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Vox Stellarum: A Future In Ruins [Combat Archaeology]

Ryltar Thamior

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I'll keep it brief. This is a bit of a spin-off from my Thorians, and the ongoing series of linked efforts that Umbral and I have been putting together. The basic idea is a force of Combat-Archaeologists, scouring tombs, abandoned facilities and buried labs for their Inquisitorial[ish] masters. , Chronologically, it'll be set after the Adamantia / Adamanticores efforts by at least several centuries (so maybe M.39?); perhaps roughly contemporaneous with the Worlds Wide Webway [although time flows .. differently there, so who knows]. 


From right to left, an entry team leader, a young devotee, and a servitor equipped with a mining laser. 

The entry team are, as the name implies, the first personnel into unexplored environments. Hence the pressure-suits more usually found amongst mining crews. Of course, given the nature of the sites being explored, it's occasionally wise to come 'prepared' for 'residents' or rivals. Hence the bolt pistol and chainsword. Not that it's pictured here, but he's also carrying a reliquae on his belt - as i wanted to tie him back to the overall religiosity of the Thorians i've done thus far. [Also, a brief note on heads: good *grief* I hadn't realized how hard it was to find regular human heads that fit into the neophyte hybrid neck aperatures. Rather annoying, as they're very cool torsos otherwise. But I digress] 

The young looking chap standing next to him, is a pious crusader-y type ; undecided as yet as to whether the arms are rather advanced bionics, or rather tight-hugging plated sleevery. Not pictured in this shot [but definitely tehre on the miniature] are a few other bits and pieces, including a boot-knife and ammunition bandolier. 

The servitor, meanwhile, should have been a far simpler conversion - a mining laser from the neophyte hybrids minus its extra hands, and then with an arm mounting handconstructed, plus cabling running from it to another neophyte hybrid heavy weapons backpack. I figured that it would be a logical way to get a piece of heavy equipment around the place which would be very useful for the kind of work this crew's engaged in; while also being a much more characterful heavy weapon for a servitor than the usual military-grade weapons. He'll probably need a controller ... which may come in the form of a tech-priest i'm working on. We'll see. 


Next up, another two 'entry team' members. One on the right's a team-leader, possibly under the one already pictured. Combi-Melta's there both for entry/breaching, and for dealing with whatever's encountered once in. Map's handy for suggesting localized "in charge", although X definitely doesn't mark the spot [to quote another professional in the field]. Delaque head partially because at least it fits in the neck-aperature, partially because the ocular augmetics and other such enhancements, and partially because, given my previous efforts with my Thorians featuring rather a lot of genehanced specialized operatives - it made potential sense for these to be likewise. Perhaps i'll go down the route of generally having the higher-tier leadership as actual humans, and their men as the altered strains. 

The one on the left's carrying a briefcase; possibly with something in it - possibly to leave *with* something in it. I've also , i guess, wound up utilizing Imperialis winged skulls from the Scions kit for the purposes of covering the genestealer cult icon removals on the base miniatures. Handily, they may also be signifying rank [ the overall team leader's got three on his chain, the team leader above has two, and the courier, one]. That Delaque autopistol's also rather legit - although even allowing for the size of the silencer, it's *still* huge for a pistol! We'll count it as sme sort of machine-pistol or SMG, i think. 


Lastly, for this round of uploads ... these four are still very much a work in progress. Ever since , i suppose, watching Prometheus [which, for obvious reasons, must have been going around my head with this project], i've had a thought about doing a recon-drone operator. Except with servo-skulls. Because *of course*. I've still got a few things to do to the operator himself - whether a slung rifle over the shoulder/back, or a skitarii backpack with antenna for range-boosted control of his skulls; and further alterations to some o the skulls themselves - a manipulator arm on at least one of the ones that lacks one, potentially something like a laspistol on another, and further specialized scanning/augury equipment. The concept's in-progress, anyway.

They'll also come in rather handy with the style of game we've got in mind for this project. Which will have some 'dungeon-crawl' elements. And in the grandest tradition of sending the halfling [with or without the ten foot pole ... which they may or may not be at the *other end* of from the main-party, without much choice in the matter, so to speak] ahead to check for traps ... yeah, servo-skulls with scanners hovering forward and detecting the tripwires and pressure-plates and such. 

There's several other miniatures in partial stages of assembly atm - including a rhino with attached crane , a tech-priest, and a 'surveyor', to name a few [as well as, potentially, a *heavier* servitor built out of a centurion]; so we'll see how this shapes up going forward. Umbral also appears to be putting together some tomb-raiders/counter-raiders, which may turn up here shortly. 

