Archive for rogue trader

Coming full circle?! A closer look at Kill Team: Rogue Trader

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, Pointless ramblings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 17, 2018 by krautscientist

As some of my readers have already pointed out, I no longer do many reviews these days. But I will gladly make an exception for Kill Team: Rogue Trader, one of the most delightful hobby surprises to come out of 2018 so far:

Kill Team: Rogue Trader is remarkable in several ways: For one, it’s a look at a part of the 40k universe that has appeared in background lore every now and then, but – apart from some Inquisitor models – has never been explored in depth in model form. There’s also the fact that this actually feels like an attempt to take the – already fairly promising – killteam concept into a more narrative and, dare I say it, inquisitorial direction. And at the same time, it also feels like coming full circle, in that both the subject matter and scope of the boxed set seems like a modernised look at the old Rogue Trader, as in: the first version of Warhammer 40k.

 

Enough reasons, then, to give this release a closer look. And it goes without saying that I will be focusing on the models that come with the set, looking at their strengths and shortcomings as well as thinking about possible uses for them in the wider hobby and the odd conversion opportunity. So here we go. Just like old times, eh? πŸ˜‰

I. The Elucidian Starstriders

To get this right out of the way, I am simply in love with this kill team: GW’s sculptors have done an amazing job at making the team look like the actual household of a Rogue Trader, with an actual background story and some really interesting characters. That alone makes this part of the release a triumph!

I also really appreciate how not only are there strong shared design elements between the models (the baroque armour, the stylised heraldic animal crests for different ranks and functions), but the design also manages to both fit the 40k universe and expand its visual language (with a decidedly baroque influence versus the classic “gothic” approach), making it clear that Rogue Traders are a force unto themselves.


Rogue Trader Elucia Vhane

So, let us start with the actual Rogue Trader, Elucia Vhane: For the most part, this is a lovely and eclectic figure befitting the status of a Rogue Trader. Moreover, since most of the depictions of Rogue Traders so far have invariably shown dudes in some kind of 19th century-ish military uniform, I think we’ll have to give GW some extra kudos for going with a female Rogue Trader!

The detail on the model is rather lovely: The filigreed armour and ruffles are a great touch, as is the slightly old timey aquila clasp on her right shoulder.

My one gripe with the model is how her face is mostly covered by a veil: I get how this was probably supposed to show the eclecticism of Rogue Traders and also add an air of mystery, because you cannot help but wonder how Elucia looks under the veil: a woman kept young and beautiful by rejuvenat treatments? A hideous crone? Something altogether more mysterious? I can also really imagine the veil working great in one of John Blanche’s concept sketches.

The thing is, however, that it fares less well in actual model form. As it stands, the part of the model that should be its absolute focus point ends up looking, well, rather uninteresting. And given the fact that GW’s catalogue absolutely lacks interesting and characterful female faces, this choice seems like an even more egregious copout. Personally speaking, I think a half-veiled face, some kind of stylised porcelain mask (or, even better yet, half-mask) would have been a better solution here, and obviously made for an even more interesting character — therefore, the face is definitely the one thing I would personally convert.


Knosso Prond

Elucia Vhane’s personal assass…erm “bodyguard” has to be one of my top three models from this release: You can never go wrong with a poised, stylised pose with a sword, and Knosso illustrates this very well. I also love how there’s such a clear asian influence to her design – particularly evident on her sword and facemask – but it’s an influence that gets reflected through the general 40k look and feel, and the result is really lovely, if you ask me. That mask and hairdo, in particular, are just great touches! One of the high points, certainly!


Sanistasia Minst

Yet another female character (which is great), and also an exploration of a character archetype we haven’t seen all that often: the medic. The model does an awesome job of straddling the line between a clean, clinical look very fitting for a medicae, and the more ostentatious and baroque elements that are a part of the household’s visual language. I especially like how her equipment (the helmet, shoulder pad and gloves, in particular) seem functional and ostentatious at the same time.

Oh, and that Nurgling is a nice touch, obviously, creating a cool little shout out, both to the background of the game and to the Gellerpox Infected.


