Inquisitor 28: Navigator household warband WIP

In one of my recent posts, I promised you an INQ28 update rather soon, and today I intend to make good on that promise! 🙂

I already mentioned in a prior post how much I love weirdingway’s Navigator models. In fact, I feel his models make up one of the most creative and interesting 40k/INQ28  projects around at the moment, and one that has been a deep well of inspiration ever since I first came across it.

Now I already kitbashed a Navigator fairly recently, a model that I am pretty happy with:

Navigator (2)
Building this model was a fun kitbashing experiment as well as an attempt to get my current obsession with weirdingway’s models out of my system – at least a little bit. But ultimately, the Navigator bug had hit me so badly that it became clear to me that I needed to add a couple of additional models in order to make up the Navigator’s personal retinue.

Unlike weirdingway, however, I am not trying to expand this into an army project, so I tried my darnedest to stay focused and only build a handful of additional models. The other big challenge was to make the models more than just cheap knock-offs of weirdingways’s characters — I’ll be honest with you: There was a very real temptation to just copy his awesome kitbashes and be done with it 😉

I went a bit against my own laziness, however, and now I think I may have come up with a couple of models that share the eclecticism of weirdingway’s retinue, but put a slightly different spin on things.


The background for my Navigatorial House, named House DeVries, is that it is the oldest and most influential Navigator house of the Velsen Sector. The house is unbelievably rich and very much at the height of its political power, which has made its members increasingly haughty and eccentric. At the same time, their genetic makeup of the house has gotten more and more “particular” over the millennia, so that some of the members of the house can never hope to be able to walk among regular humans, while even those who act as representatives of the house will show minor but noticeable signs of deformity (like my Navigator above).

In keeping with the status of House DeVries, I wanted the Navigator’s retainers to be both eclectic and ostentatious enough to look the part. So I grabbed my bitzbox and got to work.

So far I have:

A regular of the DeVries household guard:

House DeVries Household Guard WIP (3)
This model was based on an WFB Empire Musketeer given to me by PDH. I really liked the model, so I wanted to use it as part of my Navigator retinue — I’ll happily go on record stating that I love using Empire bitz on 40k models! Even the puffy sleeves! Especially the puffy sleeves! Not due to laziness, mind you (though I am pretty lazy, actually), but because, in my idea of the 40k universe, there are lots of puffy sleeves, powdered wigs and strange, anachronistic elements.

In this case, that approach produced a model heavily inspired by a formation like the Pontifical Swiss Guard, which was pretty much what I was going for. In order to prevent the model from looking too fantasy, I added a head and backpack from the Tempestus Scions kit. And even though I really wanted to keep his weapon, I did add the muzzle of a Cadian Lasgun — maybe the weapon is a priceless Longlas? Or maybe it has been expertly crafted to resemble the ancient weapons from Old Terra’s history, due to the whims of the Navigators?

In any case, while this guy might need a tad more work, I already like where he is going!

I also built an an officer of the DeVries household guard, or possibly even its guard captain, based on a Tempestus Scion:

House DeVries Guard Captain WIP (3)
Once again, the Swiss Guard vibe is clearly palpable, isn’t it? The slightly baroque breastplate is really a good match for this particular look. I also wanted to gives the guard officer’s weapons a slightly impractical, very ceremonial look, so he is armed with a very ostentatious (and rather bulky) chainsword and a tower shield that originally came from the Bretonnian Men-at-Arms:

House DeVries Guard Captain WIP (4)
The decoration on the shield consists of an aquila (shaved off a Centurion shoulder pad I used for my Obliterator — waste not, want not and all that) and a parchment from a Marine kit. I also added a feather I had left from converting the Navigator, because I thought it would make for a nice bit of visual consistency to have feathers appear as decoration on several models in the retinue!

All in all, I really love this guy: He has such an “implacable man” vibe going. Plus the head really gives him a slightly sinister aspect, doesn’t it? He may be dressed like a fop, but there is actually no doubt that he could hold his own in a fight…
I also built a Majordomo for House DeVries. The idea for this model developed when I thought about the function of the actual Navigators in the organisation of the house and realised it would be cool if the members of the house were so rich and powerful and in their own little bubble that dealing with everyday matters was completely beneath them. So they would need a servant to coordinate their household and keep their little empire running. And while this servant would not be a trueborn Navigator himself, he would wield some of the authority and power of House DeVries, making him rather powerful and important to everyone other than his masters. So I set out to build a suitably ostentatious model for such a character. Take a look:

House DeVries Majordomo WIP (8)
House DeVries Majordomo WIP (9)

The model’s a rather easy kitbash making use of Cadian parts, an Empire Knight’s breastplate and a particularly great head from the WFB Empire Battle Wizard kit: While I think the kit is full of missed opportunities – especially when it comes to the bodies – some of the bitz are simply amazing — this head among them. As you can see, the Majordomo carries a tome of treasured secrets — maybe the travel routes through the warp jealously guarded by House DeVries? Or maybe the genealogic charts of the house?

