Friday, 25 April 2014

Ecce homo: Inquisitor de Lorme character creation

In my last post, I've been muttering about converting my bird-mask resin cast into an inquisitor character for Inq28. My initial idea was to make him some kind of semi-Astartes - what was partially caused by the fact that the initial sculpture was made for an (renegade) Astartes character. Fortunately, I've seeked advice at the Ammobunker and those wonderful folks there told that the Astartes thing is not a good idea. Instead, I was encouraged to make an old school homo sapiens sapiens character. In turn, a different concept was excogitated, as pictured on the following sketch:

Using a pair of legs from the GW's Greatswords sprue, some other bits and many layers of putty I was able to translate this idea into reality. Again, fellows from the Ammobunker were really helpful during this process.

The semi-biographical background of de Lorme is yet to be devised, but I'm going to list some thoughts below to help you better understand what it is all about. Some of these were coined by the members of the Ammobunker community.
First of all, he is a dandy; the mask and the wig are here for theatrical purpose rather than, for example, to cover some kind of deformation.
Obviously, he is rather a puppeteer than a fighter; that's why he is probably affiliated to the inquisitorial Ordo Hereticus.
His second name is Pantagruel. As for the first - I was thinking of Cyrano (as a kind of citation regarding the beak-nose). Cyrano is not really a name, but then again, mayhap it will become one in the next 38k years.
He's got a kind of aristocratic provenance. It is possible that he can trace back his ancestry to some semi-legendary person from pre-Imperial times (might be made up, though). Through millennia his family has acquired plenty of titles, mostly meaningless.
That's why his personal servo-skull basically serves two purposes:
Firstly, it is a kind of announcer that can list dozens of fancy titles and names, in effect introducing de Lorme to whoever is listening.
Secondly, the skull acts as a heraldic supported, carrying de Lorme's family coat of arms around.

This idea was an attempt to combine the characteristic type of Wh40k fandangles with the popular nobleman portrait composition with a coat of arms painted somewhere on the background (which in turn looks a bit like if it was hovering).

His right arm is a mechanical prosthesis.
The orb in his right hand is suppose to be a reference to two things. Firstly, it's form is based on the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch from that marvellous movie that we all have watched more than once. ...And Saint Attila raised the hand grenade up on high, saying, "O LORD, bless this Thy hand grenade that with it Thou mayest blow Thine enemies to tiny bits, in Thy mercy." The idea was coined by Jeff Vader from the Officio Convertorum. Since the orb he's holding now is a bit rough, I may swap it for the one from GW's Black Templars conversion bits.

Secondly, the grenade is there to show a kind of attitude that de Lorme sometimes use to deal with other people - in other words, it's a "give me what I want or I will blow up the whole place" type of attitude. This may be considered a reference to the Return of the Jedi or to the Dark Knight movie. This kind of action may be a sign that de Lorme have the nerves of steel or rather that he is just insane. It is not yet clear to me which one is "true".
In the other hand, he carries a walking stick - which is there to complement the dandy idea. The cane itself is made from a kind of thorn tree. I was fully convinced to that idea only after finding a similar motive in one of John Blanche's pieces from the Emperor's Will artbook. That being said, the initial idea comes from the old cRPG Planescape: Torment, where the protagonist came by a mysterious plant with thorns that could be somehow miraculously reshaped with thought. It is yet to be revealed if de Lorme's walking stick has this kind of unnatural properties.

So far I have no idea how to paint it. On the one hand, I am tempted to use a limited palette of colours, peat brown, red, burnt sepia etc. On the other hand, the whole dandy idea just cries for a plularity of vivid colours: blue, purple, yellow, violet and so on.

Moreover, I'm interested how those fragile copper wires on the servo-skull are going to behave. Transporting this miniature anywhere outside my flat is going to be a real fun! Nevertheless, I'm looking forward to it.
I hope you like the miniature so far. Thanks for reading and till next time!


  1. Incredible looking work with your Inquisitor! He is just oozing with character. I love how you went and sculpted all the stuff there were not clear pieces to kit bash.

    The servo skull holding his heraldry is a marvelous addition to the model. I really like the crown he has in your sketch. Any thoughts of adding one to the actual model?

    The thorned walking stick is awesome (as is Planescape: Torment) both in concept and execution.
    It is hard to say about the colors you should use when painting him. I think I would lean more towards the drab dark tones.

    Keep up the great work.

    1. Hey Adam, thanks!
      The crown on the skull was a link to the European heraldry. I've decided to not use it for two reasons. Firstly, I was not sure if it fits the 40k fluff. Secondly (and probably more importantly), I was rather sure that I won't be able to sculpt/scrap build it neatly. Perhaps I will try to use this idea in the future, when I figure out how to make little ornamental things from plastic card without the clumsy "glue is everywhere" effect. I was thinking of doing a stand-alone heraldic servo-skull someday with even more heraldic details - like mantling or a motto on the scroll. I may actually do it, since I'm a sort of heraldry geek.
      I'm glad you like the walking stick. Do you think I should paint it black (like the plant from Torment) or brown (like in JB's painting)?

    2. I understand your reasoning about the crown. I feel it would be pretty tricky to get everything nice and uniform at that small scale. About the clumsy glue everywhere notion, have you tried using Tamiya Extra Thin Cement? It is a really thin glue that comes in a glass bottle and is applied with a little brush in the cap of the bottle. Capillary action along with the brush helps get the glue where you want it due to how thin it is (much easier to control glue application). Maybe something like that would work?

      As for his walking stick, I would lean towards making it black, but brown would work well too.

      Having enjoyed your blog for a while now, I would like to nominate your blog for the Liebster Award! Hopefully it will help bring new readers to your blog. You can find more details about the award here:

      I know going through all of the steps for this award are a little tedious, so I understand if you choose not to do so!

  2. A wonderful model, with excellent execution. He feels immediately 40k, yet there really are not models anything like him in the current Games Workshop range.

    The little servo skull is a nice touch, fitting the rather bizarre character that he is. The staff of thorns is a great touch too. And it must be stated that Planescape: Torrent is a fantastic game, probably my favorite I have ever had the chance to play, so filled with captivating ideas and themes. And hearing (and seeing) the inspiration come into form on the model is truly a joy to behold. I have been throwing around the idea of making a whole Inquisitor warband to represent all the characters from it, he he.

    He has a very nice base too. Hell I could keep going on, but I will cut it here. I cannot wait to see more!

    1. Hey Eric, many thanks again!
      Planescape: Torment inspired retinue seems like a really nice idea! Some motives from Planescape should be translatable into Wh40k very easily - especially if you consider the similarity between the Warp and the Planes. Actually, I have installed the game itself while making de Lorme, just to get some inspiration.
      It would be great to combine Inq28 role-playing experience with a flavour of the Planes - maybe by setting the story in the Warp? Seems like a good idea for all those heretic retinues out there.


Thanks for reading! I would appreciate, if you would take your time to share your thoughts and opinions via comments. Cheers!