Archive for inquisitor

INQ28: Hear Me Roar!

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 18, 2018 by krautscientist

More Deathwatch for today, as I have been plugging away at my Primaris based true scale killteam for another week. Allow me to share the results with you:

First up, there’s the Celestial Lions Astartes I have already shared with you in WIP form. Like I said, my main influence for choosing the chapter was the African influence (although the fact that the Lions are a chapter from a later founding also helped a bit). However, I also discovered that the chapter and the Inquisition have a bit of a troubled history, as outlined in my previous post — to the point where Inquisitorial operatives seem to be actively hunting for the chapter. Ouch! So would a Celestial Lion actually be part of an – Inquisition-sponsored – Deathwatch killteam?

Fortunately enough, I realised that I am in the clear on that front: The chapter’s trouble with the Inquisition only really starts in 948 M41, whereas my INQ28 narratives are set some 200 years before that, so everyone can still be BFFs in my headcanon ๐Ÿ˜‰ That being said, I did decide to include a shout out to the chapter’s eventual fate, as per Aramis K’s excellent suggestion of featuring the notorious “Ork Snipers” that wipe out a part of the Celestial Lions during the 3rd War for Armageddon, in some way.

But back to the actual model: This was the Celestial Lion in his first draft version:

As you can see, it’s a very straightforward conversion, mostly based on a Primaris Reiver. I liked the idea of including a stealthier Astartes wearing sleeker armour, and the “Easy To Build” Reiver bodies were really perfect for that. The most involved parts were to add a lion bit (from an old WFB Empire cannon) as a belt buckle and to kitbash another Deathwatch sensor array for the backpack (using a shoulder-mounted lamp from a Genestealer Hybrid and – once again – some auspex aerials).

Then fellow hobbyist euansmith helpfully suggested to maybe turn the model’s head a bit, in order to make it look more sneaky and agile. I complied with his idea, and – sure enough – it made a world of difference!

When it came to painting the model, I actually broke with my usual routine and decided to start with the one part I thought would make or break the model — the right shoulder pad. Because I realised with some nervousness that I would actually have to freehand the Celestial Lions chapter badge, as there are no readily available decals for it (and my idea of maybe using a similar decal as a base went nowhere either). Azrael’s quite excellent Primaris Celestial Lions here (that were also completed for a very personal reason, it must be said) use some very cool shapeways chapter badges, but I didn’t really go through the hassle of ordering bitz like that — so I decided this was the time to buckle up and force myself to do something I had shied away from in the past. Freehand designs.

So here’s the design I chose as my main reference material (inverted, of course, because it would go on the right pauldron):

And here’s what I came up with, using my smallest brush, a drop of Vallejo Airbrush Flow Improver, and reserves of patience I really didn’t know I had:

Of course I didn’t see the huge splodge of wash towards the lower rim of the pauldron until I was looking at it blown up by several hundred percent on a screen — the area has been cleaned up since. Oh, and ‘Aren’ is the name of the battle-brother in question, by the way.

Anyway, I was incredibly happy with the finished freehand — and I can safely say that this has to be one of the most extravagant pieces of detail work I have painted in the last couple of years. I realise that this must be fairly basic bread and butter stuff for talented painters, but to me, it certainly felt like a rather big adventure ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anyway, after getting the freehand right, the rest of the paintjob almost seemed trivial. That being said, I also discovered a fairly nice and simple recipe for black skin: GW Doombull Brown makes for a very good base colour, and already looks very natural after a wash of Ogryn Flesh (or Reikland Fleshshade). I only followed it up with some very subtle highlights, and ended up with a skin tone I really liked, as you can see yourself on the finished model:

 

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Rudisha Aren
Brother of the Deathwatch
Celestial Lions Astartes Chapter





Here’s a closer look at the left shoulder pad, now finally in its intended place:


Seriously, though, did I mention how happy I am with that freehand…? ๐Ÿ˜‰


As for the base, if you look closely, you can make out the barrel of a – suspiciously Imperial – sniper rifle, but there’s also part of an Ork jaw — Ork snipers, anyone? ๐Ÿ˜‰


Granted, this is a bit of a tongue in cheek joke about the chapter’s eventual fate, but it still matches the overall basing theme without lookig too out of place. So that’s the next finished member of Killteam Ulrach for you:

 

Speaking of Ulrach, while I was working on Brother Aren, I decided to give the Iron Hand that last round of tweaks as well — and the full photo treatment, of course, playing cards, keys and all ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Vorlik Ulrach
Brother of the Deathwatch
Iron Hands Astartes Chapter








You already know this guy from last week, of course, and most of the finishing touches are pretty subtle. But it’s nice to have all the models finished and photographed in the same style like that ๐Ÿ˜‰

Oh, and since someone over at the Ammobunker asked how I had achieved the glowing blue effect on some of the members of the killteam, I thought it would make sense to feature my recipe over here as well — if, indeed, you can even call it a recipe, as it’s almost trivially easy. The one thing I would really recommend, however, is to get some Vallejo Magic Blue: While there may be a similar GW colour, I have yet to see another blue that pops quite as nicely as Magic Blue. So for this recipe, you’ll need the blue and any kind of white. And some water. Here’s what you do:

  1. Paint the center of the area you want to glow (the lens, the gem, the button — whatever it is) with pure Magic Blue
  2. Thin down your Magic Blue with water so it becomes semi-translucent. Then glaze the area around the part you have just painted with it, building up the actual glow — you can do this in several steps to get it right. With larger areas, the effect should grow more solid towards the center, obviously.
  3. Go back to the (undiluted) Magic Blue and keep adding more white to it, and create smaller and smaller highlights at the center of the effect. The last stage should basically be almost pure white. DONE!

The blue higlight on the axe head (as well as the soft glow around it) are a perfect example of the effect in question.

 

So here’s an updated look at Killteam Ulrach:

I think these guys really work rather well as a group — and you can almost guess at the different characters and combat roles just by looking at the models, wouldn’t you agree? In hindsight, maybe the models are almost a little too vibrant, in a style slightly reminiscent of 2nd edition 40k, but then it’s an almost perverse pleasure to find out how visually striking I can make a squad wearing predominantly black armour ๐Ÿ˜‰

Now any future additions to the team will have to wait for a bit, as I have depleted my supplies of Deathwatch parts and Primaris Marines, respectively. That being said, fellow hobbyist Augustus b’Raass is awesome enough to send me another Primaris, and I have just picked up the Rodricus Grytt model on ebay. Combining both will allow me to build a stoic, fatalist brother of the Lamenters wielding a massive frag cannon — it’ll take a while before I can start the conversion, so take a look at aย  – really primitive – mockup of my planned conversion:

Beyond what you see in the mockup, I will be going for a heavset look with some slightly archaic, Mk. III-ish touches here and there. It’ll be an interesting balance to maintain, as I don’t want the model to clash with the Deathwatch’s sleek Black Ops look, but I’, confident l’ll be able come up with something.

