Archive for cultist conversion

Inquisitor Titus Alvar, Ordo Xenos

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 22, 2013 by krautscientist

I already mentioned in my latest Desktop Roundup post that I had continued working on my model for Inquisitor Alvar, of the Ordo Xenos. And after spending quite some time to make this model look just the way I wanted it, I can finally show you the finished model today.

But before I do that, let’s take a look at the model’s evolution:
Everything started with my desire to convert the trenchcoat wearing cultist champion from Dark Vengeance into an Inquisitor — as a matter of fact, my original plan was to build a second version of Inquisitor Antrecht.

So that’s what I tried to do when Biohazard was kind enough to let me have his DV cultist champ. But it didn’t work as well as I had anticipated, so my plan B was to transform the model into an Ordo Xenos Inquisitor, seeing how this was the one major Ordo I had not yet built a member of.

This was the original mockup for the model:

Cultists2INQ28 (9)
The most involved part of the conversion was to replace the cultist’s bare arms with uniformed arms from several Cadian kits, and it quickly became obvious that some GS work would be necessary at the seams. What’s more, the cultist’s bare and branded chest needed to be covered as well. While working on the model, I had the idea for an Inquisitor who was also a bit of a snappy dresser. That’s why I went for a “tie” when building the early version above. I also added a dwarven pistol that, while a bit on the big side, really looks like a reliable piece of equipment (especially when dealing with those vile Xenos…).

Alas, the different parts didn’t yet gel as well as I had hoped. Several people suggested using a different head and replacing the sword, and there was very little love for the tie I had used. I tried several heads as well as a different type of tie, and the model changed to this:

Xenos Inquisitor WIP
But that didn’t feel right, either: I didn’t necessarily want yet another venerable old-timer!

The turning point came when I received a fantastic head from the Celestial Hurricanum kit courtesy of my fellow hobbyist Gerner, and when DexterKong convinced me that I should give the original tie another chance. That’s when Inquisitor Alvar finally begun to take shape in earnest:

Xenos Inquisitor WIP (3)
The new arms were blended into the rest of the torso using GS. Inspired by Bruticus’ Inquisitor Tsengir, I also replaced the sword with a Dark Elf sabre, resulting in a weapon  with a rather subtle Xenos look. And I started to build up a waistcoat on the character’s torso using GS.

When the time came to paint the model, I went back to my original idea of the Inquisitor being a bit of a fashion victim and socialite. Because of that, I went for a less shadowy and secretive look, instead opting for some bold colour choices:

Inquisitor Alvar PIP (4)
Alvar’s coat was painted in a rich, dark red, with dark grey lining. I realise that the reverse colour scheme would have been the more obvious choice for an Inquisitor, but I am actually rather pleased with this particluar choice. His clothes under the coat were painted in various shades of dark grey to make them look subtly expensive (and prevent the model from ending up looking too busy), and I used bronze as a colour to pick out some details.

DexterKong pointed out that the googles and bronze details gave the Inquisitor a certain steampunkish vibe, and I took that on board when building a base for the model:

Inquisitor Alvar base (1)
The base was constructed by combining a piece of plasticard (cut from an old telephone card), a gear (from a very old alarm clock), a bit of brass grating (from the 40k basing set) and some cork chaff. I also covered the plastic card in plastic glue and kept picking at it to give it a slightly pocked, warped surface texture.

Then the whole base was spraypainted, first with GW Chaos Black, then with brown paint from the DIY superstore:

Inquisitor Alvar base (2)
And then it was painted using my usual recipe for rusty metal: Stipple on rust with a lighter shade of brown, wash with GW Agrax Earthshade, add more rust, then add GW Boltgun metal to create the areas where the original metal is showing through. Here’s the finished base:

Inquisitor Alvar base (3)
Inquisitor Alvar was then glued to the base, and I added some final touches to the model: Some areas were tidied up, the hem of his coat and his boots were lightly drybrushed with GW Graveyard Earth to show where grime and dirt had begun to collect, and I also added a simple gem effect to his tie. And with that, the model was finished:

Inquisitor Titus Alvar (1)
Inquisitor Titus Alvar (3)
Inquisitor Titus Alvar (4)
Inquisitor Titus Alvar (5)
Here are a couple of detail shots of the model on its base:

Inquisitor Titus Alvar (8)
Inquisitor Titus Alvar (6)
And a look at Alvar’s “lantern jaw of justice”:

Inquisitor Titus Alvar (12)
All in all, I am fairly happy with how the model turned out: I like the aristocratic quality about him, yet his equipment and the googles on his brow show that, as a member of the Ordo Xenos, he also is an accomplished fighter and possibly quite a bit of a scientist as well. All in all, the main point of critique leveraged against the earlier iterations of the character was that he didn’t look all that much like an Inquisitor. I think the finished model puts that problem to rest: At least, he very much seems like an Inquisitor to me 😉

The last thing to do was to write a short background vignette for the character, outlining the ideas and concepts that had led to the model’s creation:

Inquisitor Titus Alvar (2)
Inquisitor Titus Alvar, of the Ordo Xenos

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

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

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


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