Archive for warband

INQ28: Unfinished business, pt. 2

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Fluff, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob, Pointless ramblings, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 21, 2019 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, time for another update: I still have to spent way too much time on hospital visits, but I nevertheless thank you guys for all the well-wishes! It really means a lot!

If nothing else, I have managed to be a bit more productive in hobby terms, mostly thanks to another painting session at my friend Annie’s place.

So what do I have for you today? — More finished members for my Ordo Xenos warband, as it happens.

And that’s a good thing, really, because this particular retinue is one of my oldest INQ28-related hobby projects, and it’s always a great feeling to be able to cross some long-neglected models off my list of unpainted stuff!

Inquisitor Alvar’s warband was actually originally started in 2013, with several of the models also first conceived back then.

In hindsight, the warband almost seems like a primitive precursor to the colourful group of adventurers that would end up in the Blackstone Fortress boxed se:

— overtaken by GW’s own release schedule, now that is one for the news 😉

But anyway, all the more reason to finally show this project some love! So I’ve managed to add two more finished members to the warband, and I have also taken some new photos of all the characters so far, so let’s start by going through the members of Inquisitor Alvar’s retinue:

First up, the Inquisitor himself: Titus Alvar of the Ordo Xenos Velsen — Inquisitor, socialite, adventurer:


There’s an as-of-yet unnamed sanctioned psyker who is also a member of Alvar’s warband. My vague backstory for him is that Alvar picked him up while he was under Inquisitorial audit for some psionic “friendly fire” caused by the presence of a Xenos artifact.



Next up,  Zekariah “Foreman” Lunn, Inquisitorial operative and veteran of the Eisenberg Factory Guard:



And T’L’Kess, Kroot tracker and scout, and possibly the last survivor of his kindred:


So much for the members of Alvar’s retinue so far, but what about the new blood? Well, let’s take a look!

First up is Inquisitor Alvar’s interrogator, Mamzel Millerna Acheron:

Now this is actually not a GW model, but actually Reaper Miniatures’ “Sasha Dubois, Time Chaser”, from the Chronoscope line of models. I will say, however, that it almost looks like a missing GW sculpt from the late 90s or early aughts, with maybe a dash of Chris Fitzpatrick, especially in the face. Anyway, I mostly picked up this model a couple of years ago because I liked the sculpt so much — but I quickly realised that she would go really well with the rest of Alvar’s warband, and she even mirrors some of the visual cues that appear on the Inquisitor. To wit, one of the most popular paintjobs of the model to be found online even uses a colour palette that is somewhat similar to my recipe for Alvar:

In any case, this was defnitely one of the paintjobs I kept putting off for years for fear of messing up. At the same time, I didn’t want the model to perfectly match Alvar’s look, but rather to complement it. Here’s what I came up with:

Seeing how several details appear on both Alvar and Millerna (such as the epaulettes, coat, the goggles on the forehead,…), turning the models of echoes of each other to a degree, I thought I could get away with a blue-ish/turquoise coat. I also see Millerna as the scion of a voidfaring family, so a slightly naval look did seem appropriate (and worked well with the golden elements on her coat as well).

I also took the liberty to not paint her with a bare-midriff, as that seemed a bit too gratuitous and risqué for a professional Inquisitorial operative. Instead, I tried to achive the look of combat fatigues or an armoured bodyglove, which I think is a far better match for a character like this. I am really very happy with the finished model, if I do say so myself!

Here’s a group picture of Inquisitor Alvar and his interrogator, and I’d say they work very well together:

With one tough challenge behind me, I was feeling cocky enough to start painting one of the first conversions created for the retinue, and a rather involved one at that. Professor Abelard Marbray, renowned Xeno-archeologist of the Bastold Imperial Akademy:


To quote myself from back when I originally came up with the character:

“It also stands to reason that an Inquisitor exploring Xenos ruins would have need of a specialist in the field of archaeology. And indeed, while painting the model for Inquisitor Alvar, inspiration struck and made me want to convert one of the most underappreciated WFB plastic characters, the Empire Master Engineer — at least, it’s the only model that’s ALWAYS available at the FLGS and never sells out. And to be honest, it used to be the one model I couldn’t see myself using for anything. But it just seemed perfect for this:”

Using the – now OOP, ironically enough – Empire Master Engineer did make for a somewhat quirky model, but that was really just the look I wanted, even back then: Equal parts nutty professor and mad scientist, and also the look of an old gentleman academic going on a grand adventure in what he considers his best possible gear for the great outdoors.

It’s also a rather cluttered and busy model with lots and lots of detail to paint, so to finish the professor did take a while. But here he is, ready to travel out into the sea of stars — FOR SCIENCE!


That bulky, voxcaster-based thing on his back is supposed to be some kind of portable cogitator, by the way, allowing him to file and cross-reference his findings even while working in the field. I imagine it even makes an old-fashioned “ding” sound when finishing with a calculation 😉



I built the professor to be contemplating a rusty, dirty Necron skull, as you can see, unsure whether this is an artifact of a Xenos culture or actual part of an alien. There’s even a patch of bright silver where his fingers have wiped away some of the dust and grime of the ages (although you probably have to take a close look to see it):


This was another paintjob that I had been putting off for a long time — and to finally have completed these two characters really does feel like quite an achievement — silly, I know 😉

In any case, this brings Inquisitor Alvar’s merry band of rogues and adventurers quite a bit closer to its completion. Here’s the entire retinue so far:

As for future additions, there are actually four more possible members for the warband. Take a look:

From left to right, there’s a Magos Xenobiologis of the Adeptus Mechanicus, now on permanent secondment to the Ordos, Professor Marbray’s research assistant, a Squat/Demiurg (or whatever you want to call them — I thought it would be a fun model to throw in) and Shiv Korlund, a female hive ganger, represented by one of Jes Goodwin’s vintage Escher models.

Looking at the retinue now that it’s starting to come together for good, I realise that the warband definitely owes a debt of inspiration to the Inquisitorial retinue fellow hobbyist Lamby is currently working on (and, to be exact, has been for a while). This wasn’t really a conscious decision on my part, but I cannot help feeling some of my models echo the design cues you can see in Lamby’s work, and there are subtle similarities here and there that must be due to my following his warband taking place over a similar number of years. So cheers, mate! And great to see you working on your stuff again!

I am also happy to finally be able to contribute something to one of Azazel’s community challenges again, as my attempts to finally finish Inquisitor Alvar’s warband should definitely qualify as a part of his Squaddie September ’19 challenge.

As is usually the case, I would love to hear your thoughts on the models, so please leave a comment! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

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INQ28: Unfinished business

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Fluff, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob, Pointless ramblings, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 25, 2019 by krautscientist

Back to the shadowy world in between the cracks for today’s update, as we make the aquaintance of more citizens of the Velsen Sector, DexterKong’s and my personal INQ28 sandbox.

2018 was very much an INQ28 year for me in that I managed to, more or less, finish five different retinues for my Inquisitor collection. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for 2019 so far, but there’s still some time left this year, eh? So let’s head back to the world of shadowy dealings in service of the Ordos for a bit:

In spite of my painting progress last year, my INQ28 backlog is still on the wrong side of hilarious, so I didn’t exactly have to search for something to paint. I chose one of my long-neglected warband projects: the retinue of one Inquisitor Titus Alvar, of the Ordo Xenos Velsen:

Inquisitor Titus Alvar, of the Ordo Xenos

House Alvar has been one of the more influential noble houses for centuries. As a scion of the house, Titus Alvar grew up in luxury and power, the intricacies of the Imperial courts with their waxing and waning support for one house or another a game he quickly mastered. Maybe the search for new and more immediate thrills was what made him enter that perilous region of space known as “The Veil of Impurity” time and time again, and tales of his exploration of ancient ruins, of treasures discovered and adventures survived, made him the talk of the courts he had left behind. As a matter of fact, one of his expeditions into the treacherous cluster of stars resulted in a standoff with Inquisitrix Cimbria Carscallen. Under normal circumstances, someone running afoul of the Ordo Xenos would have been executed without second thought, yet Carscallen must have seen something in Alvar that made her reconsider. And so, Titus Alvar, noble, adventurer, became an Interrogator in the Emperor’s Holy Ordos of the Inquisition and, in time, an Inquisitor in his own right.