And as it happens, I also have a pretty cool idea for the Castigator — although I’ll need to get my hands on this particular Primaris Sergeant from Dark Imperium first, in order to make it work…

Until then, however, I am pretty happy with Killteam Ulrach as is — and as these guys are very much ready to rock, I hope Azrael will count them as another entry for this month’sย “June-Unit” community challenge!

So that’s it for today’s update. I would love to hear any feedback you might have, so please leave a comment! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

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There’s no ‘I’ in ‘Killteam’ — oh wait, there is!

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 11, 2018 by krautscientist

For this week’s update, let’s return to the wonderful world of true scale Astartes for a bit: While I am not exactly a fan of how their lore seems to have been wedged sideways into the 40k background, there’s little doubt that the release of the Primaris Space Marines has provided us with an excellent way of building decently proportioned true scale models for INQ28 without having to spend ages on getting the basic build right. For instance, I had lots of fun building and painting the most archetypal, 2nd edition-style Space Marine I could come up with a while ago, Brother Arcturus Diomedes of the Ultramarines:

Back when the Primaris Marines were released, I picked up the box with three “Easy To Build” Primaris with the plan of eventually turning them into more Deatwatch Marines and end up with small a true scale killteam for my INQ28 collection — even if an entire squad of Astartes would be complete overkill in an actual game. The project just seemed too interesting to get hung up on the practicalities — well, that and true scale Deathwatch Marines have been a bit of a hobby horse for Commissar Molotov, one of the godfathers of INQ28, so working on my own killteam would also be a nice tribute to his own work.

However, progress with the actual assembly of the killteam’s members turned out to be slower than expected for two particular reasons: One, it did take quite some time for me to choose which chapters to go with for the members of the squad. In theory, their chapter identity is only really shown on their left shoulder pad, admittedly, but I really wanted to include various callbacks to their chapter of origin on the rest of the models as well. And while it felt tempting to just go with all the classic First Founding chapters, it would also have been a bit lazy — there are 1,000 chapters in the galaxy, after all. How likely would it be, then, that any given killteam should only feature members from the original Space Marine legions/chapters?

The other difficulty came in the form of the seriously weird poses on some of the snapfit Primaris — I only have myself to blame for that, however, as I could simply have purchased the “proper” multi-part kit.

Anyway, the first additional member for the killteam was converted fairly quickly last year: A Watch-Brother hailing the Iron Hands (and possibly the Killteam’s squad leader):


We’ll be seeing this guy again in a little bit…

And then the rest of the team just somehow refused to come together for the aforementioned reasons — until I had an idea recently: How about going with a Crimson Fist as one of the next members? And how about building him as an homage to this particular piece of artwork by Karl Kopinski:

Artwork by Karl Kopinski

Building models to resemble artwork has become a bit of a sub-hobby of mine lately, and so the task quickly drew me in. And I made this guy:




Granted, I had to simplify some parts of the illustration – mostly due to the fact that, funnily enough, even the Primaris’ bigger scale does not allow for all the detail present in the art – and I also made some minor adaptations, allowing for the fact that my version is intended as a member of the Deatwatch, but I am pretty happy with the kitbash — if nothing else, it definitely does mitigate the stock model’s super weird pose.

The conversion is also a bit of a lesson in thriftiness, as the model uses leftover parts from a plastic chaplain Cassius I picked up a while ago to build a (30k) Word Bearers chaplain. That project left me with Cassius’ left arm and right (Deathwatch) shoulder pad, and ultimately both the shoulder pad and his left hand (complete with snazzy Deathwatch bolt pistol) were grafted onto my Crimson Fist.

I also didn’t have any proper Deathwatch backpacks left, so I had to kitbash one using a regular Space Marine backpack, a sensor array from a Terminator torso front and some small aerials painstakingly shaved off a Space Marines auspex.

So that left me with three members for the killteam, at least:

And I was also really in love with the Crimson Fist conversion, so I decided to paint him right away.

One thing that I decided fairly early during the painting process was that I wanted to use a different skin tone this time around, due to the fact that the Crimson Fists seem to have a distinct Latin American/Hispanic element in their background. So I decided to forego my usual recipe for baseline (caucasian) Astartes skin and go for something slightly different. And in a flight of fancy, I decided to use some very old GW Bronzed Flesh paint that must be more than 20 years old at this point:

And it still worked just fine, too! Most importantly, though, it made for a slightly different skin tone, which seemed like a good way to introduce some much needed ethnic diversity and also underline the fact that all members of the killteam hail from different chapters and, by extension, different planets as well.


As you can see, my Staedtler pigment liner really came in handy once again, and I really went to town on all the little pieces of parchment ๐Ÿ˜‰ The bottles of Microsol and Microset I picked up in Amsterdam last year, also ended up being supremely helpful when it came to making that Crimson Fists decal conform to the shoulder pad’s curved surface.

As for the armour, I followed the same approach I had developed for Brother Diomedes: Cover up any sub-par edge highlighting with sponged-on scratches and damage — fortunately enough, the resulting look really fits the Deathwatch rather nicely, if I do say so myself ๐Ÿ˜‰

So after another round of fine tuning, and after completing the base, the killteam’s next member was finished:

 

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Vargo Diaz
Brother of the Deathwatch
Crimson Fists Astartes Chapter






As you can see, he does have one …erm crimson fist, at least.ย  I did consider painting the power fist red as well, but then the arm would have ended up being predominantly not-silver, when a silver arm is such an integral part of the Deathwatch livery, so limited the use of red to the right hand.

