Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Character Profile: Captain Ingemar

When I started Space Marines, I didn't want to play just space marines. Everyone plays space marines. Everyone and their kid brother plays space marines, especially in my area. They'll just grab space marines and call it an army. Well, I didn't want that, I wanted something more. I wanted something grand, something on par with the First Founding legions, and their resultant chapter codices. It took me three years to find it, a character to lead my army, a character that embodied my vision.
   Now, there are plenty of special characters out there, Shrike, Lysander, Vulkan. Even in fourth edition special characters were popular and widely used in my locale. They’ve only become more popular since. Everyone has at least one, and it’s not uncommon to see three. Calgar, Tigurius and Chronus, a very popular grouping.
   But due to my disposition, I can’t stomach the idea of doing what someone else is already doing or has already done. I couldn’t just reuse a special character to be my centre piece character, who would be the representative of the chapter. I needed something with real character, something that had the same resounding impact that Captain Sicarius or Captain Shrike has. Something that had the sound of legacy to it like Captain Cortez. Funny then that what I had been looking for would be found in some internet game.
   This game made randomly generated heroes with randomly generated names that were used to lead armies and attack other cities or territories. One such character was Ingemar. He was a fully armoured night upon a backdrop of fire, such was his icon. He led my armies to victory after victory, and made a glorious name for himself until his eventual downfall. He died defending the walls of the capital city against an innumerable foe, holding off wave after wave of enemies. It was only then after his death did the enemy retreat, broken upon the walls. It was then decided that he should be forever immortalized as Captain Solus Ingemar, Master of the Arsenal and the Void Ravens Third Company.
   Well, enough behind the scenes history, you want to see the end result. I apologize for the quality for the Work In Progress images, they were taken before I had the shiny camera available to me. For those of you interested, here is what I did. This was my first major conversion with sculpting and kit bashing, but it primarily focused around the use of the Captain kit, one of my personal favourites. As you can see, most of the parts come from the Captain box, the body, legs, power pack, standard, but I’ll point out the other important parts as well.

Breakdown of Captain Ingemar and Test Fitting
  1.  I first started with the legs. Those came the captain set, but I wanted to capture the armour that a certain Black Templar from Third Edition had. I’m sure most of you know the image I’m talking about. I spent some time thinking about the actual pose and flow of the model, even using myself for the pose. I strongly recommend doing this, since you really are your own best reference. I cut below the knee guards, at the ankles and at the hips. I then used greenstuff and glue to rebuild the connectors, posing the legs the way I had previously decided on. Then I added more greenstuff to legs, making the main part of the extra armour and letting it set. I came back to it once it had set and sculpted on the raised parts of the extra armour. This two step process really is the easiest way of getting it done. I then added the raised parts on the boots. The extra skull on the knee I shaved off the icon on the top of the captain standard. See 10 for more details.

 2. The body also comes from the captain set, but I didn’t like the way the cape would sit on the converted model. I clipped off the cape, preserving the tassel on the back, using my sprue clippers. I then scraped smooth the mess that was left until it was exactly like the back of a standard Marine body. I then rolled out a wad of greenstuff, stretching out two thin parts at the top to attach to the shoulders, and then carefully added ruffles to the cape, adding a little glue to the inside to give it more stability as it set. I usually use whatever is nearby to prop the cape in its final position, letting it set into any haphazard way it wants. Not the best I admit, but it tends to work well.

  3. The head I looted from the Assault Marine kit. It once belonged to a sergeant that was never going to be made. I made no changes other than Codex Grey paint with Fortress Grey highlight, Boltgun Metal for the metallic parts, and 2:1 mix of water and Chaos Black to outline the head. The eyes were painted Mechrite Red, then I painted from the middle to the front Red Gore, then a semi-sphere of Blood Red at the very front to finish it. A quick wash of 5:1 water and Chaos Black over top finished with another outline of 2:1 water and Chaos Black and finally a tiny Skull White dot. For Space Marine helmets, the eyes have it.

  4. This Iron Halo I took from the Terminator kit. Terminator Sergeants don’t get Iron Haloes, so I didn’t worry too much about taking it. I cut the skull that was in the middle and reused it as the pommel of the sword, see 9 for more. I wanted to keep the banner as well as still show that he has an Iron Halo, so I mounted it on the gorget with a little greenstuff and glue. Banners on sergeants and captains have really started to fade out, but I’ve always loved them. So I shall do my best to hold back this great plague of disappearing standards.

The Iron Raven
  5. I’ll be honest, I wanted to make a power character. Storm Shield and Relic Blade all the way. However, I didn’t want just to stick on the best stuff just to have it, I wanted to really represent the chapter. Third Company Captain Master of the Arsenal really gives license to just such a goal. As a Void Ravens Master of the Arsenal, all captains are required to search through the Chapter Armoury and find the tools of war that most call to them, the weapons that are most in tune with them. One such tool was the Chapter’s Shield, the Iron Raven.
    A Storm Shield forged in shape of the Chapter’s Icon, it was commissioned in the early years of the chapter’s existence. It was meant to embody the Chapter’s duty, to shield Humanity, and to protect the Chapter’s existence. Being such a small fragment of a chapter, being only those who felt they had dishonoured their Primarch, the first Chapter Master wished for these warriors to continue on, to weather the storm, and never forget their purpose.
   I first did a series of concept sketches of what the shield would look like. This was very important. Once I had decided on a final sketch, I cut out a small square of 0.5 mm plasticard. That may have been too thick, but it was what I had on hand. I then stuck a wad of greenstuff onto the square and sculpted it into the shape of the chapter icon that I had drawn out to be the shield. After it had set, I took my exacto knife and pared and whittled away the excess plasticard that did not fit on the sculpt of the shield. I then cut a square hole to fit a crux terminatus in the middle and added some purity seals.