Though the years of doing the Emperor’s work may have somewhat mellowed his once flamboyant lifestyle, Titus Alvar very much remains a socialite and a political animal. His standing as a member of an influential noble house makes him a common guest at social functions all over the sector, and the tales of his exploits have led some of his peers to suspect that he is a glory hound, first and foremost.

In truth, Titus Alvar is, above all else, a pragmatist: The trappings of nobility are as much of a useful tool to him as the artifacts he has recovered on countless expeditions or the retainers, some of them quite exotic, that comprise his warband. Meanwhile, some of Alvar’s colleagues have grown suspicious of the Inquisitor’s continued expeditions to the Veil of Impurity and some of the alliances he may have forged there…

 

Back when I originally came up with the plan for Alvar and his retainers, I had this idea for an Ordo Xenos Inquisitor who was also a bit of a socialite, and an adventurer — closer in outlook to a Rogue Trader in many ways. So I wanted his retinue to be somewhat colourful and picaresque again, not unlike the charming collection of archetypes appearing in the original Inquisitor rulebook. Going back to the pages of that veritable tome, I realised that my collection was still missing the alien mercenary archetype — and it woud also also very much in character for a socialite like Alvar to have an “exotic” retainer like this in his warband, even though it might make the more puritan members of the Ordo Xenos foam at the mouth…

So that was where T’L’Kess the Kroot Pathfinder was born a couple of years ago:

T’L’kess lost his entire kindred in an atrocity committed by a T’au commander to prove a point (it’s a long story). In any case, there’s no love lost between him and his former “employers”(in fact, this is one of the angles that interest me most about the T’au empire: the contrast between their propaganda and narrative of a peaceful empire of many species and the possible cracks and ugly sides such an empire might have, such as aggressive expansionism, speciesism — you name it). T’L’Kess has realised that his last chance to keep his bloodline alive might be to travel the stars in order to find members of the kindred who left the planet prior to the genocide. During his travels, he meets Inquisitor Alvar and ends up working for him as a scout and pathfinder.

I have always been intrigued by the Kroot and have wanted to turn one of the models into a bit more of an individual for a long time — imagine my annoyance, then, when Dayhak Grekh from Blackstone Fortress turned out to be a much better realisation of a very similar character idea…

Ah well, my model was built years ago with the bitz I had back then. And in any case: All the more reason to finally get some paint on the character, right? 😉

When painting the model, my two main sources of inspiration where my buddy DexterKong’s Kroot character Ortok (basically one of the best Kroot conversions I have seen so far) and Foxtail’s paintjob for the Dayhak Grekh model from Blackstone Fortress.

Anyway, here’s the finished model for T’L’Kess






The white part on the left side of his head is actually the T’au version of a comms system. I tried to make the skin around it look scarred to hint at the fact that it was inplanted without much care for his thoughts on the matter — or for his good looks 😉 I wanted to hint at the bad blood between him and his former comrades in arms, and also at the fact that the covenant between the T’au and the other species from their empire can sometimes be less benign than what is usually suggested in the background…


Most of the characters for the warband were actually converted back in 2013, if you can believe it. With T’L’Kess finished, I actually had three finished members for Inqusitor Alvar’s retinue:

There’s the Inquisitor himself (in the middle), T’L’Kess the Kroot and an as-of-yet unnamed sanctioned psyker, formerly of the Astra Militarum, but cast out by his regiment when an encounter with a Xenos artifact led to some psionic friendly fire…

And here’s the rest of the retinue as it looked at that point:

In addition to the aforementioned characters, there’s Professor Abelard Marbray, renowned Xeno-Archaeologist from the Bastold Imperial Akademy and his personal research assistant, a member of the reclusive “Ashers”, an ethnic group facing a lot of prejudice throughout the Velsen Sector. Another Astra Militarum veteran and heavy weapons specialist for when things get ugly. Millerna Acheron, voidship captain and Alvar’s Interrogator. Not pictured: Shiv Korlund, a former hive ganger (based on one of the old Escher metal models).

With the Kroot model painted, I actually wanted to keep going, so I chose to work on the heavy weapons specialist next:

I like the big gun and the “tough as nails” look and imagine this is the kind of guy Alvar makes use of when negotiations turn sour and diplomacy is no longer an option. The original idea for him – way before then new version of Necromunda was released, mind you – was that he could maybe look like a former hive ganger (similar to the gangers from House Goliath) that had ended up joining the Astra Militarum at some point. And I still see him that way, basically: An Astra Militarum veteran and former memer of a working gang (with an extra emphasis placed on the word “gang”) from an Imperial factory world. His clothes and equipment were therefore painted to look as though he were wearing a mix a mish-mash of his former regimental colours, his working gear from the manufactoria of his homeworld and a couple of Inquisitiorial emblems here and there. I have also taken extra care to make his armour and leather apron look scuffy and well used, as you would expect from a working man like this. Take a look at the finished model:





For the icon on his shoulder, I combined two decals: An AdMech cog symbol and a small Astra Militarum emblem. This seemed like a fitting symbol for a regiment hailing from a factory world.




Oh, and adding those little symbols and markings to the grenades on his backpack was such a frivolous yet enjoyable little detail…

In my background ideas for the warband, he also has a bit of a war buddies thing going on with T’L’Kess the Kroot (whom he calls “Birdman”), in spite of everything:

So that’s two new members for Inquisitor Alvar’s retinue, and two long neglected models to cross off my list. Yay! 🙂

But wait, there’s more: Seeing how I was on a bit of a roll here, I decided to dig out another long-neglected model of mine that I think deserves some sort of closure. This gentleman here:

This is Lord Sebastianus Danver Balzepho Vlachen, one of the Velsen Sector’s big movers and shakers — and also a bit of a hero of the people. At the same time, he also has a darker side to him, and is ruthlessly ambitious. As grand-nephew and heir apparent to the ailing sector governor, he seeks to succeed his great-uncle as sector lord, and he is every bit as ruthless and ambitious as you would expect of somebody so far up in the Imperial nobility. At the same time, his connections to the Velsian Astra Militarum and supposed battlefield heroics have endeared him to both the military’s top brass and the common people. But again, there’s often a less respectable side to his character: For instance, he wears his scars with pride, having both a bit of a dueling history and a reputation as a grizzled veteran, but the truth is that the nastiest scar on his face actually came about due to a confrontation with one Cpt. Esteban Revas of the 126th Haaruthian Dragoons (read the full story here):

Anyway, Lord Sebastianus was one of those conversions I was really, really happy with. But he still ended up in a box, partially painted, and has stayed thus for years. Enough, I say! So here’s a PIP-shot of the mostly finished model:


It’s a really great feeling to be able to finally cross some of those old chestnuts off my list of unpainted stuff. And it’s fun to be back in the world of INQ28 for a spell! 🙂

Of course I would love to hear your thoughts on the models, so feel free to leave a comment! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

State of the Hunt, Week 52/2018: Going viral

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Fluff, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 31, 2018 by krautscientist

First of all, I hope everyone’s had a very merry Christmas! For my part, I have been far too lazy – AGAIN! -, spending most of my time eating, sleeping, catching up with the family and obsessively making my way through God of War for the Playstation 4. Still, I do have a new post to share with you — even if it’s just an intermession before the next part of this year’s Eternal Hunt Awards — the truth is, I mostly wanted to make sure the models I want to share with you today are counted for Azazel’s “Dauntless-Diabolical-December” community challenge. I do realise I am bending the rules of the challenge a bit, but if nothing else, these models are certainly rather diabolical (and maybe also a little dauntless?!). So what is this about?

One of the hobby projects that didn’t take off this year quite the way I had hoped was my work on some Death Guard models: I’ve been sitting on a – small – Death Guard army ever since fellow hobbyist BubblesMcBub let me have most of the Nurglite models from the Dark Imperium box, and while I have done lots of conversions here and there, the army really hasn’t started to materialise yet.

