INQ28: Unfinished business

Back to the shadowy world in between the cracks for today’s update, as we make the aquaintance of more citizens of the Velsen Sector, DexterKong’s and my personal INQ28 sandbox.

2018 was very much an INQ28 year for me in that I managed to, more or less, finish five different retinues for my Inquisitor collection. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for 2019 so far, but there’s still some time left this year, eh? So let’s head back to the world of shadowy dealings in service of the Ordos for a bit:

In spite of my painting progress last year, my INQ28 backlog is still on the wrong side of hilarious, so I didn’t exactly have to search for something to paint. I chose one of my long-neglected warband projects: the retinue of one Inquisitor Titus Alvar, of the Ordo Xenos Velsen:

Inquisitor Titus Alvar, of the Ordo Xenos

House Alvar has been one of the more influential noble houses for centuries. As a scion of the house, Titus Alvar grew up in luxury and power, the intricacies of the Imperial courts with their waxing and waning support for one house or another a game he quickly mastered. Maybe the search for new and more immediate thrills was what made him enter that perilous region of space known as “The Veil of Impurity” time and time again, and tales of his exploration of ancient ruins, of treasures discovered and adventures survived, made him the talk of the courts he had left behind. As a matter of fact, one of his expeditions into the treacherous cluster of stars resulted in a standoff with Inquisitrix Cimbria Carscallen. Under normal circumstances, someone running afoul of the Ordo Xenos would have been executed without second thought, yet Carscallen must have seen something in Alvar that made her reconsider. And so, Titus Alvar, noble, adventurer, became an Interrogator in the Emperor’s Holy Ordos of the Inquisition and, in time, an Inquisitor in his own right.

Though the years of doing the Emperor’s work may have somewhat mellowed his once flamboyant lifestyle, Titus Alvar very much remains a socialite and a political animal. His standing as a member of an influential noble house makes him a common guest at social functions all over the sector, and the tales of his exploits have led some of his peers to suspect that he is a glory hound, first and foremost.

In truth, Titus Alvar is, above all else, a pragmatist: The trappings of nobility are as much of a useful tool to him as the artifacts he has recovered on countless expeditions or the retainers, some of them quite exotic, that comprise his warband. Meanwhile, some of Alvar’s colleagues have grown suspicious of the Inquisitor’s continued expeditions to the Veil of Impurity and some of the alliances he may have forged there…


Back when I originally came up with the plan for Alvar and his retainers, I had this idea for an Ordo Xenos Inquisitor who was also a bit of a socialite, and an adventurer — closer in outlook to a Rogue Trader in many ways. So I wanted his retinue to be somewhat colourful and picaresque again, not unlike the charming collection of archetypes appearing in the original Inquisitor rulebook. Going back to the pages of that veritable tome, I realised that my collection was still missing the alien mercenary archetype — and it woud also also very much in character for a socialite like Alvar to have an “exotic” retainer like this in his warband, even though it might make the more puritan members of the Ordo Xenos foam at the mouth…

So that was where T’L’Kess the Kroot Pathfinder was born a couple of years ago:

T’L’kess lost his entire kindred in an atrocity committed by a T’au commander to prove a point (it’s a long story). In any case, there’s no love lost between him and his former “employers”(in fact, this is one of the angles that interest me most about the T’au empire: the contrast between their propaganda and narrative of a peaceful empire of many species and the possible cracks and ugly sides such an empire might have, such as aggressive expansionism, speciesism — you name it). T’L’Kess has realised that his last chance to keep his bloodline alive might be to travel the stars in order to find members of the kindred who left the planet prior to the genocide. During his travels, he meets Inquisitor Alvar and ends up working for him as a scout and pathfinder.

I have always been intrigued by the Kroot and have wanted to turn one of the models into a bit more of an individual for a long time — imagine my annoyance, then, when Dayhak Grekh from Blackstone Fortress turned out to be a much better realisation of a very similar character idea…

Ah well, my model was built years ago with the bitz I had back then. And in any case: All the more reason to finally get some paint on the character, right? 😉

When painting the model, my two main sources of inspiration where my buddy DexterKong’s Kroot character Ortok (basically one of the best Kroot conversions I have seen so far) and Foxtail’s paintjob for the Dayhak Grekh model from Blackstone Fortress.

