Saturday, June 27, 2015

Danger Inquisitor Robinson!

I recently managed to get my hands on one of the new kastellan robots quite cheaply through a bitz seller. 

It is quite a clever kit but however much I try I simply cannot fathom why Jes Goodwin chose to stray so far from the established imperial design pattern with these guys. While I do appreciate the nod to classic sci fi it has been taken a bit to far here - without the aquila on the chest plate one would never have been able to guess it was even a 40k model.

In other words - something had to be done to bring it back into the 41st millenium. With that in mind I  started playing around with the kit trying to make it look more like imperial tech ( and less than a jolly space robot from the 1950s ) and have arrived at an early mockup. 

I've tested a lot of different heads for this guy - everything from bretonnian peasants to grey knights. Here's two of my current favourites:




I will of course fill in the beveled screws and sculpt more traditional bolts and add lots of other details. Stay tuned kids!

28 comments:

  1. Both look very cool, but I think I like the human head more. Something about the big body and small head just works for me.

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    1. Cheers! Yep. Kataphron head it is methinks.

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  2. Everything about that is awesome. EVERYTHING o_O

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  3. Excellent start! The gatling gun fits really well with the bulky fist. I too think the human face works the best; the vast contrast in size makes for a striking model.

    As for Jes' design, the robots were to be pre-Imperial constructs. So he may have tried to make it look really different to emphasize that they are not Imperial in origin.

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    1. Cheers Adam!

      Most imperial tech predates the imperium so that argument doesn't really fly as far as I'm concerned. In the end its a design choice - the background is written for the model not the other way around. I would have preffered a robot more in line with the knights ( who incidentally also predates the imperium some 10.000 years...)

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    2. Yeah that is true, most of the technology does pre-date the Imperium, but having said that, it does not mean that everything would have the same aesthetic. Afterall, there were a lot of warring faction on Terra before the rise of the Imperium. And then only after the rise of the Emperor, he likely selected what would continue to be used and stamped the aquila on them.

      It is pretty far from most of their other designs I admit, and it would have been cool to see something more inline with the Knights. Ultimately, I think it is neat GW decided to take a risk and try something different and make a model of one of Jes' more divergent creations (he had sketches of it dating back to something like 1993).

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    3. Erm, guys, you do realise that there was an actual RT era model of the Kastelan that was pretty similar to the modern iteration, right? So it's less of trying something new and more of returning to something really vintage (and I don't mean the 50s SciFi look). Just sayin'...

      Johan, that Kastelan WIP is smashing! So glad I still have my second one mostly of the sprue, as I will be taking quite a bit of inspiration from you ;)

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    4. Cheers Krauty!

      I'm well aware it's a nod to the old RT robots. I just wish they'd gone for the Colossus class instead...

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    5. http://s49.photobucket.com/user/SGM-Daly91/media/Warhammer%2040K/Collosus-updated.jpg.html

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  4. Amazing start Jeff! Personally I've enjoyed the retro look to these robots, just enough classic atomic age futurism with a hint of grim darkness to them. Out of the two head choices, the first one would fit in best with the Imperial 'mad science" look, especially if this is Mechanicvm in origin. The vented Dark Eldar Pain Engine head seems a bit too alien , though with a bit more work it could be a good fit. I know you might not be that big of a fan with the way the design turned out, but what if you put a sort of glass dome over the head, made from a bubble container used in those 25 cents toy dispenser machines, or part of a transparent test tube end? Maybe even fill it up with a liquid resin to make it look like a nutri-sludge cocktail keeping the human portions alive and preserved

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    1. Thanks!

      Nah. I love 50s robots as much as any guy, but I want my imperial stuff with a side of grimdark. Atompunk would be cool for a new faction though - squats anyone?

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    2. Atompunk would be an awesome theme for a faction. Perhaps a Mechanicus Explorator team or a Heretek's entourage with an affinity for rad weaponry? Could have been left behind or marooned on a former war world (with an affinity for 50's style tech with a grim dark twist) now dead or isolated from the Imperium, making a way for themselves by scavenging for tech and atomic power sources. I could see plenty of possibilities for this theme!

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  5. Lovely work; I'm feeling the first(top) image. There's a more unified aesthetic going on there as opposed to the sudden upthrust of the helm head in the second.

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  6. First head for me. I like the rest of the conversion too, but the groin plate seems like it should be a bit more inset.

    The tiny manipulator arms are just great.

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  7. I really dig the first option! Reminds me somewhat of a piece of artwork by Craig Mullins
    http://i.imgur.com/Fc83Bwh.jpg

    /Nicklas

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    1. Yeh - they´re pretty similar being giant robots and all. But as you said on the ammobunker he´s got even more in common with the ABC robot from Judge Dredd.

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  8. Cheers guys!

    Seems like the kataphron head is the way to go!

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  9. Holy-smoly! That's great! :D
    I prefer the first one. This looks very cool.

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  10. From speaking with Jes at the last Open Day it's supposed to both reference an old RT model, and also represent a swing to older technology post Horus-Heresy.

    He talked about working with Alan Bligh on the history of the models and wanted to evoke the idea that this was an earlier design for what eventually became the Castellax.

    With the end of the Heresy and the new Mechanicus moving towards a new conservatism, the idea was these represented them moving away from the dangerously intelligent robot's seen in the FW books and resurrecting the STCs of an even older piece of technology.

    As for your conversions, I love the second one. It leaves you with a creepy inhumanity that has me pondering what exactly is in that giant armoured suit. Machine or man?

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    1. Cheers mate.

      I know all about it being a shoutout to the old RT era robots and the background with them being really old dark age of technology constructs and hence the different design aesthetic . But hey - Imperial Knights are also really old dark age of technology constructs and they fit in really well amongst all the other imperial tech...

      From GWs own perspective it is my firm beflief these theing would fly off the shelves if the design was a bit more in line with the rest of the mechanicvm range.
      As it is now I don´t see a lot of these guys being painted up by people when googling them...

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    2. Perhaps I´m sounding overly negative. It´s a really fun kit with lots of poseability.

      It´s just one of those kits like the centurions, where you feel the final models are a letdown compared to how awesome they easily could have been with just a few design tweaks.

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    3. I'llhave to see ifI can find the photo's of the painted examples Jes had borrowed from folk in the Studio, they blow the official product shots out of the water.

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  11. Don'y mess with da boss.... Impressive mate ! Nice use of the robots head as shoulder pad.... Maybe some centurion pads can fit too... Anyway, awesome, as always

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    1. Cheers mate!

      Centurion pads would definitely work. I sadly only have one and it´s unfortunately the one with the clunky centurion symbol on it. The plain ones would fit these robots like a glove though!

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  12. Glad you are trying to make something good of this rubbish robot kit.

    I have full faith in your abilities to make it look like it actually belongs in the Ad Mech catalogue.

    Head option #1 gets my vote. Like others have mentioned, little head - big body really does look better.

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