Maybe a part of the problem was that I was still lacking an underlying concept, an intellectual handhold on the whole project, so to speak. Like most chaos players, I have a huge fondness for Nurgle, because it’s just brilliant fun to experiment with decay, rot, body horror — the whole works 😉

But it was always difficult for me to envision the Death Guard and Nurgle’s servants as actual characters, rather than a mere concept. What is their end-game? Do they still think at all? Or are they too far gone already, due to their many “gifts”? I just couldn’t quite wrap my head around it all.

But then several sources of inspiration helped me tremendously. One was Chris Wraight’s novel “The Lords of Silence”, chronicling the exploits of the eponymous Death Guard warband and providing a very cool look at the interior workings of the legion. Even more importantly, it explores the Death Guard mindset in what often seems like a couple of throwaway lines:

“Golkh limps. One of his legs is wasted away within its armour-shell, yet still supports his considerable bulk. The bones are shot to powder, the muscles are a stringy mess, and yet he still walks. Such mysteries.”

This short passage perfectly encapsulates a pretty cool angle on the Death Guard legionnaires: their stoicism, their grim acceptance of their various “gifts”, but also their bemused wonder at their own existence and the extent of their corruption.

Anthony Reynold’s Word Bearers short story “Vox Dominus” was another invaluable source: The Death Guard makes an appearance here, and without giving too much away, the story provides a perfect explanation for the jolliness of Nurgle’s servants: They are basically laughing at the giant joke they alone are in on. That the galaxy’s ultimate fate will be to become a part of Nurgle’s realm, a fate they tirelessly work to make a reality:

“The Blightwood grows!”

Which made me come right back to a concept DexterKong originally came up with for for our shared Velsen Sector adventurescape: That of  a Nurglite cult, the “Cult of the Eternal Garden”, as it were, operating from a Daemon World called “The Compost” and trying to spread their decay throughout the sector. Anthony Reynold’s story basically gave me the missing link between those early ideas and the Garden of Nurgle: What if the cult’s operatives wanted to bring about realspace manifestations of a realm they refer to as “The Blightwood” or “The Eternal Garden” and that is, in fact, Nurgle’s Garden? Maybe their entire mission began with *teehee* a “freak gardening accident”, in that it was the result of a mutated genetic strain originally designed to wield bigger crops or hasten the growth cycle of Imperial agri-worlds, yet all it did was to plunge plant and animal life on the planet into a perpetual pandemonium of decay, death and rebirth, turning it into a perfect conduit for the Eternal Garden.

The members of the cult want to be like “gardeners” for the sector: Like a gardener prunes the branches of trees and shapes the garden, so do they want to shape the sector. There may be all kinds of tools at their disposal, from hazardous substances and plague germs to plants bearing the original mutated strain of genes that brought the Compost to its current state. One of the cult’s most powerful weapons, then, would be their attempt to let their twisted and warp tainted plants take root in the soil of other worlds (to transform them into hellscapes on par with the Compost). They would be eco-terrorists turned up to eleven, if you will.

This provided me with a whole angle of modeling and painting ideas: Seeing how the cult may have originated within some kind of Imperial research institution, cult members would be wearing the remains of hazmat suits, medicae gowns and lab coats. At the same time, their armament and mutations could also be used to represent their self-chosen fate as Nurgle’s gardeners.

What’s more, the project could really start out as an INQ28 warband, allowing me to explore some ideas, and ultimately spiral outwards into a 40k kill team — or even an entire Death Guard army, possibly?

Thus invigorated, I began experimenting on the first members of the (slightly renamed) Keepers of the Eternal Garden:

First up, I had some fun with a Poxwalker, because I realised that the project really hinged about making stuff like the skin and mutationst look suitably disgusting. And I found a pretty nice recipe that uses lots of washes to achieve the intended effect, which also turns it into a fairly quick affair: My first test model was finished after 45 minutes to an hour, tops:



The skin is mostly my usual skin recipe (Rakarth Flesh, washed with Ogryn Flesh, then a selective application of Druchii Violet and Carroburg Crimson), only turned up to eleven. The horns were washed with Athonian Camoshade. The boils and blisters were picked out in Yriel Yellow, then covered in thinned-down (!) Clear Red/Blood for the Blood God. Oh, and I painted the pants orange to suggest the remains of a hazmat suit, as mentioned above — of course I would be remiss not to mention the fact that the look also borrows a lot from the Infected from the Lesotho 2-12 project.

Anyway, working on this first model was so much fun that I kept painting the next two test models. Here’s what I had after a while:


In the picture, the three models are at different steps of the painting process: The guy on the left is all but finished, the one in the middle still needs some detail work, while the Plague Bearer has only been washed. At the same time, they also form different steps in the (d)evolution from a human cult member/cult victim to an undying servant of Nurgle (and also, a living incarnation of the Blightwood), as horrible branches start to erupt from the victim’s body, an actual manifestation of the Eternal Garden made flesh.

So here are the next two test models, fully finished:



As you can see, the first model is still wearing the last tattered scraps of a medicae gown…

For the Plague Bearer, I actually wanted to experiment with using a fairly organic skin colour, mostly to make him look like the nect evolutionary step for the cult members — something that I believe is already hinted at rather strongly by some of the design cues on the Poxwalker models:


I might tweak the skin tone a bit or experiment with slightly different hues on future Plague Bearers, though.

I am currently working on the next batch of Poxwalkers. Another ten have already been assembled/converted, while I have about another half-dozen still on sprue.


Nearly all of these have been tweaked in some way: In some cases, this just meant twisting some arms a bit or turning a head here and there, to support the already rather contorted, spastic look of the stock models.

In other cases, the changes are a bit more involved:


As you can see, some of the Poxwalkers are now wielding what looks like gardening implements, as an attempt to tie them into the cult’s overall theme (while also giving them a somewhat sinister medieval vibe). The middle guy takes the concept of branches erupting from the infected body to its logical conclusion — there’s probably a daemonic relative of Ophiocordyceps Unilateralis at work here (and I couldn’t resist incorporating some of the inspiration I had taken from The Last of Us).

And since the cult’s activities have managed to attract some attention – or maybe they were being fostered from within the Great Eye in the first place – I also chose to use this as a reason to finally get some paint on those Blightking-based Plague Marines I converted all the way back in 2014, when the Putrid Blightkings were originally released. It felt good to finally give those poor guys some much-deserved attention, and I chose one of them as a test model.

I used my previously established Death Guard recipe, with just a small tweak or two (including the thinned-down Clear Red). The first picture shows the model just after washes:

And here’s the finished model:



I actually surprised myself by painting the tanks on the Plague Marine’s back bright orange — but it’s really a rather good way of creating a shared visual identity between him and the cult members:


And here are the models together, in what may become the germ cell, as it were, of an eventual warband, kill team or Death Guard army:


Oh, and the “new” Plague Marine also works rather well alongside the kitbashed Plague Marine testers I converted shortly before Dark Imperium was released last summer:

As you may already have realised, all of these models are still missing proper bases — this isn’t due to my laziness (or maybe just a little), but rather because it took me a rather long time to come up with a proper idea for a basing approach. Ultimately, I wanted to incorporate the visual motif of Nurgle’s Garden/the Blightwood, only I didn’t quite know how to go about it. Until I saw DuskRaider’s Renegade Knight Irae Throni, with its bold use of colour:

Model built and painted by DuskRaider

Which made me think of the Sea of Corruption, a poisonous yet strangely beautiful ecosystem that appears in Studio Ghibli’s Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind:


And I would actually love to achieve something like that with my basing. It’s a fairly involved, ambitious plan, however, and one that will take a bit more time to set in motion — certainly a project for the coming year…

Speaking of which, Nurgle is, of course, all about death and rebirth — what better subject to cap off this year’s blogging, wouldn’t you agree? So let me wish you all a Happy New Year, and I’ll be seeing you shortly with the next installment of the Eternal Hunt Awards, a look back at my hobby year!

