Archive for interrogator

INQ28: The Office – grimdark edition

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 16, 2018 by krautscientist

So there I was, carefully warning you all that I might have to dial back my output a bit, and yet I have two new models to share with you today — strange, isn’t it? 😉

The truth is that finishing my Ordo Scriptorum Inquisitor really led to yet another surge of inspiration, as I kept trawling the internet for more Wayne England illustrations from around the same time period. Unfortunately, his work seems to be much less well documented than, say, John Blanche’s, and many images were only available via that abominable hellpit called Pinterest.

But then several readers helpfully pointed me towards the original Dark Heresy rulebook as a possible source of Wayne England art from what I am beginning to think of as the “teal period”, which provided me with more reference material. I kept going back to his image in particular:


It seems to portray an underhive ganger of some sort, and I really liked the style of the character. So much so, in fact, that I spontaneously started to create yet another conversion based on a Wayne England illustration:


When all is said and done, it’s a pretty straightforward kitbash, mainly using parts from the Dark Vengeance chaos cultists: In fact, the entire conversion really took off to begin with once I realised the creepy cultist head with its mouth stapled shut resembled the head of the ganger in the artwork.

Beyond that, it was mostly about trying to get the subtle things right: the way the cultist is holding the gun in two hands was the key part, and I was lucky enough to still have an ancient Gorkamorka shoota that almost perfectly matched the design of the stub gun in the artwork. I also wanted to include the weirdly-glamrock fur collar, so I used the upper half of a Chaos Marauder cape as a starting point and sculpted some rough GS fur around it to suitably blend it in.

I also decide to depart from the artwork in one specific way: Much as I love the piece, the angle of the head makes it clear that the ganger is aiming (and firing) downwards, which is something I did not neccessarily want to reproduce on my model, mostly because it would look kind of silly when the model’s standing on the floor and not in an elevated position. So I tweaked the angle of the head a bit to make it look more as though the ganger were standing wit the gun at rest. I actually think the angle I have chosen makes the guy seem slightly more sinister, but that’s a matter of personal preference, of course.

Anyway, here’s what the finished conversion looked like:



Since my recent work on Redactor Orlant was what had originally inspired this model, I decided that I wanted to turn the ganger into a member of the Inquisitor’s retinue, so I needed to find an angle for him to work within the framework of the Ordo Scriptorum — which is when I remembered the archetype of the “Bureaucultist”:

Bureacultists are former members of the Administratum whose archive or bibliocathedra has been sealed off or forgotten. They keep doing their job of accumulating and organising data, yet without the rest of the Imperium taking any notice, they grow more and more isolated and feral as years, decades or even centuries pass.

Now just to give credit where credit is due, the Bureaucultist idea wasn’t really mine, originally, but rather came from the excellent fan-made Dark Magenta article on Holy Terra as an adventurescape.

To quote Robey Jenkins, from issue #1 of Dark Magenta:

The bureaucultist is a strange evolution of humanity. Having entered the condition of civilization and passed
through it into a new barbarism, the bureaucult is devoted only to policies, procedures and the unthinking guardianship
of information. (…)

Bureaucultists crop up in the massive, sprawling administrations of the Imperium all across the galaxy. Although
their approach to information is fundamentally primitive, their attention to detail is legendary and they will fight
obsessively to protect what is theirs, so many an Inquisitor makes use of such creatures within his staff to help
manage an extensive library or private archive.

When PDH originally came up with the concept for his Ordo Scriptorum warband, he adapted the concept and made “Indentured Bureaucultists” into a part of the Ordo. Wrote PDH:

Bureaucultist slave labour of the Ordo Scriptorum. These workers are indentured by the threat of redaction and the deletion of generations worth of bilbliocatherdra, data vaults and knowledge. While these repositories are often worthless to the Imperium, the threat binds the cultists to the Ordo Scriptorum, making for the most loyal of slaves.

There’s something incredibly grimdark about the thought of clerks and librarians going feral after their archives and bibliocathedra have been sealed off or forgotten, isn’t there? Just think about the former librarians and scribes devolving into a tribal society, forming gangs and fighting for their respective “section” of the archive, maybe for resources like electricity, memory units, clean paper or dry shelf space, with their former calling slowly turning into half-forgotten memories and office rules permutating into quasi-religion. Plus such a bureaucultist could be a useful follower for an Ordo Scriptorum Inquisitor, serving as a guide for forgotten and abandoned archives, remembering the ancient file sytems and cogitator protocols…

So while the ganger in Wayne England’s illustration above probably wasn’t planned with the bureaucultist angle in mind, I still thought it might be a cool idea to use the converted character as a bureaucultist. There are even some touches that might point to the idea of a librarian gone feral (such as the servo-skull banner pole — a trophy or a legitimate way of storing data, even after all this time…?).

