Archive for adeptus astartes

Inquisitor 28: Can’t stop!

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Fluff, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 1, 2016 by krautscientist

More INQ28-related work this week, which may or may not be good news for you, depending on what it is you want from this blog 😉 But I really can’t help it, I seem to be on a bit of a roll when it comes to INQ28 lately, in spite of everything, so I guess you’ll just have to indulge me.

There are two projects I would like to share with you today, and the first is basically a further exploration of the things I talked about in my previous post, that is the idea of exploring INQ28 characters by building retainers and familiars to further their background. Hot off my recent work on Inquisitor Gotthardt’s retinue, I focused my attention on this gentleman here, Praetor Janus Auriga of the Golden Legion, my first true scale Marine:

Praetor Janus Auriga (13)
I am still tremedously pleased with the model, but there were still a couple of loose ends for me to tie up: Shortly after completing the original conversion, I came up with two retainers for Janus Auriga, creating something like a “mini-warband” of sorts.

The first of those was a converted chapter serf carrying Praetor Auriga’s helmet:

Chapter Serf
This model was originally created for a fairly mundane reason: I had a nice helmet for my true scale Marine, but I also definitely wanted the model to be bare headed. Of course I could have just glued the helmet to the model’s belt, but building a chapter serf for the task of carrying the helmet just seemed like such a great way of channelling the medieval nature of the Space Marines, so I just went for it. You also don’t usually see too many chapter serfs in model for, so there was that, too.

Afterwards, ing simply fell into place: I still had a cherub carrying a bolter back from when Codex: Witchhunters was originally released. My cousin Andy gave the model to me a while ago:

Bolter_Cherub
And while the sculpt is not without its problems, this little guy just seemed like the perfect addition to Brother Auriga’s small retinue: One servant to carry the helmet, one to carry the bolter — ideal, really! So I merely rebased the cherub, and he was ready for painting.

Bolter Cherub WIP (1)

What I ended up with was a rather characterful little group, if I do say so myself:

Brother Sergeant Auriga and Retainers WIP
And in addition to giving up a very strong 40k vibe, the two retainers also contextualise the Astartes, making him seem even more massive and monstrous.

So with my recent success while working on some older models for Inquisitor Gotthardt’s retinue, I felt it was finally time to return to Brother Auriga’s servants and finally complete them.

First up, the chapter serf. Here’s a PIP shot:

Golden Legion Chapter Serf PIP (1)
It was clear from the start that the helmet would be painted to match the Praetor’s armour. So in order to really make the helmet stand out as the priceless chapter relic it probably is, I had to paint the chapter serf in mostly drab, earthen tones, so as not to make him to overwhelming from a visual perspective. This proved to be an interesting challenge, because while I did want the model to clearly read as a servant and chapter menial, I also didn’t want the character to come across as (too) filthy and downtrodden, because while that would certainly have highlighted the whole medieval angle about him, it would also have felt somewhat unsuitable for a Space Marine chapter, even a rather archaic one. What’s more, while this guy may be a mere menial for the chapter, his task is still an important one, and he takes pride in it (I am actually feeling reminded of the Bright Carvers from Gormenghast, if that makes any sense).

I also realised that I would need something beyond the helmet to suggest the model’s affiliation with the Golden Legion chapter, and golden armour was out of the question, for fairly obvious reasons. Hence the inclusion of a small heraldic plate featuring the Golden Legion’s trademark black and white checkerboard pattern (that also appears on Praetor Janus Auriga’s left pauldron).

So here’s the finished chapter serf:

Golden Legion Chapter Serf (2)
Golden Legion Chapter Serf (1)
Golden Legion Chapter Serf (3)
As you can see, I added a backpack to the model. I really wanted to invoke the impression that, in addition to carrying that helmet in a suitably dramatic fashion, the chapter serf also serves Janus Auriga as a personal artificer:

Golden Legion Chapter Serf (4)
Golden Legion Chapter Serf (5).JPG
Golden Legion Chapter Serf (6)
Something I really like about the finished model is the combination of fairly mundane equipment (like the hammer and wrench) with the more esoteric gear underneath (small caskets of what I imagine to be holy oils and unguents, and a small book containing the correct rites of maintenance for the Astartes warplate): In spite of all the mysticism surrounding technology in the 41st millennium, what are you going to use, at the end of the day, to get a dent out of an armour plate but a hammer? Of course you’ll be singing the required hymyms of repair at the top of your lungs during the act, but my point still stands 😉