There’s also another little element I wanted to include: In the original Inquisitor rulebook, the 54mm model for Brother Artemis (basically the forefather to all Deathwatch Marines) had those little rectangles on his bolter designed as displays/buttons for the different kinds of ammunition stored in the weapon:

so I thought it might be fun to include this in a bit of a shout out to the classic model and its paintjob. So I put some Roman numerals on the panels: The right side side has ‘I’ and ‘II’, as shown above, the other one has ‘III’ and ‘IV’:



When it came to basing Brother Diaz, I went for the same basic look I had already used on my first Deathwatch Marine. I included an ork skull this time around, however — I think it’s an entertaining little meta touch to feature an alien skull from the respective chapter’s nemesis Xenos race, so Tyranids for Ultramarines, Orks for Crimson Fists and a Necron head for the Iron Hand. Speaking of which…

There was still this guy:



And, still feeling motivated after my quick completion of Brother Diaz, I decided to paint him as well. After all, I am still very happy with the conversion, based on combining a snapfit Primaris with quite a few parts from Ennox Sorrlock, from Deathwatch:Overkill…

…as well as a new breastplate and left arm courtesy of the Kataphron Destroyers.

Anyway, I quickly got to work and dressed the Iron Hand in the same kind of scuffed black armour as his peers:



In this case, the paintjob also had the added benefit of tying together the various parts of the slightly more eclectic conversion.

According to the underlying basing theme, I also constructed a base, featuring a half-buried Necron skull and spine this time around:

Remembering the (brilliant) alternate history Dornian Heresy and the various more or less obvious parallels and connections between the Necrons and Iron Hands, I decided to mirror the blue glow I used on the Iron Hand in the eye of the Necron skull — it seemed like a nice tongue in cheek meta joke ๐Ÿ˜‰

The model’s arms and backpack were painted separately, for the most part — although I couldn’t really help myself, as usual, and had to glue everything together, even while the last few painting steps were still happening:



Putting the finishing touches on the model turned out to be quite a bit of fun, however, so I already have the (mostly) finished model to share with you:

=][=

Vorlik Ulrach
Brother of the Deathwatch
Iron Hands Astartes Chapter






I really like the model, and I think his armoured bulk works really well now that he’s been painted — both for an Iron Hand and for the leader of a Deathwatch killteam!

And there’s more, as I have already started assembling yet another possible member for the team, provisionally from the Celestial Lions, wearing a suit of Recon armour:


Yeah, I know: Technically speaking, the model is basically a Primaris Reiver. But after seeing a particularly nice Reiver-based Deathwatch Marine converted and painted by Jeff Vader, I realised that the stripped-down, sleeker armour matches the “Special Ops” look of the Deathwatch rather nicely — I also think it makes sense for the killteam to have a recon expert.

As for his chapter, I chose the Celestial Lions mostly because they have a bit of an African influence, and I had originally picked up that particular head for its decidedly non-caucasian feature — once again, in an attempt to make my collection of models a bit more ethnically diverse than your usual gang of bald, white Astartes. That being said, I realised too late that the Lions have a bit of a history with the Inquisition — oh well, I’ll find some kind of explanation for it, I am sure — in fact, fellow hobbyist Aramis K brilliantly suggested over at The Bolter & Chainsword that this member of the Celestial Lions might be a specialist for hunting down “Ork Snipers”… ๐Ÿ˜‰

Going forward, there are a few chapters I would definitely like to feature: Right now, I have plans for three more members for the killteam: A Carcharodon, a Lamenter and one of Commissar Molotov’s own Castigators, as an additional shout out ๐Ÿ˜‰

But that’s a story for a future post. For now, here’s what Killteam Ulrach looks like right now:

And seeing how I am actually working towards the completion of a squad here, I think these guys make for a fairly cool contribution to Azazel’s current “June-Unit” community challenge as well! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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

INQ28: On the Road Again…

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 4, 2018 by krautscientist

Yet more INQ28 this week — but with a dash of Necromunda for a change: As some of you might remember, my little gang of malcontents, mutants and pit slaves codenamed “The Road Crew” should really work well in both settings. And after all, there were still some models that finally needed to be finished, so I got to work.

You see, when I recently finished Worker #9, that was actually a case of the ragtag robot jumping the queue, when there were still a couple of Road Crew members that should have been painted first. These gentlemen:

My idea for the Road Crew was to use the classic Necromunda concepts of both Scavvies and Pit Slaves and build a gang that basically bridged the gap between both, while also channelling all kinds of postapocalyptic influences and sources — which is why you can see a lot of Mad Max, Fallout or even Borderlands in these characters. Of the three guys above, two weren’t even originally built as members of the Road Crew, but when I went through my cupboard of shame, they seemed like interesting enough additions to round out the gang. And now it was finally time to get them painted. So let’s take a look:

 

I. Chainsaw Mayhem

First up, the tried and true teen slasher concept of a masked villain with a chainsaw — a true classic, this one:

In fact, the original model started out as nothing more comlplicated than wanting to come up with some kind of insane minor villain to serve as a sort of miniboss in games of Necromunda or INQ28 — most of the inspiration for the character came from an old late 90s WD article on various pulpy monster and villain archetypes for use in Necromunda. I also drew some inspiration from a very cool Khornate cultist with a chainsaw built by morbรคck, if I remember correctly.

The conversion itself was fairly straightforward: The model basically uses most of a Dark Vengeance cultist, with the hooded head from another cultis. The most involved part of the kitbash was to splice in an Ork chainsword to replace the nozzle of the heavy flamer — and with that, the underhive maniac was basically finished. It’s actually a bit shocking how the model was built all the way back in 2013

I wanted to paint him in the tried and true Road Crew recipe, that is dark grey fatigues, scuffed yellow armour, and some red detail to add in another spot colour. However, during the painting process, I realised that the colour balance was off, so I had to make some eleventh hour additions to the model: The chance to include more yellow elements was achieved by adding a shoulder pad to the model’s left shoulder and an armour plate over its crotch (which should make brawls in the underhive ever so slightly less dangerous and also has the added benefit of breaking up that massive, red apron a bit, from a visual standpoint):

Of course a masked maniac with a chainsaw seems like the perfect occasion for quite a bit of gore, right? And indeed, I did contemplate adding some Tamiya Clear Red to the model for quite a while. I also realised, however, that due to the way a chainsaw works, I would basically have to paint blood onto the entire blade of the weapon, which seemed like a pretty surefire way to have it all look completely over the top — always a big risk when working with blood effects.

So in the end, I decided that less is more, and went without the blood — almost, that is, because I couldn’t help adding at least some blood to the “bag o’ bones” on the model’s back.

