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The State of the Hunt, Week 22/2017: Too hot for painting…

Posted in 30k, 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, state of the hunt, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 1, 2017 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, as the title should already have told you, the last few days have been crazy hot over here, on the blasted plains of northwestern Jhermani, so getting anything painted was completely out of the question. Actually, so was just about anything else, really. But I did at least make some time for a spot of kitbashing, and have some results to share with you:

 

I. In the Shadow of Great Wings, pt. 1.5

You’ll probably still remember my recent conversion of Argel Tal’s daemonic form, a model I am still fairly pleased with, if I do say so myself:


But even while I was putting the finishing touches of Argel Tal’s daemonic version, it was already clear to me that I would eventually have to build another version of the character in his “normal” transhuman form, for whenever the daemonic essence of Raum hasn’t come out to play. It just wouldn’t have seemed like a complete project otherwise 😉

But my original plan was to actually put the alternate Argel Tal version off until some point in the indeterminate future (that’s where hobby projects go to die, in case you were wondering). Alas, it was not to be: I just had an innocent look at the descriptions of Argel Tal in The First Heretic and Betrayer, just for research purposes, you know — and before I knew it, I was halfway through the building process…

So here’s what I have so far:



Once again, a couple of conversion notes:

  • the armour was basically a no-brainer, as Argel Tal is described as wearing a suit of Mk. IV plate, so I mainly used plastic Mk. IV parts, with the notable exception of the breastplate (which is the same Raptor torso I also used for daemonic Argel Tal) and the arms (Mk. III arms, actually, chosen for looking a bit more ornate — only befitting an Astartes captain).
  • the Guardian Spear makes a return here, for obvious reasons. Once again, I chose to change the weapon’s haft, making it look more like a spear — actually, I basically had to go back and recreate the version daemonic Argel Tal is wielding, just for the sake of continuity 😉
  • the cape seemed like a nice way of giving the model some extra bulk and presence and make it read as an officer. It originally came from a half-complete Ivanus Enkomi model fellow hobbyist Augustus b’Raass sent me a while ago.
  • And finally, the head. Now I realise that this could be a divisive choice for some people, but I decided to go with the bare head from the Space Wolves character conversion sprue. Call me crazy, but I’ve somehow always imagined Argel Tal as having long-ish hair. And that particular head really came closest to the mental image of the character I’ve had in the back of my head ever since reading Betrayer. But if you find yourself hating this particular head, don’t fret: Like Kharn, Argel Tal will have an optional helmeted head as well:


Incidentally, there are actually very few conversions of non-daemonic Argel Tal conversions to be found, so I didn’t have much to work from. The one pretty cool depiction I found, however, was this piece of artwork courtesy of Noldonfinve:

artwork by Noldofinve

The piece even received ADB’s official blessing, so I thought it would be cool to take some visual cues from it when building my own version, and I think that worked out pretty well, wouldn’t you agree?

In closing, here’s how the more human Arge l Tal looks next to his buddy in crime:

 


And here’s a comparison showing both versions of the character:

Now all that remains is to actually get these two painted — this whole project has already spun off into enough of a distraction as it is… 😉

 

2. On The Road Again…

In other news, remember the Road Crew?

I realised when taking a look at a couple of my recent posts that it has been a rather long time since I’ve done anything INQ28 related, but that fantastic Sector Mechanicus terrain released recently, alongside Shadow War Armageddon has given me a taste to delve back into the depths of the underhives, and what better way to do that than to keep adding to my fun little band of misfits pictured above?

Now to remind you, the basic idea behind these guys is that they are a colourful collection of former gladiators, former pit slaves, mutants and other undesirables establishing their own little domain in the depths of the world of St. Sabasto’s Reach, a pretty sinister planet, even for 40k standards:

 

St. Sabasto’s Reach

An extremely rich hive world grown fat and depraved through slave trade and the exploitation of its mutant lower class.

