Archive for community challenge

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! πŸ˜‰

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

I. The girl with the Void-Dragon tattoo

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

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

model built and painted by Johannus

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Anyway, here’s the finished model:

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Alizebeth Selandrine

 


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




And a closer look at her base:

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

II. The Clockwork Assassin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

I had already tried to use a paper towel to create torn pages on Interrogator Inson’s base, but while the end result worked out well enough, the pages were too thin. So I went for a slightly sturdier paper placemat this time around, cutting small pages out of it, then covering them in glue and arranging them on top of the base. The end result ended up looking far more convincing, with the individual pages actually well defined enough to work.

Here’s a look at the finished model:

=][=

The Clockwork Assassin


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



And once again, a closer look at the base:

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

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

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

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

III. He can even do shorthand!

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


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

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


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

So here’s the third finished model for today:

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Ordo Scriptorum Autoquill Servitor



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

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

 

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

models built and painted by PDH

 

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

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

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

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

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INQ28: The Office – grimdark edition

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 16, 2018 by krautscientist

So there I was, carefully warning you all that I might have to dial back my output a bit, and yet I have two new models to share with you today — strange, isn’t it? πŸ˜‰

The truth is that finishing my Ordo Scriptorum Inquisitor really led to yet another surge of inspiration, as I kept trawling the internet for more Wayne England illustrations from around the same time period. Unfortunately, his work seems to be much less well documented than, say, John Blanche’s, and many images were only available via that abominable hellpit called Pinterest.

But then several readers helpfully pointed me towards the original Dark Heresy rulebook as a possible source of Wayne England art from what I am beginning to think of as the “teal period”, which provided me with more reference material. I kept going back to his image in particular:


It seems to portray an underhive ganger of some sort, and I really liked the style of the character. So much so, in fact, that I spontaneously started to create yet another conversion based on a Wayne England illustration:


When all is said and done, it’s a pretty straightforward kitbash, mainly using parts from the Dark Vengeance chaos cultists: In fact, the entire conversion really took off to begin with once I realised the creepy cultist head with its mouth stapled shut resembled the head of the ganger in the artwork.

Beyond that, it was mostly about trying to get the subtle things right: the way the cultist is holding the gun in two hands was the key part, and I was lucky enough to still have an ancient Gorkamorka shoota that almost perfectly matched the design of the stub gun in the artwork. I also wanted to include the weirdly-glamrock fur collar, so I used the upper half of a Chaos Marauder cape as a starting point and sculpted some rough GS fur around it to suitably blend it in.

I also decide to depart from the artwork in one specific way: Much as I love the piece, the angle of the head makes it clear that the ganger is aiming (and firing) downwards, which is something I did not neccessarily want to reproduce on my model, mostly because it would look kind of silly when the model’s standing on the floor and not in an elevated position. So I tweaked the angle of the head a bit to make it look more as though the ganger were standing wit the gun at rest. I actually think the angle I have chosen makes the guy seem slightly more sinister, but that’s a matter of personal preference, of course.

Anyway, here’s what the finished conversion looked like:



Since my recent work on Redactor Orlant was what had originally inspired this model, I decided that I wanted to turn the ganger into a member of the Inquisitor’s retinue, so I needed to find an angle for him to work within the framework of the Ordo Scriptorum — which is when I remembered the archetype of the “Bureaucultist”:

Bureacultists are former members of the Administratum whose archive or bibliocathedra has been sealed off or forgotten. They keep doing their job of accumulating and organising data, yet without the rest of the Imperium taking any notice, they grow more and more isolated and feral as years, decades or even centuries pass.

Now just to give credit where credit is due, the Bureaucultist idea wasn’t really mine, originally, but rather came from the excellent fan-made Dark Magenta article on Holy Terra as an adventurescape.

To quote Robey Jenkins, from issue #1 of Dark Magenta:

The bureaucultist is a strange evolution of humanity. Having entered the condition of civilization and passed
through it into a new barbarism, the bureaucult is devoted only to policies, procedures and the unthinking guardianship
of information. (…)

Bureaucultists crop up in the massive, sprawling administrations of the Imperium all across the galaxy. Although
their approach to information is fundamentally primitive, their attention to detail is legendary and they will fight
obsessively to protect what is theirs, so many an Inquisitor makes use of such creatures within his staff to help
manage an extensive library or private archive.

When PDH originally came up with the concept for his Ordo Scriptorum warband, he adapted the concept and made “Indentured Bureaucultists” into a part of the Ordo. Wrote PDH:

Bureaucultist slave labour of the Ordo Scriptorum. These workers are indentured by the threat of redaction and the deletion of generations worth of bilbliocatherdra, data vaults and knowledge. While these repositories are often worthless to the Imperium, the threat binds the cultists to the Ordo Scriptorum, making for the most loyal of slaves.

