Archive for navigator

Inquisitor 28: Navigator household warband WIP

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Fluff, Inq28, Inquisitor, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 25, 2014 by krautscientist

In one of my recent posts, I promised you an INQ28 update rather soon, and today I intend to make good on that promise! 🙂

I already mentioned in a prior post how much I love weirdingway’s Navigator models. In fact, I feel his models make up one of the most creative and interesting 40k/INQ28  projects around at the moment, and one that has been a deep well of inspiration ever since I first came across it.

Now I already kitbashed a Navigator fairly recently, a model that I am pretty happy with:

Navigator (2)
Building this model was a fun kitbashing experiment as well as an attempt to get my current obsession with weirdingway’s models out of my system – at least a little bit. But ultimately, the Navigator bug had hit me so badly that it became clear to me that I needed to add a couple of additional models in order to make up the Navigator’s personal retinue.

Unlike weirdingway, however, I am not trying to expand this into an army project, so I tried my darnedest to stay focused and only build a handful of additional models. The other big challenge was to make the models more than just cheap knock-offs of weirdingways’s characters — I’ll be honest with you: There was a very real temptation to just copy his awesome kitbashes and be done with it 😉

I went a bit against my own laziness, however, and now I think I may have come up with a couple of models that share the eclecticism of weirdingway’s retinue, but put a slightly different spin on things.


The background for my Navigatorial House, named House DeVries, is that it is the oldest and most influential Navigator house of the Velsen Sector. The house is unbelievably rich and very much at the height of its political power, which has made its members increasingly haughty and eccentric. At the same time, their genetic makeup of the house has gotten more and more “particular” over the millennia, so that some of the members of the house can never hope to be able to walk among regular humans, while even those who act as representatives of the house will show minor but noticeable signs of deformity (like my Navigator above).

In keeping with the status of House DeVries, I wanted the Navigator’s retainers to be both eclectic and ostentatious enough to look the part. So I grabbed my bitzbox and got to work.

So far I have:

A regular of the DeVries household guard:

House DeVries Household Guard WIP (3)
This model was based on an WFB Empire Musketeer given to me by PDH. I really liked the model, so I wanted to use it as part of my Navigator retinue — I’ll happily go on record stating that I love using Empire bitz on 40k models! Even the puffy sleeves! Especially the puffy sleeves! Not due to laziness, mind you (though I am pretty lazy, actually), but because, in my idea of the 40k universe, there are lots of puffy sleeves, powdered wigs and strange, anachronistic elements.

In this case, that approach produced a model heavily inspired by a formation like the Pontifical Swiss Guard, which was pretty much what I was going for. In order to prevent the model from looking too fantasy, I added a head and backpack from the Tempestus Scions kit. And even though I really wanted to keep his weapon, I did add the muzzle of a Cadian Lasgun — maybe the weapon is a priceless Longlas? Or maybe it has been expertly crafted to resemble the ancient weapons from Old Terra’s history, due to the whims of the Navigators?

In any case, while this guy might need a tad more work, I already like where he is going!

I also built an an officer of the DeVries household guard, or possibly even its guard captain, based on a Tempestus Scion:

House DeVries Guard Captain WIP (3)
Once again, the Swiss Guard vibe is clearly palpable, isn’t it? The slightly baroque breastplate is really a good match for this particular look. I also wanted to gives the guard officer’s weapons a slightly impractical, very ceremonial look, so he is armed with a very ostentatious (and rather bulky) chainsword and a tower shield that originally came from the Bretonnian Men-at-Arms:

House DeVries Guard Captain WIP (4)
The decoration on the shield consists of an aquila (shaved off a Centurion shoulder pad I used for my Obliterator — waste not, want not and all that) and a parchment from a Marine kit. I also added a feather I had left from converting the Navigator, because I thought it would make for a nice bit of visual consistency to have feathers appear as decoration on several models in the retinue!

All in all, I really love this guy: He has such an “implacable man” vibe going. Plus the head really gives him a slightly sinister aspect, doesn’t it? He may be dressed like a fop, but there is actually no doubt that he could hold his own in a fight…
I also built a Majordomo for House DeVries. The idea for this model developed when I thought about the function of the actual Navigators in the organisation of the house and realised it would be cool if the members of the house were so rich and powerful and in their own little bubble that dealing with everyday matters was completely beneath them. So they would need a servant to coordinate their household and keep their little empire running. And while this servant would not be a trueborn Navigator himself, he would wield some of the authority and power of House DeVries, making him rather powerful and important to everyone other than his masters. So I set out to build a suitably ostentatious model for such a character. Take a look:

House DeVries Majordomo WIP (8)
House DeVries Majordomo WIP (9)

The model’s a rather easy kitbash making use of Cadian parts, an Empire Knight’s breastplate and a particularly great head from the WFB Empire Battle Wizard kit: While I think the kit is full of missed opportunities – especially when it comes to the bodies – some of the bitz are simply amazing — this head among them. As you can see, the Majordomo carries a tome of treasured secrets — maybe the travel routes through the warp jealously guarded by House DeVries? Or maybe the genealogic charts of the house?