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

INQ28: On the Road Again…

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 4, 2018 by krautscientist

Yet more INQ28 this week — but with a dash of Necromunda for a change: As some of you might remember, my little gang of malcontents, mutants and pit slaves codenamed “The Road Crew” should really work well in both settings. And after all, there were still some models that finally needed to be finished, so I got to work.

You see, when I recently finished Worker #9, that was actually a case of the ragtag robot jumping the queue, when there were still a couple of Road Crew members that should have been painted first. These gentlemen:

My idea for the Road Crew was to use the classic Necromunda concepts of both Scavvies and Pit Slaves and build a gang that basically bridged the gap between both, while also channelling all kinds of postapocalyptic influences and sources — which is why you can see a lot of Mad Max, Fallout or even Borderlands in these characters. Of the three guys above, two weren’t even originally built as members of the Road Crew, but when I went through my cupboard of shame, they seemed like interesting enough additions to round out the gang. And now it was finally time to get them painted. So let’s take a look:

 

I. Chainsaw Mayhem

First up, the tried and true teen slasher concept of a masked villain with a chainsaw — a true classic, this one:

In fact, the original model started out as nothing more comlplicated than wanting to come up with some kind of insane minor villain to serve as a sort of miniboss in games of Necromunda or INQ28 — most of the inspiration for the character came from an old late 90s WD article on various pulpy monster and villain archetypes for use in Necromunda. I also drew some inspiration from a very cool Khornate cultist with a chainsaw built by morbäck, if I remember correctly.

The conversion itself was fairly straightforward: The model basically uses most of a Dark Vengeance cultist, with the hooded head from another cultis. The most involved part of the kitbash was to splice in an Ork chainsword to replace the nozzle of the heavy flamer — and with that, the underhive maniac was basically finished. It’s actually a bit shocking how the model was built all the way back in 2013

I wanted to paint him in the tried and true Road Crew recipe, that is dark grey fatigues, scuffed yellow armour, and some red detail to add in another spot colour. However, during the painting process, I realised that the colour balance was off, so I had to make some eleventh hour additions to the model: The chance to include more yellow elements was achieved by adding a shoulder pad to the model’s left shoulder and an armour plate over its crotch (which should make brawls in the underhive ever so slightly less dangerous and also has the added benefit of breaking up that massive, red apron a bit, from a visual standpoint):

Of course a masked maniac with a chainsaw seems like the perfect occasion for quite a bit of gore, right? And indeed, I did contemplate adding some Tamiya Clear Red to the model for quite a while. I also realised, however, that due to the way a chainsaw works, I would basically have to paint blood onto the entire blade of the weapon, which seemed like a pretty surefire way to have it all look completely over the top — always a big risk when working with blood effects.

So in the end, I decided that less is more, and went without the blood — almost, that is, because I couldn’t help adding at least some blood to the “bag o’ bones” on the model’s back.

Anyway, here’s the finished model. Meet Sawtooth, everyone:



Granted, a maniac wielding a chainsaw may not be the most original character in the Road Crew, but he was still great fun to finish, and I think he’ll look great with the rest of the family. And even if he has a certain pulp charm about him, I think it makes sense that he would add a bit of a ‘mutant madman’ angle to the crew — on top of the Mad Max angle and the tragic gladiator angle and all the other postacpocalyptic references and influences that are already there 😉

 

II. Only Sane Man…?!

Now this second model wasn’t built for the Road Crew either. It was originally planned as some kind of Imperial Guard veteran and started life as the result of some idle kitbashing:

The base model was yet another chaos cultist. I swapped the arms and a rifle from the Tempestus Scions kit, which made for a slightly more soldierly look. A head from the Space Wolves’ scouts was chosen for a suitably grizzled veteran look. And that was about it.

When I went through my unpainted models a while ago, I liked the idea of a more human Road Crew member without any obvious mutations or augmentations — maybe a former soldier of the Astra Militarum who had come to the underhive in an attempt to escape something that had happened in his former life? Anyway, that led to this guy being drafted into the gang as well.

This time around, the painting process worked like a charm. So here’s “Sarge”:




While the model uses the same colour scheme as the rest of the Road Crew, I tried to make him look just a bit less unkempt: His equipment is still in pretty good shape, which hints at his past as a professional soldier. And while he has adopted the Road Crew’s emblematic scuffed yellow, it’s still possible to imagine him in his previous life.

 

III. Yikes! Another Saw…?!

So that’s two down, but I have yet another model to share with you today, and not only is it my favourite of the bunch, but also the one guy who was legitimately planned for the Road Crew from the beginning. Meet “Cirque”, a heavily muscled brute who’s at the forefront of every raid and gang fight, with his trusty eviscerator:


I am really happy with this particular conversion, but to give credit where credit is due, Cirque actually directly borrows ideas from two models I saw online and loved instantly: Plib’s Necromunda Scaly/Brute here…

Model built and painted by Plib

…and Jeff Vader’s older chrono gladiator:

Model built and painted by Jeff Vader

It’s plain to see how my conversion is basically my attempt at throwing both models into a blender and end up with a combination of the elements I liked most about both of them. Mission accomplished, I’d say 😉 There’s also something about combining Ork bitz and those creepy chaos cultist gas masks that just works every time, if you ask me.

Not only was Cirque my favourite model from this particular bunch, he was also a blast to paint. So here he is, in all his twisted glory:




Oh, and I actually did get to use Tamiya Clear Red on a saw, after all: Since Cirque’s weapon allowed for a slightly more subdued effect, he provided the perfect opportunity to include some blood but not overwhelm the entire model with it. Take a look:

So, once again, that’s three less unpainted models, and I am actually really happy with the results:

Even better, however, is the fact that these three are basically the last models I had planned for the Road Crew, so all that’s left for me is to paint the gang’s ride, an old Gorkamorka vehicle,…

…and then this project will be finished — at least for now. Here’s the entire Road Crew so far:

 

=][=

The Road Crew

The deeper levels of St.Sabasto’s Reach’s primary hive cluster – colloquially known as „The Orphans‘ Cradle“ – is crisscrossed by a network of tansportation tunnels originally created – and mostly still used – to move the vast amounts of goods necessary to keep the world’s overly bloated population alive. Ranging from cramped maintenance shafts that are mere crawlspaces to multi-laned transport ways allowing for vehicle traffic, the warren of tunnels and substations has become a living space for many underhivers, from the indentured personnel manning the various installations and the maintenance workers to gatherings of escaped slaves and convicts seeking something resembling a life in freedom, even if it should be a life in squalor and darkness.

The so-called „Road Crew“ is one such group and has begun to attract former pit slaves, soldiers of fortune, twists and other malcontents from the hive’s lower reaches, trying to eke out an existence between the underhive fighting pits and minor raids on the biggest transport thoroughfares.

 

From left to right:

  • Crusher Vex, also know as “Old Man Claw”, a former pitfigthing champion
  • Grimspyke “the Impaler”, another champion in the fighting pits and former opponent of Crusher Vex
  • Sawtooth, a mute and slightly unhinged former manufactorium worker
  • “Tiny the Brute”, a member of the mutant underclass of St. Sabasto’s Reach and current war-captain of the Road Crew
  • “Doktor” Solon Antonov, a former, low-ranking Magos of the Velsian Adeptus Mechanicus who disappeared from his posting as a workforce and slave prospector on the world of St. Sabasto’s Reach, only to emerge as the leading figure of the Road Crew
  • Cirque, a physically imposing mutant and one of the Road Crew’s fiercest fighters
  • Sarge, a veteran of the Astra Militarum with a dark past
  • “Papa Anjevin”, a particularly unhinged mutant styling himself the Road Crew’s shaman-priest
  • Chopper, a diminutive mutant wielding a massive chainblade.

