Archive for the Fluff Category

State of the Hunt, Week 52/2018: Going viral

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Fluff, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 31, 2018 by krautscientist

First of all, I hope everyone’s had a very merry Christmas! For my part, I have been far too lazy – AGAIN! -, spending most of my time eating, sleeping, catching up with the family and obsessively making my way through God of War for the Playstation 4. Still, I do have a new post to share with you — even if it’s just an intermession before the next part of this year’s Eternal Hunt Awards — the truth is, I mostly wanted to make sure the models I want to share with you today are counted for Azazel’s “Dauntless-Diabolical-December” community challenge. I do realise I am bending the rules of the challenge a bit, but if nothing else, these models are certainly rather diabolical (and maybe also a little dauntless?!). So what is this about?

One of the hobby projects that didn’t take off this year quite the way I had hoped was my work on some Death Guard models: I’ve been sitting on a – small – Death Guard army ever since fellow hobbyist BubblesMcBub let me have most of the Nurglite models from the Dark Imperium box, and while I have done lots of conversions here and there, the army really hasn’t started to materialise yet.

Maybe a part of the problem was that I was still lacking an underlying concept, an intellectual handhold on the whole project, so to speak. Like most chaos players, I have a huge fondness for Nurgle, because it’s just brilliant fun to experiment with decay, rot, body horror — the whole works 😉

But it was always difficult for me to envision the Death Guard and Nurgle’s servants as actual characters, rather than a mere concept. What is their end-game? Do they still think at all? Or are they too far gone already, due to their many “gifts”? I just couldn’t quite wrap my head around it all.

But then several sources of inspiration helped me tremendously. One was Chris Wraight’s novel “The Lords of Silence”, chronicling the exploits of the eponymous Death Guard warband and providing a very cool look at the interior workings of the legion. Even more importantly, it explores the Death Guard mindset in what often seems like a couple of throwaway lines:

“Golkh limps. One of his legs is wasted away within its armour-shell, yet still supports his considerable bulk. The bones are shot to powder, the muscles are a stringy mess, and yet he still walks. Such mysteries.”

This short passage perfectly encapsulates a pretty cool angle on the Death Guard legionnaires: their stoicism, their grim acceptance of their various “gifts”, but also their bemused wonder at their own existence and the extent of their corruption.

Anthony Reynold’s Word Bearers short story “Vox Dominus” was another invaluable source: The Death Guard makes an appearance here, and without giving too much away, the story provides a perfect explanation for the jolliness of Nurgle’s servants: They are basically laughing at the giant joke they alone are in on. That the galaxy’s ultimate fate will be to become a part of Nurgle’s realm, a fate they tirelessly work to make a reality:

“The Blightwood grows!”

Which made me come right back to a concept DexterKong originally came up with for for our shared Velsen Sector adventurescape: That of  a Nurglite cult, the “Cult of the Eternal Garden”, as it were, operating from a Daemon World called “The Compost” and trying to spread their decay throughout the sector. Anthony Reynold’s story basically gave me the missing link between those early ideas and the Garden of Nurgle: What if the cult’s operatives wanted to bring about realspace manifestations of a realm they refer to as “The Blightwood” or “The Eternal Garden” and that is, in fact, Nurgle’s Garden? Maybe their entire mission began with *teehee* a “freak gardening accident”, in that it was the result of a mutated genetic strain originally designed to wield bigger crops or hasten the growth cycle of Imperial agri-worlds, yet all it did was to plunge plant and animal life on the planet into a perpetual pandemonium of decay, death and rebirth, turning it into a perfect conduit for the Eternal Garden.

The members of the cult want to be like “gardeners” for the sector: Like a gardener prunes the branches of trees and shapes the garden, so do they want to shape the sector. There may be all kinds of tools at their disposal, from hazardous substances and plague germs to plants bearing the original mutated strain of genes that brought the Compost to its current state. One of the cult’s most powerful weapons, then, would be their attempt to let their twisted and warp tainted plants take root in the soil of other worlds (to transform them into hellscapes on par with the Compost). They would be eco-terrorists turned up to eleven, if you will.

This provided me with a whole angle of modeling and painting ideas: Seeing how the cult may have originated within some kind of Imperial research institution, cult members would be wearing the remains of hazmat suits, medicae gowns and lab coats. At the same time, their armament and mutations could also be used to represent their self-chosen fate as Nurgle’s gardeners.

What’s more, the project could really start out as an INQ28 warband, allowing me to explore some ideas, and ultimately spiral outwards into a 40k kill team — or even an entire Death Guard army, possibly?

Thus invigorated, I began experimenting on the first members of the (slightly renamed) Keepers of the Eternal Garden:

First up, I had some fun with a Poxwalker, because I realised that the project really hinged about making stuff like the skin and mutationst look suitably disgusting. And I found a pretty nice recipe that uses lots of washes to achieve the intended effect, which also turns it into a fairly quick affair: My first test model was finished after 45 minutes to an hour, tops:



The skin is mostly my usual skin recipe (Rakarth Flesh, washed with Ogryn Flesh, then a selective application of Druchii Violet and Carroburg Crimson), only turned up to eleven. The horns were washed with Athonian Camoshade. The boils and blisters were picked out in Yriel Yellow, then covered in thinned-down (!) Clear Red/Blood for the Blood God. Oh, and I painted the pants orange to suggest the remains of a hazmat suit, as mentioned above — of course I would be remiss not to mention the fact that the look also borrows a lot from the Infected from the Lesotho 2-12 project.