Here’s a picture with Redactor Orlant for comparison. It also shows you the bureaucultist conversion in all its different colours, warts and all:


The model was painted to match Orlant’s colour palette. However, I went for a slightly grubbier, dirtier version of the colour scheme this time around, making the bureaucultist look like a bit of a slightly twisted mirror version of the Inquisitor:





Here’s another side by side with both models:


And of course I couldn’t help myself and had to mock up a comparison with the model, the artwork that inspired it, and some tweaked colour settings:


So that’s yet another model based on the work of Wayne England — and it probably won’t surprise you at this point to learn that I could easily see myself taking even more inspiration from his body of work. For instance, PDH pointed out to me that Orlant’s retinue could really use an astropath, and I realised that the illustrations for the Pyromancy and Telekinetics psyker disciplines, respectively, would provide the perfect template for an Ordo Scriptorum Astropath:

 

Speaking of PDH, though, Peter is actually responsible for yet another addition to Redactor Orlant’s warband: Seeing how I’ve been taking so much inspiration from his own Ordo Scriptorum warband, and given the fact that we agreed ages ago that Peter’s Inquisitor, Klien Inson, had been Redactor Orlant’s interrogator at one point, I really couldn’t resist trying to build a younger version of Inson. Thanks to direct feedback from PDH, I think I’ve come up with a pretty cool younger version of his original model. Take a look:


On the left is Peter’s original model for Inquisitor Inson, on the right is my take on Inson as an interrogator. Here’s a closer look at the conversion:





I wanted to create a really strong resemblance while also clearly communicating the fact that my version actually shows Inson as a (slightly) younger man. At the same time, I also tried to add some cues that pointed back at Orlant (such as the collar, that is actually virtually identical to the one used on Orlant, while also looking like a less exalted version of older Inson’s “jaws collar”, or the Inquisitorial symbol added to the model’s breastplate).

What’s really funny is that my very first version of Inson actually did even more with this particular concept: On the one hand, it featured a less ornate version of the bolt pistol older Inson has, as yet another shout out to Peter’s model. On the other hand, I thought that adding an organic left leg would be a great way of showing how quite a bit of time had passed between both versions of the model:


But then PDH informed me that his background character featured pretty specific information about where and when Inson had lost his leg, and was already rocking an augmetic replacement by the time he became an Interrogator in the Ordo Scriptorum. By the same token, his bolt pistol was confiscated by the Arbites when he first set foot on Terra, and was only given back to him after he obtained his full Inquisitorial rosette.

I wanted to honour Peter’s background for his character, so I grit my teeth and replaced the leg and pistol. Peter suggested using a Skitarii leg — as for why it’s sleeker and more sophisticated than the version on older Inson, I’ll leave PDH to work that one out 😉 My take is that it maybe needed to be replaced by a more comprehensive prosthesis after further injury or that the original augmetic ultimately didn’t take. According to Peter’s background for the character, Inson also seems to have a bit of a thing for self-flagellation, so maybe that might have something to do with it as well…

Ultimately, I am very thankful to Peter for the feedback, however, even if it meant more work: The finished conversion has a more polished look due to his feedback, and I really wanted to paint it right away. So here’s a look at the – mostly – finished younger Klien Inson:




While the aim was not to perfectly match PDH’s paintjob for the older version of Inson, I did take care to take some cues from his model (such as the general dark look and the metallic scales on the cape) and go for a similar overall look and feel. Here’s a side by side comparison with both PDH’s and my treatment of the character:


While my version of Inson is a bit younger, Peter’s background for Inson characterises him as a pretty conflicted individual even at this earlier point in his career, plus there’s also the physical trauma he incurred during his work as an Ordo Xenos Inquisitor, so I went for a somewhat drawn, unhealthy look for the face, which I think has worked out pretty well.

At the same time, it was also clear that the younger Inson had to match the colour palette of his master, Inquisitor Orlant, to some degree, so I tried to stay within the parameters I had set for myself and use a similar palette once again:


He still needs a base, of course — and I have a pretty cool idea for another small nod to Peter’s model…

For now, however, this means two more additions to Redactor Orlant’s warband — with neither of them originally a part of the picture, but that’s how these things go sometimes…

Here’s a look at the warband so far:


Oh, and I am also counting these two conversions as entries for Azazel’s “Assembly April” challenge, even though they weren’t planned at all 😉

So that’s it for today’s update. I would really love to hear your feedback on the new characters and the warband so far, though, so feel free to drop me a comment! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more! 🙂

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INQ28: Nobody expects the Velsian Inquisition

Posted in Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 20, 2018 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, time for another update at long last: I realise that, technically speaking, I am still short one final instalment of the 2017 Eternal Hunt Awards, but it’s already late February, and the prospect of still needing to finish that writeup has felt like a millstone around my neck for weeks now, keeping me from actually posting any new content — which is a shame, because the most wonderful thing happened: I actually managed to paint something new! Yay! We’ll be getting to that in a minute… 😉

Anyway, I am still committed to posting something about some landmark releases and about where we go from here, as I do have quite a few thoughts about the state of 40k, the Specialist Games, the Primaris Marines and what have you, but I am putting it off for now, in favour of actually getting something posted. Deal? 😉

So there I was, basking in the usual hobby slump, when several things happened at the same time. One, I purchased Chris Wraight’s “The Carrion Throne – Vaults of Terra” and blazed through it in two days:


If you are into INQ28 (or Inquisitor in general, for that matter), I cannot recommend the book enough: It has shady inquisitorial dealings galore, it features the Legio Custodes (technically a bit of a spoiler, but there’s that very blatant cover artwork, so yeah…) and it’s set on Holy Terra itself — if those three points don’t sell you on the novel, I don’t know what will. Anyway, it’s a great read!

