Archive for truescale

INQ28: Hear Me Roar!

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 18, 2018 by krautscientist

More Deathwatch for today, as I have been plugging away at my Primaris based true scale killteam for another week. Allow me to share the results with you:

First up, there’s the Celestial Lions Astartes I have already shared with you in WIP form. Like I said, my main influence for choosing the chapter was the African influence (although the fact that the Lions are a chapter from a later founding also helped a bit). However, I also discovered that the chapter and the Inquisition have a bit of a troubled history, as outlined in my previous post — to the point where Inquisitorial operatives seem to be actively hunting for the chapter. Ouch! So would a Celestial Lion actually be part of an – Inquisition-sponsored – Deathwatch killteam?

Fortunately enough, I realised that I am in the clear on that front: The chapter’s trouble with the Inquisition only really starts in 948 M41, whereas my INQ28 narratives are set some 200 years before that, so everyone can still be BFFs in my headcanon 😉 That being said, I did decide to include a shout out to the chapter’s eventual fate, as per Aramis K’s excellent suggestion of featuring the notorious “Ork Snipers” that wipe out a part of the Celestial Lions during the 3rd War for Armageddon, in some way.

But back to the actual model: This was the Celestial Lion in his first draft version:

As you can see, it’s a very straightforward conversion, mostly based on a Primaris Reiver. I liked the idea of including a stealthier Astartes wearing sleeker armour, and the “Easy To Build” Reiver bodies were really perfect for that. The most involved parts were to add a lion bit (from an old WFB Empire cannon) as a belt buckle and to kitbash another Deathwatch sensor array for the backpack (using a shoulder-mounted lamp from a Genestealer Hybrid and – once again – some auspex aerials).

Then fellow hobbyist euansmith helpfully suggested to maybe turn the model’s head a bit, in order to make it look more sneaky and agile. I complied with his idea, and – sure enough – it made a world of difference!

When it came to painting the model, I actually broke with my usual routine and decided to start with the one part I thought would make or break the model — the right shoulder pad. Because I realised with some nervousness that I would actually have to freehand the Celestial Lions chapter badge, as there are no readily available decals for it (and my idea of maybe using a similar decal as a base went nowhere either). Azrael’s quite excellent Primaris Celestial Lions here (that were also completed for a very personal reason, it must be said) use some very cool shapeways chapter badges, but I didn’t really go through the hassle of ordering bitz like that — so I decided this was the time to buckle up and force myself to do something I had shied away from in the past. Freehand designs.

So here’s the design I chose as my main reference material (inverted, of course, because it would go on the right pauldron):

And here’s what I came up with, using my smallest brush, a drop of Vallejo Airbrush Flow Improver, and reserves of patience I really didn’t know I had:

Of course I didn’t see the huge splodge of wash towards the lower rim of the pauldron until I was looking at it blown up by several hundred percent on a screen — the area has been cleaned up since. Oh, and ‘Aren’ is the name of the battle-brother in question, by the way.

Anyway, I was incredibly happy with the finished freehand — and I can safely say that this has to be one of the most extravagant pieces of detail work I have painted in the last couple of years. I realise that this must be fairly basic bread and butter stuff for talented painters, but to me, it certainly felt like a rather big adventure 😉

Anyway, after getting the freehand right, the rest of the paintjob almost seemed trivial. That being said, I also discovered a fairly nice and simple recipe for black skin: GW Doombull Brown makes for a very good base colour, and already looks very natural after a wash of Ogryn Flesh (or Reikland Fleshshade). I only followed it up with some very subtle highlights, and ended up with a skin tone I really liked, as you can see yourself on the finished model:

 

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Rudisha Aren
Brother of the Deathwatch
Celestial Lions Astartes Chapter





Here’s a closer look at the left shoulder pad, now finally in its intended place:


Seriously, though, did I mention how happy I am with that freehand…? 😉


As for the base, if you look closely, you can make out the barrel of a – suspiciously Imperial – sniper rifle, but there’s also part of an Ork jaw — Ork snipers, anyone? 😉


Granted, this is a bit of a tongue in cheek joke about the chapter’s eventual fate, but it still matches the overall basing theme without lookig too out of place. So that’s the next finished member of Killteam Ulrach for you:

 

Speaking of Ulrach, while I was working on Brother Aren, I decided to give the Iron Hand that last round of tweaks as well — and the full photo treatment, of course, playing cards, keys and all 😉

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Vorlik Ulrach
Brother of the Deathwatch
Iron Hands Astartes Chapter








You already know this guy from last week, of course, and most of the finishing touches are pretty subtle. But it’s nice to have all the models finished and photographed in the same style like that 😉

Oh, and since someone over at the Ammobunker asked how I had achieved the glowing blue effect on some of the members of the killteam, I thought it would make sense to feature my recipe over here as well — if, indeed, you can even call it a recipe, as it’s almost trivially easy. The one thing I would really recommend, however, is to get some Vallejo Magic Blue: While there may be a similar GW colour, I have yet to see another blue that pops quite as nicely as Magic Blue. So for this recipe, you’ll need the blue and any kind of white. And some water. Here’s what you do:

  1. Paint the center of the area you want to glow (the lens, the gem, the button — whatever it is) with pure Magic Blue
  2. Thin down your Magic Blue with water so it becomes semi-translucent. Then glaze the area around the part you have just painted with it, building up the actual glow — you can do this in several steps to get it right. With larger areas, the effect should grow more solid towards the center, obviously.
  3. Go back to the (undiluted) Magic Blue and keep adding more white to it, and create smaller and smaller highlights at the center of the effect. The last stage should basically be almost pure white. DONE!

The blue higlight on the axe head (as well as the soft glow around it) are a perfect example of the effect in question.

 

So here’s an updated look at Killteam Ulrach:

I think these guys really work rather well as a group — and you can almost guess at the different characters and combat roles just by looking at the models, wouldn’t you agree? In hindsight, maybe the models are almost a little too vibrant, in a style slightly reminiscent of 2nd edition 40k, but then it’s an almost perverse pleasure to find out how visually striking I can make a squad wearing predominantly black armour 😉

Now any future additions to the team will have to wait for a bit, as I have depleted my supplies of Deathwatch parts and Primaris Marines, respectively. That being said, fellow hobbyist Augustus b’Raass is awesome enough to send me another Primaris, and I have just picked up the Rodricus Grytt model on ebay. Combining both will allow me to build a stoic, fatalist brother of the Lamenters wielding a massive frag cannon — it’ll take a while before I can start the conversion, so take a look at a  – really primitive – mockup of my planned conversion:

Beyond what you see in the mockup, I will be going for a heavset look with some slightly archaic, Mk. III-ish touches here and there. It’ll be an interesting balance to maintain, as I don’t want the model to clash with the Deathwatch’s sleek Black Ops look, but I’, confident l’ll be able come up with something.

And as it happens, I also have a pretty cool idea for the Castigator — although I’ll need to get my hands on this particular Primaris Sergeant from Dark Imperium first, in order to make it work…

Until then, however, I am pretty happy with Killteam Ulrach as is — and as these guys are very much ready to rock, I hope Azrael will count them as another entry for this month’s “June-Unit” community challenge!

