Archive for Squad: March!

INQ28: This girl is on fire

Posted in 40k, Conversions, paintjob, Pointless ramblings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 19, 2018 by krautscientist

Yet more INQ28 content this week, as I have finally managed to complete one of my longest running projects: The retinue of Inquisitor Erasmus Gotthardt.

Now Gotthardt himself is one of my oldest INQ28 models at this point, as are some of his retainers: The models were built back in 2011, and from a much smaller bitzbox, I might add. I have been working on the warband ever since, adding a character here and tweaking a paintjob there. But for the most part, the retinue has been finished since 2016 — except for one last elusive model.

And to be perfectly honest, I have been putting off this one paintjob for a long time, mostly because I didn’t know whether or not I could do the model justice. But thanks to the various community challenges from fellow hobbyists Azazel and Alex, I have been blazing through quite a few neglected models lately, so I thought I would use this surge of motivation to finally face my fears, so to speak.

But what is this dreaded missing model I keep referring to? Well, this lass here, Elisha Gorgo:

The model was actually built all the way back in 2013, if you can believe it, when I was lucky enough to get my hands on the female vampires from the Coven Throne kit and really wanted to use them to create some characters for INQ28. I still think those are some of the best female models GW has ever released, even if the “vampiresses in period dresses” shtick might not be for anyone ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anyway, I chose my favourite model from the trio to build a member for Inquisitor Gotthardt’s retinue. Unfortunately, the vampires had already been assembled by the previous owner, and due to the very delicate, slender sculpts, there was only so much I could do to convert them — which somewhat explains Elisha’s seemingly tranced-out pose ๐Ÿ˜‰

I thought this actually worked well for a psyker, though, so that was what she would become. I spent ages looking for the right pair of legs, finally coming across some High Elf archer legs that worked really well (although not everyone was a fan of the “harem pants” look when I originally posted her on the various forums). I also exchanged her clawlike hands for gloved hands from the Dreamforge Games Eisenkern Stormtroopers that looked much less cronelike. But really, it was a rather straightforward kitbash. The prospect of having to paint the model was the difficult part: I really didn’t want to mess up, mostly because I wouldn’t be able to get another shot at working with these bitz without having to purchase an entire Coven Throne.

And even with my fresh committment to finishing the model, I was still nervous enough about this paintjob to actually mock up the intended colour scheme beforehand in Photoshop, something I don’t think I have ever done before:

We usually don’t get to see much blue in Inquisitor warbands, and I wanted to change that. I also really like turquoise as a spot colour, so that informed my colour choices as well.

The actual painting process mainly consisted of trying to match the mockup as closely as possible while doing my best not to ruin the face ๐Ÿ˜‰

Which turned out to be a bit of a challenge: I found out that I really don’t have the brush control and technical finesse to sail through a delicate paintjob like this. But here’s what I came up with after a while:

I actually do wish I had managed to pull off a neater paintjob on her face. That being said, I did manage to bring it back from the brink after almost considering it ruined, so I think I should probably be reasonably happy.

Something that doesn’t really come across in the photos is how both the corsage as well as the pants have a slight metallic sheen, in order to hint at different materials and fabrics used for her dress: I simply mixed some Leadbelcher into the paint for those areas. Apart from that, her entire dress has been painted in different mixes of black, white and Vallejo’s Milenario Turquoise.

At this point, I was basically prepared to call the model finished — to tell you the truth, I was actually still terrified of ruining it ๐Ÿ˜‰

But at the same time, I couldn’t stop thinking about how a subtle blue OSL effect on the palms of her hands could be used to both hint at her channeling her powers and also explain her pose a bit better. But the hands were very small, and I didn’t really want it to end up looking tacky. In the end, I buckled up and just did it, though. I’ll let you be the judges of whether or not I succeeded:


Elisha Gorgo

born Countess Elisha Haxta di Colasante Mordina-Gorgo

Elisha Gorgo is the eldest daughter of the influential Imperial House Mordina-Gorgo. The girl started displaying psykana powers at a very young age. Under normal circumstances, this would have meant a dreary and possibly short life aboard one of the Blackships, but her influential father used every ounce of his authority to keep her โ€œafflictionโ€ a secret. Due to her powers, she has been sequestered away from other people for most of her life and has grown up very shy and demure as a consequence.

Her secret was only uncovered when Inquisitor Gotthardt visited her homeworld as part of an investigation. And, for an undisclosed reason, he chose to make her a member of his retinue, arguably saving her from the far more dire fate that might have awaited her, had she encountered one of his more hardline colleagues.