Anyway, here’s the finished model. Meet Sawtooth, everyone:



Granted, a maniac wielding a chainsaw may not be the most original character in the Road Crew, but he was still great fun to finish, and I think he’ll look great with the rest of the family. And even if he has a certain pulp charm about him, I think it makes sense that he would add a bit of a ‘mutant madman’ angle to the crew — on top of the Mad Max angle and the tragic gladiator angle and all the other postacpocalyptic references and influences that are already there ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

II. Only Sane Man…?!

Now this second model wasn’t built for the Road Crew either. It was originally planned as some kind of Imperial Guard veteran and started life as the result of some idle kitbashing:

The base model was yet another chaos cultist. I swapped the arms and a rifle from the Tempestus Scions kit, which made for a slightly more soldierly look. A head from the Space Wolves’ scouts was chosen for a suitably grizzled veteran look. And that was about it.

When I went through my unpainted models a while ago, I liked the idea of a more human Road Crew member without any obvious mutations or augmentations — maybe a former soldier of the Astra Militarum who had come to the underhive in an attempt to escape something that had happened in his former life? Anyway, that led to this guy being drafted into the gang as well.

This time around, the painting process worked like a charm. So here’s “Sarge”:




While the model uses the same colour scheme as the rest of the Road Crew, I tried to make him look just a bit less unkempt: His equipment is still in pretty good shape, which hints at his past as a professional soldier. And while he has adopted the Road Crew’s emblematic scuffed yellow, it’s still possible to imagine him in his previous life.

 

III. Yikes! Another Saw…?!

So that’s two down, but I have yet another model to share with you today, and not only is it my favourite of the bunch, but also the one guy who was legitimately planned for the Road Crew from the beginning. Meet “Cirque”, a heavily muscled brute who’s at the forefront of every raid and gang fight, with his trusty eviscerator:


I am really happy with this particular conversion, but to give credit where credit is due, Cirque actually directly borrows ideas from two models I saw online and loved instantly: Plib’s Necromunda Scaly/Brute here…

Model built and painted by Plib

…and Jeff Vader’s older chrono gladiator:

Model built and painted by Jeff Vader

It’s plain to see how my conversion is basically my attempt at throwing both models into a blender and end up with a combination of the elements I liked most about both of them. Mission accomplished, I’d say ๐Ÿ˜‰ There’s also something about combining Ork bitz and those creepy chaos cultist gas masks that just works every time, if you ask me.

Not only was Cirque my favourite model from this particular bunch, he was also a blast to paint. So here he is, in all his twisted glory:




Oh, and I actually did get to use Tamiya Clear Red on a saw, after all: Since Cirque’s weapon allowed for a slightly more subdued effect, he provided the perfect opportunity to include some blood but not overwhelm the entire model with it. Take a look:

So, once again, that’s three less unpainted models, and I am actually really happy with the results:

Even better, however, is the fact that these three are basically the last models I had planned for the Road Crew, so all that’s left for me is to paint the gang’s ride, an old Gorkamorka vehicle,…

…and then this project will be finished — at least for now. Here’s the entire Road Crew so far:

 

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The Road Crew

The deeper levels of St.Sabastoโ€™s Reachโ€™s primary hive cluster – colloquially known as โ€žThe Orphansโ€˜ Cradleโ€œ – is crisscrossed by a network of tansportation tunnels originally created โ€“ and mostly still used โ€“ to move the vast amounts of goods necessary to keep the worldโ€™s overly bloated population alive. Ranging from cramped maintenance shafts that are mere crawlspaces to multi-laned transport ways allowing for vehicle traffic, the warren of tunnels and substations has become a living space for many underhivers, from the indentured personnel manning the various installations and the maintenance workers to gatherings of escaped slaves and convicts seeking something resembling a life in freedom, even if it should be a life in squalor and darkness.

The so-called โ€žRoad Crewโ€œ is one such group and has begun to attract former pit slaves, soldiers of fortune, twists and other malcontents from the hiveโ€™s lower reaches, trying to eke out an existence between the underhive fighting pits and minor raids on the biggest transport thoroughfares.

 

From left to right:

  • Crusher Vex, also know as “Old Man Claw”, a former pitfigthing champion
  • Grimspyke โ€œthe Impalerโ€, another champion in the fighting pits and former opponent of Crusher Vex
  • Sawtooth, a mute and slightly unhinged former manufactorium worker
  • “Tiny the Brute”, a member of the mutant underclass of St. Sabasto’s Reach and current war-captain of the Road Crew
  • “Doktor” Solon Antonov, a former, low-ranking Magos of the Velsian Adeptus Mechanicus who disappeared from his posting as a workforce and slave prospector on the world of St. Sabastoโ€™s Reach, only to emerge as the leading figure of the Road Crew
  • Cirque, a physically imposing mutant and one of the Road Crew’s fiercest fighters
  • Sarge, a veteran of the Astra Militarum with a dark past
  • “Papa Anjevin”, a particularly unhinged mutant styling himself the Road Crew’s shaman-priest
  • Chopper, a diminutive mutant wielding a massive chainblade.

Back row:

  • Worker #9, an ancient automaton of ambiguous origin

 

Looks like a pretty cool gang at this point, doesn’t it? And while the project is basically finished, it’ll be easy enough to add new gang members as needed — after all, a gang of underhive rabble always has need of new recruits. And as fellow hobbyist Dragonlover recently pointed out, I really need at least one more member with a red traffic sign — if only for the shout out to the original inspiration for this warband’s name… ๐Ÿ˜‰

Oh, and before I forget: Not only are these guys yet more neglected models that I have finally managed to paint, they also work as contributions for Azazel’s community challenge for June, with the aim of finishing squads and units — or, like in this case, warbands. Plus I am actually fairly confident I’ll be able to squeeze in that vehicle before the end of the month…

For now, however, I would love to hear your thoughts on these latest models — or, indeed, on the entire warband, so please leave a comment! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

 

INQ28: More Grimdark Librarians of the 41st Millennium

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Fluff, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 28, 2018 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, after last week’s “blast from the past” diversion of repainting an old Star Wars action figure, let’s return to my Ordo Scriptorum retinue once again for this week. Allow me to share the latest completed inquisitorial operatives with you:

While most work on Inquisitor Orlant’s retinue is being spent on actually finishing models that have been built years ago, in an effort to make a dent in my painting backlog, the warband also keeps taking on new members as it develops. Take a look:

I. Screaming into the void

Let’s start with a very recent addition to the project: When most of the characters for Inquisitor Orlant’s retinue had already been hammered out, and while I was making good progress on the project, PDH, whose thoughts on the nature of the Ordo Scriptorum had originally inspired the project to begin with, pointed out to me that Orlant still needed his own astropath: One of Peter’s ideas for an organisation dealing so heavily in secrets lost and rediscovered knowledge was that every Inquisitor of the Ordo would have their own astropath, to better relay whatever secrets they had discovered to their superiors in the most direct fashion imaginable in the 41st millennium. And while the idea of having to come up with a totally new model to represent an astropath had me slightly wary for about five minutes, I also realised that this would provide me with yet another chance to channel inspiration I had drawn from Wayne England’s artwork.

