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His Loyal Subjects - a SW:A side project

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This thread is to mark my progress in a new side project I've recently started.  Actually, perhaps two side projects:  an Adeptus Arbites patrol team for Shadow War: Armageddon, and a host of civilian models for background or objectives in-game.


As a bit of backstory, a minor catastrophe struck my house last month.  I woke one Sunday morning to find my basement under water.  I didn't lose any belongings and my 40K collection was saved, fortunately, but the decontamination efforts necessitated the partial demolition of my game room.  So, over the course of a few days my usual work area went from this:




To this:




Everything is currently safe and sound in my garage or my upstairs office.  However, the lack of space forced me to put a hold on my long-term projects.  That lasted all of a month before I started to go mad with boredom.  I decided to launch this relatively minor Shadow War: Armageddon project to keep my hands busy.  I'll apologize in advance, as my usual painting and photography skills will be even more handicapped.


EDIT:  Adding a table of contents for ease of navigation:


Adeputs Arbites Patrol Team (Necromunda Precinct 265)

Civilians and Bystanders

Edited by CommodusXIII
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On to the work.
The first project is my Adeptus Arbites patrol team, pulled mostly from the out-of-print Rogue Trader/WH40K 2nd Edition line and supplemented with some newer models.  This is mostly due to my having watched Dredd three times in one weekend.  I actually had plans for a minor 40K army, but due to the costs and difficulty in finding enough models I think SW:A is the perfect venue.
I'll be using the Astra Militarum Veterans list to represent the Arbitrators.  I had bounced around that, Inquisition and Genestealer Cult for different reasons.  The Guard turned out to be my best option due to the prevalence of carapace armour and shotguns.  It lacks the ability to take characteristic weapons like riot shields and shock mauls (Inquisition Crusaders) or webbers (Genestealer Cult), so if you're thinking of taking up the Arbites your mileage may vary.  While my campaign hasn't yet started, for the purposes of this thread I'll be describing the models with my preferred "end game" equipment.
For my color scheme, I sourced inspiration from three prominent depictions of the Arbites:



Along with the reimagined take on Judge Dredd:



The fundamental colours being black armour with very dark grey fabrics.  Padding, such as knee or shoulder pads, is dark red.  Armour trim, if present, is dark brass.  Aquilas, skulls, and other decorations are a medium gold.  The overall theme being very dark, washed-out shades befitting life amidst the hab stacks and manufactorum of the hive.




The Proctor has been one of my favourite sculpts for quite some time, and it's great to finally have a reason to add it to my collection.  I went with a tan trenchcoat based on stereotypical images of government agents, and to set him apart from the dark armour of the rest of the team.  The shotgun (and shoulder pads of the later Arbitrators) is white for another bit of contrast.  In-game, he's a Veteran Sergeant with carapace armour, a shotgun and a backup laspistol.  The various pouches also conceal grenades of different types.
You'll notice that the Proctor and Arbitrators are on 32 mm bases.  I don't like when models' feet overhang the edge of their bases, and these models in particular were sculpted with rather wide stances.  I don't know if it's an advantage or disadvantage in-game, but I don't really care about that kind of thing.



Rookie and Probie are the go-to models for fresh recruits into the patrol team.  Fortunately, GW has kept their combat shotguns relatively consistent from these Rogue Trader-era models all the way through modern Space Marine Scouts.  That means that I can mix and match while keeping some visual cues constant to tie the team together.  In-game, they're Guardsmen with flak armour, shotguns and backup laspistols.  As these two gain experience, they'll transition to full Arbitrators and be replaced new models wearing carapace armour.  Their original models can then be recycled for the next round of recruits.



The bulk of the team are made up of the more iconic 2nd Edition models.  The standard Arbitrators consist of a single sculpt.  I know that that might be a bit boring, but I actually chose it somewhat on purpose after binge-watching Ghost in the Shell:  Stand Alone Complex 2nd GiG - the intro of which features soldiers marching down the street in formation.  I kind of like the idea of the stalwart Arbites holding fast at attention in the face of a rioting crowd.  In-game, they're Veteran Guardsmen with carapace armour, shotguns with red-dot laser sights, backup laspistols, and grenades.  I also have one Specialist with a grenade launcher, and may be adding more later on.
This project marks a major advancement from the painting style that I've been using for my Adeptus Mechanicus project.  As that was the first major work I've undertaken since my return to 40K, I wasn't confident to include the more difficult (at least, in my head) facets of miniature painting.  Namely - eyes, mouths, transfers, and bases.  This time, I'm tackling all of them and so far I'm fairly pleased with the results.



