Inquisitor 28: A Man of the Void-Sea

At the moment, I frequently feel drawn towards some of my earlier INQ28 conversions — not only due to a desire to finally finish those models, although that does obviously play a part in the matter, but also because after all the ultra-grimdark stuff, it’s enjoyable to return to the somewhat simpler archetypes laid out in the Inquisitor Rulebook: the Rogue Trader, the Security Agent. After all, let’s not forget that those archetypes seemed pretty out-there and grimdark back when the game was originally released, at least to those of us who had only been used to 40k proper at that time.

Nowadays, after several years of hobbyists doing their darnedest to come up with ever more creative and spectacular characters (and to great effect, I might add!), some of those character archetypes may seem almost pedestrian by comparison, but they do have a swashbuckling charm that I like, and returning to some of those earlier ideas just feels like the right thing for me, so here goes:

Enter a conversion I created a couple of years ago for the retinue of Inquisitor Erasmus Gotthardt, Rogue Trader Iskander Gagarin:

Rogue Trader Iskander Gagarin WIP (1)

This was actually one of my very first INQ28 conversions, and I guess it shows, both in how closely it retreads some of the design cues from the stock 54mm models (Von Castellan, in this case) and how the model is a testament to my much smaller bitzbox in those times: It was mainly built from Cadian parts and some leftovers from the Empire models that came with the 6th edition WFB starter box. But in the end, I am still pretty pleased with the way the model channels both the 18th century military look typical of many of GW’s own rogue trader concepts as well as the flamboyance expected from such an individual, as evidenced by the xenos weaponry (I am so happy I still had that 2nd edition shuriken pistol!), the fur coat or the rather outrageous topknot.

I had wanted to get the model painted for years, and now I felt it was finally time. So I blew off the dust and made some finishing touches in order to spruce up the model for its day in the limelight:

Rogue Trader Iskander Gagarin WIP (1)
Rogue Trader Iskander Gagarin WIP (2)
I only really added a bit or two, but the one tricky part was to splice a suitably impressive ring (from the Skaven Stormvermin, of all places) onto that pointy finger. That did take some rather delicate cutting, but Iskander just seemed like the kind of guy who would wear a clunky signet ring (probably doubling as a digital laser, come to think of it), so there was ultimately no choice in the matter πŸ˜‰

When it came to actually painting the model, I had basically figured out the colour palette quite a while ago, back when I painted Iskander’s little familiar, PeeDee the Monkey:

PeeDee (5)
So I bascially stuck to those colours, going for a paintjob that was at once suitably militaristic, but also flamboyant enough for a man of Gagarin’s station. And while the result possibly isn’t one of my more technically accomplished paintjobs, I do think it manages to sell the character. Take a look:

Rogue Trader Iskander Gagarin (1)

“Ceruleam est Terra. Imperator Deus est.”
Motto of House Gagarin

Iskander Gagarin is a Rogue Trader of some renown operating in the Velsen Sector, and scion of the Gagarin merchant house — a house, according to Gagarin himself, that was one of the first in the galaxy to actually sail out into the great void-sea. An outrageous claim, certainly, but House Gagarin’s trade warrant is real enough, signed and stamped millennia ago on Holy Terra, and Iskander has built a small but considerable merchant empire based on his exploits into the treacherous region of space know as the Veil of Impurity.

In fact, it was after one particularly daring expedition into that cluster of stars that the rogue trader crossed paths with Inquisitor Erasmus Gotthardt. Back then, the Ordo Xenos Velsen was hot on Gagarin’s heels, pursuing him for smuggling Xenos contraband. And so Gotthardt offered his protection to the rogue trader, expecting his continued cooperation in return — and thus did Iskander Gagarin become a member of Inquisitor Gotthardt’s retinue

At first glance, Gagarin may seem like a braggart and ladies’ man, above all else, entirely too full of himself and utterly irresponsible. But while those traits may be very real facets of his personality, the outer veneer of a flamboyant merchant king hides a surprisingly resourceful individual, and it is for this reason that Iskander Gagarin has become one of Inquisitor Gotthardt’s most capable associates.

