Aseneth Levedescu, (3rd) Cardinal of the Church of the Red Athenæum

Here’s a new brilliant model from Adam Wier for his Pilgrym gang. We don’t know even where to begin with this one, so lets just give the floor for Adam…

When first devising the Church of the Red Athenæum, a fanatical splinter of the Imperial Cult fixated on the Emperor’s physical sacrifices, I imagined a hierarchy that was visible based on their self-inflicted wounds. Initiates might only be missing a hand, while the older members of the congregation would have accrued more wounds as a sign of their increased devotion. I envisioned that the head of the Church, the Cardinal, would be so mutilated that they could not even walk, limbs missing, spine severed, riding atop an ambulatory throne. A crude mimic of the Emperor on His Golden Throne. Not sure of how to realize this vision, I set the character aside, and worked on the rest of the Church. With 9 other models built for the Church, I finally set out to build the last model for the immediate future. I present to you: Aseneth Levedescu, Cardinal of the Church of the Red Athenæum (3rd).

Cardinal 2Cardinal 1Cardinal 3Onto M42!

Little can be dredged from Imperial records of Aseneth Levedescu before she joined the Church. Her name and skill with a scalpel calls to mind a prominent Household of rejuvent chirurgeons, House Levedescu. Any connection, however, appears to be expunged from official records. A bureaucratic oversight, Inquisitional interference, or political maneuvering? Who is to say? What can be stated with certainty is that her induction into the Church of the Red Athenæum marked its adoption of medical precision as an equal to solemn devotion. Before her involvement with the Church, a ritually anointed axe and the Litany of Renouncement was sufficient to offer up a hand or limb. After her arrival, there was a dramatic shift to procedure and technology, characterized by autoclaves and antiseptics. The work was just as grim, for the suffering and the loss had to be real, but they would not longer lose their faithful to infection and sickness. This embrace of technology did not weaken the Church’s spiritual fiber, however. This was evident in Aseneth herself, as she would offer up more of herself with each passing year. But, as the Church teaches, a broken physical body does not mean a broken mind or spirit. Afterall, although the Emperor was physically ravaged, He was not defeated; His vision for humanity was not dulled. So the Church flourished, surpassing even those gains made possible by Ormond’s Order of the Crimson Hour. When Ormond’s tenure as the Church’s cardinal ended during the Red Hour (899.M41), Levedescu was quickly elected to the role. And thus began a new era for the Church of the Red Athenæum, one eschewing fatalism and demanding an active role in realizing an Imperium in the Emperor’s Vision.

I based the Cardinal herself on the Forge World Imperial Knight pilot, replacing the pilot’s head with that of a plastic witch elf. The head of the elf was heavily modified with greenstuff, reshaping the lower jaw and back of the head. I carefully trimmed out one of her eyes and added crease lines throughout the face to show Aseneth’s age. An iron halo helps support her head. I removed one of her arms and severed both of her legs. Finally I replaced her left arm with that of an Elysian Drop troop.

For her motorized throne I modified the chassis of a Kataphron destroyer, fitting on the command throne from a Warhound titan (a piece I never thought I would use, ha ha). Her throne was further modified with the addition of purity seals and votive candles. I added some fine bionic arms from the Death Korp Quartermaster’s retinue, giving her some added dexterity, something she is sorely lacking being bereft of so many of her limbs. I also mounted a speaker system and spotlight to the sides of Aseneth’s throne.

Any comments or suggestions for the model would be appreciated. I am still unsure if I want to do a little more work with the front of her throne.

-Adam Wier


36 thoughts on “Aseneth Levedescu, (3rd) Cardinal of the Church of the Red Athenæum

    1. Thanks! The conversion certainly took bits from all over the place, some pieces I never thought I would find a use for (the little reliquary on the back from the FW Quartermasters…). Glad it came together as well as it did 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Bloody brilliant mate, such a great concept and a fantastic conversion to boot. Really looking forward to seeing the church painted up! 🙂


    1. I am glad you like her face! When I knew I wanted an old, weathered female face, I knew I would have my work cut out for me, ha ha. I ended up using a DE witch elf for the base, so it required a lot of green stuff.


