Tag Archives: The Chapel

Ostium Guides – Part 2

Animals have no choice beyond survival but man does have choice and he must use his unique gifts now to play the role for which he has truly evolved, as responsible custodian of the last wild places, not merely their exploiter. We can never escape the inherent responsibility our genius bestows upon us. We must learn to love and conserve what is inspiring and beautiful, not only what is economically profitable… To love in the universal sense is not the refuge-seeking philosophy of the romantic. It is the necessary ethic of our own survival.

-Mike Tomkies, Golden Eagle Years

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The second Ostium Guide, husband to the first, is now completed. Let those who dare to brave the Chapel first follow in their footsteps through the haunted depths of the Albino Woods.

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Life in the forest may be harsh, for there are witches and revenants, strange beasts and wood ghasts all abroad. Rain and chill may sap a body of its strength, and what is left of a life reliant on physical prowess when that power is broken by time or sickness? Yet there is still culture to be found amongst the people of the forest, still music and laughter, still joy and the capturing of passion in art. Those who dwell beneath the stark white boughs do not do so as guttering candles, battling against the gale. Instead the forces that might snuff them breathe life and delight into them, energising brief lives spent far from the misery of Imperial toil and servitude in the great hives.

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Just a week to go now before the disparate warbands brave the Chapel itself. For those not yet in the know (where have you been?!) the Chapel is a narrative driven game bringing together a plucky band of hobbyists and bloggers, all put together by Mark of HeresyOfUs. Sadly, real life being what it is, I won’t be able to make it but fear not, this isn’t the end of the road for Inquisitor Morix and his grim faced agents of the Ordo Mors. Mark has already hinted that the Chapel will call once more to those caught in its web and though Morix may have found himself diverted upon the road he knows that the path of his destiny leads straight into the archotech heart of that strangest of worlds. The will of the Imperium will not be denied.

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Ostium Guides – Part 1

We have suffered from loosening our roots in the natural world and loosing the sense of wonder, deepened intuition and perception that naturally occur when we see nature’s most extraordinary and beautiful phenomena. We are humbled by such glimpses of glorious creation and the mind opens, the soul becomes inspired at last.

– Mike Tomkies, Golden Eagle Years

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Finished at last; the first of my Ostium Guides ready to lead intrepid explorers through the twisting paths of the Albino Woods and into the heart of the Chapel itself.

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Divesting herself of all technology but for that which she can carry on her back she becomes one with the groves and glades of her forest home, attuning herself to its moods and reawakening instincts stifled by millennia beneath the Imperial yoke. Yet agents of the Imperium must beware for although she will not renege on a deal or break a solemn promise she does not forget the generations of persecution that her kind have suffered, or the horrors perpetrated against those of abhuman stock which drove her people into the forest in the first place. The wilderness has made her kind strong, and she will not risk her own survival for those who cannot rise to its challenges or heed its warnings.

 


Inquisition on Mortality – Part 1

What with one thing and another it’d be easy to believe I’ve forgotten about the Chapel and my intrepid band of Inquisitorial agents but I can assure you the truth is quite the opposite. I may not have blogged about them quite as often as I should have but do not doubt for an instant that they were always on my mind.

At last however, after considerably tinkering and tweaking, I finally have something to show for my efforts. Pending any major issues raised – and as ever if you see something that needs fixing you know where the comments box is – Inquisitor Morix of the Ordo Mors is ready for paint. Let all who would disturb the rest of the glorious Imperial dead tremble!

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The base itself also deserves a close up, it’s part of a set sent to me by Black Earth as a preview of their forthcoming range so thanks once again to Mark, both for this and for all his efforts to make the Chapel a reality.

