Inquisitorial Warband: my first Warhammer 40000 Kill Team

Long before I had this blog, I was a student in Japan – a student who finally had enough money to invest into Warhammer 40,000. No longer would the three easy-to-build Ultramarines a friend had brought me as a gift from Sweden would be my only miniatures. I quickly bought a squad of Cadians, a Chimera, Tacticals (and a Black Templar kit)… and things got really wild by the time I built my first Warhammer force: an Inquisition Kill Team.

My first Guardsmen, shortly before I decided to repaint them red and khaki, give them greenstuff visors to avoid painting eyes, and to cut off the barrels (and drill new ones) to give them carbines.

Back in those days, Tom Meer himself might have been working on what would be later termed Heralds of Ruin Kill Team. While it was welded at the hip to regular 40K rules, it was a fun ruleset with colorful editions like Gets Hot! making plasma guns go off with an actual blast. And I have no clue what madness possessed me to do an Inquisitorial Kill Team instead of, say, just going with Space Marines, the miniatures for which I already had.

The Inquisitor

You wouldn’t make an Inquisitorial Kill Team without an inquisitor, would you?

So, uh, the Inquisitor. He was in power armor, naturally, armed with a force sword and a needler…

But what’s most important here – and something only the most keen eyes and ancient brains will notice – is that it’s not based on a GW body. Oh no, the bodies for nearly my entirely Inquisitorial force come from Prince August.

If you check their website today, you’ll notice that they sell figurine casting stuff for grandpas as well as some historicals stuff and… Warzone (the Mutant Chronicles TT game)? Well, back then, they’d also sell these large bags of Bauhaus vs. Imperial sprues, 80 dudes per, being the most bargain way to get 28mm on the table.

I bought two bags.

The dudes in the bags  came in squads of ten: sergeant, eight squaddies, and a heavy with a minigun. There were no variations and practically no poseability, but hey, bodies!

So the Inquisitor has a head of a Chimera commander and his weird bolt pistol, a BT power sword, some BT accessories (including purity seals), a Space Marine backpack, and the body of a Bauhaus heavy.

The rest is just… I was a 23-year-old idiot with no miniature painting experience, a certainty that inquisition all wear red, and the idea that an inquisitor should be resplendent in gold. I think I considered this to be finished at the time. Lord, how the times change.

But an inquisitor alone does not an inquisitorial kill team make, so he had to have acolytes!

Veteran Acolytes

Fuck yes, power armor

Now, inquisitorial acolytes – especially the Veteran ones, which were bought individually and not in squad of 5 –  back then were a bit of a build-a-bear thing, having a wide variety of build options. So five of them go with power armor, represented here by Marine backpacks on Imperial (armor-studded tartan) bodies.

But an amateur modelist’s grasp shall forever exceed his reach, so I also bought some Kolony Rebel heads from Pig Iron. In envisioned them to be something like trooper helmets from the fairly-recent Syndicate remake, but, again, skills of an amateur modelist.

I tried to mess around arm poses as much as I could, so you can see that my “complaining about monopose Primarines” thing isn’t just a phase.

I also greenstuffed that one knife as if it’s held on the pauldron on the rightmost dude.

Of course, an inquisitor doesn’t ride with power armored buddies the whole day…

Warrior Acolyte Squad

My color scheme was inspired by the old Inqusitorial Storm Troopers scheme, but the Pig Iron heads are much nicer than their mole snouts.

That’s right, some regular flak armored Acolytes! Though looking at the rules now, they must have been Veteran Acolytes as well, and not just a squad of mooks.

I don’t remember the exact composition back then, but you can bet your ass I was very proud of:

  • Mr. Bolter AND Chainsword
  • Venerable Come At Me, Herebro The Knife Acolyte
  • The Bayonet On A Bolter Lad
  • The Auspex Medic
  • The shotgun

What shotgun?

This shotgun!

The shotgun was made by clipping the mag off a Bauhaus rifle and then gs’ing a bayonet on the end.

You can also see one of the other issues I ran into while making my Inquisitorial Kill Team. While I will never agree that the tab on the backs of Cadians are a no-shit in-universe armor bit and not just something you have to cut off any Guardsman without a backpack, the Warzone soldiers had humongous humps for their backpacks to affix to. That was a lot of plastic to remove.

