Archive for servo-skull

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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! ๐Ÿ™‚

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!


Inquisitor 28: Kitbashing spree pt. 3 โ€“ The Gothic and the Eldritch

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

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

1. Xenobiology

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

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


II. Familiar faces

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

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

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

PeeDee the Monkey WIP (1)
Since the model’s so tiny, the conversion had to be rather subtle: I gave the monkey a tiny bionic eye and replaced the tail with a cable from a servo-skull, in order to make it look like it could be used to interface with machines. I would have replaced the barrel held by the monkey with a servo-skull for an even more grimdark look, but the very real danger of losing that perfectly sculpted little paw was enough to scare me off ๐Ÿ˜‰

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

I really love this guy, to tell you the truth. Oh, and since Peter was awesome enough to give this wonderful model to me in the first place, what better way to thank him than to name the character after him, right? So, henceforth, this little guy will be called “PeeDee” by way of thanks ๐Ÿ˜‰

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

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

Grimdark Servo Skull WIP (2)

III. A charioteer to the stars

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

artwork by John Blanche, Copyright: Games Workshop

artwork by John Blanche, Copyright: Games Workshop

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

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

Navigator (1)

Navigator (5)

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

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

In order to achieve the latter effect, I had to be rather crafty, since the model’s robed body left me precious few options to hint at mutations, but a careful selection of bitz helped in giving the impression that the Navigator was somewhat …twisted. Chief among these bitz was the head from the Dark Vengeance Chosen champ — actually the bit that inspired the whole conversion in the first place! The model’s nose had already been slightly damaged and flattened during transport when I opened the box for the first time, and so I ultimately decided to replace the head. The third eye wasn’t all that fitting for a servant of Khorne anyway, but just the right thing to build a Navigator! And the slightly misshaped nose could be explained away as yet another manifestation of the poor chap`s rather limited gene pool. Beyond that, I added several additional subtle hints at physical deformity to the model — can you spot them all? ๐Ÿ˜‰

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

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

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


So yeah, so much for my recent fit of kitbashing inspiration. I hope this mini-series has been interesting enough for you to follow — now I’ll have to work up the motivation to break out the paints, lest all of these models end up in my cupboard of shame. Let’s keep our fingers crossed, shall we? ๐Ÿ˜‰

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