I came away from the book with a huge appetite for actually making something INQ28-related. And then I stumbled upon the community challenges issued by fellow hobbyists Azazel and Alex: Azazel proposed to use February to finish some long neglected models and Alex upped the ante by suggesting to actually turn this into a “Fembruary” challenge, that is to focus on building and painting female models. Both sounded intriguing, and after a bit of reflection, I realised I had a model that would tick both boxes AND allow me to complete another INQ28 character:

You see, back in 2014, PDH sent me a heavily damaged Adepta Sororitas Seraphim model, missing its head and feet. And after some deliberation, I used the poor dear to create an interrogator for the retinue of one Inquisitor Nabreus Arslan, of the Ordo Hereticus Velsen:


I was – and still am – rather in love with the idea of a hulking monodominant Inquisitor being complemented by a slender, very self-assured female Interrogator like that, and I loved the gunslinger look the model had. So with a replacement head (from the Wood Elves Glade Guard, I believe) and some replacement feet (from the 3rd edition plastic Dark Eldar Kabalite Warriors), this dame was ready to rock — I even had a brilliant plan for her paintjob, based, among other sources, on Victoria Lamb’s seminal Hereticus warband:

models built and painted by Victoria Lamb

 

models built and painted by Victoria Lamb

But then I never painted her, for some reason. I think I had this very clear idea what I wanted her to look like and was really nervous about messing up the execution. What’s more, it felt like the entire retinue, completely built and assembled at this point, hinged on my success with this particular model. So I set her aside, to pick her up and sigh theatrically every now and then, and that was that.

With the current challenges, howeve, I really felt she was the perfect model to participate in both Alex’ and Azazel’s challenges — time to get her finished at long last! So I took a deep breath and got to work:


I am not going to lie to you, I was completely right to be afraid of this paintjob: The old metal model was full of strange nooks and crannies and had some weird issues, and that softly detailed Wood Elf face almost drove me mad. At the same time, the painting felt more freeform and painterly than I was strictly comfortable with, especially since I went with a somewhat experimental way of painting the armour, using an almost impressionistic approach to create depth.

The contoured armour was really great for that strategy, however. So, in the end, I was really happy with the outcome, as the finished model finally sat on the table before me. Take a look at Interrogator Chastity of the Ordo Hereticus:




The idea here was to go with a very classic Ordo Hereticus approach of red, black and gold: I wanted the model to look slightly sinister, but also regal, with the ostentatiousness of those perfectly assured in their righteousness. At the same time, I also used a scheme that inverted the colour scheme for the Order of Our Martyred Lady, the posterboy…erm “postergirl” Adepta Sororitas colours. I see Chastity as a former Sister of Battle turned Interrogator, and I liked the idea that her look still echoed her former position.

Here she is. next to an older, kitbashed Sister of Battle I made, Sister Euphrati Eisen of the Order of the Martyred Blade — maybe her former sister in the order…?


Anyway, I am really happy with finally having tackled this model, and I am also rather pleased with the paintjob! I consider Chastity a fitting contribution for the Fembruary challenge, and I hope you’ll agree with me! 🙂

She still needs a last name, by the way, so feel free to send some suitably grimdark and/or phonetically pleasant suggestions my way!

 

Just as I had suspected, finally finishing the model had the same effect as freeing up a clogged pipe, so I felt myself immediately drawn to the next model for the retinue. I chose this kitbash of a redemtpionist I created last year:




It’s a fairly straightforward conversion using parts from the Dark Vengeance cultists and some IG flamer arms. The kitbash basically just came together after I had browsed through some old Necromunda illustrations, some cover artwork for the old Redeemer comics in particular. Funnily enough, this guy was built before a re-released Necromunda was even a thing, but now that we have the updated game, he could probably do double-duty in both settings 😉

In any case, though, a redemptionist surely seemed like an appropriate henchman for a traditional fire-and-brimstone Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor.

When painting the model, I wanted to stay within the same colour palette I had used on the Interrogator, albeit with a dustier, grubbier aspect: After all, this guy is a zealot, so I tried to communicate that fact by making him look suitably grimy and disheveled:

Meet Brother Goderich the Pure, of the Church of Redemption:





For the most part, I tried to go with a very classic redemptionist colour scheme. There are some touches I am pretty happy with, though: The hazard-striped eviscerator works as a callback to the classic Necromunda look. The pilot flame was a spontaneous idea that came to me in a moment of inspiration, and it’s a detail that I am now stupidly happy with 🙂 It also has the added benefit of providing a bit of a visual flourish to that rather boring flamer nozzle.

One thing I am really not sure about is whether or not I should add some Imperial/Inquisitorial decals to his shoulder pads (in white): Would that improve the model, or would it detract from it? I would be happy to hear your feedback on that!

 

So I already have two finished models for the warband — not bad, given the fact that I didn’t really touch this project for a long, long time, right?  

Anyway, between these two models, I have basically nailed down the palette I want to use for the warband, so expect the other members to use different combinations and permutations of the recipes I used on Chastity and Goderich.

Speaking of the next models for the warband, what’s in the pipeline?

Dear old Inquisitor Arslan himself also has a bit of a checkered history, as I built him ages ago and then kept coming back to him again and again, making a tweak here, adding a bit there — but, once again, never actually finishing the damn model — there may be a pattern emerging here…

I decided to make one final tweak to the model, giving him a small promethium tank feeding his hand flamer, complete with a hose running from his hip to his fist:



I was actually wondering whether he might look even cooler with Custodian shoulder pads…?! PDH convinced me to just let it rest already and consider the model finished, after half a decade… So yeah, expect to see him with some paint on soon-ish.

Next up on the painting desk is another operative, though: This old Van Saar model I received in a bitz swap a while ago


I’ve always felt that, with his bulky stillsuit and aiming pose, he’d make for a great Inquisitorial operative: Now in another shout out to DexterKong’s and my shared INQ28 setting, the Velsen sector, I wanted him to be a veteran of the Saarthen Draughr, a regiment invented by Dexter. Back when Dexter came up with the Draughr and tried to nail down a look for them, we went back and forth a while about the kind of helmets used by the regiment: Dexter wanted them to be somewhat sinister, but not Traitor Guard-sinister, so we settled on Necron heads as a base, seeing how they had this smooth, prefab look. For his proof-of-concept model for the Draught, Dexter grafted a rebreather onto a Necron head. Anyway, since I wanted my inquisitorial operative to be a veteran of the regiment, I spliced together a similar helmet and added it to the model’s belt:


This is such a minuscule detail, really, and it’s hard to explain why I am feeling so pleased with myself over this idea, but I just like that bit of continuity that hints at a larger background and at the amount of worldbuilding Dexter and I have put into our shared setting.

