Creating A Retinue - Conversions Or Not?

Looking over the Games Workshop website, in-between moments of rage at how clunky the interface is, and mourning the loss of so many Specialist Games models, I was reminded that their are still a few models on there that I like and that would look good in INQ28. I'll go into the specifics of which models in the next post (when they'll hopefully have arrived from various places), but before that it makes sense to talk about what I'll be converting, what I'll be leaving alone, and why. But first, avenues of purchase.

With GW having cleared its virtual shelves recently, as well as the run of the mill removal of models as they are replaced, there are more than a few models that I remember fondly that are no longer around other than via eBay. There are of course still some older models on the webstore that I like, but there is a trust issue there. Many of the models have a number of variant sculpts, and with GW being unable to guarantee which model will be supplied I am once again forced to eBay, where you at least get a picture of exactly what is being offered (remember to check you're getting backpacks etc though). So when I know it's just the one model I'll be going via GW, if it's up for debate, or I need something rare, it's time to search the webs.

My thoughts with an INQ retinue is that they're meant to represent the grimdark of the game not usually seen on the tabletop, amid the shining armour of the Marines, and the clean uniforms of the Guard; to bring to life what's in much of the artwork and background.

There are some models that do capture this right out of the blister, and I'm debating if I should alter them. While this is something to be taken on a model by model basis, there's some merit in establishing a few rules of thumb, both for converting and buying.

The most obvious models to leave alone are those older models that I really like or that I've always wanted. There's also something to be said for not touching models that are rare/difficult to get hold of. If I'm interested in them it's because they're good models, and they're going to be better left unmolested by cutters. No hacking up Escher Heavies with plasma guns for instance, both for being a lovely model, hard to find, and expensive when you do.

With one exception I can think of I'm going to try and divide things like this. Models that are used unaltered will be used as NPC's and the like, or simply extra bodies. For my actual retinue(s) unless a model demands to be used because it perfectly fits what I want to do with a set of models (or more likely is the genesis of an idea for a retinue) I'll be using converted models. The reason for this is twofold. Firstly to emphasis the grimdark nature of 40k, which is something that will only really come out through conversions. Secondly to make the retinues unique to me. In a game where narrative is so important, I don't want my models to come face to face with their doppelgängers (at least without some sort of solid story in place).

That said about conversions, a brief note about materials, mainly the difference between metal and plastic kits. Metal is a pig to work with, and I'll avoid having to alter it if I can. That said I'll take it in preference to Finecast. Plastic is a problem as aside from the (admittedly gorgeous) hero kits, it means regiment sets, which means a lot of spare parts. I'm going to have to be careful deciding.if I'm going to buy full kits or surfing the web for bits. Buying bits is overpaying for parts, so I'm going to have to plan ahead to avoid getting more from one kit than the value of the kit is worth, or conversely buying a kit and only using one part. I'm prepared to pay for the model I want, rather than settle for using other parts though. That said, I'll be making an effort to use parts I already have, so swings and roundabouts. There are one or two kits on the wishlist to fill out the bits box in their entirety, and I'll run those down in a later post.

Talking of the parts I'm debating using third party bits, and leaning against it. INQ28 is a loveletter to the story and style of 40K, and it seems that using someone else's parts goes against that. While other bits are getting close, there is a style to GW's models that is still somewhat unique, and that's part of the whole thing. There are some things GW is lacking though (none stripperiffic female bodies being number one on my list), so I may need to go elsewhere for somethings, think outside the box for GW sources, or try to improve my greenstuff skills.


  1. I find that Fantasy provides some great options for inquisitorial agents, especially kits like the Empire Free Company box. And of course throwing in the random Catachan kitbash and Necromunda model rounds out the retinue quite well.

    Fingers crossed that this rumored new 28mm boxed edition of Inquisitor actually materializes in October, and we might be spoiled for options.