INQ28: This girl is on fire

Yet more INQ28 content this week, as I have finally managed to complete one of my longest running projects: The retinue of Inquisitor Erasmus Gotthardt.

Now Gotthardt himself is one of my oldest INQ28 models at this point, as are some of his retainers: The models were built back in 2011, and from a much smaller bitzbox, I might add. I have been working on the warband ever since, adding a character here and tweaking a paintjob there. But for the most part, the retinue has been finished since 2016 — except for one last elusive model.

And to be perfectly honest, I have been putting off this one paintjob for a long time, mostly because I didn’t know whether or not I could do the model justice. But thanks to the various community challenges from fellow hobbyists Azazel and Alex, I have been blazing through quite a few neglected models lately, so I thought I would use this surge of motivation to finally face my fears, so to speak.

But what is this dreaded missing model I keep referring to? Well, this lass here, Elisha Gorgo:

The model was actually built all the way back in 2013, if you can believe it, when I was lucky enough to get my hands on the female vampires from the Coven Throne kit and really wanted to use them to create some characters for INQ28. I still think those are some of the best female models GW has ever released, even if the “vampiresses in period dresses” shtick might not be for anyone 😉

Anyway, I chose my favourite model from the trio to build a member for Inquisitor Gotthardt’s retinue. Unfortunately, the vampires had already been assembled by the previous owner, and due to the very delicate, slender sculpts, there was only so much I could do to convert them — which somewhat explains Elisha’s seemingly tranced-out pose 😉

I thought this actually worked well for a psyker, though, so that was what she would become. I spent ages looking for the right pair of legs, finally coming across some High Elf archer legs that worked really well (although not everyone was a fan of the “harem pants” look when I originally posted her on the various forums). I also exchanged her clawlike hands for gloved hands from the Dreamforge Games Eisenkern Stormtroopers that looked much less cronelike. But really, it was a rather straightforward kitbash. The prospect of having to paint the model was the difficult part: I really didn’t want to mess up, mostly because I wouldn’t be able to get another shot at working with these bitz without having to purchase an entire Coven Throne.

And even with my fresh committment to finishing the model, I was still nervous enough about this paintjob to actually mock up the intended colour scheme beforehand in Photoshop, something I don’t think I have ever done before:

We usually don’t get to see much blue in Inquisitor warbands, and I wanted to change that. I also really like turquoise as a spot colour, so that informed my colour choices as well.

The actual painting process mainly consisted of trying to match the mockup as closely as possible while doing my best not to ruin the face 😉

Which turned out to be a bit of a challenge: I found out that I really don’t have the brush control and technical finesse to sail through a delicate paintjob like this. But here’s what I came up with after a while:

I actually do wish I had managed to pull off a neater paintjob on her face. That being said, I did manage to bring it back from the brink after almost considering it ruined, so I think I should probably be reasonably happy.

Something that doesn’t really come across in the photos is how both the corsage as well as the pants have a slight metallic sheen, in order to hint at different materials and fabrics used for her dress: I simply mixed some Leadbelcher into the paint for those areas. Apart from that, her entire dress has been painted in different mixes of black, white and Vallejo’s Milenario Turquoise.

At this point, I was basically prepared to call the model finished — to tell you the truth, I was actually still terrified of ruining it 😉

But at the same time, I couldn’t stop thinking about how a subtle blue OSL effect on the palms of her hands could be used to both hint at her channeling her powers and also explain her pose a bit better. But the hands were very small, and I didn’t really want it to end up looking tacky. In the end, I buckled up and just did it, though. I’ll let you be the judges of whether or not I succeeded:


Elisha Gorgo

born Countess Elisha Haxta di Colasante Mordina-Gorgo

Elisha Gorgo is the eldest daughter of the influential Imperial House Mordina-Gorgo. The girl started displaying psykana powers at a very young age. Under normal circumstances, this would have meant a dreary and possibly short life aboard one of the Blackships, but her influential father used every ounce of his authority to keep her “affliction” a secret. Due to her powers, she has been sequestered away from other people for most of her life and has grown up very shy and demure as a consequence.

Her secret was only uncovered when Inquisitor Gotthardt visited her homeworld as part of an investigation. And, for an undisclosed reason, he chose to make her a member of his retinue, arguably saving her from the far more dire fate that might have awaited her, had she encountered one of his more hardline colleagues.

