INQ28: The Office – grimdark edition

So there I was, carefully warning you all that I might have to dial back my output a bit, and yet I have two new models to share with you today — strange, isn’t it? πŸ˜‰

The 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 England illustrations from around the same time period. Unfortunately, his work seems to be much less well documented than, say, John Blanche’s, and many images were only available via that abominable hellpit called Pinterest.

But then several readers helpfully pointed me towards the original Dark Heresy rulebook as a possible source of Wayne England art from what I am beginning to think of as the “teal period”, which provided me with more reference material. I kept going back to his image in particular:


It seems to portray an underhive ganger of some sort, and I really liked the style of the character. So much so, in fact, that I spontaneously started to create yet another conversion based on a Wayne England illustration:


When all is said and done, it’s a pretty straightforward kitbash, mainly using parts from the Dark Vengeance chaos cultists: In fact, the entire conversion really took off to begin with once I realised the creepy cultist head with its mouth stapled shut resembled the head of the ganger in the artwork.

Beyond that, it was mostly about trying to get the subtle things right: the way the cultist is holding the gun in two hands was the key part, and I was lucky enough to still have an ancient Gorkamorka shoota that almost perfectly matched the design of the stub gun in the artwork. I also wanted to include the weirdly-glamrock fur collar, so I used the upper half of a Chaos Marauder cape as a starting point and sculpted some rough GS fur around it to suitably blend it in.

I also decide to depart from the artwork in one specific way: Much as I love the piece, the angle of the head makes it clear that the ganger is aiming (and firing) downwards, which is something I did not neccessarily want to reproduce on my model, mostly because it would look kind of silly when the model’s standing on the floor and not in an elevated position. So I tweaked the angle of the head a bit to make it look more as though the ganger were standing wit the gun at rest. I actually think the angle I have chosen makes the guy seem slightly more sinister, but that’s a matter of personal preference, of course.

Anyway, here’s what the finished conversion looked like:



Since my recent work on Redactor Orlant was what had originally inspired this model, I decided that I wanted to turn the ganger into a member of the Inquisitor’s retinue, so I needed to find an angle for him to work within the framework of the Ordo Scriptorum — which is when I remembered the archetype of the “Bureaucultist”:

Bureacultists are former members of the Administratum whose archive or bibliocathedra has been sealed off or forgotten. They keep doing their job of accumulating and organising data, yet without the rest of the Imperium taking any notice, they grow more and more isolated and feral as years, decades or even centuries pass.

Now just to give credit where credit is due, the Bureaucultist idea wasn’t really mine, originally, but rather came from the excellent fan-made Dark Magenta article on Holy Terra as an adventurescape.

To quote Robey Jenkins, from issue #1 of Dark Magenta:

The bureaucultist is a strange evolution of humanity. Having entered the condition of civilization and passed
through it into a new barbarism, the bureaucult is devoted only to policies, procedures and the unthinking guardianship
of information. (…)

Bureaucultists crop up in the massive, sprawling administrations of the Imperium all across the galaxy. Although
their approach to information is fundamentally primitive, their attention to detail is legendary and they will fight
obsessively to protect what is theirs, so many an Inquisitor makes use of such creatures within his staff to help
manage an extensive library or private archive.

When PDH originally came up with the concept for his Ordo Scriptorum warband, he adapted the concept and made “Indentured Bureaucultists” into a part of the Ordo. Wrote PDH:

Bureaucultist slave labour of the Ordo Scriptorum. These workers are indentured by the threat of redaction and the deletion of generations worth of bilbliocatherdra, data vaults and knowledge. While these repositories are often worthless to the Imperium, the threat binds the cultists to the Ordo Scriptorum, making for the most loyal of slaves.

There’s something incredibly grimdark about the thought of clerks and librarians going feral after their archives and bibliocathedra have been sealed off or forgotten, isn’t there? Just think about the former librarians and scribes devolving into a tribal society, forming gangs and fighting for their respective “section” of the archive, maybe for resources like electricity, memory units, clean paper or dry shelf space, with their former calling slowly turning into half-forgotten memories and office rules permutating into quasi-religion. Plus such a bureaucultist could be a useful follower for an Ordo Scriptorum Inquisitor, serving as a guide for forgotten and abandoned archives, remembering the ancient file sytems and cogitator protocols…

So while the ganger in Wayne England’s illustration above probably wasn’t planned with the bureaucultist angle in mind, I still thought it might be a cool idea to use the converted character as a bureaucultist. There are even some touches that might point to the idea of a librarian gone feral (such as the servo-skull banner pole — a trophy or a legitimate way of storing data, even after all this time…?).

