Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Iron Sleet Invitational: Thorian Inquisitor WIP

Innocence proves nothing.
Having largely finished the first inquisitor and his accompanying security officer, I have begun to work on the last model for the Invitational, a second inquisitor.  I wanted this inquisitor to be less cautious about his identity as an inquisitor, instead of wearing run-of-the-mill fatigues and overcoats, he would be wearing a custom suit of power armor.  Despite a more brazen appearance, I wanted to ensure the model still had a reserved quality, giving no indication towards his placement along the thin line of radicalism.

My biggest priority with the model was distancing him from a Space Marine.  When you say power armor, you think of a Space Marine, so I decided to focus most of my efforts on making the armor look unique.  The first order of business was to create a powerpack for him.  I wanted to create something entirely different from the standard marine backpack, because it is so iconic.  I decided that I wanted to try to incorporate the generator/battery directly into the torso, to make the armor seem like a refined custom suit for the inquisitor. For this, I removed one of the generators from a Militarum Tempestus Scion backpack and glued it in place of the standard marine powerpack. Additionally, I integrated some exhaust ports into his back, which I carved off of a space marine power pack and two chainswords.

One of my first tasks was to create a powerpack for his armor that did not look like a Space Marine one.
I quickly realized that I could not use the traditional power armor legs, as their bulky greaves scream Adeptus Astartes.  After some searching, I found that Dreamforge’s Eisenkern Valkir Assault Troopers had legs that were perfect for the task.  The scale is just right, and they have a tapered look that is more form fitting then Astartes armor. The posing of the legs are slightly more aggressive looking than I was originally intending, but overall I think they look nice.

A good deal of effort was taken to remove all of the original detailing on the model's breastplate. I am still trying to decide if I want to add any Inquisitional iconography. 

For his head, I decided to use a leather capped head from the Empire greatswords. With a little cutting and greenstuff work I fashioned the leather cap into a tight-fitting hood. To this, I also added a cable snaking from the side of his head to reinforce that he is wired into his suit of armor.  I had entertained using a Space Marine head, either one of the praetor ones, or perhaps Sevatar’s, but decided against it due to their large size.  The Empire and Imperial Guard heads are slightly smaller, which emphasizes how bulky the suit of power armor is supposed to be.

Is is amazing what the careful addition of a cable or two can do!

As a member of the Ordo Machinum, I got to thinking how it might be interesting to explore the idea that, despite his constant access to the greatest technology the Imperium has to offer, he has an odd fascination with simple, pragmatic designs. His preferred sidearm, an ancient custom revolver rumored to be from Terra itself, is a perfect example of this. Rather than the complex, gas-blowback automatics, like autoguns and bolters, he values the tried and true revolving mechanism seen in double-action revolvers. The massive sidearm also allows him to deal with calibers wholly unsuitable for automatic pistols. His favored round is the antediluvian .454 Casull, a magnum cartridge that he loads by hand, with silvered bullets and maleficarum hexes, each more than enough to stop anything that moves.  With this in mind, I decided to put the revolver that I initially created for the Naval security officer to use. His larger stature, afforded by his armor, makes the larger framed weapon much more manageable than it did on the security officer.

A revolver of such prodigious size looks ridiculous on a model with anything smaller then power armor. 

In addition to the revolver, I decided that it would be cool to give him another weapon mounted to his shoulder. I opted for a las weapon such that it could be powered by the generator on the back of his armor. The base of the weapon came from one of the plastic cultist autopistols which was augmented with all manner of other components. As a final weapon I decided it would be neat to equip him with a set of digi-laser on the knuckles of his left hand. To do this I replaced the Militarum Tempestus Scion hand with that of the new Harlequin Solitaire. I might have to go back and do a little greenstuff work to bulk out the hand because I think it is a hair smaller that the original one. Overall however, I am happy with the effect.

The Inquisitor's shoulder mounted las weapon! The little sensor on the side was actually taken from an Infinity model.
I have also added a book at his waist, taken from the Militarum Tempestus Scions kit. I added one of the Forge World brass Inquisitorial I’s to the book to make it look more like an ancient grimoire. I am also working on a holster for his hefty revolver that will be attached to his right thigh. Along with the holster, I think I want to add some other pouches and assorted gear (maybe a grenade or a scroll or two).

