Welcome, dear readers, to the third part of my INQ28-related kitbashing showcase! I have yet more Inquisitorial agents and ne’er-do-wells to show you today, but where the first and second installment of this mini-series dealt with more ostentatious, “in your face” style servants of the God Emperor, today sees a return to the somewhat more shadowy and quirky parts of the 40k universe. Let’s take a look:
First up something rather simple: Some time ago, I picked up one of the servitors accompanying FW’s Hector Rex model from a fellow hobbyist for a really great price. Rather than using it as a servitor, however, I believe I’ll make this guy into a Magos Xenobiologis:
I really like the look of the model, both because it’s rake thin, which makes for a rather unique visual footprint, and because it’s really close to my archetypal idea of a Magos of the Adeptus Mechanicus. Like I said, I believe this guy will become a Magos Xenobiologis, maybe to join Inquisitor Alvar’s retinue. The one thing I have done so far (apart from scrubbing the mold release agent off the model, mind you) was to cut off the tangle of cables serving as the model’s left hand. It will be replaced by a fairly regular hand — or maybe by that DV cultist champ hand with the blade tipped fingers? Anyway, this guy is not very far along yet, but I really love the base model!
II. Familiar faces
As evidenced by the retainers I recently built for Brother-Sergeant Auriga, I have developed a bit of a soft spot for servants, retainers and familiars — the kind of characters you always see loitering around in the background of the GW artwork, but that usually aren’t all that well represented in model form. Well, what better setting than INQ28 to do these unsung characters any justice?
First up, a small conversion that is really close to my heart: A while ago, fellow hobbyist and all around great guy PDH let me have a wonderful little powder monkey from one of the WFB Empire kits. The monkey is pretty much perfect in and of itself, and so the minuscule changes I made to the model were only intended to bring it more in line with the 40k setting.
I added some very subtle touches to turn the little guy into an augmeticised familiar, either for my Rogue Trader, Iskander Gagarin, or for a particularly eccentric AdMech priest (maybe even the WIP Magos pictured above)? In any case, here’s the model:
Since the model’s so tiny, the conversion had to be rather subtle: I gave the monkey a tiny bionic eye and replaced the tail with a cable from a servo-skull, in order to make it look like it could be used to interface with machines. I would have replaced the barrel held by the monkey with a servo-skull for an even more grimdark look, but the very real danger of losing that perfectly sculpted little paw was enough to scare me off 😉
I also needed to make the monkey familiar a little taller, and I used this opportunity to add even more of a 40k-feel to him by putting him on top of a techy bit (actually pilfered from an old model truck kit):
I really love this guy, to tell you the truth. Oh, and since Peter was awesome enough to give this wonderful model to me in the first place, what better way to thank him than to name the character after him, right? So, henceforth, this little guy will be called “PeeDee” by way of thanks 😉
The other familiar I built was a really fast and dirty kitbash that I completed one evening after work when I needed to do something creative in order to relax: I decided to build a servo-skull heavily inspired by the type of extra-grimdark skulls that appear in the Witch Hunter artwork. Take a look:
Again, a really easy conversion: I just added the top of a Empire flagellant’s head to a resin skull and blended in the seams with a bit of GS. Then a parchment was added, making it look like the skull was carrying around Imperial liturgies. And finally, some cables were used to provide a suitably tech-y look (and a certain sense of movement) to the whole affair. The whole thing didn’t take longer than rougly half an hour, but it was a fun little exercise to take my mind off things.
III. A charioteer to the stars
Last but definitely not least, a combination of different circumstances led me to build yet another, slightly more involved model: Maybe everything started when I first laid eyes on weirdingway’s absolutely spectacular Navigators and their household guard. I then read up on the Navigators’ background over at the Warhammer 40k Wiki, where I was also confronted with a particularly evocative piece of artwork done by none other than John Blanche himself:
I really love this piece because it perfectly combines some of the most interesting characteristics of the Navigators: The fact that they are shadowy and secretive, but with a certain flair and ostentatiousness. The subtle mutations and deformity created by millennia of incestuous intermarrying between the same cluster of houses. And the strange combination of hi-tech and mysticism that is so typical of the 40k setting. Anyway, all of these circumstances together really made me want to build a Navigator of my own!
There was also the fact that FW’s new event only model is a Navigator, providing a further motivation to come up with my own version in glorious plastic. So I merrily kitbashed away. Here’s the result:
As you can see, a WFB Empire Battle Wizard formed the base for the conversion, and the same kit did indeed provide most of the bitz I needed. The two things I wanted to push the most, from a visual perspective, were the Navigator’s ostentatiousness and his possible physical deformity (the exact degree of which is rather hard to ascertain, due to his billowing robes).
For the former effect, I took a page out of Forgeworld’s book for the model, giving the Navigator a rather flamboyant feather collar instead of one made of fox tails. The staff from the wizard kit is also the perfect sign of office for a powerful representative of an ancient Navigator house.
In order to achieve the latter effect, I had to be rather crafty, since the model’s robed body left me precious few options to hint at mutations, but a careful selection of bitz helped in giving the impression that the Navigator was somewhat …twisted. Chief among these bitz was the head from the Dark Vengeance Chosen champ — actually the bit that inspired the whole conversion in the first place! The model’s nose had already been slightly damaged and flattened during transport when I opened the box for the first time, and so I ultimately decided to replace the head. The third eye wasn’t all that fitting for a servant of Khorne anyway, but just the right thing to build a Navigator! And the slightly misshaped nose could be explained away as yet another manifestation of the poor chap`s rather limited gene pool. Beyond that, I added several additional subtle hints at physical deformity to the model — can you spot them all? 😉
This guy will be used as a high-ranking representative of House DeVries, the Velsen sector’s pre-eminent navigator house. I also cannot help seeing this character as a bit of an evil guy: Not a clear-cut villain or a follower of chaos, mind you, but a schemer and slightly depraved individual. Here’s a short quote that came to my head – unbidden – while I was working on the model:
“I am aware, my lord, that my kind disgust you. I need not look into your soul to see your revulsion, for it is written all over your face. You shiver at our nature, and at our perceived unwholesomness. But oh, my lord, if you could only see us how we really look, in the realms behind the veil…” (insert malicious chuckling here)
Another thing I would like to do is to add a couple of retainers to him, representing members of his personal household guards. These will be ruthlessly inspired by weirdingway’s amazing rag tag Navigatorial retainers, so take a look at his thread (wait, you should do that anyway!) and you’ll know what to expect.
So yeah, so much for my recent fit of kitbashing inspiration. I hope this mini-series has been interesting enough for you to follow — now I’ll have to work up the motivation to break out the paints, lest all of these models end up in my cupboard of shame. Let’s keep our fingers crossed, shall we? 😉
In any case, I’d be happy to hear any feedback or criticism you might have! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!