Archive for inquisitor gotthardt

INQ28: This girl is on fire

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

 


Elisha Gorgo

born Countess Elisha Haxta di Colasante Mordina-Gorgo

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

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





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

 

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Inquisitor Erasmus Gotthardt and retinue
Ordo Hereticus Velsen

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Inquisitor 28: A Man of the Void-Sea

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Fluff, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 5, 2016 by krautscientist

At the moment, I frequently feel drawn towards some of my earlier INQ28 conversions — not only due to a desire to finally finish those models, although that does obviously play a part in the matter, but also because after all the ultra-grimdark stuff, it’s enjoyable to return to the somewhat simpler archetypes laid out in the Inquisitor Rulebook: the Rogue Trader, the Security Agent. After all, let’s not forget that those archetypes seemed pretty out-there and grimdark back when the game was originally released, at least to those of us who had only been used to 40k proper at that time.

Nowadays, after several years of hobbyists doing their darnedest to come up with ever more creative and spectacular characters (and to great effect, I might add!), some of those character archetypes may seem almost pedestrian by comparison, but they do have a swashbuckling charm that I like, and returning to some of those earlier ideas just feels like the right thing for me, so here goes:

Enter a conversion I created a couple of years ago for the retinue of Inquisitor Erasmus Gotthardt, Rogue Trader Iskander Gagarin:

Rogue Trader Iskander Gagarin WIP (1)

This was actually one of my very first INQ28 conversions, and I guess it shows, both in how closely it retreads some of the design cues from the stock 54mm models (Von Castellan, in this case) and how the model is a testament to my much smaller bitzbox in those times: It was mainly built from Cadian parts and some leftovers from the Empire models that came with the 6th edition WFB starter box. But in the end, I am still pretty pleased with the way the model channels both the 18th century military look typical of many of GW’s own rogue trader concepts as well as the flamboyance expected from such an individual, as evidenced by the xenos weaponry (I am so happy I still had that 2nd edition shuriken pistol!), the fur coat or the rather outrageous topknot.

I had wanted to get the model painted for years, and now I felt it was finally time. So I blew off the dust and made some finishing touches in order to spruce up the model for its day in the limelight:

Rogue Trader Iskander Gagarin WIP (1)
Rogue Trader Iskander Gagarin WIP (2)
I only really added a bit or two, but the one tricky part was to splice a suitably impressive ring (from the Skaven Stormvermin, of all places) onto that pointy finger. That did take some rather delicate cutting, but Iskander just seemed like the kind of guy who would wear a clunky signet ring (probably doubling as a digital laser, come to think of it), so there was ultimately no choice in the matter 😉

When it came to actually painting the model, I had basically figured out the colour palette quite a while ago, back when I painted Iskander’s little familiar, PeeDee the Monkey:

PeeDee (5)
So I bascially stuck to those colours, going for a paintjob that was at once suitably militaristic, but also flamboyant enough for a man of Gagarin’s station. And while the result possibly isn’t one of my more technically accomplished paintjobs, I do think it manages to sell the character. Take a look:

Rogue Trader Iskander Gagarin (1)

“Ceruleam est Terra. Imperator Deus est.”
Motto of House Gagarin

Iskander Gagarin is a Rogue Trader of some renown operating in the Velsen Sector, and scion of the Gagarin merchant house — a house, according to Gagarin himself, that was one of the first in the galaxy to actually sail out into the great void-sea. An outrageous claim, certainly, but House Gagarin’s trade warrant is real enough, signed and stamped millennia ago on Holy Terra, and Iskander has built a small but considerable merchant empire based on his exploits into the treacherous region of space know as the Veil of Impurity.

In fact, it was after one particularly daring expedition into that cluster of stars that the rogue trader crossed paths with Inquisitor Erasmus Gotthardt. Back then, the Ordo Xenos Velsen was hot on Gagarin’s heels, pursuing him for smuggling Xenos contraband. And so Gotthardt offered his protection to the rogue trader, expecting his continued cooperation in return — and thus did Iskander Gagarin become a member of Inquisitor Gotthardt’s retinue

At first glance, Gagarin may seem like a braggart and ladies’ man, above all else, entirely too full of himself and utterly irresponsible. But while those traits may be very real facets of his personality, the outer veneer of a flamboyant merchant king hides a surprisingly resourceful individual, and it is for this reason that Iskander Gagarin has become one of Inquisitor Gotthardt’s most capable associates.