There’s something incredibly grimdark about the thought of clerks and librarians going feral after their archives and bibliocathedra have been sealed off or forgotten, isn’t there? Just think about the former librarians and scribes devolving into a tribal society, forming gangs and fighting for their respective “section” of the archive, maybe for resources like electricity, memory units, clean paper or dry shelf space, with their former calling slowly turning into half-forgotten memories and office rules permutating into quasi-religion. Plus such a bureaucultist could be a useful follower for an Ordo Scriptorum Inquisitor, serving as a guide for forgotten and abandoned archives, remembering the ancient file sytems and cogitator protocols…

So while the ganger in Wayne England’s illustration above probably wasn’t planned with the bureaucultist angle in mind, I still thought it might be a cool idea to use the converted character as a bureaucultist. There are even some touches that might point to the idea of a librarian gone feral (such as the servo-skull banner pole — a trophy or a legitimate way of storing data, even after all this time…?).

Here’s a picture with Redactor Orlant for comparison. It also shows you the bureaucultist conversion in all its different colours, warts and all:


The model was painted to match Orlant’s colour palette. However, I went for a slightly grubbier, dirtier version of the colour scheme this time around, making the bureaucultist look like a bit of a slightly twisted mirror version of the Inquisitor:





Here’s another side by side with both models:


And of course I couldn’t help myself and had to mock up a comparison with the model, the artwork that inspired it, and some tweaked colour settings:


So that’s yet another model based on the work of Wayne England — and it probably won’t surprise you at this point to learn that I could easily see myself taking even more inspiration from his body of work. For instance, PDH pointed out to me that Orlant’s retinue could really use an astropath, and I realised that the illustrations for the Pyromancy and Telekinetics psyker disciplines, respectively, would provide the perfect template for an Ordo Scriptorum Astropath:

 

Speaking of PDH, though, Peter is actually responsible for yet another addition to Redactor Orlant’s warband: Seeing how I’ve been taking so much inspiration from his own Ordo Scriptorum warband, and given the fact that we agreed ages ago that Peter’s Inquisitor, Klien Inson, had been Redactor Orlant’s interrogator at one point, I really couldn’t resist trying to build a younger version of Inson. Thanks to direct feedback from PDH, I think I’ve come up with a pretty cool younger version of his original model. Take a look:


On the left is Peter’s original model for Inquisitor Inson, on the right is my take on Inson as an interrogator. Here’s a closer look at the conversion:





I wanted to create a really strong resemblance while also clearly communicating the fact that my version actually shows Inson as a (slightly) younger man. At the same time, I also tried to add some cues that pointed back at Orlant (such as the collar, that is actually virtually identical to the one used on Orlant, while also looking like a less exalted version of older Inson’s “jaws collar”, or the Inquisitorial symbol added to the model’s breastplate).

What’s really funny is that my very first version of Inson actually did even more with this particular concept: On the one hand, it featured a less ornate version of the bolt pistol older Inson has, as yet another shout out to Peter’s model. On the other hand, I thought that adding an organic left leg would be a great way of showing how quite a bit of time had passed between both versions of the model:


But then PDH informed me that his background character featured pretty specific information about where and when Inson had lost his leg, and was already rocking an augmetic replacement by the time he became an Interrogator in the Ordo Scriptorum. By the same token, his bolt pistol was confiscated by the Arbites when he first set foot on Terra, and was only given back to him after he obtained his full Inquisitorial rosette.

I wanted to honour Peter’s background for his character, so I grit my teeth and replaced the leg and pistol. Peter suggested using a Skitarii leg — as for why it’s sleeker and more sophisticated than the version on older Inson, I’ll leave PDH to work that one out πŸ˜‰ My take is that it maybe needed to be replaced by a more comprehensive prosthesis after further injury or that the original augmetic ultimately didn’t take. According to Peter’s background for the character, Inson also seems to have a bit of a thing for self-flagellation, so maybe that might have something to do with it as well…

Ultimately, I am very thankful to Peter for the feedback, however, even if it meant more work: The finished conversion has a more polished look due to his feedback, and I really wanted to paint it right away. So here’s a look at the – mostly – finished younger Klien Inson:




While the aim was not to perfectly match PDH’s paintjob for the older version of Inson, I did take care to take some cues from his model (such as the general dark look and the metallic scales on the cape) and go for a similar overall look and feel. Here’s a side by side comparison with both PDH’s and my treatment of the character:


While my version of Inson is a bit younger, Peter’s background for Inson characterises him as a pretty conflicted individual even at this earlier point in his career, plus there’s also the physical trauma he incurred during his work as an Ordo Xenos Inquisitor, so I went for a somewhat drawn, unhealthy look for the face, which I think has worked out pretty well.

