The State of the Hunt, Week 18/2018: Bad Bank

A bit of a an “in-between” post for this week, as I have both a finished model and a rather elaborate conversion to share with you. Once again, both of these have been taken straight out of the Velsen Sector, the little slice of the INQ28 setting DexterKong and I have created for ourselves. So let’s take a look, shall we?

I. The Interrogator

First up, my younger version of PDH’s Inquisitor Klien Inson still needed a suitable 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, something I would like to take even further on some of the future models for this retinue:

Another little touch – that didn’t work out quite as well as intended – was to feature the (Pilgrym?!) symbol that appears on the base of Peter’s model on one of the torn pages at Inson’s feet as a further shout out — oh well, you cannot win them all, I guess 😉

I am still rather pleased with the completed model, however — what a fun little project this was! So here’s PDH’s Klien Inson during his (slightly) younger days:

=][=
Interrogator Klien Inson
Ordo Scriptorum


Klien Inson is an agent of the Ordo Scriptorum Terra and currently serves as interrogator to Inquisitor Tiberias Orlant. Originally a member of the Dalthan Ordo Xenos, Inson was crippled during a campaign against the Orks at Sword Point. After Inson’s body had been fixed, he resigned from the Ordo Xenos and travelled the pilgrim routes to Terra. It was here that he came before the Ordo Scriptorum and retrained under the watchful eye of Inquistor Stiber Gorst. His work as an agent of the Ordo Scriptorum has led him into the service of Redactor Orlant.

 




And here’s another comparison shot with both finished models:

I am pretty happy with how my version of Inson takes some colour cues from Peter’s model as well as adopting some elements from Redactor Orlant’s colour scheme:

So that’s three members for my Ordo Scriptorum warband so far,…


…although, as I’ve said before, both the interrogator and bureaucultist weren’t even planned beforehand — that’s serendipity for you 😉

That being said, and as some of you might remember, there are some additional warband members that have already been converted:

From left to right,

  • Alizebeth Selandrine, a voidborn former Mechanicus vassal who can perform noospheric dives (read: a grimdark hacker),
  • a member of the Guild of Parchment Scroteners, a cult given over to the ritualistic destruction of Imperial paperwork
  • a Clockwork Assassin, a deadly automaton gifted to Orlant by the Velsian Adeptus Mechanicus
  • a female duelist with a pretty massive Venetian Carnival vibe
  • barely visible in the back row, an autoquill servitor

I think either Selandrine or the Clockwork Assassin might be next on the painting table.

II. The Crone

Now for today’s main course, as I’ll be sharing a conversion with you that I am rather excited about — and one that I didn’t even expect to be able to work on so soon. The model will also be serving as yet another entry for Azazel’s Assembly April community challenge, incidentally — so, what is this about?

Back when DexterKong and me came up with the Velsen Sector as an asventuredscape, I realised that I wanted a banking House as one of the political players in the sector. The inspiration for this came from Joe Abercrombie’s First Law series (and from his other books set in the same universe), where the banking house of Valint & Balk has a finger in each and every pie, and happens to be one of the most insidious influences present in the entire setting, always playing both sides, so the bank always wins.Which strikes me as both very grimdark and also, unfortunately enough, rather realistic.

So I came up with House Mandelholtz, or “The Mandelholtz House of Imperial Finance”, to quote its full title, Velsen’s own banking house. I see them as one of the sector’s big movers and shakers, and like any good evil banking house from history’s great dark hall of fame, they get to throw around their weight a lot. If you’ve seen the series Taboo and remember the way the East India Company gets protrayed in that series, THAT’S what I want House Mandelholtz to feel like.

Anyway, the Mandelholtz board of directors is a shadowy assembly, and very few people in the sector actually know who holds a stake in the house’s businesses. Which lends itself rather beautifully to all kinds of Inquisitorial dabblings and should work great as a storytelling device.

But a faceless entity isn’t that compelling a player for a miniature-based game setting, so I did want one identifiable character to serve as a chairman or speaker of the board for House Mandelholtz, and I realised pretty quickly that I wanted this character to be female. Dexter and me kept exchanging ideas on the matter, and he basically suggested to base the character on a grimdark version of Maggie Smith in her role in Downton Abbey:


Which seemed like a pretty brilliant idea to me. There was only one problem: I kept drawing blanks when it came to figuring out how to actually build a model for her — especially given the lack of proper female modeling options in GW’s catalogue. So the idea went back on the shelf.