Anyway, here’s the finished model for T’L’Kess

The white part on the left side of his head is actually the T’au version of a comms system. I tried to make the skin around it look scarred to hint at the fact that it was inplanted without much care for his thoughts on the matter — or for his good looks 😉 I wanted to hint at the bad blood between him and his former comrades in arms, and also at the fact that the covenant between the T’au and the other species from their empire can sometimes be less benign than what is usually suggested in the background…

Most of the characters for the warband were actually converted back in 2013, if you can believe it. With T’L’Kess finished, I actually had three finished members for Inqusitor Alvar’s retinue:

There’s the Inquisitor himself (in the middle), T’L’Kess the Kroot and an as-of-yet unnamed sanctioned psyker, formerly of the Astra Militarum, but cast out by his regiment when an encounter with a Xenos artifact led to some psionic friendly fire…

And here’s the rest of the retinue as it looked at that point:

In addition to the aforementioned characters, there’s Professor Abelard Marbray, renowned Xeno-Archaeologist from the Bastold Imperial Akademy and his personal research assistant, a member of the reclusive “Ashers”, an ethnic group facing a lot of prejudice throughout the Velsen Sector. Another Astra Militarum veteran and heavy weapons specialist for when things get ugly. Millerna Acheron, voidship captain and Alvar’s Interrogator. Not pictured: Shiv Korlund, a former hive ganger (based on one of the old Escher metal models).

With the Kroot model painted, I actually wanted to keep going, so I chose to work on the heavy weapons specialist next:

I like the big gun and the “tough as nails” look and imagine this is the kind of guy Alvar makes use of when negotiations turn sour and diplomacy is no longer an option. The original idea for him – way before then new version of Necromunda was released, mind you – was that he could maybe look like a former hive ganger (similar to the gangers from House Goliath) that had ended up joining the Astra Militarum at some point. And I still see him that way, basically: An Astra Militarum veteran and former memer of a working gang (with an extra emphasis placed on the word “gang”) from an Imperial factory world. His clothes and equipment were therefore painted to look as though he were wearing a mix a mish-mash of his former regimental colours, his working gear from the manufactoria of his homeworld and a couple of Inquisitiorial emblems here and there. I have also taken extra care to make his armour and leather apron look scuffy and well used, as you would expect from a working man like this. Take a look at the finished model:

For the icon on his shoulder, I combined two decals: An AdMech cog symbol and a small Astra Militarum emblem. This seemed like a fitting symbol for a regiment hailing from a factory world.

Oh, and adding those little symbols and markings to the grenades on his backpack was such a frivolous yet enjoyable little detail…

In my background ideas for the warband, he also has a bit of a war buddies thing going on with T’L’Kess the Kroot (whom he calls “Birdman”), in spite of everything:

So that’s two new members for Inquisitor Alvar’s retinue, and two long neglected models to cross off my list. Yay! 🙂

But wait, there’s more: Seeing how I was on a bit of a roll here, I decided to dig out another long-neglected model of mine that I think deserves some sort of closure. This gentleman here:

This is Lord Sebastianus Danver Balzepho Vlachen, one of the Velsen Sector’s big movers and shakers — and also a bit of a hero of the people. At the same time, he also has a darker side to him, and is ruthlessly ambitious. As grand-nephew and heir apparent to the ailing sector governor, he seeks to succeed his great-uncle as sector lord, and he is every bit as ruthless and ambitious as you would expect of somebody so far up in the Imperial nobility. At the same time, his connections to the Velsian Astra Militarum and supposed battlefield heroics have endeared him to both the military’s top brass and the common people. But again, there’s often a less respectable side to his character: For instance, he wears his scars with pride, having both a bit of a dueling history and a reputation as a grizzled veteran, but the truth is that the nastiest scar on his face actually came about due to a confrontation with one Cpt. Esteban Revas of the 126th Haaruthian Dragoons (read the full story here):

Anyway, Lord Sebastianus was one of those conversions I was really, really happy with. But he still ended up in a box, partially painted, and has stayed thus for years. Enough, I say! So here’s a PIP-shot of the mostly finished model:

It’s a really great feeling to be able to finally cross some of those old chestnuts off my list of unpainted stuff. And it’s fun to be back in the world of INQ28 for a spell! 🙂

Of course I would love to hear your thoughts on the models, so feel free to leave a comment! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

23 Responses to “INQ28: Unfinished business”

  1. All very nice indeed! I do like the Kroot!

  2. Great stuff all round mate! That heavy is superb – good use of transfers to tell his story

  3. A great crop of characters! And you were totally, absolutely justified in doing those tiny markings on Alvar’s gun & grenades I feel like tiny markings like that go a long way to establishing those things as proper pieces of equipment in the character’s world.

