INQ28: Worker #9

Yet another INQ28-related project this week — but one that could easily do double duty for games of Necromunda as well: It’s killer robot time! πŸ™‚

Back when the Kastelan Robots were first released, I bought them pretty much right away, because I was fascinated with the conversion potential inherent in the kit. The first Kastelan was immediately entered into the service of the ruinous powers and became a counts-as Contemptor for my World Eaters:

As for the second Kastelan, my plans were more vague. The original idea was to turn him into a part of my small Iron Warriors killteam, channelling some of the old Jes Goodwin sketches for the Colossus, the same pattern of robot originally used in Perturabo’s Iron Circle bodyguard (at least in the older fluff, before Forgeworld tweaked the different robot designs and designations a bit):

I felt that it would be reasonably easy to approximate the design from the sketch with a couple of bitz, so I quickly got to work on an early prototype, splicing in a new head and experimenting with a couple of different setups:

Unfortunately, things ground to a halt partway through the building process, and the model ended up half-finished. This is what the poor Kastelan looked like for the better part of two years.

And that could have been the end of the poor robot, until I started working on my Road Crew project and came to the realisation that some kind of massive killer robot would be a really cool addition to that particular gang of malcontents from the underhive!

So I took another long look at the build I had so far and tried to figure out which direction I wanted to take the model into. For one, I took many cues from Jeff Vader’s Actaeon Heavy Assault Servitor:

Model built and painted by Jeff Vader

It should go without saying that borrowing ideas from a hobbyist as supremely talented as Johan is never a bad idea πŸ˜‰ But where his servitor looked deliberately put together and well kept (that’s the Inquisition’s deep pockets for you), I knew I wanted something more ragtag and improvised, as befits a machine from the underhive. I also wanted to keep the robot’s original function slightly ambiguous, so it wouldn’t be perfectly obvious when it had originally been constructed and what had been its original function. So it shouldn’t surprise you that the ABC/Hammerstein robot from both the Judge Dredd comics and film became another important inspiration for my conversion:

But even so, hammering out the exact look I wanted turned out to be complicated. Which is when WarbossKurgan’s beat-up Kastelans turned up and provided that last bit of inspiration I needed to finally finish the build some time last year:

As you can see, there’s a clear resemblance with Jeff Vader’s aforementioned servitor. I really wanted to add a strong sense of cobbled-together repairwork and later additions to the robot’s original form, though, so I added all kinds of rough armour plates. Asymmetry also became an important part of the conversion, with one of the robot’s arms spindly and skeletal, while the gun arm ended up looking rather massive (to the point that it could even have been taken from a different machine). I also added part of an old barrel as an improvised shoulder pad, in order to achieve that particular underhive je ne sais quoi πŸ˜‰ Oh, and I happened to find the perfect head — from an old OOP World Eaters Dreadnought given to me by Augustus b’Raass last year. Not only did it fit perfectly, but it also had a suitably brutal, uncaring look for a massive robot (there’s also a bit of Maximilian there, wouldn’t you agree? πŸ˜‰ ) Speaking of other robots from fiction that inspired this model, let’s not forget Fallout 3’s Liberty Prime and Road to Jove’s Ceathair, who were also on my mind while making the last tweaks on the model.

Anyway, the finished conversion sat on my desk for quite a while, but with my recent committment to finally making a dent in my huge backlog of unpainted INQ28 models, I took it along to one of my regular painting sessions with my friend Annie.

When it came to painting the model, I knew I wanted to go with the same strong yellow I had been using for the rest of the Road Crew so far. My original plan was to undercoat the model silver, then crudely dab on Yriel Yellow, to show how the members of the gang had repainted the robot to fit their livery. After giving the matter some thought, that solution didn’t seem quite practical enough, however, so I borrowed a can of Averland Sunset from Annie. In the end, this made the painting process much easier, so I was able get most of the base colours sorted out in one evening of painting:

Like I said before, I really wanted to add some abiguity to the robot’s appearance: Is he some kind of heavy duty servitor? Or an ancient warmachine? Or something different altogether? The yellow colour hints at a rather more industrial use, but then I also carefully chose some decals that could be seen as military symbols, capaign badges and stuff like that. There’s also the stenciled #9 on the left side of the robot’s torso that would end up hinting at its eventual name.

With all of the main colours and the first pass of washes in place, the next important part was to make the model look suitably dirty, grimy and run down, so I added several passes of sponge weathering, dirt and grime. This was a fun step, but it was also important to know when to stop. Here’s what the model looked like after the weathering steps:

For the crude, additional armour plates, I actually followed my original plan and undercoated them silver, then crudely repainted them yellow, to make it look as though the Road Crew’s members had tried to match the robot’s original paintwork. I also added a tiny drop of Tamiya Clear Red to the robot’s breastplate — I wonder if anyone can guess the reason for that?!