At the same time, it was also clear that the younger Inson had to match the colour palette of his master, Inquisitor Orlant, to some degree, so I tried to stay within the parameters I had set for myself and use a similar palette once again:


He still needs a base, of course — and I have a pretty cool idea for another small nod to Peter’s model…

For now, however, this means two more additions to Redactor Orlant’s warband — with neither of them originally a part of the picture, but that’s how these things go sometimes…

Here’s a look at the warband so far:


Oh, and I am also counting these two conversions as entries for Azazel’s “Assembly April” challenge, even though they weren’t planned at all πŸ˜‰

So that’s it for today’s update. I would really love to hear your feedback on the new characters and the warband so far, though, so feel free to drop me a comment! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more! πŸ™‚

INQ28: This girl is on fire

Posted in 40k, Conversions, paintjob, Pointless ramblings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 19, 2018 by krautscientist

Yet more INQ28 content this week, as I have finally managed to complete one of my longest running projects: The retinue of Inquisitor Erasmus Gotthardt.

Now Gotthardt himself is one of my oldest INQ28 models at this point, as are some of his retainers: The models were built back in 2011, and from a much smaller bitzbox, I might add. I have been working on the warband ever since, adding a character here and tweaking a paintjob there. But for the most part, the retinue has been finished since 2016 — except for one last elusive model.

And to be perfectly honest, I have been putting off this one paintjob for a long time, mostly because I didn’t know whether or not I could do the model justice. But thanks to the various community challenges from fellow hobbyists Azazel and Alex, I have been blazing through quite a few neglected models lately, so I thought I would use this surge of motivation to finally face my fears, so to speak.

But what is this dreaded missing model I keep referring to? Well, this lass here, Elisha Gorgo:



The model was actually built all the way back in 2013, if you can believe it, when I was lucky enough to get my hands on the female vampires from the Coven Throne kit and really wanted to use them to create some characters for INQ28. I still think those are some of the best female models GW has ever released, even if the “vampiresses in period dresses” shtick might not be for anyone πŸ˜‰

Anyway, I chose my favourite model from the trio to build a member for Inquisitor Gotthardt’s retinue. Unfortunately, the vampires had already been assembled by the previous owner, and due to the very delicate, slender sculpts, there was only so much I could do to convert them — which somewhat explains Elisha’s seemingly tranced-out pose πŸ˜‰

I thought this actually worked well for a psyker, though, so that was what she would become. I spent ages looking for the right pair of legs, finally coming across some High Elf archer legs that worked really well (although not everyone was a fan of the “harem pants” look when I originally posted her on the various forums). I also exchanged her clawlike hands for gloved hands from the Dreamforge Games Eisenkern Stormtroopers that looked much less cronelike. But really, it was a rather straightforward kitbash. The prospect of having to paint the model was the difficult part: I really didn’t want to mess up, mostly because I wouldn’t be able to get another shot at working with these bitz without having to purchase an entire Coven Throne.

And even with my fresh committment to finishing the model, I was still nervous enough about this paintjob to actually mock up the intended colour scheme beforehand in Photoshop, something I don’t think I have ever done before:


We usually don’t get to see much blue in Inquisitor warbands, and I wanted to change that. I also really like turquoise as a spot colour, so that informed my colour choices as well.

The actual painting process mainly consisted of trying to match the mockup as closely as possible while doing my best not to ruin the face πŸ˜‰

Which turned out to be a bit of a challenge: I found out that I really don’t have the brush control and technical finesse to sail through a delicate paintjob like this. But here’s what I came up with after a while:


I actually do wish I had managed to pull off a neater paintjob on her face. That being said, I did manage to bring it back from the brink after almost considering it ruined, so I think I should probably be reasonably happy.

Something that doesn’t really come across in the photos is how both the corsage as well as the pants have a slight metallic sheen, in order to hint at different materials and fabrics used for her dress: I simply mixed some Leadbelcher into the paint for those areas. Apart from that, her entire dress has been painted in different mixes of black, white and Vallejo’s Milenario Turquoise.

At this point, I was basically prepared to call the model finished — to tell you the truth, I was actually still terrified of ruining it πŸ˜‰

But at the same time, I couldn’t stop thinking about how a subtle blue OSL effect on the palms of her hands could be used to both hint at her channeling her powers and also explain her pose a bit better. But the hands were very small, and I didn’t really want it to end up looking tacky. In the end, I buckled up and just did it, though. I’ll let you be the judges of whether or not I succeeded:

 


Elisha Gorgo

born Countess Elisha Haxta di Colasante Mordina-Gorgo

Elisha Gorgo is the eldest daughter of the influential Imperial House Mordina-Gorgo. The girl started displaying psykana powers at a very young age. Under normal circumstances, this would have meant a dreary and possibly short life aboard one of the Blackships, but her influential father used every ounce of his authority to keep her β€œaffliction” a secret. Due to her powers, she has been sequestered away from other people for most of her life and has grown up very shy and demure as a consequence.

