Archive for retinue

Six Years!

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, Pointless ramblings, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 26, 2018 by krautscientist


As of last week, Eternal Hunt is actually six years old. Huzzah! πŸ™‚

Six years of blogging — that’s actually a fairly long period of time, isn’t it? It’s longer, for instance, than I have ever managed to hold down a single job (Pro career tip: Remember kids, never go for the nonprofit sector). Anyway, it does feel like an achievement, and I am really happy to have kept at it for so long!

On the one hand, there are the numbers: The blog hit the mark of one million views back in December, and I’ve had 391,000 visitors and accumulated 371 followers (cheers, people! You rock!). But that’s only half of the story, really, as beyond the numbers, this blog has really been an instrumental part of my hobby for a long time now: Looking back on the last couple of years’ worth of content on this blog, as well as the models produced alongside it, I realise there are many hobby related things I would never have achieved, had I not started this blog. And it goes without saying that your feedback has been an invaluable part of that as well, so thank you very much, dear readers!

It is true, blogging has become harder over the years: It’s no longer quite as easy for me to churn out post after post, and I am sometimes forced to take breaks in my posting schedule, for one reason or another. There’s also the fact that social media and platforms like Facebook and Instagram seem to be far more en vogue at the moment than classic blogs or forums — as I may have mentioned before, I am not really a fan of this particular development, but that doesn’t change anything about the fact that social media are having a very obvious (and rarely positive) impact on the amount of interest single blogs can generate.

Even so, I’ll keep doing my best to keep this place in business! And you can all help me by reading my ramblings, looking at the (hopefully) pretty pictures and letting me know what you think every now and then, alright? Do we have a deal? I surely hope so, because it’s also very obvious to me your feedback is a very important fuel to keep my hobby motivation going.

 

Anyway, what kind of anniversary would this be without any new content to celebrate the occasion, right? When I realised this date was coming up, I knew I needed something to immortalise the moment. Now under normal circumstances, I would have shown you some of my oldest (and ugliest) models from all the way in the back of the cupboard of shame, and we would all have a laugh at my expense, but you already know all of my early failures, so what was I to do? I did want to share something to us all a warm and fuzzy retro feeling, though — and then I realised I had just the thing:

Back in 2014, fellow hobbyist Drone21c was awesome enough to send me an ancient plastic Imperial Guardsman from the Rogue Trader era.


Now those were wild and adventurous days, back when the Imperial Guard was far different from its modern incarnation. Illustrations and models from the time show an army precariously balanced halfway between Spanish Conquistadors IN SPACE! and a classic, clean SciFi-look:


And what better way to do that old chestnut above justice than to tap into that crazy Oldhammer era, right? So that’s what I set out to do.

Anyway, a retro project like this deserved the right approach as well as the right reference material, so I chose to work from vintage publications, taking this depiction of a soldier in the 5th Arcadian regiment as my main inspiration:


For the most part, I tried to faithfully reproduce the paintjob seen in the illustration — with two small caveats: One, I didn’t have access to any old skool decals, so I had to make to do with a mix of modern symbols and – very basic – freehanding, going for a reasonable approximation of the vintage look. Two, some of the elements from the illustration actually worked less well on an actual model — such as more symbols on the helmet actually throwing off the colour balance. So I made some adjustments based on what did and didn’t work. That being said, and with no further ado, I give you (in honour of Drone21c) and to celebrate Eternal Hunt’s sixth birthday:

 

Trooper Gibbson Rikkert of the 5th Arcadian Rifles



I truly had a blast painting this guy! Trying to reproduce the elements of the drawing was a fun challenge, and I tried the best I could to make something that could have appeared in an old issue of WD from back in the day. The biggest amount of time was given over to trying to reproduce the various unit markings and symbols.

For instance, I spent quite a bit of time getting the platoon marking on the left side of his chest just so — only to realise that it would be mostly covered up by the lasgun. It’s still visible from an angled view, though:


In hindsight, given the subject of today’s post, I realise it would have made far more sense to have him belong to the Sixth Arcadian Rifles. Oh well…

Of course the model also needed a base, and I did my best to make it resemble the designs we would see in old issues of WD (with a few modern touches here and there, though). Fun fact: It was completely clear to me that a suitably retro-looking base would definitely need some bright green static grass, and I actually still have most of the bag of GW static grass I bought at the Cologne GW store while on a trip about twenty years ago — so the grass is actually genuinely retro πŸ˜‰

When it came to painting base rim, I went back and forth over which colour to go with a couple of times, only to realise that there was really only one possible answer to that particular question…

Matching the hue of the old Goblin Green took some doing, though πŸ˜‰

 

In spite of the anniversary, its not merely fun and games over here at Eternal Hunt, however, and work on my recently begun Ordo Hereticus retinue continues apace. As I’ve already stated in my previous post, next in line to be painted was the OOP Van Saar turned Inquisitorial Operative:


While the Interrogator and Redemptionist are very obviously and loudly Ordo Hereticus, I chose a slightly more subdued approach this time around: My reasoning was that even a proud and righteous Witch Hunter might have a use for a slightly more covert operative every now and then, and by its very look and feel, the model struck me as a likely candidate for all kinds of black ops and sneaking missions — I am not going to lie, I was also thinking of a grimdark version of Venom Snake/Big Boss from Metal Gear Solid V a fair bit, so there’s that, too.

So, meet Inquisitorial operative Tybalt Renner, formerly of the Saarthen Draugr:



The key visual element here is the matte grey stillsuit juxtaposed with glossy black armour plates. I did add the suggestion of woodgrain to the casing of Renner’s longlas, both to hint at the fact that it’s a keepsake weapon and to recall the medieval look that is so common for the Ordo Hereticus.

I also wanted to feature the red that is so prominent elsewhere in the warband, so I added the red lenses, the red field on his left shoulder (with the “S” as a callback to Renner’s former regiment, the Saarthen Draugr) and half an Inquisitorial symbol in red on his facemask:



At first I wasn’t sure whether I liked the outcome, but I have grown rather fond of the model: I think the slightly more lowkey appearance really works for the model. He still needs a proper base, though.

