Loving the alien

Those of you who have been following this blog for a while may already have asked themselves: What about all that INQ28 jazz? Any news? And indeed, it was with a bit of a shock that I realised how long it has been since I last showed you some servants of the Ordos.

Well, fear not, because I’ve recently begun to get some more work in on my various INQ28 retinues. Some of the following models may already be known to those who also frequent my forum threads, but that’s really all the more reason to post them here as well. Plus I could really use the relaxing effects of painting an INQ28 character or two at the moment, so there may be a couple of updates soon (I hope!).

Anyway, today I would mainly like to focus on the retinue of Inquisitor Titus Alvar, a member of the Ordo Xenos.

Inquisitor Titus Alvar (1)
Alvar himself is a rather dapper fellow, and also an Imperial noble, so I thought he would merit a rather colourful collection of retainers. I picture Alvar as a bit of an adventurer, always taking expeditions to uncharted regions of Space in search of some Xenos artifact or other, so his warband should incorporate some muscle as well as some brains, with a dash of the exotic for flavour. Let’s take a look:

The first member of Alvar’s retinue is this veteran of the Imperial Guard I built quite a while ago:

Guard Veteran WIP (1)
I like the big gun and the “tough as nails” look and imagine this is the kind of guy Alvar makes use of when negotiations turn sour and diplomacy is no longer an option.

The second member of his retinue was also completed a while ago:

INQ28_Kroot (1)
Kroot Pathfinder T’l’kess lost his entire kindred in an atrocity committed by a Tau officer (it’s a long story). He realised that his last chance to keep his bloodline alive might be to travel the stars in order to find members of the brood who left the planet prior to the genocide. During his travels, he met Inquisitor Alvar whom he now serves as a scout and pathfinder.

I imagine this character as a very dignified and honourable individual, a bit of a “noble savage”, if you will. It is also very much in character for a socialite like Alvar to have an “exotic” retainer like this in his warband, even though it might make the more puritan members of the Ordo Xenos foam at the mouth…

It also stands to reason that an Inquisitor exploring Xenos ruins would have need of a specialist in the field of archaeology. And indeed, while painting the model for Inquisitor Alvar, inspiration struck and made me want to convert one of the most underappreciated WFB plastic characters, the Empire Master Engineer — at least, it’s the only model that’s ALWAYS available at the FLGS and never sells out. And to be honest, it used to be the one model I couldn’t see myself using for anything. But it just seemed perfect for this:

The Professor WIP (9)

The Professor WIP (10)
The Professor WIP (11)
Professor Abelard Marbray, of the Bastold Imperial Akademy, formerly one of the sector’s pre-eminent specialists on Xeno-archaelogy. That was before his scientific theories on the warp affinities of certain Xenos were shot down by Inquisitor Alvar at a social function, which rendered him the laughingstock of his colleagues. Alvar visited him afterwards, revealing that all of this had been a conscious move to discredit the Professor, since his theories had been too close to the truth for the Ordo Xenos’ comfort. The Professor was outraged at this, yet when Alvar offered him to join him – not to attain academic merits, but to learn the actual scientific truth – he eventually accepted.

As you can see, the model is a fairly straightforward conversion, with a couple of techy bitz and doodads added. Oh, and of course I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to have the the professor holding and contemplating a Necron skull:

The Professor WIP (8)
After posting my model for Professor Marbray on the forums, fellow forumite (and actual archaeologist) Llamehead rightly pointed out that the model didn’t really carry all that much gear for excavations, considering his profession. So my options were to either clutter the model with yet more bitz, or construct an assistant for him to do the heavy lifting (or rather, digging). And even though I wanted to resist the urge to build yet another retainer for one of my Inquisitor’s retainers, I couldn’t help it. So I dived into my bitzbox and made an early mockup of a xeno-archaeologist in training:

Marbray's lil' helper WIP (4)
Marbray's lil' helper WIP (2)
Marbray's lil' helper WIP (5)
In my imagination, this guy is a devout student of Professor Marbray and is thrilled by the chance to do the dirty work for his idol. I wanted him to look like he was checking something on a map in his left hand, while his right is holding a trusty old Laspistol. Oh, and I also added a guard backpack to him, as you can see, so he at least has a shovel 😉

The rather frightened looking head from the Celestial Hurricanum kit seemed to be a perfect fit for him, plus it also creates a visual connection with Inquisitor Alvar, which I like. The model still needs some additional detail work, of course, but I think it already works reasonably well.

To round out Alvar’s scientific staff, I recently good a really good deal on the FW Tech Serrvitor for Inquisitor Solomon Lok who should make a pretty great Magos Xenobiologis with a bit of work…

A dandy like Alvar should also have some female members in his warband, of course. Finding suitable models across GW’s catalogue can be quite a bit of a challenge, however, so I had to improvise:

First up, I picked up Reaper’s Sasha Dubois model:

Tin for the tin god (1)
I normally stick to GW models, by and large, but in this case, I made an exception: I have loved this particular sculpt for a long time, plus I think she makes an excellent addition for an INQ28 warband. Granted, she may look slightly “stripperiffic” with that bared midriff, but it should be easy enough to paint that area as covered by a bodyglove. Here’s a link to a very nice, painted version of the model.