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Churr for positive feedback :D And while some of the *direct* homages to eponymous series protagonist might be a bit on the nose ... it's certainly  the case that elements from either'll turn up a bit "twisted" so to speak. We've also definitely got a few elements from the Jones series [i've never played any of the Tomb Raider games, although i have seen the movies, i think] which we're intending to integrate more directly. Hence the "x definitely doesn't mark the spot" quote above :P 

Further ideas always welcome. I'm compiling a bit of an 'inspiration list' of stuff; which atm also includes stuff like the credits-opening from the first Guardians of the Galaxy film - the bit wherein Peter Quill's on the deserted planet [Morag], heading into the ruins in pursuit of the Orb etc over various hazards. Probably with less dancing, though :P 



Now, for my *next* trick ... as longer-term followers of our logs may remember, my Thorians have a habit of acquiring genehanced heavy infantry. Usually these've been of the particular halo'd variety that imply something seriously .. odd going on under the pressure-suits and masks. But there's also been at least one Afriel Strain amongst them [i think that turned up in the Worlds-Wide Webway log, perhaps?]. 


And as for *why* Thorians and Afriels go together so well in my head ... think about it this way: the august individuals whomstve the creators of the Afriels have been harvesting the genetic code from, are the pinnacles of what Humanity has to offer. Included amongst them will, no doubt, be an array of quite literal Imperial Saints - or saint-like individuals. Running on some *slightly* curious theology that would therefore have the touch of the Emperor on these grand figures, it may be possible to find, you know, something in their genetic codes which is either that spark of divinity, or the thing that enabled their mortal shells to bear such. So there's some quite natural synergy between Afriel research and production - and the Thorians' own interests, if they're going a *bit further* than even their own usual doctrine, to attempt to *produce* a vessel for the Emperor rather than just awaiting the finding of one. 


Anyway, in terms of the modelling side of it ... as decent as the usual recipes for Afriels tend to look [combinations of Catachan and Cadian bitz - or, as applies my own previous efforts, Marauders, Scions, and Catachan Command, inter alia ... I may also try something utilizing Flagellant muscly-arms on Cadian torsos, we'll see] , I wanted to try something different. In this case , as you can see, a Goliath body and arms as a basis. Now, it's a very lightly armoured miniature, to be sure, meaning he kinda felt like a bit of a 'paratrooper' sort - especially with the Scion beret :D ; now in terms of weaponry ... a very large centurion heavy bolter seemed just the ticket  - it's huge, but it's *also* small enough to sort-of imply it might be being fired burst-style as he advances [there may be gravatic impeders in the gun or the vambraces to try and suppress recoil]. A big combat-knife [more of a machete- or sword sized thing, really!], a pistol, and a grenade [good grief that was the most frustrating part - working out where to mount grenade(s) in a realistic 'drape' [i note with some amusement i'm utilizing the terminology more familiar from sartorial elegance and wearing of suits to ... 40k modelling and wargear affixion to a miniature :P ]] complete the take-all-comers, all-situations vibe. 


Now as for what such a heavily armed and bespoke war-machine of a man is doing in amongst a humble archaeological team ... well .. like i said. They have "rivals". And it ain't just claim-jumpers after the most 'juicy' spoils of archaeo-tech or whatever. The sort who may be employing "ork snipers" if you get my drift ... [as well as the more "conventional" kind, etc.]. There's some .. backstory with regard to my ongoing Thorian efforts that we haven't really unfurled because we haven't played the games to write up the narrative with yet :P 

But yeah, all in all, i'm quite pleased with how he's come together; and maybe the Goliath steroid-NOS canisters may play a role in keeping his potentially metaphysically empowered physique and structure [this goes into a tangent around the Norse conception of the Soul [i think it's at least pentapartite?] also having a 'physical form' component ; and may further potentially entail a way *around* the Hamingja issues which i've previously alluded to .. [long story short - the idea being that one reason teh Afriel Strain are so 'unlucky' is *precisely because* their Hamingja ... the "luck" component of the Soul in Nordic metaphysics, is kinda ... too closely tied to that of the dead Imperial Heroes whose blood etc. they're created from - so the Universe, in the manner of one of those trashy Final Destination flicks, is attempting to er .. "correct" it by correlating them to their forebear genesires  - i.e. *dead* .. you know? ] [also goes partially into the animosity that they tend to encounter from other, regular humans. Mortals *know* on some level that they ain't supposed to be alive .. sorta thing , that something's *wrong* with 'em ..] 