When all is said and done, I am pretty happy with the way Elisha has turned out: Painting a model after such a long time always means you have to compromise — to settle on one definite way the model will look over all the possibilities you have been pondering in the back of your head. All technical gripes notwithstanding, I do think she makes for a rather stunnig addition to Inquisitor Gotthardt’s warband — because let’s not forget that the retinue is now actually finished. Take a look:



Inquisitor Erasmus Gotthardt and retinue
Ordo Hereticus Velsen

Once again, let us take a look at all of the warband’s members in turn:

Inquisitor Erasmus Gotthardt, an Inquisitor of the Ordo Hereticus Velsen in uneasy pursuit of his former friend, Inquisitor Lazarus Antrecht.

Cpt. Esteban Revas, former Regimental Champion of the 126th Haaruthian Dragoons, publicly dishonoured for an honourable deed.

Trooper Salvador ‘Sal’ Koltz, also formerly of the 126th Haaruthian Dragoons. An unashamedly lowbrow, yet surprisingly resourceful, individual. Bound by a debt of gratitude, he serves as personal retainer to Esteban Revas.

Iskander Gagarin, flamboyant Rogue Trader and merchant-prince. Claims to be a scion of one of the very first families to have sailed out into the Great Void Sea, even predating the Age of Unification.

PeeDee the Monkey, a priceless cyber-familiar and exotic pet to Iskander Gagarin.

Elisha Gorgo, of House Mordina-Gorgo, an imperial debutante, possessing strange psykana powers.

Father Endric Harlan, a Schola Progenium Drill-Abbot and survivor of the Quelling of St. Berthold, a highly classified Inquisitorial operation.

Remus Ingram, a former member of the Riftyr Hiveguard turned inquisitorial investigator, and Balzepho, his cyber-mastiff.


Looking back at my three “big” finished retinues so far – Inquisitor Antrecht and his freakshow, Inquisitor Arslan and his sinister Ordo Hereticus operatives, and now Inquisitor Gotthardt and his retainers – it’s fun to see the different design approaches at play: Antrecht and retinue were a way to explore radicalism and the way rogue Inquisitors are driven towards more and more monstrous and inhuman allies. Inquisitor Arslan’s retinue was, in many ways, an exercise in cohesion, with all of the members sharing a very similar colour palette and overall visual aesthetic. Now Gotthardt and his crew take yet another approach:

Like Arslan, Gotthardt is a puritan, but he is also less extreme in his views: Think Eisenhorn in his earlier years, and you’re not far off the mark. And unlike Arslan’s warband, Gotthardt’s followers are a pretty colourful bunch. As I’ve said before, the warband makes use of many of the classic character archetypes from the Inquisitor rulebook, taking direct inspiration from actual 54mm models or artwork from the book in more than one case. I think of the retinue as just the colourful collection of individuals an enterprising Inquisitor would meet during his work and turn into a highly individual group of followers.

Again, each of this groups embodies a different aspect of the Inquisition: Antrecht and his crew embody radicalism that borders on the heretical. Arslan’s warband is full-on fire and brimstone and Inquisitorial ostentatiousness. Gotthardt’s team has a swashbuckling, picaresque feel by comparison — more Dan Abnett than John Blanche, for once.

Interestingly enough, this is probably also the retinue with the biggest amount of backstory so far, mostly because the whole project has basically taken on a life of its own over the years:ย  PeeDee the Monkey joined the group when PDH sent me that little powder monkey that just seemed ideal as a pet for a flamboyant trader like Iskander Gagarin. Trooper Koltz only came into being because Esteban Revas just looked like the kind of noble fop who would have a manservant lugging around his smoking utensils — but both characters actually grew into something way more interesting and fleshed out. Just take a look at Esteban’s backstory, in case you are interested.

Anyway, enough rambling — I am just happy to have finished this long running project!
Oh, and since the completion of Elisha’s paintjob actually finishes the retinue, I think I’ll be counting this as yet another completion for Azazel’s Squad:March! challenge ๐Ÿ™‚

And with that, we have come to the end of the road, at least for today.

Once again, I would love to hear any feedback you might have! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!


INQ28: The Lion of Velsen

Posted in 40k, Conversions, paintjob, Pointless ramblings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 12, 2018 by krautscientist

Another week of fire and brimstone Ordo Hereticus Madness — I sincerely hope you aren’t fed up yet! But I am really on a roll right now, blazing through model after model, which is more than a bit uncommon for me. I also know how fickle motivation can be, so I’ll just let myself be swept along by the tide for as long as it lasts ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anyway, last week I shared more models for Inquisitor Arslan’s warband with you, and those completions left me with only two models to go before the warband would actually be finished. This seemed like an excellent goal to work towards for my participation in Azazel’s Squad:March! challengeย as well, so I got to work. And, indeed, I do have some new models for you again. So let’s take a peek:

I. A blade from the Shadows

One of the last two missing models was this death cult assassin I converted a while ago:

The character was very much inspired by Severina and Sevora Devout (as well as the accompanying miniatures) from back when the original 54mm Inquisitor was released:

Granted, the concept of female assassins clad in latex bodygloves may not feel quite as fresh and risquรฉ in 2018 as it did back in 2001 (or rather, than its inclusion in an Inquisition-themed game seemed back then). Even so, I have been working my way through basically all of the old character types from the awesome Inquisitor rulebook, trying to put my own spin on things, so I couldn’t shy away from this archetype, could I? I also still think there’s something pretty entertaining about taking a concept that is so ridiculously pulp-SciFi in many ways and finding a grimdark angle for it.