  6. This is a bolter arm from the Tactical boxed set. I cut the side the shield would mount on smooth and glued it on. I then made some greenstuff shield braces to latch onto the arm. I had to add some extra greenstuff to body so the arm would hold the shield up enough.

  7. The Winged Skull heraldry of Captain Ingemar. Such swift death he has been known to bring has earned him this heraldry. I shaved the skull off of a Terminator power fist and grafted it onto a Tactical Marine pauldron (yes, they’re called pauldrons, not shoulder pads, women wear shoulder pads!) with some greenstuff and glue. Once that had set, I sculpted the wings out of greenstuff. I accidentally pressed my thumb against one wing while working on the other several times. I suggest taking the extra time to work on only one at a time, letting them set in between.

  8. This arm is taken from the Captain box set, but the hand I cut from a sergeant arm holding grenade from the Tactical box set. I drilled the grenade out with a pin vice, cleaned it up with my exacto knife, and then slid the chopped up sword hilt into the hand. I took the hilt from a Reaper Miniature’s weapon set, cutting off the pommel and blade. I kept the hand unattached until the sword was complete so I could better position it.

  9. Well, the hilt was already explained, so I’ll just finish it here. I took that left over skull from the Terminator Iron Halo and attached it as the pommel. This would serve as the internal power generator for the Relic Blade. I cut a long rectangle from the 0.5 mm plasticard I had left and carefully whittled away with my exacto knife. This part I’ll warn you, if you don’t have the dexterity or fine motor control, it’s definitely not a good idea to try this yourself. Even with my motor skills I managed to cut a finger open pretty good.
   Now for a little more background. This is the relic blade given to the breakaway chapter as a symbol of the trust Corax placed in them. This sword was crafted by Ferrus Manus as a gift to his brother Corax. A blade so black that it seemingly absorbed the light around it. A sword so swift it cut the air silently. Such a blade Ferrus Manus could think of no better master than Corax. Corax accepted it gracefully and added it to his personal armoury. Rarely did he use it, but when it was employed it wrought great death in the Emperor’s name.
   Corax bestowed this most prized and beloved of gifts to the Ravens who felt too disgraced to remain in his presence. He told the first Master, before he was the Master, that he gave this most dear treasure to them as a token of his trust that they would regain their honour and pride, that they would find what they sought and one day return. He gave it to them saying, “Never forget, first and foremost, this is a weapon, and it is meant to slay the foes of Emperor and bring great honour to the Legion.”
   I intended on calling the sword “Storm Raven” but GW, as they always seems to do, took that from me and stuck it to some silly Blood Angel flying box that they haven’t even made a model for! I was not impressed. Six months after I created the Storm Raven blade, they have to release a freakin awesome flying Rhino. So awesome that were I to keep the name Storm Raven, anyone who hears it will immediately think Blood Angels. Once I think of a new name, I’ll post it in Ingemar’s wikia entry. If you have any suggestions, feel free to post. I’ll give the winner full credit.

  10. Well, the least obvious change, the standard’s icon. I didn’t want the skull bird at the top, I didn’t like the look of it for Ingemar, so I scraped off the skull and put it on the knee. In place of that I sculpted the head of a Raven, pressing in on the greenstuff to make the beak. I should have said this earlier, but always keep your sculpting tool wet so the greenstuff doesn’t stick so much to the tools as opposed to on the model.

 After all that and some paint, here is the final result. Ingemar has proven himself on the tabletop to be a fearsome character. He has gained himself a reputation as the one to beat at the FLGS, so much so that he doesn’t even seem to be a vanilla hero. Maybe I’m the only one who feels this way, but Ingemar is no longer just a captain in a list, but is almost a special character himself. I don’t say, oh I took a captain, I say, ‘I took Ingemar’, like anyone else would say, ‘I took Lysander’, or, ‘I took Vulkan’. That’s just what he’s become through this whole journey.
   I can’t imagine taking special characters as part of my serious army when I have Ingemar, so my goal of creating a truly charismatic character has really been accomplished. He looks good, plays well and has made a personality for himself on the tabletop.

   Now for some last minute fun trivia fluff. Captain Ingemar was forced into the captain position early on in his career after a traitor battle tank killed the previous captain and most of the command squad. He served as Third Company Second Squad Sergeant, one of the forward advance melta team squads. Ingemar has a certain affinity for the dreadnought veteran brothers of the chapter, and has often been seen joking with the first Chapter Master, interned in his dreadnought though he is.
   The Third Company has four dreadnoughts, and Ingemar often consults them, gleaning more tactical knowledge and battlefield history from the ancients. The Void Ravens who are interred in dreadnoughts more often than not are able to keep most of their original psyche intact, often enjoying their new mechanical bodies as a means to continue their fight to regain the Chapter’s honour with bigger and better toys. However, this is not always the case and it is not unusual for a dreadnought to be less than lucid.
   The Third Company under Ingemar’s command has become a truly tight knit brotherhood, while still maintaining the chapter’s dogma that they all fight alone, even when together. The Void Ravens understand as they always have, they were created for the Imperium, the Imperium was not created for them. The Third Company embodies this philosophy and enact it with such fervor that any unfaithful forces break upon sight of the Third.

I hope you enjoyed all this reading, tiring work though it is. I’ll post the concept sketches and let you see what I did to get my end product. Don’t be hesitant to take some inspiration from this, otherwise there would be no meaning to all this. Above all, enjoy!

Signing off

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