Oh, and since the Saarthen Draugr are a regiment DexterKong came up with for our shared Velsen sector, here’s one of Dexter’s actual Draugr soldiers (still in PIP form) for comparison:

Saarthen Draugr WIP by DexterKong

I like how the models look different enough to show that Renner’s position is now different from his former life as a soldier in the Draugr, yet they also share enough similar visual cues to hint at a common origin.

While I was still suitably inspired, I decided to keep chipping away at the retinue. So I am already hard at work on the next model for the warband, an itinerant Missionary based on one of the old GW metal missionaries:


The model came into my possession years ago, as part of a job lot. I made some slight tweaks — the chainsword was missing, and I replaced it with a trusty autopistol. And the book standard was great, but didn’t tell the story I wanted, so I replaced it with a slightly more angular Inquisition symbol/reliquary.

Here’s the painted model so far:


It’s a fantastic sculpt, full of character and still very much at home next to current models. Does anyone have an idea who sculpted this guy? I am tempted to say Jes Goodwin — there’s an amount of detail and care in the sculpt that just screams Goodwin to me. The backpack, with all the stowed equipment, for one, is a tiny piece of art in itself:


Most of the paintjob is already in place, and the missionary just needs some finishing touches before he can join the ranks of Inquisitor Arslan’s retinue for good — speaking of which, here’s a look at the current state of the warband:


So, as you can see, Eternal Hunt is well on its way into a busy seventh year. Let’s make it a successful one — I cannot do it without your help, tough, so please let me know what you think! 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… πŸ˜‰

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? πŸ˜‰

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! πŸ™‚

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 πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ™‚ 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? Β 

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 πŸ˜‰

 

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: The Buddy System

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Fluff, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob, Pointless ramblings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 23, 2016 by krautscientist

So, after last week’s crude drawings, let’s get back to actual models, shall we? πŸ˜‰ Work on Inquisitor Gotthardt’s retinue continues, and it certainly feels good to finally put some paint on some of these models: The warbands is one of my earliest projects for INQ28, with many of the models dating back a couple of years at this point, so finally painting them, giving them a pat on the head and introducing them to all the nice people out there really feels like I am tying up some loose ends!

So I am going to show you some of the new models I have managed to finish, of course. But I would also like to use this occasion to talk about a certain dynamic about this project – and, in fact, about INQ28 character creation in general – that I find rather fascinating. A warning in advance, though: What follows will be a rather wordy post on the minutiae of my creative process, so if you’re just visiting for the pretty pictures, feel free to scroll down πŸ˜‰

 

When I created the first characters for Inquisitor Gotthardt’s retinue, the warband was intended as a bit of a foil to the gang I had created immediately beforehand: The warband of one Inquisitor Antrecht:

Inquisitor Antrecht and retinue early 2016
Antrecht is a radical with Istvaanian leanings, and his retinue certainly reflects that: Since many of his colleagues in the Ordos see him as a dangerous heretic, he can no longer move through the Velsen Sector too openly and has to rely on some rather shady characters to do his work for him (such as a runaway Magos, a bounty hunter, a former Officio Assassinorum operative, a twist sniper and an actual daemonhost). The rest of his retinue is made up of arco-flagellants and combat servitors: tragic creatures and certainly not wholesome characters. But in the desert, a man has to take such water as he is offered.

Now Antrecht’s former-friend-turned-pursuer Erasmus Gotthardt is still far more moderate and puritan in his views, even if he has already had to make a compromise here and there. This allows him to travel the sector more freely and recruit retainers that are somewhat less extreme (if still rather unconventional at times). In short, fewer twisted monsters and more actual people. And once again, I wanted the retinue to reflect this quality, lending it a more adventurous, somewhat picaresque feel. I’ve already mentioned that many of the members of the warband are based on the classic archetypes from the Inquisitor rulebook. But while working on the models, something interesting happened: While I started by merely ticking off boxes (Rogue Trader, check. IG veteran, check. Huge Inquisitor in golden armour Γ  la Inquisitor Tyrus, check), the various models suddenly started to develop a life of their own. That is, I started to think about their motivations, their backstories and what had led them into Gotthardt’s service.

Now developments like this always feel very rewarding, because they make the models grow beyond their origins as mere playing pieces into actual characters, which is a lot of fun. But it went even further here in that some of the characters suddenly brought their buddies on board. Case in point, I had a security agent named Remus Ingram, and suddenly I felt that he certainly needed a cyber-mastiff to accompany him on his patrols through the underhive. Now in this particular case, it took me years to find the right base model for the cyborg-canine, but I ultimately did, and now Remus has his personal mutt, “Balzepho”:

Remus Ingram and Cyber-Mastiff (2)
Rogue Trader Iskander Gagarin was a similar case: The model was originally built to resemble Duke von Castellan from the Inquisitor rulebook: a strangely eclectic character in a fantasy uniform. So far so good. But when PDH sent me a powder monkey from one of the WFB Empire kits one day, I realised that the little guy would make for an ideal pet for the flamboyant Rogue Trader with a bit of work. So PeeDee the Monkey was born — and became the actual template for Iskander’s paintjob later on:

Rogue Trader Iskander Gagarin and PeeDee the Monkey
Now neither the dog nor the monkey are extremely deep and important characters in the larger narrative, of course. But they serve as a deeper explorations of certain facets of their respective masters, if you will, making the characters a bit more real in the process. Plus they were just a lot of fun to build and paint!

Now one of the new models I promised you really takes this whole buddy concept to the next level. You may remember Cpt. Esteban Revas, one of my oldest INQ28 characters (he also has quite a bit of backstory as well):

Esteban Revas (1)
I originally built Esteban as a variation of the IG veteran archeytpe. I really liked the idea of a guard regiment in (somewhat ridiculous) getup recalling both renaissance clothing as well as the military uniforms of the 18/19th century. The resulting model was built with a much smaller bitzbox than I have today, but I am still enormously fond of Esteban even now: I think the model is really quite characterful. Esteban Revas looks like a rather arrogant peacock, but there’s also a hint at something deeper, a hidden tragedy maybe? Plus there’s always the fact that he must have had some inner quality to become a member of an Inquisitorial retinue.