So that’s it for today’s update. I would love to hear any feedback you might have, so please leave a comment! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

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There’s no ‘I’ in ‘Killteam’ — oh wait, there is!

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 11, 2018 by krautscientist

For this week’s update, let’s return to the wonderful world of true scale Astartes for a bit: While I am not exactly a fan of how their lore seems to have been wedged sideways into the 40k background, there’s little doubt that the release of the Primaris Space Marines has provided us with an excellent way of building decently proportioned true scale models for INQ28 without having to spend ages on getting the basic build right. For instance, I had lots of fun building and painting the most archetypal, 2nd edition-style Space Marine I could come up with a while ago, Brother Arcturus Diomedes of the Ultramarines:

Back when the Primaris Marines were released, I picked up the box with three “Easy To Build” Primaris with the plan of eventually turning them into more Deatwatch Marines and end up with small a true scale killteam for my INQ28 collection — even if an entire squad of Astartes would be complete overkill in an actual game. The project just seemed too interesting to get hung up on the practicalities — well, that and true scale Deathwatch Marines have been a bit of a hobby horse for Commissar Molotov, one of the godfathers of INQ28, so working on my own killteam would also be a nice tribute to his own work.

However, progress with the actual assembly of the killteam’s members turned out to be slower than expected for two particular reasons: One, it did take quite some time for me to choose which chapters to go with for the members of the squad. In theory, their chapter identity is only really shown on their left shoulder pad, admittedly, but I really wanted to include various callbacks to their chapter of origin on the rest of the models as well. And while it felt tempting to just go with all the classic First Founding chapters, it would also have been a bit lazy — there are 1,000 chapters in the galaxy, after all. How likely would it be, then, that any given killteam should only feature members from the original Space Marine legions/chapters?

The other difficulty came in the form of the seriously weird poses on some of the snapfit Primaris — I only have myself to blame for that, however, as I could simply have purchased the “proper” multi-part kit.

Anyway, the first additional member for the killteam was converted fairly quickly last year: A Watch-Brother hailing the Iron Hands (and possibly the Killteam’s squad leader):


We’ll be seeing this guy again in a little bit…

And then the rest of the team just somehow refused to come together for the aforementioned reasons — until I had an idea recently: How about going with a Crimson Fist as one of the next members? And how about building him as an homage to this particular piece of artwork by Karl Kopinski:

Artwork by Karl Kopinski

Building models to resemble artwork has become a bit of a sub-hobby of mine lately, and so the task quickly drew me in. And I made this guy:




Granted, I had to simplify some parts of the illustration – mostly due to the fact that, funnily enough, even the Primaris’ bigger scale does not allow for all the detail present in the art – and I also made some minor adaptations, allowing for the fact that my version is intended as a member of the Deatwatch, but I am pretty happy with the kitbash — if nothing else, it definitely does mitigate the stock model’s super weird pose.

The conversion is also a bit of a lesson in thriftiness, as the model uses leftover parts from a plastic chaplain Cassius I picked up a while ago to build a (30k) Word Bearers chaplain. That project left me with Cassius’ left arm and right (Deathwatch) shoulder pad, and ultimately both the shoulder pad and his left hand (complete with snazzy Deathwatch bolt pistol) were grafted onto my Crimson Fist.

I also didn’t have any proper Deathwatch backpacks left, so I had to kitbash one using a regular Space Marine backpack, a sensor array from a Terminator torso front and some small aerials painstakingly shaved off a Space Marines auspex.

So that left me with three members for the killteam, at least:

And I was also really in love with the Crimson Fist conversion, so I decided to paint him right away.

One thing that I decided fairly early during the painting process was that I wanted to use a different skin tone this time around, due to the fact that the Crimson Fists seem to have a distinct Latin American/Hispanic element in their background. So I decided to forego my usual recipe for baseline (caucasian) Astartes skin and go for something slightly different. And in a flight of fancy, I decided to use some very old GW Bronzed Flesh paint that must be more than 20 years old at this point:

And it still worked just fine, too! Most importantly, though, it made for a slightly different skin tone, which seemed like a good way to introduce some much needed ethnic diversity and also underline the fact that all members of the killteam hail from different chapters and, by extension, different planets as well.


As you can see, my Staedtler pigment liner really came in handy once again, and I really went to town on all the little pieces of parchment 😉 The bottles of Microsol and Microset I picked up in Amsterdam last year, also ended up being supremely helpful when it came to making that Crimson Fists decal conform to the shoulder pad’s curved surface.

As for the armour, I followed the same approach I had developed for Brother Diomedes: Cover up any sub-par edge highlighting with sponged-on scratches and damage — fortunately enough, the resulting look really fits the Deathwatch rather nicely, if I do say so myself 😉

So after another round of fine tuning, and after completing the base, the killteam’s next member was finished:

 

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Vargo Diaz
Brother of the Deathwatch
Crimson Fists Astartes Chapter






As you can see, he does have one …erm crimson fist, at least.  I did consider painting the power fist red as well, but then the arm would have ended up being predominantly not-silver, when a silver arm is such an integral part of the Deathwatch livery, so limited the use of red to the right hand.

There’s also another little element I wanted to include: In the original Inquisitor rulebook, the 54mm model for Brother Artemis (basically the forefather to all Deathwatch Marines) had those little rectangles on his bolter designed as displays/buttons for the different kinds of ammunition stored in the weapon:

so I thought it might be fun to include this in a bit of a shout out to the classic model and its paintjob. So I put some Roman numerals on the panels: The right side side has ‘I’ and ‘II’, as shown above, the other one has ‘III’ and ‘IV’:



When it came to basing Brother Diaz, I went for the same basic look I had already used on my first Deathwatch Marine. I included an ork skull this time around, however — I think it’s an entertaining little meta touch to feature an alien skull from the respective chapter’s nemesis Xenos race, so Tyranids for Ultramarines, Orks for Crimson Fists and a Necron head for the Iron Hand. Speaking of which…

There was still this guy:



And, still feeling motivated after my quick completion of Brother Diaz, I decided to paint him as well. After all, I am still very happy with the conversion, based on combining a snapfit Primaris with quite a few parts from Ennox Sorrlock, from Deathwatch:Overkill…

…as well as a new breastplate and left arm courtesy of the Kataphron Destroyers.

Anyway, I quickly got to work and dressed the Iron Hand in the same kind of scuffed black armour as his peers:



In this case, the paintjob also had the added benefit of tying together the various parts of the slightly more eclectic conversion.