Here’s a picture with Redactor Orlant for comparison. It also shows you the bureaucultist conversion in all its different colours, warts and all:


The model was painted to match Orlant’s colour palette. However, I went for a slightly grubbier, dirtier version of the colour scheme this time around, making the bureaucultist look like a bit of a slightly twisted mirror version of the Inquisitor:





Here’s another side by side with both models:


And of course I couldn’t help myself and had to mock up a comparison with the model, the artwork that inspired it, and some tweaked colour settings:


So that’s yet another model based on the work of Wayne England — and it probably won’t surprise you at this point to learn that I could easily see myself taking even more inspiration from his body of work. For instance, PDH pointed out to me that Orlant’s retinue could really use an astropath, and I realised that the illustrations for the Pyromancy and Telekinetics psyker disciplines, respectively, would provide the perfect template for an Ordo Scriptorum Astropath:

 

Speaking of PDH, though, Peter is actually responsible for yet another addition to Redactor Orlant’s warband: Seeing how I’ve been taking so much inspiration from his own Ordo Scriptorum warband, and given the fact that we agreed ages ago that Peter’s Inquisitor, Klien Inson, had been Redactor Orlant’s interrogator at one point, I really couldn’t resist trying to build a younger version of Inson. Thanks to direct feedback from PDH, I think I’ve come up with a pretty cool younger version of his original model. Take a look:


On the left is Peter’s original model for Inquisitor Inson, on the right is my take on Inson as an interrogator. Here’s a closer look at the conversion:





I wanted to create a really strong resemblance while also clearly communicating the fact that my version actually shows Inson as a (slightly) younger man. At the same time, I also tried to add some cues that pointed back at Orlant (such as the collar, that is actually virtually identical to the one used on Orlant, while also looking like a less exalted version of older Inson’s “jaws collar”, or the Inquisitorial symbol added to the model’s breastplate).

What’s really funny is that my very first version of Inson actually did even more with this particular concept: On the one hand, it featured a less ornate version of the bolt pistol older Inson has, as yet another shout out to Peter’s model. On the other hand, I thought that adding an organic left leg would be a great way of showing how quite a bit of time had passed between both versions of the model:


But then PDH informed me that his background character featured pretty specific information about where and when Inson had lost his leg, and was already rocking an augmetic replacement by the time he became an Interrogator in the Ordo Scriptorum. By the same token, his bolt pistol was confiscated by the Arbites when he first set foot on Terra, and was only given back to him after he obtained his full Inquisitorial rosette.

I wanted to honour Peter’s background for his character, so I grit my teeth and replaced the leg and pistol. Peter suggested using a Skitarii leg — as for why it’s sleeker and more sophisticated than the version on older Inson, I’ll leave PDH to work that one out πŸ˜‰ My take is that it maybe needed to be replaced by a more comprehensive prosthesis after further injury or that the original augmetic ultimately didn’t take. According to Peter’s background for the character, Inson also seems to have a bit of a thing for self-flagellation, so maybe that might have something to do with it as well…

Ultimately, I am very thankful to Peter for the feedback, however, even if it meant more work: The finished conversion has a more polished look due to his feedback, and I really wanted to paint it right away. So here’s a look at the – mostly – finished younger Klien Inson:




While the aim was not to perfectly match PDH’s paintjob for the older version of Inson, I did take care to take some cues from his model (such as the general dark look and the metallic scales on the cape) and go for a similar overall look and feel. Here’s a side by side comparison with both PDH’s and my treatment of the character:


While my version of Inson is a bit younger, Peter’s background for Inson characterises him as a pretty conflicted individual even at this earlier point in his career, plus there’s also the physical trauma he incurred during his work as an Ordo Xenos Inquisitor, so I went for a somewhat drawn, unhealthy look for the face, which I think has worked out pretty well.