Back row:

  • Worker #9, an ancient automaton of ambiguous origin

 

Looks like a pretty cool gang at this point, doesn’t it? And while the project is basically finished, it’ll be easy enough to add new gang members as needed — after all, a gang of underhive rabble always has need of new recruits. And as fellow hobbyist Dragonlover recently pointed out, I really need at least one more member with a red traffic sign — if only for the shout out to the original inspiration for this warband’s name… 😉

Oh, and before I forget: Not only are these guys yet more neglected models that I have finally managed to paint, they also work as contributions for Azazel’s community challenge for June, with the aim of finishing squads and units — or, like in this case, warbands. Plus I am actually fairly confident I’ll be able to squeeze in that vehicle before the end of the month…

For now, however, I would love to hear your thoughts on these latest models — or, indeed, on the entire warband, so please leave a comment! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

 

INQ28: More Grimdark Librarians of the 41st Millennium

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Fluff, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 28, 2018 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, after last week’s “blast from the past” diversion of repainting an old Star Wars action figure, let’s return to my Ordo Scriptorum retinue once again for this week. Allow me to share the latest completed inquisitorial operatives with you:

While most work on Inquisitor Orlant’s retinue is being spent on actually finishing models that have been built years ago, in an effort to make a dent in my painting backlog, the warband also keeps taking on new members as it develops. Take a look:

I. Screaming into the void

Let’s start with a very recent addition to the project: When most of the characters for Inquisitor Orlant’s retinue had already been hammered out, and while I was making good progress on the project, PDH, whose thoughts on the nature of the Ordo Scriptorum had originally inspired the project to begin with, pointed out to me that Orlant still needed his own astropath: One of Peter’s ideas for an organisation dealing so heavily in secrets lost and rediscovered knowledge was that every Inquisitor of the Ordo would have their own astropath, to better relay whatever secrets they had discovered to their superiors in the most direct fashion imaginable in the 41st millennium. And while the idea of having to come up with a totally new model to represent an astropath had me slightly wary for about five minutes, I also realised that this would provide me with yet another chance to channel inspiration I had drawn from Wayne England’s artwork.

I instantly recalled his illustrations for the various psyker disciplines (originally printed in the Dark Heresy rulebook and recently reused both for the 8th edition 40k rulebook and a Warhammer Community post). One in particular, seemed pretty ideal as a starting point for an astropath. This one here:

Illustration by Wayne England

My original plan was to use the Dark Eldar Medusae model as a base for the conversion, seeing how it already seemed so close to the artwork in many ways:

And while this would have worked pretty well, I discovered that the model had gone out of production. So instead of going on a wild goose chase in an attempt to procure it, I decided to force myself to actually use the bitz I already had at my disposal to come up with my own astropath conversion.

So here’s my interpretation. It’s not a perfect fit, but I think you’ll be able to see a certain resemblance:





Fortunately enough, I still had a pair of legs from the plastic Necromancer — they even came with a book worn at the hip, which was a fun little coincidence. A torso piece from the Genestealer Hybrids provided both the astronaut look that seemed rather fitting for an astropath, but also a slightly eerie, ever so subtly Gigeresque quality that matched the somewhat sinister general vibe of the warband.

And the Empire flagellant head with an almost picture perfect representation of the hairstyle appearing in the artwork, was a bit of a godsend, of course — that being said, the process of adding a Greenstuff bandage across the astropath’s eyes actually had me on the verge of a screaming fit, as the material just wouldn’t stick to the darn face. I am really glad I managed to pull it off in the end 😉

Possibly the most involved part of the conversion was to build a suitable staff: It was spliced together from the haft of a Dark Eldar Hellion glaive and a couple of imperial bitz.

Oh, and here’s an angle matching the artwork that inspired the conversion a bit more closely:

Again, I’ll admit that my astropath isn’t really a perfect reproduction of the artwork, but rather takes some pointers from the illustration.

When It came to painting the model, my Ordo Scriptorum recipe was well established enough at this point to turn the paintjob into a pretty straightforward affair — I did discover that those Genestealer hybrid torso pieces look absolutely terrific when painted in glossy black, incidentally 😉

One area where I had to compromise a bit was the bandage across the model’s eyes: My original plan had been to try and add some lettering to it, but I quickly realised that there was just not enogh space there to come up with something that wouldn’t turn into a jumbled mess of squiggles, so I decided to leave the bandage bare. I also went for a slightly darker colour to create a better contrast against the pale face. In the end, I think it was a sensible choice that makes the model less similar to the art, but arguably makes it work better in and of itself.

Anyway, here’s the finished model:

=][=

Ordo Scriptorum Astropath

 


All Inquisitors of the Ordo Scriptorum are assigned an astropath at the same time they receive their Inquisitorial Rosette. This agreement and gift from the Adeptus Astra Telepathica goes back to the beginning of the Ordo Scriptorum, when they were a breakaway sect of the Ordo Hereticus. The need for such a fine tool has proven its worth countless times, for having direct access to telepathic communication has saved many lives. In the eyes of the Ordo Scriptorum, the sooner mistakes are exposed to the relevant authorities to rectify the better.




And here’s a – slightly tweaked – comparison picture showing the artwork and the actual model side by side:

II. MOAR SKULLZ!

You are probably all familiar with the old Warhammer adage of “When in doubt, use MOAR SKULLZ!”, and as it turned out, Inquisitor Orlant’s warband also needed at least one additonal skull 😉

Seriously, though, while looking at the warband and comparing it to the one that had come before, Inquisitor Arslan’s retinue, I realised that Arslan’s merry gang featured two pretty cool servo-skulls/familiars, while such a model was missing from my Ordo Scriptorum team. But servo-skulls are a cool and quintessental part of 40k, and also a sensible wargear choice for an Inquisitor, and I also happened to still have the servo-skull from the Deathwatch:Overkill boxed set in my bitzbox, so I decided to add him to the warband:

I didn’t really change anything about the skull, as it already had that slightly sinister, yet elegant vibe that I think fits the Ordo Scriptorum rather well. I did make sure the servo-skull’s trailing cables interacted with some torn book pages on the base, however.

So here’s the finished servo-skull:

Certainly not a major player in the warband, but good fun and easy to finish. Moving on 😉

 

III. Masked Bodyguard

Now where the astropath and servo-skull are recent additions to Inquisitor Orlant’s warband, the next model in line had been sitting on top of my pile of unpainted models for a rather long time. We are talking about this lady here:

I originally started working on the model  back in 2013 as an homage to Bruticus’ brilliant Prima Carnifexa Absoluta:

Model built and painted by Bruticus

Model built and painted by Bruticus

 

Bruticus had originally envisioned his character as a member of a sun cult, venerating the Emperor of Manking in his sun aspect. and I loved both the concept and its execution so much that I wanted to build a model similar to Bruticus’ character.

I originally started with a Blood Angels Sanguinary Guard helmet, a torso from a Coven Throne Vampire and some Dark Eldar Wych parts. To be perfectly honest, however, the inital build rather lacked direction, moving from a very Dark Eldar-eque model…

…to something that seemed more like some kind of gladiator:

The one element that remained firmly in place was the concept behind the head: I always knew I wanted to splice together a Sanguinary Guard helmet (chosen for its obvious sun motif) with the lower half of a female Wych head. The initial conversion lacked a lot of finesse, however:

Thanks to some very helpful feedback from the Ammobunker’s INQ28 board back in the day, I realised that the face might have been a good idea, but it needed far more work. So I cut it all apart again, shaved some tiny amounts of plastic, carefully sanded down the mask’s features to be less masculine, very carefully glued it all together again, and ended up with this:


In the end, some WFB Empire arms were what finally made the model come together, turning it into its final incarnation as a masked bodyguard:

When it came to actually making the character a part of Orlant’s retinue, the feedback was generally unfavourable: Most commenters argued that the rather elegant carnival getup didn’t really mesh well with a warband mostly occupied with exploring sunken libraries and dusty archives.

But while that assessment definitely had some merit, I have always felt that there is also another angle to Orlant’s warband and his character, a slightly elegant and debonair look that is present in some elements of the retinue, and in some of its members: the colour of Orlant’s robes, that snazzy scaled cloak worn by his Interrogator or even the deadly elegance of the Clockwork Assassin.

To me, the masked bodyguard was another chance to explore this secondary angle to the warband, and I also like the idea that Inquisitors will attract a motley crew of operatives during their work, and not each of their henchmen – and -women – may be suited to the same kind of task. So if Orlant wants to hit an underground bibliocathedra, he might bring the creepy bureaucultist to help him deal with the place’s ancient filing system, but during a social function, he would definitely need somewhat more presentable retainers. Towards this end, the masked operative might seem like a misfit, but she also presents an interesting glimpse of the versatility present in an Inquisitor’s retinue.