So here are Janus Auriga and his chapter serf. I really like the dynamic between the two models:

Janus Auriga of the Golden Legion and Chapter Serf
After the challenge of painting the serf model, getting some paint on the cherub was a pretty straightforward affair — the main challenge here was to work around some of the kinks inherent in the model itself. I’ll be honest with you: I am really just about through with metal models at this point. But the little guy made such a beautiful retainer for Janus Auriga that I gritted my teeth together and persevered:

Bolter Cherub (1)
Bolter Cherub (2)
Bolter Cherub (3)
So here are all three models together:

Praetor Janus Auriga and retainers (3)
I really think the combination of Janus Auriga’s somewhat archaic artificer warplate and his two servants underlines the quasi-medieval and archaic nature of the Astartes as monastic warrior knights, for lack of a better word.

Interestingly enough, the whole project wasn’t really about rules or gaming concerns — …appearing, so to speak, and they felt like a great way of fleshing out the nature of the Golden Legion. That said, the helmet bearer and cherub really have the feeling of a fancy wound counters, don’t they? Maybe one mini-mission could even be to reunite the Astartes with his helmet and bolter, with the two pieces of equipment being carried by those familiars…?

Anyway, I am pretty happy with this “mini-warband”, and it feels good to be able to cross two more formerly unpainted models off from my list 😉

 

The other project I would like to share with you today is one that really makes me profoundly happy, even if it began with a very sad event: As you’ll remember, Wayne England passed away recently, and we have seen all kinds of tributes to him across the blogosphere and the forums. One particularly beautiful  tribute came in the form of a very elegant conversion inspired by one of Mr. England’s illustrations courtesy of the very talented Brothers Wier.

Now when I saw their model, I actually felt a pang of envy, both because the conversion was excellent, but also because I really didn’t feel able to come up with a similar tribute in model form, and that irked me a bit.

But then the strangest thing happened: PDH posted some thoughts about a new Inquisitorial Ordo, the Ordo Scriptorum, over at the Ammobunker. To quote Peter on the matter:

Ordo Scriptorum
The main task of the Ordo Scriptorum is to find errors and failures within Adeptus Administratum and Adeptus Astra Telepathica. The Ordo examines and investigates the communications and record keeping of the Imperium. Since its inception it has branched out and subsumed the roles and responsibilities of Ordo Scriptus, preserving the official historical records of the Imperium too. The Ordo Scriptorum maintains and scrutinises the record keeping of the entire Imperium from the present and going back to its inception, prior to the Horus Heresy and the Great Crusade. For millennia the Ordo Scriptorum has been based solely on Terra but factions within it have begun moving resources off the Throne World; they feel a presence in Sectors throughout the wider Imperium would reduce the error rate and the time it takes to discover and rectify mistakes. Plus being able to proportionate blame in person is seen as a good deterrent to scribes of the Adeptus Administatum.

Some find is surprising how well armed and militant Ordo Scriptorum Inquisitors can be. But the Ordo Scriptorum often finds itself acting within the remit of the Ordo Hereticus upon bureaucults and the fallen within the Adeptus Administratum. Plus the philosophical wars with the Ordo Scriptorum mean that its members are often required to bear arms for protection (…)

And while this already reads like a rather promising outline, Peter also added a piece of artwork by none other than the late and great Wayne England to illustrate what he thought an Inquisitor of the Ordo Scriptorum might look like. Incidentally, I have featured the very same illustration as part of my recent tribute post to Wayne England, and it’s easily one of my favourite pieces of art done by him:

illustration by Wayne England

illustration by Wayne England

And seeing these ideas and concepts being brought together by Peter just resonated with me, for some reason: Things just started to fall into place, and suddenly I found myself starting to convert a model, and I didn’t really come to until I was halfway through the project.

At first I merely started trying out some bitz and shapes. One thing I really wanted to get right was the stunning silhouette and pose from the original artwork. So this is what I ended up with after a bit of messing around:

Redactor early WIP (2)
Redactor early WIP (3)
Redactor early WIP (1)
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.

So I was off to a fairly promising start, but the model wasn’t quite there yet, obviously. So I didn’t stop until I had this:

Redactor WIP (1)
Redactor WIP (2)
Redactor WIP (3)
Yes, definitely getting there!

