I'm expanding my Rogue Trader retinue again, this time with a couple of specialists and a few close combat team members. These guys are all based on the Empire state troop bodies, with Mechanicum arms and weapons with a few additions of my own design. I wanted the weapons in particular to look ancient and exotic, kind of like a 1950's ray gun approach. I simply delved into my watch parts box and came up with some bits that looked the part etc.
Work progresses on the Labyrinth (or Zone Mortalis board to be accurate) I'm buying these tiles piecemeal when I should be splashing out on a bundle, but hey, at least I can give each one a little conversion when I'm putting them together. I wanted some extra doors on this one, basically Rhino hatches and Necromunda bulkheads etc. I thought I'd give this one a splash of white too. Too much rusty darkness going on, plus I like the idea of a tile, deep in the bowels of the Labyrinth that suddenly looks as though it's been done up really nice .... for some reason .... or other.
Two posts for the price of one this week. I finished the Rogue Trader command squad and the Gonk Walker got a splash of paint.
As before, these guys follow the paint scheme that I laid down with the retinue. I was particularly pleased with how the bell ringer turned out. He looks like he only has one job to do and he does it with pride :) The Solar Auxilia weapon also works on the com trooper. I'm still amazed how well the Solar Auxilia parts go with the Mannan's Blades range.
Onto the Gonk.
This chap is intended as some traitor walker, brought out of moth-ball by necessity, conforming to some obscure design that has been lost to time. A few people have commented that it looks like a cross between Ashley Wood's Berties and a Phalanx Gun system used in the navy. Those two starting points were definitely in my mind when I designed him.
I've always really rather liked Ian Miller's original artwork that he did for the old Rogue Trader rule book back in the late 80's. In particular I love his obscure looking walkers such as the one below.
To this end I thought I'd try my hand at creating something similar. I wanted a renegade looking variant on the old sentinel. The main body is actually a resin cast of the interior of a Kinder surprise egg toy container.
The Nobilite families of Terra pride themselves in providing the man-power and hired muscle needed to protect any expeditionary force that their investors may use to accompany a Rogue Trader. As ancient organisations with centuries of pedigree, these organisations allow their operatives to deploy some of the family's most prised and precious weaponry, devices that have not been seen on any battlefield for hundreds, if not thousands of years.
These guys were based upon Forgeworld's excellent Mannan's Blades conversion kit. They work surprisingly well with Admech Skitarri spares, plus a few extra grizzlies thrown in for good measure.
So I've been working on some Ash waste terrain lately. I've been looking for a suitable basing material for a while now. I've always found straight up MDF to be too heavy. Then I discovered Foamex. It's the material that printers use to make exterior signage. Lightweight and gullible. I bought a 5mm thick board and glued it to a 5mm thick slab of MDF and got the best of both worlds.
(needs more rust)
(Knew those nappy rash cream tins would come in handy)
My board is meant to represent the exterior of some abandoned Ash Waste technical station. I put it together using many of the methods used in the Forgeworld Model Masterclass Vlolumn 1 book.
I used insulation foam for the raised portion, cutting through it then finishing it off by using spray paint to get a nice melted effect. Cracks were then added using Polystyrene cement which melted some more. The whole thing was then coated in a thick mixture of house paint, plaster of paris and PVA glue. Then sprinkled with sand and dirt. It actually turned out to be quite a durable surface.
Created from an unholy union of spare mechanical parts and the remains of flayed biologist experiments, Vivisect Servitors are intended as a one shot, personalised weapon, tailored to a very specific target. Released into the Ash wastes they are given an autonomous set of protocols that allow them a very high degree of decision making capability for a Servitor.
I've always loved Kari's Arco Eviscerators featured on the wonderful Spiky Rat Pack Blog and even went so far as to trying to create my own versions. However, my modelling skills are woeful compared to such a master so I began to focus my attentions on creating something similar but also wholly new. I wanted to convey the idea of a Biologist experiment gone wild, a living weapon created from spare parts and living in abject agony and so my Vivisect Servitors were born, a mash up of Rust Stalker legs, Ghoul body parts and Dark Eldar Talos weapons.