House DeVries Majordomo WIP (6)
You may also have noticed the withered claw clutching the book, and there’s a story behind that: In my imagination, while only “pure blooded” children of Navigators will become functional Navigators themselves, I like the idea that the members of House DeVries are known for their voracious “appetites”, really “sowing their wild oats”, so to speak. Now my idea is that House DeVries tends to use the many, many bastards produced by members of the house as household guards, retainers, menials and what have you. Now what if the Majordomo is not pureblooded enough to have been born a Navigator, but very much pureblooded enough to share in some of the deformities of the more exalted members of the house?

In order to represent the fact that he is wielding a portion of his masters’ influence, the Majordomo carries a staff of office crowned by a stylised warp eye:

House DeVries Majordomo WIP (7)
The staff was constructed by combining a Sanguinary Guard axe haft, a part of the Chaos Terminator Sorcerer’s staff and a piece of Space Marine bling on top 😉 Oh, and to give credit where credit is due: The use and placement of the purity seals on this model was very much inspired by MonkeyBallistic’s wonderful 30k Imperial Navy Captain. Thanks for the inspiration, mate!

In fact, after building a couple of retainers for him, even the original Navigator didn’t escape my attention, and so I added a ring to his right hand:

Navigator (6)
I really like how the ring serves as a representation of House DeVries’s wealth and creates an interesting visual counterpoint to the somewhat misshapen claw of a hand…

So here’s a look at the entire retinue so far:

House DeVries retinue WIP (2)
Coming up with these models has been brilliant fun so far! And while the fact that I have taken lots of inspiration from weirdingway should be very obvious, I still hope that I was able to put my own spin on things!

Let me know what you think! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

25 Responses to “Inquisitor 28: Navigator household warband WIP”

  1. mrsaturdays Says:

    Fantastic kitbashing there. You make me want to pick up an Empire wizard kit right now.

    • Haha, thanks man. Only do it if you have a plan for it, though: While some of the bitz are amazing, the two bodies can be a bit of an acquired taste, plus they are only really useful for rather specific conversions.

  2. greggles Says:

    Your blog is an excellent example of how kitbashing can create extremely unique kits, which add character to models which are otherwise a bit generic. I look forward to these posts because of that!

  3. Brendan Says:

    Wow! The pairing of Scion and Empire components really, really works–particularly on the household guardsman. Although I know you explicitly want to keep the model count low, I can’t help but imagine a squad of these. They would look great and allow for further explorations of the various elements present (feathers, gems, silk ribbons, etc) on indivudal models.

    I have to agree with you heartily about using Empire components in 40k. On that note, I’m curious if you tried fitting puffy-sleeve arms on the DeVries officer. It might not be the look you’re going for, but he seems like a natural fit to me.

    Looking forward to seeing these progress!

    • Well, I’ll say this much: I will never entirely close the door on the option on building yet more models, so you never know…

      As for the puffy sleeves, I did consider them for the officer, but eventually ended up liking the slightly baroque scion shoulder pad better for him. That said, fellow hobbyist Llamahead suggested a servitor of some sort with puffy sleeves, and that seems a very interesting idea to explore… 😉

  4. David Valentine Says:

    BEAUTIFUL theme-work!! Need more stuff like this! Maybe super maddening mechanicus creations next? Perhaps larger abominations?

  5. AS always brilliant work. Can’t wait to see them painted.

  6. Nice! I love your conversions, especially the household guard and navigator.

  7. Awesome, they really look like they belong together!

  8. Edmund Normal Says:

    Great stuff! Love the household guard.

  9. Very, very cool! Excellent builds, man!

  10. Ghost XV15 Says:

    Great looking Models for sure!
    I thought about a Knight Household with some medieval flare.
    Probably on amission to recover a Knight, or maybe even an outcast?

    However, I really dig the combination of WHF Imperium parts with 40k, something I thought about a long time now

    • Indeed, a Knight Household would probably be a very promising warband concept, even moreso if you build a knight to accompany them! 🙂 Is there any information about what the Sacristans look like, I wonder?

  11. Wow, these are great! Each of the characters is cool on their own, and they also work well as a group.

  12. Great stuff. Always good to see that you don’t just do you excellent Khorne army. Look forward to seeing some paint on these.

  13. […] around the edges and quite unhinged. Is it any wonder that these guys have inspired me to build my own Navigator warband right […]

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