Thursday, 3 January 2013

In the Navy... 40k Imperial Navy Boarding Party

 20/06/13 Update - the Lieutenant has had his bicorne resculpted to look more realistic and much less ridiculous... full post here



Update ends.

After a mere year of planning, the Imperial Navy Boarding Party are on the horizon at last. As almost half of my top ten searches are for Imperial Navy related topics, and my most read post of all time is my Imperial Navy Boarding Party planning post, it's definitely time for some proper content. The Navy chaps are intended for Zone Mortalis / Kill Team / Necromunda (rules) games.

Victoria Lamb prompted me into action. After seeing the heads and torsos of the "Tannenburg Fusiliers," I immediately thought the tunics were damn close to the GW concept art and the headgear was essentially a mid 19th-century to modern sailor's peaked cap.Why I didn't think of using Mordians before I don't know, perhaps seeing the separate modular components made something click in my slow, old brain.


These would be ideal for the largely 19th-century vibe I was going for. I'd long given up on using the Titan Crew for all Armsmen, as it'd be damned expensive. I still may get a couple and use them as the advanced boarders in "Void Suits" or some such guff. The rest of the armsmen can carry small repsirator packs/gas masks or something similar.

After placing a rather large order from Victoria Miniatures, I realised that I'd essentially inadvertantly plagiarised Col. Acklands superlative Praetorian Sailors. Hopefully, what I plan to do with mine will make them a little different, and I hope the Colonel doesn't mind too much :/

Anyhoo, first of all, the boarding party needed a commander.I had long thought that the Regimenatl Advisor Model was a little static. I had said im my original post that I had wanted to go for a "Nelson's Navy" approach, and that turn-of-the-century look. After scratching my head for a while I remembered the Kal Jerico miniature - his greatcoat with lapels was spot on. And he head the Judge Dredd shoulder pads that feature in the 40k concept art... With a bicorne, he could look just the part.


So that's what I did. Getting the bicorne the right size would be the tricky part. I decided to cheat slightly and use a Victrix French Officer's bicorne as an armature of sorts. After various bits of ham-fisted sculpting, filing and a slight cutting and filing of the top of poor Jerico's head, I got the bicorne to the right height and sat at roughly the right level on his head. I'm still concerned that it's a little too long though - let me know what you think.


Prior to sculpting the bicorne, I decided to give him a proper Napoleonic style stock/neckerchief, just to make him look slightly less obviously Kal Jerico and slightly more early 19th-century looking. I was rather pleased with how this turned out, the folds in the cloth looked just right. But being impatient, I started trying to get the bicorne sta right before the neckerchief had dried enough and managed to put my bloody thumb right on it at one point. I just about managed to save it, and hopefully it will look pretty dandy with a spot of paint.


I hadn't planned to make any realy changes to the core model, I pinned and glued the components in the standard manner, and removed the extra braids from his hair and gave his goatee a trim - but left the sideburns. To make him less Jerico-esque still, I thought an epaulet would be good. I wasn't originally planning to as he has the "Dredd pads" - but thought epaulet fringes would work. I've created a rank system inspired by the late-18th century Royal Navy (I like the idea of an epaulet on just one shoulder). So as a Second Lieutenant, he has one silver epaulet on his right shoulder. An Acting Lieutenant would have one on the left shoulder, a First Lieutenant has two. Something along those lines anyway, still ironing out the creases.


One thing that I knew at least one model had to have was a telescope. I've gather together various bits for this project, such as an hourglass for the Officer of the Watch (probably a Midshipman), keys for the Sergeant-at-Arms, a Flagellant's "cat-o-nine tails" for the Boatswain's Mate - and I'm planning to get the sextant from one of the old Empire Engineers for the second Midshipman. But the telescope was a given, I believe this one came from an Empire Gun Crew.


So, that's the first Imperial Navy Boarding Party member finished. Second Lieutenant Lefebvre. I was going to waffle on a little more, but I'll save that for tomorrow before I bore you all. But's here's a sneak preview of the Boatswain's Mate and the Sergeant-at-Arms....


The Sergeant-at-Arms (and the Midshipmen) get the Dress tunic, whereas the rest of the Armsmen get the Victorian tunics (nice white webbing reminiscent of 1860s US Marines), and those with shotguns get the armoured torsos (with groin guards...). The Sergeant-at-Arms gets keys (should have been 3 but one went missing...), my original though was he's a Marine, and would hold keys for prison cells - reading the Rogue Trader RPG supplement Battlefleet Koronus, it describes Sergeants-at-Arms carrying keys for the weapons lockers - so it all worked out rather well.


Now, the Boatswain's Mate is legless... (cue Tom Baker in Blackadder II) the green stuff work is a little rough and ready (it was supposed to look ragged though), but hopefully with the paint on it will all look okay. This was inspired by the Marc Lee art below, I believe these are supposed to be Armsmen but I didn't want mine to look like Necromunda Pit Slaves (I've written a bit of fluff to explain both, and uniform variations &c &c). So I thought a couple of senior ratings with bionics would do the trick (I doubt the oiks would get them).


Anyhoo, that's all for now. As well as all of this, it wouldn't be the same without one of my "fluffy arty posts." I've been intending to give a few of my Ratings some suitably nautical tattoos, and thought I would put together a chart of tattoos and their meaning in the 41st millennium, just as real sailor's tattoos had (and have) a particular meaning - a swallow meant that particular cove had travelled 5000 nautical miles, a turtle or Neptune meant they had crossed the equator, or a full-rigged ship meant they had sailed roun Cape Horn.... More to follow soon.