And thanks to an abundance of helpful feedback on the Ammobunker and Dakka, I was able to make the final push and complete the conversion:

Redactor WIP (15)
I decided to add another book to the model’s hip, in spite of my misgivings about it possibly messing with the silhouette: What really won me over was the parallel between those books and twin pistol holsters: It seems as though this Inquisitor were wielding his knowledge as a weapon…

I also added a scroll (from the 54mm Eisenhorn model, no less) to the left hand. And a key from the WFB Empire flagellants, an element hinting at hidden knowledge and a certain mysticism.

Redactor WIP (14)
I also couldn’t help myself and added a small Inquisitorial symbol to one of the books 😉

Redactor WIP (13)
The model’s back is where I deviated from the original sketch: I didn’t recreate that big, augmetic sack of scrolls appearing in the artwork, but rather went for something a little more subdued, mostly because I think it better fits the character: An Inquisitor of some standing should have a menial to carry around all of those scrolls, after all (which also gives me a handy excuse for building yet another model):

Redactor WIP (12)
All in all, I am really very, very happy with the model! Here’s another comparison between the orignal illustration and my interpretation of it:

illustration by Wayne England

illustration by Wayne England

Redactor WIP (15)
As for a possible retinue, I think it would have to have a very special feel, like the Inquisitor himself. Right now, I am considering at least one menial carrying books and scrolls (similar to a couple of models PDH is building at the moment). And maybe a hulking member of the Guild of Parchment Scroteners, doubling as a bodyguard? This model would probably be based on the Brian Nelson Nurgle Lord (or a Putrid Blightking) and use an approach similar to conversions done by PDH and Jeff Vader. Maybe I’ll also have to source those scribes/assistants from the Celestial Hurricaum kit…? Anyway, I am open to suggestions for possible characters, of course!

 

So yeah, so much from the wonderful world of INQ28 for today! It goes without saying that I would love to hear any feedback you might have!

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

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Inquisitor 28: Praetor Janus Auriga of the Golden Legion

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Fluff, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 1, 2015 by krautscientist

“Our shield wall marks the borders of the Imperium. Behind us lies the Velsen Sector, forever protected by the brethren of the Golden Legion. For the martyr! For the Sword Saint! The Emperor Protects!”

Golden Legion battle chant

 

Almost every INQ28 aficionado will invariably start thinking about true scale Astartes at some point in their hobby life. Maybe it’s a strange relapse to the stage of desperately wanting to incorporate Space Marines into games of Inquisitor, maybe it’s the realisation that INQ28, with its bigger focus on individuals over squads or armies, is the perfect occasion to do justice to the legendary transhuman warriors the Astartes appear as in the background. Whatever the reason, many hobbyists feel drawn to the task of building their own true scaled Marine — or ten, for that matter.

I was no exception to this rule, and you may remember that I was really happy when I had finally completed the conversion for my first truescale Marine — once again, this has been a long running project (check out my first post on the matter for the whole story). In any case, the completed model ended up looking like this:

Brother Sergeant Auriga (7)
Brother Sergeant Auriga (4)
One thing that I was particularly happy with is how the model compares when placed next to regular, 28mm Marines:

Brother Sergeant Auriga (8)
So much for the conversion job, then. But it was obvious that the model would have to be painted at some point, and I really wanted to give it my best shot. I did have an idea for a highly ostentatious, “blinged out” Imperial Fists successor chapter that patterned itself after the Legio Custodes of old, to some degree. But before I jumped in at the deep end, I set out to collect some inspiration to help me.

Thanks must go to DexterKong, above all else, as some lengthy conversations with him helped me nail down what I wanted the Golden Legion to be like. So why some of the chapter history may still be up in the air at the moment, the ideas born in these conversations really helped me to imbue the model with an underlying narrative, even if you know nothing about the actual chapter.

Regarding actual models that inspired me, Bruticus’ wonderful Brother Mythras of the Sun Titans was certainly a huge influence, seeing how he’s both a Marine in golden armour, plus Bruticus also used the Custodes connection in his fluff — speaking of which, definitely make sure to check out the chapter’s excellent background!

Then there were EdT’s amazing true scale warbands (I recommend you bookmark his thread right away), which were also a huge help in getting me started.

