Man’s Best Friend – Part 1

Something I was keen to emphasis with my Inquisitorial retinue for the Chapel is the “aloneness” of Inquisitor Morix. Here is a man who’s dedicated his life to rooting out heresy and specifically to working with the dead. Whilst many Inquisitorial warbands are made up of a cavalcade of crazy characters I felt that having too many friends and sidekicks along for the ride would reduce the sense of isolation I wanted to imbue him with. Of course he does have a few acolytes but I wanted to avoid creating a sense of community around him. Ultimately this isn’t the story of a group of friends fighting crime in the 41st Millennium, it’s the story of Inquisitor Morix and the others are very much just the supporting cast. Without him the group wouldn’t struggle onwards to complete his final mission, or return his body to Terra. They would simply scatter to pursue their own agendas.

As an aside I’ve often fancied putting together a retinue that leaned heavily on the traditional Inquisitorial tropes and my initial idea for this project was to make a group of Chapter-serfs tasked with the returning the body of the Space Marine they had served to be interred in the Chapel. Perhaps someday these projects will come together but in the meantime Morix is where the action is.

As yet I’m not certain which of the characters I’ve been making of the Chapel will actually make it into Morix’s retinue, but even so each has been pitched to avoid reducing the Inquisitor’s sense of isolation. The witch is a shunned, unsanctioned pysker – who may or may not be possessed already. The dwarf is a vat-bred creation who, despite being gifted with a razor sharp intelligence and a wealth of knowledge lacks any empathy or emotional range to avoid him questioning his lowly station or turning upon his rightful masters. The scout is a free agent, roaming alone ahead of the warband where his roguish behaviour and lax attitude to Inquisitorial protocol won’t get him into too much trouble with the boss. And yes, you’ve not seen him yet – but you will soon…

Of course, this is all very well but how to maintain the remoteness of Morix once I started on the rank and file of the warband? As the population of the warband grew it would be harder and harder to maintain the sense that Morix was in it alone. For a while I toyed with the idea of undead servitors but in the end the option I went for was to unleash the dogs.

I’ve always liked the idea of cyber-hounds but until GW gets around to making them (maybe if they add Arbites to Necromunda he said wishfully) the only option was to grab a set of gryph hounds and a load of greenstuff and make my own.

Inq28 Hounds Convert Or Die (2)Inq28 Hounds Convert Or Die (1)Inq28 Hounds Convert Or Die (10)Inq28 Hounds Convert Or Die (9)Inq28 Hounds Convert Or Die (8)Inq28 Hounds Convert Or Die (7)Inq28 Hounds Convert Or Die (6)Inq28 Hounds Convert Or Die (5)Inq28 Hounds Convert Or Die (3)Inq28 Hounds Convert Or Die (4)

Do keep in mind that these are all WIPs at the moment. For instance I’m still working out exactly what’s going on with the cables on the pack alpha’s head.

Inq28 Hounds Convert Or Die (11)Inq28 Hounds Convert Or Die (12)

I know that in theory one is never lonely with a dog but I can’t imagine Morix petting these beasts. This is not the relationship of friends, the deep bond between human (perfectly crafted in the Emperor’s image) and animal (intrinsically lesser but still descended from the line of Blessed Terra) that crosses the boundary between species. Rather this is a master and his servants, a power-armoured alpha male and the savage hunting beasts which will undoubtedly kill and eat him if he becomes weak. I suspect he doesn’t get invited to many parties either…

21 responses to “Man’s Best Friend – Part 1

  • Alex

    Love the thinking mate ,the loner beastmaster-type is a great trope to explore in my opinion – looking forward to seeing these develop!

    • Wudugast

      Cheers. There’s a bit more to be done on them before they’re ready for paint I reckon, and things are going to be horribly busy over christmas and new year so I may not have much time to work on them, but hopefully I’ll be able to crack on with them in January.

  • imperialrebelork

    Great mate! Not sure if you considered colours yet but I think mottled and stripy like hyenas would be cool but maybe in pale tones. Or maybe even translucent skin tones with visible vein lines etc

    • Wudugast

      Hmmm… I’d thought a little bit about colours, I was leaning towards something pale and fleshy (definitely want to play with translucent skin tones, visible veins etc if my skills allow it). Some hyena-like qualities would be nice to add in though, I’ll file that for further consideration. 🙂

  • Thomas

    I love those little critters. The Gryph-hound kit is excellent. I have some half finished conversions of those dogs that I haven’t showed yet. I might have to kick those up the to-do-list. Mine aren’t cyber at all, I took it in another direction altogether. Great job on your cyber puppies.

  • FirBholg

    Inspired use of parts, really characterful critters, in look and background! I look forward to seeing what you do with them in terms of paint, I’m kinda shocked I haven’t seen more conversions using the graph-hounds.
    I suppose this also means you’ve got a lot of spare eagle heads knocking round for a future project, too!

  • Ann

    Yes, I agree, he doesn’t exactly seem like he’d be the life of most parties.

    • Wudugast

      That said, have you ever met an Inquisitor who was?

      • Ann

        True enough! I can imagine if that Kryptman guy ever accidentally got invited to a regimental dinner or something the liaison officer in the know would be whispering, “He’s ok, Sir, just do say the word ‘bug’ around him, especially during the lobster third course and it’ll probably come off all right.”

      • Wudugast

        In fact, I’ll speak to the kitchen and see if we can’t avoid the lobster entirely. He gets a little… twitchy… And the starter is prawns you say… Oh dear…

  • LeVermenarque

    These hounds look very good! I also love the lore you are developping, very inspiring as always.

  • heresyofus

    These are awesome mate. Really clever conversions and it’s great to see the war band coming together.

  • Paint job: Aether Wolves | High times on the Eastern Fringe

    […] a little something I mashed together awhile back. I never finished them. But after seeing Wudugast’s cyber-mastiffs I got the urge to finish the paint job. The conversion is pretty straightforward – […]

  • Azazel

    Very nice work. Quite an effectively “inhuman” (yeah, I know) take on canines. Love to see how they turn out with paint!

    • Wudugast

      Thanks 🙂 My aim was animals which were clearly descended from dogs but with forty thousand years of breeding, gene-splicing and cyber-tinkering. Just as some modern police dogs are used for knocking over football hooligans I wanted an animal that an Inquisitor could set on a heretic astartes or a rampaging ogren if he needed to, and which would frighten the life out of any normal would be criminals.

  • caseyrog

    These are ace! I was looking for some inspiration on converting kymerae from dark eldar. Do you happen to remember what parts you used? Did you ever paint these?

    • Wudugast

      Thank you! No, I never did paint them, this whole project stalled a bit, I was working on it for a game and then real life threw a massive spanner in the works and I couldn’t go, so they kept getting pushed down the queue in favour of projects that were more urgent and/or exciting in that moment (you know how it goes). The bodies are gryph hounds (with the tails snipped off), the necks are greenstuff, the mouths are from tyranid warriors, the collars are from the ad-mech electro priests and the spines are from something Necron. I could definitely see these as the basis for kymerae, good thinking!

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