Her secret was only uncovered when Inquisitor Gotthardt visited her homeworld as part of an investigation. And, for an undisclosed reason, he chose to make her a member of his retinue, arguably saving her from the far more dire fate that might have awaited her, had she encountered one of his more hardline colleagues.





When all is said and done, I am pretty happy with the way Elisha has turned out: Painting a model after such a long time always means you have to compromise — to settle on one definite way the model will look over all the possibilities you have been pondering in the back of your head. All technical gripes notwithstanding, I do think she makes for a rather stunnig addition to Inquisitor Gotthardt’s warband — because let’s not forget that the retinue is now actually finished. Take a look:

 

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Inquisitor Erasmus Gotthardt and retinue
Ordo Hereticus Velsen

Once again, let us take a look at all of the warband’s members in turn:


Inquisitor Erasmus Gotthardt, an Inquisitor of the Ordo Hereticus Velsen in uneasy pursuit of his former friend, Inquisitor Lazarus Antrecht.


Cpt. Esteban Revas, former Regimental Champion of the 126th Haaruthian Dragoons, publicly dishonoured for an honourable deed.


Trooper Salvador ‘Sal’ Koltz, also formerly of the 126th Haaruthian Dragoons. An unashamedly lowbrow, yet surprisingly resourceful, individual. Bound by a debt of gratitude, he serves as personal retainer to Esteban Revas.


Iskander Gagarin, flamboyant Rogue Trader and merchant-prince. Claims to be a scion of one of the very first families to have sailed out into the Great Void Sea, even predating the Age of Unification.


PeeDee the Monkey, a priceless cyber-familiar and exotic pet to Iskander Gagarin.


Elisha Gorgo, of House Mordina-Gorgo, an imperial debutante, possessing strange psykana powers.


Father Endric Harlan, a Schola Progenium Drill-Abbot and survivor of the Quelling of St. Berthold, a highly classified Inquisitorial operation.


Remus Ingram, a former member of the Riftyr Hiveguard turned inquisitorial investigator, and Balzepho, his cyber-mastiff.

 

Looking back at my three “big” finished retinues so far – Inquisitor Antrecht and his freakshow, Inquisitor Arslan and his sinister Ordo Hereticus operatives, and now Inquisitor Gotthardt and his retainers – it’s fun to see the different design approaches at play: Antrecht and retinue were a way to explore radicalism and the way rogue Inquisitors are driven towards more and more monstrous and inhuman allies. Inquisitor Arslan’s retinue was, in many ways, an exercise in cohesion, with all of the members sharing a very similar colour palette and overall visual aesthetic. Now Gotthardt and his crew take yet another approach:

Like Arslan, Gotthardt is a puritan, but he is also less extreme in his views: Think Eisenhorn in his earlier years, and you’re not far off the mark. And unlike Arslan’s warband, Gotthardt’s followers are a pretty colourful bunch. As I’ve said before, the warband makes use of many of the classic character archetypes from the Inquisitor rulebook, taking direct inspiration from actual 54mm models or artwork from the book in more than one case. I think of the retinue as just the colourful collection of individuals an enterprising Inquisitor would meet during his work and turn into a highly individual group of followers.

Again, each of this groups embodies a different aspect of the Inquisition: Antrecht and his crew embody radicalism that borders on the heretical. Arslan’s warband is full-on fire and brimstone and Inquisitorial ostentatiousness. Gotthardt’s team has a swashbuckling, picaresque feel by comparison — more Dan Abnett than John Blanche, for once.

Interestingly enough, this is probably also the retinue with the biggest amount of backstory so far, mostly because the whole project has basically taken on a life of its own over the years:Β  PeeDee the Monkey joined the group when PDH sent me that little powder monkey that just seemed ideal as a pet for a flamboyant trader like Iskander Gagarin. Trooper Koltz only came into being because Esteban Revas just looked like the kind of noble fop who would have a manservant lugging around his smoking utensils — but both characters actually grew into something way more interesting and fleshed out. Just take a look at Esteban’s backstory, in case you are interested.

Anyway, enough rambling — I am just happy to have finished this long running project!
Oh, and since the completion of Elisha’s paintjob actually finishes the retinue, I think I’ll be counting this as yet another completion for Azazel’s Squad:March! challenge πŸ™‚

And with that, we have come to the end of the road, at least for today.