My plan for now is to call her Millerna Acheron and use her as an Interrogator for Inquisitor Alvar: It suits his character to have an attractive woman around as his assistant. At the same time, he’s shrewd enough to consciously give the impression that he just chose her as a pretty face to accompany him.

I also bought a box of Necromunda Esher gangers before GW sold out all their Specialist System models, and one of them will probably be added to Inquisitor Alvar’s retinue as some hired muscle:

Tin for the tin god (3)
Shiv Korlund is probably an ex-hive ganger and gunslinger and could be Alvar’s operative for whenever he has dealings in the underhive of a particular world. I also imagine she might have a rather interesting “kiss kiss slap” relationship with the guard veteran…

So those are the members of Inquisitor Alvar’s retinue so far: I think it’s a rather interesting cast of characters, and it will be fun to further flesh them out. It’s also remarkable how things just started falling into place once I had begun to work on the warband! Of course I’d like to hear any suggestions you might have!

Those were not the only INQ28 models I have been working on, though: Some of you might remember the WIP Sun Cultist I posted a while ago:

Sun cultist WIP (1)
The model is based on a Dark Eldar Wych and a couple of different bitz. Getting this character to work turned out to be quite a task! However, I have recently managed to complete the basic build of the model:

Sun Cultist (18)
Sun Cultist (19)
I now see her more as a bodyguard than a cultist, to be honest: I believe her ostentatious quasi-renaissance outfit makes her look like the trained personal guard of a powerful spirelord, with her movements like those of a dancer: elegant but deadly. The model will yet need some more work, and I’ll need to find a warband for her as well, but I am now feeling really happy with the overall look of the model for the first time.

The last model I want to show you today is still very rough around the edges. It is also merely a fun little project, inspired by a brilliant little conversion I discovered on one of the German forums. I give you the TAU SAMURAI:

Tau samurai early WIP (2)
Tau samurai early WIP (1)
Granted, I am certainly not the first person to notice the distinctly japanese look about the new Tau models. Still, building a mockup for a Tau samurai has been a lot of fun so far, even if the model will need quite a bit more work — and I’ll admit it’s a slightly goofy idea, of course…

 

All in all, building some new INQ28 models – or combining existing models into a warband – is always a breath of fresh air. I hope I’ll be able to get some of these characters painted some time in the next weeks — let’s keep our fingers crossed! Oh, and let me know whatever feedback you might have, of course!

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

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8 Responses to “Loving the alien”

  1. Well, I see most of this fella before so no surprise here but I like them a lot… What a nice warband you got here now, maybe you could just had a “servo-skull” type model to boost the research potential of Titus? I’m really fond of prof. Abelard and his assistant then follow the kroot pathfinder and Titus himself… I hope to see how the conversion for the acolyte and the female muscle turned up soon to refined my classement !!
    The former sun cultist his truly at his best with this final version, the swords fits perfectly and she now appeared as graceful and deadly as necessary, love her !!
    The tau samourai is a surprise and turn out very well !! I laugh when I discover the picture but it’s more ’cause of the close-combat Tau concept and the suge-kasa (the hat) than for the realisation herself… It’s a good work, really, I love him, I think that you must bulk it a little tough with shoulder armor and had some gumies at the waist…

    Keep on, mate!! A pleasure to see some inq28 models and reading from you!!

    cheers, Keb.

    • Thanks, Keb! You’re right, for those of you familiar with my various INQ28 threads, these guys aren’t all that new — like I said, though: All the more reason to bring my blog up to speed and post them!

      Glad you like the redesigned Sun Cultist/bodyguard type — I feel exactly the same about her! The Samurai is a bit of a joke character, in all fairness, but strangely enough, the conversion works fairly well — maybe he’s a former officer who was part of the atrocity that wiped out T’l’Kess’s kindred, and chose the path of the Ronin (whatever the Tau name for that might be) as an atonement for his sins?

  2. Oh Bravo, inspiring conversions.. and with a -][- Supplement around the corner i may be compelled to appropriate an idea or two form here.

    • Well, appropriate away, mate! Take all you can carry! If people come up with interesting Inquisitorial warbands instead of stock characters in 40k proper, I am all for it! 🙂

  3. That is a nice collection of conversions for this project. Loving that professor and assistant especially. The Necron skull is a great touch and they both have nice poses that afford narrative.

    • Thanks, mate! You’re right, these two are pretty much 100% narrative driven: I didn’t build them because they would be super useful for a warband, but because it felt right to have them there.

  4. The second conversion that you posted (the cultist with a heavy stubber and Wolf Scout head) looks great. The Kroot is quite intriguing too, so I look forward to seeing him painted up. The solar cultist/assassin/bodyguard is looking good too with the healthy addition of Renaissance-esque items.

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