However, when the Triumvirate of Ynnead was released, I knew I had found the base model for my conversion — Yvraine:

I’ll admit this probably doesn’t seem like the most obvious solution to my problem, seeing how the model is so clearly Eldar – or, indeed, Aeldarii – in many ways. The dress with the enormous trailing train, however, was exactly the part I needed for my conversion.

Picking up the entire boxed set just to get my hands on the model seemed a bit extreme, even for my standards. But then fate intervened, and I was able to snap up an Yvraine model from ebay for a pretty okay price (much, much less than a Triumvirate of Ynnead would have cost me, in any case), and when the model arrived in the post, I got to work right away.

Unfortunately, the model was in a really rough condition. Just take a look at the base Yvraine came on, and you can probably guess what I was looking at here:


That’s right, the previous owner used LOTS of glue to assemble the model. At the same time, the different parts had been put together really poorly, and mould lines abounded — but then that’s where the low price tag came from, obviously. And if nothing else, the model’s deplorable condition actually made it easier to start cutting because there was simply so much less left to lose 😉

So I carefully sawed through all the glue and did my best to separate the parts once again. And when I was finished with that part, I got creative. Here’s what I came up with as a first version of the character. Meet Countess Mandelholtz, version 1.0:






“Grimdark Maggie Smith” remained my basic design outline, although – as you can plainly see – the character grew a bit more grotesque during the conversion process: I wanted to make her look like rejuvenat treatments had really taken her as far as possible, but had also taken their toll on her physiology. So a healthy dose of Gary Oldman’s portrayal of Count Dracula was thrown into the mix:


Speaking of vampires, many of the bitz I used to replace Yvraine’s upper body actually came from vampire and undead kits, such as the lower arms and hair (Coven Throne vampires), the ugly, bent back (Crypt Ghouls) or the face (clamshell Necromancer). In fact, carefully cutting the hair off a Coven Throne vampiress’ head and grafting it to the Necromancer face was probably the fiddliest part of the conversion.

Beyond that, the main focus was on making her look much less eldar-like and more Imperial — hence the emblem covering the front of her dress, the small reactor in the back and the frilly sleeves.

But while I was already pretty happy with the model, I also felt it needed some more work. The biggest tweak I made was to change the shoulders in an attempt at making them slightly narrower — the poor countess was looking too much like an ugly guy in drag before 😉

At the same time, I didn’t even want to add too much to the model, so as not to overclutter her: So here’s my finished conversion of Countess Mandelholtz, of the Mandelholtz House of Imperial Finance:




This was really all about the fine tuning. I added some vials (from the Dark Eldar Wracks) to the Countess’ hunched back, trying to keep the effect noticeable but subtle:




I also carefully added some cabling here and there, in order to at least hint at some kind of physical augmentation:




Oh, and I replaced the bottom of her cane with something a little more interesting and ornate.

Of course there was the temptation to go farther still, adding weird insectile limbs emerging from beneath her skirts (like the legs you see on the AdMech Tech-Priest Dominus, for instance), but in the end I decided to keep her more human, both to suitably differentiate her from the sheer weirdness of the AdMech models and because it’s arguably more fun to make the observer wonder what her body looks like underneath her stately dress: Personally speaking, I mostly imagine some kind of augmetic brace or some kind of walking frame — but, like I said, it’s more fun not to actually take that decision and keep people guessing 😉

Apart from that, it seems like she would really have personal retainers for all kinds of menial tasks, such as carrying ledgers and petitions — this seems like such a cool angle for adding some further members of House Mandelholtz. But then, such a warband, if it ever materialises at all, should still be quite a ways off. Countess Mandelholtz, however, seemed like such a promising and influential character for the entire Velsen Sector setting that I simply had to nail down the idea in model form.

All in all, I am very happy with the model so far! Painting the Countess will be one heck of a challenge, though — looks like I’ll have to research some colour schemes for period dresses 😉

Oh, I almost forgot one nifty bonus: Getting the Yvraine model means that I also get to keep the magic Eldar cat, of course 😉 The Gyrinx should work really well as a pet/familiar for another character — in fact, placing it next to my classic Jes Goodwin Runeseer already creates something that closely resembles the piece of art that introduced us to the Gyrinx in the first place. Take a look:


But anyway, so much for today’s update. I would love to hear any feedback you might have! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more! 🙂

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25 Responses to “The State of the Hunt, Week 18/2018: Bad Bank”

  1. wonderful conversions!