Proud of my work, I posted my dudes in WIP thread on /tg/ (the 4chan board for Traditional Games) and got promptly ridiculed. I got mad: partially because that’s how I always react to what I feel to be unjust criticism of my work, but also partially due to fourchanner etiquette when expressing said criticism.

They were right, of course: my Inquisitorial Kill Team wasn’t shaded or highlighted. So I tried to do better.

Inquisitorial Medic

The one and improved model in the Kill Team

I tried to fix this dude at a later date. You can clearly see that there’s shading one, as well as highlights. There’s even an attempt to base stuff – yes, those are two actual miniature bricks made from brick stuff. I don’t know where I got them from, and I only got rid of them by selling them on eBay last week.

However, I can’t be too proud of Doctor Auspex because…

Try to read that.

I tried to write a slur on the screen of the auspex. Guess what kind of mythical handheld  detection device would have been in Futurama Season 1 Episode 4 that I was trying to allude to and you’ll know what I was trying to write.

The past always comes back at me to remind me what a shit I was not a third of my life ago.

Anyway, it’s not all slurs and acolytes in an Inquisitorial Team – you also get (death cult) assassins – three of them!

Death Cult Assassins

Real pièce de résistance shit here

A guy with two chainswords. Granted, chainswords had even fewer rules back then, but hey, it’s my kill team, you’ll respect my counts-as. Real proud of that guy.

The visor is terribly greenstuffed onto a Guard voxcaster head in an effort to avoid painting eyes (still a noble endeavor eight years later), the torso comes from the Chimera commander, and the legs were donated by an Imperial trooper. The chainswords are, most likely, BT.

Never let such trivial things as “absolute lack of skill” get in the way of your ambition

The next guy has two power swords and the mostly-intact body of a Bauhaus officer. His visor is, again, bad greenstuff, but this time it joined a rebreather from one of the Warzone minis to another Chimera commander head.

What you can’t see is that I drilled right through the right fist (after removing the pistol), put some wire through, and hung some stolen skull-lantern bit from the BT kit for him to hold aloft. I don’t even remember what the idea there was, but the execution was unsurprisingly lacking.

Yet that pales in comparison to the testament to my hubris…

Forgive the old photos, I crouched on the original a few years back, and then just threw him away.

This mother fucker. Marvel at him. Drink him in. Let the sheer 12-year-old-boy’s-first-miniature-but-the-boy-is-23 consume you.

He was supposed to be a skull-faced robed guy with a power pack and cables leading to his two uruk-hai-inspired power swords. What he is:

  • A skull from one of those BT skull lanterns.
  • A poorly greenstuffed hood (shout out to the example miniature in the Forbidden Psalm rulebook)
  • An officer body with re-posed left arm (broke often)
  • A chest and tabard from the BT kit (fun fact: even back then, the BT chest wasn’t a real match for the Space Marine back. Games Workshop!)
  • Chimera commander shoulder pads on the knees
  • Multilayer plasticard sword with greenstuff and filing to make half of them slope towards a sharp edge
  • Crossguards from at least 4 bits of extremely fiddly plastic
  • Hilts made from Imperial rifle carrying handles and God-knows what else (broke very often)
  • Wire power cables
  • Backpack made from leftover Chimera panels, Bauhaus gun barrels for exhaust stacks, plasticard, greenstuff, some Marine parts I don’t even remember
  • Mica Red spray coat because I did not know what “mica” means at the time
  • Madness

Did I ever get to play with these misfits? Yes!

The Inquisition Kill Team experience

I produced all of that terrain, including drinking the beers. I was very into DIY miniature gaming stuff back then.

Running my Inquisitorial Kill Team against the Tau of a friend who I also roped into the miniature hobby was my first Warhammer 40,000 game. My first death was my plasma gun exploding. You can also see my remade guardsmen on the right.

Eventually, I would be taking hours-long train rides from Kyoto to Nara to play with the expat students there. And you know what? The rules did produce plenty of fun moments, like a sniper failing a jump roll to get down from a building and dying in process.

Looking back on my sorry Inquisition Kill Team, I can only ask “what was I thinking?” Of course, I was thinking that I’m doing the most awesome shit ever – that’s what every terrible (hopefully) new hobbyist thinks when mashing their fist model together with no regard for lack of experience.

But you know what? I’m not going to sell them or throw them away. I’ll keep Inquisitorial Kill Team and give it a paintjob with the experience earned over the years. Hopefully, I’ll avoid slurs this time.

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