Archive for PDH

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: In principio erat verbum, et verbum erat scriptum.

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Fluff, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob, Pointless ramblings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 2, 2018 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, I hope you’re all having a relaxed Easter holiday, before it’s back into the grind of everyday life tomorrow 😉

As for me, after the frantic activity of recent weeks – at least compared to my usual standard – my original plan was to take a small break before things get hectic in the coming weeks and months for RL related reasons. But almost before I knew what I was doing, I was already back at the painting table and had started to paint yet another model. So let’s take a look, shall we?

Now today’s project basically begun in two places: A couple of years ago, I discovered this piece of artwork by Wayne England online:

illustration by Wayne England

Now I’ve already mentioned before that Wayne England is (was 😦 ) one of my favoutite GW artists, and this piece in particular seemed like a great source of inspiration. It’s all there: the bold lines. The mysterious, shadowy character, the stylised lettering,…

Shortly afterwards, fellow hobbyist PDH’s shared his ruminations on the mysterious Ordo Scriptorum, an Ordo given to collecting and scrutinising the vast amounts of recordings and data collected (and often forgotten) by the Imperium of Man. Now it doesn’t take much imagination to realise that there are lots of cool Inquisitorial narrative hooks to be had here, from the creepy Orwellesque “Ministry of Truth” angle to the “The Name of the Rose IN SPACE!” style exploration of ancient data vaults that lie hidden deep in the core of the Throneworld (beautifully hinted at, for instance, by Chris Wraight in his highly recommended novel “The Carrion Throne”).

Anyway, when first posting his ideas about the Ordo Scriptorum, PDH mentioned that the aforementioned piece of art seemed like a perfect depiction of an Ordo Scriptorum Inquisitor to him. Which was when the little levers started to move in my head, and they didn’t stop until I had an early build for a model inspired by that very piece of artwork:


I was lucky enough to have some bitz lying around that really came in handy during this process: The robed legs from the WFB/AoS Chaos Sorcerer were a bit of a no-brainer. Then I discovered that the bitz best-suited to producing the pose and overall look I wanted came from the Dreamforge Games Eisenkern Stormtroopers. And the part that really made the conversion promising, even at this early stage, was a servitor head from the Space Marines Stormraven kit — easily one of the best overlooked bitz from GW’s entire catalogue, if you ask me, and kindly sent to me by fellow hobbyist Biohazard a couple of years back.

Going forward, the most important part was to match the character’s silhouette from the artwork — the way he grips his cane, the general lines of the composition, stuff like that. I also really like how the character in the illustration seems to be wearing a pair of books at his hip as though they were weapons — quite an apt metaphor, given the responsibilities of the Ordo Scriptorum…

Anyway, after much tweaking, I ended up with this conversion:



Now here’s the thing: As has become a bit of a recurring motif here on Eternal Hunt, I actually built this model years ago and hadn’t gotten around to painting it yet. In my defense, however, I spent at least some of the time doing some serious research into what I wanted the Ordo Scriptorum Inquisitor to look and feel like. This also included building some retainers for him:


The overarching motifs I wanted to explore became even more clearly defined by looking at the members of the retinue I had come up with: I wanted there to be a bookish, shadowy feel to the warband. After all, it stands to reason that much of the Inquisitor’s life would be spent exploring ancient archives. However, at the same time, there was also a hint of elegance in the artwork that inspired the model, and I felt that this would offer an interesting counterpoint, both for the retinue and for the Inquisitor.

Keeping this in mind while trying for figure out a suitable colour scheme for the Inquisitor, I also drew from several other sources: One huge influence came in the form of Wayne England’s illustrations from the same time (or at least in the same style) as the piece of art that inspired the model in the first place:

The picture above really captures one of the things I was after: You can just imagine this being an impression of an Ordo Scriptorum team going about its business in the world-city of the Holy Terra.

Of course I also looked to the work of fellow hobbyists for inspiration: Jeff Vader’s work provided heaps of material for reference once more, particularly his rogue Inquisitor Carax and his sinister Blackship Captain-Inquisitor Lazaros . Then there was PDH’s own Ordo Scriptorum warband that served as a perpetual undercurrent of inspiration for this project — in fact, his Inquisitor Klien Inson actually used to be my Inquisitor Orlant’s interrogator!

