INQ28: Grimdark Librarians of the 41st Millennium

Hey everyone, time for another update: Now the popularity of last week’s Chaos Armiger conversion hasn’t escaped me — in fact, I already have the next post for this series planned out. However, forgive me if I keep jumping between projects a bit — so it’s back to INQ28 for a bit this week:

Going along with Azazel’s community challenges has served me really well so far this year, so I’ll just stick with what works: This month, it’s “Neglected Model May”, which provides me with some extra incentive to return to my Ordo Scriptorum warband with the intention of finishing a few more of its members — they have surely been neglected for a long enough time at this point! πŸ˜‰

The interesting thing about Inquisitor Orlant’s retinue is that several members of it were originally built with a very different use in mind, while others – like the Bureaucultist or Interrogator Inson – just kinda “happened”. At the same time, it’s interesting to see how this slightly erratic gestation process still manages to result in something that fits together pretty well, all things considered — at least in my opinion. So for today, let’s take a look at some models that originally started off as something altogether different, before finding themselves recruited into the service of the Ordo Scriptorum.

I. The girl with the Void-Dragon tattoo

Now this one’s an especially interesting case: One of the members for Orlant’s retinue is Alizebeth Selandrine, basically the 40k version of a hacker:

And as both her name as well as the headline for this part of the post already indicate – and as most of you will probably have picked up on by now – Alizebeth is a – very – thinly veiled reference to Noomi Rapace’s protrayal of literary character Lisbeth Salander from the Millennium series. The fun fact is that the model wasn’t originally built to resemble Lisbeth Salander at all, but rather as a homage to Johannus’ fantastic “40k punkette”:

model built and painted by Johannus

As for the conversion itself, it’s pretty simple, really: The body came from a Dark Eldar Wych, while the head with the impressive mohawk is that of a Daemonette of Slaanesh (the same design Johannus used on his model, obviously). I also swapped in an autopistol. All of this made for a fairly convincing female hive ganger (keep in mind that this was all way before the release of the new plastic Eschers, alright?).

Some time after the model had been built, I watched the Swedish Millennium films, and I realised that the model I already had was a dead ringer for Lisbeth Salander, plus a character like that would fit into Inquisitor Orlant’s retinue really well, so I made some tweaks to make the resemblance even bigger and put more emphasis on the hacker angle: Some augmetic plugs and cables were carefully grafted to the model’s head, in order to hint at the implants that allowed Alizebeth to “hack” into cogitators and the Mechanicum noosphere. As you’ll be seeing in a minute, I also added what amounts to the 40k equivalent of a smartphone to her belt.

And when it finally came to painting the model, I actually used stills from the third movie, as there happens to be a particular costume that perfectly matches up with the colour scheme I had established earlier for Orlant and his followers:

Here’s a look at the mostly painted model for comparison:

As you can see, Alizebeth is really even more of a dead ringer for the character who partly inspired her now πŸ˜‰

When building her base, I decided to feature yet one more shout out by adding a small portable Cogitator (actually a bit from the DFG Eisenkern Stormtroopers):

To be perfectly honest, I am normally a bit wary of literary or pop-cultural references like this: Models built and painted to resemble characters from films or novels can be great fun, but it’s normall pretty hard to actually make them work within the 40k setting without massive suspensions of disbelief. With Alizebeth, however, I felt that she could work both as a shout out to a literary character while also functioning as a 40k character in her own right. Towards this end, I tried to come up with a bit of background for her that actually made the whole hacker concept work within the established 40k lore — I’ll let you be the judges of whether or not I succeeded with that.

Anyway, here’s the finished model:


Alizebeth Selandrine


Born on the orbital shipyards that hang in the void above the forge world Korhold Ultima, Alizebeth’s life was to be spent as a serf to the Tech-Priests of Korhold, although her gift at operating and manipulating machinery marked her out as a candidate for a more exalted position, maybe even for an eventual introduction into the priesthood. Selandrine shunned that fate, however, falling in with a tech-gang and becoming a nuisance for her erstwhile masters: The implants she had received as a preparation for her future training allowed her to conduct noospheric dives and manipulate datastreams and machinery from her hiding place deep within the crawlspaces and maintenance tunnels of the orbital installations. That is where Redactor Orlant found her, during his dealings with the distrustful Tech-Lords of Korhold, and he decided to induct her into his retinue.