The conversion itself was fairly straightforward, especially since the model is really mostly a repurposed Dark Eldar Wych, from back when I briefly considered getting back into Dark Eldar after the beautiful new plastic models had been released. I added some small tweaks, such as the purity seal, to make the model a bit more Imperial.

The most important part for turning the wych into an inquisitorial operative, however, was the gas mask from a Dark Vengeance cultist: Plus the slightly weird look of the mask as well as the creepy layout of the eye lenses was intended to hint at the fact that she may have been augmented underneath the mask or to just suggest a certain kind of eerie wrongness that seemed fitting for the character.

When it came to painting the assassin, I basically used the same palette I had set down for the rest of the warband. Fortunately enough, it was really similar to the colours of GW’s official death cult assassins, so I could take some inspiration from those:

And of course I also tried to make the paintjob call back to John Blanche’s illustrations from the Inquisitor Sketchbook as well:

Illustration by John Blanche

So here’s the finished model: A still unnamed assassin from the Order of the Blade Unsheathed:

The only thing about the paintjob that proved a bit difficult was the mask: I knew I didn’t simply want to keep it black, so I tried red first, but that just didn’t work. So after trying numerous highlighting and tweaking stages, I just went for an off-white/cream colour that still stays within the palette I had set for the warband, while also turning the face into enough of a focus point, I hope.

Incidentally, the assassin still needs a name, so if anyone can come up with something suitably medieval and slightly sinister, let me know! ๐Ÿ™‚

II. The Lion of Velsen

Happy as I am with the finished assassin, she is really just a prelude to today’s main course: Inquisitor Nabreus Arslan himself.

Now it must be said – again – that Inquisitor Arslan is a model that I have been coming back to again and again for several years now. He started back in 2011 or so as an attempt at creating a no-nonsense puritan Ordo Hereticus or Ordo Malleus Inquisitor. My bitz box was still far smaller in those days, but I did the best with the tools I had. The model started out looking quite different from the modern incarnation, though:

Most of the elements were already there, but the model didn’t quite click yet. Then I came across this model over on DakkaDakka, and realised that the hooded Dark Angels veterans head would be much better for an Inquisitor:

Do you know who created this guy? Please let me know!

And from then on, the model took shape, growing far closer to its current incarnation:

After even more nipping and tucking the conversion was basically finished back in 2014 — which is already a ridiculously long time for a model of this size. But even then, I kept returning to the model, adding a tweak here and changing a detail there, keeping the poor guy unpainted, while his retinue (likewise unpainted) kept growing. Until I finally committed to painting this version of the model earlier this month:

As an aside, looking at the finished conversion also made me realise that Arslan resembles the Inquisitor from the last edition of Codex: Inquisition rather closely, wouldn’t you agree?

It’s a rather cool illustration — unfortunately, the model it was obviously based is really rather awkward and hasn’t aged all that gracefully:

So maybe I would be able to improve on this basic template with my model for Arslan…?

One thing that was clear to me from the start was that I wanted the entire warband to hinge on Arslan and his interrogator, the Lady Chastity. Now the latter was already finished, and my idea was to simply inverse one key colour for Arslan’s colour scheme. So where Chastity wears red armour with black cloth over it, I wanted to paint Arslan’s armour black, with red cloth.

So with those ideas in my head, I took Arslan along for one of the frequent painting sesssions hosted by my good friend Annie. Those sessions are awesome, and I usually walk away with some kind of breakthrough on one of my current painting projects.

So here’s Inquisitor Arslan after a short while, with just the base colours in place:

And this is what he looked like when we packed up for the night:

While I was already reasonable happy at this point, one thing about the model just confounded me: The red left shoulder pad just didn’t work. This felt especially weird as it looks quite lovely in the picture above, doesn’t it? Yet for some reason, in real life, it kept drawing the view away from more important parts of the model, and I kept glancing back at it, so in the end, I decided to repaint it black. Apart from that, it was mainly smooth sailing the rest of the way.