Rogue Trader Iskander Gagarin (2)

Rogue Trader Iskander Gagarin (3)

Rogue Trader Iskander Gagarin (4)

Along with the signet ring, I also added a hip flask to Gagarin’s belt as a last minute addition: Just because he’s in the middle of a black ops for the Ordo Hereticus doesn’t mean a real man of the world cannot take a quick sip of priceless Amasec now, does it? 😉

Rogue Trader Iskander Gagarin (5)
And here’s Iskander next to his personal pet, PeeDee the Monkey:

Rogue Trader Iskander Gagarin and PeeDee the Monkey

I feels good to finally have finished one of my oldest conversions 😉 And as an added benefit, completing Gagarin also brings Inquisitor Gotthardt’s retinue a fair bit closer towards completion as well. Here’s a quick shot of the retinue as it stands right now:

Inquisitor Gotthardt and Retinue early 2016
While I was at it, I made some small touchups to the other models, such as repainting some parts of the bases so they would fit together and finally adding some Inquisitorial symbols to Gotthardt himself. One thing that I like is how Gagarin’s paintjob also functions as a bit of visual storytelling: In the retinue’s background, Gagarin and Esteban Revas are rivals and works as foils to each other. Which is why their paintjobs share quite a few similarities, while Gagarin seems more flamboyant. Anyway, there’s really quite a bit of backstory in place for these characters, and they really do feel like fleshed-out characters to me rather than mere playing pieces, which I think is a good thing.

So yeah, just a fun little paintjob and a chance to finally tie up some loose ends. What’s not to like, right? 😉
But seriously: I’d love to hear your feedback, of course! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Inquisitor 28: Cpt. Esteban Revas of the 126th Haaruthian Dragoons

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Fluff, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 23, 2015 by krautscientist

Right, I promised you some actual new content, and today I intend to make good on that promise. And even if careful readers of this blog may already have glimpsed the model I am going to show you today in an earlier post, it’s still a character who deserves a closer look, both because he’s one of the first characters I have ever devised for INQ28 and because he has a rather expansive backstory by this point — I don’t know, maybe there’s just something about this guy that speaks to me? So who are we talking about, you ask. Well, the title says it all: Let’s get to know Esteban Revas, former Regimental Champion of the 126th Haaruthian Dragoons.

Like I said, Esteban is actually one of my first INQ28 conversions, built way back when (in 2012, to be precise), when I was still rather new to the War for the Emperor’s Soul — and my bitzbox was substantially less well-stocked: I used the bitz I had on hand for the conversion, resulting in a model that is mainly composed from Cadian parts and bitz from the WFB Empire army that I never got around to building:

Cpt. Esteban Revas WIP (2)
In spite of this, however, I think the model still holds up: I wanted Esteban to look like a proud, even arrogant, officer from a decidedly renaissance-styled guard regiment, and I think it shows: There’s an air of pride and honour about him, despite the somewhat foppish getup.

I only returned to the model once, adding a Blood Angels dagger to serve as a main gauche for Esteban:

Cpt. Esteban Revas WIP (4)
I had envisioned the character as a masterful fencer, so it only felt right that he should be able to switch between several styles, including one that uses a longer and shorter blade at the same time. Apart from that, though, the model remained unchanged.

And then it languished in my cupboard of shame for ages. Until earlier this year, when I decided to finally paint the poor fellow, as a part of my new year’s resolution to make some progress on my piles of unpainted INQ28 conversions.