And a closer look at her base:

All in all, I am pretty happy with the finished model: Alizebeth works as a shout out both to the aforementioned literary character, but also to Johannus’ model. And I think she could be a really interesting operative for Inquisitor Orlant, given her technical prowess and inside perspective on the paranoid Velsian branch of the Adeptus Mechanicus…

II. The Clockwork Assassin

The next model actually came into being relatively shortly after the Adeptus Mechanicus was first released as a proper 40k faction, back in 2015. It was originally conceived while I was playing around with the excellent Sicarian Ruststalker kit and was mainly built around the idea of using the brilliantly sinister servo-skull from the Tech-Priest Dominus on one of the Ruststalker bodies. When that worked out really well, I realised that I was almost looking at a cyborg-i-fied version of an Eversor assassin, and decided to push that angle even further. In fact, based on a suggestion by Adam Wier, I even built an Eversor-style pistol for the model and attached it to its backpack. Anyway, here’s the model in question:

As you can see, most of the Eversor hallmarks (a skull face, a wicked Neurotoxin claw, a sword,…) are there, but they are arguably made even creepier by the assassin’s heavily augmented anatomy. Looking at the model makes you wonder who built this chap and why. There’s something rather creepy and sinister about the model, if you ask me.

And, like Selandrine above, the model wasn’t planned for Inquisitor Orlant’s retinue at first. I came upon it while putting together Orlant’s warband and going through my collection of unpainted stuff to see whether there were any possible Ordo Scriptorum recruits hiding there, and found myself thinking “What if…?”

When I originally posted the assassin as part of Orlant’s warband, several people pointed out that it wasn’t really that good a match for the project: Why would a bookish type like Orlant have any need of a vicious creature like this? And while I was just about ready to agree and pull the assassin from the retinue for good, I also really liked the idea of a seemingly unarmed, not very physical Inquisitor who could call on an absolute close combat nightmare like that assassin as a last line of defense: Just imagine advancing on the unarmed Inquisitor, and then that monstrous …thing drops down from the ceiling and basically explodes into deadly action.

One comment from fellow hobbyist Drazuul, in particular, perfectly described the detached and controlled nature I had in mind for Orlant:

I can imagine him calmly tapping his cane in time to the jumps and bounds of his retinue as they descend on unfortunate apostates.

And since I was really in love with that idea, I decided to keep the cyborg assassin. Plus I also thought he might look pretty wicked painted in my Ordo Scriptorum colour scheme πŸ˜‰

And if I do say so myself, the model turned out rather promising during the painting process:


Regarding the assassin’s base, I wanted to come up with something a little more elaborate — and I really needed to, too, because the base was the biggest in the entire retinue so far. So I decided to pick up the “abandoned library” look yet again. A piece of rubble from the 40k basing kit for large bases (matching the one I used on Orlant’s base) formed the start of the design, then I added the remains of torn books on top of that:

I 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 sturdier paper placemat this time around, cutting small pages out of it, then covering them in glue and arranging them on top of the base. The end result ended up looking far more convincing, with the individual pages actually well defined enough to work.

Here’s a look at the finished model:


The Clockwork Assassin

This strange and utterly deadly automaton was engineered by the Tech-Priests of Korhold and given to Redactor Orlant as a gift. Clockwork Assassins are normally used as terror weapons by the paranoid masters of Korhold, but they can also become a much sought-after piece of merchandise. Why exactly the Tech-Lords would choose to present a member of the Emperor’s Inquisition with one of these priced weapons remains a mystery at present…

And once again, a closer look at the base:

I cannot begin to tell you how happy I am with those torn pages — but then, I really like the entire model: There’s a deadly elegance about it that I think really fits the look of the entire retinue, when all is said and done.

Funnily enough, here’s what fellow hobbyist Bjorn Firewalker had to say about the Clockword Assassin:

Were I an Inquisitor, I’d order the clockwork assassin disassembled the moment I’m out of the Tech-Lords’ sight, and examined for surveillance devices that may operate without my knowledge, and any codes that would let it act without my approval- to assassinate ME on the Tech-Lords’ orders, being one risk I will not accept. If my personal Tech-Priests clear it, then I will reassemble the clockwork assassin and utilize it- though the knowledge my personal Tech-Priests gain from studying the clockwork assassin will be put to use as necessary, e.g., so I can commission the construction of more clockwork assassins, sell the blueprints to raise funds, blackmail the Tech-Lords by threatening to sell the blueprints, know how to destroy a clockwork assassin if one gets sent after me or someone under my protection, etc.