When all is said and done, I am pretty happy with the way Elisha has turned out: Painting a model after such a long time always means you have to compromise — to settle on one definite way the model will look over all the possibilities you have been pondering in the back of your head. All technical gripes notwithstanding, I do think she makes for a rather stunnig addition to Inquisitor Gotthardt’s warband — because let’s not forget that the retinue is now actually finished. Take a look:



Inquisitor Erasmus Gotthardt and retinue
Ordo Hereticus Velsen

Once again, let us take a look at all of the warband’s members in turn:

Inquisitor Erasmus Gotthardt, an Inquisitor of the Ordo Hereticus Velsen in uneasy pursuit of his former friend, Inquisitor Lazarus Antrecht.

Cpt. Esteban Revas, former Regimental Champion of the 126th Haaruthian Dragoons, publicly dishonoured for an honourable deed.

Trooper Salvador ‘Sal’ Koltz, also formerly of the 126th Haaruthian Dragoons. An unashamedly lowbrow, yet surprisingly resourceful, individual. Bound by a debt of gratitude, he serves as personal retainer to Esteban Revas.

Iskander Gagarin, flamboyant Rogue Trader and merchant-prince. Claims to be a scion of one of the very first families to have sailed out into the Great Void Sea, even predating the Age of Unification.

PeeDee the Monkey, a priceless cyber-familiar and exotic pet to Iskander Gagarin.

Elisha Gorgo, of House Mordina-Gorgo, an imperial debutante, possessing strange psykana powers.

Father Endric Harlan, a Schola Progenium Drill-Abbot and survivor of the Quelling of St. Berthold, a highly classified Inquisitorial operation.

Remus Ingram, a former member of the Riftyr Hiveguard turned inquisitorial investigator, and Balzepho, his cyber-mastiff.


Looking back at my three “big” finished retinues so far – Inquisitor Antrecht and his freakshow, Inquisitor Arslan and his sinister Ordo Hereticus operatives, and now Inquisitor Gotthardt and his retainers – it’s fun to see the different design approaches at play: Antrecht and retinue were a way to explore radicalism and the way rogue Inquisitors are driven towards more and more monstrous and inhuman allies. Inquisitor Arslan’s retinue was, in many ways, an exercise in cohesion, with all of the members sharing a very similar colour palette and overall visual aesthetic. Now Gotthardt and his crew take yet another approach:

Like Arslan, Gotthardt is a puritan, but he is also less extreme in his views: Think Eisenhorn in his earlier years, and you’re not far off the mark. And unlike Arslan’s warband, Gotthardt’s followers are a pretty colourful bunch. As I’ve said before, the warband makes use of many of the classic character archetypes from the Inquisitor rulebook, taking direct inspiration from actual 54mm models or artwork from the book in more than one case. I think of the retinue as just the colourful collection of individuals an enterprising Inquisitor would meet during his work and turn into a highly individual group of followers.

Again, each of this groups embodies a different aspect of the Inquisition: Antrecht and his crew embody radicalism that borders on the heretical. Arslan’s warband is full-on fire and brimstone and Inquisitorial ostentatiousness. Gotthardt’s team has a swashbuckling, picaresque feel by comparison — more Dan Abnett than John Blanche, for once.

Interestingly enough, this is probably also the retinue with the biggest amount of backstory so far, mostly because the whole project has basically taken on a life of its own over the years:  PeeDee the Monkey joined the group when PDH sent me that little powder monkey that just seemed ideal as a pet for a flamboyant trader like Iskander Gagarin. Trooper Koltz only came into being because Esteban Revas just looked like the kind of noble fop who would have a manservant lugging around his smoking utensils — but both characters actually grew into something way more interesting and fleshed out. Just take a look at Esteban’s backstory, in case you are interested.

Anyway, enough rambling — I am just happy to have finished this long running project!
Oh, and since the completion of Elisha’s paintjob actually finishes the retinue, I think I’ll be counting this as yet another completion for Azazel’s Squad:March! challenge 🙂

And with that, we have come to the end of the road, at least for today.

Once again, I would love to hear any feedback you might have! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!


32 Responses to “INQ28: This girl is on fire”

  1. Inquisitor Mikhailovich Says:

    First off, I think that you pulled off the osl on the gloves very nicely.

    Second off, I would like to formally express my regret that Esteban joined this gang of misfits rather than the clean, honorable Inquisitorial warband he deserves haha

    Other than that, this is beautiful. Some day I hope to have a full warband like this. Excellent job, mate.

    • Thanks, mate! And yeah, Esteban really seems to be giving off that impression, isn’t he? The fun thing is that by exploring the various characters in the retinue in miniature form and thinking about how they might fit together as a group, I realised that there’s a deeper layer to his personality after all — just check out the crazy long ream of background I wrote for him 😉

      • Inquisitor Mikhailovich Says:

        I’m sure I read it at some point, but I’ll have to give it a glance!

  2. Great work mate, I’m so pleased that you went with the OSL on the hands – brave choice dude, but it really helps to sell the character & looks brilliant. Great to see the completion of such a cool warband!