According to the underlying basing theme, I also constructed a base, featuring a half-buried Necron skull and spine this time around:

Remembering the (brilliant) alternate history Dornian Heresy and the various more or less obvious parallels and connections between the Necrons and Iron Hands, I decided to mirror the blue glow I used on the Iron Hand in the eye of the Necron skull — it seemed like a nice tongue in cheek meta joke 😉

The model’s arms and backpack were painted separately, for the most part — although I couldn’t really help myself, as usual, and had to glue everything together, even while the last few painting steps were still happening:



Putting the finishing touches on the model turned out to be quite a bit of fun, however, so I already have the (mostly) finished model to share with you:

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Vorlik Ulrach
Brother of the Deathwatch
Iron Hands Astartes Chapter






I really like the model, and I think his armoured bulk works really well now that he’s been painted — both for an Iron Hand and for the leader of a Deathwatch killteam!

And there’s more, as I have already started assembling yet another possible member for the team, provisionally from the Celestial Lions, wearing a suit of Recon armour:


Yeah, I know: Technically speaking, the model is basically a Primaris Reiver. But after seeing a particularly nice Reiver-based Deathwatch Marine converted and painted by Jeff Vader, I realised that the stripped-down, sleeker armour matches the “Special Ops” look of the Deathwatch rather nicely — I also think it makes sense for the killteam to have a recon expert.

As for his chapter, I chose the Celestial Lions mostly because they have a bit of an African influence, and I had originally picked up that particular head for its decidedly non-caucasian feature — once again, in an attempt to make my collection of models a bit more ethnically diverse than your usual gang of bald, white Astartes. That being said, I realised too late that the Lions have a bit of a history with the Inquisition — oh well, I’ll find some kind of explanation for it, I am sure — in fact, fellow hobbyist Aramis K brilliantly suggested over at The Bolter & Chainsword that this member of the Celestial Lions might be a specialist for hunting down “Ork Snipers”… 😉

Going forward, there are a few chapters I would definitely like to feature: Right now, I have plans for three more members for the killteam: A Carcharodon, a Lamenter and one of Commissar Molotov’s own Castigators, as an additional shout out 😉

But that’s a story for a future post. For now, here’s what Killteam Ulrach looks like right now:

And seeing how I am actually working towards the completion of a squad here, I think these guys make for a fairly cool contribution to Azazel’s current “June-Unit” community challenge as well! 😉

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

INQ28: Suffer Not The Alien to Live

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 26, 2018 by krautscientist

Back when the Primaris Marines were first released, I got myself a single snapfit model from the Dark Imperium boxed set to take a firsthand look at the scale and experiment a bit. Those early experiments were both interesting and educational — but of course I at least wanted to get a finished model out of it all. So after a bit of thought, I came to the conclusion that it might be fun to make my first modern Primaris Marine into the most archetypal Space Marine I could possibly come up with.

It was also clear to me that the model would become a part of my INQ28 collection, so I thought about what kind of Astartes would make sense. I already had two members of the Golden Legion, my DIY chapter (the finished model for Praetor Janus Auriga and a converted Chapter Master), so I wanted to try something different. And then it hit me — why not turn this guy into a Deathwatch Marine?

Now the 2016 Deathwatch craze left me mostly cold back when it happened, but there were still several reasons for going with a Watch-Brother: Tying Space Marines into Inquisitor can be a slightly delicate proposition, but the Deathwatch, with its direct Ordo Xenos affiliation, would at least provide a decent excuse. I also fondly reflected on Commissar Molotov’s work, that is his original Deathwatch Marine (created many years ago) as well as the kick-ass Deathwatch killteam he has been working on for years.

And finally, let’s not forget that one of the most iconic models of the 54mm Inquisitor range was a Deathwatch Marine as well:


That’s right, dear old Artemis! In fact, the model actually checked several boxes: He’s an Inquisitor character, he’s a member of the Deathwatch, and he also has that clean, 2nd edition inspired look that seems so archetypal of the Space Marines to me. His hairstyle alone instantly recalls this old chestnut here:

There’s a certain nostalgia about the Space Marines from those years, especially about the plastic models from the 2nd edition starter box, with each of the officers impeccably groomed like a news anchor. Unfortunately, the 2nd edition plastic Marine models haven’t really aged all that well, and the only time I’ve ever used one of those was for a rather depressing piece of terrain:

But I thought that it might be fun to channel this older look for a change, while also creating something that drew from the classic Artemis model at the same time. So I picked up some Deathwatch bitz and also had a scrounge through the old bitzbox. And after a while, I finally came up with a version I liked:


Everything I wanted to do was basically already there: the boltgun as the iconic weapon for a Space Marine. The 80s news anchor haircut. And a bit of bling that sells the model as a brother of the Deathwatch.

I still made some final tweaks before I was completely happy with the model, though: The original Primaris backpack was replaced with an actual Deathwatch backpack, I added a helmet clipped to the model’s belt and tweaked the arrangement of the various gear until I was happy — I actually love how the extra space that comes with the bigger Primaris scale allows for adding a more realistic amount of gear to the models without the Marines looking overcluttered!

Anyway, here’s the completed build I went with in the end:




I went with an Mk. IV helmet, both because I love the design and because I wanted to make it clear that, “in universe”, the model isn’t actually a Primaris Marine, but rather a regularly sized – if true scaled – Space Marine. As for the gun, after a bit of hemming and hawing, I ended up not replacing the bolt rifle with an actual Deathwatch bolter, mostly because I really liked the way it looked on the model. It’s also arguably hi-tech enough to serve as a suitable standin for the kind of weapons used by the Deathwatch, even if it’s not quite the genuine article. Apart from that, I tried to incorporate all the gear that would make sense: The Marine has a boltgun, a helmet, a combat knife, several grenades, and even some alternate ammunition (for those especially pesky aliens, you know? 😉 ).

And while it would only affect his right shoulder pad, I also needed to decide which chapter of origin to go with. I thought back to my original mission statement: the most archetypal classic Astartes imaginable — and what could be more archetypal than the Ultramarines?

To be perfectly honest with you, I also felt like I needed to cut the XIII Legion some slack after draping so many dead or dying Ultramarines across the bases of my 30k World Eaters 😉

When it came to the actual paintjob, the black armour was a concern, obviously: Use dark grey as a base colour, and the armour wouldn’t end up looking black. Use pure black and it would look as though I’d forgotten to paint that area. In the end, I mostly played it by ear and combined edge highlighting with a bit of sponge weathering — carefully and selectively sponging on some Leadbelcher added visual texture to the armour and also had the added benefit of drawing the eye away from my sloppy line work 😉

During the painting process, Jeff Vader’s Deathwatch Marines were an invaluable source: There’s one older pre-primaris model and one guy converted from one of the new models. and I kept looking at these for reference while painting. Now I’ll never be able to paint like Jeff Vader – not by a long shot – but having the inspiration there was a huge help, indeed!

Speaking of Jeff Vader, I also nicked another idea from him: A while ago, he mentioned that he was using an ultra thin pigment liner for some of the symbols and freehands on his models, and after unsuccessfully experimenting with several pens, I ended up getting the one he had recommended, a Staedtler 0,05 mm pigment liner:

The tip is so thin that it’s really easy to add rather elaborate designs to your models. The ink is also waterproof — although I found that it’s really easy to rub off with your fingers, so I added a layer of thinned sepia glaze on top to seal the ink.

