In spite of my ongoing real-life business eating in my hobby time like a tyranid hive fleet with a particularly tasty planet I’ve still managed to get both my Fembruary models finished before the end of the month (cue a little self-congratulatory back-patting). Alongside the witch I showed previously I also wanted to finish off this assassin, who also serves as part of my contribution to the Nestorian Infestation. Rather than repeat myself too much those who want to know what Fembruary is should look here, those who’re interested in the Nestorian Infestation can read all about the infested population here, and those who want to know why when the brief calls for genestealer infested civilians my first contribution is neither a genestealer nor a civilian can see me justifying myself here.
Now Fembruary has started me thinking about few female miniatures I have in my collection, although given that so few of my models are even human (Space Marines non-withstanding) I feel I have at least a sliver of an excuse. Hopefully soon I’ll have some Escher gangers painted up to show you and, although they wouldn’t be seen dead without their combat heels and form-fitting outfits, will at least serve to reduce the proportion of my troops with only one X chromosome. In the meantime here’s a group shot of my favourite females from my collection.
Who needs Grey Knights? Three Imperial ladies taking on the worst filth Nurgle can throw at them.
Of course this just leaves time to offer congratulations once more to Alex of Leadballoony for making Fembruary a “thing”, and to all the miniature’s designers willing to create female subjects beyond the impractical world of chainmail bikinis.
I planned this model to be my second contribution to Fembruary, alongside the genestealer hunting Imperial agent I showed previously, although truth be told she could equally fit in with Azazel’s call to make February “finish a neglected model month” as she’s been sitting untouched and unloved for almost a year. The wait is over however and, with both community challenges chaining me to my painting desk she’s finished at long last.
My aim for Fembruary was to paint powerful, non-sexualised women and I like to think that nothing ticks that box quite so well as a thousand year old, possibly possessed witch.
Of course, continuing the theme of cross-over projects and community challenges that seems to surround this model, she was originally envisioned as part of HeresyOfUs’ Chapel project. However as the rest of my Ordo Mors warband continues to languish in unpainted purgatory here she is with a squad of Imperial guardsmen for company. How the poor guardsmen feel about this we can only guess.
Continuing my efforts to support the Nestorian infestation, and following on from the corrupted servo-skulls I showed previously I started thinking about the little cherubs we see flying around in the corners of Imperial artwork. Surely they too would fall under the sway of the genestealers and become a little more feral and spiteful than before.
As you can no doubt see he still needs a bit of work to shape and smooth out the greenstuff but hopefully this gives you some idea of how he’s going to look. I think I’ll be calling it a day after this one and just concentrating on painting but we’ll see how it goes, there’s a few crazy ideas which never really made it to execution still scrabbling around in the back of my brain so who knows?
In the initial brief for the Nestorian infestation Big Boss Redskulls noted that the infestation itself is spread by means of airborne spores. This is important because it leads to a very different situation than would occur on a normal infected world. Usually a person receives the genetic taint by means of the Genestealer’s Kiss, which means that the patriarch can pick and choose exactly who they want to enthral and infect. Not so here – spreading through the air anything which respires will soon be tainted, and as the tyranids are the ultimate genetic manipulators that means nothing is beyond contamination. Servitors, livestock, the native flora and fauna, even bacteria and viruses would fall under the sway of the cult. Imagine yourself on such a world with everything from the birds and insects overhead to the grass at your feet bent to a hostile alien will. Of course, as this is the Imperium that means infested servo-skulls as well.
Ideas I also explored ideas springing from the same theme included hybrid trees, hybrid cows and hybrid birds, all stretching the definition of civilians somewhat. If only time and money were no object…
A second civilian is ready to join the genestealer tainted population of Efesos VI…
Of course everyone who falls under the cult’s sway becomes a true believer, regardless of what their feelings were previously, but this chap has become especially devout in his worship of the Children of the Stars and now he’s allowed to walk the streets openly he’s out spreading the good word of the saviours who shall descend in their purifying hunger from the heavens.
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.
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.
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…
I know it’s been a while since I’ve shown anything of my Chapel warband (insert appropriate excuses about the busyness of real life here) but that doesn’t mean I’ve been idle. Indeed my determination to bring my best work to the project has seen me putting in many hours tinkering away with the various members of Inquistior Morix’s retinue – but has also meant that whenever work and life have piled on the pressure I’ve been content to turn my attention to more straightforward projects, rather than burdening myself with an additional suite of challenges. Plus, as the initial Chapel game has been and gone, there’s no particular hurry to get them finished, no looming deadline encouraging me to put in long nocturnal hours with brush in hand when I’m already putting in long diurnal (mostly) hours at work. That said there’s plans for a return to the Chapel and as ever the Imperium may be slow to respond but with xenos, witches and unquiet spirits alike abroad in the Emperor’s domain the arrival of Inquisitorial sanction remains inevitable.
Last time I showed pictures of Morix (back in July dare I admit it) I noted that the “skellie-bird”, his cyber-familiar which had been perched on his fist in the earliest WIPs had flown off somewhere but would be returning “shortly”. Who knew then that “shortly” would turn out to be such a long time away? Not I that’s for sure. However I’m pleased to announce that he’s back at last, perched where he belongs, and undoubtedly chattering secrets into his master’s ear.
However he doesn’t need to sit there permanently. After all his role is to be a spy and a scout and to do that he must be able to flit away, leaving his master looking as though he’s punching someone whilst looking the other way and shouting.
Where then does the skellie-bird go when he’s not at Morix’s side? Naturally he needed a perch from which he can spy out the route ahead or listen in on the whispered conversations of those who believe themselves free from the pitiless gaze of the Inquisition. Inspired by pictures of the Albino Woods board I put together this warped, bio-mechanical tree.
Without wishing to over promise and under deliver I’m planning to show some pictures of the rest of Morix’s retinue before the end of the week – in the meantime any thoughts or feedback you have on the bid and his perch are much appreciated.