I have a painting session with my good friend Annie scheduled for tomorrow, and I’ll be bringing the Draughr Veteran along, so he should be the next finished model for Inquisitor Arslan’s retinue — wish me luck 😉

 

One last thing to nicely round out this post: Because I was still very much in an INQ28 state of mind after all of this, I grabbed some of my (semi-finished) retinues and my deck of Dark Millennium playing cards and had a bit of fun. No new models here, just a fun little diversion:

 

Inquisitor Antrecht and his retinue:



Inquisitor Gotthardt and his retinue:


Servants of the Emperor:

The Magi of Korhold:


It goes without saying that I would love to hear any feedback you might have! 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: Back in business!

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 11, 2015 by krautscientist

You are probably aware of the fact that this will turn out to be a rather Khornate month, all things considered 😉 But all in good time: Before the realm of blood and brass inevitably engulfs us all, let me take the chance to address the wonderful world of INQ28 once more:

As you probably remember, one of my most important hobby-related new year’s resolutions was to be more productive when it comes to creating shadowy and/or eclectic INQ28 characters. And so far, I am happy to say that I have managed to keep this promise. So I’ll be showing you some new INQ28 characters and conversions in the very near future! Yay!

For starters, let’s focus on some of the things that have managed to renew my passion for actually finishing INQ28 models. While some of the work has been my own, I was also happy enough to receive some wonderful motivational help from fellow hobbyists. So let’s take a look:

 

I. A Traveler From the Warp…

One event that made me particularly happy last year was when Ron Saikowski got in touch with me late last autumn. For those of you who don’t know Ron (and shame on you, if you don’t!): He used to run an absolutely excellent hobby site called From the Warp, a very prolific resource for excellent hobby advice, and a site that was very important for me when I got back into the hobby in 2010, after a longer hiatus.

Ron unfortunately no longer updates the site — but it’s still there! And you should definitely check it out, if you haven’t already — it’s every bit as excellent as it was a couple of years ago! Anyway, I was still very happy to hear from him — even moreso because he had discovered my love letter to his hobby work. Anyway, to make a long story short, Ron is still in the hobby, and I think that alone is an excellent thing!

Things became really awesome, however, when we talked about an old model of Ron’s that I really love: An Imperial mystic he converted and painted. The model has a very grimdark, Blanchian look, which was probably the main reason why I liked it so much. Now imagine my surprise when Ron simply suggested sending it to me as a gift! And he did! Take a look:

Model converted and painted by Ron Saikowski

Model converted and painted by Ron Saikowski

 

Model converted and painted by Ron Saikowski

Model converted and painted by Ron Saikowski

 

Model converted and painted by Ron Saikowski

Model converted and painted by Ron Saikowski

A wonderfully evocative piece or work! And it’s now mine! MUHAHAHA…erm, sorry –got a bit carried away there. Anyway, I am really happy to have come into the possession of a great model like this, created by one of my favourite hobbyists, no less! What makes this even better, though, is that the model’s Blanchian feel is no coincidence: The character was actually based on a piece of artwork depicting an Astropath by none other than John Blanche. Take a look:

Insignium p1-10:-

Artwork by John Blanche

I think this actually further enriches an already great model! I also think that Ron has really managed to capture the mood of the original illustration. Oh, and for those of you who want to learn more about the model’s creation, I recommend you check out Ron’s original post on the matter here on From the Warp.

It goes without saying that I am really, really grateful to Ron for this amazing gift! The Astropath, named Skorin Saikov in Ron’s honour, will be a treasured part of my collection, and certainly an interesting character for all INQ28 related adventures in the Velsen Sector…

 

 

II. Presents from Down Under(hive)

Believe it or not: Ron wasn’t the only person to be so very generous, either: Fellow hobbyist Drone 21c, owner of one of the most beautiful and Blanchian Inquisitor warbands I have seen so far (make sure to check it out here), was also awesome enough to send me some wonderful stuff last autumn — all the way from Australia, no less!

Everything started with this handsome gentleman:

RT era IG soldier (1)
Yes, that’s right: A Rogue Trader era plastic Imperial Guardsmen. I discovered this model when Drone21c posted a wonderfully painted version of it on his blog, and I was shameless enough to ask whether he would send one over to me.

He actually sent two of them, if you can believe it! And I have to admit that I actually spread the love and gave one of the models to the owner of my FLGS: He’s a great guy and provides excellent service, and he is also a huge IG nut, so it felt like the right thing to do. That said, I made him promise he would paint the model, to be presented here on this blog, so we may look forward to seeing it at some point in the future.

But as if that wasn’t enough enough, Drone 21c also included some more amazing stuff: Some wonderfully converted and individualised heads for my conversion projects, some of which you can see here:

Heads converted by Drone 21c

Heads converted by Drone 21c

With the exception of the head on the right (which, I believe, is a Perry Miniatures bit), each of these heads has been expertly converted and customised with sculpted elements — if anything, I am actually scared of using them up for “standard” conversions (that said, I do have a cunning plan regarding the flagellant head with the dapper hairdo — watch this space).

