The Brotherhood of Between the Bolter and Me has produced one of the most original and elegant conversions ever posted on sleet for their Pilgrym group. Over to Adam.
Over the last few days I have been working on creating my headless mercenary Roland (who is posing as a missionary for the Church of the Red Athenaeum, but is a agent for Inquisitor Molnar, Ordo Mechanicus). He is still work in progress, but I wanted to show some pictures to get everyone’s thoughts and suggestions. Since he is posing as a warrior priest/missionary, we thought that he would be armoured much like Church’s armed force, the Order of the Crimson Hour. Although the Order is modeled after the Adepta Sororitas, they will not have power armor (the Church would not have those kind of resources), but more practical tactical gear.
We ended up deciding the general armour for the Order, and therefore Roland, would be based on the Death Korp Engineer models (nice genderless body armor), with robed legs from the Empire Flagellants. To fit with the Church’s desire for its members to have ritual wounds, and Roland’s warlike ways, we decided to give him a partial bionic arm. We were thinking that while the most fanatical members of the Church do not like to use bionics to fix their ritual wounds, the Church as a whole has gotten somewhat lax on the issue. To maintain their fighting effectiveness, most members of the Order of the Crimson Hour, for example, replace their severed hand (a requirement to join the fighting Order) with a bionic one.
We wanted to make Roland’s submachine gun look similar to a Thompson. Finding small weapons is somewhat difficult in the 40k range, so we ended up using an Arc pistol as the base. To it we extended the butt of the pistol and added a stock. We also replaced the small drum magazine with a straight one, and did a bunch of green stuff work to make it more convincing.
Roland lacks a conventional head (lost in a prior engagement); his brain was transferred to an armored case that is fitted to his back (used some piece from a Kataphron Destroyer servitor). Although without a head, his neck is still intact, although it is covered in an armored sheath, to protect the remnants of his spinal cord. This was also important to give some visual clue that his lack of head was an intentional modeling choice, and not just lazy modeling (ie. simply leaving the hole where a head would be placed). I am in the process of adding various sensors that are connected to the brain, allowing him to interact with the outside world. The first thing I did towards this end was add some targeting lenses and other bionic optics to his shoulder, which is attached to his brain via a thick armoured bundle of cables. I will likely add more apparatus like this too him as well.
When thinking about how Roland communicates with others, we go the idea that maybe he could have some form of companion that was linked to him that served as a ambulatory vox-caster. We found a little owl in the Wood elf Dryad kit and thought it would be perfect. A speaker grill was recessed into its chest and one of its eyes was converted to be a bionic one. The vox owl seemed a fitting companion for a missionary, allowing him to project his fiery sermons. But its true function is to serve as a messenger and and spy for the Inquisition. The bird allows Roland to keep closer tabs on the Church, and allows him to easily transfer information to Molnar’s other agent on Terra. We still need to determine what to perch the owl on, allowing us to base it. Initially we were going to have it attached to Roland, but we decided against it because we thought it might detract from Roland himself. Currently we are thinking of perching him on a wooden sign post (like in some of Thistle’s wonderful artwork) or a weird tree of sorts.
We have also been thinking about adding some manner of vox/speaker directly on Roland, so that he does not rely solely on the owl. And while we could recess some speaker grill somewhere on the model, we also considered putting it within a skull that is suspended ominously above his head. This skull would not be any old skull, but in fact his own skull, reconstructed from the bone fragments after his injury. Our thought is that he carries his skull around as a reminder of where he has been in life and where he is going. Normally, when working as an official agent of the Inquisition, he would not brandish the skull, and just keep it somewhere on his person. But to play up his role as a zealous missionary, allowing him infiltrate the Church of the Red Athenaeum, he displays it as a solemn reminder of one’s mortality and to help incite fervor in those he addresses Also, many members of the Church carry around their loose bones from holy wounds they inflicted on themselves, like carrying around the metacarples of a lost hand, or long bones of a limb amputated in the quest of feeling the Emperor’s pain. This idea might be a little overboard and crazy, so we wanted to know what people thought about it, and if it is worth pursuing.
– Adam Wier