Archive for art scale

The State of the Hunt, Week 33/2017: Idle hands…

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, state of the hunt, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 17, 2017 by krautscientist

So I find myself in a bit of a motivational slump at the moment, trying to work up the motivation to actually paint some of my recently completed Death Guard models, especially my biker lord, since he’s my pledge for the August Arena event over at The Bolter & Chainsword. But while I remain committed to that plan, I just couldn’t seem to get started, and the fact that I’ve been distracted by other stuff – including other hobbies – recently, didn’t really help.

At the same time, cutting up little plastic men is never really all that far from my mind, so when I received a rather nice bitz drop from fellow hobbyist Aasfresser, my interest was piqued:


Among the bitz were some early 90s plastic berzerkers (say what you will about them, as far as monpopose models from the early 90s go, I think they’re pretty great!) and a plastic CSM from around the same time — I’ve never even owned one of the latter before, and while the model hasn’t aged all that gracefully, I do think those were pretty much ahead for the curve for their time, especially when compared to the pretty atrocious 2nd edition plastic Space Marines.

There were also all kinds of chaotic bitz and bobs — but it might surprise you to learn that something altogether different caught my eye and gave me an idea…

 

I. A thing in a jar

As I discovered to my delight, Aasfresser had also included one of those creepy embryonic rats that come with the Skaven Stormfiends kit. Having one of those things in my hands made me remember my half-buried thoughts about a possible conversion project, and then things just started falling into place: I recalled a certain John Blanche sketch from the 4th edition 40k rulebook, Aasfresser told me about his own plans for those via PM and ‘doesn’t that new 40k objectives kit contain a pretty cool incubation tank…?’

Anyway, here’s what I had when I came to 😉


As you can see, I basically added that incubation tank from the Sector Imperialis Objectives to the undercarriage of a Kataphron Destroyer, and I think it works pretty well. A word of warning to those of you who are considering a purchase of the objectives kit, however: While it contains many excellent parts, the cast seems to be plagued with the same gooey texture and loss of detail we have already seen on some of the basing kits. The components are still serviceable, but they are not as sharp and crisp as the stuff you get when you purchase a 40k squad (or AoS unit).

Those problems notwithstanding, the combined parts made a rather convincing new home for that creepy little embryo: I love the idea of the Adeptus Mechanicus keeping strange and creepy experiments inside incubation tanks and vats and maybe taking them along for expeditions and battles to field-test them. Or maybe this is a particularly degenerate member of the Adeptus itself?

In any case, I did my best to make the small creature inside the tank as creepy as I could: All signs of its ratty progeny (the face and tail) were carefully shaved away, and a new face was spliced in. I also added some more cabling and some injectors and vials for that extra bit of AdMech madness. Here’s a closer look:



Given the enlarged brain, I thought it would be cool to go for a face with the eyes and mouth sewn shut, so I used one of the trophy heads from the Plaguebearer kit. Yeah, pretty unhinged — I know 😉

Now the back of the tank is fully detailed as well, with a pretty nifty array of cogitator banks, so I wanted to have some kind of Magos or tech thrall on there, monitoring the vital signs, collecting readings and stuff like that. Now my original plan was to have the operator as an actual, separate individual, but comments from fellow hobbyists over at the B&C made me reconsider — and realise that there’s actually nothing more AdMech than having a hardwired servitor on there for just that one purpose, is there?

So here’s a mockup for the operator/servitor:



And here’s a view from the front, without the tank in the way 😉



The servitor itself looks pretty faceless, but that’s arguably the point of such a creature, right? 😉

All in all, I think the model is really starting to come together — and the cradle for the servitor also goes some way towards making the whole ensemble look more believable as an actual AdMech machine.

So the model should be a pretty cool addition to the small AdMech freakshow I have already built and painted for my INQ28 collection:

II. Primaris premiere

Sawing through all of those Kataphron Destroyer bitz also led to another conversion: I recently purchased a box of three snapfit Primaris Marines, so I could experiment on the new Space Marine models at some point. Say what you will about the way the bigger Marines have been shoehorned into the setting (personally, I hate it!), but the models are pretty cool and provide the perfect go-to template for building true scale Astartes for use in INQ28, among other things. So I returned to yet another conversion I had been planning for a while — although having the Primaris Marines to work from certainly made this project quite a bit easier!