And even that was not enough: No, Drone 21c also included a copy of a model he had sculpted himself, — possibly the star of the show:

model sculpted by Dorne 21c

model sculpted by Drone 21c

You can see better pictures of the original model over on his blog, but the amazing thing is that the model was very obviously based on an iconic John Blanche sketch from the 40k 2nd edition Codex Imperialis:

illustration by John Blanche

illustrazion by John Blanche

I finally started painting the model this past Sunday. Take a look:

Model sculpted by Drone 21c

Model sculpted by Drone 21c

 

Model sculpted by Drone 21c

Model sculpted by Drone 21c

 

Model sculpted by Drone 21c

Model sculpted by Drone 21c

 

Model sculpted by Drone 21c

Model sculpted by Drone 21c

The model was originally envisioned as some kind of Imperial dignitary (or even governor), but I think he’ll also make for an excellent High-officiant, Arch-Deacon or even Cardinal of the Velsen Ecclesiarchy, once he’s done.

Only now that I have painted the model can I appreciate all the fine detail that Drone 21c has managed to create, like the small aquila clasp on the model’s shoulder, the cabling on the back of the head or the lined face — the latter one is a particular achievement, if you ask me. Excellent stuff!

You will probably have noticed that the model doesn’t have a finished base yet. I think this could conceivably become a little project of its own, because I feel the model would look great with a lectern, a pulpit, or even riding atop some kind of walking servitor-shrine or hideous, vat grown monstrosity — we shall see…;)

In any case, thanks again to Drone21c for letting me have this amazing model! In fact, the most humbling thing about this entire affair is that I have yet to send something back over the great pond! But I have been collecting suitable bitz for the last months, and it won’t be long now until I can finally repay this kindness — if it can be repaid at all, that is!

 

III: An officer and a gentleman

And finally, yet another thing I want to share with you, but one that doesn’t owe anything to other people’s generosity (for once…). Still, this project really made me get my arse in gear on the INQ28 front. So, what is this about?

You may remember this Inquisitor/Interrogator I converted from the plastic commissar. I posted him quite a while ago…

Gunslinger Inq WIP (11)
But you know what? I actually wasn’t really happy with the guy before, there was just something off about him for some reason. He seemed kinda pompous and ineffectual, for lack of a better word: More like an NPC than an actual character. A foppish military type without much character to speak of.

Back when I built him, I tried a different pair of legs (from the Eisenkern Stormtroopers), which seemed promising…

Gunslinger Inq WIP (10)
…but wasn’t quite there, either. But a while ago, due to a spontaneous moment of inspiration, I tried replacing his original legs with a pair of legs from the Tempestus Scions, and I think this changes the overall look of the model rather drastically. Take a look:

Brynn Yulner WIP (1)
Brynn Yulner WIP (2)
I think he looks quite a bit more formidable and dynamic this way, wouldn’t you agree? Less like an arrogant officer type, and more like a desperado who knows his way around the underhive, even though he’s wearing such a dapper uniform.

The new legs really add some dynamism and agency to the model. And even though he may seem a bit squat now (mostly because he’s leaning into the shot), I think it’s far preferable to the previous version!

However, the new legs prompted some additional changes to the model: I may have spent a long time splicing together that Xenos pistol, but it really no longer suited the character all that well, as PDH rightly pointed out — funny how that will happen sometimes, isn’t it?

So I went for twin autopistols instead:

Brynn Yulner WIP (4)
Much better! But there was one last thing that bothered me, and Bruticus really nailed it: What’s the deal with that chain running from the model’s lapel to the pistol grip?

The longer I kept looking at it, the more nonsensical it seemed. So it had to go! I carefully cut it off and replaced it with an oath paper, affixed to the model’s lapel:

Brynn Yulner WIP (6)
Excellent! And with that, the model was basically ready for painting — at long last! 😉

I really didn’t want to mess this up, and I wanted to go for a mix of a military, regimented look, with a dash of ostentatiousness. Here’s what I came up with, after a while:

Interrogator Brynn Yulner (2)
Interrogator Brynn Yulner (1)
Interrogator Brynn Yulner (3)
It may not look like it, but this paintjob was actually quite a ways outside of my comfort zone: The colour of his coat, for instance was a bit of an experiment for me. That said, I am truly happy with how the model has turned out, and my success with this character has inspired me to go and paint some additional INQ28 models — just you wait and see!

Fairly atypically for me, however, I have not yet completely worked out the background for this model: The change in the conversion and subsequent painting happened so quickly that I basically let myself be carried along by the tide. However, the first ideas are slowly congealing into something resembling a character background:

I think the character should have a pronounced Imperial Guard background: Maybe he was a member of the prestigious Bastold Oathblades, until a momentous event cost him his arm and left eye? Maybe the same event also lead to him being requisitioned as a retainer (and ultimately, Interrogator) by one Inquisitor Marius Solland (we’ll be hearing from him in a future post). I think having an Inquisitor of the Ordo Militum, concerning itself with supervising the Imperium’s military, would be a nice change, after all the Malleus and Hereticus nutjobs 😉

And there are also the small touches on the model itself that could possibly tell small stories: Somebody over at the Ammobunker pointed out the very clunky bionics on the Interrogator’s face: But maybe there’s a story there? If you look closely, you can see that some cabling feeds from the bulky, optical implants into the power pack on the model’s back and into the bionic arm from there — maybe he consciously chose the somewhat clunky implant to gain a battlefield advantage?