While that sounds like very sensible thinking indeed, I am pretty sure the Tech-Priests of Korhold have put their creation together in a way that defends them against any attempts of disassembly or reverse-engineering: If you get a Clockwork Assassin and want to keep it in working condition, you’ll have to live with treating it as a black box, as it were. Even so, I think there’s a narrative threat there that might be fun to explore one day…

III. He can even do shorthand!

Now the third model I want to share with you today is probably the least exciting of the bunch, but I am nevertheless happy to have finally found a new home for it. I am talking about this old chestnut here:

This is an OOP servitor/Lexmechanic from one of GW’s old Inquisition releases — the model originally came in a box with an entire metal Ordo Hereticus warband, I believe. My cousin Andy still had many of those old models in his bitz box and was awesome enough to let me have this one — and it arguably makes for a great fit for an Ordo Scriptorum retinue, wouldn’t you agree?

The sculpt has that certain late 90s clunkiness we are used to seeing on many metal models from those days, but it was still easy enough to paint: I went for my tried and true Ordo Scriptorum recipe once again, as you can see:

The fun part was to use my Staedtler 0,05 mm pigment liner once more and reallly give it my all with that fine print on the parchment. I think I managed to do a pretty convincing job there.

So here’s the third finished model for today:


Ordo Scriptorum Autoquill Servitor

Since the Ordo Scriptorum deals with vast amounts of written records, it is no surprise that its members would need to create records of their own, from personal observations to annotations to a certain body of work unearthed during one of their expeditions into the depths of the eternal city. However, such knowledge is often dangerous and could spell certain doom if it ever got out.

For this reason, the Ordo makes heavy use of servants that are either illiterate, physically blind or have been warded in other ways against the various risks inherent in the material the Ordo deals in. The autoquill servitor is one such servant: Lobotomised and possessed of only the merest scrap of intelligence, their stunted minds insulate them against both dangerous secrets and eldritch arcana that might be contained in the notes they take on behalf of their masters…


One cool little detail is that PDH has the same stock model in his Ordo Scriptorum retinue, so it’s fun to imagine that his Inquisitor Inson might have “inherited” the servitor from his former master, Inquisitor Orlant:

models built and painted by PDH


So before I wrap up today’s post, let’s take a look at how Inquisitor Orlant’s warband is shaping up:

I am actually really happy with this project so far: Finally getting some paint on this retinue was one of my big hobby resolutions for 2018, and so far I am making pretty good headway! Just two or three more models, and the retinue should be finished — for the time being, that is…

For now, however, that’s three more members for Inquisitor Orlant’s warband, and three models for Neglected Models May ’18! Please feel free to share any feedback you might have!

And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more! πŸ™‚

25 Responses to “INQ28: Grimdark Librarians of the 41st Millennium”

  1. Those are (more) quality conversions. Love ’em!

  2. Superb team, and the base of the clockwork assassin is just perfect!

  3. Pandoras Bitz Box Says:

    These are wicked. I love all the character behind the inq28 models you’ve been making. I was aware of Inquisitor but only recently looked into Inq28 as a result of your models. Then I found the intimidating backlog of mini’s you have that I want to catch up on.

    Your Alizabeth is very cool, I have also seen the films and my wife read the books to me. The other thing this reminds me of the game Netrunner, albeit a much MUCH more gritty setting. All of the hacking tech that you have squeezed into the model is great.

    As for the Clockwork Assassin, I’m already a fan of the Infiltrator kits as well, although I don’t have one myself. It is suitably intimidating and I agree that despite not seeming like the kind of tool that would be employed by Orlant, its a great concept that he would have it anyway, either intentionally secretly as a way to keep his opponents off guard… or even against his will/better judgement. One of my favourite relationships in the Gods of Mars books is that between a lowly worker of a massive starship, rising up as a respected leader of the nameless workers and peaceful and religious figure head… only to have himself imprinted onto an ultra violent Acro Flagellant. Your Assassin reminds me of this match up, he didn’t want it, doesn’t like it, but it does come in useful.

    Very cool work again.

  4. Excellent work mate, these guys are all superb, (of course), but I particularly admire how the basing work really adds to the narrative of the warband… beautiful!

    • Thanks, Alex! I’ve been thinking about the basing for this group for quite a while now, and I am glad it’s mostly working out as intended — the torn pages, in particular, were something I wasn’t sure would work until I tried it.

