Thursday, February 5, 2015

Iron Sleet Invitational: Inquisitor WIP

Thought begets Heresy. Heresy begets Retribution.

With only two short months to complete three models for Iron Sleet’s first invitational, I decided to revisit an inquisitor model that I started, but never finished, way back in 2013.  Although I did a lot of the basic conversion work back then (replacing his head and modifying his shoulders), the conversion was far from complete, and still looked a lot like the commissar he was based upon.  To complete the model, I wanted to continue to downplay the commissar look, while enhancing his somber clandestine tone.
A progression, from left to right, of the work that I did to give the inquisitor armor.

The primary reason that I selected the Death Korp commissar model was because of his impressive trenchcoat, something that really seems to fit the Inquisitor theme (but is surprisingly hard to find in the 40k model range).  Additionally, the model has a strong pose, one that easily conveys a dauntless courage and calculated efficiency as he unsheathes his saber.  I already replaced his epaulettes, adding a shoulder pad with a mounted motion-tracker. The major thing I needed to tackle was replacing his formal shirt with something a little more suited to his profession. I decided that I wanted to give him a battered breastplate from the Cadian guardsmen, due to it's simple functional construction.  The task proved rather tricky, as I needed to carefully carve away the model's chest beneath his coat, before I could inlay and equally cutdown piece of a Cadian's torso. After getting the piece in place, I realized that I really needed to replace his sash with a less ceremonious belt. I ended up using the belt from the same torso that I got the armor from, leaving a bit of the cloth tunic to serve as a starting point for green stuff work.  In addition to modeling his tunic, I used green stuff to add an armoured segment below his breastplate, in addition to sculpting an subdued collar. I also added belt loops to the model and made sure his holster connected to his belt properly.

Although difficult to see, there is a single cable threading from the back of his neck.

The inquisitor surrounded by a cell of intractable scions (even without an arm he looks imposing!). 

After these primary tasks were done, I went about adding small touches to the model to help bring him to life. One of my favorite aspects of the original Death Korp commissar (aside from the trench coat!) are his jack boots, so I knew I could not replace them. Unfortunately, they were not cast very well, so I needed to use green stuff to fix them.  When doing this, I go the idea to point the front of the boots, just to give them a unique, but subtle quality. After looking at the model for a while, I realized that I really did not like the hair on his head.  While the idea and style was interesting, it simply was not sculpted very well.  I ended up carving it off, giving him a sort of no-nonsense look. Without the hair, I considered adding some cables snaking from his head, but worried it might be overdoing it.  I compromised and sculpted a single cable piercing the base of his neck.  I was extremely impressed with the simplicity of his sword, slender and elegant, and used it just as it came from Forge World (I did bulk up some of his fingers holding the scabbard, to make them look more natural).

The inquisitor has come a long way since back in 2013.

The inquisitor in all his glory, ready to accept paint!

At this point, I think the Inquisitor is pretty much finished.  The last thing that needs to be done, however, is craft a base for him.  I believe that I am going to place him on one of the new 32mm bases to emphasize his commanding presence, desipite his modest size.  I think that I want to design it to simulate the rusting metal of a space hulk, or corroded steel walkways of a decaying underhive.  But while I ponder that idea and start putting pieces together, I am going to start painting the model.  I think that I am about equal parts excited and apprehensive about the prospect of picking up a paint brush again.  It has been quite a long time (and I think that most of my paints have long since dried up!), but I do have an airbrush now, and if nothing else, I should be able to prime and base coat him quickly!  Regardless, I am really happy with how my first model for the Invitational has turned out, and am excited to continue to bring him and the other characters around him to life!  As always, and questions or comments are welcome.

- Adam Wier


  1. Nice conversion Adam. The replaced chest is impressively fiddly work!

    I think he needs some small extra details to mark him out as an inquisitor. A small inquisitorial seal or symbol of some sort, a small reliquary. He looks a bit to much like a cadian officer at the moment - lacks a certain wierdness...

    1. Thanks for compliment! I am quite pleased how all the greenstuff work turned out.

      I see where you are coming from with adding something to really sell him as an Inquisitor. While I did not really mention it in this post, I was going for an undercover look for the Inquisitor. I envision that more often then not in an Inquisitor's line of work they are not going around brazenly displaying their occupation. That was why I deliberately left all of the symbols off the model.

      That being said, it probably would not hurt to do something. I could certainly add a free-hand Inquisition I to his armor or the lining of his jacket. I could also consider adding a servo-skull familiar with parchments and the like to hint he is an Inquisitor.

      Thanks for the suggestions.

  2. I say it on all your posts guys but the attention to detail is super impressive.

    With what Jeff says, he could do with something that screams inquisition. Something like the back banner/reliquary from your Dark Angels but with the Inquisition =I= prominent. Even some of those purity seals you guys introduced to your Angels wouldn't go astray.

    1. Thanks for the comment and the suggestion. As I told Vader, I am going for an undercover Inquisitor with this model. I wanted to try and avoid have too many obvious indicators that he is an Inquisitor. I still may go back and add some parchments or paint an Inquisitor I or two. Decisions, decisions...

  3. Hmm, I don't want to be the one to spoil the fun, but while your changes to the model are astinishing from a technical perspective, am I the only one who thinks the guy looks a bit top-heavy? It seems especially obvious in the picture comparing the old and new versions.

    To be fair, part of the problem stems from the fact that the base model does seem to have some issues: The longer I look at it (and I have the actual commissar model in my hand right now), the more it seems like the legs are ever so slightly too short for the torso...

    1. Unfortunately yeah, you are certainly right there are some problems with the model I used for the base. His torso is a little too long (or legs a little too short). I lowered the head of the model a little on this conversion to try and remedy the issue a little (and raised his belt a tiny amount). The original model's chest is also too flat and thin in my opinion. My adding the extra body armor really helped to lessen or remove that issue though.

      Despite the model's obvious flaws I reasoned his coat and pose were far too cool not to use for an Inquisitor conversion. Hopefully when he is based and painted those flaws will not be too apparent...