As my first proper experiment with this new tool, I carefully drew an Inquisition symbol onto the model’s right kneepad and also added the tri-barred ][ around the skull on the tilt plate. The pigment liner is also an awesome tool for adding fine script to purity seals!

Anyway, here’s what the mostly finished model looked like at this point:



When it came to basing the model, I decided to go with something pretty simple that would fit the lion’s share of my INQ28 collection (i.e. brownish and slightly underhive-y). I also wanted to include some Xenos related touches. Now for an Ultramarine, what would be more appropriate than some Tyranid remains, right? Good thing the new Citadel Skulls kit features lots and lots of beautiful gaunt skulls, among others — I may not be all that interested in Tyranids as a faction (the creepy awesomeness of Genestealer Cults notwithstanding), but I do love those gaunt skulls! The tip of a Termagaunt weapon was also added to the base to represent something glistening and Gigeresque.

So, without further ado, here’s the finished Watch-Brother:

 

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Arcturus Diomedes

Brother of the Deathwatch
originally of the Ultramarines







This was my first experience with painting a Primaris, and I have to agree with the prevailing opinion I’ve seen online: These guys are pretty fun to paint! I am also really chuffed with how the model has turned out!

Here he is next to my first truescale Marine, Praetor Janus Auriga of the Golden Legion:


As you can see, Janus is a fair bit bulkier and also slightly taller — in all fairness, I had little to work from in pre-Primaris times, so the model was really a bit of a proof of concept. He still holds up rather well, though, if I do say so myself — I’ll just need to go with the old “tall, even for an Astartes” cliché. Plus, in any case, Brother Diomedes certainly reads as a true scale Astartes when placed next to a model of “regular” human size:

As for how Diomedes ties into the Velsen Sector’s background and my overarching INQ28 narrative(s), that remains to be seen: I’ll happily admit that this was a case where I simply wanted to build and paint a character for the pure joy of it, then ask questions later. I am fairly certain he’ll end up as a member of a small Killteam, however — in fact, a second member from the Iron Hands, possibly even the killteam’s leader, has already been built a while ago:


There are also ideas regarding a Xenos-cult (“The Children of Imago”) knocking around in the back of my head, so it stands to reason that Arcturus and his buddies may have to defend Velsen against the abomination of the alien at some point. And since fellow hobbyist PDH is currently working on some rather beautiful Deathwatch Marines as well, it looks as though I’ll have enough ideas to “borrow” for the foreseeable future 😉

For now, however, I am really happy with the finished model. I rarely ever paint loyalist Space Marines, but when I do, I want to make each and every one of them count! 🙂

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

Inquisitor 28: Praetor Janus Auriga of the Golden Legion

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Fluff, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 1, 2015 by krautscientist

“Our shield wall marks the borders of the Imperium. Behind us lies the Velsen Sector, forever protected by the brethren of the Golden Legion. For the martyr! For the Sword Saint! The Emperor Protects!”

Golden Legion battle chant

 

Almost every INQ28 aficionado will invariably start thinking about true scale Astartes at some point in their hobby life. Maybe it’s a strange relapse to the stage of desperately wanting to incorporate Space Marines into games of Inquisitor, maybe it’s the realisation that INQ28, with its bigger focus on individuals over squads or armies, is the perfect occasion to do justice to the legendary transhuman warriors the Astartes appear as in the background. Whatever the reason, many hobbyists feel drawn to the task of building their own true scaled Marine — or ten, for that matter.

I was no exception to this rule, and you may remember that I was really happy when I had finally completed the conversion for my first truescale Marine — once again, this has been a long running project (check out my first post on the matter for the whole story). In any case, the completed model ended up looking like this:

Brother Sergeant Auriga (7)
Brother Sergeant Auriga (4)
One thing that I was particularly happy with is how the model compares when placed next to regular, 28mm Marines:

Brother Sergeant Auriga (8)
So much for the conversion job, then. But it was obvious that the model would have to be painted at some point, and I really wanted to give it my best shot. I did have an idea for a highly ostentatious, “blinged out” Imperial Fists successor chapter that patterned itself after the Legio Custodes of old, to some degree. But before I jumped in at the deep end, I set out to collect some inspiration to help me.

Thanks must go to DexterKong, above all else, as some lengthy conversations with him helped me nail down what I wanted the Golden Legion to be like. So why some of the chapter history may still be up in the air at the moment, the ideas born in these conversations really helped me to imbue the model with an underlying narrative, even if you know nothing about the actual chapter.

Regarding actual models that inspired me, Bruticus’ wonderful Brother Mythras of the Sun Titans was certainly a huge influence, seeing how he’s both a Marine in golden armour, plus Bruticus also used the Custodes connection in his fluff — speaking of which, definitely make sure to check out the chapter’s excellent background!

Then there were EdT’s amazing true scale warbands (I recommend you bookmark his thread right away), which were also a huge help in getting me started.

And finally, Jeff Vader said he felt inspired by my true scale conversion to draw this illustration of a Space Marine…

illustration by Jeff Vader

illustration by Jeff Vader

…which then went right back into influencing the paintjob for my own model (as you will see in a minute).

So with those inspirational pieces firmly on my mind (and after the usual bit of deliberation on my part), it was finally time to get painting. Here’s what I did:

Everything started with a foundation for the golden armour. This was a pretty enjoyable step, as it involved lots of drybrushing and washing, and I had made sure during the building stage that the model’s armour would have lots of raised detail. Here’s what the armour looked like after this step:

Janus Auriga PIP (1)
The recipe was easy but effective: The entire model was undercoated with black spraypaint (as usual), then generously drybrushed with GW Warplock Bronze. Then a wash of Gryphonne Sepia (although Seraphim Sepia or Army Painter Soft Tone would probably have worked just as well), then another drybrush with GW Brass Scorpion. And finally, some more controlled highlights with a mix of Brass Scorpion and Mithril Silver. Not rocket science, really, but it got the job done.

Afterwards, it was mostly a matter of blocking out the various detail, although I did try to add a special flourish or two:

Inspired by Jeff Vader’s illustration above, I wanted to paint a checkerboard pattern on one of the pauldrons, in order to make the model look more interesting (and also a bit more gothic). This turned out to be quite a challenge, as I hadn’t attempted anything similar for about twenty years, I suppose…

In the end, I managed to come up with a checkerboard pattern that certainly wasn’t perfect, but convincing enough for me:

Janus Auriga PIP (15)
Janus Auriga PIP (16)

And after that, filling out the rest of the blanks wasn’t that much of a challenge, really. So without further ado, I give you Praetor Janus Auriga of the Golden Legion:

Praetor Janus Auriga (9)
Praetor Janus Auriga (13)
Praetor Janus Auriga (14)
Praetor Janus Auriga (15)
Praetor Janus Auriga (16)
Praetor Janus Auriga (1)

Here’s a closer look at the left pauldron with its checkerboard pattern:

Praetor Janus Auriga (10)
I am actually really pleased with this part of the model, warts and all! Oh, and in a second personal premiere, this also marks the first time that I have ever managed to paint a red jewel that didn’t end up looking like some kind of cherry — I am so happy! 😉

Praetor Janus Auriga (11)
Praetor Janus Auriga (12)
Some people have remarked that he seems like a gnarly, hard-boiled Clint Eastwood type to them, which is exactly what I had in mind: The backstory for Brother Auriga is that he is no longer 100% combat worthy after an injury and has been seconded to the council advising the Sector Governor by the Chapter’s Lord Commander, in order to speak as his representative. Brother Auriga is blunt to a fault, and was deliberately selected by the Lord Commander to counteract the amount of bargaining and politicking on the council. He also sees his posting as a honourless and onerous task and would much rather return to combat.