So let’s take a look at the finished model:


Inquisitor Nabreus Arslan
Ordo Hereticus Velsen

I don’t want to sound too full of myself here, but I am incredibly happy with the finished model! Especially given Arslan’s rather troubled history ๐Ÿ˜‰

However, I did end up losing some sleep over some key visual decisions:

Probably the scariest thing was to paint Arslan’s sword: Its sheer size clearly turns it into an important part of the model, and I realised during the painting process that, by limiting the entire warband to a colour palette of mostly black, white, red and gold, I had actually deprieved myself of the option to just paint the sword a stunning blue — it simply wouldn’t have gelled with the rest of the warband, but more importantly, it wouldn’t have led to the sinister look I wanted. I also realised that a simple metal sword wouldn’t cut it this time around, so I did a bit of research, taking lots of inspiration from fellow hobbyists like Alex Marsh, Jeff Vader and Midnight Runner, among others. Then I took a deep breath and tried to create my own effect for the blade, adapted from their work:

In the end, I am pretty happy with the finished effect, seeing how I managed to make the sword look both blisteringly hot and quite sinister ๐Ÿ˜‰ But painting it was so far out of my comfort zone that it wasn’t even funny ๐Ÿ˜‰

True to Arslan’s history as “that model that I was never really able to finish”, I did end up making one last unexpected tweak: I actually swapped in a new shield!

Now I originally had the shield with the stylised “Knight vs. Daemon” battle scene from the Nemesis Dreadknight kit on there, but my colour choices for the model meant that I had boxed myself in regarding the shield: The warrior on the shield would obviously have to represent Arslan himself, so I would have needed to paint him in black. That would have left only gold and red for the daemon, with red being the obvious choice. That, in turn, would have left me with a golden shield, which wouldn’t exactly have matched the rest of the model all that well. Anyway, to make a long story short, I decided to try a different shield and create the inconography on it from scratch (or rather, via decals):

The idea here was to go for a medieval-style seal that would fit Arslan’s very medieval overall look. I also thought that this design might be his actual Inquisitorial seal, the one he uses to sign Exterminatus orders, and other jolly missives like that ๐Ÿ˜‰
The “A” stands for “Arslan”, and the “V” for “Velsen”, the name of the sector. The whole thing was also ever so slightly influenced by designs like the Chi Rho.

Oh, and based on Inquisitor Mikhailovich’s comment, I also tweaked the position of the shield a bit, so it might actually be attached to Arslan’s arm in an at least slightly believable way ๐Ÿ˜‰

Here’s a picture of Arslan and Chastity, showing off the aforementioned fact that they use an identical palette, and their colour scheme is very similar, save for one key colour that has been reversed between the two models:


III. A project finally finished

And would you believe it: With that, the warband is actually finished. After several years of hemming and hawing. I actually cannot quite believe it. But here it is. Take a look:

In fact, I have used this occasion to go back and take pictures of all the warband members once again, so meet the crew:

Inquisitor Nabreus Arslan, a powerful Witch Hunter of the Ordo Hereticus, known among the devout as “The Lion of Velsen”.

The Lady Chastity, a former Sister of Battle from the Order of the Martyred Blade, now serving as Arslan’s Interrogator.

Inquisitorial Operative Tybalt Renner, a veteran of the Saarthen Draugr, and an operative specialising in infiltration and stealth missions.

Brother Goderich the Pure, a member of the Church of Redemption, serving Arslan as a vicious, albeit utterly loyal, attack dog.

Father Ravion Ishmael, a veteran of the Astra Militarum turned intinerant priest of the Imperial Cult, currently serving as personal confessor to Inquisitor Arslan.

A mysterious, mute assassin from the Order of the Blade Unsheathed.

The Angel of Penance, a cyber-familiar cast in the shape of an avenging angel in order to strike terror into the hearts of heretics and instill fearful respect in the devout.

Horatio, a servo-skull.


It’s slightly weird – but also very fulfilling – to realise that I’ve had most of this retinue for years now, and now I’ve finally manage to finish the models in very short order. Oh, and this also means I’ve managed to complete my first, proper committment for the Squad:March! challenge! Yay! ๐Ÿ™‚

Speaking of which: Many thanks must go to fellow hobbyists Azazel and Alex: I couldn’t really have done it without you, guys, as your hobby challenges finally provided me with the incentive to actually get this project on the road, at long last!

As for my next plans, I want to ride this wave of inspiration out yet a bit longer, so I think I’ll be staying in the INQ28 world for a while yet: There’s one last model for Inquisitor Gotthardt’s retinue I need to get finished (another project that has been going on for ages). Then I think I’d like to paint a truescale Deathwatch Marine conversion. And then there’s an Ordo Scriptorum retinue I am really proud of that I hope to get started on while my motivation still lasts.

Until then, I would truly love to hear your thoughts on Inquisitor Arslan and his retainers! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

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!