The longer I thought about the character, the more I felt that his background deserved further exploration: I had invented a regiment for him, the 126th Haaruthian Dragoons, but that was just a name and didn’t really mean anything. But now I started thinking about Haaruthia, about the Dragoons and about Esteban’s backstory, and suddenly I had an idea about another character to accompany the good Captain:

An aristocratic officer like Revas would certainly have some kind of servant to lug around his gear, clean his boots and just serve as a whipping boy, if the need arises, right? So with that idea in the back of my head, I built the first version for Trooper Salvador ‘Sal’ Koltz, formerly of the 126th Haaruthian Dragoons and personal retainer to House Revas:

Trooper Koltz WIP (1)
Koltz was originally created as a bit of a joke character, actually: His almost medieval getup was a hint at the feudalist structures inside the Haaruthian military, with proud nobles being handed officers’ ranks without any need for actual qualification while the commoners could only ever hope for a place in the trenches, more fodder for the meatgrinder of war. At the same time, I gave him a huge amount of gear to lug around, because just because we’re in a warzone doesn’t mean that Cpt. Revas can possibly do without his smoking utensils, right? In a small yet effective stroke of absurdity, I even added a small treasure chest from the Bretonnian Men-at-arms kit to the pile of gear on Koltz’ back. The screaming head from an old Empire kit was chosen to invoke the impression that Koltz is just a regular guy who is way out of his depth: “What has that idiot gotten me into this time?”, he seems to be hollering.

While I was happy enough with the resulting model, the various characters in the warband were still very much in flux, and so Esteban Revas became more and more rounded-out: While he remained a proud and haughty character, his backstory also revealed a deeper nobility, an inner urge to do what’s right and neccessary. And while this made him a better, more believable character, it also meant that Koltz would have to grow along with him, becoming less of a caricature and more of a believable person himself. I exchanged lots of ideas on this matter with DexterKong, and in the end, while the Master and servant dynamic between the two characters remained in place, Koltz also became a straight man to Esteban, serving as an unabashedly lowbrow, yet also surprisingly cunning and loyal foil to his master. I wanted him to be less downtrodden and more confident. This coincided with a small but important change to the model: Dexter suggested replacing the characterful (but somewhat panicky) head with another bit from the Empire range, this time from the Free Company:

Trooper Koltz alternate head (2)
And I think you’ll agree with me that the different head totally changes the feel of the model: Koltz looked way more confident and self-assured now. A grizzled veteran rather than a panicked everyman. The screaming head was cool, no doubt about that, but it simply no longer told the right story.

I was really happy with the model at this point, all things considered. So what did I do next? Well, I put Koltz away and didn’t paint him for several years, that’s what πŸ˜‰ But after Esteban Revas was completed a while ago, Koltz’ time had finally come, and so I dusted off the model and got to work last weekend.

And while the model may be a fairly straighforward conversion, coming up with the right paintjob turned out to be rather challenging for a number of reasons: For one, it shouldn’t surprise you that I wanted Koltz and Esteban to really work as a pair within the bigger framework of the warband, with Koltz serving as a straight man to his, ultimately decent yet also fairly foppish, superior, and they also embody the class distinctions in the Haaruthian military, with commoners serving as the rank and file, while the nobles (with their very romantic concept of warfare) get handed the command, with little to no regard to their actual suitability for such positions.

I tried to achieve it by painting Koltz’ livery in a way that makes it look like a less grandiose, ruddier version of Esteban’s dress uniform. I also wanted to include some hints to the 126th Haaruthian Dragoons’ heraldry. And while I wanted the model to look a bit more subdued, I also needed to add some small touches and tweaks to make it suitably interesting from a visual standpoint.

So here’s what I ended up with:

Trooper Salvador 'Sal' Koltz (7)
Trooper Salvador 'Sal' Koltz (2)
Trooper Salvador 'Sal' Koltz (9)
Trooper Salvador 'Sal' Koltz (10)
While Koltz may no longer technically be a member of the Dragoons, he’s still wearing their colours and heraldry, including a numeral “126” on his left shoulder pad (spliced together from two Cadian decals — maybe I should have looked at the available numbers beforehand and then chosen the regimental number afterwards…), a generic IG winged skull on his right shoulder pad and a small plaque with a stylised “H” (for Haaruthia) dangling from his belt. He also has the same very dark silver armour with a gloss finish as his master.

Here’s a look at all the gear on his back:

Trooper Salvador 'Sal' Koltz (11)

Making him look like a bit of a packing mule without seeming comically over-encumbered was a bit of a challenge, but I think the overall effect really works. I still think that small treasure chest is a rather beautiful touch πŸ˜‰

Trooper Salvador 'Sal' Koltz (12)
In order to add some subtle visual flourishes to the model, I have Koltz a five o’ clock shadow on his face and added a slight woodgrain pattern to the casing of his rifle. Both effects may not be spectacular or anything, but I am still fairly pleased with the result!

Trooper Salvador 'Sal' Koltz (8)
Bound by a debt of honour to Lord Bestrald Salazar Revas, Trooper Salvador β€œSal” Koltz has vowed lifelong service to House Revas and has become Esteban Revas’ personal retainer, serving under him in the 126th Haaruthian Dragoons and following him into the service of Inquisitor Erasmus Gotthardt afterwards. While he may seem irreverent, indolent and unashamdely lowbrow at first glance, Koltz actions reveal a surprisingly crafty and unfailingly loyal individual whose feeling of obligation towards Cpt. Revas goes far beyond any notions of military discipline.

 

So much for the character himself. Here’s Koltz and Revas together — I hope you’ll agree with me that there really is a certain dynamic between the two models:

Esteban Revas and Trooper Koltz (2)

Koltz may not be a spectacular piece, but I am still enormously pleased with the model. When all is said and done, my chief goal in this hobby is to invent, build and paint characters rather than mere playing pieces, and it just feels like I have come pretty close to achieving that goal with these two guys!

As for the bigger picture, additional buddies like the two cyber-pets and Trooper Koltz have made Inquisitor Gotthardt’s retinue grow beyond what was originally planned, and that is something that has indeed happened to me on several projects. But while the temptation to add a character here and there might get me sidetracked occasionally, it’s also a great way of further exploring the inner workings and backstory of any given warband/army, so it’s a temptation that I am usually just too happy to indulge! πŸ™‚

One more model before we wind up, and yet another oldie but goldie πŸ˜‰ Back when I built the first models for Inquisitor Gotthardt’s retinue, I decided to also include a character based on the “Drill-Abbot” archetype from the Inquisitor rulebook. So I made this guy:

Drill Abbot WIP (3)
Another fairly simple conversion, and one that reproduces several elements of GW’s 54mm model for Preacher Josef, such as the robe, thunder hammer and devotional knicknacks. But while I was happy enough with the conversion itself, it took me ages to find the right angle for this guy: Call me weird, but it’s far easier for me to actually paint a model for INQ28 when I have even the slightest idea of who they are as a character.