Oh, and one more thing about the model: You may have noticed that I’ve decided to keep the Inquisitorial seal on his breastplate. This wasn’t an oversight, but a conscious decision: Brother Auriga was one of a number of battle brothers who had the honour of fighting alongside the forces of the Ordo Malleus during the quelling of the daemon-infested world of St. Berthold, which is why he still proudly wears an Inquisitorial signet as part of his personal heraldry.

And finally, a couple of scale comparisons that will show you how Brother Auriga measures up to next to my other latest INQ28 models:

Brother Auriga next to Interrogatory Brynn Yulner (a roughly Cadian sized model):

Praetor Janus Auriga scale comparison (2)
And next to Sister Euphrati Eisen:

Praetor Janus Auriga scale comparison (1)
In fact, Brother Auriga makes a rather nice centre piece for my entire INQ28 collection, as he basically towers over all the other models 😉

And of course this post wouldn’t be complete without a little background vignette to accompany the model. So here goes:

Protector of Velsen
Praetor Janus Auriga, of the Golden Legion Astartes Chapter

Seneschal Secundus Goswinus Baehrn stood at the edge of the landing platform, his robes flapping about him in the icy breeze. Baehrn prided himself on being a thoroughly unemotional person, but even so, he had been extremely nervous, ever since the news had reached him half an hour earlier: The Astartes gunship “Falco Aureus” had made planetfall and was approaching the Hive Primus with an urgent dispatch for the Lord Governor himself.

Direct dealings with the Chapter were few and far between these days, and mostly limited to the most prestigious social functions, which was why Goswinus Baehrn had never actually laid eyes on a member of the Adeptus Astartes up close during his fifteen years in his fairly prestigious position. Under normal circumstances, the task of welcoming a representative of the Legion on Bastold would have fallen under the purview of Senschal Primus Mathewelin, but the old man had retired to his chambers the prior night, with a generous supply of amasec and Obscura and, it was whispered, in the company of several women of questionable renown. In any case, Baehrn had been unable to rouse his superior, which now left him the highest-ranking official to deal with this unforeseen event — He could only suspect that the Seneschal Primus would have to say something about this breach of etiquette at some point in the near future. In fact, there would almost certainly be hell to pay later in the day, not a doubt about it, yet even this prospect was nothing against the mounting sense of dread filling Baehrn as he saw the Astartes vessel approaching: The gunship came in low against the rising sun, as if for a covert attack run. It was a blunt, brutal shape, not unlike a fist, the roar of its engines growing from clearly audible to almost unbearable, as it drew close to the landing platform.

The gunship touched down at the very centre of the platform. Baehrn could see its golden bulk, the exquisite scrollwork and lettering in High Gothic proclaiming its many glorious years of service, yet also the scars and welts that spoke of a life of constant battles. The Seneschal Secundus drew himself up to his full height as the front ramp opened with a hiss, taking a deep breath and sending a silent prayer to the God-Emperor to grant him composure.

“They have sent us a statue!” That was his first thought as he saw the massive golden figure standing at the top of the ramp: A perfect rendition of an Astartes in gold, its armour beautifully detailed, its arms clutching a boltgun across the chest in the most iconic pose imaginable. Baehrn almost laughed out loud as relief flooded through him — the Golden Legion merely wanted to provide an overwrought – and fairly narcissistic – gift to the rulers of Velsen, doubtlessly to be unveiled during a suitably extensive and garish ceremony.

This feeling was short lived, however, and quickly replaced by utter dread as the golden figure started marching down the landing ramp in precise, measured steps.

It was all Goswinus Baehrn could do not to cringe in fear at the approaching giant, and he bowed his head in supplication instead, making the sign of the aquila. When the low purr of active power armour finally emanated from directly in front of him, setting his teeth on edge, there was only a very slight quaver in his voice as he intoned the formal greeting in High Gothic:

“We welcome thee, protector of Velsen, in this hallowed fulcrum of our realm. It is our honour to lay eyes upon thee, and thine every wish shalt be our command, honoured battle brother of the Legio Aurea. The Emperor Protects.”

“Who are you?” The armour’s speaker systems lent the voice a slightly metallic quality, but it was powerful and deep underneath. A voice that demanded instant obeissance.

“Seneschal Secundus Goswinus Baehrn, my lord, member of the household of House Vlachen and most obedient servant of the Lord High-Protector, the Emperor bless his name.”

The giant in golden armour kept staring at Baehrn through glowing blue eye lenses for what seemed like an eternity, but could only have been a few heartbeats, then he lowered the massive bolter, securing it to his thigh with a soft metallic clank. He reached up towards his laurel crested helmet, disengaging the seals with a hiss. When he lifted the helmet free of his head, Baehrn could see a grizzled face, stern and lined, yet with broad features that instantly marked its owner as something more than human, and crowned by a crest of hair so bright that it appeared white. The Astartes’ eyes were of a piercing blue, and as Baehrn did his best to hold their gaze, he felt as though he were being evaluated, no, …targeted. Then The giant spoke:

“I am Praetor Janus Auriga  of the Golden Legion, envoy to Lord Commander Prabian. I am here on the Lord Commander’s orders, to speak with Lord Governor Vlachen, that I might advise him in the the governing of Velsen.”

“Advise…the Lord Governor?” Baehrn almost spluttered: “My lord, that…”

Auriga interrupted him briskly: “The Lord Commander feels that, in the light of current events, the Chapter should take a more active role in guiding the sector. I have therefore been commanded to take the legion’s customary seat on the council.”

Baehrn could barely keep his emotions in check, reeling as he was from the implications of the Praetor’s words: The Golden Legion’s seat on the council had been vacant for a very long time – so long as to make the office seem more than a symbolic gesture than anything – and he doubted even the older members of the noble houses could remember when a member of the Chapter had actually traveled to Bastold to speak on behalf of his Lord Commander on the council. The mere revelation of this latest development would throw the council in an uproar. All of this went through Baehrn’s head, as his mind raced to find an appropriate reply.

A non-committal “…my lord” was all he could safely come up with.

“I will need accommodations for myself and my retainers.” The Praetor indicated a small group of robed figures exiting the gunship.

“It will be done, my lord!” Baehrn was glad the conversation seemed to be on terra firma. “It shall be attended to at once. And I will send notice to your quarters, once the council is back in session, so that you may speak to the representatives…”

“Negative!”, Auriga interrupted: “I will address the council now!”