And finally, Jeff Vader said he felt inspired by my true scale conversion to draw this illustration of a Space Marine…

illustration by Jeff Vader

illustration by Jeff Vader

…which then went right back into influencing the paintjob for my own model (as you will see in a minute).

So with those inspirational pieces firmly on my mind (and after the usual bit of deliberation on my part), it was finally time to get painting. Here’s what I did:

Everything started with a foundation for the golden armour. This was a pretty enjoyable step, as it involved lots of drybrushing and washing, and I had made sure during the building stage that the model’s armour would have lots of raised detail. Here’s what the armour looked like after this step:

Janus Auriga PIP (1)
The recipe was easy but effective: The entire model was undercoated with black spraypaint (as usual), then generously drybrushed with GW Warplock Bronze. Then a wash of Gryphonne Sepia (although Seraphim Sepia or Army Painter Soft Tone would probably have worked just as well), then another drybrush with GW Brass Scorpion. And finally, some more controlled highlights with a mix of Brass Scorpion and Mithril Silver. Not rocket science, really, but it got the job done.

Afterwards, it was mostly a matter of blocking out the various detail, although I did try to add a special flourish or two:

Inspired by Jeff Vader’s illustration above, I wanted to paint a checkerboard pattern on one of the pauldrons, in order to make the model look more interesting (and also a bit more gothic). This turned out to be quite a challenge, as I hadn’t attempted anything similar for about twenty years, I suppose…

In the end, I managed to come up with a checkerboard pattern that certainly wasn’t perfect, but convincing enough for me:

Janus Auriga PIP (15)
Janus Auriga PIP (16)

And after that, filling out the rest of the blanks wasn’t that much of a challenge, really. So without further ado, I give you Praetor Janus Auriga of the Golden Legion:

Praetor Janus Auriga (9)
Praetor Janus Auriga (13)
Praetor Janus Auriga (14)
Praetor Janus Auriga (15)
Praetor Janus Auriga (16)
Praetor Janus Auriga (1)

Here’s a closer look at the left pauldron with its checkerboard pattern:

Praetor Janus Auriga (10)
I am actually really pleased with this part of the model, warts and all! Oh, and in a second personal premiere, this also marks the first time that I have ever managed to paint a red jewel that didn’t end up looking like some kind of cherry — I am so happy! 😉

Praetor Janus Auriga (11)
Praetor Janus Auriga (12)
Some people have remarked that he seems like a gnarly, hard-boiled Clint Eastwood type to them, which is exactly what I had in mind: The backstory for Brother Auriga is that he is no longer 100% combat worthy after an injury and has been seconded to the council advising the Sector Governor by the Chapter’s Lord Commander, in order to speak as his representative. Brother Auriga is blunt to a fault, and was deliberately selected by the Lord Commander to counteract the amount of bargaining and politicking on the council. He also sees his posting as a honourless and onerous task and would much rather return to combat.

Oh, and one more thing about the model: You may have noticed that I’ve decided to keep the Inquisitorial seal on his breastplate. This wasn’t an oversight, but a conscious decision: Brother Auriga was one of a number of battle brothers who had the honour of fighting alongside the forces of the Ordo Malleus during the quelling of the daemon-infested world of St. Berthold, which is why he still proudly wears an Inquisitorial signet as part of his personal heraldry.

And finally, a couple of scale comparisons that will show you how Brother Auriga measures up to next to my other latest INQ28 models:

Brother Auriga next to Interrogatory Brynn Yulner (a roughly Cadian sized model):

Praetor Janus Auriga scale comparison (2)
And next to Sister Euphrati Eisen:

Praetor Janus Auriga scale comparison (1)
In fact, Brother Auriga makes a rather nice centre piece for my entire INQ28 collection, as he basically towers over all the other models 😉

And of course this post wouldn’t be complete without a little background vignette to accompany the model. So here goes:

Protector of Velsen
Praetor Janus Auriga, of the Golden Legion Astartes Chapter

Seneschal Secundus Goswinus Baehrn stood at the edge of the landing platform, his robes flapping about him in the icy breeze. Baehrn prided himself on being a thoroughly unemotional person, but even so, he had been extremely nervous, ever since the news had reached him half an hour earlier: The Astartes gunship “Falco Aureus” had made planetfall and was approaching the Hive Primus with an urgent dispatch for the Lord Governor himself.

