Monday, May 4, 2009

Imperial Cleric

Reverend Leonidas W. Smiley

This past weekend I had a single miniature on my plate to do. I purposefully picked just one in the queue so I could really take my time with it and try to crank out something I would be proud of, luckily, I think I succeeded. The above Imperial Missionary is a fantastic model, with lots of detail and plenty of character.

I had mentioned a while back that we might be seeing a resurgence in the roleplaying games with our local group and true enough, we're about to start a Dark Heresy campaign this week. Hence I had to paint this figure up quick in order to be able to use in our upcoming game; so here's my Imperial Cleric.

The amount of detail in the pack alone instantly reminds me of a Rackham Dwarf. There's so many goodies in there I took almost as long with just the pack than I did the rest of the fig. Well...not quite, but I did take my time. Since this fig's a single model, and for a campaign, I wanted to shoot for more than just an adequate tabletop quality paint job. I'm not saying it's the best I've ever done, but I spent more time and effort on this than I have on any fig I can think of for quite some time. My Elf chick ranks up there too.

A simple arm and weapon swap was the only extra work I did in this, but it's a pretty important one. He originally came with a chainsword, which looked all right, but it was nothing special. Also, at the Novice rank, Cleric Acolytes aren't even proficient with chainswords.

During character creation I had purchased a sword to use and added the "mono" upgrade to it. On down the road, I'll skip chainsword proficiency and hopefully pick up one for the power sword. Then I can still use the fig without having to do a second swap!

The figure's original chainsword was attached at the elbow with a gloved hand and the arm has a socket to attach it to. It's too small to pin, so I guess you'd have to use a 2-part epoxy. I ended up using a Catachan mega-machete arm for the swap. It's big enough and works well with his look, and since it was plastic I just used super glue.

Try as I might I could NOT get his devotion-tome-on-a-stick to come out I gave up. I must admit, it looks swanky all pristine and white, but it's going to need something. My buddy Ray has some cool decals off the Black Templar sheet with tome prints and the like on it, so hopefully I can snag some of those from him to use.

The fig's pack had a standard (but cool looking) autogun, so of course I bought one of those during character creation too. I went with a green and black scheme to make it as military looking as possible. It's kind of wrapped up and stowed away, which works for me, 'cause my character won't be able to use is it 'til next level anyway, haha.

In Dark Heresy there's a table for everything, which is a nice throwback to all the tables out of the original Rogue Trader. For my skin color and hair I rolled dark skin and brown respectively. For the eyes, I rolled blue. I used Reaper Master Series Dark Skin as a base with Partha Paints East Indian for highlights. I then washed it all with GW's Devlan Mud. The eyes were a pretty basic two-color job.

Tools of the Trade

Like I said, the pack is jam-packed with stowed away gear and I'll try to incorporate each item on the fig into the campaign at one point or another. The starting Cleric begins the game with a "Charm (Skull)" which is another reason this fig's a perfect fit, 'cause that's exactly what's hanging around his neck! The Imperial Aquila decal adorns his robes (still using my old Rogue Trader decals, it's not freehand).

His equipment inventory breaks down as follows:

x2 canteens
Frag grenade
Smoke grenade
Autopistol (holstered)
x3 Scroll tubes
Imperial Prayer book
Locked strongbox
Nightvision goggles
Devotional standard w/
Grand Imperial Tome

Not too shabby for a single miniature!

As usual I camped out at the kitchen table to wrap this project up, black coffee at the ready. As you can see from this pic, the paints that are out of the box are the ones I used! It seems like a lot for just one figure, but since I was really going for the gusto I tried to do a lot of layering, shading, wet-blending, highlighting, etc. I wanted a fig I could be proud of, and no, it's not going to be winning any awards, but I'm pretty happy nonetheless.


  1. He looks pretty darn good. The tome definitely needs something on it though.

  2. Thanks! Hopefully the tome issue will be rectified by the weekend.

  3. I think my favorite Imperial Cleric model is the other one; the old dude with Plasma Gun and an eyepatch. It has so much character.

    That said, I do think you did a fantastic job on him, and I hadn't noticed the backpack before. He certainly looks cooler than I remembered him. Thanks for sharing :)

  4. The Plasma Gun guy is very cool, and his relic-on-a-stick is WAY better, I think he has a bionic limb too. Thanks for the comments.

  5. Looks good! Can't wait to see him in the flesh, so to speak.

  6. Thanks, he looks less "chalky" in person. I'm looking forward to the DH game too!