Baehrn almost reeled back, as the terror came flooding back in full force. “NOW? But, my lord,…the council is in recess right now. The council members will…”

“Are the council chambers still located in sector C-34 of the central spire?”

“Y…yes, my lord.”

“Good. Then I will meet the council members there.”

With these words, the giant in golden armour started to march towards the Hive’s interior, with a very agitated Senschal Secundus doing his best to keep up.

Things on Bastold were about to change.

 

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

Inquisitor 28: Kitbashing spree pt. 2 – The Hammer of the Emperor

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, Pointless ramblings, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 21, 2014 by krautscientist

Right, sorry for the late update, and for getting ages to get back to any comments — work is crazy at the moment. Please bear with me, while I try not to lose my mind 😉

Anyway, let me show you another batch of (fairly) recently kitbashed models from the wonderful world of INQ28: Maybe due to the recent release of the new Astra Militarum Codex, this update will mainly be featuring characters with a bit of an IG background.

With one notable exception, however: In a bit of an addendum to my last post, I have come up with two possible retainers to Brother-Sergeant Auriga, my true scale Marine:

 

1. An Astartes’s Servants

First up, I’ve had this little guy in my bitzbox for ages now:

Bolter_Cherub
But while I love cherubim – they’re such an ironic part of what makes 40k interesting – I never got around to finding an actual use for the model: That bolter the little guy is lugging around didn’t seem like such a good match for any of my Inquisitors, and I didn’t want to chop it off for fear of permanently ruining the model.

Brother Sergeant Auriga, however, is a Space Marine. And by virtue of being a Space Marine, he would own and wield a bolter, right? Well, so much the better, because now he has a servant to carry the weapon for him, at least when it’s not actually required on the battlefield, but rather as a “sign of office”, as it were. And it really fits my idea of the Golden Legion that they would not be above a bit of ostentatiousness like this.

Once I had seen the Marine and cherub together, there was no stopping me, and so I started working on yet another retainer for Brother Auriga: My original plan had been to have options for both a bare head and a helmeted one, but then I really liked the idea of having a chapter serf carry the Brother-Sergeant’s helmet. Here’s an early mockup:

Chapter Serf
These three really look great together, if you ask me:

Brother Sergeant Auriga and Retainers WIP
At the same time, this growing retinue illustrates a bit of a challenge I am facing at the moment: My problem, if you can call it a problem at all, seems to be that some of the models I have recently built seem to warrant further retainers and familiars, just because it’s such a great way of further exploring them as characters. You’ll be seeing another example of this in a minute, and while building some additional models (for additional narrative texture) is a blast, I wonder whether I’ll ever be able to finish all of these… Then again, as long as it’s fun, it certainly can’t be all bad, can it?

Anyway, moving on to the Astra Militarum guys:

 

II. The Rank And File

I suppose some of you will still be remembering my kitbashed Trencher, right? Well, messing around with a Dark Vengeance chaos cultist and an Eisenkern Stormtrooper head lead to a model that might be a playfellow for him (or maybe a soldier of the opposing army?). Take a look:

Trenchers WIP
Then there’s a special ops trooper I built, heavily inspired by one of Commissar Molotov’s conversions:

Trooper WIP (6)
This guy was built by combining two sets of Cadian legs (you’ll quickly see the area where the conversion still needs some evening out) and adding some bitz from the Tempestus Scions (nothing says “elite soldier” quite like a beret worn in combat, right? 😉 I also added some bitz to the lasgun, in order to make it look like a custom model:

Trooper WIP (5)

III. Ordo Militum?!

I have also begun to mess around with the Tempestor Prime bitz, creating a model that could become a high-ranking Guard officer, or maybe even an Inquisitor with strong ties to the Ordo Militum? Take a look:
Tempestor kitbash WIP (4)
This model is not yet finished, of course. For now, the most involved change to the base model was to add the saber of the plastic Ordo Prefectus Commissar — which I think fits this model rather better than the model it originally came from. I’m also not yet sure whether I like it better held vertically or horizontally:

Tempestor kitbash WIP (5)Thoughts?

Speaking of the Ordo Prefectus Commissar, I have begun to turn him into an agent of the Ordos:

I quickly realised that the model had a bit of a “gunslinger” vibe going on, so I experimented with different weapons setups (and added a head with a bionic eye that seems to support the character’s targeting prowess:

Gunslinger Inq WIP (2)
Gunslinger Inq WIP (1)
As for the actual weapons, the plasma pistol seemed a little too clunky for me, and while I liked the Dark Eldar pistol well enough for its sleek silhouette, it just seemed too xenos for a military man like this — it would probably be ideal if one were to build a Rogue Trader from this base model, however. Just sayin’…

In the end, I opted for a custom weapon, kitbashed from a Dark Eldar fusion pistol and a strut from a GK backpack:

Gunslinger Inq WIP (11)
I am reasonably pleased with the outcome, because it looks clunky enough to qualify as Imperial, but could also conceivably have xenos origins. In any case, it has a bit of the classic, retro-futuristic “SCIENCE!” look, don’t you think?

Another fun experiment was to use some different legs on the model:

Gunslinger Inq WIP (9)
In this case, I tried some legs from the Eisenkern Stormtroopers, and while the result might look a little off, I think it might be an avenue of conversion that definitely warrants further exploration.

For this particular model, though, I am going to keep the standard legs:

Gunslinger Inq WIP (12)
So who is this guy? I think he’s looking a bit too ostentatious to be a “regular” gunslinger. He might be an actual Inquisitor, but there’s a cockiness in his pose and expression that makes me think he might make a better Interrogator — maybe a servant of the Ordo Militum Inquisitor above?

 

IV. An Officer And A Gentleman…

There’s one last set of models I would like to show you, and these are another example of my recent fancy when it comes to going off on a tangent in order to kitbash some “spin off” miniatures, so to speak. But let’s start at the beginning:

A rather long while ago, fellow hobbyist and all around great guy PDH let me have a tank commander commissar from the FW DKOK Commissar set — on the condition that I would use it for a conversion.

Well, it took me ages to finally come up with a conversion opportunity for the model – mostly because the tank commander is lacking the legs below the knee, for obvious reasons – but when the Tempestus Scions appeared upon the scene, I finally had my solution (and a way to give this guy new legs). Take a look:

Krieg_conversion (3)
As you can see, I just added in the lower legs of a Tempestus Scion — which worked like a charm, with only minimal cutting and GS’ing involved! In order to make the model look more like a noble and austere character, I also replaced the DKOK gas mask with a bare head (from the Empire Knights’ White Wolves sprue, of all places…). On a related note, I did keep the commissar head perfectly intact, in order to be able to use it in a future conversion:

Krieg_conversion (4)
Anyway, when I posted the DKOK conversion on my Ammobunker thread, fellow hobbyist Logan pointed out that the model reminded him of a painting of Karl Franz of Austria. And then it hit me: This guy actually looks like he is posing for a portrait, isn’t he?