And I also happened to take some influences from the videogame world on board, especially from two series very close to my heart. Which is why Orlant was very much inspired both by Father Karras (from the Thief series)…


… and I also tried to give him the same drawn aspect you can see in this illustration of Lord-Regent Hiram Burrows (from the first game in the Dishonored series):

And finally – and funnily enough – I also kept looking at an old model of mine, one of the classic Haemonculi from 3rd edition 40k:


While the paintjob really isn’t anything to write home about by modern standards, it did feel like a useful proof of concept for the look I wanted — now if I could only refine this by about 400%… 😉

To be perfectly honest, Orlant was another one of those models where I was actually nervous about the prospect of painting — and messing up. Yet with so many finished INQ28 characters from the last couple of weeks under my belt, and with the inspiration provided by some Inquisition-centric BL novels I recently read (Dan Abnett’s “The Magos”, obviously, and there’s also so much of Orlant in Chris Wraight’s Inquisitor Crowl that I almost couldn’t believe it), I knew it was finally time to get this show on the road.

So with all of the aforementioned influences on my mind, I began painting:



I knew from the start that I wanted the robes to be a pretty dark turquoise (in that sense, my recent paintjob for Elisha Gorgo actually did double duty as a proof of concept for this model as well). As for the skin, I went with a really pale, unhealthy look, as though the Inquisitor spends very little time aboveground, in natural light — which is probably the case. And just like when painting Inquisitor Arslan, I decided to go with glossy black armour again, since I felt it would support the model’s slightly sinister look.

All of those elements worked reasonably well right off the bat. The one thing that didn’t quite work out, however, were the books worn on Orlant’s belt: I didn’t go with red or any other strong colour because I wanted to keep the palette very limited and predominantly cold, but as a result, they ended up blending into their surroundings. Several people suggested going for purple as an alternative, and under normal circumstances, that would have been an ideal choice. Only I had set myself this pesky little limitation of mostly wanting to keep the palette focused on blue and turquoise tones…

I also realised that the books actually take up quite a bit of visual real estate, so I needed the colour to be different enough from the robes, but not so different as to overwhelm the paintjob. In the end, I repainted the books grey — not an exciting choice, certainly, but it kept the palette suitably narrow and still looked different enough from the teal robes:

Another part that I had to redo several times was the script on the parchment: It actually spells “Redactor Orlant”, although you may have to take my word for it. I even tried to make it resemble Wayne England’s lettering style a bit, but there was very little space, and it was all so small. After redoing this part several times,  I think this is as good as it’s going to get…

During the painting process, I realised that there was this odd little gap at Orlant’s belt that was slightly distracting, so I carefully added some additional keys to his belt: It’s fun to think that Orlant has keys to all kinds of forbidden bibliocathedra and data vaults…

With the paintjob mostly sorted out, the model was only missing a base really, so I try to create something that would support the warband’s look and feel. For starters, I used a piece from one of the 40k basing kits, mostly for the pretty cool relief on it:


The piece was cut down to fit a round base, the gaps were filled with GS. I also liberally stippled on Liquid GS for added texture and to counteract the very soft and artificial looking quality of the stock piece. Ironically enough, most of the relief actually ended up being covered by the model:

If nothing else, however, it still provides some texture and structure, making the base look more like a part of some long-deserted Imperial archive.

So here’s the finished model:

 

=][=

Redactor Tiberias Orlant
Ordo Scriptorum

A long serving member of the Ordo Scriptorum Terra, Inquisitor Orlant has discovered many ancient documents and hidden truths during his long years of trawling the bibliocathedra and sunken data vaults of Holy Terra. Moreover, his rank as a Redactor of the Ordo means that not only does he endeavour to find records from the Imperium’s past, but he also gets to decide which truths are revealed to the masses and which are suppressed with every tool at the Holy Ordos’ disposal.

Orlant has recently embarked upon a mission only known to himself, making his way to the Velsen Sector, situated far away from the Throneworld in the Ultima Segmentum. His colleagues consider this most recent endeavour a fool’s errand at best, yet Orlant is not known as a soul given to flights of fancy — what could he have discovered in the vaults of Terra to inspire his latest investigation?

 




I did end up making one last colour adjustment after all, repainting the wax of the purity seal in a slightly colder tone than before. It’s really a small detail, but it ties back to Orlant’s skin tone (see above) and it’s not big enough to throw the entire colour scheme out of balance, so I think it’s an improvement.