I owe @Carlson793 a beer for his work on the Adeptus Arbites transfer sheet, and I had them printed by Bedlam Creations.  The iconography is difficult to make out at this scale and beneath the wash, but you'll see the larger versions on some future models that are in the works.  Again, the white shoulder pad and shotgun help add contrast to the darkness of the model.  I gave the entire model a heavy wash in Nuln Oil ("liquid talent") to give it a dark, grungy look.  (I've been heavily influenced by Sean Patten's work at Necromundicon since I first fell into 40K.)
The Arbites shotgun is typically depicted as a pump-action over-under design.  As a firearms collector, that never quite sat right in my head.  I decided to model it as a more traditional (though quite a bit chunky) single-barrel pump shotgun.  The bottom barrel then forms the magazine tube, sort of like a SPAS-12 with a lot of extra bodywork.  These particular models have both a flashlight and a red-dot laser sight.



With the majority of the patrol team being multiples of the same sculpt, I had to find a way to keep them all straight.  I'd considered writing their character names around the edge of their bases, but my handwriting is terrible.  I also need a contingency in case any individuals are gunned down and have to be replaced.  Instead, I gave each their own unique number (1 through 6) on the back of their armour.  I found that the white numbers from the Skitarii transfer sheet were the perfect size.




The final regular member of the patrol team is their cyber-mastiff.  I'd considered the model from the Necromunda Enforcers set, but unlike the Arbitrators this sculpt was just too dated for my taste.  I also had the Forge World Enforcer model laying around, but I wanted something more mechanical and less organic - somewhat like how I picture the Mechanical Hound from Fahrenheit 451.  I settled on the CCLE-K9 from Wild West Exodus.  It's a little larger than the GW/FW models, but it still fits nicely.  In-game, it's a Recruit with carapace armour, camo cloak and chainsword.
So that's the full patrol team of 10 models.  Up next are some Special Operatives to provide a little extra oomph when needed.  I also have a rapidly-expanding population of civilians to start photographing, and will start posting them in themed groups.

Edited by CommodusXIII
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So cool, really wish I had bought the newer Arbites models from GW years ago - they're selling for like £60 a set online now :( I really like the colour scheme you picked and will likely do something very similar when I pick some up though I might give them red helmets because Dredd is awesome. 

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As with Reyner, I too wish I'd gotten some Arbites back when they were out. Gorgeous work on these, though. If I had one suggestion... maybe add some color to the Proctor's faceplace? As it stands, the black face is kinda getting lost between the giant gold eagle on top of his head and his trenchcoat, while it really should be the focus of the model. It's not so much a problem with the line troops, as they have the small aquila on their helmets to draw the eye, but it doesn't quite work as well with the proctor. That being said, it is a very minor complaint, and they still look quite good despite it.

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, what do you think about a two-tone faceplate? Something like this:


(credit to Reddit user /u/havocplague)


With a white faceplate rather than red?  It would link it with the white shoulder pad of the Arbitrators, and also set him apart from the rest of the squad.

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I don't know if this is helpful, but here, as a comparison, are what my arbites look like.




More pictures here: http://s15.photobucket.com/user/Dr_Ruminahui/library/Arbites?sort=3&page=1



Inquisitor Psychologis Ruminahui 

Edited by Dr_Ruminahui
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I quite like the idea of a couple snipers - I can probably transplant some Arbites heads onto Scout bodies.  The Arbites models are about Scout-sized in proportions (quite a bit heftier than Guardsmen of the same era) so it should blend well.



I repainted the Proctor's facemask per 's suggestion, and I think it turned out quite well.  It definitely sets him apart from the rest of the team.