Anyway, I am still very open to suggestions and ideas as to the character’s background, so feel free to share any ideas you might have! Only one thing is already set in stone: the character’s name. After some lenghty conversations with fellow hobbyist DexterKong, we came up with the name Brynn Yulner for this Interrogator — a cookie to anyone who gets the joke 😉

 

So yeah, as you can see, I am back in business when it comes to INQ28! I would love to hear any feedback you might have — rest assured that we will be seeing more shady characters around here very soon!

Until then, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Inquisitor 28: Kitbashing spree pt. 2 – The Hammer of the Emperor

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, Pointless ramblings, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 21, 2014 by krautscientist

Right, sorry for the late update, and for getting ages to get back to any comments — work is crazy at the moment. Please bear with me, while I try not to lose my mind 😉

Anyway, let me show you another batch of (fairly) recently kitbashed models from the wonderful world of INQ28: Maybe due to the recent release of the new Astra Militarum Codex, this update will mainly be featuring characters with a bit of an IG background.

With one notable exception, however: In a bit of an addendum to my last post, I have come up with two possible retainers to Brother-Sergeant Auriga, my true scale Marine:

 

1. An Astartes’s Servants

First up, I’ve had this little guy in my bitzbox for ages now:

Bolter_Cherub
But while I love cherubim – they’re such an ironic part of what makes 40k interesting – I never got around to finding an actual use for the model: That bolter the little guy is lugging around didn’t seem like such a good match for any of my Inquisitors, and I didn’t want to chop it off for fear of permanently ruining the model.

Brother Sergeant Auriga, however, is a Space Marine. And by virtue of being a Space Marine, he would own and wield a bolter, right? Well, so much the better, because now he has a servant to carry the weapon for him, at least when it’s not actually required on the battlefield, but rather as a “sign of office”, as it were. And it really fits my idea of the Golden Legion that they would not be above a bit of ostentatiousness like this.

Once I had seen the Marine and cherub together, there was no stopping me, and so I started working on yet another retainer for Brother Auriga: My original plan had been to have options for both a bare head and a helmeted one, but then I really liked the idea of having a chapter serf carry the Brother-Sergeant’s helmet. Here’s an early mockup:

Chapter Serf
These three really look great together, if you ask me:

Brother Sergeant Auriga and Retainers WIP
At the same time, this growing retinue illustrates a bit of a challenge I am facing at the moment: My problem, if you can call it a problem at all, seems to be that some of the models I have recently built seem to warrant further retainers and familiars, just because it’s such a great way of further exploring them as characters. You’ll be seeing another example of this in a minute, and while building some additional models (for additional narrative texture) is a blast, I wonder whether I’ll ever be able to finish all of these… Then again, as long as it’s fun, it certainly can’t be all bad, can it?

Anyway, moving on to the Astra Militarum guys:

 

II. The Rank And File

I suppose some of you will still be remembering my kitbashed Trencher, right? Well, messing around with a Dark Vengeance chaos cultist and an Eisenkern Stormtrooper head lead to a model that might be a playfellow for him (or maybe a soldier of the opposing army?). Take a look:

Trenchers WIP
Then there’s a special ops trooper I built, heavily inspired by one of Commissar Molotov’s conversions:

Trooper WIP (6)
This guy was built by combining two sets of Cadian legs (you’ll quickly see the area where the conversion still needs some evening out) and adding some bitz from the Tempestus Scions (nothing says “elite soldier” quite like a beret worn in combat, right? 😉 I also added some bitz to the lasgun, in order to make it look like a custom model:

Trooper WIP (5)

III. Ordo Militum?!

I have also begun to mess around with the Tempestor Prime bitz, creating a model that could become a high-ranking Guard officer, or maybe even an Inquisitor with strong ties to the Ordo Militum? Take a look:
Tempestor kitbash WIP (4)
This model is not yet finished, of course. For now, the most involved change to the base model was to add the saber of the plastic Ordo Prefectus Commissar — which I think fits this model rather better than the model it originally came from. I’m also not yet sure whether I like it better held vertically or horizontally:

Tempestor kitbash WIP (5)Thoughts?

Speaking of the Ordo Prefectus Commissar, I have begun to turn him into an agent of the Ordos:

I quickly realised that the model had a bit of a “gunslinger” vibe going on, so I experimented with different weapons setups (and added a head with a bionic eye that seems to support the character’s targeting prowess:

Gunslinger Inq WIP (2)
Gunslinger Inq WIP (1)
As for the actual weapons, the plasma pistol seemed a little too clunky for me, and while I liked the Dark Eldar pistol well enough for its sleek silhouette, it just seemed too xenos for a military man like this — it would probably be ideal if one were to build a Rogue Trader from this base model, however. Just sayin’…

In the end, I opted for a custom weapon, kitbashed from a Dark Eldar fusion pistol and a strut from a GK backpack:

Gunslinger Inq WIP (11)
I am reasonably pleased with the outcome, because it looks clunky enough to qualify as Imperial, but could also conceivably have xenos origins. In any case, it has a bit of the classic, retro-futuristic “SCIENCE!” look, don’t you think?

Another fun experiment was to use some different legs on the model:

Gunslinger Inq WIP (9)
In this case, I tried some legs from the Eisenkern Stormtroopers, and while the result might look a little off, I think it might be an avenue of conversion that definitely warrants further exploration.

For this particular model, though, I am going to keep the standard legs:

Gunslinger Inq WIP (12)
So who is this guy? I think he’s looking a bit too ostentatious to be a “regular” gunslinger. He might be an actual Inquisitor, but there’s a cockiness in his pose and expression that makes me think he might make a better Interrogator — maybe a servant of the Ordo Militum Inquisitor above?