As you can see, I also decided to add two books to Orlant’s base:

Once again, I wanted to hint at the fact that he probably spends most of his work scouring ancient vaults and sunken archives for lost data and hidden secrets. It’s an idea I want to explore with the rest of the warband, albeit in slightly different ways. We’ll see…

I also found out, by sheer coincidence, that Orlant has a nice kind of “Red Oni, Blue Oni” thing going with Inquisitor Arslan. Take a look:

Fellow hobbyist youwashock suggested on Dakka that the next Inquisitor in line would need to be yellow — Sentai Inquisitors FTW! 😉

In closing, here’s a comparison shot putting Wayne England’s illustration that inspired the model and Orlant himself next to each other:

Maybe not a perfect match, but I am reasonably happy with the resemblance, to tell you the truth. In the end, trying to match the art is always a compromise between what can reasonably be achieved and what would just be impractical in model form. For instance, I only realised how scarily tall the character in the artwork is when putting both images next to one another 😉

When all is said and done, it feels good to finally have finished this model! And it’ll be interesting to see how the stylistic choices I have made for Orlant and his retinue will (or won’t translate) to the rest of the models:


Thinking of this retinue again has also kicked off all kinds of thoughts about the nature of the Ordo Scriptorum — and has already provoked two more members for the retinue that shall be revealed in time.

But all of that is a story for another time. Until then, I would truly love to hear your thoughts on Inquisitor Orlant! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Inquisitor Zuul

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Fluff, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 31, 2013 by krautscientist

I may usually be a thoroughly lazy person with the attention span of a chimpanzee on fire, but every now and then, even I can enjoy a good hobby challenge that forces me to step out of my comfort zone and try something new. Contributing a model to the secret Yggdrassillium project certainly was such a challenge, and being a part of it has been such an awesome experience that I was eager to throw myself, headfirst, into the next project like that. So what is this about?

Tomorrow will see this year’s Inqvitational, a narrative event for Inquisitor played at the 28mm scale, taking place at Warhammer World, once again thanks to the tireless work of Commissar Molotov and a number of other hobbyists. And while it was my very great honour to be invited to attend, it became clear rather quickly that I wouldn’t be able to make it to the UK for the event due to work-related reasons. Still, the INQ28 community has enriched my hobby life to the point where I felt the need to contribute something – anything – to the event. So when Molotov and PDH held a call for NPC models to be built for the event, I happily volunteered.

The title of this year’s Inqvitational is “The Sins of the Master”, and the event will see a coalition of several puritan members of the Dalthus sector’s Inquisition, led by Inquisitor Tybalt, join forces to bring to justice one Inquisitor Zuul, who is not only a senior member of the Dalthan Ordo Malleus, but also an outspoken Xanthite (and thus considered a dangerous heretic by somes). It goes without saying that a cell of more radical minded Inquisitors will likely be trying to foil Tybalt’s plans.

Inquisitor Zuul had already appeared in last year’s Inqvitational as a candidate for the succession of the Helios Cabal. Back then, Molotov chose this piece of artwork – originally published on page 7 of the original Inquisitor rulebook – to give Zuul a face:

Inquisitor Zuul artwork (1b)

I volunteered to build a model to represent Zuul on the table, so this picture would be my basic template for the model. Iwas actually pretty glad about that, to tell you the truth: In my opinion, not only is this piece of artwork truly brilliant and evocative, but it’s also a perfect match for the character: The Inquisitor in the artwork looks  imposing, noble and composed, to be sure, but one of the defining characteristics of the character for me is that he also looks like a damned man. It’s in the eyes, I believe: Those are eyes that have seen to much and gone to far. I think this image was a great choice for a Xanthite character to begin with, since it embodies the fate of the outspoken Xanthite: Being convinced that one’s beliefs are true, that the forces of Chaos may indeed be used against themselves, but at the same time having to resist the urge to give in to the ruinous powers and possibly having to face your eventual damnation. The artwork perfectly captures this and shows a character that seems noble, but also ever so slightly unhinged. This was a quality I definitely wanted to keep in my rendition of Zuul!

Since I am (and will always remain) a kitbasher at heart, the first step – obviously – was to find a suitable base model After giving it some thought, doing quite a bit of research (and ruling out the purchase of some prohibitively expensive Forgeworld characters) , I decided to use the WFB Empire Witchhunter as a base for Zuul. Now this model had also been used several times in the past by other INQ aficionados — and to great effect, at that (like Riseofthemagi’s brilliant Inquisitor Helsmarck conversion, and Keravin’s Navigator, to name just two noteworthy examples), so making sure my model would looked different enough would be an important part of the task as well.