Unbelievably enough, it took a couple of years for me to return to this model, but suddenly things just fell into place: I was thinking of the “Quelling of St. Berthold”, an event DexterKong came up with for our shared INQ28 setting, the Velsen sector. I don’t want to give too much away, seeing how Dexter is probably going to reveal some of the story on his blog sooner rather than later, but the general idea is that a daemonic incursion occured at St. Berthold and had to be fought back by a coalition of Imperial forces. For a number of reasons, the event became a turning point in the lives of many of the characters involved. Looking at my little drill abbot here, I asked myself: What if he participated in the operation as a member of the Imperial Guard? And what if the things he saw during that campaign instilled in him an utter piety born out of sheer terror and made him take a cloth and become an Ecclesiarchy cleric?
Not a momentous idea, certainly, but it was enough to rekindle my interest in the model and finally get it painted. So here’s the finished Drill Abbot:

Father Harlan (1)
Father Harlan (2)
Father Harlan (3)
Father Harlan (4)
Father Harlan (5)
Funnily enough, I chose a colour palette very close to the one used by the ‘Eavy Metal team for Preacher Josef — I just liked the look of the paintjob and also thought it might go well with the rest of the warband. But even though much about the model recreates GW’s Preacher Josef, I hope there’s still enough originality about Father Harlan to turn him into a character in his own right.

In fact, one aspect of the model ultimately turned into a part of his character in a rather organic way: When I originally posted the WIP model on the Ammobunker, a fellow forumite joked that the little casket worn at the model’s right hip probably contained some kind of alcoholic beverage. Now I had originally intended that element as a vessel for holy water or some kind of unguent, but I liked the idea, so when PDH suggested adding a drinking cup to the model’s gearbelt, I did just that. Now given Father Harlan’s backstory, maybe his drinking habit might be another consequence of his experiences at St. Berthold?

Father Harlan (6)
Father Endric Harlan is a Drill-Abbot of the Velsian Ecclesiarchy currently serving as personal confessor to Inquisitor Erasmus Gotthardt. A veteran of the Imperial Guard, his experiences during the Quelling of St. Bertholdt led him to pursuing a life of piety, haunted by the utter fear born of of having witnessed firsthand the terrible powers of chaos.

 

Regarding the bigger picture, I am really happy to say that I have managed to finish nearly all the members of Inquisitor Gotthardt’s retinue — just one more character to go, although that will be quite a challenge. Because the last member of the warband will be Elisha Gorgo:

Elisha Gorgo (3)
We’ll see how that turns out…

In the meantime however, here’s a look at the retinue so far:

Inquisitor Gotthardt and retinue early 2016 (4)

I hope you have enjoyed my – unfortunately rather wordy – look at my creative process. Please don’t hesitate to let me know any feedback you might have! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Inquisitor 28: A Man of the Void-Sea

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

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

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

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

Rogue Trader Iskander Gagarin WIP (1)

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

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

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

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

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

Rogue Trader Iskander Gagarin (1)

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

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

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

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

Rogue Trader Iskander Gagarin (2)

Rogue Trader Iskander Gagarin (3)

Rogue Trader Iskander Gagarin (4)

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

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

Rogue Trader Iskander Gagarin and PeeDee the Monkey

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

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

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

Toll the great bell thrice — my first experiments with the new AdMech kits

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Fluff, Inquisitor, paintjob, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 1, 2015 by krautscientist

In ancient times, men built wonders, laid claim to the stars and sought to better themselves for the good of all. But we are much wiser now.
“Speculations On Pre-Imperial History”

Given my gushing and rather wordy reviews of the Skitarii and Cult Mechanicus releases, you may have wondered why I haven’t actually boarded the AdMech train yet, at least when it comes to conversion and painting projects. The reasons for this are simple: I only wanted to start showing my own AdMech models once I had managed to come up with something that doesn’t feel like a cheap knock-off of Jeff Vader’s fantastic recent projects, for one. The other reason is that working with some of these kits requires quite a bit of planning beforehand: The Skitarii Vanguard/Rangers, for instance, are wonderfully sculpted models, yet their construction means that any and all conversion projects involving the kit require some thought. The same goes for the Kastelan robots: While the models themselves are spectacularly versatile, it behooves the converter to know where he’s going with these models before getting out the modeling knife πŸ˜‰

Anyway, to make a long story short, I have finally arrived at the point where I am comfortable with showing you some of my AdMech conversions. So allow me to share some of the things I am currently working on:

 

1. “Wir sind die Roboter”

I have gone on record stating that the Kastelan robots are possibly one of the most promising parts of the recent Cult Mechanicus release — and indeed, they were the first kit from that release I actually picked up. I started messing around with the kit with the vague plan of building one or two walkers for my World Eaters and/or Iron Warriors Killteam — to give credit where credit is due, TJ Atwell’s idea to use the kit in order to build a plastic Contemptor was what originally led me down this road.

After giving the matter a bit of thought, I decided that I didn’t want to build a straight-up Contemptor: Doing so would have required a fair bit of sculpting and/or plasticard work, for starters, and there was also the fact that the more humanoid look of the robots appealed to me. So my plan was to embrace the basic look of the models and see whether I could make them seem more baroque and chaotic.

The first step towards this end was to find out how to replace the heads. While I don’t hate the blank 50s SciFi robot heads, it didn’t seem like the right choice for a Chaos walker. Nehekare’s very helpful thread over at The Bolter & Chainsword really helped me out, though, because it showed me that the options for alternate heads I had been considering would work really well. And so a short while later, I had these early mockups:

The Twins
As you can see, it’s really easy to replace the stock heads. The “head” and faceplates from the Defiler kit work really well, as does the head from the Tomb Kings Necrosphinx (seen on the right). In both cases, a plate from a CSM Rhino turret hatch was glued inside the Kastelan’s chest cavity, with the head added on top.