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One of the things I was keen to convey with this model was the sheer bulk of a (relatively) unaugmented human in power armour. My own feeling, and there may be background somewhere that contradicts this, is that Astartes power armour will only ever work for a wearer with space marine physiology. A normal human, even one with substantial internal tweaking like Kor Phaeron or my own inquisitor, just couldn’t wear it – regardless of the fact that they’d be too small for it anyway. To put an ordinary human in power armour requires lots of adjustments, to both the person and the suit, before either is ready. Furthermore whilst space marines and their armour are both made in what is essentially a production line fashion and can therefore pick their power armour off the shelf each inquisitor will be different, with different needs and different levels of internal augmentation and implants, and as a result will require a custom suit. Not only that but whilst each space marine chapter has its own personal forges, armouries and thousands of specialist thralls dedicated to maintaining their armour an Inquisitor, particularly one who spends the majority of his time in the field as Morix does, needs something that can be repaired on the fly by pretty much anyone who knows which end of a spanner to hold (and has a basic grasp of the prayers needed to calm the armours fractious machine spirit). My intention was for his suit to appear industrial, as though it’s been built from some kind of void-armour or forge-suit of the sort that Terminator armour was based upon. The fact that it should also be downright intimidating for any heretics he comes across is a lucky bonus.

With this in mind I built a suit that relies more on its size and weight to provide both its protective and aggressive capabilities. This man may not move fast but small arms fire will ricochet from him like a hab-block wall and when he hits you you’ll know all about it.

By way of demonstrating Morix’s size and bulk here he is standing next to a battle brother of the Adeptus Astartes (recently emerged from the Dark Imperium box of course).

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And here he is towering over my lone Imperial Guardsman who remains my go-to guy for demonstrating size comparisons next to a normal human.

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Fans of the skelliebird that usually perches on his arm fear not, he’s flown off somewhere but he’ll be returning shortly. In the meantime I also put together a drone to assist Morix in his investigations, floating ahead in order to carry out any scouting or espionage he may require. After all if you’re as big and heavy as Inquisitor Morix you aren’t going to be sneaking up on anyone by yourself.

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Inquisitor Morix Convert Or Die (10)

I did try to give the drone arms so it could lift and carry objects it finds, rather than just providing surveillance, but as yet I’ve not managed to find a way to do that which doesn’t unbalance it. In the meantime here it is hovering next to its master.

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Skull-Crab

I’ve been a bit in love with the skull-crabs from Black Earth ever since they were first revealed, even more so since Mark was kind enough to send me some. It’s odd then that it’s taken me so long to actually paint one of them but hey, I bet you’re not perfect either!

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He’s More Machine Now Than Dwarf

Whilst some of the other Chapel participants are forging ahead I’ll admit that I’m progressing a little more slowly. However I feel quite justified in this, my aim is to make every model as good as it can be and if that means I work at half my normal pace then so be it! Anyway, don’t blame me – blame everyone else for making models that look so damn good!

Excuses made, I have found the time to assemble a couple more models as potential henchmen for the warband. Something I wanted to emphasis was the loneliness and isolation of my Inquisitor and for a while I even toyed with the idea of using no human characters at all (not sure the witch counts as human anymore I’m afraid). However I don’t want to end up with something entirely one dimensional with everything hanging on the central figure. I also played with the idea of making lots of undead skeleton-servitors but that felt like over-egging my inquisitor’s relationship with death to the point of cliché.

My latest scheme is dwarf servitors based on the Kharadron Overlords; vat-bred creatures created solely to serve the Inquisitor in his duties. In this way, hopefully, they’ll emphasis both his remoteness from the human herd he shepherds (these aren’t friends he’s made along the road but acolytes purpose bred to serve him) and draw attention to him as the central character of the warband by being so much smaller than him (more on that below).

One issue with dwarves in space is that they often end up looking like squats and, although I’ve no issue with the hairy bikers in principle that’s not the aim here. Hopefully I’ve managed to steer around it successfully but of course do let me know if you think otherwise.

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At first I planned to only put the heavy vents and exhausts on one of them but the second one looks a little unbalanced without it, especially with the large gun. Here he is with the exhausts tacked on but, pending any input to the contrary from you the readers, I think it will probably become a permanent addition, alongside some cabling connecting it to the gun.