 

IV. An Officer And A Gentleman…

There’s one last set of models I would like to show you, and these are another example of my recent fancy when it comes to going off on a tangent in order to kitbash some “spin off” miniatures, so to speak. But let’s start at the beginning:

A rather long while ago, fellow hobbyist and all around great guy PDH let me have a tank commander commissar from the FW DKOK Commissar set — on the condition that I would use it for a conversion.

Well, it took me ages to finally come up with a conversion opportunity for the model – mostly because the tank commander is lacking the legs below the knee, for obvious reasons – but when the Tempestus Scions appeared upon the scene, I finally had my solution (and a way to give this guy new legs). Take a look:

Krieg_conversion (3)
As you can see, I just added in the lower legs of a Tempestus Scion — which worked like a charm, with only minimal cutting and GS’ing involved! In order to make the model look more like a noble and austere character, I also replaced the DKOK gas mask with a bare head (from the Empire Knights’ White Wolves sprue, of all places…). On a related note, I did keep the commissar head perfectly intact, in order to be able to use it in a future conversion:

Krieg_conversion (4)
Anyway, when I posted the DKOK conversion on my Ammobunker thread, fellow hobbyist Logan pointed out that the model reminded him of a painting of Karl Franz of Austria. And then it hit me: This guy actually looks like he is posing for a portrait, isn’t he?

I actually embraced this effect, and in order to further emphasise it, I added a servo-skull and a small plinth on his base, making the “portrait look” even stronger:

Krieg_conversion (6)
Krieg_conversion (5)
And then I finally lost my mind when DexterKong suggested I built a small diorama showing the officer’s portrait being painted by an Imperial artist. And I really loved that idea! So I began to plan accordingly (wanting to build the diorama, but also endeavouring to keep the models useable individually).

Anyway, for the painter, I chose an Imperial acolyte I had picked up during a bitz swap some time ago:

Painting Servitor (1)
This seems to be everybody’s favourite model from back when Codex: Daemonhunters was released, but on my copy, the eye section of the face was unfortunately rather miscast/damaged, leaving him without eyes and giving him an ugly splotch of metal over the upper half of his face. So, as you can see above, I added a new bionic eye to him, in order to repair the model.

Painting Servitor (2)
It works rather well, I think, and the strange “welt” running over his right eye now looks more like a cable feeding into his bionic eye — how very 40k, to replace and eye and thereby fething up the other one, right? Especially on a painter!

Because this guy will be serving as a “painting servitor”, or as an augmeticised master painter, for that matter. I think he will be commanding a coterie of servo-skulls, that are taking care of the actual painting, while he is making preparatory sketches and adjusting the skulls’ work.

The servo skulls will be darting around a suitably grimdark easel. I have already started building it:

Easel WIP (5)
Easel WIP (4)
Ironically enough, one of the servo skull diceholders that were released alongside 6th edition served as the main recource for building the easel. I added some parts from an old model truck kit, as well as some cabling and an Imperial aquila. And, like I said, a couple of servo-skulls will be floating around the completed easel:

Easel WIP (6)
I am currently using a CD as a makeshift base for the diorama, figuring out the basic composition before starting on the actual build:

Diorama early WIP (3)
Diorama early WIP (2)
So this will be a scene depicting a powerful Lord Militant of the Astra Militarum having his portrait taken by an augmeticised master painter of the 41st millennium and his coterie of servo-skull assistents — is this utterly brilliant or completely idiotic? Or a little bit of both? I’ll let you be the judges of that…

Anyway, so much for the Astra Militarum side of things for now! See you all next week, when I am going to show you the third batch of my current INQ28 kitbashing results. Until then, feel free to let me know any suggestions and feedback you might have!

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

Loving the alien

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 20, 2013 by krautscientist

Those of you who have been following this blog for a while may already have asked themselves: What about all that INQ28 jazz? Any news? And indeed, it was with a bit of a shock that I realised how long it has been since I last showed you some servants of the Ordos.

Well, fear not, because I’ve recently begun to get some more work in on my various INQ28 retinues. Some of the following models may already be known to those who also frequent my forum threads, but that’s really all the more reason to post them here as well. Plus I could really use the relaxing effects of painting an INQ28 character or two at the moment, so there may be a couple of updates soon (I hope!).

Anyway, today I would mainly like to focus on the retinue of Inquisitor Titus Alvar, a member of the Ordo Xenos.

Inquisitor Titus Alvar (1)
Alvar himself is a rather dapper fellow, and also an Imperial noble, so I thought he would merit a rather colourful collection of retainers. I picture Alvar as a bit of an adventurer, always taking expeditions to uncharted regions of Space in search of some Xenos artifact or other, so his warband should incorporate some muscle as well as some brains, with a dash of the exotic for flavour. Let’s take a look:

The first member of Alvar’s retinue is this veteran of the Imperial Guard I built quite a while ago:

Guard Veteran WIP (1)
I like the big gun and the “tough as nails” look and imagine this is the kind of guy Alvar makes use of when negotiations turn sour and diplomacy is no longer an option.

The second member of his retinue was also completed a while ago:

INQ28_Kroot (1)
Kroot Pathfinder T’l’kess lost his entire kindred in an atrocity committed by a Tau officer (it’s a long story). He realised that his last chance to keep his bloodline alive might be to travel the stars in order to find members of the brood who left the planet prior to the genocide. During his travels, he met Inquisitor Alvar whom he now serves as a scout and pathfinder.