I actually embraced this effect, and in order to further emphasise it, I added a servo-skull and a small plinth on his base, making the “portrait look” even stronger:

Krieg_conversion (6)
Krieg_conversion (5)
And then I finally lost my mind when DexterKong suggested I built a small diorama showing the officer’s portrait being painted by an Imperial artist. And I really loved that idea! So I began to plan accordingly (wanting to build the diorama, but also endeavouring to keep the models useable individually).

Anyway, for the painter, I chose an Imperial acolyte I had picked up during a bitz swap some time ago:

Painting Servitor (1)
This seems to be everybody’s favourite model from back when Codex: Daemonhunters was released, but on my copy, the eye section of the face was unfortunately rather miscast/damaged, leaving him without eyes and giving him an ugly splotch of metal over the upper half of his face. So, as you can see above, I added a new bionic eye to him, in order to repair the model.

Painting Servitor (2)
It works rather well, I think, and the strange “welt” running over his right eye now looks more like a cable feeding into his bionic eye — how very 40k, to replace and eye and thereby fething up the other one, right? Especially on a painter!

Because this guy will be serving as a “painting servitor”, or as an augmeticised master painter, for that matter. I think he will be commanding a coterie of servo-skulls, that are taking care of the actual painting, while he is making preparatory sketches and adjusting the skulls’ work.

The servo skulls will be darting around a suitably grimdark easel. I have already started building it:

Easel WIP (5)
Easel WIP (4)
Ironically enough, one of the servo skull diceholders that were released alongside 6th edition served as the main recource for building the easel. I added some parts from an old model truck kit, as well as some cabling and an Imperial aquila. And, like I said, a couple of servo-skulls will be floating around the completed easel:

Easel WIP (6)
I am currently using a CD as a makeshift base for the diorama, figuring out the basic composition before starting on the actual build:

Diorama early WIP (3)
Diorama early WIP (2)
So this will be a scene depicting a powerful Lord Militant of the Astra Militarum having his portrait taken by an augmeticised master painter of the 41st millennium and his coterie of servo-skull assistents — is this utterly brilliant or completely idiotic? Or a little bit of both? I’ll let you be the judges of that…

Anyway, so much for the Astra Militarum side of things for now! See you all next week, when I am going to show you the third batch of my current INQ28 kitbashing results. Until then, feel free to let me know any suggestions and feedback you might have!

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

Inquisitor 28: Kitbashing spree pt. 1 – With Fire and Sword

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 14, 2014 by krautscientist

Ever since I’ve managed to complete my World Eaters Lord on juggernaut, I have been in the clutches of a veritable, INQ28 related kitbashing spree, building model after model — let’s just hope I’ll manage to get some of these painted at some point! 😉

Anyway, over the next couple of posts, I would like to show you the models I have come up with during this pleasant burst of inspiration. As usual, many of these have been hammered into completion through the very helpful feedback of fellow hobbyists on the forums I frequent, so a heartfelt thank you to anyone who helped me sorting out the smaller kinks on these pieces.

Anyway, for today, let’s forego the shadowy side of the Inquisitor universe in favour of some more ostentatious servants of the Emperor:

 

I. A pair of colleagues

Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor WIP (15)
One thing I did was to touch up a pair of Inquisitors that I had already built a rather long time ago. Upon closer inspection, it seems I have never shared them here on the blog, so that alone should be enough reason to talk about them 😉 So let’s take a closer look:

The first of the two was built to be instantly recognisable as a psyker: By choosing bitz of psionic equipment like a warding staff and psychic hood and by trying to look him tall and gaunt, I believe succeeded at communicating that idea. Take a look:

Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor WIP (5)
Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor WIP (6)
Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor WIP (7)
As you can see, the kitbash itself is fairly straightforward, with an upper body mostly made from GK plastic parts combined with the robed legs of the WFB Chaos Sorcerer. But while I had originally used GK shoulder pads on this guy, PDH rightly pointed out that those made him look a tad too much like an Astartes, so I replaced them with some Chaos Marauder shoulder pads for a less “Marine-y” look. This also had the coincidental side effect of making the model look quite a bit like a piece of artwork in the Inquisitor rulebook, but this wasn’t planned.

In order to further obscure the GK origins, I improvised a nonstandard “power plant” for the model’s back, combining the lower half of a GK backpack with some tanks from a Vraksian Renegade Militia soldier:

Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor WIP (9)
The other Inquisitor was designed to be pretty much the polar opposite of the psyker: I wanted a bulky, ostentatious, very physical type, inspired by characters like Witch Hunter Tyrus or Inquisitor Coteaz:

Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor WIP (10)
Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor WIP (11)
Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor WIP (12)
Again, a couple of Marine and GK bitz are very much at the centre of this conversion. So I tried once more to prevent the model from looking too much like an Astartes by combining the Marine bitz with stuff from different sources: The legs came from the WFB chaos warriors, and I added a couple of additional armour plates (the shoulder pad based on a radar array was inspired by a similar conversion in the old Codex Witch Hunters, by the way). And I added a half cape over the model’s shoulder, making use of possibly the last part I had left over from the Chaos Lord on Manticore rider bitz 😉

Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor WIP (13)
All in all, this guy is a real beefcake, but back then, it was a lot of fun to build an Inquisitor who wasn’t a gaunt, shadowy figure for once.

While I have not yet decided which Ordo these two will belong to (I suppose it’ll be a neck and neck between Malleus and Hereticus), I definitely think they have some chemistry together: There’s certainly a bit of a “brains and brawn” thing going on, don’t you think?

Maybe, these two work together as a team, hunting down rogue Inquisitors and Heretics. It might also be  interesting to have them be far more divided than is apparent at first glance: Maybe the bombastic, monodominant Witch Hunter secretly detests his colleague for his reliance on the powers of the warp? Maybe the Psyker has discovered he has a taste for the more radical rituals and pratices? Maybe they are the estranged former pupils of a common master, now brought back into an uneasy alliance by circumstances beyond their control? In any case, there could be some delicious friction between the two…

 

II. A Sister of Battle

The next model I want to show you today came together surprisingly quickly and was a ton of fun to convert. But I am getting ahead of myself! Let me start by telling you that I have a huge soft spot for the Adepta Sororitas and think it’s a crying shame that GW have shown them so little attention over the last years. For me, the Sisters of Battle are one of the most eclectic and quirky elements of 40k, and one of the things that really sells the setting as something different and interesting. The Sisters are iconic and recognisable and – rather surprisingly, both for GW and wargaming in general – not a highly sexualised depiction of female characters (let’s just forget the Sisters Repentia for now, because they clearly aren’t all that sexy, unless you are that way inclined…). Maybe that’s why the Sisters aren’t selling enough models to warrant a substantial new release?