Anyway, working on this first model was so much fun that I kept painting the next two test models. Here’s what I had after a while:


In the picture, the three models are at different steps of the painting process: The guy on the left is all but finished, the one in the middle still needs some detail work, while the Plague Bearer has only been washed. At the same time, they also form different steps in the (d)evolution from a human cult member/cult victim to an undying servant of Nurgle (and also, a living incarnation of the Blightwood), as horrible branches start to erupt from the victim’s body, an actual manifestation of the Eternal Garden made flesh.

So here are the next two test models, fully finished:



As you can see, the first model is still wearing the last tattered scraps of a medicae gown…

For the Plague Bearer, I actually wanted to experiment with using a fairly organic skin colour, mostly to make him look like the nect evolutionary step for the cult members — something that I believe is already hinted at rather strongly by some of the design cues on the Poxwalker models:


I might tweak the skin tone a bit or experiment with slightly different hues on future Plague Bearers, though.

I am currently working on the next batch of Poxwalkers. Another ten have already been assembled/converted, while I have about another half-dozen still on sprue.


Nearly all of these have been tweaked in some way: In some cases, this just meant twisting some arms a bit or turning a head here and there, to support the already rather contorted, spastic look of the stock models.

In other cases, the changes are a bit more involved:


As you can see, some of the Poxwalkers are now wielding what looks like gardening implements, as an attempt to tie them into the cult’s overall theme (while also giving them a somewhat sinister medieval vibe). The middle guy takes the concept of branches erupting from the infected body to its logical conclusion — there’s probably a daemonic relative of Ophiocordyceps Unilateralis at work here (and I couldn’t resist incorporating some of the inspiration I had taken from The Last of Us).

And since the cult’s activities have managed to attract some attention – or maybe they were being fostered from within the Great Eye in the first place – I also chose to use this as a reason to finally get some paint on those Blightking-based Plague Marines I converted all the way back in 2014, when the Putrid Blightkings were originally released. It felt good to finally give those poor guys some much-deserved attention, and I chose one of them as a test model.

I used my previously established Death Guard recipe, with just a small tweak or two (including the thinned-down Clear Red). The first picture shows the model just after washes:

And here’s the finished model:



I actually surprised myself by painting the tanks on the Plague Marine’s back bright orange — but it’s really a rather good way of creating a shared visual identity between him and the cult members:


And here are the models together, in what may become the germ cell, as it were, of an eventual warband, kill team or Death Guard army:


Oh, and the “new” Plague Marine also works rather well alongside the kitbashed Plague Marine testers I converted shortly before Dark Imperium was released last summer:

As you may already have realised, all of these models are still missing proper bases — this isn’t due to my laziness (or maybe just a little), but rather because it took me a rather long time to come up with a proper idea for a basing approach. Ultimately, I wanted to incorporate the visual motif of Nurgle’s Garden/the Blightwood, only I didn’t quite know how to go about it. Until I saw DuskRaider’s Renegade Knight Irae Throni, with its bold use of colour:

Model built and painted by DuskRaider

Which made me think of the Sea of Corruption, a poisonous yet strangely beautiful ecosystem that appears in Studio Ghibli’s Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind:


And I would actually love to achieve something like that with my basing. It’s a fairly involved, ambitious plan, however, and one that will take a bit more time to set in motion — certainly a project for the coming year…

Speaking of which, Nurgle is, of course, all about death and rebirth — what better subject to cap off this year’s blogging, wouldn’t you agree? So let me wish you all a Happy New Year, and I’ll be seeing you shortly with the next installment of the Eternal Hunt Awards, a look back at my hobby year!

Until then, I would love to hear any feedback you might have! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

INQ28: Kill Team Ulrach, Move Out!

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Fluff, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 28, 2018 by krautscientist

Having completed two more members for my Deathwatch kill team last week, I was only one model away from finishing the project: Last in line was this gentleman here, a Watch-Brother from the Carcharodons Astra I converted earlier this year:

When it came to painting the model, my first port of call was to take another close look at Malcharion’s brilliant Space Sharks with their very prominent tribal trappings (incidentally, I offered Malchy the opportunity to name my Carcharodon, and he kindly provided the character with a name):

Caracharodon Reiver by Malcharion

I wanted to include some of those tribal swirls and decorations, but to a slightly lesser degree. I am not half the painter Malchy is, for one, and I also wanted to keep at least a bit of the rather austere look created by the mostly black armour. I also liked the rather blunt Space Shark painted by Tarvick:

Carcharodon by Tarvick

 

Tarvick’s model also provided me with the perfect approach for painting the model’s skin tone, because I actually spent quite some time thinking about the kind of colour I wanted to achieve. In the lore, Carcharadons are described as having greyish skin, but I decided against simply using grey, mostly because it’s such an uninteresting approach, really — you lose all the small ways of creating a pale, yet still alive, kind of look. So I went for a very pale skin tone (which shows really well when comparing the model to the rest of the kill team, which I’ll be getting to in a minute), with livid scars as a visual contrast.

Here’s a look at a mostly painted model at the end of my first big painting session:

As you can see, I did try to include some of those tribal symbols on the model. Both Malchy’s models and the Carcharodon artwork produced by Forgeworld served as inspiration for this element:

And I also had to freehand the chapter badge, once again. I worked from the most recent incarnation of the Carcharodons’ symbol, as provided, once again, by Forgeworld:

Here’s what I came up with:

When this last photo was taken, the model was already mostly finished. So with the last paintjob for the kill team all but out of the way, all that was left to do was to build and paint some bases for the last three models. I did this all in one go.


