INQ28: In principio erat verbum, et verbum erat scriptum.

Hey everyone, I hope you’re all having a relaxed Easter holiday, before it’s back into the grind of everyday life tomorrow πŸ˜‰

As for me, after the frantic activity of recent weeks – at least compared to my usual standard – my original plan was to take a small break before things get hectic in the coming weeks and months for RL related reasons. But almost before I knew what I was doing, I was already back at the painting table and had started to paint yet another model. So let’s take a look, shall we?

Now today’s project basically begun in two places: A couple of years ago, I discovered this piece of artwork by Wayne England online:

illustration by Wayne England

Now I’ve already mentioned before that Wayne England is (was 😦 ) one of my favoutite GW artists, and this piece in particular seemed like a great source of inspiration. It’s all there: the bold lines. The mysterious, shadowy character, the stylised lettering,…

Shortly afterwards, fellow hobbyist PDH’s shared his ruminations on the mysterious Ordo Scriptorum, an Ordo given to collecting and scrutinising the vast amounts of recordings and data collected (and often forgotten) by the Imperium of Man. Now it doesn’t take much imagination to realise that there are lots of cool Inquisitorial narrative hooks to be had here, from the creepy Orwellesque “Ministry of Truth” angle to the “The Name of the Rose IN SPACE!” style exploration of ancient data vaults that lie hidden deep in the core of the Throneworld (beautifully hinted at, for instance, by Chris Wraight in his highly recommended novel “The Carrion Throne”).

Anyway, when first posting his ideas about the Ordo Scriptorum, PDH mentioned that the aforementioned piece of art seemed like a perfect depiction of an Ordo Scriptorum Inquisitor to him. Which was when the little levers started to move in my head, and they didn’t stop until I had an early build for a model inspired by that very piece of artwork:


I was lucky enough to have some bitz lying around that really came in handy during this process: The robed legs from the WFB/AoS Chaos Sorcerer were a bit of a no-brainer. Then I discovered that the bitz best-suited to producing the pose and overall look I wanted came from the Dreamforge Games Eisenkern Stormtroopers. And the part that really made the conversion promising, even at this early stage, was a servitor head from the Space Marines Stormraven kit β€” easily one of the best overlooked bitz from GW’s entire catalogue, if you ask me, and kindly sent to me by fellow hobbyist Biohazard a couple of years back.

Going forward, the most important part was to match the character’s silhouette from the artwork — the way he grips his cane, the general lines of the composition, stuff like that. I also really like how the character in the illustration seems to be wearing a pair of books at his hip as though they were weapons — quite an apt metaphor, given the responsibilities of the Ordo Scriptorum…

Anyway, after much tweaking, I ended up with this conversion:



Now here’s the thing: As has become a bit of a recurring motif here on Eternal Hunt, I actually built this model years ago and hadn’t gotten around to painting it yet. In my defense, however, I spent at least some of the time doing some serious research into what I wanted the Ordo Scriptorum Inquisitor to look and feel like. This also included building some retainers for him:


The overarching motifs I wanted to explore became even more clearly defined by looking at the members of the retinue I had come up with: I wanted there to be a bookish, shadowy feel to the warband. After all, it stands to reason that much of the Inquisitor’s life would be spent exploring ancient archives. However, at the same time, there was also a hint of elegance in the artwork that inspired the model, and I felt that this would offer an interesting counterpoint, both for the retinue and for the Inquisitor.

Keeping this in mind while trying for figure out a suitable colour scheme for the Inquisitor, I also drew from several other sources: One huge influence came in the form of Wayne England’s illustrations from the same time (or at least in the same style) as the piece of art that inspired the model in the first place:

The picture above really captures one of the things I was after: You can just imagine this being an impression of an Ordo Scriptorum team going about its business in the world-city of the Holy Terra.

Of course I also looked to the work of fellow hobbyists for inspiration: Jeff Vader’s work provided heaps of material for reference once more, particularly his rogue Inquisitor Carax and his sinister Blackship Captain-Inquisitor Lazaros . Then there was PDH’s own Ordo Scriptorum warband that served as a perpetual undercurrent of inspiration for this project — in fact, his Inquisitor Klien Inson actually used to be my Inquisitor Orlant’s interrogator!

