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:
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!