House DeVries Majordomo WIP (6)
You may also have noticed the withered claw clutching the book, and there’s a story behind that: In my imagination, while only “pure blooded” children of Navigators will become functional Navigators themselves, I like the idea that the members of House DeVries are known for their voracious “appetites”, really “sowing their wild oats”, so to speak. Now my idea is that House DeVries tends to use the many, many bastards produced by members of the house as household guards, retainers, menials and what have you. Now what if the Majordomo is not pureblooded enough to have been born a Navigator, but very much pureblooded enough to share in some of the deformities of the more exalted members of the house?

In order to represent the fact that he is wielding a portion of his masters’ influence, the Majordomo carries a staff of office crowned by a stylised warp eye:

House DeVries Majordomo WIP (7)
The staff was constructed by combining a Sanguinary Guard axe haft, a part of the Chaos Terminator Sorcerer’s staff and a piece of Space Marine bling on top 😉 Oh, and to give credit where credit is due: The use and placement of the purity seals on this model was very much inspired by MonkeyBallistic’s wonderful 30k Imperial Navy Captain. Thanks for the inspiration, mate!

In fact, after building a couple of retainers for him, even the original Navigator didn’t escape my attention, and so I added a ring to his right hand:

Navigator (6)
I really like how the ring serves as a representation of House DeVries’s wealth and creates an interesting visual counterpoint to the somewhat misshapen claw of a hand…

So here’s a look at the entire retinue so far:

House DeVries retinue WIP (2)
Coming up with these models has been brilliant fun so far! And while the fact that I have taken lots of inspiration from weirdingway should be very obvious, I still hope that I was able to put my own spin on things!

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

Inquisitor 28: Kitbashing spree pt. 3 – The Gothic and the Eldritch

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 28, 2014 by krautscientist

Welcome, dear readers, to the third part of my INQ28-related kitbashing showcase! I have yet more Inquisitorial agents and ne’er-do-wells to show you today, but where the first and second installment of this mini-series dealt with more ostentatious, “in your face” style servants of the God Emperor, today sees a return to the somewhat more shadowy and quirky parts of the 40k universe. Let’s take a look:

1. Xenobiology

First up something rather simple: Some time ago, I picked up one of the servitors accompanying FW’s Hector Rex model from a fellow hobbyist for a really great price. Rather than using it as a servitor, however, I believe I’ll make this guy into a Magos Xenobiologis:

Magos Xenobiologis WIP
I really like the look of the model, both because it’s rake thin, which makes for a rather unique visual footprint, and because it’s really close to my archetypal idea of a Magos of the Adeptus Mechanicus. Like I said, I believe this guy will become a Magos Xenobiologis, maybe to join Inquisitor Alvar’s retinue. The one thing I have done so far (apart from scrubbing the mold release agent off the model, mind you) was to cut off the tangle of cables serving as the model’s left hand. It will be replaced by a fairly regular hand — or maybe by that DV cultist champ hand with the blade tipped fingers? Anyway, this guy is not very far along yet, but I really love the base model!


II. Familiar faces

As evidenced by the retainers I recently built for Brother-Sergeant Auriga, I have developed a bit of a soft spot for servants, retainers and familiars — the kind of characters you always see loitering around in the background of the GW artwork, but that usually aren’t all that well represented in model form. Well, what better setting than INQ28 to do these unsung characters any justice?

First up, a small conversion that is really close to my heart: A while ago, fellow hobbyist and all around great guy PDH let me have a wonderful little powder monkey from one of the WFB Empire kits. The monkey is pretty much perfect in and of itself, and so the minuscule changes I made to the model were only intended to bring it more in line with the 40k setting.

I added some very subtle touches to turn the little guy into an augmeticised familiar, either for my Rogue Trader, Iskander Gagarin, or for a particularly eccentric AdMech priest (maybe even the WIP Magos pictured above)? In any case, here’s the model:

PeeDee the Monkey WIP (1)
Since the model’s so tiny, the conversion had to be rather subtle: I gave the monkey a tiny bionic eye and replaced the tail with a cable from a servo-skull, in order to make it look like it could be used to interface with machines. I would have replaced the barrel held by the monkey with a servo-skull for an even more grimdark look, but the very real danger of losing that perfectly sculpted little paw was enough to scare me off 😉