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Recently I read a little about court dwarfs. Essentially these were individuals with dwarfism whose task was to sit near to the king and make him look bigger and more impressive than he really was. Although some of them wielded a degree of political power and influence (Jeffery Hudson for example was, supposedly, a captain of horse during the English Civil War, in spite of being 61cm tall and property) most undoubtedly had fairly unpleasant lives (apparently throwing the dwarf from one guest to another was a popular activity at formal dinners – although one assumes this led to terrible indigestion for guests and dwarf alike). Anyway, beyond the fact that owning people is never pleasant, and turning them into objects of display simply because they’re short is pretty disgusting, there’s no denying the idea would fit neatly into the dystopian landscape of 40k. I can quite imagine planetary governors and senior inquisitors having dwarfs vat-bred in order to increase their own appearance of stature, probably whilst simultaneously persecuting people with natural dwarfism for being mutants. With this in mind here’s the two new dwarfs alongside their master (and yes, I’m aware he’s not progressed much in the last month but the next bit is really fiddly ok!)

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I’m going to be away most of next week (but someone will still be in the house so don’t even think about burgling me to steal my miniatures!) so progress will slow once again. In the meantime however I’m all ears for your thoughts and feedback.


An Agent Emerges

It’s all been a bit flat out this week, between one thing and another, but I did manage to find a little time to kitbash another model for the Chapel. For those of you thinking “What? What’s this Chapel when it’s at home?” or who thinks I’ve joined some obscure religious order, take a look over at HeresyOfUs and all will be revealed.

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As it stands I’m not entirely sure who or what he is, or how he fits into the warband. I built him as a test piece for the henchmen (for the uninitiated – the rank and file of the warband). However his dynamic pose gives him the look of a specialist agent, even an assassin.

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I’m also rather fond of the head I’ve given him. Originally I only used it as a placeholder to be replaced by a suitable servo skull but I’ve come to rather like it. The question is; does it make him look too dead? I like the idea of the henchmen of the Ordo Mors being somewhat liminal; are they dead men artificially resurrected or living humans skull-masked to make themselves seem more fearsome? As with a servoskull I want to keep it a little vague on how much is just bone and how much is organic ‘wetware’. Does this head make him look too much like a straightforward skeleton, or even a comic book character?

As usual your feedback is appreciated, but with so many question marks hanging over this model I’ll be reading your comments with particular interest. Have at it!


Inquisitor Morix – The Beginning

Inquisitor Morix has devoted a lifetime to his Ordo’s cause and the weight of his years is an iron chain upon his neck. The whispers that reach him from his superiors on Terra tell of a terrible darkness gathering; of the dead going unburied across a thousand systems, of tomb worlds lost to the ruinous forces of the alien, of a terrible act of necromancy that seeks to raise a Primarch from his Emperor-given rest. His duty, however, lies elsewhere. Spirits are abroad within the occluded world of the Chapel, making havoc where there should be order. A ghost has no place spreading mayhem or disturbing the work of the living. The reward for a lifetime of righteous toil is the Emperor’s Peace – and those who reject such a boon must be purged!

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Right, here we are at last – a WIP model of Inquisitor Morix of the Ordo Mors, preparing himself for his journey to the Chapel. He’s still just tacked together at the moment, the big gaps under his armpits will need filled and there’s still some other greenstuff work to do, plus various inquisitorial widgets and flourishes to add. As ever however feedback is really appreciated, I want this warband to look the best it can so if you have any thoughts or suggestions I want to hear them. Do keep in mind though that some bits are still only tacked on (so for example in some of the pictures the head sits further back than intended – minor tweaks like this will be fixed as he’s finally stuck together).

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I toyed with the idea of giving him a scythe but discarded it as it seemed a little clichéd (just because Death is often portrayed wielding farming implements doesn’t mean everyone has to join in). Instead I thought an axe served to reinforce the idea that he is an executioner, dispelling judgment upon those who disrupt the Emperor’s peace regardless of whether they are living or dead. Death does not unburden the guilty!

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For the model itself I was keen to have him clad in power-armour, after all what venerable inquisitor wouldn’t want the best that money (or raw authority) can buy when it comes to protecting himself on the battlefield. On the other hand I didn’t want him to read too much as a space marine; partly for aesthetic reasons and partly on the assumption that their armour relies on all kinds of internal modifications linked to all the astartes organs, and simply wouldn’t work for an unmodified human.

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Thanks to Black Earth for the base. Now get that feedback off your chest and let’s see if we can improve him!