Rogue Trader Iskander Gagarin (2)

Rogue Trader Iskander Gagarin (3)

Rogue Trader Iskander Gagarin (4)

Along with the signet ring, I also added a hip flask to Gagarin’s belt as a last minute addition: Just because he’s in the middle of a black ops for the Ordo Hereticus doesn’t mean a real man of the world cannot take a quick sip of priceless Amasec now, does it? πŸ˜‰

Rogue Trader Iskander Gagarin (5)
And here’s Iskander next to his personal pet, PeeDee the Monkey:

Rogue Trader Iskander Gagarin and PeeDee the Monkey

I feels good to finally have finished one of my oldest conversions πŸ˜‰ And as an added benefit, completing Gagarin also brings Inquisitor Gotthardt’s retinue a fair bit closer towards completion as well. Here’s a quick shot of the retinue as it stands right now:

Inquisitor Gotthardt and Retinue early 2016
While I was at it, I made some small touchups to the other models, such as repainting some parts of the bases so they would fit together and finally adding some Inquisitorial symbols to Gotthardt himself. One thing that I like is how Gagarin’s paintjob also functions as a bit of visual storytelling: In the retinue’s background, Gagarin and Esteban Revas are rivals and works as foils to each other. Which is why their paintjobs share quite a few similarities, while Gagarin seems more flamboyant. Anyway, there’s really quite a bit of backstory in place for these characters, and they really do feel like fleshed-out characters to me rather than mere playing pieces, which I think is a good thing.

So yeah, just a fun little paintjob and a chance to finally tie up some loose ends. What’s not to like, right? πŸ˜‰
But seriously: I’d love to hear your feedback, of course! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!


28 Responses to “Inquisitor 28: A Man of the Void-Sea”

  1. Dude, I love Gagarin, he is brilliant (and I love the cheeky reference to Yuri), great retinue!

    • Thanks, mate! I came up with the reference years ago when I first built the model, so it seems almost a bit too silly by my current standards. But I liked the name well enough, and it’s become a part of the character, so I ultimately decided to just run with it πŸ˜‰

  2. It’s always nice when an old model that’s been sitting on the painting desk for a long time gets a coat of paint and a new lease of life. The Yuri Gagarin reference is a nice touch, particularly as this representative of the oldest of spacefaring houses is also one of your own oldest Inq28 conversions. Always good to see PeeDee getting some screen time as well!

    • Thanks a lot! And you are quite right: There’s a special joy in returning to an older model after some time. Oh, and I really like PeeDee myself, so I liked being able to include him here πŸ˜‰

  3. Nice work, and I particularly like that he could be either firing that digital laser or actually pointing to something. Maybe both.

  4. I have several old models/conversions that need re-working. I feel another Retinue project coming up hehe. Great work mate. Well done on the ring.

  5. Mark DCCCXIII "Voyager" (Time/Dimensional Travelling Armour) Says:

    If you’re open to suggestions, I would like to see a lady for the ladies’ man… Something a la Darth Malgus’ Twi lek lady friend from SWTOR –


    – someone who has the looks to be a show piece but evidently also the skills that they’re worth something on the battlefield. And maybe a romance interest as well?

    Just a thought. πŸ™‚

  6. Such a cool conversion, he really holds up to the tests of time!
    The red jacket is so good.

  7. Have you tough that red is really your color. heheh Really nice to see the model finally done. Great Job.

  8. Screwed Up Dice Says:

    He’s a great conversion. I’m really drawn to the old style shrunken pistol. I can’t believe you spliced a ring into his finger.

    The turquoise as spot colour really pulls the retinue together.

    • Haha, the whole ring affair seems downright idiotic in hindsight — so glad it actually worked out! As for the turquoise, I have to admit that it’s one of my favourite spot colours in general, and it has yet to let me down.

  9. Turkadactyl Says:

    Great work. Yay bitz!

  10. Geralt Wiwczareck Says:

    Wow! Nice work, I really like the profusion of bits coming from so many different kits.

    And I also like the reference to Yuri Gagarin ^^
    Will you create him a rival called Armstrong, Aldrin or Collins?

  11. Great work with Rogue Trader Iskander Gagarin. It is always wonderful to come back to a model and actually finish it! The 2nd edition shuriken pistol is ace! I love the look of it, particularly in that it is a fair deal smaller than the newer counterparts. The addition of the ring is fantastic! Great job splicing it on there; it is so easy to drop and lose pieces that small when trying to glue them in place…

    • Thanks a lot! That whole 2nd edition Eldar weapons sprue is incredible and definitely holds up even today! I’m so sad that I only ever had only one of those πŸ˜‰ As for small parts on the carpet, don’t get me started: I could probably start a whole army from all the stuff that was catapulted off my desk and into the nether regions below during particularly complicated conversions πŸ˜‰

  12. […] Rogue Trader Iskander Gagarin was a similar case: The model was originally built to resemble Duke von Castellan from the Inquisitor rulebook: a strangely eclectic character in a fantasy uniform. So far so good. But when PDH sent me a powder monkey from one of the WFB Empire kits one day, I realised that the little guy would make for an ideal pet for the flamboyant Rogue Trader with a bit of work. So PeeDee the Monkey was born — and became the actual template for Iskander’s paintjob later on: […]

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