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

INQ28: The Lion of Velsen

Posted in 40k, Conversions, paintjob, Pointless ramblings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 12, 2018 by krautscientist

Another week of fire and brimstone Ordo Hereticus Madness — I sincerely hope you aren’t fed up yet! But I am really on a roll right now, blazing through model after model, which is more than a bit uncommon for me. I also know how fickle motivation can be, so I’ll just let myself be swept along by the tide for as long as it lasts πŸ˜‰

Anyway, last week I shared more models for Inquisitor Arslan’s warband with you, and those completions left me with only two models to go before the warband would actually be finished. This seemed like an excellent goal to work towards for my participation in Azazel’s Squad:March! challengeΒ as well, so I got to work. And, indeed, I do have some new models for you again. So let’s take a peek:

I. A blade from the Shadows

One of the last two missing models was this death cult assassin I converted a while ago:


The character was very much inspired by Severina and Sevora Devout (as well as the accompanying miniatures) from back when the original 54mm Inquisitor was released:

Granted, the concept of female assassins clad in latex bodygloves may not feel quite as fresh and risquΓ© in 2018 as it did back in 2001 (or rather, than its inclusion in an Inquisition-themed game seemed back then). Even so, I have been working my way through basically all of the old character types from the awesome Inquisitor rulebook, trying to put my own spin on things, so I couldn’t shy away from this archetype, could I? I also still think there’s something pretty entertaining about taking a concept that is so ridiculously pulp-SciFi in many ways and finding a grimdark angle for it.

The conversion itself was fairly straightforward, especially since the model is really mostly a repurposed Dark Eldar Wych, from back when I briefly considered getting back into Dark Eldar after the beautiful new plastic models had been released. I added some small tweaks, such as the purity seal, to make the model a bit more Imperial.

The most important part for turning the wych into an inquisitorial operative, however, was the gas mask from a Dark Vengeance cultist: Plus the slightly weird look of the mask as well as the creepy layout of the eye lenses was intended to hint at the fact that she may have been augmented underneath the mask or to just suggest a certain kind of eerie wrongness that seemed fitting for the character.

When it came to painting the assassin, I basically used the same palette I had set down for the rest of the warband. Fortunately enough, it was really similar to the colours of GW’s official death cult assassins, so I could take some inspiration from those:


And of course I also tried to make the paintjob call back to John Blanche’s illustrations from the Inquisitor Sketchbook as well:

Illustration by John Blanche

So here’s the finished model: A still unnamed assassin from the Order of the Blade Unsheathed:





The only thing about the paintjob that proved a bit difficult was the mask: I knew I didn’t simply want to keep it black, so I tried red first, but that just didn’t work. So after trying numerous highlighting and tweaking stages, I just went for an off-white/cream colour that still stays within the palette I had set for the warband, while also turning the face into enough of a focus point, I hope.

Incidentally, the assassin still needs a name, so if anyone can come up with something suitably medieval and slightly sinister, let me know! πŸ™‚

II. The Lion of Velsen

Happy as I am with the finished assassin, she is really just a prelude to today’s main course: Inquisitor Nabreus Arslan himself.

Now it must be said – again – that Inquisitor Arslan is a model that I have been coming back to again and again for several years now. He started back in 2011 or so as an attempt at creating a no-nonsense puritan Ordo Hereticus or Ordo Malleus Inquisitor. My bitz box was still far smaller in those days, but I did the best with the tools I had. The model started out looking quite different from the modern incarnation, though:


Most of the elements were already there, but the model didn’t quite click yet. Then I came across this model over on DakkaDakka, and realised that the hooded Dark Angels veterans head would be much better for an Inquisitor:

Do you know who created this guy? Please let me know!

And from then on, the model took shape, growing far closer to its current incarnation:

After even more nipping and tucking the conversion was basically finished back in 2014 — which is already a ridiculously long time for a model of this size. But even then, I kept returning to the model, adding a tweak here and changing a detail there, keeping the poor guy unpainted, while his retinue (likewise unpainted) kept growing. Until I finally committed to painting this version of the model earlier this month:


As an aside, looking at the finished conversion also made me realise that Arslan resembles the Inquisitor from the last edition of Codex: Inquisition rather closely, wouldn’t you agree?


It’s a rather cool illustration — unfortunately, the model it was obviously based is really rather awkward and hasn’t aged all that gracefully:

So maybe I would be able to improve on this basic template with my model for Arslan…?

One thing that was clear to me from the start was that I wanted the entire warband to hinge on Arslan and his interrogator, the Lady Chastity. Now the latter was already finished, and my idea was to simply inverse one key colour for Arslan’s colour scheme. So where Chastity wears red armour with black cloth over it, I wanted to paint Arslan’s armour black, with red cloth.