I imagine this character as a very dignified and honourable individual, a bit of a “noble savage”, if you will. It is also very much in character for a socialite like Alvar to have an “exotic” retainer like this in his warband, even though it might make the more puritan members of the Ordo Xenos foam at the mouth…

It also stands to reason that an Inquisitor exploring Xenos ruins would have need of a specialist in the field of archaeology. And indeed, while painting the model for Inquisitor Alvar, inspiration struck and made me want to convert one of the most underappreciated WFB plastic characters, the Empire Master Engineer — at least, it’s the only model that’s ALWAYS available at the FLGS and never sells out. And to be honest, it used to be the one model I couldn’t see myself using for anything. But it just seemed perfect for this:

The Professor WIP (9)

The Professor WIP (10)
The Professor WIP (11)
Professor Abelard Marbray, of the Bastold Imperial Akademy, formerly one of the sector’s pre-eminent specialists on Xeno-archaelogy. That was before his scientific theories on the warp affinities of certain Xenos were shot down by Inquisitor Alvar at a social function, which rendered him the laughingstock of his colleagues. Alvar visited him afterwards, revealing that all of this had been a conscious move to discredit the Professor, since his theories had been too close to the truth for the Ordo Xenos’ comfort. The Professor was outraged at this, yet when Alvar offered him to join him – not to attain academic merits, but to learn the actual scientific truth – he eventually accepted.

As you can see, the model is a fairly straightforward conversion, with a couple of techy bitz and doodads added. Oh, and of course I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to have the the professor holding and contemplating a Necron skull:

The Professor WIP (8)
After posting my model for Professor Marbray on the forums, fellow forumite (and actual archaeologist) Llamehead rightly pointed out that the model didn’t really carry all that much gear for excavations, considering his profession. So my options were to either clutter the model with yet more bitz, or construct an assistant for him to do the heavy lifting (or rather, digging). And even though I wanted to resist the urge to build yet another retainer for one of my Inquisitor’s retainers, I couldn’t help it. So I dived into my bitzbox and made an early mockup of a xeno-archaeologist in training:

Marbray's lil' helper WIP (4)
Marbray's lil' helper WIP (2)
Marbray's lil' helper WIP (5)
In my imagination, this guy is a devout student of Professor Marbray and is thrilled by the chance to do the dirty work for his idol. I wanted him to look like he was checking something on a map in his left hand, while his right is holding a trusty old Laspistol. Oh, and I also added a guard backpack to him, as you can see, so he at least has a shovel 😉

The rather frightened looking head from the Celestial Hurricanum kit seemed to be a perfect fit for him, plus it also creates a visual connection with Inquisitor Alvar, which I like. The model still needs some additional detail work, of course, but I think it already works reasonably well.

To round out Alvar’s scientific staff, I recently good a really good deal on the FW Tech Serrvitor for Inquisitor Solomon Lok who should make a pretty great Magos Xenobiologis with a bit of work…

A dandy like Alvar should also have some female members in his warband, of course. Finding suitable models across GW’s catalogue can be quite a bit of a challenge, however, so I had to improvise:

First up, I picked up Reaper’s Sasha Dubois model:

Tin for the tin god (1)
I normally stick to GW models, by and large, but in this case, I made an exception: I have loved this particular sculpt for a long time, plus I think she makes an excellent addition for an INQ28 warband. Granted, she may look slightly “stripperiffic” with that bared midriff, but it should be easy enough to paint that area as covered by a bodyglove. Here’s a link to a very nice, painted version of the model.

My plan for now is to call her Millerna Acheron and use her as an Interrogator for Inquisitor Alvar: It suits his character to have an attractive woman around as his assistant. At the same time, he’s shrewd enough to consciously give the impression that he just chose her as a pretty face to accompany him.

I also bought a box of Necromunda Esher gangers before GW sold out all their Specialist System models, and one of them will probably be added to Inquisitor Alvar’s retinue as some hired muscle:

Tin for the tin god (3)
Shiv Korlund is probably an ex-hive ganger and gunslinger and could be Alvar’s operative for whenever he has dealings in the underhive of a particular world. I also imagine she might have a rather interesting “kiss kiss slap” relationship with the guard veteran…

So those are the members of Inquisitor Alvar’s retinue so far: I think it’s a rather interesting cast of characters, and it will be fun to further flesh them out. It’s also remarkable how things just started falling into place once I had begun to work on the warband! Of course I’d like to hear any suggestions you might have!

Those were not the only INQ28 models I have been working on, though: Some of you might remember the WIP Sun Cultist I posted a while ago:

Sun cultist WIP (1)
The model is based on a Dark Eldar Wych and a couple of different bitz. Getting this character to work turned out to be quite a task! However, I have recently managed to complete the basic build of the model:

Sun Cultist (18)
Sun Cultist (19)
I now see her more as a bodyguard than a cultist, to be honest: I believe her ostentatious quasi-renaissance outfit makes her look like the trained personal guard of a powerful spirelord, with her movements like those of a dancer: elegant but deadly. The model will yet need some more work, and I’ll need to find a warband for her as well, but I am now feeling really happy with the overall look of the model for the first time.

The last model I want to show you today is still very rough around the edges. It is also merely a fun little project, inspired by a brilliant little conversion I discovered on one of the German forums. I give you the TAU SAMURAI:

Tau samurai early WIP (2)
Tau samurai early WIP (1)
Granted, I am certainly not the first person to notice the distinctly japanese look about the new Tau models. Still, building a mockup for a Tau samurai has been a lot of fun so far, even if the model will need quite a bit more work — and I’ll admit it’s a slightly goofy idea, of course…

 

All in all, building some new INQ28 models – or combining existing models into a warband – is always a breath of fresh air. I hope I’ll be able to get some of these characters painted some time in the next weeks — let’s keep our fingers crossed! Oh, and let me know whatever feedback you might have, of course!

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