  3. Love the OSL and the whole model in general is amazing. She really got in well with the band. Great work man

  4. Lovely work, man! Really dig how those turned out!

  5. Nice work, dude.

    I like her Sinbad trousers. That fifth photo down you get a good sense of the texture and sheen on them. The corset and ruff work with them too. They look like a complete outfit, which sometimes doesn’t happen when kit bashing. It looks like she’s slapped on the lipstick and eye shadow a bit thick in some of the photos, but that might just be the light 😉

    That war band’s looking good too. Big fan of Revas, that’s a cool conversion. He looks like a “proper” officer. He *knows* he’s better than everyone else. Have you read Joe Abercrombie’s The First Law trilogy? There’s a character in there, Bremer dan Gorst. I’m getting flavours of him in Revas.

    • Cheers, Ross! The makeup you can see in the PIP pictures was indeed a bit much, so I toned it down for the final paintjob. It’s really not that noticeable on the finished model.

      As for the First Law, you are perfectly correct — the books were a major inspiration for Cpt. Revas (although he’s probably based more on Jezal dan Luthar than on Bremer dan Gorst, who – at least in the first book(s) – still seems like a pretty nice guy). In the end, he’s a fair bit more noble than Jezal, though the inspiration was certainly there. In fact, The First Law and all of Abercrombie’s books set in that world are one of my favourite series — “The Heroes” is really essential reading, even if you’re not a fantasy fan 🙂

      • Required reading, most definitely! There’s more than one character in that universe that I’ve considered converting up.

      • Glokta would make for a heck of an Inquisitor in 40k! Heck, Jezal and gang from the first trilogy are basically an INQ28 retinue in anything but name.

        On a related note, those books are so good that I keep remembering one-liners from the series: “Body found floating by the docks.” “You have ro be realistic about these things.” “Still alive.”

      • Yeah, some fantastic humour in there.

        “You have been a fine sidekick”
        “I thought this was an equal partnership”
        “All the best sidekicks think that”

      • 😀 And let’s not forget Whirrun of Bligh, also named Cracknut. On account of his nut being cracked. Pure comedy gold, that one!

  6. That’s a great build for Elisha there. If you hadn’t mentioned that it was a ktibash, I’d have thought it was a model from another range, probably Malifaux. The blue for her psychic energy summon is also really effective – which paints did you use for that?
    The little spots of turquiose and blue throughout the retinue also work really nicely to tie them all in together visually despite them being such a diverse set of models.
    And congratulations on getting another warband completed! 🙂

  7. The OSL works really well, especially with the pose! Congrats on getting the warband finished!

  8. These are another great bunch! The OSL “leaking” between Gorgo’s fingers is particularly effective, and the metallic cloth reminds me of some stuff that my mom used to make super cool Halloween costumes for my brother and me back when we were kids.

  9. Love Alisha’s arm & hand posing and Esteban may still be one of my favourite kitbashes to date. I don’t know why but the blog seems to have a lot of malware etc. that pops up (or tries to) now I’m not reading from my inbox :/ thought I’d mention it

    • Cheers, mate! About the malware, though: That’s pretty alarming! Since I am hosting the site on, however, most of the problems plagueing wordpress blogs shouldn’t really apply — and there’s not much I can do anyway, since I am not the webmaster here. Are you on IOS/Safari, by chance? In that case, it might actually be a problem with your browser (I did some research). If not, has anyone else had the same problems as Dom?

  10. The slight inclination of the head and the way you painted the eyes eyes make for a quite disturbing character, that is exactly what one would expect from a psyker!

  11. […] start that I wanted the robes to be a pretty dark turquoise (in that sense, my recent paintjob for Elisha Gorgo actually did double duty as a proof of concept for this model as well). As for the skin, I went […]

  12. […] Krautscientist‘s work on Inq28 retinues was also very productive this month, completing two. Firstly that of Nabreus Arslan, “The Lion of Velsen” and also the Retinue of Inquisitor Erasmus Gotthardt. […]

  13. […] an achievemen, nevertheless. Two more inquisitorial retinues – Inquisitor Arslan’s and Inquisitor Gotthardt’s – have been finished. I’ve painted a second 30k World Eaters Contemptor that I am still […]

  14. […] indeed, finally painting the model also served as a capstone to Inquisitor Gotthardt’s entire retinue, which is now finally finished, after years of […]

  15. […] them for several projects over the years (to build, just to name the most important examples, Mistress Elisha Gorgo, Countess Mandelholtz, Redactor Orlant’s masked bodyguard and the pilot for my second Knight […]

  16. […] here to take a closer look at the warband and its […]

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