Primus Dissector Dorlov

Trusted and respected by the Exanimus to carry out pilgrym preparation procedures before they are sent to their final resting places. Dorlov commands hundreds of surgical servitors in the high-security underhive establishments, and rarely travels to the surface. Only when his expert advice is needed will he make the effort to brandish his holy decree and emerge from the laboratories..



24 thoughts on “Primus Dissector Dorlov

  1. Very nice – once again demonstrating the versatility of the Tech-Priest Dominus model and of the storytelling and character creation opportunities that can come from just a small corner of the Imperium (especially if that corner is Terra itself).


    1. You’re absolutely right. I will paint him for next weekend and you’ll see just how macabre a silhouette he casts compared to a normal human..


  2. A M A Z I N G !
    I love this conversion and the dissector theme is very intriguing
    And the carapace makes me think he could be seen as a sinister carrion bug. Very insectoid, very grim.
    absolutely fabulous


      1. np
        yea, and some ‘ardcoat gloss on the beetle-back could certainly enforce that theme.
        But I’ll leave that up to you and your way too high painting skills and taste:)


  3. Eric and Laurence have given the Dissector high praise and I agree entirely!

    A stalking horror… a macabre mix of the holy and the grimly practical, as an agent of the Sancti Exanimus he must appear to treat the pilgrymme dead with respect… purity seals and parchments, the outward signs of devotion. However, the larger parchment, held on with two purity seals, actually reminds me of a surgeon’s apron, a horribly practical piece of kit — as if the name and bladed and toothed claws did not tell us all we need to know about the ‘preparation procedures’ conducted in his laboratory… the poor pilgrymmes seized, some still living and torn to pieces, jewellery,fillings in the teeth prised out,the clothes cut up into little pieces (reliques ‘ex indumentis’) every tooth and hair, I imagine, taken for wigs and false teeth, augmetics and viable organs that might need transplanting stripped out for resale, the bones removed for reliques ‘ex ossibus’, the skin and flesh ‘ex carne’, the blood carefully drained off and hundreds of little cloths dipped in it ‘ex sanguine’. I imagine only a heap of the viscera that are of no value and would repulse the devotion of the faithful are actually buried, and even those could find their way to a dubious use…

    The Lady Novellis article mentions ‘exotic mutations’ being sought… I imagine for the collection of a Mechanicus Genetor studying aberrances (…up the close an’ doon the stair/ but an’ ben wi’ burke an’ hare, burke’s the butcher, hare’s the thief, knox the boy that buys the beefe.)

    Of course, the hundreds of surgical servitors will do most of the coarse work and a distinct idleness in the Primus Dissector, his only rarely ”making the effort” to travel to the surface to advise, perhaps, if some unusual wretch who has been captured needs… special attention, or is more valuable alyve than deade, is reinforced by the arms that seem oddly short for his height, so all of the ‘work’ is done by the servo-arms.

    The ‘holie decree’ reminds me very much of one of Laurence’s pictures in which a little twisted mutant carries a scrap of paper labelled ”Pontifex Maximus”. It’s the hypocrisy and greed of it — this little wretch may be utterly repulsive to the Imperial Creed but he has a powerful protector. With the dessicator there’s almost an arrogance to it… I imagine him coming up from his laboratories reeking with blood, sweat and worse, spattered with unmentionable things, coarsely and roughly handling the dead without anything more than a semblance of reverence, openly haggling over the value with Lady Novellis and wrangling over his ‘cut’ but preserved from all rebuke in the midst of his foul hypocrisy by this ragged scrap of paper held high on his staff — Behold! I have the solempne sanction of the Ecclesiarchy!

    I had no luck with the name ‘Dorlov’… Orlov is a Russian noble name meaning ‘Eagle’, which is rather ironic for one whose allegiance to the eagle-crest of the Imperium is purely nominal, but I’d like to see where the name comes from.


    1. You deserve a more thorough response but for now I’ll settle to point you towards the inspiration for the name, check out Fyodor Uglov 🙂


      1. A Russian surgeon of great age — and I imagine Dorlov is ancient, a creaking mass of machinery and withered flesh — and ironically very abstemious habits (teetotaler, cold bath every morning), which could not be further from the corrupt Dissector… though his augmentations will make him physically abstemious I imagine a cold miser’s mind, a sordid mind thinking ever of profit…


    2. The very notion of it is obscenely exalted, but Dorlov is actually most interested in Scientia Mortem, the study of what happens between life and death. He is only concerned with profit up to the point where it enables him to study. The living for him are fruit not yet ripe for picking, the dead are dreary fodder for his factory. In his laboratories subterraneus he is considered an artiste, someone with visionary skill for crafting inexplicable experiences out of human tissue..

      The bits about his ‘holie decree’, surgeons apron, and shor arms are amazingly prescient, this is exactly how I imagine this character is!
      Note also the oddly long-fingered hand hanging from under the apron. Could it be his own? Or a prized mutation? Even a Xenos body part on Terra? The blasphemy!


      1. Thank you… both for the high praise and putting me on the right lines… I can imagine his distaste for work he regards as money-grubbing necessity, ”dreary fodder” is an excellent phrase, combining his intellect and cold-heartedness… so he receives the dead pilgrymmes with contempt (servitor-fodder), the living pilgrymmes who are to go to the slavers or other mad flesh-artists with less interest than the dying — these are his treasures, a chance to explore the interim between this world and the next… I imagine he is partly paid in dying pilgrymmes, the exanimus content to take the body provided it is little the worse for his experiments. To refer back to the rhyme, he’s Knox rather than Burke or Hare…

        A scholar of ”Scientia Mortem” – may how much of it is really of any merit and how many of his ‘inexplicable experiences’ are Mengele-esque pointless mutilations? He would find the Golden Throne fascinating if the hidden knowledge of its failing has somehow worked down to him… an incarnate god suspended between life and deathe for millennia.

        That arm is fascinating — I should have to hold the model to identify if the staff-arm is bionic, and even that is no guarantee that it is not his natural arm as he could easily acquire more than two… as you say it is something blasphemous, mutant or Xenos, by its look alone as well as the fact it is more or less concealed… I look forward to hearing more.


  4. This is hauntingly beautiful Toni. A very fitting follow up on your sinister Lady Novellis! I can imagine those laboratories…

    His height is a great reference to Thistles last depiction of the Priesthood on the Celestial Stair too…Love the subtile reference to this Fydor Uglov.


    Liked by 1 person

  5. Toni, he is gorgeous. There is a whole new elegance to your work with this new group. You have really found some quite original ground and I am super curious to see how you paint them. Maybe stay away from reds completely to avoid the Mechanicus connotations? Some macabre theme of bronzes, bone and black? With hints of green and verdigris and ethereal blue. Cannot wait to see more 🙂


    1. Thank you migs! It’s a tough one, because the whole pilgrym project needs the models to fit into a greater whole. Should seem both a commanding and frightening presence amidst the pilgryms, but not from a completely different world.. Hints of green and verdigris could really enhance the surgical connotations.


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