Direct dealings with the Chapter were few and far between these days, and mostly limited to the most prestigious social functions, which was why Goswinus Baehrn had never actually laid eyes on a member of the Adeptus Astartes up close during his fifteen years in his fairly prestigious position. Under normal circumstances, the task of welcoming a representative of the Legion on Bastold would have fallen under the purview of Senschal Primus Mathewelin, but the old man had retired to his chambers the prior night, with a generous supply of amasec and Obscura and, it was whispered, in the company of several women of questionable renown. In any case, Baehrn had been unable to rouse his superior, which now left him the highest-ranking official to deal with this unforeseen event — He could only suspect that the Seneschal Primus would have to say something about this breach of etiquette at some point in the near future. In fact, there would almost certainly be hell to pay later in the day, not a doubt about it, yet even this prospect was nothing against the mounting sense of dread filling Baehrn as he saw the Astartes vessel approaching: The gunship came in low against the rising sun, as if for a covert attack run. It was a blunt, brutal shape, not unlike a fist, the roar of its engines growing from clearly audible to almost unbearable, as it drew close to the landing platform.

The gunship touched down at the very centre of the platform. Baehrn could see its golden bulk, the exquisite scrollwork and lettering in High Gothic proclaiming its many glorious years of service, yet also the scars and welts that spoke of a life of constant battles. The Seneschal Secundus drew himself up to his full height as the front ramp opened with a hiss, taking a deep breath and sending a silent prayer to the God-Emperor to grant him composure.

“They have sent us a statue!” That was his first thought as he saw the massive golden figure standing at the top of the ramp: A perfect rendition of an Astartes in gold, its armour beautifully detailed, its arms clutching a boltgun across the chest in the most iconic pose imaginable. Baehrn almost laughed out loud as relief flooded through him — the Golden Legion merely wanted to provide an overwrought – and fairly narcissistic – gift to the rulers of Velsen, doubtlessly to be unveiled during a suitably extensive and garish ceremony.

This feeling was short lived, however, and quickly replaced by utter dread as the golden figure started marching down the landing ramp in precise, measured steps.

It was all Goswinus Baehrn could do not to cringe in fear at the approaching giant, and he bowed his head in supplication instead, making the sign of the aquila. When the low purr of active power armour finally emanated from directly in front of him, setting his teeth on edge, there was only a very slight quaver in his voice as he intoned the formal greeting in High Gothic:

“We welcome thee, protector of Velsen, in this hallowed fulcrum of our realm. It is our honour to lay eyes upon thee, and thine every wish shalt be our command, honoured battle brother of the Legio Aurea. The Emperor Protects.”

“Who are you?” The armour’s speaker systems lent the voice a slightly metallic quality, but it was powerful and deep underneath. A voice that demanded instant obeissance.

“Seneschal Secundus Goswinus Baehrn, my lord, member of the household of House Vlachen and most obedient servant of the Lord High-Protector, the Emperor bless his name.”

The giant in golden armour kept staring at Baehrn through glowing blue eye lenses for what seemed like an eternity, but could only have been a few heartbeats, then he lowered the massive bolter, securing it to his thigh with a soft metallic clank. He reached up towards his laurel crested helmet, disengaging the seals with a hiss. When he lifted the helmet free of his head, Baehrn could see a grizzled face, stern and lined, yet with broad features that instantly marked its owner as something more than human, and crowned by a crest of hair so bright that it appeared white. The Astartes’ eyes were of a piercing blue, and as Baehrn did his best to hold their gaze, he felt as though he were being evaluated, no, …targeted. Then The giant spoke:

“I am Praetor Janus Auriga  of the Golden Legion, envoy to Lord Commander Prabian. I am here on the Lord Commander’s orders, to speak with Lord Governor Vlachen, that I might advise him in the the governing of Velsen.”

“Advise…the Lord Governor?” Baehrn almost spluttered: “My lord, that…”

Auriga interrupted him briskly: “The Lord Commander feels that, in the light of current events, the Chapter should take a more active role in guiding the sector. I have therefore been commanded to take the legion’s customary seat on the council.”

Baehrn could barely keep his emotions in check, reeling as he was from the implications of the Praetor’s words: The Golden Legion’s seat on the council had been vacant for a very long time – so long as to make the office seem more than a symbolic gesture than anything – and he doubted even the older members of the noble houses could remember when a member of the Chapter had actually traveled to Bastold to speak on behalf of his Lord Commander on the council. The mere revelation of this latest development would throw the council in an uproar. All of this went through Baehrn’s head, as his mind raced to find an appropriate reply.