Painting should have been as easy as applying my tried and true recipe again — however, one thing that happened during the painting process was that I decided that I wanted to use a darker skin tone for the character. I was actually rather frustrated when I realised that I would always default to caucasian skin tones when painting, and seeing how I had wanted to try my hand at something different for quite a while, this character seemed like a good occasion to break away from old habits. There was also the fact that the bodyguard and Alizebeth Selandrine shared a similar look, due to both making use of Dark Eldar Wych parts, so going for different skin tones also had the added benefit of making sure the characters would look suitably different from one another.

Anyway, here’s what I came up with:

I am actually really happy with how the skin colour adds a completely different dynamic to the entire figure! There’s also the fact that combining the Venetian carnical getup with dark skin also makes for exactly the kind of eclecticism that seems so quintessentially 40k to me.

Those sheathed blades/throwing knives on the model’s back were a bit of an eleventh hour addition, by the way — they were originally part of the Yvraine model I used to build Countess Mandelholtz, and seemed like the perfect addition to Orlant’s bodyguard.

Here’s a look at the finished model:

=][=

Masked Bodyguard


While much of Tiberias Orlant’s work is spent in dusty archieves and long lost bibliocathedra, the tasks of an Inquisitor are manifold, and often make it necessary to move through all layers of Imperial society. For those cases where interaction with the upper strata of the Velsen Sector is necessary, Orlant has cultivated the cover identity of a wealthy and elegant collector of the obscure, with eclectic interests and very deep pockets. Always at his side in the spires and courts of Velsen is a mysterious, masked bodyguard, whose athletic poise and fluid grace betray her utter deadliness.



While working on the model, I realised that I actually tried to channel the look and feel of two particularly cool characters of colour from videogames I have recently enjoyed: Vanasha (from Horizon Zero Dawn)…

and Billie Lurk (from the Dishonored series):

When all is said and done, I am pretty pleased with the finished model! And, as an added benefit, she very much counts as another model for Azazel’s  “Neglected Model May” challenge, — so that makes four models for the challenge! What’s more, I am confident that next month’s challenge, focusing on units, should give me the incentive to finish the warband’s final member, the jolly chap on the right here:

That one last model is really all that’s still missing for Inquisitor Orlant’s retinue to be finished: The warband certainly has a rather nice and rounded out look by now, if I do say so myself:

So that’s it for this week’s update! I would love to hear any thoughts you might have about today’s models, or about the state of the warband as a whole! Please let me hear your thoughts in the comments!

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

INQ28: Grimdark Librarians of the 41st Millennium

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Fluff, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 14, 2018 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, time for another update: Now the popularity of last week’s Chaos Armiger conversion hasn’t escaped me — in fact, I already have the next post for this series planned out. However, forgive me if I keep jumping between projects a bit — so it’s back to INQ28 for a bit this week:

Going along with Azazel’s community challenges has served me really well so far this year, so I’ll just stick with what works: This month, it’s “Neglected Model May”, which provides me with some extra incentive to return to my Ordo Scriptorum warband with the intention of finishing a few more of its members — they have surely been neglected for a long enough time at this point! 😉

The interesting thing about Inquisitor Orlant’s retinue is that several members of it were originally built with a very different use in mind, while others – like the Bureaucultist or Interrogator Inson – just kinda “happened”. At the same time, it’s interesting to see how this slightly erratic gestation process still manages to result in something that fits together pretty well, all things considered — at least in my opinion. So for today, let’s take a look at some models that originally started off as something altogether different, before finding themselves recruited into the service of the Ordo Scriptorum.

I. The girl with the Void-Dragon tattoo

Now this one’s an especially interesting case: One of the members for Orlant’s retinue is Alizebeth Selandrine, basically the 40k version of a hacker:

And as both her name as well as the headline for this part of the post already indicate – and as most of you will probably have picked up on by now – Alizebeth is a – very – thinly veiled reference to Noomi Rapace’s protrayal of literary character Lisbeth Salander from the Millennium series. The fun fact is that the model wasn’t originally built to resemble Lisbeth Salander at all, but rather as a homage to Johannus’ fantastic “40k punkette”:

model built and painted by Johannus

As for the conversion itself, it’s pretty simple, really: The body came from a Dark Eldar Wych, while the head with the impressive mohawk is that of a Daemonette of Slaanesh (the same design Johannus used on his model, obviously). I also swapped in an autopistol. All of this made for a fairly convincing female hive ganger (keep in mind that this was all way before the release of the new plastic Eschers, alright?).

Some time after the model had been built, I watched the Swedish Millennium films, and I realised that the model I already had was a dead ringer for Lisbeth Salander, plus a character like that would fit into Inquisitor Orlant’s retinue really well, so I made some tweaks to make the resemblance even bigger and put more emphasis on the hacker angle: Some augmetic plugs and cables were carefully grafted to the model’s head, in order to hint at the implants that allowed Alizebeth to “hack” into cogitators and the Mechanicum noosphere. As you’ll be seeing in a minute, I also added what amounts to the 40k equivalent of a smartphone to her belt.

And when it finally came to painting the model, I actually used stills from the third movie, as there happens to be a particular costume that perfectly matches up with the colour scheme I had established earlier for Orlant and his followers:

Here’s a look at the mostly painted model for comparison:


As you can see, Alizebeth is really even more of a dead ringer for the character who partly inspired her now 😉

When building her base, I decided to feature yet one more shout out by adding a small portable Cogitator (actually a bit from the DFG Eisenkern Stormtroopers):

To be perfectly honest, I am normally a bit wary of literary or pop-cultural references like this: Models built and painted to resemble characters from films or novels can be great fun, but it’s normall pretty hard to actually make them work within the 40k setting without massive suspensions of disbelief. With Alizebeth, however, I felt that she could work both as a shout out to a literary character while also functioning as a 40k character in her own right. Towards this end, I tried to come up with a bit of background for her that actually made the whole hacker concept work within the established 40k lore — I’ll let you be the judges of whether or not I succeeded with that.

Anyway, here’s the finished model:

=][=

Alizebeth Selandrine

 


Born on the orbital shipyards that hang in the void above the forge world Korhold Ultima, Alizebeth’s life was to be spent as a serf to the Tech-Priests of Korhold, although her gift at operating and manipulating machinery marked her out as a candidate for a more exalted position, maybe even for an eventual introduction into the priesthood. Selandrine shunned that fate, however, falling in with a tech-gang and becoming a nuisance for her erstwhile masters: The implants she had received as a preparation for her future training allowed her to conduct noospheric dives and manipulate datastreams and machinery from her hiding place deep within the crawlspaces and maintenance tunnels of the orbital installations. That is where Redactor Orlant found her, during his dealings with the distrustful Tech-Lords of Korhold, and he decided to induct her into his retinue.




And a closer look at her base:

All in all, I am pretty happy with the finished model: Alizebeth works as a shout out both to the aforementioned literary character, but also to Johannus’ model. And I think she could be a really interesting operative for Inquisitor Orlant, given her technical prowess and inside perspective on the paranoid Velsian branch of the Adeptus Mechanicus…

II. The Clockwork Assassin

The next model actually came into being relatively shortly after the Adeptus Mechanicus was first released as a proper 40k faction, back in 2015. It was originally conceived while I was playing around with the excellent Sicarian Ruststalker kit and was mainly built around the idea of using the brilliantly sinister servo-skull from the Tech-Priest Dominus on one of the Ruststalker bodies. When that worked out really well, I realised that I was almost looking at a cyborg-i-fied version of an Eversor assassin, and decided to push that angle even further. In fact, based on a suggestion by Adam Wier, I even built an Eversor-style pistol for the model and attached it to its backpack. Anyway, here’s the model in question:

As you can see, most of the Eversor hallmarks (a skull face, a wicked Neurotoxin claw, a sword,…) are there, but they are arguably made even creepier by the assassin’s heavily augmented anatomy. Looking at the model makes you wonder who built this chap and why. There’s something rather creepy and sinister about the model, if you ask me.