The actual paintjob was heavily inspired by Chris Peach’s wonderful guard regiment (seeing how the overall look is very similar to Esteban’s), and I only slightly tweaked the recipe here and there. And so, finally, Esteban Revas was completed:

Esteban Revas (5)
Esteban Revas (6)
Esteban Revas (7)
Esteban Revas (8)
Esteban Revas (9)
Esteban Revas (10)

I tried to achieve a paintjob that complements the character’s somewhat baroque equipment — hence the glossy black armour and gold trim. As you can see, I made one last minute change to the model and replaced the purity seal on Esteban’s shoulder. The original one just ended up looking too clunky and drawing away attention from the face, as was helpfully pointed out by DexterKong.

Like I said, one interesting thing about this character is that Esteban has a rather expansive backstory: For some reason that I cannot quite explain, I ended up writing up a rather expansive origin story for him that I would like to share with you (as it happens, I can
actually see myself expanding upon this at some point, reworking it into an actual short story. We will see.):

 

Esteban Revas painting (2)
Cpt. Esteban Revas, former Regimental Champion of the 126th Haaruthian Dragoons

Esteban Revas was born the second son to Haaruthian noble and famous war hero Bestrald Salazar Revas (first through the breach at Aisenfeld!). With his brother Ramon inheriting the vast family holdings, it was obvious that Esteban’s career lay with the military. He quickly had to learn, however, that this life pursuit would always be overshadowed by the exploits of a father he had scarcely known and whose only legacy to him, apart from a pair of enormous footsteps to fill, was the service of one Trooper Salvador “Sal” Koltz, a crafty and unexpectedly cunning individual, having sworn his life to serving the Revas family after being saved on the battlefield by Bestrald Revas.

Esteban served diligently in the Haaruthian military, making Captain rank in the 126th Haaruthian Dragoons before his 30th birthday and earning his fair share of recommendations and orders of merit. However, he could never quite shake off the feeling that he wasn’t living up to the Revas family name.

As is the norm with Haaruthian aristocrats, Esteban lived by a code of honour and chivalry that, though romantic, was often thoroughly at odds with the grim realities of the battlefield. So while the upper echelons of the Haaruthian Dragoons would pride themselves on being chivalrous and gentlemanly, the rank and file would quickly find out that honour and sportsmanship held very little value in trenches and on battlefields across the sector. To Esteban’s merit, and maybe through regular contact with his rather down to earth retainer Koltz, he saw the problems of the clashing philosophies of warfare, and while imbued with a certain arrogance and pompousness, wouldn’t tolerate unfairness and wanton wasting of lives by fellow officers. However, this led his superiors to suspect that “Bestrald’s boy” might be too soft for the soldier’s life, and Esteban found himself relegated to more and more pedestrian assignments, which enforced his feeling of failing the family name.

His one escape from this feeling was to seek out an area of expertise that would not fall under the long shadow cast by his late father, so he took up Haaruthian fencing, dedicating himself to becoming a swordsman without compare. His performance in the various contests held both on his homeworld and between different guard regiments earned him the praise of his superiors and the rank of “Regimental Champion”.

It was in this capacity that Revas was called back to Haaruthia along with his regiment when the world was hosting the Festival of the Sword Saint: The aim of this event, held every ten years in honour of the Imperial martyr Sabasto, was to select the best swordsman of the entire sector.

Esteban trained for the festival like he had never trained for anything in his life, seeing this as his one chance at eclipsing his father’s glory and thus finally proving worthy of the family name. And his efforts were even magnified when it became known that Lord Sebastianus Danver Balzepho Vlachen, the sector governor’s own grand-nephew would be attending the festival: The man’s enthusiasm for swordplay was well known, and Esteban hoped that he would maybe even be able to suitably impress him to be offered a position in his personal retinue. That would give him a chance to finally gain advancement and prove his worth.

Esteban was overjoyed when he was among those selected to serve as liaison officers for Lord Vlachen’s retinue, hoping to earn his ear and sympathies even before the actual festival began. Those hopes were rebuked, though, when Esteban’s superior told him that he was not to serve the lord himself, but rather Inquisitor Erasmus Gotthardt, travelling with the retinue. Esteban had heard whispers of the man, of course: Gotthardt had been suspected of being an accomplice in the attack on a fellow Inquisitor, but the Inquisitorial Conclave at Pervatia Secundus had exonerated him. Still, even beyond the Ordos, a shadow of doubt remained. Esteban felt like he had been passed over yet again.