A non-committal “…my lord” was all he could safely come up with.

“I will need accommodations for myself and my retainers.” The Praetor indicated a small group of robed figures exiting the gunship.

“It will be done, my lord!” Baehrn was glad the conversation seemed to be on terra firma. “It shall be attended to at once. And I will send notice to your quarters, once the council is back in session, so that you may speak to the representatives…”

“Negative!”, Auriga interrupted: “I will address the council now!”

Baehrn almost reeled back, as the terror came flooding back in full force. “NOW? But, my lord,…the council is in recess right now. The council members will…”

“Are the council chambers still located in sector C-34 of the central spire?”

“Y…yes, my lord.”

“Good. Then I will meet the council members there.”

With these words, the giant in golden armour started to march towards the Hive’s interior, with a very agitated Senschal Secundus doing his best to keep up.

Things on Bastold were about to change.

 

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

Inquisitor 28: Kitbashing spree pt. 1 – With Fire and Sword

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 14, 2014 by krautscientist

Ever since I’ve managed to complete my World Eaters Lord on juggernaut, I have been in the clutches of a veritable, INQ28 related kitbashing spree, building model after model — let’s just hope I’ll manage to get some of these painted at some point! 😉

Anyway, over the next couple of posts, I would like to show you the models I have come up with during this pleasant burst of inspiration. As usual, many of these have been hammered into completion through the very helpful feedback of fellow hobbyists on the forums I frequent, so a heartfelt thank you to anyone who helped me sorting out the smaller kinks on these pieces.

Anyway, for today, let’s forego the shadowy side of the Inquisitor universe in favour of some more ostentatious servants of the Emperor:

 

I. A pair of colleagues

Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor WIP (15)
One thing I did was to touch up a pair of Inquisitors that I had already built a rather long time ago. Upon closer inspection, it seems I have never shared them here on the blog, so that alone should be enough reason to talk about them 😉 So let’s take a closer look:

The first of the two was built to be instantly recognisable as a psyker: By choosing bitz of psionic equipment like a warding staff and psychic hood and by trying to look him tall and gaunt, I believe succeeded at communicating that idea. Take a look:

Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor WIP (5)
Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor WIP (6)
Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor WIP (7)
As you can see, the kitbash itself is fairly straightforward, with an upper body mostly made from GK plastic parts combined with the robed legs of the WFB Chaos Sorcerer. But while I had originally used GK shoulder pads on this guy, PDH rightly pointed out that those made him look a tad too much like an Astartes, so I replaced them with some Chaos Marauder shoulder pads for a less “Marine-y” look. This also had the coincidental side effect of making the model look quite a bit like a piece of artwork in the Inquisitor rulebook, but this wasn’t planned.

In order to further obscure the GK origins, I improvised a nonstandard “power plant” for the model’s back, combining the lower half of a GK backpack with some tanks from a Vraksian Renegade Militia soldier:

Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor WIP (9)
The other Inquisitor was designed to be pretty much the polar opposite of the psyker: I wanted a bulky, ostentatious, very physical type, inspired by characters like Witch Hunter Tyrus or Inquisitor Coteaz:

Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor WIP (10)
Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor WIP (11)
Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor WIP (12)
Again, a couple of Marine and GK bitz are very much at the centre of this conversion. So I tried once more to prevent the model from looking too much like an Astartes by combining the Marine bitz with stuff from different sources: The legs came from the WFB chaos warriors, and I added a couple of additional armour plates (the shoulder pad based on a radar array was inspired by a similar conversion in the old Codex Witch Hunters, by the way). And I added a half cape over the model’s shoulder, making use of possibly the last part I had left over from the Chaos Lord on Manticore rider bitz 😉

Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor WIP (13)
All in all, this guy is a real beefcake, but back then, it was a lot of fun to build an Inquisitor who wasn’t a gaunt, shadowy figure for once.

While I have not yet decided which Ordo these two will belong to (I suppose it’ll be a neck and neck between Malleus and Hereticus), I definitely think they have some chemistry together: There’s certainly a bit of a “brains and brawn” thing going on, don’t you think?