You've got to love GW's Ad Mech output, the sheer number of spare parts alone is worth the price tag for each kit.
This guy was a really fast build. He just seemed to go together without any fuss. He's intended as some kind of AdMech crusader attached to my INQ28 retinue. Perhaps he is a slightly higher form of Tech Thrall, an amalgamation of body parts, sewn together for the purpose of combat.
His head came out of an idea I've had bubbling around since I saw the Skittari kit. I wondered what kind of person inhabited those suits. The top half comes from the warhammer zombie sprue (got to find a use for some of those uglier parts).
With my Solar Auxilia contingent now almost complete it wouldn't have been right if I hadn't picked up the command squad currently being offered by Forgeworld. I know that I am often banging on about detail on these pages but in this case Forgeworld have entirely knocked it out of the park. I might even be tempted to say that the £65 price tag is justified.
I thought I'd share some photos and mention a few of the design touches that I find especially brilliant.
I went with the standard Forgeworld colour scheme for these guys. The detail was mostly all completed at the wash stage. Several coats of Agrax wash and I was laughing.
First up the heavy weapon guards. Not much to say about these guys other than that they certainly look the part of being part of an honour guard retinue.
Next up, the Vox caster. This is where the fun starts. That radio! Looks familiar? It was a while before I realised that this chap is manually tuning into his command frequency using an old fashioned needle dial tuner. As a design touch, that is a marvellous way to show these guys are from an older era than the standard 40K guard. Plenty has been said about how the Solar Auxilia are very Steam Punk based. However, I'd like to suggest that they're more Valve Punk, echoing an age when experimentation with radio was commonplace etc.
The commander himself. What can I say. Beautiful model, incredible detail. Just take a look at that frogging on the reverse of that coat.
Finally, the Strategist. As with the Vox operator there are some really nice touches to this model. The way he's tuning the focus ring on his telescope for instance, or the way he is busy typing with the other hand. The detail on this guy goes right down to the individual keys on his stenography machine. If I had a brush fine enough it would look great with some old 1920s style font for the letters of each key.
It was only going to be a matter of time before I jumped on the Mechanicum bandwagon and started raving about how great the models are just like everyone else.
I painted up a pack of Skittari recently, and aside from the fact that these are wonderful models, I was really happy to discover that once made, the kit comes with a proper stack of spare parts for my INQ28 shenanigans.
I wanted these guys to look as though they'd just come in from the Martian wastes. They are trackers after-all, stalking their quarry over miles of radiation blasted Martian wasteland.
The camouflage pattern was created using masking tape. I painted the areas I wanted green first, then masked them off and primed over the top of that. It's the same method I've used for tanks in the past and I wanted to see how it could be applied to something a lot smaller.
A small word about the weapons design of these guys: They seem to be a mixture of world war 2 inspired, steam-punk style stuff. That anti-materiel rifle is excellent. When was the last time you saw a bolt action rifle on a concept sci-fi model? It looks like a cross between a North African 16th Century Jezzail and a modern .50 calibre firearm.
Apologies for the dirth of INQ28 posts recently. I was taken by Opus Maius' Envoys of Rus conversions so I've been trying to create my own. I don't want to post images on here of things that I've made inferior copies of so I thought I'd run an update on the Labyrinth instead.
This is turning out to be a 3 x 3 board now. I've basically got 2 last Zone Mortalis tiles to paint up and we're ready to go. Perhaps I'll run a short narrative campaign once they're up and running.
This piece was created in my usual style. Lots of rust, lots of washes. I started from a black base coat and washed up from there. I added the addition of chequered floor tiles to this one, purely to keep it interesting. Plus, I added an Administratum door, which hopefully you'll agree looks awfully inviting.