His first meeting with Inquisitor Gotthardt did little to put his mind at rest: Gotthardt seemed like a frail and broken man, still weak from his questioning at the hands of his fellow Inquisitors. Still, Esteban was determined to perform admirably in his service as a guide and liaison to the Inquisitor, even though he was barely able to mask his disappointment.

Over the next days, though, Esteban had little time to lament his misfortune, for as a Regimental Champion, he was himself a participant in the festival, trying to excel for the honour of his regiment. The rest of his time was filled with answering all kinds of questions from Inquisitor Gotthardt, whose frail appearance couldn’t conceal a razor sharp mind.

Esteban’s performance in the contest was flawless: Where his superiors might have been able to stall his advance in the regiment, they were powerless against his brilliance with a pair of fencing irons: Though the festival had attracted noted swordsmen from all over the sector, one enemy after another was defeated by Esteban’s superior swordsmanship. And even Lord Vlachen had begun to notice the young captain winning such honour for both his regiment and his homeworld.

The presence of such a high dignitary was not a coincidence, of course: Haaruthia’s noble houses had long been trying to elevate their world within the sector, and they hoped to be able to interest Lord Vlachen in Haaruthia’s young ruler, archduchess Cyrine di Cristofalo Civatte. If they were able to arrange a marriage, Haaruthia’s ruling family would finally have ties to the Imperial house governing the sector, elevating the world’s importance above that of its rivals. So the Haaruthian aristocrats made sure that Lord Vlachen and the archduchess met each other at as many social functions as possible, and the fact that a Haaruthian had managed to become such a likely candidate to win the contest was an additional boon to the plan.

The final day of the competition came, and the fight between Esteban and his last remaining rival, a master swordsman from the Alcain system, drew a massive crowd. Many nobles from all around the sector were in attendance, as were the archduchess and Lord Vlachen. It was in front of this crowd that Esteban managed to best his opponent, winning the contest and becoming, for all intents and purposes, the best fencer in the whole sector.

Esteban was beyond himself with joy. He had managed to become the pride of both his homeworld and regiment, and he nearly burst with pride as Lord Vlachen himself toasted his victory during the lavish celebrations. In fact, the sector governor’s relative suggested a friendly sparring between Esteban and himself, wanting to “sample the best Haaruthia had to offer”. It seemed like Esteban was at long last given the recognition he had craved for such a long time. Only Inquisitor Gotthardt seemed taciturn and sullen, which Esteban saw as petty jealousy on the old man’s part.

In any case, Esteban was determined to perform at his absolute best during the sparring match with Lord Vlachen: The latter seemed like a man of honour, and Esteban was reasonably certain Lord Vlachen was testing him, trying to ascertain whether Esteban was worthy of his time.

Shortly before the fight, Esteban’s superior requested his presence. Esteban suspected that it was merely to wish him luck, but he was wrong. The superior made it perfectly clear that Esteban was to lose the match. Haaruthia’s future was at stake here, and the petty ambitions of one man could not be allowed to stand in the way of Haaruthia’s manifest destiny. In order for a possible match between Lord Vlachen and the archduchess to remain an option, the lord was not to be slighted by losing a sparring match against a mere soldier.

Esteban’s insides turned to ice. But he was a soldier, so he obeyed.

The fight came, and Esteban quickly found out that losing convincingly could be just as difficult a task as winning: Lord Vlachen may have been a powerful noble, but he was an average fencer at best. But Esteban did as he was told, losing the match to the nobles’ polite applause.

Then, with the battle already decided, Lord Vlachen contemptuously gave Esteban a deep cut on his cheek, using the sharp point of his dueling irons. Turning away from his bleeding opponent and facing the crowd, Lord Vlachen announced that he was disappointed that even Haaruthia’s best fencer was not able to best him, claiming the title of the best swordsman in the whole sector should, by all rights, be his. The Haaruthian nobles were only too happy to oblige.