I used the design approach established with the previous members of the kill team: For each Marine, there is also a Xenos skull on their base. The Castigator received a T’au skull (as a tongue-in-cheek shout-out to Commissar Molotov’s semi-insistance on keeping T’au characters out of his Dalthus Sector adventurescape). Brother Mikahel Zephon’s base was decorated with a Vespid head, both because I wanted a bit of variety across the squand and because it was a pretty nice bit. And Brother Komoharai Tetangi’s base saw the addition of a massive jawbone, to hint at the incredible kind of xenos horrors he might have fought in the outer dark beyond the known galaxy.

I also used the opportunity to add the last tweaks and cleanup work to the models’ respective paintjobs. And then the last three members of the kill team were finished at last. So here are some proper detail pictures of the three models. First up, meet Brother Trythus Anteas of the Castigators:







Commissar Molotov ended up providing me with the inspiration for the character’s name, by the way — just as intended 😉

Next up, Brother Mikahel Zephon of the Lamenters:





In this case, the model’s name is a shout out to my fellow hobbyist and good buddy Augustus b’Raass, who donated the Primaris Marine used for the conversion. Cheers again, buddy! 🙂

And finally, Brother Komoharai Tetangi of the Carcharodons Astra:









Since Brother Tetangi’s armour is almost completely different from the kind of armour worn by the rest of the kill team (and intentionally so, I might add: I wanted him to reflect the chapter’s reliance on the ancient wargear that originated from the time before their “exile”), I had to experiment a bit to fit in all the features I had used on the rest of the kill team — such as the red right knee and =][= symbol. I am really rather happy with the outcome, though! I also had to base Brother Tetangi a bit higher, seeing how he is noticeably shorter than his watch-brothers. Fortunately enough, the difference in height is quite a bit less noticeable now!

And with that, Kill Team Ulrach was finally finished! So without further ado, let’s meet the team!

 

=][=

Kill Team Ulrach

Not bad for a problem that actually began as wanting to paint a single, quintessentially loyalist Astartes back in spring, wouldn’t you agree? I think I may have gotten any itch I might have had to paint loyal Space Marines out of my system forever… 😉

That being said, at the same time I do like the idea of maybe returning to this project at a later date, adding a comms specialist or a medic: Because even though the project was begun before the new kill team rules were even a thing (and even then, mostly as a modeling and painting endeavour), some of the models would fit the Kill Team specialist roles rather nicely, I believe: Brother Anteas could be a Zealot, Brother Diomedes would make for a pretty good Sniper. Zephon is definitely a Heavy, whereas Brother Aren looks every part the Scout. And there are Brother Tetangi as a Comat-specialist and Brother Ulrach as a Leader, obviously.

By the same token, there are also one or two chapters that I might like to explore. Maybe. At a later point…

For now, however, I am calling this kill team finished! So in order to celebrate the occasion, let’s meet each of the members of Kill Team Ulrach in turn. Here we go:

 

Watch-Sergeant Vorlik Ulrach
of the Iron Hands

A grizzled veteran of the Iron Hands, Vorlik Ulrach has been the commander of Kill Team Ulrach for quite some time now. His coldly logical approach to problem solving and ability to remain clinically calm even under extreme duress has seen the kill team succeed against overwhelming odds more than once.

Brother Trythus Anteas
of the Castigators

Second in command of the killteam, Brother Anteas could not be more different in nature from the watch-sergeant: Zealous and aggressive where Ulrach is coldly logical, Anteas is a grimly menacing presence, even to his oath-brothers.

 

Brother Arcturus Diomedes
of the Ultramarines
“Stalwart Diomedes”

One of the younger members of Kill Team Ulrach, Brother Diomedes is nonetheless an exemplar of all the quintessential Astartes traits — as should be expected of an Ultramarine. He is also the kill team’s most talented marksman.

 

Brother Vargo Diaz
of the Crimson Fists
“The Orkslayer”


Having fought against the barbaric greenskins numerous times, Brother Diaz has become a specialist at fighting at close quarters, the better to counter the fighting style of those brutal Xenos: The Orks have learned to fear the mighty swings of his artificer powerfist.

 

Brother Rudisha Aren
of the Celestial Lions

A master tracker and proud warrior. Dressed in a suit of slimmed down tactical insertion armour, Brother Aren is the kill team’s infiltration specialist.

 

Brother Komoharai Tetangi
of the Carcharodons Astra
“The Quiet”

A mysterious, deathly pale Astartes clad in a suit of ancient mongrel plate. Taciturn, save for the curtest replies, uttered in an ancient dialect of High-Gothic, Brother Tetangi transforms into a whirlwind of destruction once the battle is joined.

 

Brother Mikahel Zephon
of the Lamenters
“The Doomsayer”

Brother Zephon is given to the kind of dark brooding that is so often observed in those of his bloodline. In him, this trait manifests as a grim resignedness to what he considers an inescapable fate, turning him into a relentless warrior with little regard for personal safety.

