Archive for death cult assassin

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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! challengeย 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 risquรฉ 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! ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰ But painting it was so far out of my comfort zone that it wasn’t even funny ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰
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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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! ๐Ÿ™‚

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 Desktop roundup II: The good, the bad and the ugly

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 22, 2013 by krautscientist

It is very clearly a great time for being an INQ28 aficionado: More and more people are trying their hand at converting their own Inquisitorial retinues, and with John Blanche’s column in WD regularly dedicated to INQ28 models, and with the work of exceptionally talented artists like PDH and migsula indeed being published in WD proper, it seems like a second spring for a game that was pretty much abandoned by GW years ago.

Looking at so many great models has given me a new hunger for building more INQ28 models and tweaking some of the existing ones. So I would like to show you a small gallery of my latest WIPs. Some of these are models I already posted some time ago I chose to revisit and touch up. Some are recent additions to my collection. I usually enjoy working on several of these at the same time, different as they may turn out in the end. But all of them have one thing in common: They are either good, bad or ugly* — or a combination of the above. Let’s take a look:


1.) Inquisitor Gotthardt’s Retinue:

The first few models will end up as retainers to Inquisitor Erasmus Gotthardt, of the Ordo Hereticus. All of these were previously posted in the first INQ28 desktop roundup, yet I have worked on them some more since then, hammering out the last kinks and rough edges, dealing with unfinished stuff and taking to heart the feedback I received on forums.

Former Guard Captain Esteban Revas

Cpt. Esteban Revas WIP (4)
Cpt. Esteban Revas WIP (5)
Since I designed Revas to decidedly look like a fencer, I thought it would be interesting if his fencing style incorporated a longer and shorter blade at the same time, so I added a Sanguinary Guard dagger at his hip. It’s only a very minor detail, to be sure, but one I am very pleased with nonetheless, because it serves to further define the character. All in all, I am very pleased with this model, and will paint it up as soon as I have managed to stop obsessing over the colour combination…

Drill Abbot

Drill Abbot WIP (3)
I followed the advice of my fellow forumites and slightly shortened this fellow’s neck, to make him look like a bulldog of a man. And I added a couple of additional items to his belt to bulk him out even more and to show that he carries some additional equipment (and quite a few items of worship, like the small reliquary and a cask of holy water at his side):

Drill Abbot WIP (4)
Painting wise, I imagine a combination of rich reds and browns would be the best way to go for this character, along with a healthy complexion and a grey beard. We’ll see…

Retired Arbites Judge/Security Agent

Arbites Judge WIP (2)
I wanted this guy to look like a tough-as-nails ex-hive-cop who knows every trick in the book and is quite used to walking the beat on the wrong side of the monorail tracks, and the pilot model from the “Battle for Maccrage” boxed set nicely fit the bill. Since we last saw this guy, I replaced the clunky DA power maul with a more fitting stun baton, spliced together from the grip of the aforementioned maul and a WFB Marauder weapon. Again, it’s a small but important change.


2.) Inquisitor Fiegmund’s retinue

As an addition to Inquisitor Antrecht’s collection of carnival freaks and Inquisitor Gotthardt’s more middle-of-the-road approach, Inquisitor Fiegmund’s retinue will be as gothic and scary as they come. You see, Holm Fiegmund is a puritan member of the Ordo Hereticus whose hunt for Antrecht has driven him over the edge (and horribly scarred him for life, causing others to refer to him behind his back as the “Maimed Man”). In short, I want Fiegmund’s retinue to be a pretty dark and uncompromising looking bunch. Here are the first models:

Preacher/Redemptionist Priest

Redemptionist Priest (2)
Well, you cannot have a puritan Hereticus warband without one of these. The model is a pretty straightforward kitbash, using parts of the Empire flagellants, a Guard laspistol and a Khorne Berzerker chainsword to make a suitably imposing eviscerator.

The Dancer

The Dancer WIP (2)
The Dancer WIP (3)
The Dancer WIP (1)
This bonny lass, codenamed “The Dancer” is a (death cult) assassin in the employ of Inquisitor Fiegmund. I have this idea about several members of Fiegmund’s retinue being female, which should be an interesting way of setting off the dark, gothic look.
In this case, the model was built using mainly Wych parts from the Dark Eldar Venom kit. I then added a couple of more Imperial looking bitz, including a servo skull for a head. I want to leave the Dancer’s actual nature deliciously ambiguous: Is she a cultist, a servitor or something altogether different? Only Inquisitor Fiegmund would know, and he certainly isn’t telling…

Expect more pretty fethed up models for this particular retinue in the future…


3.) Yet another retinue — Xenos this time?

I’ll be honest with you: Building Inquisitorial retinues is a pasttime I simply cannot get enough of. I can get quite a kick creating new Inquisitors pondering their relations to their retainers and all the stories behind that, even withhout ever actually having to use the characters in a game. And I recently realised that I had not yet managed to come up with an Inquisitor belonging to the Ordo Xenos…

Oh, and by the way: Some of the following conversions were only made possible because my buddy Biohazard was awesome enough to let me have his batch of Dark Vengeance cultists, so I am free to use them for all kinds of INQ28 goodness (and for several other projects as well).

