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!
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,Â 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 risquÃ© 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 â€” at least, itâ€™s the only model thatâ€™s ALWAYS available at the FLGS and never sells out. And to be honest, it used to be the one model I couldnâ€™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):
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!