the front, or both front and back. So, with that in mind, I set about sketching out a variant skirt design for the Montesa armour with a front split; however, as soon as I drew it out, I realized that it actually already existed– on the armor of the Equestrian Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre. Should’ve been obvious in retrospect, actually. 😛
The Sepulchre Knight complicates it a bit by also adding a vest/cape, but the lower cloth is exactly the type of split design that you would use for riding a bike. So, my adaptation to correct the cloth problem was pretty straightforward– I just needed to copy the Sepulchre’s tunic design. Easy-peasy. 🙂
To start, I laid a foundation layer of putty to simply bridge the gap between the knight’s hip and the seat.
Once it was set, I added a thin layer of putty over top of it, in the position where I imagined the cloth would rest when parted at the rider’s belt buckle.
This is not how the cloth would drape in this position. The raised “ribs” would rest in a loop going left to right, not radiating straight away from the rider. I know this, but screwed it up anyway. I’m fairly mad at Past Spud right now. >:(
HEY LOOK, MORE OF HOW THIS WOULDN’T LOOK.
I R MASTER SCULPTMAN
At this point I was just adding random details. Here, I added the pedals around the knight’s foot. The strap leading down to them was pre-formed off the model and allowed to set, and then lifted into place and stuck down with more putty.
A similar technique was used for the hand grip, though this one was more complicated since it was so much larger. I only let this one set partway, so that it was still flexible enough to bend when I applied it to the bike.
I stuck the ends onto the fairing, then curved it around the back to where the rider could grab it when needed– though of course, in the battle pose I would be constructing, he would be mostly letting Space Jesus take the handlebars while he menacingly brandishes his weapons. 😛
And that… was pretty much it. Two nights of putty cleanup…
…and ten days of painting…
…and my bike started to look pretty damn sweet. 😀
I put a lot more effort into the paintjob than I typically would, especially for this particular army– my Space Knights don’t have the greatest colour scheme, and I typically struggle to make them look even passable. However, this was definitely going to end up as a showpiece for the army, so I took the time that was needed to polish the turd to a gleaming sheen. 🙂
Once the painting was done, I cut the bike off the Tactical Rock it shipped on, and figured out what sort of base I could scrounge.
The bike was posed to go uphill, so I needed to find some sort of ramp for my bike to be going up. This wasn’t easy, as my Space Knights are all based on Warsenal Tunguska bases, which are all pretty flat. I dig around in my parts bin, and eventually stumbled on the scenic base I didn’t use when I made my Uhlan a few years ago. I filled in the Uhlan unit logo and text with putty and glued it to a 55mm Tunguska base, and it was pretty much good to go. 🙂
I didn’t try as hard on the base as I did on the actual model. 😛
I stuck the bike down with a wire on each end to keep it firmly embedded, and… that’s it. Bike Knight was ready for prime time. 😀
Fancy pictures on the last page!