 

So yeah, that’s Kill Team Ulrach — I am actually pretty proud of the finished project, if I do say so myself! A few last observations, if I may:

Fellow hobbyist euansmith pointed out over at the Ammobunker that the squad actually looks pretty colourful for seven guys wearing black armour — and in hindsight, I realise he is correct, of course: They really are rather colourful in that slightly retro-ish, 2nd edition 40k way. Not much of a surprise, really, when the model that kicked off the whole project (the Ultramarine) was very much inspired by the original 54mm Brother Artemis and his classic paintjob:

Speaking of colourful, though, another objective for this project was to explore the kill team members’ respective chapters and backgrounds, and that extended both to typical weapons and decorations as well as different ethnicities. Not only does this make sense from a lore standpoint, but I also really wanted to force myself to step away from just using the same pale caucasian skin tone on every 40k model. So I used this project to experiment with a couple of different skin tones, which was fun and also arguably adds an extra layer of visual complexity to the squad:

Another way to differentiate between the models was the inclusion of their respective chapter heraldries, and I am proud to say that I didn’t skimp on this particular element, trying my best to reproduce the various chapter badges as well as I could:


Two of the shoulder pads simply use a decal. One has sculpted detail. Three designs have been freehanded. And finally, Brother Zephon’s shoulder pad uses a combination of all three approaches 😉

In closing, I also want to give a shout out to fellow hobbyists Commissar Molotov, PDH and Jeff Vader: The Deathwatch has been one of Commissar Molotov’s big long running hobby addictions, it seems, and it has been very educational to watch him use it as a vehicle to explore loyalist Space Marines in their full breadth. PDH and Jeff Vader, meanwhile, have been working on their own respective Deathwatch kill teams this year, and being inspired by their fantastic work – and nicking a bit of inspiration every now and then – has been instrumental in getting Kill Team Ulrach off the ground. So cheers, gentlemen!

So that’s it for today — it goes without saying that I would love to hear any feedback you may have! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

INQ28: More Grimdark Librarians of the 41st Millennium

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Fluff, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 28, 2018 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, after last week’s “blast from the past” diversion of repainting an old Star Wars action figure, let’s return to my Ordo Scriptorum retinue once again for this week. Allow me to share the latest completed inquisitorial operatives with you:

While most work on Inquisitor Orlant’s retinue is being spent on actually finishing models that have been built years ago, in an effort to make a dent in my painting backlog, the warband also keeps taking on new members as it develops. Take a look:

I. Screaming into the void

Let’s start with a very recent addition to the project: When most of the characters for Inquisitor Orlant’s retinue had already been hammered out, and while I was making good progress on the project, PDH, whose thoughts on the nature of the Ordo Scriptorum had originally inspired the project to begin with, pointed out to me that Orlant still needed his own astropath: One of Peter’s ideas for an organisation dealing so heavily in secrets lost and rediscovered knowledge was that every Inquisitor of the Ordo would have their own astropath, to better relay whatever secrets they had discovered to their superiors in the most direct fashion imaginable in the 41st millennium. And while the idea of having to come up with a totally new model to represent an astropath had me slightly wary for about five minutes, I also realised that this would provide me with yet another chance to channel inspiration I had drawn from Wayne England’s artwork.

I instantly recalled his illustrations for the various psyker disciplines (originally printed in the Dark Heresy rulebook and recently reused both for the 8th edition 40k rulebook and a Warhammer Community post). One in particular, seemed pretty ideal as a starting point for an astropath. This one here:

Illustration by Wayne England

My original plan was to use the Dark Eldar Medusae model as a base for the conversion, seeing how it already seemed so close to the artwork in many ways:

And while this would have worked pretty well, I discovered that the model had gone out of production. So instead of going on a wild goose chase in an attempt to procure it, I decided to force myself to actually use the bitz I already had at my disposal to come up with my own astropath conversion.

So here’s my interpretation. It’s not a perfect fit, but I think you’ll be able to see a certain resemblance:





Fortunately enough, I still had a pair of legs from the plastic Necromancer — they even came with a book worn at the hip, which was a fun little coincidence. A torso piece from the Genestealer Hybrids provided both the astronaut look that seemed rather fitting for an astropath, but also a slightly eerie, ever so subtly Gigeresque quality that matched the somewhat sinister general vibe of the warband.

And the Empire flagellant head with an almost picture perfect representation of the hairstyle appearing in the artwork, was a bit of a godsend, of course — that being said, the process of adding a Greenstuff bandage across the astropath’s eyes actually had me on the verge of a screaming fit, as the material just wouldn’t stick to the darn face. I am really glad I managed to pull it off in the end 😉

Possibly the most involved part of the conversion was to build a suitable staff: It was spliced together from the haft of a Dark Eldar Hellion glaive and a couple of imperial bitz.

Oh, and here’s an angle matching the artwork that inspired the conversion a bit more closely:

Again, I’ll admit that my astropath isn’t really a perfect reproduction of the artwork, but rather takes some pointers from the illustration.

When It came to painting the model, my Ordo Scriptorum recipe was well established enough at this point to turn the paintjob into a pretty straightforward affair — I did discover that those Genestealer hybrid torso pieces look absolutely terrific when painted in glossy black, incidentally 😉

One area where I had to compromise a bit was the bandage across the model’s eyes: My original plan had been to try and add some lettering to it, but I quickly realised that there was just not enogh space there to come up with something that wouldn’t turn into a jumbled mess of squiggles, so I decided to leave the bandage bare. I also went for a slightly darker colour to create a better contrast against the pale face. In the end, I think it was a sensible choice that makes the model less similar to the art, but arguably makes it work better in and of itself.