So my next step was to decide which parts of the artwork I wanted (and would be able) to keep and which detail I wanted to lose. The most important choice was which head to use, and I soon settled on a head from the WFB Empire flagellant kit. Here’s the base model with only the new head added:

Inquisitor Zuul (1)
I have to say that I really like those flagellant heads: They are great sculpts, for one, and even some of the less extreme ones, like the one above, have a certain haggard, tortured quality that works very well for an Inquisitor (incidentally, one of the other heads from the kit was used on my Inquisitor Gotthardt model). Molotov pointed out to me that the beard was looking more unkempt than the goatee in the artwork, but in the end I decided to keep it that way for several reasons: There was a very real chance of ruining the head by shaving off too much of the detail, for one.  Plus I thought a beard like that would be a nice way of having Zuul look slightly frayed around the edges. Since I would have to lose the enormously expressive eyes from the artwork (I could never paint eyes like that on a model, to be honest. I’m sure Kari of the Spiky Rat Pack could, but that’s beside the point). The beard, however, would give the character back some of that slightly haunted quality: It certainly does not look so unruly as to appear totally unkempt, and I also wouldn’t paint it to look dirty or patchy during the paintjob.

Afterwards, the converting began in earnest: The pistol held by the original model was shaved off, as was the entire left arm. Once again, I was pleasantly surprised at how precisely I was able to get rid of certain parts of the model: Finecast may certainly have its shortcomings, but it’s a great medium to convert!

I had originally planned to emulate the pose from the artwork, with the character holding his cane/staff ahead of him in both hands, maybe even leaning on it. In fact, the right hand’s position would have lend itself beautifully to such an attempt, but it turned out that I would have had to do a lot of work to several other areas of the body for the pose to work, since the position of his legs and cloak make it pretty hard to fit a hand holding a cane there without it looking really awkward.

So I added a new hand holding a cane in a more open pose. Here’s the early mockup I did at this stage:

Inquisitor Zuul (2)
Inquisitor Zuul (3)
Inquisitor Zuul (4)

The hand holding the cane came from the Bretonnian Men at Arms, while the sword on the model’s back (from the plastic Chaos Sorcerer Lord) was chosen for its slightly ambiguous look: It could be a daemon weapon, but it’s definitely not screaming chaos at the top of its lungs — I guess Inquisitor Tybalt will find out the truth, one way or another…

I also started getting rid of the flared trouser leg, since this element is very typical of the WFB Empire look, and I didn’t want Zuul to look like a dressed up peacock.

Now replacing that lump of yellow putty with an actual new left arm was quite a bit of work. I had it all done once and then realised, while looking at the photos I had taken of the model, that the arm was too long. So I had to rip it all off and start over 😉

With the basic construction of the arm finally out of the way, I used more GS and liquid GS to blend in the new additions and to repair the model’s coat where the left hand had originally been. While I was at it, I also added a skull to the cane to give a small visual clue that Zuul is not just a kindly old man with a walking stick 😉

Here’s the finished conversion right before undercoating:

Inquisitor Zuul (9)
Inquisitor Zuul (10)
Inquisitor Zuul (11)
Inquisitor Zuul (12)
As you can see, I added some cabling to the back of Zuul’s head, to resemble the bionics seen in the artwork. And while I already liked the pose of Zuul’s right hand well enough, PDH suggested having Zuul hold his Inquisitorial rosette on a cord. Making that happen was a little tricky, but in the end, it worked out pretty well — and it was only later that I realised the =][= symbol dangling from Zuul’s hand in the original artwork!

The cane really does look more like a staff now, although I think it works. And for some reason, while building it, I thought of Fabius Bile’s cane that’s really some kind of DE-like agoniser — maybe the staff is more than just a walking implement?

I also constructed a custom base for the model, using parts of an old phone card, some brass parts from the 40k basing kit, a vent I had shaved off the back of a Dark Vengeance cultist, and some cork.

Here’s a closer look at the base before painting:

Inquisitor Zuul (7)
Inquisitor Zuul (8)
When painting the model, my initial idea was to go for a black coat with red inner lining, although that somehow seemed just a tad too clichéd to me. After giving it some thought, I decided to reverse the recipe: Zuul would be sporting a dark red coat with dark grey lining. The fact that his main rival, Inquisitor Tybalt, has a dark green coat, definitely also played a role when it came to that particular decision…

As a matter of fact, my recently completed model for Inquisitor Alvar was a bit of “test run” to see whether the colour recipe I had in mind for Zuul would work.

