Thursday, August 8, 2013

Inq28: The Finished Inquisitor and Retinue

Holy crap on a pogo stick, has it really been a week and a half since Games Day? Getting my boy ready for his first day of Kindergarten, work and some extensive hobby studio organization (a post on that later) has made time fly by! My apologies to all for the delay in getting these final photos of the finished product taken, up and online.

While I already mentioned I didn't make it off the table, I'm okay with that. I'm happy with what I accomplished in six...yes six...days. And even better yet, I was able to connect with some friends, who also happen to paint so much better than I, who were extremely helpful in critiquing my entry. These guys truly gave me some serious insight on what I could have done better, and even how to improve the entry for perhaps a reappearance in Crystal Brush next year. I cannot thank them enough.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again; do not hesitate to ask a fellow painter for advice, no matter how well known they are. Every single painter I have ever asked for advice and constructive criticism has been beyond courteous, helpful and become someone I look forward to seeing each time we all get together.

On to the pictures!

I think I need to get a new camera...or just use my phone like I did at Games Day...

So let me know what you think! The only thing I ask is that you be constructive in your comments. Not because I don't have a thick enough skin to take it, but because anything else is just disrespectful and uncalled for. Of course, I've never had an issue with that here!

- Tim



  1. Well, you're a much painter than I am, so my feedback will not focus so much on the painting (which is very good), but rather on the overall conception and composition, which, in this case, I think is equally important:

    I won't judge this as a painter, but rather as an INQ28 aficionado, and seen through that lens, I think your retinue is just a little too, dare I say it, conventional: Hereticus Inquisitors to me are dark and medieval fanatics, with retinues of sinister zealots, rake thin penitents and barely human, shrieking arco-flagellants. You get the picture. There are certainly hints of this in your piece: The Inquisitor looks especially fire and brimstone, with his chainmal, arcane trinkets, candles and holy scripture. The Magos is also brilliantly creepy, and the enforcer has lots of character. But the troopers, well executed as they are, are just to faceless and uninteresting, if you ask me. The sniper is great again, because he seems eclectic and grimdark enough. But overall, an Inquisitorial retinue should be all about character, about eclecticism, about the kind of character lurking in the background of John Blanche's artwork.

    Now don't get me wrong, the fact that you managed to churn this out in six days is simply amazing, and I certainly couldn't have done it myself. But maybe more time would have given you a chance of including more interesting characters and less "generic" stormtroopers.

    Another thing is that I don't believe the basing/display board style was such a good choice: For these grimdark, clock/diesel punk style models, something representing the dark and dilapidated underhive might have been a far better choice: Rusty machinery, blistering paint, rubble and ruins -- you get the idea.

    Again, much of this probably had something to do with the strict deadline. But all in all, and I feel seriously bad saying this, while your entry had some brilliant elements (the Inquisitor, Magos and Enforcer, above all else), I just don't feel like it's an ample representation of your abilities.

    I hope you won't take this the wrong way. I would really like to see more Inquisition-related stuff from you. And I love your work. But next time you choose to tackle the Inquisition, give it a little more time okay ;)

    Hope this hasn't been overly destructive, mate! Looking forward to your next update!

    1. Ahahaha!! See, I knew I'd get a completely different review from you on this squad!! And one I was looking forward to getting/hoping to get, I might add.

      I can't disagree with you in the slightest on the impression that the stormtroopers give in relation to their 'employment' by a Hereticus Inquisitor. Originally, the Inquisitor at the head of this bunch was supposed to be of the Xenos branch, there was going to be a Tau Ethereal advisor, etc, so on and so forth. However, the time I had available forced my hand to including what models I either already had, or could easily finish prep on so I could paint them. I whole-heartily agree that the story-based composition on this group is lacking, and greatly appreciate the critique on that aspect of the bunch, when no one else really has :)

      The basing was another aspect that I have received advice on, but from a color/contrast perspective, not a story-perspective like you're giving. I hadn't thought about an underhive feel, and I have the pieces to make one. Good call on that!!! Again, however, I have a 40K gaming mind still, and not fully an ING28 one, so I based these models inline with my Grey Knights, so they could also do double-duty as an actual playable retinue and HQ in my army, so the basing in my mind was chosen for me :P I need to not let that hamper the creativity and story I'm trying to portray in the future.

      You're right. Overall, a lot of the choices I made for this squad were made because of strict deadlines. Heck, the Sniper is the model I use for my Vindicare in my Grey Knights as well, just touched up and made better, paint-wise. I wanted to have a fully kitted-out and converted Retinue worthy of the Inquisitor. Compromises were made, and I'm okay with that, but yes, compromises were most definitely made.

      I promise you that next time I give the Inquisition my attention, it will have the attention it deserves :)

      In no way do I think your comments were destructive at all, and I'm very happy and thankful for the time you spent truly giving these models of mine your full and honest opinion and critique! No worries, my friend :)

  2. I think it is all very impressive given the time crunch, and the detail on the fleshy parts is great. I also think the diorama and model positioning was really well done. My only 'gripe' if it could be called that, is that the paint looks somewhat flat. This could be due to the picture quality or maybe a mat varnish that was applied?