Anyway, here’s the finished model:

=][=

Ordo Scriptorum Astropath

 


All Inquisitors of the Ordo Scriptorum are assigned an astropath at the same time they receive their Inquisitorial Rosette. This agreement and gift from the Adeptus Astra Telepathica goes back to the beginning of the Ordo Scriptorum, when they were a breakaway sect of the Ordo Hereticus. The need for such a fine tool has proven its worth countless times, for having direct access to telepathic communication has saved many lives. In the eyes of the Ordo Scriptorum, the sooner mistakes are exposed to the relevant authorities to rectify the better.




And here’s a – slightly tweaked – comparison picture showing the artwork and the actual model side by side:

II. MOAR SKULLZ!

You are probably all familiar with the old Warhammer adage of “When in doubt, use MOAR SKULLZ!”, and as it turned out, Inquisitor Orlant’s warband also needed at least one additonal skull 😉

Seriously, though, while looking at the warband and comparing it to the one that had come before, Inquisitor Arslan’s retinue, I realised that Arslan’s merry gang featured two pretty cool servo-skulls/familiars, while such a model was missing from my Ordo Scriptorum team. But servo-skulls are a cool and quintessental part of 40k, and also a sensible wargear choice for an Inquisitor, and I also happened to still have the servo-skull from the Deathwatch:Overkill boxed set in my bitzbox, so I decided to add him to the warband:

I didn’t really change anything about the skull, as it already had that slightly sinister, yet elegant vibe that I think fits the Ordo Scriptorum rather well. I did make sure the servo-skull’s trailing cables interacted with some torn book pages on the base, however.

So here’s the finished servo-skull:

Certainly not a major player in the warband, but good fun and easy to finish. Moving on 😉

 

III. Masked Bodyguard

Now where the astropath and servo-skull are recent additions to Inquisitor Orlant’s warband, the next model in line had been sitting on top of my pile of unpainted models for a rather long time. We are talking about this lady here:

I originally started working on the model  back in 2013 as an homage to Bruticus’ brilliant Prima Carnifexa Absoluta:

Model built and painted by Bruticus

Model built and painted by Bruticus

 

Bruticus had originally envisioned his character as a member of a sun cult, venerating the Emperor of Manking in his sun aspect. and I loved both the concept and its execution so much that I wanted to build a model similar to Bruticus’ character.

I originally started with a Blood Angels Sanguinary Guard helmet, a torso from a Coven Throne Vampire and some Dark Eldar Wych parts. To be perfectly honest, however, the inital build rather lacked direction, moving from a very Dark Eldar-eque model…

…to something that seemed more like some kind of gladiator:

The one element that remained firmly in place was the concept behind the head: I always knew I wanted to splice together a Sanguinary Guard helmet (chosen for its obvious sun motif) with the lower half of a female Wych head. The initial conversion lacked a lot of finesse, however:

Thanks to some very helpful feedback from the Ammobunker’s INQ28 board back in the day, I realised that the face might have been a good idea, but it needed far more work. So I cut it all apart again, shaved some tiny amounts of plastic, carefully sanded down the mask’s features to be less masculine, very carefully glued it all together again, and ended up with this:


In the end, some WFB Empire arms were what finally made the model come together, turning it into its final incarnation as a masked bodyguard:

When it came to actually making the character a part of Orlant’s retinue, the feedback was generally unfavourable: Most commenters argued that the rather elegant carnival getup didn’t really mesh well with a warband mostly occupied with exploring sunken libraries and dusty archives.

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.

To me, the masked bodyguard was another chance to explore this secondary angle to the warband, and I also like the idea that Inquisitors will attract a motley crew of operatives during their work, and not each of their henchmen – and -women – may be suited to the same kind of task. So if Orlant wants to hit an underground bibliocathedra, he might bring the creepy bureaucultist to help him deal with the place’s ancient filing system, but during a social function, he would definitely need somewhat more presentable retainers. Towards this end, the masked operative might seem like a misfit, but she also presents an interesting glimpse of the versatility present in an Inquisitor’s retinue.

Painting should have been as easy as applying my tried and true recipe again — however, one thing that happened during the painting process was that I decided that I wanted to use a darker skin tone for the character. I was actually rather frustrated when I realised that I would always default to caucasian skin tones when painting, and seeing how I had wanted to try my hand at something different for quite a while, this character seemed like a good occasion to break away from old habits. There was also the fact that the bodyguard and Alizebeth Selandrine shared a similar look, due to both making use of Dark Eldar Wych parts, so going for different skin tones also had the added benefit of making sure the characters would look suitably different from one another.

Anyway, here’s what I came up with:

I am actually really happy with how the skin colour adds a completely different dynamic to the entire figure! There’s also the fact that combining the Venetian carnical getup with dark skin also makes for exactly the kind of eclecticism that seems so quintessentially 40k to me.

Those sheathed blades/throwing knives on the model’s back were a bit of an eleventh 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 bodyguard.

Here’s a look at the finished model:

=][=

Masked Bodyguard


While much of Tiberias Orlant’s work is spent in dusty archieves and long lost bibliocathedra, the tasks of an Inquisitor are manifold, and often make it necessary to move through all layers of Imperial society. For those cases where interaction with the upper strata of the Velsen Sector is necessary, Orlant has cultivated the cover identity of a wealthy and elegant collector of the obscure, with eclectic interests and very deep pockets. Always at his side in the spires and courts of Velsen is a mysterious, masked bodyguard, whose athletic poise and fluid grace betray her utter deadliness.



