Monday, December 3, 2012

Showcase: Inquisitor Lazarus Antrecht and retinue

Hey everyone, KrautScientist here. Today I would like to show you something a little different from my last to posts (showcasing my World Eaters and Traitor Guard, respectively): I would like to introduce you to the wonderful world of “INQ28”:

What the heck is INQ28?  I hear you asking. Well, basically it’s the GW game “Inquisitor” played at the 28mm heroic scale instead of its native 54mm. But why would you want to do that in the first place?

To understand what makes Inquisitor so special, let’s take a look at the somewhat “lopsided” 40k narrative in the mid-to-late 90s: Fascinating as the 40k universe may have been for yound tabletop geeks like us, you couldn’t help but wonder what actually living in this world would look like: Sure, there was the endless war and the huge armies clashing all the time, each with their discreet backgrounds, but at times, it really didn’t feel like a lived-in universe, but rather like something that was only there to provide a backdrop for tabletop battles and winked out of existence as soon as the battle was done — which, in all fairness, was probably the truth of it. It would still take a couple of years for authors like Dan Abnett to flesh out everyday life in the Imperium of Man. So we didn’t have all that much to work with.

But then Inquisitor came along, and suddenly it was possible to imagine the Imperium on a day to day basis. For Inquisitor is not a game of sweeping battles with thousands of soldiers: As the caption on the cover on the rulebook states, Inquisitor is about the Battle for the Emperor’s Soul, a shadow war waged in the darker corners of the Imperium, in the places in between.

And the world between the cracks is often far more interesting: Inquisitor’s narrative is populated by countless strange and fascinating archetypes, and the rulebook does a fantastic job of fleshing out some of these, while giving the hobbyist just enough information on some of the others to motivate him to get creative himself. Anyone browsing through the Inquisitor rulebook will quickly notice the wealth of narrative potential, with lots of little snippets of background and lore to pick up on.

So while had always been interested in the background laid down by the game, it was also played at the 54mm scale with very big, detailed models. And this is probably the reason why it took me so long to catch on: Those models were great, but they were all metal and there was only so much variety. As an avid converter of plastic models, I wasn’t too impressed.

And then I happened upon several websites advertising playing Inquisitor at the 28mm scale. Either by employing a hybrid of the Inquisitor and Necromunda rulesets called “Inquisimunda” or by just using the original rules and scaling them down accordingly. And suddenly, a whole new universe opened up: I could build characters for Inquisitor at a scale I was already comfortable with, using all the great bits from the Warhammer Fantasy and 40k lines. Or from anywhere I liked. I was immediately hooked!

So I absolutely HAD to build my own Inquisitorial retinues. It is the first of those retinues that I would like to show you today:

Let’s start with the leading man: One of my main inspirations for my Inquisitor was Phily Kelly’s Inquisitor Lichtenstein (from the early 2000s). So my Inquisitor was mainly an attempt of building an 28mm version of Lichtenstein (who, in turn, was based on the original Eisenhorn model). Here’s what I came up with:

Inquisitor Lazarus Antrecht is the leader of this particular Inquisitorial warband. He is seen as a radical and even a dangerous heretic by some of his more puritan colleagues. Still, there is a method to his madness: Antrecht has fought unbelievable horrors, and the terrible opponents he has had to face have forced him to often resort to fairly desperate (and radical) methods. But he is also rather haughty and self-assured, deeming his critics unworthy of any attention (which certainly isn’t winning him any friends…).

All in all, I imagine Antrecht to be the kind of magnificent bastard embodied by characters like Hannibal Lecter (only minus the killing and eating people part) or the eponymous Kain from the Legacy of Kain series (only minus, well, the vampirism…).

The model itself was built with parts from the Cadian Command squad. I also added a head from the Chaos Lord in Terminator armour (the equally arrogant and slightly amused look was a perfect fit), a CSM Bolt pistol and a sword from the WFB Warriors of Chaos to represent Antrecht’s daemon weapon.

Due to the fact that Antrecht has been forced to mainly work in the shadows, the members of his retinue range from slightly unhinged to complete freaks. Let’s take a look:

Magos Explorator Hiram Zeiss is an accomplished Tech Priest of the Adeptus Mechanicus and maybe the only member of the retinue whom Antrecht considers his equal. As with Antrecht himself, Magos Zeiss’ hunger for lost knowledge and dark secrets from the lost age of technology have driven him beyond anything tolerated by his peers, transforming him into an outcast in the eyes  of his order.

The model itself is based on a WFB Empire flagellant, with all kinds of technical gagdets added to represent Zeiss’ affiliation with the Mechanicum. The tattered robes make him look just a tad unhinged, though…

The fact that a tech priest is a member of Antrecht’s retinue means that the Inquisitor can rely on somebody to maintain a number of biomechanic constructs, among them Antrechts arco-flagellants: Enoch 451 and Molotov XVIII provide some (rather) dumb muscle – and suitably tragic backstories tp boot. Oh, and Molotov XVIII was named after Commissar Molotov, of course, to honour him as one of the most tireless advocates of Inquisitor played at the 28mm scale.

Both of the models use bodies from the WFB Crypt Ghouls, since their lean and emaciated look is a rather nice fit for the tortured frame of an arco-flagellant. All kinds of technical bits and weapons were added to represent crude surgical augmentations, implemented to make the mind-scrubbed flagellants even more deadly.

Klytus is yet another more brutish member of the warband: As a chrono-gladiator, he is doomed to a life of unending battle, with each moment spent fighting winning him more life. Antrecht rescued him from the slavepits of a hive world, yet the effects of years of crude surgery and steroid treatments mean the chrono-gladiator can never hope to return to a normal life.

