Monday, February 2, 2015

Iron Sleet Invitational: Between the Bolter and Me enters the fray

It is only one month into 2015, and we at Between the Bolter and Me have been looking back over all of the projects that we began last year, trying to prioritise the which to finish and what new ones to start. Just as we were finalizing some of our initial project ideas, we received a message from the people over at the newly formed Iron Sleet (an indcredibly talented trio of artists: Migsula of Legion of Plastic; and Kari and Mikko from the Spiky Rat Pack), inviting us to participate in their blog’s first modeling challange: Iron Sleet Invitational 1 – All your Bases Are Belong To Us.  And in an instant, the schedule for our projects had to be greatly revised, and in many ways accelerated dramatically!

Iron Sleet Invitational 1 – All your Bases Are Belong To Us

In line with the name of the event, All your Bases are Belong to Us (nice reference to the shoot ‘em up Zero Wing), focuses around converting three models, each on a different sized GW base (25mm, 32 mm, 40 mm, etc). While all the models will be on different sized bases, they are all to be unified by a common theme or idea in the Warhammer 40,000 universe (although that theme is completely up to the participant). A deadline of two months has been allotted for the event, with a mandatory work in progress post on March 1st (with all of pictures shown in black and white). Another series of pictures showing the completed models is then due on April 1st. Aside from those required blog posts/pictures, participants are encouraged to have additional blog posts detailing their progress in the event. Importantly, while several people were specifically invited to contribute to the event (to ensure there was interest in the project), anyone up for the hobby challenge is welcome to participate in the event!

The Battle for the Emperor's Soul.

When getting the invitation, we knew right away that we wanted to deal with the Inquisition.  A piece that Gav Thorpe wrote years back to introduce GW’s role-playing game Inquisitor came to mind:

“You accuse me of being a madman. What right have you to judge what is sane and what is not?

I have fought with the shadows on the edge of your vision. I have seen the faces that laugh at you in your nightmares.

I have smelt the foetid breath that issues from the mouth of hell itself. I have heard the silent voices that make your spine tingle with dread.

I have entered the realms between worlds where there is no time or place. I have clashed with creatures the sight of which would sear your soul to the core.

I have bested horrors that chill with a gaze and tempt unreasoning terror. I have faced death eye to eye and blade to blade.

I have stared into the eyes of insanity and met their all-consuming stare. I have done all this for you; for your protection and the guarantee of a future for Mankind.

And yet you accuse me of being a madman, you who have never had your sanity tested so sorely. What right have you to call me heretic and blasphemer, who have not heard the whisper of dark gods in your ear?

You are weak. Vulnerable. Human in your frailty. I am strong, and yet still you judge me. And yet you still judge me for my sins, you who art most sinful to the heart?

Only the insane have strength enough to prosper; only those that prosper truly judge what is sane.”

This piece captures an often forgotten element in Warhammer 40k. In a game that is so focused on massive armies battling against one-another, it is often easy to overlook the plight of individual characters. The personal struggles and inner turmoil, the conflicts of ideology, and shadow wars present in the clandestine world of the Inquisitors is the aspect of the game that interests us the most.  Therefore, in this Invitational, we want to Focus on the Battle for the Emperor’s Soul. More specifically, we would like to delve into a tenuous relationship between two Thorian Inquisitors, with opposing views in the God-Incarnate enigma (if a man (the Emperor) can become a god, could not a god become a man?).  One Inquisitor thinking that the concept of reincarnating the Emperor is hubris, the other convinced that the Emperor’s soul can be restored to His body, and has been studying the Dark Eldar practices of soultheft, or the forgotten genecraft that was the foundation of the Primarchs.  We want to explore the blurred morality behind two self-espoused Thorian Inquisitors.  Recent Games Workshop publications (see Codex Inquisition) make the Inquisition into a black and white organization of good Puritans and evil Radicals, more caricatures than actual characters.  With this Invitational, we want to go back to the more nuanced and interesting aspects of the Inquisition.  Afterall, everything you have been told is a lie!

Innocence proves nothing.

Although we are still trying to nail down exactly how we want to craft each character, we are going to use this opportunity to finish an Inquisitor we started two years ago.  Throughout the entire project, we want to maintain a level of martial realism, and refrain from too many overly weird and eccentric elements (anything that would raise eyebrows when they are among the citizens of the Imperium, and make their mission harder). We have always strived to add a sense of realism to our models, particularly in the realm of weapon design, and we want to maintain that stance. The project will also be a major step for us in the realm of painting. It has been 6 years since we painted anything! And while we have been meaning to start again for some time, this invitational will be the perfect catalyst to begin that aspect of the hobby again.  It is certain to be a busy next two months, but we are extremely excited to be a part of Iron Sleet’s first Invitational, and cannot wait to see all the fantastic models that are sure to result from the challenge!

- Between the Bolter and Me


  1. Great to have you taking part in Iron Sleet's first challenge!

  2. What an amazing post!! I can hardly wait to see the WIPs and to get you guys back to painting is soo goood! :)