Larsen van der Grauss

The Starstriders’ resident tech-priest, Larsen has a very cool and weird design with a strong silhouette. There’s enough weird equipment and tech-y elements to keep us guessing how everything works. I especially like the head!
Funnily enough, the model doesn’t even look all that AdMech at first glance, but it’s cool to see the Tech-Priest look extended a bit, particularly for a member of the Adeptus Mechanicus who has been embedded with a different faction for a longer time.

The look and angle of the left arm seem like a shout out to the old 2nd edition characters that were fairly flat and needed to be all about silhouette — slightly anachronistic in these more modern times, but it actually seems like a conscious choice here, given the many shout outs to older lore and concepts.

Β 

Elucia also comes with her own household guard, which I think deserves extra compliments because these are a part of any given warband or retinue we normally don’t get to see — the actual soldiers doing the dirty work πŸ˜‰

Stromian Grell

A burly man with a massive gatling gun — what’s not to like, right? Very iconic pose. Almost reminds me of one of the old Warzone Imperial (or Capitol) models, although in a good way. The boat cap is a lovely touch. I also love how his almost modern SciFi look gets tampered by the baroque influences, such as the filigree on the armour (and even on the weapon). The scarred forearms are also a cool little touch and a nice bit of visual storytelling that hints at an eventful life.

Also, kudos for actually going with a non-caucasian skin colour, ‘Eavy Metal Team! πŸ™‚

Voidmaster Nitsch

Another very 2nd edition pose — and frankly, it’s amost a bit too much with the two guns. At the same time, I really love the clean lines of the model. And possibly my favourite part is how Nitsch foregoes the usual “pants in boots” look for some actual suit pants and a far more suave setup — very interesting, and also a rather interesting resource for converting INQ28 characters and Imperial civilians…

He also looks like an officer, a gentleman, but also a hard-as-nails veteran.

Nitsch’s Squad

Nitsch’s small squad ofs Voidsmen is actually one of my favourite parts of this release. Even though they are fairly uniform, the different poses and weapons (as well as the fact that their actual uniforms are really cool) still make them a great visual addition to the kill team. Even better, there’s yet another female character in there, and for once she doesn’t suffer from the endemic boob armour problem (and is arguably the coolest of the bunch). These three really bring the household vibe to life!

Plus the squad also features what must be the boxed set’s best model bar none: Aximillion the cyber-mutt:

 

Seriously, I just love this guy! The attentive pose and armour plates matching his handlers are just so cool. How I would have loved to have access to this model, back when I wanted to build a cyber-mastiff for my INQ28 collection! Granted, I found a different solution. But it’s still awesome to have an “official” GW model to fill the function!

 

II. The Gellerpox Infected

On the other side of the aisle, we get one of the weirdest and eclectic collections of mutants, monsters and creepy-crawlies I have ever seen in a GW boxed set. The Gellerpox Infected don’t seem so much like an actual killteam, but rather like a “toolkit” for a GM to populate a setting with monsters and opponents for the party to fight. Like the collections of monsters you would see in, say HeroQuest or Space Crusade.

So let us take a look at all of those creatures in turn:

Vulgrar Thrice-Cursed

The leader of the Gellerpox Infected, Vulgrar is huge and brilliantly detailed — the latter really was to be expected, given GW’s standard for plastic models these days. The model is a rather disturbing amalgamation of distressed flesh and crude bionics. While the Nurglite touches are subtle, I still like them: The three heads,Β  the pockmarked skin – they hint at the source of the Gellerpox plague without turning the model overwhelmingly Nurglite, which is pretty cool.