Anyway, long story short, I have wanted to build a Sister of Battle for my INQ28 collection for quite a while now, and after having converted a small squad of Sisters of Silence for my Custodes, I was reasonably confident that it could be done, and could be done in plastic, no less. So a short time ago, I picked up a leftover Dark Eldar Kabalite Warrior and a couple of bitz and built this model:

Sister Kitbash (5)
Sister Kitbash (7)
Sister Kitbash (8)
I am really happy with the model, to tell you the truth, even though I clearly recognise that it’s not without its faults: For the head, I had to fall back on the one plastic Sororita head available (from the Sisters of Battle vehicle conversion kit, I believe), resulting in a head that might be ever so slightly too big for the body. The backpack may be a bit too bulky as well, although I am actually rather proud of the actual build for that part.

All in all, even though it may be a slightly flawed model, I am enormously fond of it, if only because it was entirely built from plastic parts, without any actual sculpting involved. And I hope that a classic Sisters of Battle paintjob will go the rest of the way towards selling the model.

Sister Kitbash (6)

III. An Angel of Death

And, last but definitely not least, let me show you my latest conversion (and a model I am immensely proud of):

I imagine most of you will have heard about a certain trend of “truescaling” or “art scaling” Space Marines. Not to delve too deeply into this discussion, but the main argument behind this movement is that the scale of the actual Space Marine models doesn’t fit the depiction of Marines in the art and written background published by GW: While the Marines in the art and fluff come across as veritable titans, much taller and wider than any mere man, an actual Marine on the table will often literally see eye to eye with any Cadian or Chaos Cultist.

So quite a few hobbyists are going the “true scale” route, converting and/or resculpting their Marines to be closer to the depictions in the background. And while I am perfectly happy with the scale of Marine models in my regular 40k army (for practicality reasons, if for nothing else), the wonderful world of Inquisitor provided the perfect excuse for building at least one true scale Astartes.

You see, one of the things the original 54mm Inquisitor models truly excelled at was to communicate the fact that people come in all shapes and sizes: While most infantry models for 40k will usually be scaled to equal size, the 54mm Inquisitor models represented a wide range of heights and builds — and Brother Artemis, the Space Marine model released for Inquisitor, was definitely the tallest and most imposing guy in the catalogue.

And with the focus on making individual models look as good as possible in INQ28, I think we should also try to incorporate that variety in heigth and build into the smaller scale, even though it means more work. And while there’s admittedly not that much use for a Space Marine in INQ28, I still wanted to build one, both due to the challenge involved and because such a character would fit into the background for my little slice of the galaxy.

Now actually building the model turned out to be a veritable odyssey: Everything started when I saw Commissar Molotov’s Deathwatch Marine many moons ago:

Deathwatch Astartes by Commissar Molotov

Deathwatch Marine converted by Commissar Molotov and painted by ElDiablo

Molotov himself may no longer be all that fond of this model, but ut really served as a trailblazer for me in that it convinced me that building and painting a truescale Marine would be a very worth hobby endeavour! And indeed, I started kitbashing right away (back in 2011), coming up with this:

Truescale early WIP 01
But while it may have been a valiant first effort, the model didn’t convince me, even back then: The proportions were a bit off, the legs were clearly Terminator legs, and I feared I would have to get my feet wet using GS to sort out the build of the model. So this first test model was scrapped, and I put the project on the back burner, there to simmer for a while…

And simmer it did: Whenever I saw my fellow hobbyists come up with amazing truescale Marines of their own, their work would prove to be both inspiring and intimidating to me: Inspiring because it gave me the motivation to take another shot at my own model, intimidating because all those models always seemed so much cooler than what I could come up with.

There are many, many cool truescale projects out there, so naming favourites seems a bit unfair, but let me at least mention the models that proved the most inspiring (and/or intimidating) to me: Jeff Vader came up with a wonderful series of truescale Marines, but I couldn’t get his recipe to work for me, much as I tried. The Strike Force Helmawr project proved tantalising, showing not one but many, many true scale models (and convincing me I could never pull it off). Bruticus’s amazing Sun Titan Space Marine made me salivate at the mouth and gnash my teeth at the same time, because the model and backstory were fairly close to what I had been planning for my own model (on a related note, the model is made even better by the wonderfully grimdark background provided here and here). And there was always migsula with his outstanding Alpha Legionaries, of course, but I knew right away that I myself could not hope to aspire to something as lofty as that 😉

Meanwhile, I made another attempt at building my own truescale Marine:

Truescale early WIP 02
But while the model did feel like an improvement over the first version, the look I wanted still wasn’t there. Would I be forever unable to come up with a suitable Astartes for my INQ28 collection?

What finally pushed me over the edge to try it yet again were Jeff Vader’s Deathwatch Marine (using a GK Terminator torso instead of that of a regular Marine, something I hadn’t even considered before) and Ukos’s really nice and clean truescale model (also using plastic Terminator parts). So, last weekend, I gave it yet another try, and this time I persevered:

Brother_Sergeant_Auriga
In hindsight, it’s truly baffling how quickly the model’s body came together after all that prior deliberation. The main challenge was to get the proportions to look plausible enough, but I think I have finally managed to make it work! As for the parts used, the legs came from a FW Tartaros Terminator (I’d probably always recommend these over regular Terminator legs, because their design means that they won’t need any additional greenstuffing to look accurate), while the torso and arms are from the Grey Knight piloting the Nemesis Dreadknight. I also added shoulder pads from the Sternguard kit and a particularly arrogant looking head from the Vanguard kit. Oh, and the cap of a felt pen provided the plasticard collar I needed to make the armour work — another good piece of advice for lazy people like me 😉

After the main build had been sorted out, it came to making the armour look less utilitarian and more ostentatious and baroque. I quickly found out that I couldn’t add nearly as much bitz and bobs as I would have liked, and I really had to reign myself in so as not too overclutter the model’s silhouette! Anyway, here’s the model with added gear and decoration:

Brother_Sergeant_Auriga04
In addition to providing a bit of extra bling, some pouches and grenades were used to bulk out the hips and help create the illusion of “correct” proportions.

The final step was to add weapons to the model, and I clearly knew I wanted this guy to be wielding a sword and a pistol of some sort. And while I had several options for either, in the end it turned out that many of the possible weapons weren’t useable because they would have looked like mere toys in the hands of this huge model — a very real complication with truescale models!

In the end I settled on a FW plasma pistol and a Grey Knight power sword. And with that, the conversion was completed. I give you Brother Sergeant Janus Auriga, of the Golden Legion Astartes Chapter:

Brother Sergeant Auriga (7)
Brother Sergeant Auriga (6)
Brother Sergeant Auriga (5)
Brother Sergeant Auriga (4)
Brother Sergeant Auriga (3)
Brother Sergeant Auriga (2)
And, of course, no post about a true scale Marine would be complete with a scale comparison shot showing the model next to one of its “regular” counterparts. Take a look:

Brother Sergeant Auriga (8)
Quite a beast, don’t you think? 🙂

I won’t lied to you: I am super happy with the finished model, especially since it has taken me such a long time to come up with a true scale Astartes of my own! Since I don’t plan on building any more TS Marines, I knew that I should give it my all on this guy — and I did 😉

Brother Sergeant Auriga (1)

So yeah, those are the first results of my recent INQ28 kitbashing spree. As usual, I would love to hear any feedback, suggestions or criticism you might have! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!