While working on the model, I realised that I actually tried to channel the look and feel of two particularly cool characters of colour from videogames I have recently enjoyed: Vanasha (from Horizon Zero Dawn)…

and Billie Lurk (from the Dishonored series):

When all is said and done, I am pretty pleased with the finished model! And, as an added benefit, she very much counts as another model for Azazel’s  “Neglected Model May” challenge, — so that makes four models for the challenge! What’s more, I am confident that next month’s challenge, focusing on units, should give me the incentive to finish the warband’s final member, the jolly chap on the right here:

That one last model is really all that’s still missing for Inquisitor Orlant’s retinue to be finished: The warband certainly has a rather nice and rounded out look by now, if I do say so myself:

So that’s it for this week’s update! I would love to hear any thoughts you might have about today’s models, or about the state of the warband as a whole! Please let me hear your thoughts in the comments!

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

INQ28: Grimdark Librarians of the 41st Millennium

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Fluff, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 14, 2018 by krautscientist

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! 😉

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 😉

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 😉

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! 🙂

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

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Fluff, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob, Pointless ramblings, state of the hunt, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 30, 2018 by krautscientist

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! 🙂

The State of the Hunt, Week 15/2018: Coming up for air

Posted in 30k, 40k, Conversions, Fluff, Inq28, Pointless ramblings, state of the hunt, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 9, 2018 by krautscientist

From a hobby perspective, it has been quite a few weeks for me — with two finished INQ28 retinues and a couple of models on top of that. However, as I’ve said earlier, things might get a bit more hectic in the immediate future, so I cannot be sure whether or not I’ll be able to keep up this rather frantic pace. So what better time to take a step back, take a deep breath, and take a look at the things I have achieved so far? This also has the added benefit of providing me with the perfect chance to also share some current news with you. So here goes:

I. Head count

I’ve really had a blast this last couple of weeks, working through one neglected model after another and finally finishing some long running projects! One of my hobby resolutions for 2018 was to try and put some serious work into the INQ28 part of my collection, especially when it comes to finally adding paint to all those conversions that have accumulated in my cupboard of shame, and I do think I have rather managed to make good on that promise.

So here’s a round-up of the models I have painted so far this year:

That’s fifteen models less in the unpainted pile. Not a particularly impressive number in and of itself, certainly, and even less so when compared with the impressive output of, say, people like Azazel. But it still feels like quite an achievemen, nevertheless. Two more inquisitorial retinues – Inquisitor Arslan’s and Inquisitor Gotthardt’s – have been finished. I’ve painted a second 30k World Eaters Contemptor that I am still really happy with. My very first Primaris Marine has been painted. And I have finally managed to paint a RT era Imperial Guard trooper that had made its way all across the globe to reach me. Plus I have already been able to eclipse my 2017 painting output (twelve models), and we still have quite a bit of 2018 ahead of us, haven’t we? 😉

So yeah, I am pretty pleased with myself, to be honest. And still motivated to keep going, which is probably even more important. Oh, and for those of you with sharp eyes: Don’t worry, we’ll be talking about the big yellow gentleman in the back row in more detail before long… 😉

II. New supply lines

Long time readers may remember how dejected I was when my favourite FLGS had to close its doors back in 2016 (still a little sore *sniff*).For quite a while, the only way to replenish my hobby supplies – online purchases notwithstanding – was to carefully plan work-related trips to larger cities around the option to visit local GW or independent stores.

Great news, then, that I now find myself with access to new supply lines:

For one, I discovered a new local independent store (called “Chaosgames”) a while ago that not only has great service and provides easy access to Army Painter washes (a godsend!), but also happens to include occasional happy finds like this guy here:


Expect him to join my 30k World Eaters before long… 😉

What’s more, in an entirely unexpected move, a new GW store recently opened its doors in the neighboring city. I wasn’t even aware of that until my good friend Annie told me — what an awesome surprise!

My first scouting mission to the new store already took place a fortnight ago and included some friendly banter with the local store manager. I also discovered his absolutely fantastic Imperial Guard army in one of the display cases and took some photos right away:


The whole army has a “mining world” theme, with lots and lots of cool kitbashes and conversions that make every individual in the force look like the member of a grimdark mining corporation. A fantastic concept, and beautifully executed!

In another pleasant surprise, my own models, in turn, made it straight to the store’s Facebook page:

Now I’ll still be visiting local stores whenever I am on the road, of course — for instance, I make it a point to try and visit the fantastic “Fantasy-In” whenever I am in Hanover. But having access to some hobby-related stores in the immediate vincinity is such a relief — brilliant! 🙂

III. Meanwhile, across the tabletop:

While I keep referring to the frequent painting sessions with my friend Annie (that have become a key point in my painting process, it must be said!), I realise I haven’t really shared many of Annie’s projects with you — which is quite a shame, as she routinely manages to come up with some truly stunning stuff. Case in point, the “Flying Dwarfsmen”, her brand new dwarven team for Blood Bowl, planned, built and painted in an impressively short amount of time (and, as it happens, just in time for the recent “Dungeonbowl”):

Where GW’s stock dwarven team seems a bit too cartoony for its own good, Annie’s team actually uses the brilliant Kharadron Overlords models as alternative Blood Bowl players: The entire team has been carefully built around the Kharadron’s distinct steampunk look and feel, from the players to the incredible, scratchbuilt/kitbashed Deathroller (or the turn counters, or the bases, or…). Anyway, you can expect a much more detailed feature dealing with these guys as soon as I can get a closer look (and get the chance to take some quality photos of them)!