And I also happened to take some influences from the videogame world on board, especially from two series very close to my heart. Which is why Orlant was very much inspired both by Father Karras (from the Thief series)…


… and I also tried to give him the same drawn aspect you can see in this illustration of Lord-Regent Hiram Burrows (from the first game in the Dishonored series):

And finally – and funnily enough – I also kept looking at an old model of mine, one of the classic Haemonculi from 3rd edition 40k:


While the paintjob really isn’t anything to write home about by modern standards, it did feel like a useful proof of concept for the look I wanted — now if I could only refine this by about 400%… πŸ˜‰

To be perfectly honest, Orlant was another one of those models where I was actually nervous about the prospect of painting — and messing up. Yet with so many finished INQ28 characters from the last couple of weeks under my belt, and with the inspiration provided by some Inquisition-centric BL novels I recently read (Dan Abnett’s “The Magos”, obviously, and there’s also so much of Orlant in Chris Wraight’s Inquisitor Crowl that I almost couldn’t believe it), I knew it was finally time to get this show on the road.

So with all of the aforementioned influences on my mind, I began painting:



I knew from the 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 with a really pale, unhealthy look, as though the Inquisitor spends very little time aboveground, in natural light — which is probably the case. And just like when painting Inquisitor Arslan, I decided to go with glossy black armour again, since I felt it would support the model’s slightly sinister look.

All of those elements worked reasonably well right off the bat. The one thing that didn’t quite work out, however, were the books worn on Orlant’s belt: I didn’t go with red or any other strong colour because I wanted to keep the palette very limited and predominantly cold, but as a result, they ended up blending into their surroundings. Several people suggested going for purple as an alternative, and under normal circumstances, that would have been an ideal choice. Only I had set myself this pesky little limitation of mostly wanting to keep the palette focused on blue and turquoise tones…

I also realised that the books actually take up quite a bit of visual real estate, so I needed the colour to be different enough from the robes, but not so different as to overwhelm the paintjob. In the end, I repainted the books grey — not an exciting choice, certainly, but it kept the palette suitably narrow and still looked different enough from the teal robes:

Another part that I had to redo several times was the script on the parchment: It actually spells “Redactor Orlant”, although you may have to take my word for it. I even tried to make it resemble Wayne England’s lettering style a bit, but there was very little space, and it was all so small. After redoing this part several times,Β  I think this is as good as it’s going to get…

During the painting process, I realised that there was this odd little gap at Orlant’s belt that was slightly distracting, so I carefully added some additional keys to his belt: It’s fun to think that Orlant has keys to all kinds of forbidden bibliocathedra and data vaults…

With the paintjob mostly sorted out, the model was only missing a base really, so I try to create something that would support the warband’s look and feel. For starters, I used a piece from one of the 40k basing kits, mostly for the pretty cool relief on it:


The piece was cut down to fit a round base, the gaps were filled with GS. I also liberally stippled on Liquid GS for added texture and to counteract the very soft and artificial looking quality of the stock piece. Ironically enough, most of the relief actually ended up being covered by the model:

If nothing else, however, it still provides some texture and structure, making the base look more like a part of some long-deserted Imperial archive.

So here’s the finished model:

 

=][=

Redactor Tiberias Orlant
Ordo Scriptorum

A long serving member of the Ordo Scriptorum Terra, Inquisitor Orlant has discovered many ancient documents and hidden truths during his long years of trawling the bibliocathedra and sunken data vaults of Holy Terra. Moreover, his rank as a Redactor of the Ordo means that not only does he endeavour to find records from the Imperium’s past, but he also gets to decide which truths are revealed to the masses and which are suppressed with every tool at the Holy Ordos’ disposal.

Orlant has recently embarked upon a mission only known to himself, making his way to the Velsen Sector, situated far away from the Throneworld in the Ultima Segmentum. His colleagues consider this most recent endeavour a fool’s errand at best, yet Orlant is not known as a soul given to flights of fancy β€” what could he have discovered in the vaults of Terra to inspire his latest investigation?

 




I did end up making one last colour adjustment after all, repainting the wax of the purity seal in a slightly colder tone than before. It’s really a small detail, but it ties back to Orlant’s skin tone (see above) and it’s not big enough to throw the entire colour scheme out of balance, so I think it’s an improvement.

As you can see, I also decided to add two books to Orlant’s base:

Once again, I wanted to hint at the fact that he probably spends most of his work scouring ancient vaults and sunken archives for lost data and hidden secrets. It’s an idea I want to explore with the rest of the warband, albeit in slightly different ways. We’ll see…

I also found out, by sheer coincidence, that Orlant has a nice kind of “Red Oni, Blue Oni” thing going with Inquisitor Arslan. Take a look:

Fellow hobbyist youwashock suggested on Dakka that the next Inquisitor in line would need to be yellow — Sentai Inquisitors FTW! πŸ˜‰

In closing, here’s a comparison shot putting Wayne England’s illustration that inspired the model and Orlant himself next to each other:

Maybe not a perfect match, but I am reasonably happy with the resemblance, to tell you the truth. In the end, trying to match the art is always a compromise between what can reasonably be achieved and what would just be impractical in model form. For instance, I only realised how scarily tall the character in the artwork is when putting both images next to one another πŸ˜‰

When all is said and done, it feels good to finally have finished this model! And it’ll be interesting to see how the stylistic choices I have made for Orlant and his retinue will (or won’t translate) to the rest of the models:


Thinking of this retinue again has also kicked off all kinds of thoughts about the nature of the Ordo Scriptorum — and has already provoked two more members for the retinue that shall be revealed in time.

