Note: I have no concrete idea why there’s a darker ghost/shadow left in the plastic when I remove details like in the previous images. If I had to guess I would say that the pigments in the plastic cure differently in (or are drawn to) the center of the part as it cools.
Ok, with a small lull between college projects (that’s all but gone as I write this), I gave in and spent some hours doing a bit of assembly and kit-bashing with the Kytan. As mentioned before the Kytan is a personal project, so I’m finding it very difficult to ignore it. I can do anything I want with this wonderful kit! It calls to me… So, the simple plan is, move it away from ‘Khorne Daemon Engine’ and shift it towards ‘Dark Mechanicus Daemon Engine’
Taking inspiration from several Mechanicum and Mechanicus robot models I settled on moving the cannon to an over-the-shoulder design.
When I saw the FW Mechanicum Castellax Atomata pictured on the left I knew I found my primary inspiration; move the cannon to the shoulder and put combat weapons in both hands (and I mean literally ‘in’ the hands/arms) to reflect the combat proficiency of the Kytan. It gets an extra attack after all, so it ‘needs’ two combat weapons, right? Rule of Cool says… yes!
I’m still deciding if I’m going to emulate the Castellax and do circular blades; it’s tempting, but I have another idea or two that I want to consider before I settle in the final form. For now I started work on the shoulder mount for the cannon. At first I had considered doing something more scratch built, but when I got looking at some of the bits I had, I started playing with this kit-bash.
I had planned on putting a single cannon on the shoulder, and then this happened! I guess it ‘needs’ two cannons as well. Rule of Cool does say two is better than one, after all!
I’ve had these cannons from the Forgefiend kit assembled for a while, and I was considering using one/both on the Decimator as Butcher Cannons, but the scale and form just didn’t fit with the model. They have rounded elements that suit their new purpose much better. A bit of styrene tubing and they’re virtually made to mount on the end of a Defiler leg.
I’m also particularly pleased with the simple-yet-effective addition of the optics and vox to the side of the head. It’s a small thing, but I’ve had the bit kicking around for ages, waiting for a worthy project, and I think it’s a perfect detail to add to the theme.
What serious Chaos collector doesn’t have at least a few Defiler parts (kits) kicking around? Humm… This might just work.
These images are Kytan 0.1, with my first attempt to build an armature for the cannons. I liked the pose/stance of the cannons and the overall silhouette it created; it had the right idea, but it seemed like it could use something… more. So I gave it another try.
Kytan 0.2 - Improvement through experimentation, iteration, and upgrade. I think the Mechanicus would approve.
As usual with something at this point of the build, this is only half glued together and everything else is being held in place by poster tack, friction, and hope, so the stance and alignment isn’t final by any means, just an early showcase.
By switching up to the larger front leg of the Defiler kit I could get the exact same form and silhouette in the armature but with some added bulk and more visual interest; I think it feels much more complete. I also like how the curved armor plate helps to transition the hard lines of the Defiler parts into the rounder Kytan body.
I’m adding rivets to the spots that are missing them due to the limitations of the styrene casting processes; another little thing, but I think it’s adding up nicely over the whole build. And for anyone curious, the pipes/cables leading from the armature to the Kytan body were heated in boiling water and carefully
bent into shape over several dips and slow adjustment. Styrene is a thermodynamic plastic, which essentially means that you can heat it (all the way to liquid, if you want), shape it while hot, and it will cool and hold the heat-formed shape it was given. Every once-and-awhile you can use it to your advantage and simply bend the part to your will.
It makes me wish I had a to-scale gantry and/or scaffold to hang it from as it gets assembled; with servators and robotics working away to complete it. It would make a great diorama.
Next up, the arms. Again, I’m torn between two circular blades a-la Castellax Automata, or another configuration of my own design. They will be much more (likely all) scratch built, so I’ll have much more freedom in their form. I might need to model 2-3 variations in Solidworks to really get a feel for the final design. Because of how pose’able and awesome the leg assemblies are, I don’t think I’ll be doing much modification to them; it will come down to pose and the composition of the base to take full advantage of the legs, I think.
But unfortunately, there’s no time for that now. So ends another small chapter in the much larger story. Thanks for reading, and if you’re so inclined, writing a few words. As always, more to come.