    1. I am happy you like the crazy contraption! I was worried it would look too much like the Mechanicum Destroyer model in the end, but ultimately I feel it is probably ok. Most of the Imperium’s technology is built on top of other STC technology.


  2. That is such a compelling work! I’m especially in love with the Cardinal being a female character that is not fan service. We need more scary older women in the Grimdark. It’s very inspiring and your writing is top notch.


    1. Yes! 40k needs many more scary, strong women. While they have be present in a lot of their Black Library novels, they are strangely absent from GW’s model range. I hope that starts to change, and when it does, I also hope they are not all just fan service models. With the Church, we really wanted to create a bunch of female characters, and not resort to molded breastplates and cleavage. I am glad you like the narrative elements too. We have written a lot more background material on her as a character, something we will likely share when she is painted!


    1. I thought the very same thing only about a year ago! It just takes practice and a vision! For the longest time, I simply filled seams and air-bubbles with green stuff, but slowly I started to try to do more, pushing myself a little more each time. I was amazed by what I was able to achieve, and am glad I finally took the plunge. So I would encourage you to give it a shot; I am confident you will be amazed what you can do! If you do not already, I would strongly suggest you get some silicon color shapers of various sizes. They make all the difference when using green stuff, even just filling seams. They were instrumental in my learning process. Good luck!


  3. I absolutely love it, Adam! You know, those plastic Mechanicum components will keep modellers going for years, the potential is vast. One of my (converted) Kataphrons is going to accompany a Deathwatch team as they explore infested mine workings, useful for its heavy lift capacity in clearing blockages (in “Overkill Investigatum”, a DO variant based on WHQ); another will be part of my “Cult of the Living Machine” under Inquisitorial scrutiny. Anyway, love the throne, the intelligent use of resin parts and the deft GS work, I can see you’re looking at that space at the front and thinking ‘what to do?’ just like a graffiti artist looking at a blank wall of concrete… the ‘votive candles’ is one of my favourite touches.


    1. That sounds like you found some excellent uses for those model; I certainly agree that they will be used for many years to come in all manner of awesome conversions! Some additional candles in the front might work well…


  4. Man, Adam, reading this great intro and how you built the Cardinal shows that you would be a fitting member of the Church yourself…excellent narrative and gorgeous model mimicking the Golden Throne itself.


  5. Beautiful! Her severed arm is now an ornamental relic. And the space for feet, in case of the Emperor would bless her with regrowth of lost limbs.


    1. Ha ha, yeah, most of the other members carry around their bones, we felt she should be no different. And yes, the Emperor expresses His Divinity in interesting ways. Possibly allowing the restoration of limbs lost in His name.


  6. She looks really great!
    I get the feeling that when she enters a room the temperature drops and a sense of dread fills the occupants. Like an oncoming storm..

    For suggestion, perhaps a banner on her or a banner bearer with the Churchs motif? And some cencer(?) bearers?
    Also, i think that an page (for lack of better word) who helps her change bandages, stitch her up and so forth would look good going with her!


    1. I agree, I think she is an individual who imposes dread despite being a feeble old woman 😀

      I like the idea of having a few retainers for her. We will have to consider that and look into building some at some point!


  7. Inspired repurposing of the seated knight pilot, but it must have been hard for you to lop off it’s excellently sculpted original head!


    1. He he, yeah it was a little hard cutting up the knight pilot, as he is a rather cool model. But in order to distance the character from the base model, it needed to be done 😀 I still have part of the head kicking around here somewhere, maybe I will put it to use one of these days!


  8. stunning work as usual – you have far more ability with greenstuff than you admit to – ive been messing with it for as many decades as it as been about but have never achieved anything worthy ………


    1. Thanks for the vote of confidence! Perhaps I do have an affinity for green stuff, he he. But still insist that the right tools go a long way, as I was not really having any success for a long time until I found those silicon color shapers.


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