Archive for retinue

INQ28: I see fire

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 5, 2018 by krautscientist

So, with the festivities out of the way, I find myself quite motivated to keep painting stuff, which, given my usual laziness, is a bit of a surprise. It looks like the hobby challenges issued by Azazel and others are having quite a beneficial effect on my completion schedule, though. So after the “Neglected Model/Fembruary” challenge finally prompted me to paint a model I had wanted to finish for years at long last, I thought I might just take a peek at the next challenge. And Azazel didn’t disappoint: His current Squad:March! challenge once again provides the perfect incentive to keep working on my Ordo Hereticus warband and actually finish it until the end of the month — after leaving the models unpainted for years, this basically amounts to a record attempt for me πŸ˜‰

Anyway, what do I have?

First up, two callbacks to my previous post: Inquisitorial Operative Tybalt Renner now finally has his base:



I made things than they needed to be by not building, undercoating and then painting the base along with the rest of the model: Like most old metal models, Tybalt still has the metal tag that connects both feet and slots into the base. Now I could have carefully sawed it off, of course, but I was actually glad for the added stability. So I carefully textured and painted the base around the already painted model, which is hardly an ideal approach…

Oh well, at least I think he really ties into the rest of the warband rather beautifully now.

I have also added the last finishing touches to the Imperial Missionary (actually a Brian Nelson sculpt, by the way: Eric Wier very helpfully cleared that up for me — cheers, mate!):


That’s not all, however, as I also have some new models to show you, though: One of the parts that are really iconic of the Inquisition (and, by extension, of the entire setting) for me are the many servo-skulls, cherubim and familiars appearing in the artwork. They really embody the quirkiness and gothic horror of the 40k universe, and at the same time, they recall painters like Hieronymus Bosch, among others. This is especially true of most pieces of art depicting the Ordo Hereticus, with many familiars and creepy little creatures flitting hither and yon in the background.

Unfortunately, we don’t get nearly enough cherubs and familiars in actual model form, and the ones that are (or were) available can be a bit of a mixed bag. I knew I wanted Inquisitor Arslan’s retinue to have some grimdark familiars in it, though, so I had to get creative.

Hence these guys:

The servo-skull was actually inspired by a small illustration from the old Codex Witch Hunters:

This little guy actually appears in many pieces of Ordo Hereticus related artwork, so I felt I needed him – or at least a similar model – for my own collection.

It was an easy enough conversion to get right — which is probably why I had already built the servo-skull quite a while ago:


A resin skull (sent to me by fellow hobbyist Biohazard) was combined with one of the firy headdresses from the Empire Flagellants kit. The dangling scroll came from a vehicle kit, I believe. Or maybe the old Ravenwing sprue?! Anyway, because the model was so light, creating the illusion of it floating was easily accomplished by gluing it to a plastic beam from an old Tamiya kit.

As for the paintjob, there were two main things to get right: The flames, for which I used the same approach that had already worked like a charm on my Redeptionist. Many thanks must go, once again, to Tales of Painters’ amazing tutorial for painting flames). The other effect I really wanted to nail was the scripture on the dangling parchment. So I used the – still pretty amazing – Ordo Hereticus/Sisters of Battle decal sheet to puzzle together something suitably convincing.

So here’s the finished model again:



Of course the servo-skull comes with its own dedicated promethium supply to keep that fire going πŸ˜‰


The little Angel of Death familiar, on the other hand, came about as the consequence of wanting to do something with some bitz from the Coven Throne I got via ebay (in an attempt to get my hands on the female vampires that come with the kit). Anyway, I thought a floating skeleton with a scythe seemed suitably menacing for a Hereticus warband πŸ˜‰


Once again, the conversion itself was fairly straightforward: The upper body was combined with the cabling from a Tempestus Scion servo-skull, and some wings from the Blood Angels’ Sanguinary Guard were added to the model’s back. I even wedged in a small exhaust port between the wings, to hint at some kind of propulsion system. Oh, and I exchanged the standard skull head for an actual servo-skull, to make the model look slightly more tech-y.

I went for a fairly no-frills paintjob, adding some gold to the wings for a slightly more luxurious, sculptural look:


So with these models painted, I already have a rather nifty looking group of Ordo Hereticus operatives, if I do say so myself:

There are only two members of the retinue left to finish at this point:

A female Death Cult Assassin:

And the big man himself, Inquisitor Nabreus Arslan:


I already have a big painting session scheduled for tomorrow, and I think I am going to have a go at Arslan — if only to prevent myself from making yet another dozen tweaks to the model. Wish me luck! πŸ™‚

On a partially related note, even before painting the most recent models, I realised that I have accumulated over 50 INQ28 models at this point — another small anniversary of sorts:


Anyway, I would, of course, love to hear your feedback! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

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!

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!