As you can probably tell from looking at the model, this is supposed to be an Iron Hands (Tech-) Marine. I carefully sawed away most of the Primaris torso front and replaced it with a Kataphron Destroyer breastplate. The bionic left arm also came from the Kataphron Destroyers. The backpack and head are from the Deathwatch:Overkill Iron Hands character, and the bionic left hand and axe are from a Master of the Forge.

For the right arm, I tried just tacking on the stock arm, but this highlighted the fact that the new, elongated bolters don’t really work all that well when held in one hand — the arm just seemed ever so slightly unbalanced to me. So I carefully reposed the arm from aforementioned Deathwatch:Overkill model, and I think it works far better:




Funnnily enough, the new gun isn’t really that much shorter, but it still looks quite a bit more balanced, wouldn’t you agree? It probably has something to do with the front of the weapon having a stockier build and looking less “elongated”, for lack of a better word. Plus the cabling also adds a bit of extra visual “counterweight”, as it were.

So that’s it for this week: Nothing groundbreaking, but a couple of – hopefully interesting – kitbashes. As usual, I would love to hear your feedback! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

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Inquisitor 28: From Cataphractii to Chapter Master

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 12, 2016 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, after speaking – at length – about my conversions using the Cataphractii Terminators from Betrayal at Calth and about my experiences converting that Cataphractii Praetor from the same boxed set into yet another 30k version of Lord Captain Lorimar, let’s return to the wonderful world of Cataphractii once more and discuss another conversion. The base for today’s project was, once again, the Betrayal at Calth Cataphractii Praetor:

Betrayal at Calth release (17)
Messing around with the model had already taught me that it didn’t take much to really transform the stock version of the Praetor into something else — but I wasn’t quite finished with the model yet, because I had to remember Commissar Molotov’s very interesting proof of concept for a true scale Astartes based on the Cataphractii Praetor. And after learning for myself how relatively easy it was to get rid of the model’s pidgeon-toed stance, I couldn’t get this idea out of my head. And when I recently had the chance of picking up another Praetor for cheap from fellow hobbyist Mineralwasser, that basically settled the deal. And what better way to convert this model again than to make it into the Chapter Master of my DIY Chapter, the Golden Legion?

I started by creating a very simple first mockup:

Second Golden Legionnaire early WIP (1)
The main objective here was to get a basic feel for what I wanted the model to look like. As you can see, I made the exact same adjustment to the legs I used on my Lorimar conversion earlier. Beyond that, a couple of things were pretty easy to decide, even at this early point: I really, really wanted to use that fantastic, bearded head from the Sternguard kit (possibly one of the best Space Marine heads ever), and some ostentatious shoulder pads from the same kit would be used for the Chapter Master’s pauldrons.

Regarding the overall look of the armour, I think the Cataphractii Praetor is a really promising base model for a true scale conversion, as the armour could easily pass for an older mark of regular power armour or some kind of artifcer armour. Possibly the best part is that the layered armour on the arms and legs believably looks like enforced standard power armour — unlike plastic 40k Terminator parts that will always look like Terminator armour, unless you are prepared to invest quite a bit of work.

Anyway, here’s a comparison picture with the early mockup version and my previous Golden Legion Astartes, Praetor Janus Auriga:

Second Golden Legionnaire early WIP (2)

The next step was to nail down the pose I wanted as well as the overall feel of the model, in order to decide on the additional bits I would need . For instance, the Praetor’s stock arm with the combi-bolter worked reasonably well, but it wasn’t what I had in mind for the Golden Legion. In my background notes, swordplay is a huge part of the Legion’s culture and mythology, so it goes without saying that the Chapter Master would need an especially ostentatious sword. However, as the following picture shows, using the stock arm and weapon would work really well for an Astartes with a slightly more standard set of equipment!

Second Golden Legionnaire early WIP (3)
For the left forearm, I decided to use an arm from the Stormcast Eternals models from the Age of Sigmar starter box: I already knew at this point that I wouldn’t be keeping the hammer, but the vambrace has a very nice lion design on one side, plus it really worked well scale-wise for a true scale Astartes.

But yeah, I wanted a sword, so I browsed through GW’s entire catalogue until I came upon a bit that I thought might do the trick — I even made a crude Photoshop mockup of the whole shebang at this point 😉

Second Golden Legionnaire early WIP (5)
So I ordered that sword from the Deathwing command squad, along with a small collection of additional bitz — we’ll get to the result in a second. Before that, however, here’s a look at the model’s back, warts and all, to show you the construction I used:

Second Golden Legionnaire WIP (5)
The model’s back is basically a shaved down GK Terminator torso back, which fit surprisingly well with a bit of shaving here and there. What’s more, the shaved-down back vents really make for an excellent point of attachment for a standard Space Marine backpack without any further work — I used the same approach on my first true scale Marine, incidentally.