The next goal I had was to go for a slightly more involved pose than what you see on the stock Kastelans. Because the kit is really amazingly versatile when it comes to posing the legs: I don’t understand why GW doesn’t make a bigger fuss about this particular feature, but once you cut off the little nubs that lock the legs into a certain position, the world’s your oyster. As you can see, I have gone for a running pose, and it was really easy to achieve! I also added some early bitz in order to transform my Kastelan robot into a Khornate killing machine, as you can see:

WE_Kastelan WIP
Fortunately enough, there were a couple of very happy coincidences that helped me with this conversion:

  • the hammer-wielding hand from the Nemesis Dreadknight turned out to be a pretty perfect fit for the Kastelan. What’s more, the hammer head I still had left from the Bloodthirster kit provided the perfect replacement for the stock hammer head, so I ended up with a suitably Khornate weapon!
  • I realised that one of the breastplates from the Bloodthirster kit was a pretty good fit for the Kastelan torso, so I cut it to size and bent it around the torso, in order to make it fit more snugly.
  • I was able to use various armour plates from the Skullreaper/Wrathmonger kit to make the rest of the Kastelan’s body look more baroque and fittingly chaotic and to get rid of some of the rounded, clean aesthetic of the stock model.

All of this quickly led to my first finished Kastelan. Here’s the model I ended up with:

WE_Kastelan WIP (22)
WE_Kastelan WIP (19)
WE_Kastelan WIP (20)
WE_Kastelan WIP (21)
As you can see, I snuckin a few additional touches along the way: Some GS was used to fill in the various recesses on the head. and to extend the middle section a bit, in order to make the model slightly less tubby (an excellent suggestion by Bruticus, that last bit!). The arms were slightly extended as well, mostly by attaching the hands at a lower point.

As for the various details, I really wanted to keep one of the stock model’s “Contemptor-esque” fists, yet I added a weapon muzzle inside the palm, to hint at some kind of integrated flamethrower. And the empty eye sockets of the Necrosphinx skull were filled with proper optical lenses — I hope these will end up looking pretty stunning when painted in bright blue.

And finally, I’ve made a simple press mold of the Bloodthirster’s hoof print and tried to duplicate the Khornate rune on the Kastelan’s left sole:

WE_Kastelan WIP (23)
This element will require some cleanup work, but I think it should look pretty cool in the end.

All in all, I am really pretty happy with the way the model has turned out: This guy should be a pretty excellent addition to my menagerie of chaotic walkers, as he towers over a regular Dreadnought — Alpha Helbrute, anyone?

As for the other Kastelan, I am still committed to turning him into a member of my Iron Warriors Killteam, and a recent conversion by Jeff Vader, attempting to bring the Kastelan more in line with Jes Goodwin’s vintage drawings for the Colossus robot, have provided me with all the inspiration I need. Watch this space…

2. The Adeptus Mechanicus Velsen

It’s not all about the chaotic side of things, however! I have been a fan of the Adeptus Mechanicus for a rather long time, so it would be heresy to merely use the new kits for chaotic conversions. Because of that, I have also been working on a small collection of actual Mechanicus models. Here’s the first early family portrait of what may or may not become a dedicated AdMech warband for the wonderful world of INQ28:

AdMech kitbashes WIP (24)

Like I said, I am not sure yet whether this will become an actual warband. Maybe the models will end up in various INQ28 warbands. That said, I really like the idea of a warband representing a gathering of high-ranking Magi from the Velsen Sector’s resident Forgeworld of Korhold and a few of their Skitarii bodyguards. One image from the 40k lore that really speaks to me is the idea of a small team of Tech Priests where each of the Magi looks quite distinct (and rather inhuman), and the one thing where I think the AdMech releases have let us down a little is how they haven’t actually given us all that many actual Tech Priests. So that was what I wanted to rectify. Let’s take a closer look at the models I’ve come up with:

AdMech kitbashes WIP (4)
Something simple for starters: I picked up this Forgeworld servitor a while ago, because I think he makes for an excellent Tech-Priest (I want him to be a Magos Xenobiologis). I switched his original left hand with a creepy claw from the Datasmith model, and while it’s a very small detail, I really like the change: In spite of his slack face, he looks rather keen to dissect come Xenos, doesn’t he?
Maybe I should remove the Inquisitorial symbol on his breastplate, but I am also partial to the idea that he has been closely working with an Inquisitor for so long as to almost be seen as a traitor by his fellow Tech-Priests? Anyway, we will see…

Magos Explorator WIP
Next up, the Datasmith from the Kastelan kit. Now I already pointed out in my review how much this guy reminds me both of the artwork for Delphan Gruss and of a piece of artwork depicting a Magos Explorator, so that’s what he will be used as: The model’s bulk and extensive weaponry really fit the life of a Magos Explorator, dedicated to rediscover lost knowledge in long forgotten (and dangerous) places.

I actually didn’t convert the model beyond an attempt at uncluttering it a bit: I got rid of the smaller servo-arm on the chest as well as the cable connecting the chest apparatus to the head. Both elements seemed a bit too clunky for my taste, and I like the cleaner silhouette created by these alterations. A lovely model all in all — painting him should be a treat!

I also simply had to pick up the Tech-Priest Dominus, because I simply love the model. I have started assembling it, and this is what it looks like right now:

AdMech kitbashes WIP (2)
I’ve only made two very small changes so far: I clipped off the proboscis-like piece of tech dangling from the Tech-Priest’s facemask, because I like it better that way. And I am considering swapping out his right weapon arm with a kitbashed forearm with a converted Necron hand, because the gun option seems rather OTT for an INQ28 character. What do you think, should I keep the arm I have or go back to one of the guns after all?