The world originally earned its name when the Imperial Saint Sabasto rested here after his great victory on the fields of Belzifer, before engaging in the last stage of his holy crusade for the defense of Velsen against the forces of the Arch-enemy. While Sabasto’s crusade army was still magnificent at this point, it had also suffered heavy losses (a fact, it is argued by some contemporary Velsian historians, that contributed to Sabasto’s eventual defeat within the Veil of Impurity).

When the Saint contemplated the price in blood paid for the reclamation of Velsen, he decreed that the entire world of St. Sabasto’s Reach would be given to the orphans of the slain and that the Imperium would see to it that the children of martyrs would never need to go hungry. This spurred the planetary populace into religious fervor, and countless orphanages and scholae were opened in the saint’s name, earning the world bynames like “The Planet of Orphans” or “The Orphans’ Cradle”.

However, with a slow decline in piety and a general economic recession, many of the world’s orphanages have had to close over the centuries, while others have turned to a far darker trade, giving the world’s epithet a new, sinister meaning. It is true that Imperial organisations like the Schola Progenium, the Ecclesiarchy and even the Inquisition still maintain a presence on St. Sabasto’s Reach and recruit from the ranks of the homeless orphans, choosing the most talented or devout to serve in their respective organisations. And in the deeper levels of the world’s hives, missions and orphanages still offer a real, if meagre, chance for survival to this day. Yet that is only one face of St. Sabasto’s Reach. For at the same time, the world has also become the biggest fleshmarket in the entire Velsen Sector, providing human resources in a very literal sense, from mutant workers to household servants. Moreover, it is rumoured that there exists a slave for every kind of service in the almshouses and slave pits of St. Sabasto’s Reach, and the masters of the world have long prided themselves on being able to cater to every taste and desire, no matter how “eccentric” it may be.

Another mainstay of the world’s culture, the countless circuses and fighting arenas, are also fueled by a constant influx of “material” from the slave pits. At one point, the world’s renowned Circus Imperialis served as a front for a cult of chaos worshippers and was purged by the hand of Inquisitor Antrecht. But even after this upheaval, the remaining slavelords and ringmasters of St. Sabasto’s Reach quickly regained their step, slightly realigning themselves in the resulting power struggle and carving out a new pecking order among themselves. Because the Inquisition’s issue was never with the slave trade itself, but with the presence of heretics, and so the House of Blossoms, the Angelflesh Lodge and countless other establishments like them continue to ply their dark trade to this day…

 

One thing I have wanted to do with this project is to combine a number of established Necromunda archetypes (the Pit slaves and Scavvies in particular) and add a twist of my own. There’s also a fair bit of Mad Max-vibe going on with the project, but I could not quite work out how to emphasise that particular angle when these guys are actually based in the dark, dirty and cramped underhive.

I’ve watched quite a few Let’s Play videos of Metro 2033 and Metro Last Light, by way of YouTuber ChristopherOdd, lately. Both games are set in a postapocalyptic near future where a (nuclear) Third World War has likely wiped out most of the human population on earth. Underneath the ruins of Moscow, the survivors of the apocalypse have turned the Metro tunnels into their new habitat, creating a makeshift civilisation in the cramped confines of what used to be the metropolis’ transportation system. Now I have a bit of a thing for postapocalyptic scenarios anyway, but after immersing myself in the scenario, it hit me: The whole concept of subway tunnels becoming living spaces and an entire ecosystem, if you will, seemed like the missing puzzle piece that would allow me to push the Mad Max angle on my Road Crew project a bit more: What if the lower reaches of the Hiveworld are crisscrossed by a network of transportation tunnels originally created – and mostly still used – to move the vast amounts of goods necessary to keep the world’s overly bloated population alive? St. Sabasto’s Reach has a huge population, even for a Hiveworld, because its most important goods are people, but all of these have to be fed, even if they are only in transit. So I imagine a network of massive, highway-like tunnels far beneath the ground, with smaller maintenance tunnels, substations and similar spaces in between the cracks spiderwebbing off from the main branches of the network. And maybe the Road Crew has taken to raiding some of the transports travelling along those massive subterranean highways: That would allow me to incorporate elements that are typically Mad Max, even vehicles. So with my creativity thus reinvigorated, I assembled some new recruits for the gang:

Now I am actually cheating a bit here, because both the guy with the chainsaw on the left and the guy with the gun on the right were originally built before I had even started thinking about the Road Crew. And yet, without a few minor tweaks, they became pretty cool new parts of the project — I actually love it when a project finally provides a new home to some stray conversions from years ago 😉

The guy in the middle is new, however, and I am pretty proud of him. Meet Cirque:

I don’t think I will ever tire of the particular look that a combination of Ork parts (with their somewhat grotesque, overmuscled appearance and clunky technology) and human sized components will give you — almost the perfect recipe for mutants, if you ask me.

And there’s the Road Crew’s ride, of course, a slightly touched up Gorkamorka Trukk that has become far too small for modern Orks, yet should work really well for my merry band of postapocalyptic ne’er do wells:

Now if only the heat would let up for a couple of days, I could maybe get some of the above painted — keep your fingers crossed for me 😉

Anyway, so much for today’s update. It goes without saying that I would love to hear any thoughts you might have!

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

Inquisitor 28: The Road Crew slowly takes shape…

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 6, 2016 by krautscientist

Today I would like to share some new models from one of my recent projects with you. You probably still remember the kitbashed pit slaves I created fairly recently, along with the first ideas for a small gang of escaped former slaves and mutants from the world of St- Sabasto’s Reach (and if not, you can always go back and read up on it all here 😉 ). Anyway, here are the two gladiators I had when we last heard of this particular project:

Pitslaves (2)
I have begun to refer to this growing warband as “The Road Crew” in the back of my head for some reason. Maybe it’s because they do take a bit of an inspirations from settings like the one in Mad Max: Fury Road (as well as tangentially related settings from videogames like Fallout, Borderlands, or what have you). Maybe it’s the yellow reminding me of heavy duty construction engines? Or maybe I just like the sound of the name?

Now the next model in line for painting was this mutant brute based on the Bloodstoker from the Age of Sigmar starter box:

Mutant Overlord WIP (4)
I think you’ll agree with me that there’s a pretty obvious Mad Max vibe going on here, especially with regards to the facemask and trophy pole, right? Anyway, I painted the model, applying the recipe that had already proved fairly successful on the pit slaves.

Here’s the finished model, Tiny the Brute:

Mutant Overlord (2)
Mutant Overlord (3)
Mutant Overlord (4)

Mutant Overlord (6)
Now if you look at Tiny next to my recently completed pit slaves, you’ll see that there’s a common look and feel to the models, in spite of the new model being fairly different in nature:

Pitslaves (3)
I think the paintjob does play a fairly big part in drawing these models together into a cohesive whole, but there’s also a certain feeling of coherence beyond that. And that is really something I want to explore with this warband: a collection of models of different shapes, sizes and archetypes that still read as a fairly cohesive gang. I think I’ll be drawing lots of inspirations from classic Necromunda gangs, such as Goliaths, Pit slaves and Scavvies, but I would also like to blur the lines between those factions a bit: The hard divisions between the various gangs make lots of sense for a game like Necromunda, where you simply need several different factions. But there’s also enough overlap between the various gangs that a warband taking inspirations from several different sources should work out really well — and in any case, INQ28 is all about the grey areas and thus has little need for clearly defined borders, right? 😉

So since I really wanted to take the idea of exploring different shapes and sizes for the various gang members further, I chose something even more extreme – in a way – for my next model:

Chopper WIP (1)
Chopper WIP (4)
A diminutive mutant wielding a huge evsicerator. The model was originally one of those “bonus gnoblars” you get with several of the Ogre Kingdoms kits. I love those guys, both because they are very characterful and because it’s fairly easy to convert them into something that seems right at home in the 40k universe: In this case, all it took was a hooded head from the AdMech Skitarii Rangers, a Khorne berzerker chainsword and some odd bitz and bobs.