For the rest of the night, Esteban was left to nurse his wound as well as his wounded pride, while the nobility was quick to congratulate Lord Vlachen on his victory and his newly acquired trophy. Then, as the small hours of the morning drew near, Vlachen and the archduchess rose. In a bid to woo the powerful noble, Haaruthia’s young ruler had invited him to a tour of the palace gardens by night. Vlachen accepted, and requested none other than Esteban to guard the both of them, along with Vlachen’s personal bodyguard. This was to be Esteban’s “consolation prize”. Again, he obeyed.

After strolling through the gardens for a while, Vlachen and the archduchess retired to one of the luxurious parlors to have a conversation in private, ordering Vlachen’s bodyguard and Esteban to stand guard outside. Esteban was feeling ridiculed and uneasy in equal measures, but what was he to do?

After a while, a female scream came from within the parlor, making Esteban draw his weapons and run inside to protect the archduchess. Only for a split second did he wonder why Vlachen’s own bodyguard seemed largely unfazed, even amused, by the situation.

Inside the parlor, Esteban witnessed Lord Vlachen forcing himself upon the young archduchess. Lady Cyrine was trying her best to fight him off, but this only seemed to make him even more aroused. Esteban knew about the nobility’s plan to offer up the archduchess to Vlachen in a bid for more power and influence, yet when he now looked at Cyrine, he saw nothing but a frightened child. So he demanded that Vlachen step away from the archduchess and be arrested for his crimes against House Civatte. But the powerful noble only laughed, leering at Esteban that, after all, he had promised to sample the best Haaruthia had to offer.

When Esteban remained steadfast, Vlachen ordered his bodyguard to take care of the matter, and the man drew his own weapon, engaging Esteban in a fencing duel to the death. Vlachen’s bodyguard was a masterful fencer in his own right, but in the end, he was no match for the regimental champion of the 126th Haaruthian Dragoons: Esteban killed the man and tried again to apprehend Vlachen. The noble was furious by now, proclaiming that he would succeed where his subordinate had failed. After all, he had already beaten Esteban once. Drawing his sword, Vlachen flew at him in a blind rage.

But Vlachen wouldn’t have been able to best Esteban during the contest, had the fight been on equal footing, and he learned so now to his detriment: Only a few flurries of attacks and ripostes, then Esteban sliced Vlachen’s face open with a well-placed attack. Howling with pain, the lord collapsed, surrendering his weapon, while Esteban tried to console the shaken archduchess.

But then, the palace guards arrived, alerted by the commotion. Vlachen ordered them to arrest Esteban, who he said was a dangerous traitor that had killed his trusted servant and friend, and had also attempted to assassinate the archduchess. Only by Vlachen’s intervention had the worst been averted, but his bravery had seen him grievously wounded by the traitor’s hand. Esteban was immediately seized and taken into custody.

After a night of questioning and thorough beatings, Esteban’s superior arrived to present him with a rundown of the situation. The case seemed simple enough: His ambition and pride spurned by losing to Vlachen, Esteban had tried to get his revenge on the noble. He had also tried to hurt or even kill the archduchess, seeing her as the reason his personal ambitions had been shattered. He was sure to be found guilty, and death by firing squad was the obvious outcome.

Esteban professed his innocence, pointing out the archduchess would be able to vouch for the purity of his motives. His superior coldly claimed that the archduchess would do no such thing: Once again, Haaruthia’s fate was at stake. One man’s life was a small price to pay. With that, he left Esteban. Then the interrogations resumed.

After a day and a night, the questioners suddenly let up, and the door to his cell opened, admitting none other than Inquisitor Gotthardt. The Inquisitor claimed that, as a member of the Ordo Hereticus, he was claiming jurisdiction over Esteban’s case on the grounds that there might be a heretical background. Though Esteban’s superior protested, Gotthardt told him in no uncertain terms that his authority in this was absolute and had best not be questioned.

When they were alone, Gotthardt asked Esteban to present his own side of the story. Esteban told him about the events that had transpired, and Gotthardt seemed thoughtful. Then he left.