AdMech kitbashes WIP (3)
The Tech-Priests will also be accompanied by their bodyguard, so I have started working on a couple of Skitarii models. Here’s the first test model:

AdMech kitbashes WIP (10)
To be perfectly honest, the recipe for this guy was stolen wholesale from one of Dave Taylor’s Skitarii. I am normally opposed to lifting entire conversions from fellow hobbyists like this, but what can I say? Dave’s model was just perfect, and I wanted a guy like that in my own AdMech warband…

So, nothing all that interesting yet, eh? Well, I tried to be a bit more adventurous with my first two kitbashed Tech-Priest models:

First up, I wanted to try whether I could come up with a Tech-Priest mostly based on Skitarii parts. In order to achieve the robed look I consider compulsory for Magi of the Adeptus Mechanicus, I used a slightly shaved-down Empire Wizard set of legs I still had in the old bitzbox. Here’s the result:

AdMech kitbashes WIP (21)
AdMech kitbashes WIP (22)
As you can see, the conversion is fairly straightforward, although I did want to make sure the model read as something more than just any old Skitarius. Which is why I built a custom axe from a Dark Vengeance cultist axe, the condensator unit from the arc pistol, an Empire flagellant staff and some cabling.

The pistol, on the other hand, was a weapon I had originally converted for Brynn Yulner. After shortening the barrel a bit, it ended up looking pretty cool on the Tech-Priest — like an archeotech raygun of sorts (think Marvin the Martian πŸ˜‰ ), with all of the weapon’s mechanisms completely internalised and hidden beneath a curved casing. Something not often seen in the 40k setting!

Oh, and maybe my favourite part of the conversion is how I replaced the original foot with a Skitarii foot. Not very flashy, but a nice detail, don’t you think? πŸ˜‰

I also made some changes to the backpack in an attempt to make it look less like standard Skitarii issue:

AdMech kitbashes WIP (23)
I added a lantern, simply because I thought it might look pretty eerie and cool when painted with subtle blue glow. Speaking of which, I decided that I wanted this model to become my first test model for a possible AdMech painting recipe, so I started painting it right away. And here’s the painted model as it looked only a short while later:

AdMech Tech-Priest (1)
AdMech Tech-Priest (3)
I would have been happy enough with the model, but Jeff Vader suggested adding some kind of decorative trim in the cog style typical of the Adeptus Mechanicus. And while I couldn’t possibly have freehanded anything convincing, the Skitarii decal sheet had just the design I needed. So I added it and it really adds something to the model, if you ask me.

Here’s the finished Tech-Priest, Magos Zoltan Phract:

Magos Zoltan Phract (2)
Magos Zoltan Phract (1)
Magos Zoltan Phract (3)
Magos Zoltan Phract (4)

Magos Zoltan Phract (5)
Zoltan Phract is a Tech-Priest of the Velsian Adeptus Mechanicus, whose recent accomplishments have made him a rising star within this secretive order, in spite of his relative youth. His rise to prominence began during his tenure as representative of the Adeptus Mechanicus in the directorate controlling the ore-rich mining world of Silon Minoris. When the mutant workers of the world raised up their arms in protest against their life of slavery, it was Magos Phract’s decisive and, some would say, chillingly efficient chain of countermeasures that ended the workers’ revolt and insured the mines didn’t suffer from a noticeable decrease in productivity.

 

All in all, I was really very happy with this first test model, because it looked like I had found a good recipe for my AdMech models. But Phract ended up looking very much like the archetypal Tech-Priest: A slender, robed figure — yet still fairly human, at least with regard to his anatomy. I also wanted to explore the more deranged side of the Adeptus Mechanicus, however, so the next Tech-Priest I built was a floating Magos Genetor without a lower body, and I went for a creepier look this time around:

Magos Genetor WIP (4)
Magos Genetor WIP (5)
Magos Genetor WIP (6)
Magos Genetor WIP (3)
My favourite part about the model is that it was basically converted using nothing but leftovers: The head is the face from the plastic Commisar model with lots of added cabling from various kits. The upper body came from the Skaven Stormvermin, while the arms are from the Skitarii and Tech-Priest Dominus kits. And the cloak is a piece of cloth from the WFB Vampire Counts Coven Throne. All in all, these bitz made for a fairly creepy and original character, don’t you think?

In-universe, I imagine the lack of a lower body means that he can easily connect himself to the massive machine that makes up the centre piece of his surgical theatre via the cabling dangling from his torso. And when he decides to venture out of his lab, a set of antigrav stabilisers keep him floating,Β  his hanging robes working as an attempt at passing as a halfway-human figure when he has to deal with regular, unaugmented persons.

I was really happy with the conversion and started painting the model right away. Since Magos Phract had turned out so well, I basically used the exact same approach. So here’s the finished model:

Genetor Grendel (1)
Genetor Grendel (2)
A mix of Ecclesiarchy and Skitarii decals was used to add some holy AdMech scripture to the parchment dangling from the Genetor’s back:

Genetor Grendel (4)
Genetor Grendel (5)

Genetor Grendel (3)
“There are those within our order who consider my fascination with the organic a waste of time or even misguided. To those I reply: There can be no question as to the superiority of the divine machine over the frailties of the flesh. Yet it is only by considering the flawed, organic machines willed into being by this universe, that we may find the tools necessary to mend that which was created broken.”

Genetor Karras Grendel, Discourses on the Merits of the Organic

 

Grendel is a model I am really happy with, because he comes so close to the archetypal picture of a mad scientist in the back of my head: There are several more or less conscious inspirations for him (such as the villain from City of Lost Children, for instance), but when all is said and done, he seems fairly human at first and becomes pereptually less so the closer you look at him. What can I say, I really achieved the look I wanted on this model πŸ˜‰

 

And finally, one last AdMech work in progress before we tune out for this week:

Did you ever have that feeling where you just want to build something cool, and you start aimlessly messing around with some bitz, but then things kinda get out of hand, and next thing you know, you’ve build a biomechanic monstrosity? Yeah, well, what can I say. This kinda happened:

Chimeric Servitor WIP (3)

So, whatever is the deal with this thing? All I can say is that the general plan was to build a huge, monstrous combat servitor of some sort. Maybe working on Genetor Grendel made me consider a more radical, disgusting approach, but there you have it. I had picked up the Blood Island rat ogred ages ago, with some half-formed ideas for converting them into Dark Eldar Grotesques or big mutants, but I never got around to using them. When the new AdMech models came out, I actually realised that they share some common ground with the rat ogres (those metallic tanks on the model’s back are fairly close to the tanks the Tech-Priest Dominus has, for example), so I thought I’d give them another look. The other thing that inspired this conversion was an illustration from the Inquisitor rulebook, where some monstrous, heavily augmented servitors can just be glimpsed through the fog.