IV. To Arms!


I am pretty sure I am not the first person to tell you this, but the ever inspirational Dave Taylor is currently running a Kickstarter campaign for a book project called “Armies & Legions & Hordes”, focused on painting the kind of high class army projects Dave has become well known for. In addition to talking techniques, the book will also be featuring expansive looks at some of Dave’s own, seminal army projects, and with his AdMech army, his Blood Pact and his Genswick Rifles all up for a feature, the book’s already basically a no-brainer for me.

The Kickstarter has already attained its mark many times over, but there are still a couple of days on the clock, so you can (and probably should) check out the Kickstarter and chip in here.

 

So yeah, so much for this week’s mixed views — and for the brief amount of respite: While I am writing this, I am already hard at work on two more Ordo Scriptorum characters, and there’s also Azazel’s current community challenge – “Assembly April” – with building, converting and kitbashing as its subject — I am pretty sure I won’t be able to resist that one…

So while things may have to slow down for a bit, I think you can expect another update very soon. Until then, please let me hear any feedback you might have! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more! 🙂

INQ28: In principio erat verbum, et verbum erat scriptum.

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Fluff, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob, Pointless ramblings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 2, 2018 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, I hope you’re all having a relaxed Easter holiday, before it’s back into the grind of everyday life tomorrow 😉

As for me, after the frantic activity of recent weeks – at least compared to my usual standard – my original plan was to take a small break before things get hectic in the coming weeks and months for RL related reasons. But almost before I knew what I was doing, I was already back at the painting table and had started to paint yet another model. So let’s take a look, shall we?

Now today’s project basically begun in two places: A couple of years ago, I discovered this piece of artwork by Wayne England online:

illustration by Wayne England

Now I’ve already mentioned before that Wayne England is (was 😦 ) one of my favoutite GW artists, and this piece in particular seemed like a great source of inspiration. It’s all there: the bold lines. The mysterious, shadowy character, the stylised lettering,…

Shortly afterwards, fellow hobbyist PDH’s shared his ruminations on the mysterious Ordo Scriptorum, an Ordo given to collecting and scrutinising the vast amounts of recordings and data collected (and often forgotten) by the Imperium of Man. Now it doesn’t take much imagination to realise that there are lots of cool Inquisitorial narrative hooks to be had here, from the creepy Orwellesque “Ministry of Truth” angle to the “The Name of the Rose IN SPACE!” style exploration of ancient data vaults that lie hidden deep in the core of the Throneworld (beautifully hinted at, for instance, by Chris Wraight in his highly recommended novel “The Carrion Throne”).

Anyway, when first posting his ideas about the Ordo Scriptorum, PDH mentioned that the aforementioned piece of art seemed like a perfect depiction of an Ordo Scriptorum Inquisitor to him. Which was when the little levers started to move in my head, and they didn’t stop until I had an early build for a model inspired by that very piece of artwork:


I was lucky enough to have some bitz lying around that really came in handy during this process: The robed legs from the WFB/AoS Chaos Sorcerer were a bit of a no-brainer. Then I discovered that the bitz best-suited to producing the pose and overall look I wanted came from the Dreamforge Games Eisenkern Stormtroopers. And the part that really made the conversion promising, even at this early stage, was a servitor head from the Space Marines Stormraven kit — easily one of the best overlooked bitz from GW’s entire catalogue, if you ask me, and kindly sent to me by fellow hobbyist Biohazard a couple of years back.

Going forward, the most important part was to match the character’s silhouette from the artwork — the way he grips his cane, the general lines of the composition, stuff like that. I also really like how the character in the illustration seems to be wearing a pair of books at his hip as though they were weapons — quite an apt metaphor, given the responsibilities of the Ordo Scriptorum…

Anyway, after much tweaking, I ended up with this conversion:



Now here’s the thing: As has become a bit of a recurring motif here on Eternal Hunt, I actually built this model years ago and hadn’t gotten around to painting it yet. In my defense, however, I spent at least some of the time doing some serious research into what I wanted the Ordo Scriptorum Inquisitor to look and feel like. This also included building some retainers for him:


The overarching motifs I wanted to explore became even more clearly defined by looking at the members of the retinue I had come up with: I wanted there to be a bookish, shadowy feel to the warband. After all, it stands to reason that much of the Inquisitor’s life would be spent exploring ancient archives. However, at the same time, there was also a hint of elegance in the artwork that inspired the model, and I felt that this would offer an interesting counterpoint, both for the retinue and for the Inquisitor.

Keeping this in mind while trying for figure out a suitable colour scheme for the Inquisitor, I also drew from several other sources: One huge influence came in the form of Wayne England’s illustrations from the same time (or at least in the same style) as the piece of art that inspired the model in the first place:

The picture above really captures one of the things I was after: You can just imagine this being an impression of an Ordo Scriptorum team going about its business in the world-city of the Holy Terra.

Of course I also looked to the work of fellow hobbyists for inspiration: Jeff Vader’s work provided heaps of material for reference once more, particularly his rogue Inquisitor Carax and his sinister Blackship Captain-Inquisitor Lazaros . Then there was PDH’s own Ordo Scriptorum warband that served as a perpetual undercurrent of inspiration for this project — in fact, his Inquisitor Klien Inson actually used to be my Inquisitor Orlant’s interrogator!