Painting this guy was a fairly quick affair, yet the challenge was to make the recipe I already had in place work on a model that is very different from the hulking brutes I had painted so far. In the end, it came down to featuring enough of the yellow to serve as a visual tie-in. And I had cunningly added another armour plate to the model’s right shoulder beforehand to give myself an extra yellow area 😉 Anyway, without further ado, heeere’s Chopper:

Chopper (2)
Chopper (1)
Chopper (3)
This has mainly been a quick and fun model, and I don’t really see him as a character with huge ramifications for any greater narrative, but I think he provides a nice extra bit of flavour to the warband and manages to move them beyond mere pit slave archetypes.

Funnily enough, Chopper has also managed to attract a bit of a fan club at various forums: DexterKong even mentioned his intent to put the small guy on a T-Shirt to wear at the gym. So if anyone wants to follow his lead, I whipped up a small T-Shirt design for your perusal:

Hereschopper02
A hires version of the image is, of course, available 😉

So here’s a look at the models I have so far:

Pitslaves (5)
I am pretty happy with these guys, especially since they have come together so quickly and organically. I also think they look rather striking as a group — it must be the combination of deadly weapons and that bright yellow 😉

One thing I have decided not to include on these models are hazard stripes, though, even though they might seem like a natural addition. This is something I decided right out of the gate, ecause I really wanted to suggest a slightly industrial look without overdoing it, and hazard stripes would just be that little bit too much. I also didn’t want these guy to look like Iron Warriors auxiliars 😉

So what else is in store for the Road Crew? Well, I have already started building the next member, a former Tech-Priest, codenamed “Doc” for now, serving as medicae/mechanic/possible leader?! to the escaped slaves:

Doc WIP (4)

Doc WIP (5)

Doc WIP (3)
This was a slightly fiddly conversion, because I had to make the Ruststalker legs conform to the general shape outlined by the Skitarii Trenchcoat. It all worked our rather well in the end, however, and I rather like Doc’s tall, gaunt appearance.  The mostly organic face was also a very important (and conscious) choice, as it represents a certain amount of humanity, something we don’t see often in a member of the Adeptus Mechanicus. Somehow I really like the idea of a former Tech-Priest who rediscovered a part of his humanity in the slave pits of St. Sabasto’s Reach and went rogue as a consequence.

DexterKong also suggested this guy may be the Road Crew’s “bookie” as well as their mechanic, organising fights and assignments for the group to enable them to assemble the credits and tech to keep functioning as a fairly independent outfit. Anyway, it feels like this guy is definitely a keeper!

Maybe this twist witch doctor I built a while ago would also be an interesting addition to the gang:

Witch Doctor WIP
Now he may seem like a pretty odd fit at first glance, but keep in mind that I would really like to branch out into some more out there character types: I actually want to get a bit more visual variety into this warband, so that they don’t read as merely pit slaves or mutants, but as a coalition of escaped slaves, shady characters and lost men. I think a shamanistic twist witch doctor might just be the colourful touch I need for that. He could even be a follower of a particularly devolved and archaic variation of the Imperial Creed, with the Emperor as some kind of totem?! We’ll see…

One thing that I definitely want to add to the gang at some point is this:

PickUp WIP (1)

An old Gorkamorka trukk that I’ve had in my bitzbox for quite a while. The original plan was to use it for my Traitor Guard, but it seems far more appropriate in an INQ28/Necromunda setting. Plus it would be a cool asset to have for INQ28 games in general, once painted. So I tweaked the driver a bit, making him look suitably postapocalyptic:

PickUp WIP (2)
PickUp WIP (3)
The vehicle itself needs some more bitz and bobs – a bit of additional gear here and there, but nothing too drastic. I think much of the appeal will come from a suitably grimy and weathered paintjob.

I think these models would make for some rather neat additions and create just the kind of visual variety, different shapes, sizes and archeytpes I want for the Road Crew:

New members WIP

More than anything, though, these guys really are a fun diversion, and it’s pretty cool to just go with the flow and see where inspiration takes me. Of course it goes without saying that I would love to hear any ideas and feedback you might have, so just leave me a comment or a suggestion!

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

Pitslaves (4)