Anyway, in spite of these ideas, the model really came together quite organically: I wanted to replace the lower legs with sharp augmetic stilts (originally Heldrake claws), and the expressionless facemask (from the Blood Angels Librarian Dreadnought) just seemed more interesting than yet another monstrous face. In fact, Neil101 pointed out that the mask gives the model a golem-like quality, which I like quite a bit!

After seeing how well the Kastelan power fist worked on the servitor, I changed the other hand to a Kastelan fist as well, only I used one of the guns this time around. I also added some cabling and cleaned up some details, and here’s what my “Chimeric Servitor” looks like right now:

Chimeric Servitor WIP (8)
Chimeric Servitor WIP (9)
Chimeric Servitor WIP (10)

As you can see, the model has had another augmetic leg grafted on — I thought this was a cool way of making the servitor look even more disturbing and less human. The kind of thing you only come up with in the middle of a kitbashing spree, eh…? πŸ˜‰
Anyway, so much for my first few conversions involving the new AdMech kits! I hope you like some of these — I think I can safely say that we’ll be seeing more of this particular project in the near future. Until then, feel free to let me know any feedback you might have. And in closing, let me share another picture of Genetor Grendel and Magos Phract — in a a way, these guys are pretty much on the opposite ends on the craziness spectrum, but I just love them both.

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

Genetor Grendel and Magos Phract

Inquisitor 28: Taking stock

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

INQ28_alltogethernow (3)

The Master of the Hunt

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 7, 2015 by krautscientist

β€œYour Emperor is no god. He is a lost soul, forever trapped within an oubliette of his own decaying flesh. If there is any justice in this world or the next, he must be howling for release somewhere in there. When one of us comes for his shriveled skull, on that last day, it will be a mercy.”

Lord Captain Lorimar of the World Eaters’ 4th assault company

 

Welcome to this week’s update and to the conclusion of what we may certainly call a long-time project. To make a long story short, today’s post will deal with the finished model for Lord Captain Lorimar, the supreme commander of my World Eaters force, Khorne’s Eternal Hunt. I have literaly spent years on perfecting a model for this character, and I am really happy to finally be able to present the finished piece to you! But all in good order…

I have written – at length – about how hard it was to create a model that was a fitting representation for Lorimar, but in the end, I came up with a suitable conversion. This one:

Lord Captain Lorimar WIP (2)
Lord Captain Lorimar WIP (3)
I am not going to regurgitate the whole story of the model’s inception here (just check out the post linked above to learn the whole story), so suffice it to say that the model was mainly the consequence of three main pieces of inspiration:

image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

This first piece shouldn’t surprise you: After all, the finished model on its base clearly resembles the art. This particular illustration came from Fantasy Flight Games’ Dark Heresy, and pretty much perfectly embodies what a Chaos Lord should look like, if you ask me.

At the same time, I also wanted Lorimar to look somewhat more noble and composed than the guy above. The inspiration for that aspect of his character came from this piece of art:

Chaos_Lord_Terminator_Armour
Still very much a Chaos Lord, but one who is somewhat more regal and brooding, a look I really tried to achieve on my own model as well.

And finally, there was also an inspiration in actual model form: Wade Pryce’s absolutely gorgeous Lord Lucid Furien Kain:

Model built and painted by Wade Pryce

Model built and painted by Wade Pryce

Wade’s World Eaters army may just be the best World Eaters army in existence, and his Chaos Lord is possibly the greatest piece of all — what better role model to emulate, I ask you?

So my own model for Lord Captain Lorimar clearly tried to incorporate elements from all three sources and combine them into something I was tremendously happy with — however, the next complicated part was to actually work up the courage to paint the model!

All in all, it took me no less than three years, and it was a hobby event over at The Bolter and Chainsword that finally provided the incentive I needed: Fellow hobbyist and all around great guy Augustus b’Raass kicked off his very own event – Augustus’ Arena – and my Brother-Slaughterer Biohazard and I took this occasion to challenge each other to finally complete our respective Chaos Lords.

A short while later, Biohazard had already completed his gorgeous model for Lork Malek Deimos, master of the World Eaters’ 18th company:

model built and painted by Biohazard

model built and painted by Biohazard

Brilliant, don’t you think? There’s a reason Biohazard’s army is yet another one of my favourite World Eaters forces, after all (make sure to check out his army at your earliest possible convenience! Seriously!) πŸ˜‰ But this also meant there was no weaseling out of this challenge: I was bound by honour to finally paint Lorimar, come what may.

So I cleaned the model and prepared it for undercoating — and, as it happens, I also made a fairly substantial last minute change, because I found out that the model looked even more imposing with a different cape: the massive wolf pelt that comes with the Space Wolves Terminators:

Lord Captain Lorimar WIP (4)
Lord Captain Lorimar WIP (5)
Lord Captain Lorimar WIP (6)
I had really only tried the cape for the heck of it, but I really liked the outcome! So I removed the ill-fitting wolf head, made a few small changes to the cape to make sure it fit the model’s body and also found out by sheer coincidence that the whole piece worked much better when turned around by 180 degrees on its base. So here was the finished model, right before undercoating:

Lord Captain Lorimar WIP (11)
Lord Captain Lorimar WIP (10)
Lord Captain Lorimar WIP (12)
Lord Captain Lorimar WIP (13)
Oh, and don’t worry: The original cape will still be used on the eventual, inevitable mounted version of Lorimar — scout’s honour! πŸ˜‰

By this time, the deadline I had set for myself was already fast approaching, so I broke out the paints and gave it my all. And after a couple of days, the model I hadn’t dared to paint for three years finally stood before me in full colour. So without further ado, I give you Lord Captain Baltus Lorimar, commander of the World Eaters’ 4th assault company and Master of Khorne’s Eternal Hunt:

Lord Captain Lorimar (9)

Lord Captain Lorimar (1)
Lord Captain Lorimar (2)
Lord Captain Lorimar (3)
Lord Captain Lorimar (4)
Lord Captain Lorimar (5)
Lord Captain Lorimar (6)
Lord Captain Lorimar (7)
It feels strange to finally have finished Lorimar: On the one hand, I could probably name a thousand things that I could have done better. But on the other hand, I am extremely happy with the model — and really proud of finally having finished this particular project. I also think that Lorimar is a very worthy commander for Khorne’s Eternal Hunt, and a definite centre piece for my army. He remains intimidating, even when placed into the midst of his personal retinue, Lorimar’s Fist:

Lord Captain Lorimar and retinue (2)

I think I have mentioned before how I wanted each of these models to be unique, and I think I have suceeded with that, wouldn’t you agree?