And, like Selandrine above, the model wasn’t planned for Inquisitor Orlant’s retinue at first. I came upon it while putting together Orlant’s warband and going through my collection of unpainted stuff to see whether there were any possible Ordo Scriptorum recruits hiding there, and found myself thinking “What if…?”

When I originally posted the assassin as part of Orlant’s warband, several people pointed out that it wasn’t really that good a match for the project: Why would a bookish type like Orlant have any need of a vicious creature like this? And while I was just about ready to agree and pull the assassin from the retinue for good, I also really liked the idea of a seemingly unarmed, not very physical Inquisitor who could call on an absolute close combat nightmare like that assassin as a last line of defense: Just imagine advancing on the unarmed Inquisitor, and then that monstrous …thing drops down from the ceiling and basically explodes into deadly action.

One comment from fellow hobbyist Drazuul, in particular, perfectly described the detached and controlled nature I had in mind for Orlant:

I can imagine him calmly tapping his cane in time to the jumps and bounds of his retinue as they descend on unfortunate apostates.

And since I was really in love with that idea, I decided to keep the cyborg assassin. Plus I also thought he might look pretty wicked painted in my Ordo Scriptorum colour scheme 😉

And if I do say so myself, the model turned out rather promising during the painting process:

 

Regarding the assassin’s base, I wanted to come up with something a little more elaborate — and I really needed to, too, because the base was the biggest in the entire retinue so far. So I decided to pick up the “abandoned library” look yet again. A piece of rubble from the 40k basing kit for large bases (matching the one I used on Orlant’s base) formed the start of the design, then I added the remains of torn books on top of that:

I had already tried to use a paper towel to create torn pages on Interrogator Inson’s base, but while the end result worked out well enough, the pages were too thin. So I went for a slightly sturdier paper placemat this time around, cutting small pages out of it, then covering them in glue and arranging them on top of the base. The end result ended up looking far more convincing, with the individual pages actually well defined enough to work.

Here’s a look at the finished model:

=][=

The Clockwork Assassin


This strange and utterly deadly automaton was engineered by the Tech-Priests of Korhold and given to Redactor Orlant as a gift. Clockwork Assassins are normally used as terror weapons by the paranoid masters of Korhold, but they can also become a much sought-after piece of merchandise. Why exactly the Tech-Lords would choose to present a member of the Emperor’s Inquisition with one of these priced weapons remains a mystery at present…



And once again, a closer look at the base:

I cannot begin to tell you how happy I am with those torn pages — but then, I really like the entire model: There’s a deadly elegance about it that I think really fits the look of the entire retinue, when all is said and done.

Funnily enough, here’s what fellow hobbyist Bjorn Firewalker had to say about the Clockword Assassin:

Were I an Inquisitor, I’d order the clockwork assassin disassembled the moment I’m out of the Tech-Lords’ sight, and examined for surveillance devices that may operate without my knowledge, and any codes that would let it act without my approval- to assassinate ME on the Tech-Lords’ orders, being one risk I will not accept. If my personal Tech-Priests clear it, then I will reassemble the clockwork assassin and utilize it- though the knowledge my personal Tech-Priests gain from studying the clockwork assassin will be put to use as necessary, e.g., so I can commission the construction of more clockwork assassins, sell the blueprints to raise funds, blackmail the Tech-Lords by threatening to sell the blueprints, know how to destroy a clockwork assassin if one gets sent after me or someone under my protection, etc.

While that sounds like very sensible thinking indeed, I am pretty sure the Tech-Priests of Korhold have put their creation together in a way that defends them against any attempts of disassembly or reverse-engineering: If you get a Clockwork Assassin and want to keep it in working condition, you’ll have to live with treating it as a black box, as it were. Even so, I think there’s a narrative threat there that might be fun to explore one day…

III. He can even do shorthand!

Now the third model I want to share with you today is probably the least exciting of the bunch, but I am nevertheless happy to have finally found a new home for it. I am talking about this old chestnut here:


This is an OOP servitor/Lexmechanic from one of GW’s old Inquisition releases — the model originally came in a box with an entire metal Ordo Hereticus warband, I believe. My cousin Andy still had many of those old models in his bitz box and was awesome enough to let me have this one — and it arguably makes for a great fit for an Ordo Scriptorum retinue, wouldn’t you agree?

The sculpt has that certain late 90s clunkiness we are used to seeing on many metal models from those days, but it was still easy enough to paint: I went for my tried and true Ordo Scriptorum recipe once again, as you can see:


The fun part was to use my Staedtler 0,05 mm pigment liner once more and reallly give it my all with that fine print on the parchment. I think I managed to do a pretty convincing job there.

So here’s the third finished model for today:

=][=

Ordo Scriptorum Autoquill Servitor



Since the Ordo Scriptorum deals with vast amounts of written records, it is no surprise that its members would need to create records of their own, from personal observations to annotations to a certain body of work unearthed during one of their expeditions into the depths of the eternal city. However, such knowledge is often dangerous and could spell certain doom if it ever got out.

For this reason, the Ordo makes heavy use of servants that are either illiterate, physically blind or have been warded in other ways against the various risks inherent in the material the Ordo deals in. The autoquill servitor is one such servant: Lobotomised and possessed of only the merest scrap of intelligence, their stunted minds insulate them against both dangerous secrets and eldritch arcana that might be contained in the notes they take on behalf of their masters…

 

One cool little detail is that PDH has the same stock model in his Ordo Scriptorum retinue, so it’s fun to imagine that his Inquisitor Inson might have “inherited” the servitor from his former master, Inquisitor Orlant:

models built and painted by PDH

 

So before I wrap up today’s post, let’s take a look at how Inquisitor Orlant’s warband is shaping up:

I am actually really happy with this project so far: Finally getting some paint on this retinue was one of my big hobby resolutions for 2018, and so far I am making pretty good headway! Just two or three more models, and the retinue should be finished — for the time being, that is…

For now, however, that’s three more members for Inquisitor Orlant’s warband, and three models for Neglected Models May ’18! Please feel free to share any feedback you might have!

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

INQ28: In principio erat verbum, et verbum erat scriptum.

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Fluff, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob, Pointless ramblings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 2, 2018 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, I hope you’re all having a relaxed Easter holiday, before it’s back into the grind of everyday life tomorrow 😉

As for me, after the frantic activity of recent weeks – at least compared to my usual standard – my original plan was to take a small break before things get hectic in the coming weeks and months for RL related reasons. But almost before I knew what I was doing, I was already back at the painting table and had started to paint yet another model. So let’s take a look, shall we?

Now today’s project basically begun in two places: A couple of years ago, I discovered this piece of artwork by Wayne England online:

illustration by Wayne England

Now I’ve already mentioned before that Wayne England is (was 😦 ) one of my favoutite GW artists, and this piece in particular seemed like a great source of inspiration. It’s all there: the bold lines. The mysterious, shadowy character, the stylised lettering,…

Shortly afterwards, fellow hobbyist PDH’s shared his ruminations on the mysterious Ordo Scriptorum, an Ordo given to collecting and scrutinising the vast amounts of recordings and data collected (and often forgotten) by the Imperium of Man. Now it doesn’t take much imagination to realise that there are lots of cool Inquisitorial narrative hooks to be had here, from the creepy Orwellesque “Ministry of Truth” angle to the “The Name of the Rose IN SPACE!” style exploration of ancient data vaults that lie hidden deep in the core of the Throneworld (beautifully hinted at, for instance, by Chris Wraight in his highly recommended novel “The Carrion Throne”).