Anyway, time to show you the finished model:


Worker #9

I also designed a base for the model, of course. I tried to match the muddy, rusty underhive look I had chosen for the rest of the Road Crew.

This is such a small detail, but I am actually pretty happy with the faded symbol on the rusty tank I made by combining a couple of old Space Marine decals:

So here’s the entire Road Crew so far, complete with its newest member:

If I have one small regret about the model, it’s that I realised too late that Averland Sunset was a bit different in tone from the Yriel Yellow I had used on the rest of the Road Crew models. Ultimately, however, it’s something I can live with — using yellow spray paint made the experience of painting the big guy much more enjoyable, and the difference in colour could easily be explained away as the robot’s original colour simply being slightly different from the yellow used by the Road Crew.

Anyway, I am pretty happy with having finished another long neglected model! And probably the best surprise is that, what with GW recently having dropped a hint about something called an “Ambot”,…

…there might actually be a chance of a suitable ruleset to use Worker #9 on a gaming table one day πŸ˜‰

Oh, by the way, just in case you were wondering why I decided to name the robot “Worker #9”, it was actually a shout out to a half-remembered character from Final Fantasy Tactics, another ancient robot with an ambiguous original function:

I only found out the robot’s actual name was Worker 8 when I tried to dig up a picture for this post. Oh well…

It’s still a weirdly appropriate choice of name, though, seeing how the Road Crew itself was named after a throwaway line from the – incredibly entertaining – game Psychonauts.

So yeah, it seems like, after a couple of years, I was finally able to finish both of those Kastelans:

Plus it’s also cool how much mileage I seem to be getting out of that old Forgeworld Dreadnought head πŸ˜‰

Even though Worker #9 and Raud the Hunter are pretty different in concept and function, the head feels like a perfect match for both of them, wouldn’t you agree?

So that’s it for today’s update. It goes without saying that I would love to hear any feedback you might have! I realise that people seem to be growing more and more used lately to just clicking the Like button and moving on. And while I appreciate your Likes as well, they really aren’t all that motivating, to be honest. So if you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment! πŸ™‚

As always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

33 Responses to “INQ28: Worker #9”

  1. As I was reading a little voice in my head was saying “ABC Bot, ABC Bot, ABC bot” over and over again, so I was of course thrilled to see him pop up half way down.

    Gorgeous model, buddy. Lots of nice little nods as well. The Watchmen badge, the Rode to Jove road sign. I love the tank-tracks tabard and the barrel shoulder pad. Construction-yellow is always a winner for giant robots. I too am hoping that the Ambot profile is accompanied by rules for bigger fellas. There have been rumours of “brute” class gangers.

    I’ve been mulling over making some giant robots of my own. I’m not a huge fan of the base Castellans (mostly the heads) but there are scores of brilliant conversions out there, yours included, so I might pick some up and see what I can do with them. I think you made the right choice swapping the head from the defiler(?) one. It was just a touch too big. The dread-head works a lot better.

    Great work!

  2. Hah! I actually have a castellan in much the same half-state for a couple of years and just recently started to plan on incorporating it into one of my Inquisitor gangs (most likely Ordo Xenos as they need something heavy to deal with the masses of infested and hybrids they need to deal with).

    Anyway. I really like the newest one, the pose is great and the weathering is spot on. Happy you added him to the Road crew as that’s probably my fav of your current projects! Any plans for a transport BTW?

    • Cheers, mate! Yeah, getting this guy finished really took ages, but now I am finally happy with him.

      As for a transport, yes, definitely: An old Gorkamorka trukk has already been built (check out one of the older Road Crew posts, it should be in there), and could possibly one of the next models to be painted for this particular project.

  3. Very cool conversion!

  4. Awesome – Really dig how that turned out!

  5. Yeah! Fantastic conversion and paintwork. It’s always a treat when inspiration comes back in after you’ve reached a sticking point, isn’t it? Lovely work, chum πŸ™‚

  6. Pandoras Bitz Box Says:

    I always look forward to your posts when i see them turn up in the reader. This one esspecially as ive been painting up a few AdMech all week, including two Castellan robots! I wasnt doing anything adventurous with them, just painting them up. I really love conversions thouhj and after spending so long staring at the standard kit, its very cool to see all the, now obvious, additions and alterations. The dead stare face mask is a cool choice, the standard Castellan has that comical 50s style Robbie the Robot head, also remenicent of the Protectrons from Fallout.

    The hap hazard and ramshackle lool for the rest of the parts are cool too like the ogre belly guard and that barrel shoulder pad is so simple but such a cool idea.