Those heads are particularly excellent and seem like they would just look fantastic on a wide variety of conversions. At the same time, the burning furnace, complete with flames licking out if it…may be a bit much πŸ˜‰

In spite of many very cool design elements, I am still not in love with the model. I cannot quite put my finger on what’s the problem here, but it still feels like all the really cool individual components come together into a model that is somehow less than the sum of its parts. Is Vulgrar a terrifically detailed monstrosity? Without a doubt. But he’s not a showstopper or standout piece in a boxed set, like, say, the Dark Vengeance Helbrute used to be. My two cents πŸ˜‰


Nightmare Hulks

Now these big guys obviously add a lot of visual oomph to the Gellerpox Infected. And I really love how they were designed with archetypal nightmare monsters in mind: the monster from the deep, the cannibalistic abomination, the relentless engine of destruction — I think we can all agree that these are some brilliantly disgusting abominations πŸ˜‰


Gnasher-Screamer


Now this guy actually looks like a John Blance sketch come to life, which I think was the whole point. Giant Butcher-like brutes are always great fun, and Gnasher-Screamer hits all the right notes on this accord: He has the butcher’s apron, the giant cleaver, and also the unhinged, inbred redneck look to pull it all off. Like something from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, only turned up to eleven and refracted through the particular breed of body horror supplied by the ruinous powers.

If I had to find something to criticise, it would be that the model is maybe a tad too stylised for its own good: The fact that it looks like the 3d version of a drawing is both a blessing and a curse in that respect. But still, Gnasher-Screamer is a brilliant monstrosity, and that’s obviously enough! πŸ˜‰


Big Spike

In some ways, this guy is actually my favourite Nightmare Hulk: There’s just something about the juxtaposition of a grotesquely overmuscled arm with a withered and decayed limb on the other side that works every time. Now replacing the withered right arm with some weird fly-body may be seen as slightly too gimmicky by some, but I just love the sheer grotesqueness of it.

At the same time, I also have a gripe about the model: the face. It just seems weirdly pedestrian and normal to me, and the goggles (ostensibly the remains of the creature’s formal life) actually make it worse. I think Big Spike would work much better with some kind of weird breathing apparatus strapped to his face (the obvious insectile connotations would also work really well with that little fly buddy growing out of this right shoulder).


The Writher

Ah, yes: You’ve got to have one chaos monster with tentacles, right? πŸ˜‰

Now this guy reminded me of an old WD article where the sculptors discussed how tentacles were such a difficult element of sculpting because they could make a model look weak and also because they would also often recall some kind of deep sea creature, which seemed a bit ridiculous in the 40k setting. Interestingly enough, the designers seem to actually have embraced the deep sea look on the Writher, as his tentacles and pseudopods resemble nothing so much as the limbs of a giant octopus.

In all fairness, it actually works in the model’s favour: The tentacles, weird distended flesh and hideous shoulder area actually reminded me a bit of the – brilliantly scary – creatures in the (deep sea) videogame SOMA (*shiver*), plus there’s arguably a deep sea angle to the warp that seems like it might be fun to explore.

I also really like the way the Writher’s features are covered by a crude saccloth hood that leaves some parts of his countenance up to our imagination while also still showing us a fair share of disgusting stuff πŸ˜‰

pose seems a bit more unbalanced than the rest of the hulks, especially with the massive belly — although I suspect they were going for a bloated corpse look, in keeping with the deep sea angle. The scared face of a victim peaking from the Writher’s abdomen is just a little silly, though… And maybe the sculptors have taken the deep sea angle a tad too far, what with the harpoon sticking from the model’s left shoulder? πŸ˜‰


The Vox-Shamblers

Now these guys are hands down my least favourite part of the boxed set. Poxwalkers? Pirates? Plague Bearers? They seem a bit like the unfocused kitbashes some people come up with when they really want to go crazy and chaotic for the first time, just throwing everything and the kitchen sink together. The weirdly Necron-like skull masks don’t really help either. I’d say the Poxwalkers actually work better as mutated crewmen than these guys…

I appreciate wanting to go more interesting than mere shambling zombie archetypes, but these guys just seem to have too many things going on at the same time. On the other hand, while they may not be my cup of tea, maybe they are also intended as a shout out to the general weirdness that was all over the vintage Rogue Trader and its models from the 80s — that weird mohawk on the middle guy, for instance, seems like evidence for this.