25 comments:

  1. Bloomin' marvellous - those models look absolutely superb. Don't worry about the hat, as I understand (or as I saw on Master and Commander :p) they look like they could be quite flamboyantly large. And it makes it very cinematic as well. Can't wait to get some games in with these chaps!

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    1. Thanks very much sir. If it was "anatomically correct" the bicorne should be a tad larger, but I just tried to get the feel right - when it was a more correct size it didn't look right. Thankfully there is almost endless variations available so I can excuse it that way :P Very much looking forward to some games too!

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  2. Awesome stuff, man! Love the repurposed Jerico, the bicorne looks ace!

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  3. Cheers! Just needs a bit of a tidy, but wasn't sure if it was slightly too long - always really appreciate your feedback

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  4. really liking these. looking forward to seeing more of these over the coming posts.

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    1. Thanks very much, hopefully going to get most of the models finished in the next couple of weeks

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  5. Very nice conversion of Jerico. I wonder though, if the hat should sit slightly lower on his head, particularly in the rear?

    Looking forward to seeing more of these.

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    1. Thanks very much Lasgunpacker, it originally was lower at the back but by the time it had set it was a little further forward.

      I was fed up with it at this point to not mind. I 've now just trimmed it down a little and tried to get a little more of the leant back shape. It's not ideal but better than here at least. The position of his pony tail makes it difficult to lean it back properly and have it in line with the centre of his face.

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  6. Can't wait to see more of these fellows.

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    1. Thanks Chris, hopefully I shan't disappoint

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  7. O mate, Lt. looks fab! There's a cool pic in the Rogue Trader rpg core rules I think of some female Trader captain sporting a cool bicorn (If I remember correctly.) and this one looks just as cool in the same vein.

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    1. Cheers Dai, ah don't recall seeing that one, will have to have a leaf through next time I get my hands on a copy of the book.

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  8. Great to see this project again!

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    1. Ta very much Drax, or should that be Admiral on this post lol, hopefully I've got all the components I need to fginish it in one fell swoop now.

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  9. YES YES YES! LOVE IT! Certainly isn't plagiarising or stealing, just sharing of ideas which is what blogging is all about! You might give me enough motivation to go back and finish mine off.

    Jerico is the perfect miniature for it! I agree about the bicorne, it looks slightly too long. In some pictures that I have (depending on the exact period) the oval shape continued right to the edges- rather then curving out at the ends. The later period ones are not as high as the earlier ones as well. I think that if you just slightly tweak the curve at the back so it 'rounds' into the end it will be spot on. I think it is a pretty damn amazing job though. Very 'wow'ing. Now if only Curious Constructs could give us some bicornes to play with all the time.... wishful thinking.
    The crew are looking great too! Is that an old Necron leg?
    I can't wait to see more. If my latest order from Vic arrives soon I might post up what I come up with. I'm looking forward to use some of those shotguns.

    +100 XP and a free re-roll if you paint HOLD FAST on one of the sailor's knuckles!!!

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    1. Thanks very much sir, I'd love to see some more of your Praetorian naval types! The shotguns are really nice, I've given 2 out of 6 armsmen them, the rest have the equally nice Rifles.

      I've just tweaked the bicorne now, I've kept it closer to this earlier/continental style rather than the "crescent" as I wasn't sure how that'd look with Jerico's hair - god knows what he puts in it, it's bigger than his head. It's also off-centre so the hair would be next to the lower bpart of the bicorne rather than under it. I'm definitely going to try that more proper style on the next chap I make one for though. I might say that Jerico's, sorry Lefebvre's, is an older pattern and belonged to his father or something similar.

      Curious Constructs bicornes would be a thing of beauty, I'm sure there's plenty of people out there that would like Guard style shakos too - there's a line for Gravis there ;)

      It is an old Necron leg lol, I love the clunkiness of them. I got hold of a few especially, then whilst doing a bit of spring cleaning I found the Necron I got with White Dwarf 215 (I think) along with the scarab. Going to have to put that to use methinks. Also found one of the BFG Chaos Ships I built 12 years ago. That's now been refitted and will be taking part in games in the near future...

      Good god, I'll need a very fine microscope to manage that methinks. But I was going to try and do a HOLD FAST tattoo on one of them... maybe I'll try the back of the hands...

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    2. For all tiny black details I use a 0.003 fineliner pen. And leave it a long time to dry!

      Hold Fast would be genius!

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    3. That was something I really wanted to do and I think that may just be the way to do it - thanks very much sir!

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  10. I don't think my last post managed to convey how much I love these. So, just so we are clear - I LOVE THESE!

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  11. Great concept, I've been working on a similar idea since I saw the zone mortalis rules, won't you be having some wrench wielding ratings too? I must admit I was a little lazy with my conversions so I'll be keeping an eye on your blog for inspiration...:
    Indentured crew
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/73118285@N03/8137178443/in/photostream
    Armsmen
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/73118285@N03/8005970703/in/photostream
    Officer (much prefer yours now)
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/73118285@N03/6679383309/in/photostream
    The Gang
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/73118285@N03/8137124223/in/photostream/lightbox/

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    1. Outstanding work sir, as I said on DA, I really like what you've done with the Officer, more inventive than what I had planned.

      Look forward to seeing more!

      When the joys of being a final year mature student let up I'll post more of my stuff on here.

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