I instantly recalled his illustrations for the various psyker disciplines (originally printed in the Dark Heresy rulebook and recently reused both for the 8th edition 40k rulebook and a Warhammer Community post). One in particular, seemed pretty ideal as a starting point for an astropath. This one here:

Illustration by Wayne England

My original plan was to use the Dark Eldar Medusae model as a base for the conversion, seeing how it already seemed so close to the artwork in many ways:

And while this would have worked pretty well, I discovered that the model had gone out of production. So instead of going on a wild goose chase in an attempt to procure it, I decided to force myself to actually use the bitz I already had at my disposal to come up with my own astropath conversion.

So here’s my interpretation. It’s not a perfect fit, but I think you’ll be able to see a certain resemblance:





Fortunately enough, I still had a pair of legs from the plastic Necromancer — they even came with a book worn at the hip, which was a fun little coincidence. A torso piece from the Genestealer Hybrids provided both the astronaut look that seemed rather fitting for an astropath, but also a slightly eerie, ever so subtly Gigeresque quality that matched the somewhat sinister general vibe of the warband.

And the Empire flagellant head with an almost picture perfect representation of the hairstyle appearing in the artwork, was a bit of a godsend, of course — that being said, the process of adding a Greenstuff bandage across the astropath’s eyes actually had me on the verge of a screaming fit, as the material just wouldn’t stick to the darn face. I am really glad I managed to pull it off in the end ๐Ÿ˜‰

Possibly the most involved part of the conversion was to build a suitable staff: It was spliced together from the haft of a Dark Eldar Hellion glaive and a couple of imperial bitz.

Oh, and here’s an angle matching the artwork that inspired the conversion a bit more closely:

Again, I’ll admit that my astropath isn’t really a perfect reproduction of the artwork, but rather takes some pointers from the illustration.

When It came to painting the model, my Ordo Scriptorum recipe was well established enough at this point to turn the paintjob into a pretty straightforward affair — I did discover that those Genestealer hybrid torso pieces look absolutely terrific when painted in glossy black, incidentally ๐Ÿ˜‰

One area where I had to compromise a bit was the bandage across the model’s eyes: My original plan had been to try and add some lettering to it, but I quickly realised that there was just not enogh space there to come up with something that wouldn’t turn into a jumbled mess of squiggles, so I decided to leave the bandage bare. I also went for a slightly darker colour to create a better contrast against the pale face. In the end, I think it was a sensible choice that makes the model less similar to the art, but arguably makes it work better in and of itself.

Anyway, here’s the finished model:

=][=

Ordo Scriptorum Astropath

 


All Inquisitors of the Ordo Scriptorum are assigned an astropath at the same time they receive their Inquisitorial Rosette. This agreement and gift from the Adeptus Astra Telepathica goes back to the beginning of the Ordo Scriptorum, when they were a breakaway sect of the Ordo Hereticus. The need for such a fine tool has proven its worth countless times, for having direct access to telepathic communication has saved many lives. In the eyes of the Ordo Scriptorum, the sooner mistakes are exposed to the relevant authorities to rectify the better.




And here’s a – slightly tweaked – comparison picture showing the artwork and the actual model side by side:

II. MOAR SKULLZ!

You are probably all familiar with the old Warhammer adage of “When in doubt, use MOAR SKULLZ!”, and as it turned out, Inquisitor Orlant’s warband also needed at least one additonal skull ๐Ÿ˜‰

Seriously, though, while looking at the warband and comparing it to the one that had come before, Inquisitor Arslan’s retinue, I realised that Arslan’s merry gang featured two pretty cool servo-skulls/familiars, while such a model was missing from my Ordo Scriptorum team. But servo-skulls are a cool and quintessental part of 40k, and also a sensible wargear choice for an Inquisitor, and I also happened to still have the servo-skull from the Deathwatch:Overkill boxed set in my bitzbox, so I decided to add him to the warband:

I didn’t really change anything about the skull, as it already had that slightly sinister, yet elegant vibe that I think fits the Ordo Scriptorum rather well. I did make sure the servo-skull’s trailing cables interacted with some torn book pages on the base, however.

So here’s the finished servo-skull:

Certainly not a major player in the warband, but good fun and easy to finish. Moving on ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

III. Masked Bodyguard

Now where the astropath and servo-skull are recent additions to Inquisitor Orlant’s warband, the next model in line had been sitting on top of my pile of unpainted models for a rather long time. We are talking about this lady here:

I originally started working on the modelย  back in 2013 as an homage to Bruticus’ brilliant Prima Carnifexa Absoluta:

Model built and painted by Bruticus

Model built and painted by Bruticus

 

Bruticus had originally envisioned his character as a member of a sun cult, venerating the Emperor of Manking in his sun aspect. and I loved both the concept and its execution so much that I wanted to build a model similar to Bruticus’ character.

I originally started with a Blood Angels Sanguinary Guard helmet, a torso from a Coven Throne Vampire and some Dark Eldar Wych parts. To be perfectly honest, however, the inital build rather lacked direction, moving from a very Dark Eldar-eque model…

…to something that seemed more like some kind of gladiator:

The one element that remained firmly in place was the concept behind the head: I always knew I wanted to splice together a Sanguinary Guard helmet (chosen for its obvious sun motif) with the lower half of a female Wych head. The initial conversion lacked a lot of finesse, however:

Thanks to some very helpful feedback from the Ammobunker’s INQ28 board back in the day, I realised that the face might have been a good idea, but it needed far more work. So I cut it all apart again, shaved some tiny amounts of plastic, carefully sanded down the mask’s features to be less masculine, very carefully glued it all together again, and ended up with this:


In the end, some WFB Empire arms were what finally made the model come together, turning it into its final incarnation as a masked bodyguard:

When it came to actually making the character a part of Orlant’s retinue, the feedback was generally unfavourable: Most commenters argued that the rather elegant carnival getup didn’t really mesh well with a warband mostly occupied with exploring sunken libraries and dusty archives.