The model is basically an Ork boy with a Crypt Ghoul head and a couple of additional bits. I quite like the fact that a different paint job is enough to make an Ork body look like something different altogether.

Ah, this guy’s an interesting case: Operative Sigma is a former member of the Officio Assassinorum, the Imperium’s dedicated corps of assassins. Sigma was sicced on Antrecht by one of his pursuers, but Antrecht, with a little help from Hiram Zeiss, managed to capture the mindless killing machine and imbue him with something very dangerous: a sense of self.

Based on a plastic Dark Eldar model, Sigma was my attempt to build something that resembled an Eversor assassin, using only plastic parts.

Elias Cobb is a mutant of diminutive stature, yet he is a gifted sniper and tracker, and a devout follower of the Imperial Creed. Antrecht rescued him from a life in slavery, and Elias is glad to repay the life debt by doing the Emperor’s work.

The model is based on a Gnoblar from the Ogre Kingdoms’ Ironguts kit. I added a new head, a Kroot hunting rifle and a number of bits to transform the model into a twist.

Every self-respecting radical Inquisitor needs a Daemonhost, and Zalambur is my attempt at channeling the sinister menace exuded by the original 54mm Cherubael model. I built the Daemonhost using mostly parts from the Crypt Ghoul kit.

The Mandalorian was basically a joke on my part (you’ll probably get the joke without me explaining it, right?). Still, since I rather like the model, I found a way of tying this Boba Fett-expy into Antrecht’s retinue as a coldly professional bounty hunter with a dark past.
The model was cobbled together from all kinds of Marine and Cadian parts.

And finally, Antrecht’s trusty servo skull Mercutio: Who knows what sinister stories lie hidden in this small guy’s past? Not me, certainly. Moving on ;)

Soon after I had built Antrecht, the character began to come alive and fill my mind with all kinds of ideas. So it didn’t take long for me to not only think about Anrecht’s allies, but also about his opponents. Let me give you a small sneak-peak:

The Brothers Galth
are bounty hunters extraordinaire who still have a bone to pick with Antrecht due to events in the past. Easily my most involved INQ28 conversion to date, these two were inspired by none other than Master Blaster (of Mad Max III fame).

Cluggan (the big guy) is based on the WFB plastic Nurgle Lord, while Augustus (the smaller brother) is once again a converted Gnoblar:

And then there’s this guy:

Inquisitor Erasmus Gotthardt, of the Ordo Hereticus: Once Antrecht’s close friend, he has sworn to capture the wayward Inquisitor and make him see reason. Gotthardt is a conflicted character, however, in that he cannot be entirely sure whether Antrecht is really a heretic.

The Inquisitor commands his own retinue, comprising such illustrious characters as the dishonoured Guard officer Esteban Revas or the Rogue Trader Iskander Gagarin. But that, as they say, is a story for another time…

In any case, as I have tried to show you, Inquisitor (28) is not just a game system, but a veritable treasure trove of concepts and ideas as well as a fantastic opportunity for rather unconventional hobby projects! The rulebook is readily available as a free download on GW’s homepage (here), and I heartily recommend you go download it at once, whether my rambling has made you curious and you want to delve into this thrilling and demented world yourself, or you’re just a fan of reading everything about the 40k universe in order to give your games more context. The original print version is also very much worth tracking down!

What’s more: Inquisitor as a game at both ranges is still going strong, being kept alive by places like the Conclave, the Ammobunker or Dakka and by people like Commissar Molotov, PDH, Jakob Nielsen the Spiky Rat Pack and migsula, to name just a few. And there are lots and lots of fantastic scenarios, character concepts and fanmade sourcebooks for you to discover (most of them at the places I mentioned above).

In case you are interested, my own exploits in this strange and fascinating universe have been collected for your viewing pleasure right here.

And you are always welcome to check out my whole blog at

This has been KrautScientist. Thanks for tuning in!


  1. The models are amazing examples of what kind of incredible conversion work can come from the inspirations we find in the artwork and story behind the games. I have always loved the Black Library books, especially the ones regarding Inquisitors because it reminds you that there is an imperium seperate from the Adeptus Astartes.

    Seeing your work here makes me want to do so many things. It makes me want to rally a group to build and play INQ28, it makes me want to convert all the orks I have into small-headed mutant freaks to make a "wrong turn" style army! The bottom line is that these minis make me want to do more! There may be an Inquisitorial Retinue in my future.

  2. Lovin the minis and all the fluff around conversions and nice paintjobs way to be creative!

  3. Mercutio the servo skull, believe it or not, is actually a small virus bomb that Antrech always keeps close (but not to close) by in case things should go tragically wrong.
    I really like your Boba Fett! Very tempted to make a little INQ28 warband now, thanks for the post.

  4. Great article and beautiful miniatures, KS! I really enjoyed reading through the Inquisitor rulebook, but the 54mm scale hindered any of my local gaming group picking it up. We play the heck out of Necromunda though, it seems like maybe trying Inq28 might be fun!

    Keep up the great work!

  5. Thanks a lot, guys!

    @ Eddie: Mate, that's a brilliant idea! That's just the kind of fethed up thing Antrecht would do ;-)

    @ Mordian7th: It was the same for me, yet working at 28mm really did the trick. Go for it, mate, I know you have it in you ;-)

    @ OST: My thoughts exactly! Oh, and I would love to see what you could accomplish building an INQ28 warband!