I also needed to make the monkey familiar a little taller, and I used this opportunity to add even more of a 40k-feel to him by putting him on top of a techy bit (actually pilfered from an old model truck kit):

I really love this guy, to tell you the truth. Oh, and since Peter was awesome enough to give this wonderful model to me in the first place, what better way to thank him than to name the character after him, right? So, henceforth, this little guy will be called “PeeDee” by way of thanks 😉

PeeDee the Monkey WIP (2)
The other familiar I built was a really fast and dirty kitbash that I completed one evening after work when I needed to do something creative in order to relax: I decided to build a servo-skull heavily inspired by the type of extra-grimdark skulls that appear in the Witch Hunter artwork. Take a look:

Grimdark Servo Skull WIP (1)
Again, a really easy conversion: I just added the top of a Empire flagellant’s head to a resin skull and blended in the seams with a bit of GS. Then a parchment was added, making it look like the skull was carrying around Imperial liturgies. And finally, some cables were used to provide a suitably tech-y look (and a certain sense of movement) to the whole affair. The whole thing didn’t take longer than rougly half an hour, but it was a fun little exercise to take my mind off things.

Grimdark Servo Skull WIP (2)

III. A charioteer to the stars

Last but definitely not least, a combination of different circumstances led me to build yet another, slightly more involved model: Maybe everything started when I first laid eyes on weirdingway’s absolutely spectacular Navigators and their household guard. I then read up on the Navigators’ background over at the Warhammer 40k Wiki, where I was also confronted with a particularly evocative piece of artwork done by none other than John Blanche himself:

artwork by John Blanche, Copyright: Games Workshop

artwork by John Blanche, Copyright: Games Workshop

I really love this piece because it perfectly combines some of the most interesting characteristics of the Navigators: The fact that they are shadowy and secretive, but with a certain flair and ostentatiousness. The subtle mutations and deformity created by millennia of incestuous intermarrying between the same cluster of houses. And the strange combination of hi-tech and mysticism that is so typical of the 40k setting. Anyway, all of these circumstances together really made me want to build a Navigator of my own!

There was also the fact that FW’s new event only model is a Navigator, providing a further motivation to come up with my own version in glorious plastic. So I merrily kitbashed away. Here’s the result:

Navigator (1)

Navigator (5)

Navigator (3)
Navigator (4)
As you can see, a WFB Empire Battle Wizard formed the base for the conversion, and the same kit did indeed provide most of the bitz I needed. The two things I wanted to push the most, from a visual perspective, were the Navigator’s ostentatiousness and his possible physical deformity (the exact degree of which is rather hard to ascertain, due to his billowing robes).

For the former effect, I took a page out of Forgeworld’s book for the model, giving the Navigator a rather flamboyant feather collar instead of one made of fox tails. The staff from the wizard kit is also the perfect sign of office for a powerful representative of an ancient Navigator house.

In order to achieve the latter effect, I had to be rather crafty, since the model’s robed body left me precious few options to hint at mutations, but a careful selection of bitz helped in giving the impression that the Navigator was somewhat …twisted. Chief among these bitz was the head from the Dark Vengeance Chosen champ — actually the bit that inspired the whole conversion in the first place! The model’s nose had already been slightly damaged and flattened during transport when I opened the box for the first time, and so I ultimately decided to replace the head. The third eye wasn’t all that fitting for a servant of Khorne anyway, but just the right thing to build a Navigator! And the slightly misshaped nose could be explained away as yet another manifestation of the poor chap`s rather limited gene pool. Beyond that, I added several additional subtle hints at physical deformity to the model — can you spot them all? 😉

Navigator (2)
This guy will be used as a high-ranking representative of House DeVries, the Velsen sector’s pre-eminent navigator house. I also cannot help seeing this character as a bit of an evil guy: Not a clear-cut villain or a follower of chaos, mind you, but a schemer and slightly depraved individual. Here’s a short quote that came to my head – unbidden – while I was working on the model:

“I am aware, my lord, that my kind disgust you. I need not look into your soul to see your revulsion, for it is written all over your face. You shiver at our nature, and at our perceived unwholesomness. But oh, my lord, if you could only see us how we really look, in the realms behind the veil…” (insert malicious chuckling here)

Another thing I would like to do is to add a couple of retainers to him, representing members of his personal household guards. These will be ruthlessly inspired by weirdingway’s amazing rag tag Navigatorial retainers, so take a look at his thread (wait, you should do that anyway!) and you’ll know what to expect.


So yeah, so much for my recent fit of kitbashing inspiration. I hope this mini-series has been interesting enough for you to follow — now I’ll have to work up the motivation to break out the paints, lest all of these models end up in my cupboard of shame. Let’s keep our fingers crossed, shall we? 😉

In any case, I’d be happy to hear any feedback or criticism you might have! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!