And I also happened to take some influences from the videogame world on board, especially from two series very close to my heart. Which is why Orlant was very much inspired both by Father Karras (from the Thief series)…


… and I also tried to give him the same drawn aspect you can see in this illustration of Lord-Regent Hiram Burrows (from the first game in the Dishonored series):

And finally – and funnily enough – I also kept looking at an old model of mine, one of the classic Haemonculi from 3rd edition 40k:


While the paintjob really isn’t anything to write home about by modern standards, it did feel like a useful proof of concept for the look I wanted — now if I could only refine this by about 400%… 😉

To be perfectly honest, Orlant was another one of those models where I was actually nervous about the prospect of painting — and messing up. Yet with so many finished INQ28 characters from the last couple of weeks under my belt, and with the inspiration provided by some Inquisition-centric BL novels I recently read (Dan Abnett’s “The Magos”, obviously, and there’s also so much of Orlant in Chris Wraight’s Inquisitor Crowl that I almost couldn’t believe it), I knew it was finally time to get this show on the road.

So with all of the aforementioned influences on my mind, I began painting:



I knew from the start that I wanted the robes to be a pretty dark turquoise (in that sense, my recent paintjob for Elisha Gorgo actually did double duty as a proof of concept for this model as well). As for the skin, I went with a really pale, unhealthy look, as though the Inquisitor spends very little time aboveground, in natural light — which is probably the case. And just like when painting Inquisitor Arslan, I decided to go with glossy black armour again, since I felt it would support the model’s slightly sinister look.

All of those elements worked reasonably well right off the bat. The one thing that didn’t quite work out, however, were the books worn on Orlant’s belt: I didn’t go with red or any other strong colour because I wanted to keep the palette very limited and predominantly cold, but as a result, they ended up blending into their surroundings. Several people suggested going for purple as an alternative, and under normal circumstances, that would have been an ideal choice. Only I had set myself this pesky little limitation of mostly wanting to keep the palette focused on blue and turquoise tones…

I also realised that the books actually take up quite a bit of visual real estate, so I needed the colour to be different enough from the robes, but not so different as to overwhelm the paintjob. In the end, I repainted the books grey — not an exciting choice, certainly, but it kept the palette suitably narrow and still looked different enough from the teal robes:

Another part that I had to redo several times was the script on the parchment: It actually spells “Redactor Orlant”, although you may have to take my word for it. I even tried to make it resemble Wayne England’s lettering style a bit, but there was very little space, and it was all so small. After redoing this part several times,  I think this is as good as it’s going to get…

During the painting process, I realised that there was this odd little gap at Orlant’s belt that was slightly distracting, so I carefully added some additional keys to his belt: It’s fun to think that Orlant has keys to all kinds of forbidden bibliocathedra and data vaults…

With the paintjob mostly sorted out, the model was only missing a base really, so I try to create something that would support the warband’s look and feel. For starters, I used a piece from one of the 40k basing kits, mostly for the pretty cool relief on it:


The piece was cut down to fit a round base, the gaps were filled with GS. I also liberally stippled on Liquid GS for added texture and to counteract the very soft and artificial looking quality of the stock piece. Ironically enough, most of the relief actually ended up being covered by the model:

If nothing else, however, it still provides some texture and structure, making the base look more like a part of some long-deserted Imperial archive.

So here’s the finished model:

 

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Redactor Tiberias Orlant
Ordo Scriptorum

A long serving member of the Ordo Scriptorum Terra, Inquisitor Orlant has discovered many ancient documents and hidden truths during his long years of trawling the bibliocathedra and sunken data vaults of Holy Terra. Moreover, his rank as a Redactor of the Ordo means that not only does he endeavour to find records from the Imperium’s past, but he also gets to decide which truths are revealed to the masses and which are suppressed with every tool at the Holy Ordos’ disposal.

Orlant has recently embarked upon a mission only known to himself, making his way to the Velsen Sector, situated far away from the Throneworld in the Ultima Segmentum. His colleagues consider this most recent endeavour a fool’s errand at best, yet Orlant is not known as a soul given to flights of fancy — what could he have discovered in the vaults of Terra to inspire his latest investigation?

 




I did end up making one last colour adjustment after all, repainting the wax of the purity seal in a slightly colder tone than before. It’s really a small detail, but it ties back to Orlant’s skin tone (see above) and it’s not big enough to throw the entire colour scheme out of balance, so I think it’s an improvement.

As you can see, I also decided to add two books to Orlant’s base:

Once again, I wanted to hint at the fact that he probably spends most of his work scouring ancient vaults and sunken archives for lost data and hidden secrets. It’s an idea I want to explore with the rest of the warband, albeit in slightly different ways. We’ll see…

I also found out, by sheer coincidence, that Orlant has a nice kind of “Red Oni, Blue Oni” thing going with Inquisitor Arslan. Take a look:

Fellow hobbyist youwashock suggested on Dakka that the next Inquisitor in line would need to be yellow — Sentai Inquisitors FTW! 😉

In closing, here’s a comparison shot putting Wayne England’s illustration that inspired the model and Orlant himself next to each other:

Maybe not a perfect match, but I am reasonably happy with the resemblance, to tell you the truth. In the end, trying to match the art is always a compromise between what can reasonably be achieved and what would just be impractical in model form. For instance, I only realised how scarily tall the character in the artwork is when putting both images next to one another 😉

When all is said and done, it feels good to finally have finished this model! And it’ll be interesting to see how the stylistic choices I have made for Orlant and his retinue will (or won’t translate) to the rest of the models:


Thinking of this retinue again has also kicked off all kinds of thoughts about the nature of the Ordo Scriptorum — and has already provoked two more members for the retinue that shall be revealed in time.

But all of that is a story for another time. Until then, I would truly love to hear your thoughts on Inquisitor Orlant! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!