The inquisitor in all his ceramite encased glory!

With all the main elements in place, I plan to start adding little details and touching up parts with green stuff.
I am quite happy with how this inquisitor is turning out.  When I first went into the conversion, all I knew is that I wanted him in power armor, to contrast with the other two models for the Invitational. But as I started to really work on the model, things started to fall into place and the character started to form. Soon I will need to start thinking about how to paint the model. Does anyone have suggestions for the color of his armor? At this point I am not really sure what would suit the model best. In addition to painting thoughts, any comments or suggestions about the model in general would be appreciated!

- Adam Wier


  1. Another great model mate. My observations on review so far are that the left hand does seem a tad dainty compared to the rest of the model.

    He's also quite squat. The legs and torso are quite bulky but in different scales. The legs appear slightly too small for the body. The arms area slighter scale again.

    The arms in particular bother me most at the join to the torso. Maybe it's just my mind missing the visual cue offered by the shoulder pads of a Marine and their arms sitting slightly higher. If I suggested an area to add something too it would be there.

    I love the rear power plant though. That is very cool. However it dies create a contrasting visual in that the power unit is compact compared to the traditional bulk of a Marine plant. That compactness contrasts the standard bulk of the torso. Coupled with the smaller scale head and arm/leg issue above it slightly throws the whole mini out to my minds eye.

    Irrespective of the above the execution is as always excellent. Raised detail on the torso pectorals wouldn't go astray.

    On colour, dark arterial red/burgundy and gold.

    1. Looking at the photos again on larger screen, I think the squat impression I was getting is more an artifact of the photo perspective. In some shots the torso looks massive against the legs (most of the downwards aimed shots) while in others it doesn't look bad at all (the side on shots). The lunging pose of the legs exaggerates the effect I think.

    2. Thanks for the critical eye. The model does look a bit squat from certain angles, but I think you have it right that it is largely a perspective thing, coupled with the lunging pose. Initially I wanted a less aggressive pose, but after trying to cut up a set of the assault trooper legs or two, I realized it was more difficult than I intended, and ended up just using those legs stock. I am glad you like the powerplant, I was really happy with how it turned out; it is true it makes the torso look even more bulky, but I am rather fond of hulking look it provides.

  2. Lovely. I think black and gold would go well, something similar to JRN's Khador Manowar. Adding some trims on his legs similar to those on his shoulders would also help tie the model together.

    1. Good thought on the trim. I might experiment with some cog designs to emphasize his connection to the Mechanicum. JRN’s Manowar is truly spectacular looking; the simple scheme is very powerful, and something I will strongly consider when painting the inquisitor.

  3. Really cool mini! Bonus points for trigger discipline!

    The eisenkern legs give him a very different profile which works great (I´m normally not very fond of mixing up GW stuff with other manufacturers. Here it works great though).

    I think Muppet is overly critical about the anatomy in general - it looks fine to me - but I do agree about the harlie-hand. It looks weak somehow and its posed as if he´s about to pat a dog on the head.

    Apart from that - awesome inquisitor!

    1. Glad you appreciate the trigger discipline! It is a little thing that bothers me with a lot of GW models. For being some of the most well trained warrior in the galaxy, you might think someone informed them of such a basic rule of firearm control!

      I too am usually hesitant in using different product ranges for 40k conversions, but saw the models and decided to take the chance, and ultimately am glad I did. For a game that is dominated by power armour, there is preciously little in the way of variety!

      I agree about the hand being small. My thoughts about it were that he keeps that hand ungloved, apart from the digi weapon matrix, so that he can do intricate mechanical/cogitator work. As for the patting the dog look, the arm is only pinned in place now; I planned to raise it when actually gluing it. The thought was that he is gesturing a warning to the other two Invitational models, as communication breaks down and the others start drawing their weapons. Having said all this, I will still look into a few other options, or perhaps resort to some green stuff work...

  4. OK wow. This is a great miniature, and already has me thinking about how to make a similar one for myself (and I already have far far too many Inquisitor figures on the go)

    Things I like:
    That pistol! Great work, and absolutely perfect with this guy. Great size, look, and the finger sculpting is perfect.
    The head fits very well with the armor
    Use of the Eisenkern legs is great too, really fits with the look of the armor and avoids the "marine" look.
    Chainsword vents on the powerpack is genius.