Maybe, these two work together as a team, hunting down rogue Inquisitors and Heretics. It might also be  interesting to have them be far more divided than is apparent at first glance: Maybe the bombastic, monodominant Witch Hunter secretly detests his colleague for his reliance on the powers of the warp? Maybe the Psyker has discovered he has a taste for the more radical rituals and pratices? Maybe they are the estranged former pupils of a common master, now brought back into an uneasy alliance by circumstances beyond their control? In any case, there could be some delicious friction between the two…

 

II. A Sister of Battle

The next model I want to show you today came together surprisingly quickly and was a ton of fun to convert. But I am getting ahead of myself! Let me start by telling you that I have a huge soft spot for the Adepta Sororitas and think it’s a crying shame that GW have shown them so little attention over the last years. For me, the Sisters of Battle are one of the most eclectic and quirky elements of 40k, and one of the things that really sells the setting as something different and interesting. The Sisters are iconic and recognisable and – rather surprisingly, both for GW and wargaming in general – not a highly sexualised depiction of female characters (let’s just forget the Sisters Repentia for now, because they clearly aren’t all that sexy, unless you are that way inclined…). Maybe that’s why the Sisters aren’t selling enough models to warrant a substantial new release?

Anyway, long story short, I have wanted to build a Sister of Battle for my INQ28 collection for quite a while now, and after having converted a small squad of Sisters of Silence for my Custodes, I was reasonably confident that it could be done, and could be done in plastic, no less. So a short time ago, I picked up a leftover Dark Eldar Kabalite Warrior and a couple of bitz and built this model:

Sister Kitbash (5)
Sister Kitbash (7)
Sister Kitbash (8)
I am really happy with the model, to tell you the truth, even though I clearly recognise that it’s not without its faults: For the head, I had to fall back on the one plastic Sororita head available (from the Sisters of Battle vehicle conversion kit, I believe), resulting in a head that might be ever so slightly too big for the body. The backpack may be a bit too bulky as well, although I am actually rather proud of the actual build for that part.

All in all, even though it may be a slightly flawed model, I am enormously fond of it, if only because it was entirely built from plastic parts, without any actual sculpting involved. And I hope that a classic Sisters of Battle paintjob will go the rest of the way towards selling the model.

Sister Kitbash (6)

III. An Angel of Death

And, last but definitely not least, let me show you my latest conversion (and a model I am immensely proud of):

I imagine most of you will have heard about a certain trend of “truescaling” or “art scaling” Space Marines. Not to delve too deeply into this discussion, but the main argument behind this movement is that the scale of the actual Space Marine models doesn’t fit the depiction of Marines in the art and written background published by GW: While the Marines in the art and fluff come across as veritable titans, much taller and wider than any mere man, an actual Marine on the table will often literally see eye to eye with any Cadian or Chaos Cultist.

So quite a few hobbyists are going the “true scale” route, converting and/or resculpting their Marines to be closer to the depictions in the background. And while I am perfectly happy with the scale of Marine models in my regular 40k army (for practicality reasons, if for nothing else), the wonderful world of Inquisitor provided the perfect excuse for building at least one true scale Astartes.

You see, one of the things the original 54mm Inquisitor models truly excelled at was to communicate the fact that people come in all shapes and sizes: While most infantry models for 40k will usually be scaled to equal size, the 54mm Inquisitor models represented a wide range of heights and builds — and Brother Artemis, the Space Marine model released for Inquisitor, was definitely the tallest and most imposing guy in the catalogue.

And with the focus on making individual models look as good as possible in INQ28, I think we should also try to incorporate that variety in heigth and build into the smaller scale, even though it means more work. And while there’s admittedly not that much use for a Space Marine in INQ28, I still wanted to build one, both due to the challenge involved and because such a character would fit into the background for my little slice of the galaxy.

Now actually building the model turned out to be a veritable odyssey: Everything started when I saw Commissar Molotov’s Deathwatch Marine many moons ago:

Deathwatch Astartes by Commissar Molotov

Deathwatch Marine converted by Commissar Molotov and painted by ElDiablo

Molotov himself may no longer be all that fond of this model, but ut really served as a trailblazer for me in that it convinced me that building and painting a truescale Marine would be a very worth hobby endeavour! And indeed, I started kitbashing right away (back in 2011), coming up with this:

Truescale early WIP 01
But while it may have been a valiant first effort, the model didn’t convince me, even back then: The proportions were a bit off, the legs were clearly Terminator legs, and I feared I would have to get my feet wet using GS to sort out the build of the model. So this first test model was scrapped, and I put the project on the back burner, there to simmer for a while…

And simmer it did: Whenever I saw my fellow hobbyists come up with amazing truescale Marines of their own, their work would prove to be both inspiring and intimidating to me: Inspiring because it gave me the motivation to take another shot at my own model, intimidating because all those models always seemed so much cooler than what I could come up with.