WIP Inquisitor

Well, this guy is turning out to be a bit of a toughie: When I got my hands on Biohazard’s cultist, I planned to transform one of the champions (the chap looking like a Commissar) into an Inquisitor. My original plan was to simply make a more ostentatious looking version of Inquisitor Antrecht, but that really didn’t work all that well. So I was left trying different combinations of parts. Here’s what I ended up with after a while:

Cultists2INQ28 (9)
You’ll probably agree that this guy will need quite a bit more work: I love the pistol and overall pose, but the head is clearly too big. And while I like the thought of giving him a tie or cravat of some kind, it was pointed out to me by fellow forumites over at the Ammobunker that the one in the picture above makes him look like a Western character — and we certainly can’t have that!

So I tried a new tie, as well as a couple of different heads. Here’s a composite for you:

As you’ll probably agree, some of these would lead to wildly different outcomes. While I am personally rather fond of options A and B for some reason, I haven’t decided yet, so you are very welcome to put in your own two cents on the matter!

Kroot Shaper/Pathfinder

INQ28_Kroot (1)
INQ28_Kroot (2)
INQ28_Kroot (3)
INQ28_Kroot (4)

While getting the Inquisitor in fighting shape may yet take some doing, I am fortunately quite a bit further along when it comes to some of his tentative servants. First in line is this Kroot shaper/pathfinder inspired by a fantastic Mike Anderson GD model which also appears in the 40k rulebook. I posted an early mockup of him quite some time ago, but it has taken quite a while for the model to reach a point where I am actually really happy with it. The model received a hunting bow (spliced together from a Kroot rifle and High Elf bow) and a machete (a shaved down Ork choppa), and I added a couple of details to make this guy look like a “noble savage”. I actually have quite an interesting/tragic backstory for the character, floating around half-formed at the back of my head, and painting him should be a nice change of pace. I also think he might have an interesting, if grudgingly amicable, relationship with the next character…

Imperial Guard Veteran/former Hive Ganger

Guard Veteran WIP (1)
Guard Veteran WIP (2)
Guard Veteran WIP (3)
I had always suspected that the heavy weapon cultists would make great base models for IG veterans, and indeed, all it took was a couple of bitz! The Space Wolves scout head gives the model some punk attitude, so this guy could conceivably have been a ganger before being drafted into the guard.

In any case, the Xenos retinue will need a bit more work, but I am definitely getting there…


4.) Servants of the Dark Gods

Well, you know what they say: Evil never sleeps. So it was clear I also needed to build some more villains.
Some of these will end up doing double duty for both INQ28 and my Traitor Guard, but they’ll probably feel right at home in either…

Eyeless Crawler

Quite a long time ago, I built some crawler troglodytes to serve as the genetically enhanced brood of one rogue Genetor Amnon Helix, a recurring nemesis to Inquisitor Antrecht. The models were posted ages ago on Molotov’s blog. Now I didn’t do a whole lot with these for some time, but when the new model for chaos champion Vilitch the Curseling was released, I started wondering whether those crawlers wouldn’t be even more disturbing with a near featureless face, not unlike Vilitch’s.

Eyeless Crawler (1)
Eyeless Crawler (2)
Eyeless Crawler (3)

The original model used a regular WFB Crypt Ghoul head, and now I shaved off the model’s eyes and nose and smoothed out the whole are with Liquid GS, opting for a horrible, mostly featureless face. This makes the creature look quite a bit more revolting (and far less like Gollum, which is also a plus).

Chainsaw maniac

Chainsaw Maniac WIP
This guy was a conversion I had been wanting to do for ages! It was really simple too: Just clip off the barrels of the flamer, add the blade from an Ork choppa and presto: Industrial saw! I also added a disturbing, patched together hood from one of the other cultist models for that certain “Leatherface” look. This guy will definitely be used in my Traitor Guard, but I can easily see him putting in the odd cameo in INQ28 or Necromunda, as a “miniboss” or some kind of “environmental hazard”ย  ๐Ÿ˜‰

Father Pain

Having already built champions of Khorne, Nurgle and Tzeentch for my Traitor Guard, “Urash’s Marauders”, I needed a model to represent a mighty follower od Slaanesh. The solution to this particular problem arrived when Biohazard sent me the chaos priest from the WFB Warshrine of Chaos. Since the guy was quite the beefcake, I thought his immaculate physique would make him a nice fit for a follower of the dark prince:

Father Pain WIP (1)
Father Pain WIP (2)
Two new hands, a new head and some GS later, Father Pain was born. I realise the greenstuffed area will need quite a bit more work, but I think you can see where this is going. The glaive came from the new WFB plastic Chaos Lord, by the way:

Father Pain WIP (3)
All in all, I think the model makes for a quite convincing champion of Slaanesh, and he would also work as a cult leader in games of INQ28.


As you can, see, I have got lots and lots on my plate regarding INQ28 models. Lord knows when I am actually going to get around painting these, but I just can’t stop kitbashing them — it’s just too much fun… ๐Ÿ˜‰

In any case, C&C are always welcome! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!


* I do of course realise that the idea of arranging INQ28 models by their respective goodness, badness or ugliness was very much migsula’s idea to begin with. So let’s just say I was inspired by his work (which is totally true) and didn’t just steal this particular idea ๐Ÿ˜‰