The next day, Esteban was visited by his brother Ramon. Once again, he professed his innocence, but his brother only told him that he had brought an irrevocable stain to their family’s proud name. He also informed him that, as far as he was concerned, he no longer had a brother. Then he too left.

Esteban was shattered. His whole life had been spent striving to do the honourable thing and thereby doing justice to his family name. But now, he had damned both himself and his family by doing what was right. And nobody was prepared to acknowledge the truth. Esteban was just about ready to face the execution detail, and that is what he told Inquisitor Gotthardt when the old man returned to his cell.

Gotthardt had other plans. He told Esteban that Lord Vlachen had already left the planet, furious and never to return. Haaruthia’s nobles were in an uproar, most of them crying for blood. Esteban’s blood. However, Gotthardt had also talked in private with the archduchess, and Lady Cyrine had corroborated Esteban’s version of events, if only unofficially. In any case, there would be no way to rehabilitate Esteban, for Haaruthia’s ruling class had simply chosen not to acknowledge the truth. He would lose his rank, his title and his name would be struck from the regimental records. And he would die by firing squad. Or he could join Inquisitor Gotthardt, to become a member of his retinue.

Esteban laughed at the idea: Everything he had ever cared for was lost to him now. Why take the coward’s way out just to save his life? If that was his only option to survive, he would rather die. This was his choice, if he had any say in the matter.

Gotthardt agreed that the choice was ultimately his. However, Esteban had learned that there was a distinction between doing what was accepted and doing what was right. He had taken a decision, and that decision now made him eligible for service in Gotthardt’s retinue. The old man told Esteban that he was not offering him a stay of his death warrant. He was offering him a chance to do the Emperor’s work. He also informed him that one Trooper Koltz had tried, repeatedly and in danger of being executed himself, to intervene on Esteban’s behalf. Then he left Esteban once more, to give him time to think.

Shortly afterwards, Inquisitor Erasmus Gotthardt of the Ordo Hereticus and his retainers left Haaruthia for destinations unknown.

To date, there is no mention of a soldier called Esteban Revas in the regimental records of the 126th Haaruthian Dragoons. Lord Ramon Gaius Belsazar of House Revas has repeatedly distanced himself from the actions of his late brother who was, by all accounts, a notorious felon at best and maybe even a dangerous heretic.

The last remaining trace Esteban has left on his homeworld Haaruthia is the boarding list in the memory engrams of a servitor doing service in the hangars of the Asuncion spaceport, noting that Inquisitor Gotthardt’s retinue numbered exactly two persons more when he left Haaruthia than when he had arrived.

 

Every story needs a good villain, and you may already have noticed Lord Sebastianus Danver Balzepho Vlachen in the story snippet above. Not only is this powerful noble Esteban’s personal nemesis, but he is also growing into one of the Velsen sector’s chief political players, trying to ultimately succeed his ailing great-uncle as sector lord. Of course I needed a model to represent this man as well, and as it happens, Lord Sebastianus basically build himself:

Sebastianus Danver Balzepho Vlachen WIP (5)
Sebastianus Danver Balzepho Vlachen WIP (6)

The conversion was born out of the need to do something cool with that huge Tempestus Scion overcoat. And by lucky chances I discovered that the coat looked very cool in combination with a pair of Dreamforge Games’ Eisenkern Stormtrooper legs, producing exactly the kind of stature and pose I needed for one of the most powerful nobles in the Velsen sector. Beyond that, only some small additional touches were needed: The heavily scarred face still shows the wound Lord Vlachen incurred in his fight against Esteban, and the laurel wreath seemed like a perfect symbol of the man’s grasp for power over the whole sector.