One thing you will also have noticed in the picture above is that I did try to add a stylised deathmask to the model’s right pauldron. The idea was that this is the Deathmask of St. Sabasto, the Velsen Sector’s patron saint, so to speak, and that the Golden Legion is using it almost like a chapter badge. I felt mighty smart when I press-molded a Sanguinary Guard mask with GS, because I thought a GS duplicate would ultimately conform to the shoulder pad’s curvature far better — but unfortunately it ended up looking pretty hokey! I did find a very simple solution for this problem, though.

So here’s a look at a far more complete version of the Chapter Master:

Golden Legion Chapter Master WIP (1)
As you can see, the Deathwing sword works really well with the stock arm, even though it turned out to be even longer than I had anticipated. I also added a cape from the same Deathwing kit, because, let’s face it, Chapter Masters just need to look suitably ostentatious 😉

As for the mask on the shoulder pad, the solution turned out to be almost disappointingly simple: I simply grafted an original plastic Sanguinary Guard faceplate to the shoulder pad, and it worked much better than the GS copy I had on there earlier (even though it made me feel a bit stupid for even trying the long way around, so to speak):

Golden Legion Chapter Master WIP (3)
Golden Legion Chapter Master WIP (2)
As I have mentioned earlier, the idea behind the deathmask is that it’s the stylised face of the Imperial Martyr Sabasto, patron saint of the Velsen Sector. The Golden Legion were his personal guard of honour when he defended  the sector against an incursion by the forces of the Arch-Enemy about 1,500 years ago, and his ultimate demise at the very forefront of the Crusade remains a mark of shame to the chapter, and a reason for their fanatical need to protect the Velsen Sector against any enemies from without.

At this point, most of the conversion was basically finished:

Golden Legion Chapter Master WIP (4)
All that was left to figure out was what to do with the left hand: I considered – and ultimately discared – many different weapon and equipment options, because they all ended up feeling a bit too pedestrian to me. But then again, leaving the hand completely empty also seemed like a bit of a missed opportunity.

Fortunately, JaggedToothGrin came up with the excellent idea of having the model hold some kind of rosary or amulet, and EdT suggested using the left hand of this Age of Sigmar Paladin Retributor:

Paladin Retributor Champion

I instantly liked this idea, but I didn’t know how easy it would be to source the required bit — but it soon became obvious that I wouldn’t even have to find that particular hand, because I discovered yet another suitable part on the Sternguard sprue.

So here’s Orestes Prabian, Lord Commander of the Golden Legion, finished except for maybe a bit or two 😉

Golden Legion Chapter Master WIP (10)
The small chain with a Crux Terminatus dangling from it was originally part of a Sternguard torso, but it seemed like a natural fit, so I carefully snipped it off and grafted it to an empty fist from the same source, and I am really happy with the result:

 

Golden Legion Chapter Master WIP (12)

Golden Legion Chapter Master WIP (14)

The area where the backpack meets the cape will require some minor cleanup, but that shouldn’t be too much of a problem. After that, it’ll mostly be a case of carefully adding a bit more bling to the model here and there 😉

Golden Legion Chapter Master WIP (13)

I think the finished conversion is suitably iconic to work as a Chapter Master — and, maybe even more importantly, it also believably works as a true scale Astartes! Here’s another comparison picture with Janus Auriga:

Prabian & Auriga comparison picture
Granted, upon closer examination, Janus may be ever so slightly taller than his Chapter Master — a result of my cobbling together a recipe while I was going on the first model, whereas the second Astartes was mostly based on a rock solid base model. In the end, I didn’t want to mess up the Chapter Master’s proportions by awkwardly splicing in any spacers, though — and who knows, maybe Janus is just a big guy, even for an Astartes?

Here’s another picture, showing both the Chapter Master and my 30k Lorimar version — both of them are obviously based on the same plastic Cataphractii Praetor:

Prabian & Lorimar comparison picture
While I wasn’t completely sold on the stock model for a while, it has really grown on me, due to its surprising versatility. And it does make for a pretty much perfect base for a true scale conversion, if you ask me!

And with that, we can mostly consider the Cataphractii case closed — expect to see more of these guys once I get some paint on them 😉

Until then, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Golden Legion Chapter Master WIP (11)

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!

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!