But while that assessment definitely had some merit, I have always felt that there is also another angle to Orlant’s warband and his character, a slightly elegant and debonair look that is present in some elements of the retinue, and in some of its members: the colour of Orlant’s robes, that snazzy scaled cloak worn by his Interrogator or even the deadly elegance of the Clockwork Assassin.

To me, the masked bodyguard was another chance to explore this secondary angle to the warband, and I also like the idea that Inquisitors will attract a motley crew of operatives during their work, and not each of their henchmen – and -women – may be suited to the same kind of task. So if Orlant wants to hit an underground bibliocathedra, he might bring the creepy bureaucultist to help him deal with the place’s ancient filing system, but during a social function, he would definitely need somewhat more presentable retainers. Towards this end, the masked operative might seem like a misfit, but she also presents an interesting glimpse of the versatility present in an Inquisitor’s retinue.

Painting should have been as easy as applying my tried and true recipe again — however, one thing that happened during the painting process was that I decided that I wanted to use a darker skin tone for the character. I was actually rather frustrated when I realised that I would always default to caucasian skin tones when painting, and seeing how I had wanted to try my hand at something different for quite a while, this character seemed like a good occasion to break away from old habits. There was also the fact that the bodyguard and Alizebeth Selandrine shared a similar look, due to both making use of Dark Eldar Wych parts, so going for different skin tones also had the added benefit of making sure the characters would look suitably different from one another.

Anyway, here’s what I came up with:

I am actually really happy with how the skin colour adds a completely different dynamic to the entire figure! There’s also the fact that combining the Venetian carnical getup with dark skin also makes for exactly the kind of eclecticism that seems so quintessentially 40k to me.

Those sheathed blades/throwing knives on the model’s back were a bit of an eleventh hour addition, by the way — they were originally part of the Yvraine model I used to build Countess Mandelholtz, and seemed like the perfect addition to Orlant’s bodyguard.

Here’s a look at the finished model:

=][=

Masked Bodyguard


While much of Tiberias Orlant’s work is spent in dusty archieves and long lost bibliocathedra, the tasks of an Inquisitor are manifold, and often make it necessary to move through all layers of Imperial society. For those cases where interaction with the upper strata of the Velsen Sector is necessary, Orlant has cultivated the cover identity of a wealthy and elegant collector of the obscure, with eclectic interests and very deep pockets. Always at his side in the spires and courts of Velsen is a mysterious, masked bodyguard, whose athletic poise and fluid grace betray her utter deadliness.



While working on the model, I realised that I actually tried to channel the look and feel of two particularly cool characters of colour from videogames I have recently enjoyed: Vanasha (from Horizon Zero Dawn)…

and Billie Lurk (from the Dishonored series):

When all is said and done, I am pretty pleased with the finished model! And, as an added benefit, she very much counts as another model for Azazel’sย  “Neglected Model May” challenge, — so that makes four models for the challenge! What’s more, I am confident that next month’s challenge, focusing on units, should give me the incentive to finish the warband’s final member, the jolly chap on the right here:

That one last model is really all that’s still missing for Inquisitor Orlant’s retinue to be finished: The warband certainly has a rather nice and rounded out look by now, if I do say so myself:

So that’s it for this week’s update! I would love to hear any thoughts you might have about today’s models, or about the state of the warband as a whole! Please let me hear your thoughts in the comments!

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

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! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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:

=][=

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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:

=][=

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! ๐Ÿ™‚

The State of the Hunt, Week 18/2018: Bad Bank

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Fluff, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob, Pointless ramblings, state of the hunt, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 30, 2018 by krautscientist

A bit of a an “in-between” post for this week, as I have both a finished model and a rather elaborate conversion to share with you. Once again, both of these have been taken straight out of the Velsen Sector, the little slice of the INQ28 setting DexterKong and I have created for ourselves. So let’s take a look, shall we?

I. The Interrogator

First up, my younger version of PDH’s Inquisitor Klien Inson still needed a suitable base. I tried to channel the same “abandoned” library look I had already gone with for Inquisitor Orlant. I also experimented with some kitchen tissue paper, trying to create torn pages and parchment, something I would like to take even further on some of the future models for this retinue:

Another little touch – that didn’t work out quite as well as intended – was to feature the (Pilgrym?!) symbol that appears on the base of Peter’s model on one of the torn pages at Inson’s feet as a further shout out — oh well, you cannot win them all, I guess ๐Ÿ˜‰

I am still rather pleased with the completed model, however — what a fun little project this was! So here’s PDH’s Klien Inson during his (slightly) younger days:

=][=
Interrogator Klien Inson
Ordo Scriptorum


Klien Inson is an agent of the Ordo Scriptorum Terra and currently serves as interrogator to Inquisitor Tiberias Orlant. Originally a member of the Dalthan Ordo Xenos, Inson was crippled during a campaign against the Orks at Sword Point. After Insonโ€™s body had been fixed, he resigned from the Ordo Xenos and travelled the pilgrim routes to Terra. It was here that he came before the Ordo Scriptorum and retrained under the watchful eye of Inquistor Stiber Gorst. His work as an agent of the Ordo Scriptorum has led him into the service of Redactor Orlant.

 




And here’s another comparison shot with both finished models:

I am pretty happy with how my version of Inson takes some colour cues from Peter’s model as well as adopting some elements from Redactor Orlant’s colour scheme:

So that’s three members for my Ordo Scriptorum warband so far,…


…although, as I’ve said before, both the interrogator and bureaucultist weren’t even planned beforehand — that’s serendipity for you ๐Ÿ˜‰

That being said, and as some of you might remember, there are some additional warband members that have already been converted:

From left to right,

  • Alizebeth Selandrine, a voidborn former Mechanicus vassal who can perform noospheric dives (read: a grimdark hacker),
  • a member of the Guild of Parchment Scroteners, a cult given over to the ritualistic destruction of Imperial paperwork
  • a Clockwork Assassin, a deadly automaton gifted to Orlant by the Velsian Adeptus Mechanicus
  • a female duelist with a pretty massive Venetian Carnival vibe
  • barely visible in the back row, an autoquill servitor

I think either Selandrine or the Clockwork Assassin might be next on the painting table.

II. The Crone

Now for today’s main course, as I’ll be sharing a conversion with you that I am rather excited about — and one that I didn’t even expect to be able to work on so soon. The model will also be serving as yet another entry for Azazel’s Assembly April community challenge, incidentally — so, what is this about?