So with those ideas in my head, I took Arslan along for one of the frequent painting sesssions hosted by my good friend Annie. Those sessions are awesome, and I usually walk away with some kind of breakthrough on one of my current painting projects.

So here’s Inquisitor Arslan after a short while, with just the base colours in place:



And this is what he looked like when we packed up for the night:


While I was already reasonable happy at this point, one thing about the model just confounded me: The red left shoulder pad just didn’t work. This felt especially weird as it looks quite lovely in the picture above, doesn’t it? Yet for some reason, in real life, it kept drawing the view away from more important parts of the model, and I kept glancing back at it, so in the end, I decided to repaint it black. Apart from that, it was mainly smooth sailing the rest of the way.

So let’s take a look at the finished model:

=][=

Inquisitor Nabreus Arslan
Ordo Hereticus Velsen




I don’t want to sound too full of myself here, but I am incredibly happy with the finished model! Especially given Arslan’s rather troubled history πŸ˜‰

However, I did end up losing some sleep over some key visual decisions:

Probably the scariest thing was to paint Arslan’s sword: Its sheer size clearly turns it into an important part of the model, and I realised during the painting process that, by limiting the entire warband to a colour palette of mostly black, white, red and gold, I had actually deprieved myself of the option to just paint the sword a stunning blue — it simply wouldn’t have gelled with the rest of the warband, but more importantly, it wouldn’t have led to the sinister look I wanted. I also realised that a simple metal sword wouldn’t cut it this time around, so I did a bit of research, taking lots of inspiration from fellow hobbyists like Alex Marsh, Jeff Vader and Midnight Runner, among others. Then I took a deep breath and tried to create my own effect for the blade, adapted from their work:



In the end, I am pretty happy with the finished effect, seeing how I managed to make the sword look both blisteringly hot and quite sinister πŸ˜‰ But painting it was so far out of my comfort zone that it wasn’t even funny πŸ˜‰

True to Arslan’s history as “that model that I was never really able to finish”, I did end up making one last unexpected tweak: I actually swapped in a new shield!

Now I originally had the shield with the stylised “Knight vs. Daemon” battle scene from the Nemesis Dreadknight kit on there, but my colour choices for the model meant that I had boxed myself in regarding the shield: The warrior on the shield would obviously have to represent Arslan himself, so I would have needed to paint him in black. That would have left only gold and red for the daemon, with red being the obvious choice. That, in turn, would have left me with a golden shield, which wouldn’t exactly have matched the rest of the model all that well. Anyway, to make a long story short, I decided to try a different shield and create the inconography on it from scratch (or rather, via decals):


The idea here was to go for a medieval-style seal that would fit Arslan’s very medieval overall look. I also thought that this design might be his actual Inquisitorial seal, the one he uses to sign Exterminatus orders, and other jolly missives like that πŸ˜‰
The “A” stands for “Arslan”, and the “V” for “Velsen”, the name of the sector. The whole thing was also ever so slightly influenced by designs like the Chi Rho.

Oh, and based on Inquisitor Mikhailovich’s comment, I also tweaked the position of the shield a bit, so it might actually be attached to Arslan’s arm in an at least slightly believable way πŸ˜‰

Here’s a picture of Arslan and Chastity, showing off the aforementioned fact that they use an identical palette, and their colour scheme is very similar, save for one key colour that has been reversed between the two models:

 

III. A project finally finished

And would you believe it: With that, the warband is actually finished. After several years of hemming and hawing. I actually cannot quite believe it. But here it is. Take a look:


In fact, I have used this occasion to go back and take pictures of all the warband members once again, so meet the crew:


Inquisitor Nabreus Arslan, a powerful Witch Hunter of the Ordo Hereticus, known among the devout as “The Lion of Velsen”.


The Lady Chastity, a former Sister of Battle from the Order of the Martyred Blade, now serving as Arslan’s Interrogator.


Inquisitorial Operative Tybalt Renner, a veteran of the Saarthen Draugr, and an operative specialising in infiltration and stealth missions.


Brother Goderich the Pure, a member of the Church of Redemption, serving Arslan as a vicious, albeit utterly loyal, attack dog.


Father Ravion Ishmael, a veteran of the Astra Militarum turned intinerant priest of the Imperial Cult, currently serving as personal confessor to Inquisitor Arslan.


A mysterious, mute assassin from the Order of the Blade Unsheathed.


The Angel of Penance, a cyber-familiar cast in the shape of an avenging angel in order to strike terror into the hearts of heretics and instill fearful respect in the devout.


Horatio, a servo-skull.

 

It’s slightly weird – but also very fulfilling – to realise that I’ve had most of this retinue for years now, and now I’ve finally manage to finish the models in very short order. Oh, and this also means I’ve managed to complete my first, proper committment for the Squad:March! challenge! Yay! πŸ™‚

Speaking of which: Many thanks must go to fellow hobbyists Azazel and Alex: I couldn’t really have done it without you, guys, as your hobby challenges finally provided me with the incentive to actually get this project on the road, at long last!