  2. Excellent work mate – I love the direction you’re taking this & can’t wait to see more of House Mandelholtz!

  3. Wowee!! Love the Countess mate

  4. Pandoras Bitz Box Says:

    Super cool man, I love the idea of the aged, frail, aristocrat having unknown and potentially limitless wealth and power. I think even just that hunched back makes it because of all the information it conveys. As usual, fantastic work on stitching this myriad of pieces together (do you get bored of this praise? At this stage i feel like its just implied as soon as i type anything)

    I think that was a great call on not adding obvious mechanical augments to the body/skirt. If she spends all that money on juvent treatments, that suggests vanity and I think the mechanical p[arts would monstrify her . After all the Admech are synonymous with not caring about how inhuman they appear.

    great work (again). looking forward to more!

    • Haha, as if I could ever possibly tire of praise 😉

      Seriously, though: Thanks for the comment! There were some important beats I wanted to hit with the model, and judging by your comment, it seems to have worked!

  5. That countess is great! 40k (and all miniature games) really needs more old women.

    You might decide that the face is a bit too hideous, so maybe you could switch out her right hand with one holding a mask? The arm from the Slaneeshi character possibly.

    And retainers/assistants etc for her will be a great avenue of exploration… youthful handmaiden servitors, “handsome” golden body servitors, black suited murderers doing her bidding etc.

    • I actually think the face will turn out quite alright with the right paintjob — after all, it’s not monstrous or anything. Just an old face with an expression that’s a little frayed around the edges.

      As for your ideas for her retinue, man, you are doing half of my work for me! Excellent ideas! I’ll take notes, if it’s all the same to you 😉

  6. Great work here, I love that build on the Crone. Certainly a very unique figure for 40k, even for Rogue Trader.

  7. Michael Corr Says:

    Great conversion!

  8. Wait, you can resign from the Inquisition? Sounds like heresy to me.

    Love that conversion, but poor Maggie Smith 😉

    I remember back when Taboo was doing the rounds on the promotional circuit here in the UK one of the creators, Stephen Knight, said “…the East India Company…throughout the 19th century, was the equivalent of the CIA, the NSA, and the biggest, baddest multinational corporation on earth, all rolled into one self-righteous, religiously-motivated monolith.” Sounds like a perfect fit for 40k!

    • I don’t know about resigning from the Inquisition, but you can certainly change Ordos — it happens in the fluff, although how common it is seems to depend on the author.

      About Taboo, the East India Company’s magnificent bastardry was one of the high points of the series for me — then it actually gave me a little shiver to think that they probably were just as bad in real life…

  9. Wow. Wow! WOW! That’s what was going through my head as I looked at the pics of that sweet, nice, clean conversion.

  10. Wow, painting the old lady shall be a true challenge, can’t wait to see it finished!

    • Cheers, raff! I think it’ll take me a while to come up with the right colour scheme, to be honest — I think I’ll have to do some research about period dresses first… 😉

  11. […] Kitbasher and converter extraordinaire, Krautscientist from Khorne’s Eternal Hunt has created a trio of Inq28 models for his Ordo Scriptorum retinue. First up was “The Bureaucultist“, followed by Interrogator Klien Inson, and then Countess Mandelholtz. […]

  12. […] had already tried to use a paper towel to create torn pages on Interrogator Inson’s base, but while the end result worked out well enough, the pages were too thin. So I went for a slightly […]

  13. […] hour addition, by the way — they were originally part of the Yvraine model I used to build Countess Mandelholtz, and seemed like the perfect addition to Orlant’s […]

  14. […] the warband were all directly inspired by pieces of artwork from the late Wayne England. Orlant’s interrogator is actually a shout out to PDH’s own Inquisitor Inson (it’s the same guy during his […]

  15. […] one of the Coven Throne vampires – after cutting of her hairdo for my recent conversion of Countess Mandelholtz – and I combined it with a pilot hat from the Astra Militarum Sentinel — I think?! […]

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