    Furthermore, Sebastianus looks like a proper aristo-scumbag and I hope he gets what he deserves. But maybe I’ve just got disingenuous, inexplicably popular rich dudes on the brain right now, for some reason.

    Anyway, great work!

    • Cheers, ssspectre! Yeah, it adds a bit of plausibility, doesn’t it? As for Sebastianus, yeah, he’s a bit of a bastard, but that basically comes with the paygrade, at least in the 41st millennium… 😉

  4. your INQ28 projects are always stunning, both in the making and in background development!! also, you may not have worked much on them this year, but you now own a fully painted HeroQuest box, I mean, you should already be extremely proud of your 2019!

    • Haha, you have a point there, raff! Unfortunately, though, I have been unable during the last couple of weeks to reproduce my frantic working pace from earlier this year. Oh well, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose… 😉

  5. Inquisitor Mikhailovich Says:

    So glad to see more Inq28! It’s my favorite thing on your blog!

    Might I be so bold as to request more Xenos in Alvar’s retinue? I’d love to see your take on Eldar…

    • Thanks a lot, mate! 🙂 As for further Xenos in Alvar’s retinue, I think a Squat is going to be the most exotic member along those lines (but those are human, strictly speaking, so…). I do want to build some kind of corsair prince at some point, though, so there’s that.

  6. Great stuff! I certainly wouldn’t beat yourself up over T’L’Kess. I think he looks fantastic regardless of the BSF model. I also really like the Heavy Stubber enthusiast – the build, the paint and also the backstory.

  7. Dexter Says:

    I’m going to gush. Are you ready? Here we go.

    The texture of the Kroot’s skin is absolutely sublime. I can’t tell if it was the result of drybrushing, stipling layers of color, or what, but you have achieved the look of leathery, dry, almost reptilian skin. I can’t stop looking at that top-down shot of his head and the absolutely gorgeous texture you’ve achieved on it. I’m also really digging the High Elf elements you’ve used in the conversion. It wasn’t until I saw him painted that it hit me how well they work, and how the define a unique culture for him without looking obviously elf-ish. The consistency with the moon-and-feather piece over his groin and the moon bit on his purity seal is really lovely. This guy can hang out with Ortok any day.

    • Cheers, Dexter. That is actually really nice of you to say, because – believe it or not – your excellent model for Ortok actually had me intimidated to even start on this guy for a good long while. The leathery texture may have something to do with the somewhat gooey consistence of the green base paint I used, but it really did end up looking reptilian, so I rolled with the punches 😉

      And yeah, I wasn’t 100% sure those High-Elf bitz would work, but given a suitably earthen colour scheme, they aren’t too flashy to work, right? Anyway, thanks for the kind words!

      P.S. Maybe, in a strange twist of fate, T’L’Kess and Ortok are even from the same Kindred…?!

      • Dexter Says:

        You know… I kinda like that idea. Ortok would be so different from when he left that visually he’s almost unrecognizable, but I assume that Kroot are almost able to smell each other on a genetic level.

  8. Great painting as ever. I also really like the bow convert on the Krut.
    Is the INQ28 a rule system?

    • Cheers, man! INQ28 is almost more of a general hobby approach than a ruleset these days, dealing as much with the way to put together conversions and characters as with actual gaming. That being said, most players use a tweaked form of the original Inquisitor rules (scaled down to 28mm, that is), or some kind of Necromunda/Killteam hybrid. Whatever works for you, really.

  9. Always cool to see such a large collection of pieces from all over the place drawn into you cohesive model.

  10. Hi mate!
    A bit late to the party, but just wanna say that these models look awesome.
    Best regards!

  11. […] my recent attempt to explore some of the political figures populating the Velsen Sector, such as my recently painted conversion for Lord Sebastianus Danver Balzepho Vlachen, heir-apparent to the ailing sector […]

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