Anyway, when first posting his ideas about the Ordo Scriptorum, PDH mentioned that the aforementioned piece of art seemed like a perfect depiction of an Ordo Scriptorum Inquisitor to him. Which was when the little levers started to move in my head, and they didn’t stop until I had an early build for a model inspired by that very piece of artwork:


I was lucky enough to have some bitz lying around that really came in handy during this process: The robed legs from the WFB/AoS Chaos Sorcerer were a bit of a no-brainer. Then I discovered that the bitz best-suited to producing the pose and overall look I wanted came from the Dreamforge Games Eisenkern Stormtroopers. And the part that really made the conversion promising, even at this early stage, was a servitor head from the Space Marines Stormraven kit — easily one of the best overlooked bitz from GW’s entire catalogue, if you ask me, and kindly sent to me by fellow hobbyist Biohazard a couple of years back.

Going forward, the most important part was to match the character’s silhouette from the artwork — the way he grips his cane, the general lines of the composition, stuff like that. I also really like how the character in the illustration seems to be wearing a pair of books at his hip as though they were weapons — quite an apt metaphor, given the responsibilities of the Ordo Scriptorum…

Anyway, after much tweaking, I ended up with this conversion:



Now here’s the thing: As has become a bit of a recurring motif here on Eternal Hunt, I actually built this model years ago and hadn’t gotten around to painting it yet. In my defense, however, I spent at least some of the time doing some serious research into what I wanted the Ordo Scriptorum Inquisitor to look and feel like. This also included building some retainers for him:


The overarching motifs I wanted to explore became even more clearly defined by looking at the members of the retinue I had come up with: I wanted there to be a bookish, shadowy feel to the warband. After all, it stands to reason that much of the Inquisitor’s life would be spent exploring ancient archives. However, at the same time, there was also a hint of elegance in the artwork that inspired the model, and I felt that this would offer an interesting counterpoint, both for the retinue and for the Inquisitor.

Keeping this in mind while trying for figure out a suitable colour scheme for the Inquisitor, I also drew from several other sources: One huge influence came in the form of Wayne England’s illustrations from the same time (or at least in the same style) as the piece of art that inspired the model in the first place:

The picture above really captures one of the things I was after: You can just imagine this being an impression of an Ordo Scriptorum team going about its business in the world-city of the Holy Terra.

Of course I also looked to the work of fellow hobbyists for inspiration: Jeff Vader’s work provided heaps of material for reference once more, particularly his rogue Inquisitor Carax and his sinister Blackship Captain-Inquisitor Lazaros . Then there was PDH’s own Ordo Scriptorum warband that served as a perpetual undercurrent of inspiration for this project — in fact, his Inquisitor Klien Inson actually used to be my Inquisitor Orlant’s interrogator!

And I also happened to take some influences from the videogame world on board, especially from two series very close to my heart. Which is why Orlant was very much inspired both by Father Karras (from the Thief series)…


… and I also tried to give him the same drawn aspect you can see in this illustration of Lord-Regent Hiram Burrows (from the first game in the Dishonored series):

And finally – and funnily enough – I also kept looking at an old model of mine, one of the classic Haemonculi from 3rd edition 40k:


While the paintjob really isn’t anything to write home about by modern standards, it did feel like a useful proof of concept for the look I wanted — now if I could only refine this by about 400%… 😉

To be perfectly honest, Orlant was another one of those models where I was actually nervous about the prospect of painting — and messing up. Yet with so many finished INQ28 characters from the last couple of weeks under my belt, and with the inspiration provided by some Inquisition-centric BL novels I recently read (Dan Abnett’s “The Magos”, obviously, and there’s also so much of Orlant in Chris Wraight’s Inquisitor Crowl that I almost couldn’t believe it), I knew it was finally time to get this show on the road.

So with all of the aforementioned influences on my mind, I began painting:



I knew from the start that I wanted the robes to be a pretty dark turquoise (in that sense, my recent paintjob for Elisha Gorgo actually did double duty as a proof of concept for this model as well). As for the skin, I went with a really pale, unhealthy look, as though the Inquisitor spends very little time aboveground, in natural light — which is probably the case. And just like when painting Inquisitor Arslan, I decided to go with glossy black armour again, since I felt it would support the model’s slightly sinister look.

All of those elements worked reasonably well right off the bat. The one thing that didn’t quite work out, however, were the books worn on Orlant’s belt: I didn’t go with red or any other strong colour because I wanted to keep the palette very limited and predominantly cold, but as a result, they ended up blending into their surroundings. Several people suggested going for purple as an alternative, and under normal circumstances, that would have been an ideal choice. Only I had set myself this pesky little limitation of mostly wanting to keep the palette focused on blue and turquoise tones…

I also realised that the books actually take up quite a bit of visual real estate, so I needed the colour to be different enough from the robes, but not so different as to overwhelm the paintjob. In the end, I repainted the books grey — not an exciting choice, certainly, but it kept the palette suitably narrow and still looked different enough from the teal robes:

Another part that I had to redo several times was the script on the parchment: It actually spells “Redactor Orlant”, although you may have to take my word for it. I even tried to make it resemble Wayne England’s lettering style a bit, but there was very little space, and it was all so small. After redoing this part several times,  I think this is as good as it’s going to get…

During the painting process, I realised that there was this odd little gap at Orlant’s belt that was slightly distracting, so I carefully added some additional keys to his belt: It’s fun to think that Orlant has keys to all kinds of forbidden bibliocathedra and data vaults…

With the paintjob mostly sorted out, the model was only missing a base really, so I try to create something that would support the warband’s look and feel. For starters, I used a piece from one of the 40k basing kits, mostly for the pretty cool relief on it:


The piece was cut down to fit a round base, the gaps were filled with GS. I also liberally stippled on Liquid GS for added texture and to counteract the very soft and artificial looking quality of the stock piece. Ironically enough, most of the relief actually ended up being covered by the model:

If nothing else, however, it still provides some texture and structure, making the base look more like a part of some long-deserted Imperial archive.

So here’s the finished model:

 

=][=

Redactor Tiberias Orlant
Ordo Scriptorum

A long serving member of the Ordo Scriptorum Terra, Inquisitor Orlant has discovered many ancient documents and hidden truths during his long years of trawling the bibliocathedra and sunken data vaults of Holy Terra. Moreover, his rank as a Redactor of the Ordo means that not only does he endeavour to find records from the Imperium’s past, but he also gets to decide which truths are revealed to the masses and which are suppressed with every tool at the Holy Ordos’ disposal.

Orlant has recently embarked upon a mission only known to himself, making his way to the Velsen Sector, situated far away from the Throneworld in the Ultima Segmentum. His colleagues consider this most recent endeavour a fool’s errand at best, yet Orlant is not known as a soul given to flights of fancy — what could he have discovered in the vaults of Terra to inspire his latest investigation?

 




I did end up making one last colour adjustment after all, repainting the wax of the purity seal in a slightly colder tone than before. It’s really a small detail, but it ties back to Orlant’s skin tone (see above) and it’s not big enough to throw the entire colour scheme out of balance, so I think it’s an improvement.

As you can see, I also decided to add two books to Orlant’s base:

Once again, I wanted to hint at the fact that he probably spends most of his work scouring ancient vaults and sunken archives for lost data and hidden secrets. It’s an idea I want to explore with the rest of the warband, albeit in slightly different ways. We’ll see…

I also found out, by sheer coincidence, that Orlant has a nice kind of “Red Oni, Blue Oni” thing going with Inquisitor Arslan. Take a look:

Fellow hobbyist youwashock suggested on Dakka that the next Inquisitor in line would need to be yellow — Sentai Inquisitors FTW! 😉

In closing, here’s a comparison shot putting Wayne England’s illustration that inspired the model and Orlant himself next to each other:

Maybe not a perfect match, but I am reasonably happy with the resemblance, to tell you the truth. In the end, trying to match the art is always a compromise between what can reasonably be achieved and what would just be impractical in model form. For instance, I only realised how scarily tall the character in the artwork is when putting both images next to one another 😉

When all is said and done, it feels good to finally have finished this model! And it’ll be interesting to see how the stylistic choices I have made for Orlant and his retinue will (or won’t translate) to the rest of the models:


Thinking of this retinue again has also kicked off all kinds of thoughts about the nature of the Ordo Scriptorum — and has already provoked two more members for the retinue that shall be revealed in time.

But all of that is a story for another time. Until then, I would truly love to hear your thoughts on Inquisitor Orlant! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!