A very heartfelt thank you to Biohazard, without whom Lorimar would probably have remained unpainted for another couple of years. In fact, seeing how this project has basically been a collaboration between the two of us, I even whipped up a small image to commemorate the occasion:

Brothers02

But wait, there’s more! Because with today’s update, you actually get two models for the price of one, so to speak!

In addition to my 40k version of Lorimar, I have also been sitting on a 30k version of the same character for a good long while: Some of you may remember when I picked up some models from my fellow German hobbyist AgnostosTheos a while ago. The two of us had been engaging in a little project where AT was going to build 30k versions for some of my World Eaters. But then he sold off his army, unfortunately, and left me with no other choice than to pick up some of the pieces. Among those pieces was a converted Terminator model that I thought would be a rather nice fit for a 30k version of Lorimar:

Model built and painted by AgnostosTheos

Model built and painted by AgnostosTheos

As you can see, the model was already basically finished, save for the hands and weapons — so it was really easy to choose fitting weapons to make the character resemble his 40k incarnation. I also built a base for the model (and, again, made it subtly similiar to the 40k version). And here’s the result: Captain Baltus Lorimar circa M32:

Captain Lorimar M32 (2)
Captain Lorimar M32 (1)
Captain Lorimar M32 (7)
Captain Lorimar M32 (5)
Captain Lorimar M32 (4)
Captain Lorimar M32 (3)
Again, just to be perfectly clear: I can merely claim responsibility for the hands, weapons and base. The rest of the model was beautifully painted by AgnostosTheos! Oh, and I did add a chain decal to Lorimar’s right vambrace:

Captain Lorimar M32 (9)
This is a sign of him having won his captaincy in the fighting pits by slaying his commanding officer — a rather important part of his backstory!

I am also rather happy with the arid ground on the model’s base, created by a generous helping of Agrellan Earth:

Captain Lorimar M32 (10)
And here’s a comparison shot with both the Pre- and Post Heresy versions of the character:

Lorimar then and now
I am really happy with those two guys, to be honest πŸ˜‰

And finally, after having met so many of Lorimar’s subordinates and after having seen the man himself, all that remains is to take a closer look at his personal background:

Master of the Hunt
Lord Captain Baltus Lorimar, commander of the World Eaters’ 4th assault company and Master of Khorne’s Eternal Hunt:

Baltus Lorimar has been the 4th assault company’s commander ever since the days of the Great Crusade. A divisive figure among the officers of his sundered legion due to his actions at the battle of Skalathrax, Lorimar has nevertheless managed to stay in command of one of the biggest World Eaters warbands, and one of the few still managing to maintain some kind of discipline and order.

Born on the blasted plains of Europa in the aftermath of the Unification Wars, Lorimar was indentured into the growing Legiones Astartes as part of the tithe the Terran clans had to pay to the Emperor who had defeated them. He became a legionary of the XII Legion, quickly rising to the position of a line officer during the Great Crusade. When the legion was reunited with its Primarch, Lorimar had been stripped of his command and incarcerated by Valna, Captain of the War Hounds’ 4th assault company, because he had refused an Imperial noble’s order to execute a squad of abhuman auxiliarii after a battle. Once the Primarch came across Lorimar during his inspection of the legion flagship, he freed him and offered him another chance to prove himself. This act made Lorimar fiercely loyal to Angron, and he would continue to follow the Primarch unquestioningly, even as his fellow legionaries grew more and more wary of the Red Angel. Lorimar later won his captaincy in the fighting pits, killing his former captain Valna and taking command of the 4th.

During the latter days of the Great Crusade, the 4th fought in the Eastern Fringe at the side of the Word Bearer’s Piercing Gaze Chapter. Lest the 4th evade the corrupting influence of the ruinous powers, First Chaplain Erebus of the XVIIth tasked the Chaplain of the Piercing Gaze Chapter, Belzas Azalon, with introducing warrior lodges and the covert worship of the Primordial Truth to the 4th assault company. Azalon brought Lorimar into contact with the Cult of Cron, a warrior cult the young captain eagerly adopted in order to provide his company with an identity and a code of martial honour.

Once the 4th was reunited with the rest of the legion, Lorimar was very pleased to see that a similar warrior culture had begun to form all across the legion, with the legionaries accepting their Primarch’s gladiatorial origins and cobbling together a mongrel culture from it.

Captain Lorimar at Istvaan

Captain Lorimar at Istvaan

The Heresy itself went by in a red haze, with Lorimar, like many of his battle brothers, growing more and more into a frenzied madman. He and his company were on their way to madness and damnation until the Skalathrax campaign. During the Long Night of Skalathrax, Lorimar suddenly came to and realised, in a terrible moment of lucidity, that the actions of 8th Captain KhΓ’rn were about to shatter the legion and wipe out the company he had sacrificed everything for.

In a move nearly unprecedented for a World Eaters officer, Lorimar and the remains of his company withdrew from Skalathrax before the battle was over. While Lorimar’s actions saved a substantial part of the company and made sure it would continue to function as a fairly coherent fighting force, they also earned him the disdain, if not enmity, of many of his fellow officers, who still refer to him as “Lorimar the Craven”.

Ever since, the 4th has been just as threatened by the corrupting influence of chaos and the madness of the Butcher’s Nails as every other World Eaters warband. To combat the effects of this decline and in order to keep the madness at bay, Lorimar used the ancient warrior codes of his company to formulate an ethos strictly based on honour and martial pride: His company embarked upon an Eternal Hunt, endeavouring to kill the strongest warriors and run down the worthiest prey.

Even though the 4th has remained a fairly large and coherent force, the legionaries always have to fight against the encroaching madness, with infighting and rampant frenzy all too common within the company. So far, Lorimar has managed to quell these uprisings with an iron fist.

When not on the battlefield, the Lord Captain is given to bouts of dark brooding, filled with resentment at the ruination of his legion, with disgust at the depths to which many of his former brothers have sunk, and with burning hatred at KhΓ’rn, whom he considers the destroyer of the XII Legion.

 

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