Back when DexterKong and me came up with the Velsen Sector as an asventuredscape, I realised that I wanted a banking House as one of the political players in the sector. The inspiration for this came from Joe Abercrombie’s First Law series (and from his other books set in the same universe), where the banking house of Valint & Balk has a finger in each and every pie, and happens to be one of the most insidious influences present in the entire setting, always playing both sides, so the bank always wins.Which strikes me as both very grimdark and also, unfortunately enough, rather realistic.

So I came up with House Mandelholtz, or “The Mandelholtz House of Imperial Finance”, to quote its full title, Velsen’s own banking house. I see them as one of the sector’s big movers and shakers, and like any good evil banking house from history’s great dark hall of fame, they get to throw around their weight a lot. If you’ve seen the series Taboo and remember the way the East India Company gets protrayed in that series, THAT’S what I want House Mandelholtz to feel like.

Anyway, the Mandelholtz board of directors is a shadowy assembly, and very few people in the sector actually know who holds a stake in the house’s businesses. Which lends itself rather beautifully to all kinds of Inquisitorial dabblings and should work great as a storytelling device.

But a faceless entity isn’t that compelling a player for a miniature-based game setting, so I did want one identifiable character to serve as a chairman or speaker of the board for House Mandelholtz, and I realised pretty quickly that I wanted this character to be female. Dexter and me kept exchanging ideas on the matter, and he basically suggested to base the character on a grimdark version of Maggie Smith in her role in Downton Abbey:


Which seemed like a pretty brilliant idea to me. There was only one problem: I kept drawing blanks when it came to figuring out how to actually build a model for her — especially given the lack of proper female modeling options in GW’s catalogue. So the idea went back on the shelf.

However, when the Triumvirate of Ynnead was released, I knew I had found the base model for my conversion — Yvraine:

I’ll admit this probably doesn’t seem like the most obvious solution to my problem, seeing how the model is so clearly Eldar – or, indeed, Aeldarii – in many ways. The dress with the enormous trailing train, however, was exactly the part I needed for my conversion.

Picking up the entire boxed set just to get my hands on the model seemed a bit extreme, even for my standards. But then fate intervened, and I was able to snap up an Yvraine model from ebay for a pretty okay price (much, much less than a Triumvirate of Ynnead would have cost me, in any case), and when the model arrived in the post, I got to work right away.

Unfortunately, the model was in a really rough condition. Just take a look at the base Yvraine came on, and you can probably guess what I was looking at here:


That’s right, the previous owner used LOTS of glue to assemble the model. At the same time, the different parts had been put together really poorly, and mould lines abounded — but then that’s where the low price tag came from, obviously. And if nothing else, the model’s deplorable condition actually made it easier to start cutting because there was simply so much less left to lose ๐Ÿ˜‰

So I carefully sawed through all the glue and did my best to separate the parts once again. And when I was finished with that part, I got creative. Here’s what I came up with as a first version of the character. Meet Countess Mandelholtz, version 1.0:






“Grimdark Maggie Smith” remained my basic design outline, although – as you can plainly see – the character grew a bit more grotesque during the conversion process: I wanted to make her look like rejuvenat treatments had really taken her as far as possible, but had also taken their toll on her physiology. So a healthy dose of Gary Oldman’s portrayal of Count Dracula was thrown into the mix:


Speaking of vampires, many of the bitz I used to replace Yvraine’s upper body actually came from vampire and undead kits, such as the lower arms and hair (Coven Throne vampires), the ugly, bent back (Crypt Ghouls) or the face (clamshell Necromancer). In fact, carefully cutting the hair off a Coven Throne vampiress’ head and grafting it to the Necromancer face was probably the fiddliest part of the conversion.

Beyond that, the main focus was on making her look much less eldar-like and more Imperial — hence the emblem covering the front of her dress, the small reactor in the back and the frilly sleeves.

But while I was already pretty happy with the model, I also felt it needed some more work. The biggest tweak I made was to change the shoulders in an attempt at making them slightly narrower — the poor countess was looking too much like an ugly guy in drag before ๐Ÿ˜‰

At the same time, I didn’t even want to add too much to the model, so as not to overclutter her: So here’s my finished conversion of Countess Mandelholtz, of the Mandelholtz House of Imperial Finance:




This was really all about the fine tuning. I added some vials (from the Dark Eldar Wracks) to the Countess’ hunched back, trying to keep the effect noticeable but subtle:




I also carefully added some cabling here and there, in order to at least hint at some kind of physical augmentation:




Oh, and I replaced the bottom of her cane with something a little more interesting and ornate.

Of course there was the temptation to go farther still, adding weird insectile limbs emerging from beneath her skirts (like the legs you see on the AdMech Tech-Priest Dominus, for instance), but in the end I decided to keep her more human, both to suitably differentiate her from the sheer weirdness of the AdMech models and because it’s arguably more fun to make the observer wonder what her body looks like underneath her stately dress: Personally speaking, I mostly imagine some kind of augmetic brace or some kind of walking frame — but, like I said, it’s more fun not to actually take that decision and keep people guessing ๐Ÿ˜‰

Apart from that, it seems like she would really have personal retainers for all kinds of menial tasks, such as carrying ledgers and petitions — this seems like such a cool angle for adding some further members of House Mandelholtz. But then, such a warband, if it ever materialises at all, should still be quite a ways off. Countess Mandelholtz, however, seemed like such a promising and influential character for the entire Velsen Sector setting that I simply had to nail down the idea in model form.

All in all, I am very happy with the model so far! Painting the Countess will be one heck of a challenge, though — looks like I’ll have to research some colour schemes for period dresses ๐Ÿ˜‰

Oh, I almost forgot one nifty bonus: Getting the Yvraine model means that I also get to keep the magic Eldar cat, of course ๐Ÿ˜‰ The Gyrinx should work really well as a pet/familiar for another character — in fact, placing it next to my classic Jes Goodwin Runeseer already creates something that closely resembles the piece of art that introduced us to the Gyrinx in the first place. Take a look:


But anyway, so much for today’s update. I would love to hear any feedback you might have! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more! ๐Ÿ™‚

INQ28: Worker #9

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 23, 2018 by krautscientist

Yet another INQ28-related project this week — but one that could easily do double duty for games of Necromunda as well: It’s killer robot time! ๐Ÿ™‚

Back when the Kastelan Robots were first released, I bought them pretty much right away, because I was fascinated with the conversion potential inherent in the kit. The first Kastelan was immediately entered into the service of the ruinous powers and became a counts-as Contemptor for my World Eaters:

As for the second Kastelan, my plans were more vague. The original idea was to turn him into a part of my small Iron Warriors killteam, channelling some of the old Jes Goodwin sketches for the Colossus, the same pattern of robot originally used in Perturabo’s Iron Circle bodyguard (at least in the older fluff, before Forgeworld tweaked the different robot designs and designations a bit):

I felt that it would be reasonably easy to approximate the design from the sketch with a couple of bitz, so I quickly got to work on an early prototype, splicing in a new head and experimenting with a couple of different setups:


Unfortunately, things ground to a halt partway through the building process, and the model ended up half-finished. This is what the poor Kastelan looked like for the better part of two years.