  5. Well, I wouldn’t want to had back late library books to this lot!

    I’ve not seen the Millenium film(s), Alizabeth seems like a good likeness though – I feel there’s a difference between a model that ends up reminiscent of characters from other media due to happy coincidence, or contain elements of them as a homage, and trying to directly reproduce them. I think she fits in fine, and got you thinking about other aspects of 40k (how would a hacker work – not something that’s ever occurred to me to consider!) which is awesome πŸ™‚

    I think that clockwork assassin might be one of my favourite models of yours so far! So badass!

    Did you have more members of the retinue in mind, or were you trying to cover all the key archetypes?

    • Thanks a lot, mate! I am glad you agree that Alizebeth might actually fit the 41st millennium, after all πŸ˜‰ As for the future of the warband, there’ll be three more members plus a servo-skull. I am currently working on the next models, so stay tuned for the next update πŸ˜‰

  6. There needs to be more than 7 Likes on this! C’mon!

    Amazing work on those three. I don’t know the game, but the minis are just awesome. Agreed that the base work really ties them together and makes them all cool. Love the Lisbeth reference too, the model looks spot on. Hard to believe how long ago that movie was now, and how young Noomi looked in those pics.

    • Cheers, mate! πŸ™‚ I’m not that much into Likes, to be honest, but I will say there could be some more comments πŸ˜‰

      • I have a feeling more people are liking your great work than actually hitting the Like button. “Comments” speak words though! πŸ™‚

  7. Another amazing triad of models here. I don’t think you need to stress about Alizebeth fitting in to 40k. I (for one) see the Imperium as an incredibly broad brush rather than the much more limited visuals that we now see, based both on Blanche’s illustrations and the marketing decision to make the imagery all fit the model building kits that they conveniently sell.
    My imperium has these buildings, sure, but it also has the gleaming skyscrapers and overly-clean (on the surface) streets of Singapore, the soulless square apartment blocks of the Soviet Union or East Germany, the criminal-infested rundown buildings of the Vele di Scampia and the shanty-town feel of Rio De Janiro’s favelas.
    Think of the diversity we have on Earth, and we’re just one planet compared to the thousands upon thousands in the imperium. The original design was to be big enough that anything you wanted to could fit in, after all.
    Having said all that, she looks great and fits in well to me. I didn’t realise that was a Daemonette head, and i may have to purloin one of them when I assemble me plastic Escher. The old-school lexmechanic also looks the business. Models like this might not be as dynamic as newer ones, but then again not everything needs to be dynamic. It’s certainly fit for purpose. The one that takes the cake for me though – probably rather predictably – is the Clockwork Assassin. Do you have a parts list or any additional WIP images? I feel like I may want to …draw direct inspiration from that figure sometime in the future. *cough*

    • Cheers for the well considered comment, mate! As for the Clockwork Assassin, the bitz list is rather siple, really: The model was built mostly from Sicarian Ruststalker parts except for the head (from the Tech-Priest Dominus, although a very similar servo-skull also comes with the Ruststalkers), the (Kroot) shoulder pads and the small tilt plate (power armoured Grey Knights, I think). Hope this helps! πŸ™‚

  8. Inquisitor Mikhailovich Says:

    I’m just going to point out that you already have two Inq 28 characters that are literary/cultural references (we all remember the beautiful Boba Fett inspired bounty hunter, right?), so I’m half tempted to challenge you to make a character in each of your retinues that is a deliberate reference.

    If you do, I really want to see you do an Iron Man inspired tech-priest for Inquisitor ‘s warband. I just hope that, if you do, I can recreate whatever you do for it haha

  9. […] A blog about KrautScientist's wargaming exploits « INQ28: Grimdark Librarians of the 41st Millennium […]

  10. […] But while that assessment definitely had some merit, I have always felt that there is also another angle to Orlant’s warband and his character, a slightly elegant and debonair look that is present in some elements of the retinue, and in some of its members: the colour of Orlant’s robes, that snazzy scaled cloak worn by his Interrogator or even the deadly elegance of the Clockwork Assassin. […]

  11. […] models with those completed last month. Each model an individual and a character, and there are so, so many of […]

  12. […] mat (having already made some very good experiences with the material while designing the bases for my Ordo Scriptorum warband). The latter was sculpted with a bit of […]

  13. […] own Inquisitor Inson (it’s the same guy during his younger years). And I also snuck in a pretty blatant shout out to a pretty well-known literary character from fairly recent pop […]

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