When all is said and done, however, these are pretty much the low point of the release for me, if only because, when compared with the very well realised characters that are part of the Elucidan Starstriders, they just seem a little thin and generically monstrous.

 

The Gellerpox Infected come with a pretty vast array of slightly Nurglite critters:

Eyestinger Swarms

At first glance, these models reminded me of the old plastic swarms for 6th edition WFB, obviously with much superior sculpting. They also serve as a shout out to the various flies and daemonic insects that are parts of many of the new Deathguard models, which establishes a nice bit of visual consistency. I also like the fact that we get four original designs — personally speaking, the swarm of tiny flies erupting from a ribcage seems the goofiest to me, if only because


Cursemites


I really like these because there’s something chitinous and disgusting about them. They seem like a nightmare fusion of chestbursters and bluebottle flies, and they still manage to be adorable in that weird, Nurglite sense — especially the little guy seemingly puking his guts out…


Glitchlings

Somebody must have told the Nurglings to keep their masks on, so nobody would recognise them… Seriously, though, like all Nurglings these are good fun, and the resemblance between their masks and those of the vox-shamblers is a neat idea, at least in theory. At the same time, they also come dangerously close to feeling a bit too gimmicky — especially the Two-Bad-style guy…


Sludge-Grubs

Another type of critter, and another set of four unique sculpts, which is nice. There’s a lot of disgusting detail here, as well as some visual shout outs to various Nurgle models. When all is said and done, the grubs are fun, but nothing to write home about.

And I think that may just be my main criticism when it comes to the Gellerpox Infected: That they lack the amount of character and coherence present in the Elucidian Starstriders. They don’t really feel so much like an actual kill team, but rather like a collection of monsters the GM can sick on the player. Now I realise that this probably isn’t any kind of viable criticism at all, because that’s probably exactly what these guys were supposed to be. But while the Gellerpox infected work great as a collection of monsters and creepy-crawlies, they also lack any real characters. Even the Nightmare Hulks seem more like Scooby Doo Monsters of the Week than anything.

At the same time, I think we also need to consider the angle that the whole box seems like a shout out to the vintage Rogue Trader — and to the craziness of those days. So it seems perfectly appropriate when some of the creatures reflect some of those vintage sensibilities.Β  Besides, every chaos player should be happy with this toolkit of monsters and mutants to work with. It’s maybe just that, seeing how the Starstriders work as such a well realised and coherent groups, the mutants fall a little flat in comparison.

III. The Rest

On top of the two kill teams, the boxed set also provides us with some smaller terrain pieces and, I imagine, objectives. These all seem to be beautifully detailed and look like a great match for the new terrain kits. I appreciate the inclusion of consoles and pilot seats, because these could really be useful for all kinds of projects. And I like how the small livepods channel design elements both from the escape pod that’s a part of the 40k objectives set, as well as the larger Space Marine drop pods.

IV. The opportunities

 

Elucidian Starstriders

I think it should be really easy to see how these could be incredible useful for both INQ28 retinues or custom Rogue Trader warbands. Just to outline a few ideas:

  • Elucia works great both as a Rogue Trader or, with some tweaks, as an Inquisitrix. In any case, I would probably replace her face with something a bit more interesting (read: less veiled). Come to think of it, she would also make for a pretty cool commanding officer for a rather baroque and eclectic regiment of the Astra Militarum.
  • Knosso Prond, Sanistaria Minst, Larsen van der Grauss and Stromian Grell would also be perfect for all kinds of Inquisitorial warbands, even without any conversions. They would also work great as specialists for, say, an Astra Militarum army.
  • Voidmaster Nitsch is interesting because his elegant getup turns him into prime material for converting a number of characters: He could be an Interrogator, obviously. Or some kind of Imperial agent. Or a chastener of the Adeptus Arbites. But he would also make a great base model for an Imperial noble or a high-ranking operative of a trading cartel or other Imperial organisation — in fact, I have an idea for an operative for the Mandelholtz Banking House that I think Nitsch would be the perfect base model for…
  • The Voidsmen would make for fantastic Imperial Navy Armsmen, a squad of Hive Cops (or even Arbites), Inquisitorial troopers or a Navigator’s household guard — in fact, we can probably expect to see these guys a lot in the future — trust me on this.