And that could have been the end of the poor robot, until I started working on my Road Crew project and came to the realisation that some kind of massive killer robot would be a really cool addition to that particular gang of malcontents from the underhive!

So I took another long look at the build I had so far and tried to figure out which direction I wanted to take the model into. For one, I took many cues from Jeff Vader’s Actaeon Heavy Assault Servitor:

Model built and painted by Jeff Vader

It should go without saying that borrowing ideas from a hobbyist as supremely talented as Johan is never a bad idea ๐Ÿ˜‰ But where his servitor looked deliberately put together and well kept (that’s the Inquisition’s deep pockets for you), I knew I wanted something more ragtag and improvised, as befits a machine from the underhive. I also wanted to keep the robot’s original function slightly ambiguous, so it wouldn’t be perfectly obvious when it had originally been constructed and what had been its original function. So it shouldn’t surprise you that the ABC/Hammerstein robot from both the Judge Dredd comics and film became another important inspiration for my conversion:

But even so, hammering out the exact look I wanted turned out to be complicated. Which is when WarbossKurgan’s beat-up Kastelans turned up and provided that last bit of inspiration I needed to finally finish the build some time last year:



As you can see, there’s a clear resemblance with Jeff Vader’s aforementioned servitor. I really wanted to add a strong sense of cobbled-together repairwork and later additions to the robot’s original form, though, so I added all kinds of rough armour plates. Asymmetry also became an important part of the conversion, with one of the robot’s arms spindly and skeletal, while the gun arm ended up looking rather massive (to the point that it could even have been taken from a different machine). I also added part of an old barrel as an improvised shoulder pad, in order to achieve that particular underhive je ne sais quoi ๐Ÿ˜‰ Oh, and I happened to find the perfect head — from an old OOP World Eaters Dreadnought given to me by Augustus b’Raass last year. Not only did it fit perfectly, but it also had a suitably brutal, uncaring look for a massive robot (there’s also a bit of Maximilian there, wouldn’t you agree? ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) Speaking of other robots from fiction that inspired this model, let’s not forget Fallout 3’s Liberty Prime and Road to Jove’s Ceathair, who were also on my mind while making the last tweaks on the model.

Anyway, the finished conversion sat on my desk for quite a while, but with my recent committment to finally making a dent in my huge backlog of unpainted INQ28 models, I took it along to one of my regular painting sessions with my friend Annie.

When it came to painting the model, I knew I wanted to go with the same strong yellow I had been using for the rest of the Road Crew so far. My original plan was to undercoat the model silver, then crudely dab on Yriel Yellow, to show how the members of the gang had repainted the robot to fit their livery. After giving the matter some thought, that solution didn’t seem quite practical enough, however, so I borrowed a can of Averland Sunset from Annie. In the end, this made the painting process much easier, so I was able get most of the base colours sorted out in one evening of painting:




Like I said before, I really wanted to add some abiguity to the robot’s appearance: Is he some kind of heavy duty servitor? Or an ancient warmachine? Or something different altogether? The yellow colour hints at a rather more industrial use, but then I also carefully chose some decals that could be seen as military symbols, capaign badges and stuff like that. There’s also the stenciled #9 on the left side of the robot’s torso that would end up hinting at its eventual name.

With all of the main colours and the first pass of washes in place, the next important part was to make the model look suitably dirty, grimy and run down, so I added several passes of sponge weathering, dirt and grime. This was a fun step, but it was also important to know when to stop. Here’s what the model looked like after the weathering steps:




For the crude, additional armour plates, I actually followed my original plan and undercoated them silver, then crudely repainted them yellow, to make it look as though the Road Crew’s members had tried to match the robot’s original paintwork. I also added a tiny drop of Tamiya Clear Red to the robot’s breastplate — I wonder if anyone can guess the reason for that?!

Anyway, time to show you the finished model:

=][=

Worker #9


I also designed a base for the model, of course. I tried to match the muddy, rusty underhive look I had chosen for the rest of the Road Crew.

This is such a small detail, but I am actually pretty happy with the faded symbol on the rusty tank I made by combining a couple of old Space Marine decals:

So here’s the entire Road Crew so far, complete with its newest member:

If I have one small regret about the model, it’s that I realised too late that Averland Sunset was a bit different in tone from the Yriel Yellow I had used on the rest of the Road Crew models. Ultimately, however, it’s something I can live with — using yellow spray paint made the experience of painting the big guy much more enjoyable, and the difference in colour could easily be explained away as the robot’s original colour simply being slightly different from the yellow used by the Road Crew.

Anyway, I am pretty happy with having finished another long neglected model! And probably the best surprise is that, what with GW recently having dropped a hint about something called an “Ambot”,…

…there might actually be a chance of a suitable ruleset to use Worker #9 on a gaming table one day ๐Ÿ˜‰

Oh, by the way, just in case you were wondering why I decided to name the robot “Worker #9”, it was actually a shout out to a half-remembered character from Final Fantasy Tactics, another ancient robot with an ambiguous original function:

I only found out the robot’s actual name was Worker 8 when I tried to dig up a picture for this post. Oh well…

It’s still a weirdly appropriate choice of name, though, seeing how the Road Crew itself was named after a throwaway line from the – incredibly entertaining – game Psychonauts.

So yeah, it seems like, after a couple of years, I was finally able to finish both of those Kastelans:

Plus it’s also cool how much mileage I seem to be getting out of that old Forgeworld Dreadnought head ๐Ÿ˜‰

Even though Worker #9 and Raud the Hunter are pretty different in concept and function, the head feels like a perfect match for both of them, wouldn’t you agree?

So that’s it for today’s update. It goes without saying that I would love to hear any feedback you might have! I realise that people seem to be growing more and more used lately to just clicking the Like button and moving on. And while I appreciate your Likes as well, they really aren’t all that motivating, to be honest. So if you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment! ๐Ÿ™‚

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