So much for Esteban’s enemies, but what of his friend? I already mentioned that Esteban has become a member of Inquisitor Gotthardt’s retinue — in fact, the old man secretly considers Esteban Interrogator material, in spite of the former’s youth and arrogance. Anyway, I have been slowly working away on Gotthardt’s retinue. Here are the members I have finished so far:

Inquisitor Gotthardt's retinue (1)
The retinue has quite a few additional members, however, among them such characters as Rogue Trader Iskander Gagarin, noble-turned-psyker Elisha Gorgo or Esteban’s own retainer, Trooper “Sal” Koltz. It will probably take me a while to work through all of these characters, but this year has already seen me paint two of them, so all may not be lost 😉

And finally, one last thing I want to share with you today: My good buddy (and fellow inventor of the Velsen Sector) DexterKong has provided me with an awesome present: A “remembrancer sketch” of Esteban Revas, so to speak:

illustration by DexterKong

illustration by DexterKong

 

I think Dexter has done an excellent job, capturing both Esteban’s nobility and arrogance, with a hint of sadness thrown in the mix for good measure. Thank you, buddy! I really appreciate it!

So yeah, one down, another fourty unpainted characters to go 😉 Anyway, I hope you enjoyed today’s meeting with Esteban Revas! As always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Inquisitor 28: Taking stock

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob, Pointless ramblings, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 17, 2015 by krautscientist

After the recent post showcasing the current status of my World Eaters army, I thought it might be fun to prepare a similar post about my INQ28 collection — after all, the World Eaters and my Inquisitor-themed models have certainly been my two biggest projects, ever since I got back into the hobby: To me, the world of the Battle for the Emperor’s Soul continues to be one of the most fascinating parts of the hobby, and one that I always return to when looking for an outlet for my creativity.

Which makes it all the more regrettable that 2014 wasn’t a very productive year in that respect — at least not when it comes to finished models: I only managed to complete four pieces for INQ28:

INQ28 class of 2014
And while I like each of the models well enough in their way, one of my hobby resolutions for 2015 was to get more paint on my huge collection of INQ28 kitbashes. And while I am just as much of a lazy bum this year as I was in 2014, I have been reasonably successful with that:

Let’s start with the latest INQ28 model I have managed to finish, and one I am pretty proud of, mostly because it has been in my collection for such a long time: Quite a while ago, my cousin Andy let me have the pilot model from the “Battle for Maccrage” 4th edition boxed set, easily one of my favourite one-off special models produced by GW. I used the model to convert a Enforcer type of character:

Arbites Judge WIP (2)
This may not seem like the most obvious use for this particular model, but my inspiration came from one of the illustrations John Blanche made back when Inquisitor was first released. Take a look at his Enforcer design:

JB_Enforcer
I think we can all agree that the resemblance is rather uncanny — which is why I decided to turn the pilot into an Enforcer: A tough Hive Cop who has walked the beat on the wrong side of the monorail tracks a thousand times and knows the shadier parts of the Hive City like the back of his hand. As you can see, giving him one of the characteristic power mauls was really easy, and I also added some gloves on his belt, because I really liked the idea of him wearing some kind of riot cop gear for tough arrests.

But then it took me ages to actually settle on a colour scheme for the model. Maybe it was the fact that I knew I would probably not get my hands on another of those pilots, so I had to get it right the first time around? Anyway, it took my until fairly recently to come up with an approach that I think might work. But I did it, I finally sat down and painted the guy. And here’s the finished model:

Remus Ingram (1)
Remus Ingram (2)
Remus Ingram (3)
Remus Ingram (4)
Remus Ingram (5)
I went for a look resembling a steampunk 19th century Nightwatchman, since that seemed to fit both the character and the eclecticism of 40k. I also made one last addition to the model, as I felt a Skitarii Vanguard helmet would nicely complement the rest of his gear, so I added one to his belt. All in all, I am really happy with the model: The look I wanted is clearly there, and there is a weight of years and experience to him that I really like. I’ve already started to think of him as a character, which is always a good sign: This is Remus Ingram, veteran of the Riftyr Hiveguard on Saarthen IV, capital world of the Metyan Subsector of Velsen. After long years spent in the perpetually gloomy and rainy underhive settlement known as “Ashertown”, Ingram was recruited by Inquisitor Erasmus Gotthardt after a joint operation in the depths of the Hive.