One thing I realise looking at the models is that, since they are so well realised as a coherent group, I almost feel reluctant to think about ways to convert them or cut them up, bar the small tweak here and there. I think that is very much a testament to the quality of the job GW’s sculptors have done on this kill team!

Gellerpox Infected:

  • The Nightmare Hulks would make for perfect chaos spawn, far surpassing the official kit (which really hasn’t aged well).
  • Even though they are all supposed to be – subtly – nurglite, it wouldn’t be much work to turn some of them to the service of the other gods: The Gnasher-Screamer already looks like a servant of Khorne. The Writher’s tentacle look or Big Spike’s claw would work equally well for a Slaaneshi force or warband, given a couple of tweaks.
  • By the same token, Vulgrar Thrice-Cursed, with his crude augmetics, would also be a perfect construct for a Dark Mechanicus-themed force or warband.
  • The Vox-Shamblers are so close in design to both the Plague Bearers and the Poxwalkers that they could work as champions/heralds for either. At the same time, they seem like a perfect template for Necromunda mutants, Scavies or similar, downtrodden creatures.
  • The rest of the various critters would be a cool addition for every Nurgle army, of course, where they could be used both as swarms of vile creatures and to accessorise special characters and champions.
  • At the same time, they would also work really well as hazards, enemies or obstacles in games of Necromunda, as they perfectly recall some of the various critters and hazards from the old Necromunda tables πŸ˜‰

All in all, this boxed set is a fantastic way to experience both kill team as well as the particular eclecticism of 40k as a background! The Elucian Starstriders are a wonderful achievement, and I applaud GW for creating them! The Gellerpox Infected are a fun and versatile menagerie of monsters to be used in various ways (and settings). And even if I would have preferred another kill team as well realised as the Starstriders, the box as a whole is still a wonderful little surprise. And best of all, it also recalls the vintage Rogue Trader and its inherent weirdness in all the right ways for that extra nostalgia bonus — after several decades of releases, it does seem like GW has, in a way, come full-circle with this release!

At the same time, the set is exciting not only for its contents, but for how it represents GW’s willingness to explore well-loved but underutilised parts of the lore and background. At this point, even Inquisitorial retinues and releases for them probably wouldn’t be out of the question. And even if this should be a one-shot, it’s a wonderful way to explore the grimdarkness of the far future beyond the well-trod paths of massive battles and twenty different flavours of SPESS MEHREENZ πŸ˜‰

So what’s your take on this release? Do you agree with me or do you find fault with my points? And what are your ideas for the models from this boxed set? I would love to hear from you in the comments section! πŸ™‚

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

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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!

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!

Inquisitor 28: Desktop roundup

Posted in Conversions, Fluff, Inq28, Inquisitor, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 1, 2012 by krautscientist

Right, with Inquisitor Antrecht’s retinue so thoroughly documented, let us turn to my other INQ28 models, of which there are currently about 30 in different states of completion. Some of them are pretty much complete, some are early sketches, still others are simply useful 40k models that I managed to pick up (from cousin Andy’s extensive collection, in more than one case). I’d like to showcase these models in a series of posts that I call “Desktop roundup” to show you where my different Inquisitor projects are headed. I also encourage you to let me know your ideas and criticism! Many of these models are nowhere near finished, and they can only get better with your help. So let’s get this show on the road!

In today’s post, we’ll take a look at a number of models I built (or am still building) for the retinue of Inquisitor Gotthardt. You’ll notice straight away that, compared to Inquisitor Antrecht’s freakshow of a warband, Gotthardt’s followers are a lot less extreme. Nevertheless, I am trying to make them interesting and rounded characters.

