Archive for inquismunda

Greetings from the pit…

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Fluff, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 10, 2016 by krautscientist

So, yet another round of fresh INQ28 models this week — I just cannot help myself, and I know far better than to second guess any motivation I might have for painting stuff. Next week, we’ll finally be taking a closer look at the models from Deathwatch:Overkill, in case you were wondering, but such review posts take a lot of time and work to complete, and at least for the time being, I would rather use this energy to actually create something new and not to merely write about models 😉

So anyway, one thing that I have wanted to do ever since I saw Bruticus’ brilliant pit slave gang last year was to build a pit slave or two of my own. A recent conversion by Legatho taught me that the combination of an Age of Sigmar Bloodreaver and a Skitarii Vanguard head would be a terrific mix to start the project, so I grabbed a Bloodreaver body, carefully shaved off all the chaotic and Khornate runes (HERESY!) and tried my best. But the model just refused to come together for some reason, and so the parts landed on my desktop, glowering at me accusingly every now and then — at least that’s what it felt like.

The project wasn’t kickstarted back into life until I started messing around with some of the – brilliantly crude – bionic limbs from the Ork Nobz kit, but when I discovered a brutal looking bionic harpoon arm among those bitz, I knew I had found the missing piece for that pit slave gladiator. And just a short while later, I had a finished conversion. Take a look:

Pitslave WIP (5)
Pitslave WIP (2)
Pitslave WIP (4)
Pitslave WIP (3)
The crude bionic arm really sells the model, if you ask me. And the Skitarii Vanguard helmet adds a sinister, quasi-robotic look that seems really fitting for a heavily augmented killing machine. For the pit slave’s right hand, I chose a standard CSM chainsword that was made quite a bit more spiky and hideous by making a few small tweaks. I also added some of the Ork armour plate and some tech-y bitz that I had shaved off from some Skitarii backpacks. Those latter parts were used to disguise the areas where I had had to shave off chaotic detailing from the original Bloodreaver model.

When it came to painting the model, I went for a main colour that I don’t use all that often: a very strong industrial yellow for the various armour plates and bionics. My reasons for choosing the approach was that I wanted the armour and augmetics to slightly recall heavy duty construction machines. Plus I thought that the gladiators in the fighting pits would go for bold colours to serve as some kind of “stage outfit”, so to speak. I did add several layers of scratches and sponge weathering, though, to make the yellow parts look suitably grimy and damaged.

So here’s the finished pit slave model. I give you Grimspyke “the Impaler”, former champion in the fighting pits of St. Sabasto’s Reach:

Pitslave Gladiator Grimspyke (1)
Pitslave Gladiator Grimspyke (2)
Pitslave Gladiator Grimspyke (4)
Pitslave Gladiator Grimspyke (3)
All in all, I am really rather happy with the finished model: Grimspyke looks suitably gladiatorial, but there’s also an Imperial underhive angle about him that removes him from his roots as a Khornate model.  In fact, I was so happy with the model that I almost instantly started converting another gladiator. Go figure…

This time, the inspiration I chose was one of my favourite classic Inquisitor models: Arco-flagellant Gryx from Phil Kelly’s seminal warband for Inquisitor Lichtenstein:

warband built and painted by Phil Kelly

warband built and painted by Phil Kelly

Back when Phil wrote about this warband in White Dwarf, he said that Gryx had been inspired by Judge Dredd’s Mean Machine — and even though I actually experimented with several different versions of my own conversion, I wasn’t happy until I had decided to recreate the one-armed look. Here’s the conversion I came up with:

2nd Pitslave WIP (1)
2nd Pitslave WIP (2)
2nd Pitslave WIP (3)
As you can see, a Bloodreaver from the AoS starter box forms the base of the conversion once again. I chose a massive Ork power claw for the right arm and cut off most of the left arm so it ended up looking like an augmetic stump where a bionic arm may once have existed. I wanted this model to explore the slightly grotesque – and ultimately rather sad – angle about pit slaves: that they are crudely augmented to serve as tools or fighting machines, divorced from their humanity and turned into misshapen creatures. This is also the reason I chose a more human head (originally from the Space Marine Scout Bikers, I believe). All in all, the model looks lumbering and lopsided, with an overmuscled look to its right side — exactly the effect I had intended.

I chose the same recipe for painting this guy that I had already used on my first pit slaves — these guys might actually end up in a warband together at some point…

So here’s the second pit slave: “Crusher” Vex, also known as “Old Man Claw”:

Pitslave Crusher Vex (2)
Pitslave Crusher Vex (4)
Pitslave Crusher Vex (3)
Something that doesn’t show well in most of the pictures is that I have added some greying fuzz to Crusher’s head:

Pitslave Crusher Vex (5)
I wanted to show that he’s a rather old guy, and definitely well past his prime as a pitfighter.

And here are the two gladiators together:

Pitslaves (1)
“The championship match between Grimspyke and Crusher Vex? One for the ages, that was! I’ll never forget when Grimspyke took Crusher’s arm clean off during the fifth bout!”

“Shug” Holn, Sector 2 Habber

 

For now, these are mostly a fun little diversion. But I do like the idea of spinning these off into their won little warband at some point. I don’t even see these as members of a simple pit slave gang, either, but rather as a crew of former pit slaves, mutants, workers and other malcontents. In fact, they would work great asa warband hailing from the world of St. Sabasto’s Reach that DexterKong and I invented for the Velsen Sector. Here’s the outline for the planet that I wrote a while ago:

St. Sabasto’s Reach

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

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

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

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

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

 

I think a group of former slaves would be an interesting concept, plus it would allow for all kinds of different character types, including pitslaves, mutants, workers and some more exotic members. I don’t consider this a high priority project at the moment, but it’s still a fun diversion. In fact, this mutant overlord that I built recently, using the Bloodstoker from the AoS starter box would also make for a great member of that particular warband:

Mutant Overlord WIP (4)
Mutant Overlord WIP (2)
Mutant Overlord WIP (3)
As it happens, the Ork Nobz kit provided the final missing piece for this model as well: a crude trophy pole that looks great on the mutant’s back:

Mutant Overlord WIP (4)
I am normally *very* reluctant about adding back banners or trophy poles to models, because they end up looking very silly more often than not, messing up the model’s silhouette. But I thought this guy needed that precise pole ever since I started building him, and I like it a lot. It also has the added benefit of adding another layer to the model, so to speak, as the base model is surprisingly two-dimensional.

Anyway, I think this could become a rather interesting project somewhere down the line! Keep your eyes peeled! 😉

For now, I am happy enough with my first two pit slaves, though:

Pitslaves (2)
Let me know what you think! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

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