+ inload: Building Inquisitrix Barbari Kills +

+ Inquisitrix Barbari Kills +

'If you have good sense, you'll quietly put this book back where you found it and creep away. You'll find more questions than answers inside – and that's exactly what got me started pulling on a thread that led to this accursed rosette.'

– Preface to Inquisitor B. Kills' Comments, 1st edition

'If you find, written in my obituary, that I led a blameless life, look for the footnote. I'd like it made clear that I regard being blameless as an act of cowardice bordering on deviance. Every moral agent must make account for her actions – that is, after all, at the root of the Inquisition's mission.'

'Oh, and make sure that I'm buried with my boots and a knife – y'know, just in case.'  

– Preface to Inquisitor B. Kills' Comments, 2nd edition


+ Models of characters +

+ It's always tricky making a model of a character you like, and Kills has a healthy dose of humour and punky irreverence that makes her quite refreshing for this fairly po-faced setting. On top of that, quite a lot of the narrative of my little corner of 40k revolves around a scant few characters, of which Kills is one. Clearly I had my work cut out. +

+ When in such a situation, one approach is to call for back-up. Working out who your character works with is often easier, as this supporting cast can be much simpler archetypes – the medic, the soldier, the brute, the wizard, the bard. By making these, you immediately start to explore their relationship with the central character, which goes some way to cast light on the way you can portray them. +

+ Practicality and adaptation are keywords for Kills – what better companion to reflect that than a Squat? Coriolanus and Septival similarly serve to blend the Inquisitor in with the broader army.  These characters fill different spaces around the character, and start to fill things in by reflecting on her. +

+ For example, I initially toyed with having Kills in long robes, but the more I built her entourage, the more I felt she needed more of an action pose. The poncho suggested itself, and that became the keystone to the conversion. +

+ Regular inloaders might remember Brunski and Haim, another two followers. They have models sketched out, but I'm considering revising them in light of Kills' completed model. Keeping things flexible and fluid enough to respond to changes is useful. +

+ Anyway, once you've got an image in your mind, it's time to pick a model. You may be lucky and find something stock that requires only a little tweaking, but I really enjoy going all out on my Inquisitors (Unfortunus Veck is another example [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+]), and pushing my skills to best reflect the unique qualities of these exceptional individuals.  In particular, I'm very keen that these conversions fit two criteria:
  • They look unique – while parts might be identifiable, I don't want it to be immediately recognisable as a conversion of another model. Ideally, it should look like a model you could buy, rather than a conversion.
  • It gets the character of the figure across.
+ The results are below, so I'll leave you to judge whether I've been successful! +

+ The poncho is the most obvious thing here, and I think it is doing a lot of the heavy lifting in terms of composition. It adds dynamism and movement to an otherwise fairly staid pose, and creates a sense of drama; suggesting the pistol has just been whipped out from beneath it. Secondly, it reveals something about the setting: it has a frontier feel, like a cowboy or prospector. This is backed up with the heavy boots and practical all-weather clothing. Finally, it being blown up reveals a mass of unusual equipment and pouches, which speak to Kill's self-reliance and preparedness. +

+ Complementing the revealed pistol is the Inquisitorial rosette – Kills strikes me as the sort of Inquisitor who realises that by the time you reveal your identity, it's best to have a gun drawn too! I also liked the fact that the rosette would normally be hidden beneath the poncho; again telling us something about her character and methods. +

+ The pistol is a good example of hiding the provenance of something. The stock bit is from the Primaris apothecary, but trimming away the bells and whistles leaves it as a simple, stocky, brutal-looking handgun. +

+ It's worth noting that this is pre-greenstuff. It's been too hot to work comfortably recently, and in any case, it's sometimes nice to step back, consider the figure in front of you, and build a plan before ploughing on with putty. Having a bit of breathing space can help you see the composition more objectively. +

+ I'm tempted to do some hair; perhaps something asymmetrical, to distance the head from the stock bit. At the very least I'll fill in the hole left by trimming away the back socket; and likely fill in a couple of the boles in the poncho. +

+ Visible here, attached to her belt, is her extendable power maul. Besides being easily hidden, I thought this brutal club seemed much more in keeping with Kills' slightly punky character than an elegant sword. It's also a nice nod to the Gatebreakers, the army with which she is associated for this project. +

+ The book, I think, is an important prop – it stops her looking too 'combatty'. She is, after all, an Inquisitor (or Inquisitrix, to use her preferred appellation), and her role is primarily investigative. +

+ Overall, I'm really pleased with how she came together. The conversion work itself was time-consuming, but it's so satisfying when parts that you've identified end up working together well. As mentioned above, while I'm going to go in with some greenstuff, there's not nearly as much gap-filling and sculpting work necessary as I had initially planned for. +

+ For those interested: Van Saar upgrade head; neck and collar from Necromunda Enforcers, along with the maul and most of the pouches; Elysian left arm and hand; right arm is from a Frostgrave cultist, I think; right hand is from the Elysian Valkyrie passenger kit; upper torso and poncho from the Genestealer gunfighter character; abdomen and legs from a Blood Bowl Dark Elf linewoman; rosette is from the Luminark/Hurricanum kit; and the pistol, as mentioned above, is from the Primaris apothecary kit. +

+ Creating your own character +

+ If you're making your own model, you can, of course, buy everything new, but besides being ruinously expensive – the infamous 'wallet-bleed' class conversions – I find my creativity is channelled best by the challenge of limitations. Necessity is the mother of invention, after all, and starting to work with bits you already have will often guide you down a route you wouldn't otherwise have found. +

+ Most of the parts used for Kills (indeed, most of my projects!) are thus spares, left over from other projects. If there is a critical bit (like the poncho here), then check bits sites or second-hand swap shops as a first port of call. You are, after all, going to cut them up substantially, so a cheap, damaged model can be just as useful for parts as a new on sprue one, after a bit of cleaning up. +

+ Finally, it's worth pointing out that most of these pieces could be easily substituted for much the same effect. Dig through your bits boxes or have a chat with your friends – the Enforcer sprue was a swap with Ilmarinen, and the right arm came from a giant bag o' plague bits Lucifer216 kindly gave me, left over from his own Death Guard project. +


+ I hope that she matches up with your mental images from the colour text that's she's appeared in. I'd love to hear what you think. +


Suber said...

That's quite an impressive conversion work! I love her!

apologist said...

Thanks Suber. Really looking forward to painting her and her aides.