First up is Rogue Trader Iskander Gagarin, in Gotthardt’s service ever since the Inquisitor convicted him of smuggling Xenos contraband and made him an offer he could not refuse:



With this model, I tried to partly channel the look of Rogue Trader von Castellan from the Inquisitor rulebook. I like the idea that rogue traders are pretty much naval merchants on speed, sporting a wild mix of gaudy dress uniforms and more exoctic features, so that’s what I tried to achieve with Gagarin: I used a Cadian officer’s torso and right arm with the left arm and legs coming from an old WFB Empire cannon kit. The head is a Space Wolf scout’s, while the flashy fur cloak is from the WFB Empire Knights. To represent Gagarin’s dealings with Xenos cultures, I gave him a shuriken pistol from an old Eldar CC weapons sprue and a Dark Eldar knife on his belt. He is also carrying his family’s heirloom sword (again from the Empire Knights). All in all, I am rather pleased with the overall effect. He looks suitably swanky, with just a bit of a swashbuckling vibe. I’ll probably go for a pretty loud paintjob, in order to make him look like a 19th century military officer turned up to eleven.

Next in line is a character that I intended to be the very opposite of Gagarin: Captain Esteban Revas, former regimental champion of the 126th Haaruthian Dragoons, who was dishonoured in the eyes of his regiment, his family and his homeworld for the crime of actually doing an honourable deed (go figure!):



I wanted to build a model that was clearly recognisable as a (former) member of the Imperial Guard. I also wanted the model’s pose to be full of confidence, even arrogance, to underline his military upper-class background. Again, I used a mix of Cadian parts and bits from WFB Empire kits. Revas is supposed to be an accomplished fencer and duelist, so I gave him a weapon (and some absurdly ornate equipment — check out his helmet!) to match this effect. Though I used components very similar to Gagarin’s, the resulting model looks very different, and the dynamic between the two characters should be fairly interesting in the background as well.

While Gagarin’s and Revas’ characters and respective background are pretty far along, there are some additional members of the warband who haven’t yet made it beyond the modelling stage, with little or no background in place.

On of those is a drill abbot I built:


I wanted him to look like an older, world weary type who nevertheless can hold his own in battle. I used a stocky monk’s body from the Bretonnian men-at-arms, combined with a Space Wolf head, a power hammer from the power armoured Grey Knights and a couple of bits. I also gave him a lantern for good measure. All in all, the model’s a bit shorter than I would have liked, but that cannot be helped. I haven’t come up with a background for him yet, but I’ll work something out.

Then there’s this guy:


You all probably recognise the model as the shuttle pilot from the Maccrage box set. I really love this guy, so I talked cousin Andy into letting me have him. After thinking for a while about what I would actually use him for, I decided to attach him to an Inquisitorial warband as some kind of retired Arbites judge, security agent or something of the like.

Towards that end, I clipped off the case he was carrying and added a power maul (from the Dark Angels veteran kit) instead. However, I am not quite sure whether I should clip off the maul’s head or not, or replace it with something different…any ideas? I also added some gloves from the Bretonnian men-at-arms to his belt.
Apart from that, I’m pretty sure I won’t change too much about the model, since the base model is great as it is. But if there are any suggestions, let me know!

And finally, here is a character I have been toying around with for quite a while now:


A Kroot mercenary I built from some parts that had accumulated in my bitzbox. However, I always saw the Kroot as more than just a couple of flesh-eating “birdmen”. I’ve been intrigued by a number of conversions I’ve seen over the years that chose to emphasise the tribal aspect to the Kroot culture, picturing them as some kind of “noble savages” if you will. And however dated (and downright politically incorrect) that concept may be in actual literature, I think there’s little harm in applying it to a race of alien birdmen from space.

The model you see above was heavily inspired by a Kroot conversion published in the new 40k rulebook. The model throws some High-Elf (and Wood Elf) bits into the mix to add some tribal elements. However, as you can see, this guy is not finished by a long stretch, and I am also not sure whether he’ll actually end up in Gotthardt’s entourage or will rather be held back for the warband of a Xenos Inquisitor I have yet to build.

Anyway, that’s the first few character sketches currently loitering on my desk. If you have any questions, suggestions or ideas, let me know in the comments! I am looking forward to hearing from you!

In any case, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!