As for my next plans, I want to ride this wave of inspiration out yet a bit longer, so I think I’ll be staying in the INQ28 world for a while yet: There’s one last model for Inquisitor Gotthardt’s retinue I need to get finished (another project that has been going on for ages). Then I think I’d like to paint a truescale Deathwatch Marine conversion. And then there’s an Ordo Scriptorum retinue I am really proud of that I hope to get started on while my motivation still lasts.

Until then, I would truly love to hear your thoughts on Inquisitor Arslan and his retainers! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

INQ28: Nobody expects the Velsian Inquisition

Posted in Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 20, 2018 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, time for another update at long last: I realise that, technically speaking, I am still short one final instalment of the 2017 Eternal Hunt Awards, but it’s already late February, and the prospect of still needing to finish that writeup has felt like a millstone around my neck for weeks now, keeping me from actually posting any new content — which is a shame, because the most wonderful thing happened: I actually managed to paint something new! Yay! We’ll be getting to that in a minute… πŸ˜‰

Anyway, I am still committed to posting something about some landmark releases and about where we go from here, as I do have quite a few thoughts about the state of 40k, the Specialist Games, the Primaris Marines and what have you, but I am putting it off for now, in favour of actually getting something posted. Deal? πŸ˜‰

So there I was, basking in the usual hobby slump, when several things happened at the same time. One, I purchased Chris Wraight’s “The Carrion Throne – Vaults of Terra” and blazed through it in two days:


If you are into INQ28 (or Inquisitor in general, for that matter), I cannot recommend the book enough: It has shady inquisitorial dealings galore, it features the Legio Custodes (technically a bit of a spoiler, but there’s that very blatant cover artwork, so yeah…) and it’s set on Holy Terra itself — if those three points don’t sell you on the novel, I don’t know what will. Anyway, it’s a great read!

I came away from the book with a huge appetite for actually making something INQ28-related. And then I stumbled upon the community challenges issued by fellow hobbyists Azazel and Alex: Azazel proposed to use February to finish some long neglected models and Alex upped the ante by suggesting to actually turn this into a “Fembruary” challenge, that is to focus on building and painting female models. Both sounded intriguing, and after a bit of reflection, I realised I had a model that would tick both boxes AND allow me to complete another INQ28 character:

You see, back in 2014, PDH sent me a heavily damaged Adepta Sororitas Seraphim model, missing its head and feet. And after some deliberation, I used the poor dear to create an interrogator for the retinue of one Inquisitor Nabreus Arslan, of the Ordo Hereticus Velsen:


I was – and still am – rather in love with the idea of a hulking monodominant Inquisitor being complemented by a slender, very self-assured female Interrogator like that, and I loved the gunslinger look the model had. So with a replacement head (from the Wood Elves Glade Guard, I believe) and some replacement feet (from the 3rd edition plastic Dark Eldar Kabalite Warriors), this dame was ready to rock — I even had a brilliant plan for her paintjob, based, among other sources, on Victoria Lamb’s seminal Hereticus warband:

models built and painted by Victoria Lamb

 

models built and painted by Victoria Lamb

But then I never painted her, for some reason. I think I had this very clear idea what I wanted her to look like and was really nervous about messing up the execution. What’s more, it felt like the entire retinue, completely built and assembled at this point, hinged on my success with this particular model. So I set her aside, to pick her up and sigh theatrically every now and then, and that was that.

With the current challenges, howeve, I really felt she was the perfect model to participate in both Alex’ and Azazel’s challenges — time to get her finished at long last! So I took a deep breath and got to work:


I am not going to lie to you, I was completely right to be afraid of this paintjob: The old metal model was full of strange nooks and crannies and had some weird issues, and that softly detailed Wood Elf face almost drove me mad. At the same time, the painting felt more freeform and painterly than I was strictly comfortable with, especially since I went with a somewhat experimental way of painting the armour, using an almost impressionistic approach to create depth.

The contoured armour was really great for that strategy, however. So, in the end, I was really happy with the outcome, as the finished model finally sat on the table before me. Take a look at Interrogator Chastity of the Ordo Hereticus:




The idea here was to go with a very classic Ordo Hereticus approach of red, black and gold: I wanted the model to look slightly sinister, but also regal, with the ostentatiousness of those perfectly assured in their righteousness. At the same time, I also used a scheme that inverted the colour scheme for the Order of Our Martyred Lady, the posterboy…erm “postergirl” Adepta Sororitas colours. I see Chastity as a former Sister of Battle turned Interrogator, and I liked the idea that her look still echoed her former position.