    Things I have questions about:
    No Close combat weapon? Instead of the digiweapon hand you could go powerfist or chain fist. If he is not a psyker, seems like he needs something with punch for those tougher monsters/daemons etc.

    Things I do not like/missing:
    Width of his shoulders seems a bit off. If you could shave them a bit narrower, I think it would make it look more like "massive suit with man inside" than it does now, where the arms look (slightly) tacked on.
    Digiweapon hand pose is strange, and I think that a fist would look better, or a pointing finger if you want to keep them vs go with a close combat hand (as above). You could cut off the knuckles and affix to your new hand if you want to keep the look but have a better pose.
    Leg pose is a bit strange with the arms, leading to him looking a bit like he is falling forward. You might be able to cut the left leg off at the hip and rotate a tiny bit to make it look as if he were walking without being so heavily posed on his left leg.

    As for a paint job, I think that a guy like this is going to want a very basic paint job for the armor itself, so either something like gunmetal grey or aged brass, but he is going to want to go to town on honors, heraldry and the like. So the suit itself should be plain, but the shoulder pads and other trim areas should be a contrasting color with decoration. You might also go with black script all over the plain armor...

    1. Can one ever have too many inquisitors? I think not ;) I am glad you like the pistol, I knew some might think a revolver a paltry weapon for mighty inquisitor. I used chainsword vents on a model years back, and I was really happy with their compact size, and have since then always kept them in mind when doing conversions.

      Including a close combat weapon of some sort is probably a good idea; afterall, who would want to go anywhere in the 40k universe without at least a good straightblade!

      I agree about the shoulders being a bit too broad; it is a common problem with 40k models (terminators anyone…). I will have to try to do some cutting. I am going to have to think more about his pose and outstretched hand. The idea was that he was warning the two other Invitational models. The legs are more aggressively posed then I initially wanted, but after ruining a few sets trying to repose them, I became wary, ha ha.

    2. Well, I have 3 built, 1 waiting more inspiration, 2 planned out but lacking bitz, and a couple of older ones from the pre-INQ28 dark days. So maybe?

  5. I really really like this conversion. The story you weave around him also helps to add a great deal of depth and character to this model. My favourite so far!

    1. Thanks, he is quickly becoming one of my favorite models too! I have been kicking around some of those story elements for a while now, and hope to expand them as I continue to work on the model. Building the models with a character in mind is more rewarding I think. I hope to have a post eventually talking about the models background.

  6. I really like the reworked torso - since you distanced it apart from marine armor, it adds a new dimension to the figure where it lives in the same universe, but it isn't like the only power armor in existence is SM issue. Really cool.

    1. I am glad you like it! Making that distinction, that there are many types of power armor in the galaxy, not just the Astartes kind was a major goal. I feel this sort of distinction is often lost to GW (particularly with their weapons; is there really only one type of boltgun in the entire universe, and would guardsmen really be able to carry one?).

    2. As I'm just getting back into painting and modelling, it's things like this that exist in the Inq28/munda community that really has my interest right now. Unique conversions like this make the 40K universe feel so much more realistically lived in than just what we are given in the army codices. The legs too, give it a very "on the fringes" sci-fi element to the figure - I used to be a GW purist, but I'm increasingly coming around to the theory that if another manufacturer works, use it.

    3. Oh, and as for painting, for some reason a brass and leather combination is sticking out to me - kind of an antique adventurer's vibe going on.

  7. Thanks! That is quite ringing praise, considering the caliber of models on display from the invitational (from greats like Vader, Kari, and all the rest). When starting the model I was a bit concerned that he might end up the weakest of the three I made, and I am happy that has not been the case :) By the way, you should submit pictures of the models you created for the Invitational, they are really characterful, and something that more people should see!

  8. Amazing build! 10 out of 10 on pose and concept :)

    1. Thanks! I feel privileged to hear this coming from you, who are dare I say a master at concept and theme! I wanted the model to reflect my visions of the 40k universe, not compromising for sake of convenience. This is something I really like in your models as well (including your excellent Invitational entry); it makes every model completely unique and a small glimpse into your mind.