There are many, many cool truescale projects out there, so naming favourites seems a bit unfair, but let me at least mention the models that proved the most inspiring (and/or intimidating) to me: Jeff Vader came up with a wonderful series of truescale Marines, but I couldn’t get his recipe to work for me, much as I tried. The Strike Force Helmawr project proved tantalising, showing not one but many, many true scale models (and convincing me I could never pull it off). Bruticus’s amazing Sun Titan Space Marine made me salivate at the mouth and gnash my teeth at the same time, because the model and backstory were fairly close to what I had been planning for my own model (on a related note, the model is made even better by the wonderfully grimdark background provided here and here). And there was always migsula with his outstanding Alpha Legionaries, of course, but I knew right away that I myself could not hope to aspire to something as lofty as that 😉

Meanwhile, I made another attempt at building my own truescale Marine:

Truescale early WIP 02
But while the model did feel like an improvement over the first version, the look I wanted still wasn’t there. Would I be forever unable to come up with a suitable Astartes for my INQ28 collection?

What finally pushed me over the edge to try it yet again were Jeff Vader’s Deathwatch Marine (using a GK Terminator torso instead of that of a regular Marine, something I hadn’t even considered before) and Ukos’s really nice and clean truescale model (also using plastic Terminator parts). So, last weekend, I gave it yet another try, and this time I persevered:

Brother_Sergeant_Auriga
In hindsight, it’s truly baffling how quickly the model’s body came together after all that prior deliberation. The main challenge was to get the proportions to look plausible enough, but I think I have finally managed to make it work! As for the parts used, the legs came from a FW Tartaros Terminator (I’d probably always recommend these over regular Terminator legs, because their design means that they won’t need any additional greenstuffing to look accurate), while the torso and arms are from the Grey Knight piloting the Nemesis Dreadknight. I also added shoulder pads from the Sternguard kit and a particularly arrogant looking head from the Vanguard kit. Oh, and the cap of a felt pen provided the plasticard collar I needed to make the armour work — another good piece of advice for lazy people like me 😉

After the main build had been sorted out, it came to making the armour look less utilitarian and more ostentatious and baroque. I quickly found out that I couldn’t add nearly as much bitz and bobs as I would have liked, and I really had to reign myself in so as not too overclutter the model’s silhouette! Anyway, here’s the model with added gear and decoration:

Brother_Sergeant_Auriga04
In addition to providing a bit of extra bling, some pouches and grenades were used to bulk out the hips and help create the illusion of “correct” proportions.

The final step was to add weapons to the model, and I clearly knew I wanted this guy to be wielding a sword and a pistol of some sort. And while I had several options for either, in the end it turned out that many of the possible weapons weren’t useable because they would have looked like mere toys in the hands of this huge model — a very real complication with truescale models!

In the end I settled on a FW plasma pistol and a Grey Knight power sword. And with that, the conversion was completed. I give you Brother Sergeant Janus Auriga, of the Golden Legion Astartes Chapter:

Brother Sergeant Auriga (7)
Brother Sergeant Auriga (6)
Brother Sergeant Auriga (5)
Brother Sergeant Auriga (4)
Brother Sergeant Auriga (3)
Brother Sergeant Auriga (2)
And, of course, no post about a true scale Marine would be complete with a scale comparison shot showing the model next to one of its “regular” counterparts. Take a look:

Brother Sergeant Auriga (8)
Quite a beast, don’t you think? 🙂

I won’t lied to you: I am super happy with the finished model, especially since it has taken me such a long time to come up with a true scale Astartes of my own! Since I don’t plan on building any more TS Marines, I knew that I should give it my all on this guy — and I did 😉

Brother Sergeant Auriga (1)

So yeah, those are the first results of my recent INQ28 kitbashing spree. As usual, I would love to hear any feedback, suggestions or criticism you might have! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!