But all of that is a story for another time. Until then, I would truly love to hear your thoughts on Inquisitor Orlant! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

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29 Responses to “INQ28: In principio erat verbum, et verbum erat scriptum.”

  1. Terrific work, mate. As always, a really enjoyable read.

  2. Oh well done sir. This is truly great.

  3. Inquisitor Mikhailovich Says:

    I love him! The blue robes work really well, and the black armour is super cool. How’d you get it so glossy? That’s how I’d pictured my Deathwatch, but black paint with grey drybrushing doesn’t do the trick haha

    Also, I’ve decided that he and Arslan are friends who do the whole good-cop-bad-cop shtick, with Orlant being the research division and Arslan being a little more active whenever they end up combining forces. Even if you expressly tell us otherwise, I’m always going to harbor this belief in my heart!

    • Thanks a lot, mate! The gloss is nothing more complicated than Vallejo Gloss Varnish πŸ˜‰ Personally speaking, I’d advise against using the effect for Deathwatch armour — as I can say from my own recent experience, a mix of edge highlighting and careful sponge weathering (to cover up any messy highlights) works far better and gives the Astartes a suitably battle-hardened look.

      Funny you should say that about Arslan and Orlant, since even though I don’t have any plans about their particular relationship, there’s an earlier (still unpainted) conversion similar to Arslan that fills the exact role you describe πŸ˜‰

      • Inquisitor Mikhailovich Says:

        I’ll have to mess around with it a bit more…

        I maintain my position! At least until we see this other conversion.

      • Just follow the link to Arslan’s original conversion, and it should be right there, alongside him πŸ˜‰

  4. Really great work! I love seeing people explore the more obscure aspects of the Imperium and I think Orlant does a wonderful job of capturing the idea of what working in the ancient archives of Terra must be like. I love the dark teal color scheme and cold stone feel of the base. It’s also giving me all sorts of ideas for some of my old unfinished projects…

    • Thanks a lot, Turnip Master! Ordo Scriptorum is indeed just about as obscure as it gets (at least in the modern fluff), which makes it all the more fun πŸ˜‰

  5. Thalenchar Says:

    Excellent idea, excellent execution! Love it.

  6. That’s a bit special man!!

  7. Lovely work on Orlant here – the use of the deep turquiose really sets him apart from the palette that we typically see used for Inquisitors these days, and as you’ve said, gives him a different, yet sinister feel.

  8. Amazing tribute to an amazing artist!! for the books color, maybe a really dark olive green would have been separating the books from the robes a little bit more, what do you think? (I don’t know why, but it seems it was a very standard color for many hardback books in the seventies, I got plenty like that in my library- that or very dark crimson, to be really precise)

    • Cheers, raff! πŸ™‚

      As for the books, like I said, the main problem with them is that they are actually pretty big, so adding a stronger colour there means I actually have another colour to juggle for the entire warband, so to speak. Which is why, ultimately, grey really feels like the most robust choice.

  9. Beautiful work mate – I love it when someone recreates a piece of artwork well, and you absolutely did that here dude. The conversion is spot on, and that blue is just perfect! Bravo

  10. I love this guy. His posture radiates authority and confidence, like every Inquisitor should, but only a few pull off. Guys without guns and swords are always the most threatening, too. Absolutely nailed the artwork too. Great work, dude.

  11. Man this guy is really cool!
    I like heo you incopirated a little bit of the visuals of the dishonoured series in him!
    Hope you make more inq28 characters like this: ones that are not really for fighting but are really important in the world.

    • Cheers, mate! And you are quite right: Upon closer reflection, there’s more than a little Dishonored about this guy — I actually love how the Dishonored universe is populated with characters that can be powerful and threatening without relying on any kind of physical force, and INQ28 is the ideal setting for exploring characters like that on the tabletop.

  12. […] truth is that finishing my Ordo Scriptorum Inquisitor really led to yet another surge of inspiration, as I kept trawling the internet for more Wayne […]

  13. […] base. I tried to channel the same “abandoned” library look I had already gone with for Inquisitor Orlant. I also experimented with some kitchen tissue paper, trying to create torn pages and parchment, […]

  14. […] PDH’s concept of the Ordo Scriptorum and because it features several homages and shout outs: Redactor Orlant himself, his astropath and the Bureacultist accompanying the warband were all directly inspired by […]

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