I've also added a couple Special Operatives to provide a little extra support when needed.  I tracked down an old Stormtrooper to serve as a Tempestus Scion.  As with the Arbites, I've always loved this sculpt.  He'll fit in well as a SWAT-style heavy trooper.  I painted his gasmask white to blend with the rest of the team, and I was also influenced by the City 17 Metrocop from Half-Life 2 and the Section 6 officers from Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex.




I've really been looking forward to this next one.  The Astra Militarum list doesn't have any good way to represent the classic riot control Arbitrators.  The closest you can get are the Crusaders in the Inquisition list (storm shields, power mauls, and carapace armour) so if you want a more melee-focused Arbites team, I'd recommend that route.  However, the Astra Militarum list does have access to the Bullgryn...







Meet the Brute Squad.  I didn't like the dinky little suppression shield, so I gave him a slab shield to lug around.  I settled on Necromunda Precinct 265 as their functional group, with the transfers taken from the Cadian sheet.  You can also see the Arbites decals in slightly larger scale on his shield and back plate.


I now have about 20 civilians that need attending to, along with some miscellaneous items for the patrol team.  My work's not over yet...

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Agreed, Race, this is fantastic. Commodus, awesome work, really like the look of the Arbites.


I think you should model up some "promethium markers" to distribute in game appearing as beat up/bound criminal hive citizens who have been subjected to Imperial law.

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I think you should model up some "promethium markers" to distribute in game appearing as beat up/bound criminal hive citizens who have been subjected to Imperial law.

A huge part of the Arbites' fluff involves putting down cults within the citizenry with extreme prejudice, so I do have a few themed objective markers in the works. They'll also work well as captured characters for Rescue missions. I may need a mod ruling to make sure certain ones are appropriate for the B&C - I'll PM you when the time comes.

Edited by CommodusXIII
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The other part of this project involves a crowd of civilians for background detail or mission NPCs.




The first group is the Adeptus Mechanicus maintenance team for the promethium refinery.  It was quite a struggle to find models that I hadn't already appropriated for my AdMech project.  I picked these because I appreciate the Oldhammer style and their relative lack of offensive weaponry.  The adept in the center is from HITECH Miniatures, while the menials and servitors flanking him are from Ratnik Miniature's wonderful Astropolis range.

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Thank you very much!



The second group is a work crew of lay-operators. While maintenance is generally under the purview of the Adeptus Mechanicus, I would imagine that most of the daily operations are still the duty of ordinary (and non-ordained) humans. The model with the brazing torch on the far right is from Jon Boyce's (Return to) Colony 87 Kickstarter campaigns, while the rest are more examples of Ratnik Miniature's Astropolis range. I'm getting a lot of mileage from these two collections.



In particular, I enjoyed these two characters. I feel like I need a prominent No Smoking sign on one of my terrain pieces now. The guy on the right apparently won a set of combat boots off one of my Arbitrators in a card game. It's nice, unexpected details like this that pull this project into a cohesive set.



And then there's the itinerant pilgrim, Wandering Alexei, again from the Colony 87 range. He spent the last of his savings to book passage to this hive world, to follow the footsteps of his hero Saint Nunctus. Unfortunately, by the time his ship translated back into real space Saint Nunctus had been found a heretic and everything associated with him hunted down. Alexei now keeps a low profile in the hive, doing what good he can while avoiding the attention of the Ordo Hereticus.


Next on my bench: No hive could survive without a black market.

Edited by CommodusXIII
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Thank you, I'm doing my best to use a diverse palette.  It helps that I've slowly collected so many shades over the years!




This week's progress report covers the merchants.  The two on the left are from the Astropolis line, the next two are from Colony 87, and the one on the far right is from Scibor Miniatures.  Not only could they work well in the background, they could also serve as objectives in custom missions.  Rescuing them might yield additional points for the next mission, and accidentally killing them might have similar penalties.




I particularly like the water seller.  The sculpt itself is quite nice (as with the rest of the Colony 87 line) but it's also good to have some non-European influences in the 40K universe.  I'm always on the lookout for models that break these standards.


Speaking of which, the next group dives right back into the traditional 40K aesthetic as I take a look at the lowly clerks of the Administratum.

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