    1. Nope, you hit the mail on the head there for the largest critique of all the folks I had look at it so far, Josh. The paint is flat in many areas. Unfortunately, I with I could blame the camera OR a matte finish.

      What I can blame is my failure to push the highlights. I've got depth in shadows and a good transition to the midtones, but I'm lacking in pushing the highlights to fully realize most of the colors. The worst of this is the black armor of the Storm Troopers.

      I am happy with the flesh tones though!! :) I have some points of improvement from some Demon Painters from Games day on that as well, but still, it's some of the better points of the painting :)

  3. I'm far from qualified to criticise, your painting far outshines my own abilities. Though I will agree with KrautScientist in that the basing could probably have been a little more topic appropriate.

    Personally I love the detail and shading of the faces of the two baldies. I think were you to have had longer than that crazy 6 days to finish this, you may well have been able to add further detail, like stubble on scalps, etc.

    Otherwise, I will be back to see what other, more qualified peoples have to say. Will be interesting.

    1. The compliments and critiques are both appreciated :) Oh, had I the time, stubble would have adorned the Arbite, and the Inquisitor would have had a tattoo on his head...the mastiff was going to have a brand as well!

  4. Your skin is fantastic. Your reds need some definition and some pop to them. I would use something other than washes for shading the red, try using a blue/purple and blending the paints like Mr. Fontaine taught us years ago. For this level of competition your metals need more definition.

    I do think you've come a long way with your painting skills in the past few years. Just keep practicing and you'll be there in no time.

    1. LOL..yeah, you picked the use of washes right out there, didn't you? That was a shortcut taken for time's sake, but yes, I did have the want to do it properly :)

      The metals I have some ideas on how to bring out their definition better, I just need to try it a few times and refine the process.

      Heck, for the level of competition that is out there right now, everything needs more attention and definition.

      I'm sure I'll get your in-person impressions as well :)

    2. Also, before people get the impression I don't like what you took up to Games Day... your conversion work is largely unbeatable by most. People who scratchbuild everything like Orteza have a leg up on you but your conversion work is some of the best out there.

      Now we just need to bring your painting up to the same level. I know it's possible. You just have to take the time to practice (I know... pot... kettle... black).

    3. My painting definitely needs to do justice to the work I put into the conversions and my limited sculpting skills, agreed. I do indeed need to do a touch of honing the abilities of the brush.

      And I wouldn't say anyone would get the wrong idea from your least they shouldn't. I asked for honest critiques, and constructive ones. that's all I've received. :)

  5. Not wanting to belabour the points already raised above, as these are cracking minis mate, but as you said in your reply to Kevin, compared to what I saw from the various GD coverage articles, these would need a bit of a step up to compare in competition - at the moment I think these appear at game standard + .

    As a couple above have already highlighted (and it reads like you have already discussed it with others away from the blog) there is a lack of depth to some of the reds and other primary colours which brings down the overall appearance.

    And per KrautScientists comment, although I think the basing you have used ties in well to the display base, the wealth of other Inquisitorial warbands popping up around the net immediately draw my mind to think of underhives and other mechanical/techy locales - again more a result of the dearth of other blogs pushing out figures for this subject matter area sharing that common basing theme. Seeing yours on open ground generated a mental clash in my minds eye.

    Still, it is a suberb effort for 6 days, and as always, sharing your work on this blog has generated discussion amongst the community, and for me at least, has me contemplating like projects - I love the idea of Inquisitorial warbands and love seeing other peoples takes on them.

    1. See, Frothing Muppet, this is what I mean by constructive criticism. THIS is what is needed for everyone to improve and further their skills. Thank you :)

      I wholeheartedly agree that in the scope of comparison, even to my own previous entries in the past two years, i dropped the ball. Or more accurately, I picked up more balls than I could handle at once. I just bit off more than I could chew…

      …let's see how many more cliches I can come up with for this…

      In all seriousness, I was bound and determined to NOT enter the same category I've entered int he past, and that stubbornness got me in over my head for the time I had available. While I am pleased with what I've gotten accomplished, and not disappointed in any way (which is actually surprising to some extent), Comparing it next to my Bugman figure entered last year, I can just see the glaring points of lacking detail, depth and more.

      It's okay though :) I've got a lot of great feedback from there and here, and the only disservice I could do is to not take it all into consideration on my next project. Since I won't let that happen, it's all good.

    2. I'd say stick to single fig or diorama. Something easy to focus on while still keeping small in scale. I know the single fig stuff is usually the more difficult category, but I think you'll hone your skills faster. Also, it will be more meaningful when you do win something :-)

    3. I think I'll be going single fig and diorama both. 40K and Fantasy both for the single, diorama most likely only 40K. we'll see how it goes. focusing so will definitely help increase the skills. :)

  6. Late comment, but are those space marine scout legs used for your stormtroopers?

    1. Okay, for some reason my reply posted as a separate comment :P. See below :)

  7. Why yes, yes they are :). I took off the belt portion completely, as well as shaved down the cod piece so they didn't all seem so well endowed :).