There's going to be a few more Guard veterans and such attached to the force, as things go forward; so *definitely* expect a few more, whether based on Goliaths or something else. 

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So  here's my team so far for this little adventure.




As you can see I'm using some from the Characters from Blackstone, usually I'd do more converting to minis but some of these guys were just perfect to begin with.


The leader of this group is the Rogue Trader Dante Schwartz, accompanied by his Navigator






Rattling Mercs to provide perimeter defense






But perhaps the most interesting member so far is this lass. Eldar, and from a group some of you may have seen before in our Heresy thread. There are a lot of Eldar artifacts i this region of space, that have been scattered around by various factions, and shes rather keen to get them back, even if it means working with Mon-Keigh to get it done










I have some plans for more character for this party, I have a servitor body guard in the works to accompany Dante, plus i want a security team made up of his ship's Armsmen, and an Imperial Scholar, who has the relevant travel passes and clearance to be going to the places were the ruins and relics  lie waiting 

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  • 3 months later...


Bout time for an update. The Afriel Strain with heavy bolter, and two entry team. As you can see, i've kept the 'pale' grey skin effect going ; although despite my making an attempt at using the 'vibrancy' function on camera, the green etc. on lenses has been a bit washed out. I figured I'd go for a flat grey for cloth and various gunmetal/steel-iron for their gear ; a bit of a contrast to the much more flamboyant colours that turn up on a lot of Inquisition retinues, or camouflage [often pointedly visible camouflage, because it looks cool, right? :P] and dress-uniform approaches of Guard etc. ... or the golden-halos and relics of the slightly similar [in baseline construction] Thorian storm-troopers we did aages ago. 

I should do a few more of these guys :D And keep going with them Afriels - not least because those can show up in a few projects. Those Delaque heads are very cool and surprisingly versatile; while them necromunda weapons are a solid change of pace from the Guard and Storm Trooper sprues stuff that's often seen around, without *quite* getting into the 'rag-tag'/'militia' feel of the neophyte hybrid sprues autorifles and shotguns. 

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  • 4 weeks later...


Finally managed to finish conversion-work on my not-rogue trader. The idea was to put together a suitably intrepid looking figure, with an obvious gravitas, and an equipment-profile that'd match in for the rogue trader chap from Blackstone. For bonus points, we are now sporting basically the same facial hair. 

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You, sir, have managed in one beautifully crafted model, to perfectly define the word "swashbuckling". I take my hat off to you.

Churr :D I've got a few more in a 'nautical' theme to go with, in various stages of completion. Several were naval armsmen, only one other in the corsair-cloak and scions partsmix approach [which ... has been put on hold because it's rather annoyingly difficult to get some of the arms/shoulders to play nice with the cloak]; but in light of that fine appraisal, I might try and dial up the Swashbuckler vibes on some more! 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Now, for my next tricks ... not entirely sure if at least one of these will turn up in Combat Archaeology, but seems like a good place to post in any case ...

First up, 


I saw a rather excellent Guard officer on the twitter-feed of a chap by the name of Cameron GIles; and with some alterations, built my own iteration. 


I have several additional Guard in a similar basic partsmix, presently underway. 

Next, a Naval Armsman officer: 


This build has been in progress for maaany many months now. By which I mean, he's been sitting on my desk, mostly finished bar an incredibly minor detail, for aaaages. 


As a minor note; his sword's actually in scabbard, thus explaining the sizing on the hilt. Oh, and that 'minor detail' aforementioned was the final construction on the rebreather air-tank. 

He may also get a few comrades with similar partsmix. 

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  • 5 months later...
  • 3 months later...
  • 1 month later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Did another round of photos for a project I'd volunteered to assist with; so posting them here as well - 

Rogue Trader: 


Technically from the Worlds-Wide Webway project, but looked like he might fit the bill - 


Explorators from the breaching section - 



Further explorators, with a more 'human' touch 



An Afriel Strain heavy : 


Servitor with mining laser - 


A master-at-arms for the Voidsmen 




That last miniature was about the point that my detail brush packed up .. [although I did - just - manage to finish the copper air-tank on his back] 

May attempt some fluff writeups , as there is a narrative that they fit into [the aforementioned Varuna quest] 
But mainly, I'm glad to have gotten this together to prove that I do - eventually - follow through on commitments! 
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