Inquisitor 28: Daemonhost Zalambur

Here’s another Inquisitor model, and this time I even have some WIP pictures. Yay!

To me, one of the most interesting archetypes in Inquisitor is that of the Daemonhosts: They really show the extent of what some Inquisitors are prepared to do in their service to the Emperor. And with Lazarus Antrecht being an indiviual of a fairly radical persuasion, it was clear to me that I would need a Daemonhost for his retinue.

Unfortunately, the official GW models at 28mm are, in a word, hideous (and not in a good way) and lack nearly all of the subtle menace exuded by the original Cherubael model – if anything, they look like amateurish attempts at recapturing what made Cherubael so great. So it stood to reason that I would once again have to resort to my two favourite pasttimes: converting and kitbashing. After a bit of research, I discovered a couple of great options for converting a daemonhost. Two of my favourites were this and this.

There was a problem though: Both models used the same head from the WFB Warriors of Chaos, incidentally one of my favourite heads ever. These were so hard to get by that there was no way I would use up one of my stock on a non World Eaters model. And I also really didn’t want to use the horrible metal models as a basis for my conversion. What to do?

I jumped in at the deep end and bought a box of Crypt Ghouls. It seemed to me that those were the models with the look most fitting for a Daemonhost: tortured, emaciated and with a slightly feral quality. Plus I would have lots and lots of leftovers for different projects (Twists, Arco Flagellants,…) So, after much bending and cutting and some greenstuffing to boot, here’s what I came up with:

As you can probably see, the legs, torso, arms and head all come from the Crypt Ghouls, so that was quite easy. I did however have to do quite a serious bit of work on the pose: Crypt Ghouls are all hunchbacked and bent forward, while I wanted my Daemonhost to be floating and looking like its poor body was at full stretch. I achieved this by changing the way the torso connects to the legs and by greenstuffing in a new stomach. I hid the rough spots of the conversion behind some kind of religious icon – no idea where this came from. I also repositioned the arms so that the Daemonhost looked like it was reaching for something only visible to itself. Again, the seams of the conversion work were camouflaged, this time with a purity seal.

I also wanted to have the Daemonhost clearly floating, so I had to find something to keep it in the air. In the end, I used a part of a chain from the Chaos vehicle sprue. It was stable enough to hold the model in the air, and the skull attached to its end offered a solid point of contact with the base. Further chains were added to show how the Daemonhost is bound and “weighed down”. I kept the strange, bony quills emerhing from the model’s back since they fitted the concept of daemonic possession in my opinion. I also added a tongue from a Bloodletter of Khorne to enhance the appearance. The last part of the conversion was the base: I used some cork and a couple of strange spikes from the Chaos Terminator Lord sprue.

When it came to painting the model, I went for a very unhealthy skin tone achieved by generously washing a basecoat of GW Dheneb Stone with GW Leviathan Purple. This led to an almost pink colour (maybe even too much so, in hindsight), but the colour added to the twisted, inhuman feeling of the model, so I guess that it’s all cool in the end.

The rest was all detailing. I highlighted the scars and welts all over the model and painted all the details. The bone quills and tongue were painted purple to show how the daemon is slowly emerging fromwithin the host body, twisting and transforming it in the process. The spikes on the base were painted to look like some kind of daemonic growth erupting from the floor as the Daemonhost floats by.

While there are a couple of rough spots on the model, I still far prefer it to the official GW ones. So with the modeling and painting out of the way, all that remained was to cook up some background for the character…

Daemonhost Zalambur

Inquisitor Antrecht still thought about Rikkert Nozick from time to time, and it was always a bittersweet memory. When Antrecht had come to Barsavia Hive to investigate the actions of the notorious Heretek Amnon Helix, Rikkert had been there from the start, trying to be helpful and ingratiate himself with the Inquisitor. Still, he had been a competent guide and managed to open quite a few doors in the hive, so Antrecht had indulged him.

Then the young man had asked to be inducted into the Inquisitor’s retinue, and while Antrecht had laughed at the audacity of the idea, he had still seriously considered it. He hated to let a potential asset go to waste, after all. But he had felt something in the young man that he did not like, some kind of inner flaw or deficiency, hidden by his eagerness to please. And while Antrecht could not quite put his finger on what it was that was bothering him, he had felt that there was a thirst within Rikkert Nozick that could never be quenched by service to the God Emperor alone. So Antrecht had turned him down and set off into the underhive on his own.

But fate is a harsh mistress, or so they say, and so when Antrecht was dangling above a yawning chasm, bloodied and broken after his confrontation with the heretic Helix, just barely hanging on with his last ounce of strength, it was Rikkert Nozick who had slipped from the shadows and offered to save the Inquisitor.  He did however have one condition: Antrecht’s life would be saved, but Rikkert would join him as a member of his retinue when he left the planet.

Antrecht had little choice in the matter if he wanted to live, so he gave his word. He limped from the underhive, hurt but alive, leaning on his new “apprentice”, for that was how the young man had come to see himself.

The Inquisitor had other plans, however, for he simply could not trust a man who had used a moment of weakness to haggle for privileges. But then, a promise had been made, and Lazarus Antrecht knew a lot about the importance of promises.

Fortunately, fate intervened again: An interesting opportunity presented itself soon afterwards and so, when Inquisitor Antrecht left the planet, young Nozick joined him as a permanent member of his retinue. His wish had been fulfilled.

All this Antrecht remembered. And as he cast a sideways glance at the pale creature floating along next to him, he could not help but think that there was still much of the young man he had encountered in Barsavia Hive in its sharp features. The Daemonhost noticed Antrecht’s attention and bared its iron teeth in a rictus grin. Yes, even now, the resemblance was uncanny.

Inquisitor Antrecht still thought about Rikkert Nozick from time to time. And it was always a bittersweet memory.
And a reminder to always be careful what you wish for.

As always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

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2 Responses to “Inquisitor 28: Daemonhost Zalambur”

  1. That turned out fantastic! Great execution from build to painting, it’s definitely a cool take on the Daemonhost model – keep up the great work!

    • Thanks a lot! The Crypt Ghouls are really a cool kit for the sheer amount of things you can build from the parts. Apart from my Daemonhost, my Arco Flagellants also started their life as Ghouls, so buying that kit was a pretty great investment 😉

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