At the same time, it was also clear that the younger Inson had to match the colour palette of his master, Inquisitor Orlant, to some degree, so I tried to stay within the parameters I had set for myself and use a similar palette once again:


He still needs a base, of course — and I have a pretty cool idea for another small nod to Peter’s model…

For now, however, this means two more additions to Redactor Orlant’s warband — with neither of them originally a part of the picture, but that’s how these things go sometimes…

Here’s a look at the warband so far:


Oh, and I am also counting these two conversions as entries for Azazel’s “Assembly April” challenge, even though they weren’t planned at all πŸ˜‰

So that’s it for today’s update. I would really love to hear your feedback on the new characters and the warband so far, though, so feel free to drop me a comment! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more! πŸ™‚

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18 Responses to “INQ28: The Office – grimdark edition”

  1. Excellent mate, and lovely to see some of Mr. England’s work being reproduced so well here. That Bureaucultist rocks – how lucky you were to have the perfect double-grip pistol to use! Nicely done πŸ™‚

    • Pandoras Bitz Box Says:

      Its pretty amazing how well you represented that bureaucultist, i have 10 cultists on the sprue frim Dark vengeance, i was thinking about having some/all of them intoombed and wailing inside the arnour plating of my Thousand Sons baneblade but maybe Inquisatorial henchmen is the way to go. I also enjoyed the process of creating thebyounger version of an existing character, only having to change it partway through tonremain canon. Your work is incredibly insparational and in adition to wanting to decelope my inquisition im thinking about starting a small Deathwatch contingent, fully converted and customised. Thanks again for sharing Krautscientist.

      • Cheers, mate! Focusing on the same character like that again and again instead of just building new characters can seem a bit like navel gazing, but I find it also provides some extra depth to the characters we come up with — plus it’s fun to imagine characters at different times in their lives. Glad you seem to enjoy that angle as much as I do πŸ˜‰

      • Pandoras Bitz Box Says:

        I love the idea of characters at different times, like your Angrons or even alternate timelines. Krakendoomcool showed me a model someone converted of a Ferrus Mannus with a flaming sword (https://apologentsia.blogspot.co.uk/2016/07/inload-ferrus-manus-conversion-and.html?m=1), then im thinking what if ferrus survived, killed fulgrim and too his sword instead? Then my brain goes to… What would Ferrus’s relationship with the admech be like, how would that impact the equipment of iron hands in the 41st millenium. Further, what if different primarchs died/survived/turned to chaos? A Khornate Russ, a slannesh Sanguinius, Nurgle Vulkan and Tzeentch Guilliman? I love these concepts. What if the emperor wasnt mortally wounded but crippled, and traveled around on a throne like inquisitor Karamazov? I wish i had the time and resources to build some of these ideas. Maybe in time. But yeah… Sorry, that was like a very long winded way of saying i liked your idea, just got carried away!

      • Well, if those ‘what if’ scenarios interest you, you simply have to check out the “Dornian Heresy” subforum over at The Bolter & Chainsword. It hasn’t been updated in ages, unfortunately, but I still think it came up with the best alternate 40k history I’ve seen so far.

      • Pandoras Bitz Box Says:

        Ok brill, thanks! Im managing to find a bit more time these days to hobby again. Maybe i will consider some of these ideas for a blog post…

    • Cheers, Alex! Make no mistake, though: While the pistol was a stock bit, the double-handed grip was painstakingly grafted together using different hands and arms πŸ˜‰

  2. Really, really cool!
    Actually, anything based on Wayne’s art is really cool.

    I am currently painting something Wayne England based on my Knight. It is always great to get back to the work of this amazing artist.

    Good stuff Stefan!

    • Thanks a lot, Maxime! It’s always an honour to hear from you!

      As for Wayne England, I was already a fan, but I’ve found an even bigger appreciation for his art after realising that some of his finest work depicting the Imperium of Man only really seems to have been realised as part of the Dark Heresy rulebook. Discovering those illustrations now is such a treat, but it also makes me feel the loss of a great artist all the more keenly…

      It goes without saying that I am really looking forward to seeing what you do with that Knight of yours! The updates so far have been more than promising! πŸ™‚

  3. Absolutely in love with the bureacultist, from the background (thanks to all who refined the idea, of course) to the miniature and painting!

  4. Great poses. Your work is always so inspirational

  5. Two great models, mate. You’re really getting a knack for capturing England’s work. Personally I’d have gone with having him aiming down the gun (he could be blasting cockroaches on the library floor!) but in your colour shifted photo the pose matches the artwork pretty well anyway.

    I’ve actually got a photo of PDH’s Inson in my ‘inspiration’ folder but I’d no idea who it was from, so that’s cleared up that mystery. You’ve got the makings of a(nother) very characterful warband there. Looking forward to seeing how you tackle the psyker!

  6. Another two fantastic builds, not to mention the paint which captures the dark atmosphere of the artwok’s palette, even in the full-colour versions.

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