    Excellent paint job too. Ive never really dont much weathering before and im only just getting into it so very much a novice. But ive been pickingbthe brains of a few fellow hobbyists on Twitter who have been kind enough to give me advice. Yours looks really effective. Im still so nervous trying to strike that balence between enough to convey an enviromental impact but not so much as you lose the original work.

    Thanks again for sharing, its a pleasure to see your efforts and certainly encourages me to try harder.

    • Thanks so much for the well-considered comment, mate! I’m really happy that you should feel that way about my posts! πŸ™‚

      As for the weathering, I know exactly what you mean — it can be really scary. I’d advise you to just give it a go and start slow: You can (and should) always work in several passes, so it gets much easier to decide when enough is enough. It’ll also provide an extra layer of plausibility, for lack of a better word, to your models. And even then, it’s perfectly fine to go for a more pristine, stylised look every once in a while — whatever gets you the look you want!

  7. Good idea, That Worker Bot would work great as a Ambot

  8. great model! I m really struggling to understand the meaning of the red line on the breastplate, though, hope you’ll give us some further hint! πŸ™‚

  9. I totally agree that comments are much more fulfilling than likes. This hobby works as a private, solitary affair but it is so much better when we start pooling knowledge and ideas. Look at the collaborative projects between multiple hobbyists – sometimes continents apart – you can’t get events like that from a like! That said the frantic pace of life makes finding the time to write a comment hard to do sometimes – or maybe that’s just my life πŸ˜‰

    Anyway, Worker 9 has come out looking excellent and really adds more to the road crew than the sum of their parts. I’ve always reckoned they look like mad mechanics, building their own gear out of scrap (although I can’t remember now if that’s actually a part of their background or just something I made up?). Either way building a scrap-bot seems like a natural extension of that. Although he’s big enough to be impressive he still looks like part of the crew – he doesn’t read as just a vehicle or piece of equipment but as a character in his own right, one of the gang – albeit one who’s a little taller than the rest.

    • Cheers, mate! And yeah, the mad mechanic angle certainly does play a role with the Road Crew: After all, one of their leaders is a former Magos of the Adeptus Mechanicus, who is trying to get the most out of the weird bits and parts he can scrounge around the underhive πŸ˜‰

  10. As always, inspirational and creative use of bits that keep my coming back for more!

  11. RookCorvus Says:

    Thought it might have been a bit of a Watchmen shout-out! That’s an excellent gang of misfits you’ve got there. While I generally enjoy all of your work, I think your war engines are truly spectacular. You do so well at tweaking and customizing them; Worker 9 and that 4th Company Contemptor are scarcely recognizable as the same base model!

    Also, that dreadnought head is fantastic. What a shame it’s out of production; it’s brutal and impassive in just the right way.

    • Cheers, mate! I really love doing Dreadnought-sized models and bots like that! It always feels like such a natural scale to me πŸ˜‰

      Also, I totally agree about the WE Dread — in fact, all of the traitor legion Dreads from Forgeworld were so cool. They were one of the first proper FW products I ever saw, and I remember being completely blown away by them, back in the day.

  12. Great work mate, love the beat-up look, and the yellow is just a perfect tone for this guy. Brilliant!

  13. […] gave me last year (and that is rapidly turning into one of my favourite 40k bitz, see here and here) worked rather nicely here as well, although there were several alternatives I also wanted to look […]

  14. I somehow missed this post until now. Somehow.
    Anyway, Worker #9 is fantastic and I think you’ve really captured the ambiguity of the beast’s past. Even having a slightly different shade of yellow works narratively, as it suggests that the Kastelan was not originally part of what/where-ever their origin is, and/or is much older than the rest of the crew are.
    I’ll admit I didn’t notice the spot of blood on the badge until you pointed it out in the text, but then I immediately pegged it as the Comedian’s badge.

  15. […] see, when I recently finished Worker #9, that was actually a case of the ragtag robot jumping the queue, when there were still a couple of […]

  16. […] so it was clear that I would also have to paint some new killer robots πŸ˜‰ One is the scrap-robot Worker #9 you can see in the picture above, the other was a second Contemptor for my 30k World […]

  17. […] scuffed yellow, no less – did feel so very rewarding! More info on Worker #9 can be found here, by the […]

  18. […] I think there is something wonderfully menacing and gladiatorial about the design, and the cabling evokes the World Eaters’ Butcher’s Nails implants rather beautifully. And while the head doesn’t shine quite as much as it could on the finished model, it’s a good thing, then, that I have already used the design on several models, such as one of my 30k World Eaters Contemptors and, of course, on Worker #9: […]

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