Speaking of which, completing this model also means that Inquisitor Gotthardt’s warband now has one more fully painted member…well, two more fully painted members, to be exact:

Inquisitor Gotthardt's retinue (1)
The warband is far from finished, of course, with four characters still unpainted, but it’s getting there. To the left, you can make out another of my very first INQ28 characters: Captain Esteban Revas, former regimental champion of the 126th Haaruthian Dragoons. He’ll be getting a post of his own at some point in the near future, complete with a look at his backstory, which – interestingly enough – is probably the most expansive fluff I have come up with yet…

All in all, I am really happy to say that, when it comes to INQ28, I have already been more productive in the first half of 2015 than I was in the entirety of 2014. Case in point, here are the latest additions to my collection of INQ28 models:

INQ28 class of 2015 (2)
The obvious star of the show here is Praetor Janus Auriga, my true scale Marine. I am still extremely happy with this model! There’s also Sister Euphrati Eisen, of the Order of the Martyred Sword. And let’s not forget Inquisitor Brynn Yulner (the model that re-invigorated my passion for painting INQ28 characters), the wonderful, custom Arch-Deaconne Drone 21c donated to my cause and the brilliant Astropath conversion Ron Saikowski sent me (including that last model is a bit of cheating on my part, seeing how it already came beautifully painted). To learn more about these last three characters, head over here.

And what about the big picture? Well, here’s the collection of painted models I have managed to complete since circa 2011:

INQ28_alltogethernow (2)
Not a massive pile of miniatures, certainly: Merely some thirty models. But still, I am really happy with these, because each of them is a handcrafted character exploring a particular part of the 40k lore. And they make for a rather interesting menagerie, don’t you think?

The bad news, obviously, is that there are just as many, if not more, unpainted INQ28 models in my cupboard of shame:

INQ28_alltogethernow (1)
But I think all that I can do is to slowly keep working away at these, completing one model at a time — after all, INQ28 isn’t about huge model counts for me, but rather about tweaking each and every conversion and paintjob until I am happy with them. These are characters, first and foremost, and not merely playing pieces.

At the same time, the fact that kitbashing new INQ28 models can be so much fun certainly doesn’t make the task any easier. Just let me show you some of my recent kitbashes, starting with some quick and dirty projects like this Hive Ganger/Punkette,…

40kPunkette WIP (3)
…a Mutant Witch Doctor from the underhive…

Twist Witch Doctor (2)
Twist Witch Doctor (1)
…or this Cyber-Famililar that just came together in about half an hour one day:

Cyber Familiar WIP (3)
Cyber Familiar WIP (1)
I actually really love familiars, cherubs and servo-skulls, because they are such an integral part of the 40k lore and imagery. Which is why I am slowly assembling a small collection of these critters, I suppose…

Cyber Familiar WIP (4)
On the other side of the spectrum, we have conversions that are quite a bit more involved and take more time to come together. Like my recent attempt at kitbashing an Adeptus Arbites Enforcer, based on Tempestus Scions parts:

Arbites Judge early WIP (1)
There were several parts of the model I really liked: the (Skitarii) power maul, the spliced-together head, complete with a classic lantern jaw of justice and the riot shield. Yet the model just didn’t seem to come together, becoming less than the sum of its parts. It took several attempts and some feedback by the awesome people over at the Ammobunker’s INQ28 board until I ended up with a model I was much happier with: A blend of 2nd edition Arbites and Judge Dredd elements that I think really works for me:

Arbites Judge WIP (7)
Arbites Judge WIP (6)
Arbites Judge WIP (8)
Big and small projects like these are really one of my absolute favourite parts of our hobby, because they give me the chance to figure out new and interesting ways to use all the plastic crack GW gives us — at the same time, these projects also lead to a neverending stream of unpainted models, but that cannot be helped, I guess 😉 And we haven’t even talked about the AdMech kits — although we’ll be getting to that in a future post. After all, I am already hard at work, producing yet more models I will have to paint eventually 😉

For now, while my productivity may wax and wane, I am still pretty pleased with my INQ28 collection, both when it comes to the painted and unpainted parts. Coming back to these models is always a blast, even if it takes years. And working on a single character until everything just falls into place always feels like a breath of fresh air!

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

INQ28_alltogethernow (3)