Here’s the model with all the base colours blocked in and the first pass of washes in place:

Inquisitor Zuul (13)
Inquisitor Zuul (14)
Inquisitor Zuul (15)
The model was still thoroughly lacking contrast at this point, of course. So I accentuated Zuul’s coat with red to make it pop a little more. However, I paid attention that it didn’t become too bright and flashy. Here’s the model with some additional accents and details:

Inquisitor Zuul (23)
Inquisitor Zuul (19)
Inquisitor Zuul (20)
Inquisitor Zuul (21)
I also spent quite a bit of time on his face, trying to make it look as “alive” as I possibly could. The base was painted using my regular recipe for rusty metal. When it came to his staff and the sword scabbard on his back, I was a bit unsure on how to progress. PDH encouraged me to try a rather striking greenish turquoise, with an added coat of gloss varnish. And while the result may have ended up slightly more green than I am strictly comfortable with, that was a part of what this project was about: trying new things and stepping outside of my comfort zone…

Anyway, after quite a few painting sessions and some final touchups, the model was finished. I give you Inquisitor Zuul:

Inquisitor Zuul (36)
Inquisitor Zuul (37)
Inquisitor Zuul (44)
Inquisitor Zuul (38)
Inquisitor Zuul (39)
Inquisitor Zuul (40)
Inquisitor Zuul (42)
All in all, some parts of the model may be slightly rougher around the edges than I would have liked, but in the end, I had to get the model out the door before the deadline expired. And I think I really managed to get across that Zuul is an ancient and experienced Inquisitor who doesn’t hide his convictions or fear any confrontation with his puritan colleagues. PDH remarked that Zuul had “such a weight of years to him”, and I am really happy about that, since it’s one of the things I was trying to achieve with the model!

Here are a couple of additional detail shots:

Zuul’s face:

Inquisitor Zuul (34)
The model’s base:

Inquisitor Zuul (57)
Inquisitor Zuul (56)
And, once again, the face (which I am actually really happy with!):

Inquisitor Zuul (47)
And, just for fun, some pictures with two other models that were pretty important for the creation of Zuul:

First up, Zuul with Inquisitor Alvar, who, as I already mentioned, served as a “colour test” of sorts:

Inquisitor Zuul (61)
While the general colours used may be similar, however, the models still ended up looking quite different: Alvar is younger and more idealistic, and certainly a snappier dresser, while Zuul has a certain feeling of regality and gravitas about him.

And here’s Zuul with my own Inquisitor Antrecht, himself an outspoken radical. I wanted to give Zuul a slightly superior patrician vibe, just the same as Antrecht.

Inquisitor Zuul (63)
Come to think of it, these two could probably be pretty good friends 😉

By the way, this is possibly my favourite angle of Zuul:

Inquisitor Zuul (41)

So yeah, I certainly hope the model’s good enough to pass for Zuul during the Inqvitational! While it may not be perfect, I must say I am at least reasonably pleased with how it turned out. Plus building a model to resemble a piece of artwork was a completely new and refreshing challenge! Which actually begs the question: Does the model for Zuul resemble the artwork it was based on at all? Here’s a composite with the artwork and model side by side:

Zuul_comparison01
As you can see, I changed a number of things, some of them by sheer necessity (like the pose): The Katana-like sword in the artwork was replaced by a more western looking sword.  The facial features in the artwork are noticeably sharper, yet that cannot be helped: Trying to change the face itself would surely have ended in disaster. On the other hand, there are also a number of parallels that were strangely coincidental, like the dangling inquisitorial rosette, the (purity) seal on Zuul’s right lapel, the very similar coat or the fact that the armour the model is wearing on its torso could be seen as the same kind of augmetic pipes and doodads seen in the artwork.

Anyway, the model was packed up and sent to PDH, where, after some hair-raising delays caused by my very good friends at the German postal service, it managed to arrive just in time for the Inqvitational. Phew 😉

Huge thanks must go to both Commissar Molotov and PDH for their input and suggestions which have been invaluable during the creation of the model (and, indeed, for allowing me to tackle a rather important supporting character for the Inqvitational)! And thanks to the INQ28 crowd over at the Ammobunker as well for their continued feedback!

Inquisitor Zuul (43)
Alas, Inquisitor Zuul’s story might end up being a rather short one: There’s a very real chance he won’t survive the run-in with his puritan colleagues this Saturday. In any case, building the model to both resemble the original artwork and express Zuul’s character through the conversion and paintjob have been a great experience. And as for Zuul’s final fate, I’ll keep you posted, of course!

Until then, let me know what you think about the model in the comments section! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!