Here she is. next to an older, kitbashed Sister of Battle I made, Sister Euphrati Eisen of the Order of the Martyred Blade — maybe her former sister in the order…?


Anyway, I am really happy with finally having tackled this model, and I am also rather pleased with the paintjob! I consider Chastity a fitting contribution for the Fembruary challenge, and I hope you’ll agree with me! πŸ™‚

She still needs a last name, by the way, so feel free to send some suitably grimdark and/or phonetically pleasant suggestions my way!

 

Just as I had suspected, finally finishing the model had the same effect as freeing up a clogged pipe, so I felt myself immediately drawn to the next model for the retinue. I chose this kitbash of a redemtpionist I created last year:




It’s a fairly straightforward conversion using parts from the Dark Vengeance cultists and some IG flamer arms. The kitbash basically just came together after I had browsed through some old Necromunda illustrations, some cover artwork for the old Redeemer comics in particular. Funnily enough, this guy was built before a re-released Necromunda was even a thing, but now that we have the updated game, he could probably do double-duty in both settings πŸ˜‰

In any case, though, a redemptionist surely seemed like an appropriate henchman for a traditional fire-and-brimstone Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor.

When painting the model, I wanted to stay within the same colour palette I had used on the Interrogator, albeit with a dustier, grubbier aspect: After all, this guy is a zealot, so I tried to communicate that fact by making him look suitably grimy and disheveled:

Meet Brother Goderich the Pure, of the Church of Redemption:





For the most part, I tried to go with a very classic redemptionist colour scheme. There are some touches I am pretty happy with, though: The hazard-striped eviscerator works as a callback to the classic Necromunda look. The pilot flame was a spontaneous idea that came to me in a moment of inspiration, and it’s a detail that I am now stupidly happy with πŸ™‚ It also has the added benefit of providing a bit of a visual flourish to that rather boring flamer nozzle.

One thing I am really not sure about is whether or not I should add some Imperial/Inquisitorial decals to his shoulder pads (in white): Would that improve the model, or would it detract from it? I would be happy to hear your feedback on that!

 

So I already have two finished models for the warband — not bad, given the fact that I didn’t really touch this project for a long, long time, right? Β 

Anyway, between these two models, I have basically nailed down the palette I want to use for the warband, so expect the other members to use different combinations and permutations of the recipes I used on Chastity and Goderich.

Speaking of the next models for the warband, what’s in the pipeline?

Dear old Inquisitor Arslan himself also has a bit of a checkered history, as I built him ages ago and then kept coming back to him again and again, making a tweak here, adding a bit there — but, once again, never actually finishing the damn model — there may be a pattern emerging here…

I decided to make one final tweak to the model, giving him a small promethium tank feeding his hand flamer, complete with a hose running from his hip to his fist:



I was actually wondering whether he might look even cooler with Custodian shoulder pads…?! PDH convinced me to just let it rest already and consider the model finished, after half a decade… So yeah, expect to see him with some paint on soon-ish.

Next up on the painting desk is another operative, though: This old Van Saar model I received in a bitz swap a while ago


I’ve always felt that, with his bulky stillsuit and aiming pose, he’d make for a great Inquisitorial operative: Now in another shout out to DexterKong’s and my shared INQ28 setting, the Velsen sector, I wanted him to be a veteran of the Saarthen Draughr, a regiment invented by Dexter. Back when Dexter came up with the Draughr and tried to nail down a look for them, we went back and forth a while about the kind of helmets used by the regiment: Dexter wanted them to be somewhat sinister, but not Traitor Guard-sinister, so we settled on Necron heads as a base, seeing how they had this smooth, prefab look. For his proof-of-concept model for the Draught, Dexter grafted a rebreather onto a Necron head. Anyway, since I wanted my inquisitorial operative to be a veteran of the regiment, I spliced together a similar helmet and added it to the model’s belt:


This is such a minuscule detail, really, and it’s hard to explain why I am feeling so pleased with myself over this idea, but I just like that bit of continuity that hints at a larger background and at the amount of worldbuilding Dexter and I have put into our shared setting.

I have a painting session with my good friend Annie scheduled for tomorrow, and I’ll be bringing the Draughr Veteran along, so he should be the next finished model for Inquisitor Arslan’s retinue — wish me luck πŸ˜‰

 

One last thing to nicely round out this post: Because I was still very much in an INQ28 state of mind after all of this, I grabbed some of my (semi-finished) retinues and my deck of Dark Millennium playing cards and had a bit of fun. No new models here, just a fun little diversion:

 

Inquisitor Antrecht and his retinue:



Inquisitor Gotthardt and his retinue:


Servants of the Emperor:

The Magi of Korhold:


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!