Choose Your Own Adventurers – Episode 5: Nebuli Tsar, Ventolin Pirate

Choose Your Own Adventurers Logo

My second model in this group painting project is the Ventolin Pirate – the one figure I actually had when I started this project!

Ventolin Pirate and Squats

Nebuli Tsar with a Squat boarding party.

The Adventurer range is full of a great many concepts that weren’t developed further in Warhammer 40,000.  The Ventolin Pirate has two pieces of background written about him. The first is “Ventolin”. The second is “Pirate”. Let’s explore each of these in turn.

ventolin-inhaler

“Ventolin” is a brand of asthma medication that’s been on sale in England since 1969. However, out of context it does look like the name of a planet / alien species / Imperial Army regiment / pirate warband. Presumably Tim Pollard slipped in the name as a joke as the model has a rebreather helmet. I like to think that Ventolin is actually a conehead alien race, and if I get a second figure I may convert it without its helmet on. There was a lot of scope in the early days of Rogue Trader for this type of humanoid alien race with brightly coloured skin and prosthetic rubber foreheads – just take a look at the Ironclaw Pirate range.

If you go with the “space is an ocean” concept, it must have pirates. Instead of being on boats, these Space Pirates are on board spaceships.  Instead of being in sailor garb, they’re in astronaut suits. The model has vacuum-sealed cuffs where armour panels join on his arms and legs. I’ve avoided the stripey trews for this model, and instead he’s painted to match the Furnace Valley Squats for reasons that will become more apparent in future episodes of Choose Your Own Adventurers.

The vacuum-sealed cuffs, rebreather helmet, backpack and studded shoulderpad are reminiscent of the early Rogue Trader Space Marines. I’ve got a theory that this miniature was one of the dozen-or-so rejected Space Marine design attempts that Bob Naismith sculpted before he and Bryan Ansell settled on the LE02 Space Marine.

LE02 Space Marine and Ventolin Pirate

LE02 Space Marine and Ventolin Pirate.

To evoke a Rogue Trader vibe I added a freehand “GET VENT” on the shoulder pad.  The phrase was AJ’s suggestion; others I considered were:

  • VENT THIS
  • VENTI VIDI VICI
  • VENT OUTTA SHAPE
  • VENT YOUR ANGER
  • VIVE LE VENT

I kept the other shoulderpad free for a Claw Nebula Pirate symbol in the future.

Here’s a list of the other episodes in the group project:

CYAO Episode 4 – Short Jern Silvo, Ratling Cook (axiom)

CYAO Episode 3 – Garnier Wangst, Eldar Trader (sho3box)

CYOA Episode 2 – Paradox Zeeman, Pirate Captain (Curis)

CYOA Episode 1 – Obi-Wan Sherlock Clousseau, Inquisitor (axiom)

Choose Your Own Adventurers – Episode 2: Captain Paradox Zeeman

“Let’s all paint Adventurers!” cried sho3box. “I have almost all thirty-two of those rare expensive miniatures!”

“Yeah!” axiom responded. “I have all of that overly-fetishised and as such difficult-to-collect range.”

“Yay!” Curis said, getting caught up in the enthusiasm of the group project. “I have … er … maybe … one?  But I’ll do a cool retro-mimic logo!”

choose-your-own-adventurers-header

To reiterate from axiom’s post, our rules are:

  1. Paint a Rogue Trader Adventurer
  2. Valid miniatures are ones marketed as “Adventurer” in a Mail Order flier, Citadel catalogue or White Dwarf
  3. Let the other two bloggers have a turn, then paint another miniature.

As I had practically no Adventurers, sho3box generously jump-started my collection with the donation of a Pirate Captain.

Teenage-era sho3box had modified the Captain by adding an uzi-style magazine to the pistol and a pouch to the thigh.  He’d also removed the sword, as the lumpen sculpting and lead’s tendency to droop made it “look like a floppy dildo”.  This did give me the opportunity to do some conversion work to ham up the pirate angle – a hook hand.

Sparce Pirate Captain with paperclip claws

The first attempt at a replacement was a “split hook” prostheses, made from two paperclips filed to points and bent into curves.  It didn’t sit well with the chunky 1980s sculpting, so I added a big goofy Lego claw.

space-pirate-crab-claw
“Hello.  I like money.”

The other pirate cliche I went with was stripey trews.  Disappointingly I realised after I’d painted Zeeman that the Studio paintjob also had stripey trews, so I wasn’t doing anything new or edgy.

A lot of the early Rogue Trader figures incorporate anachronistic fantasy elements (either as a deliberate juxtaposition with the science fiction setting, or sculptors falling back on their established bags of tricks) – leather pouches, medieval boots, landsknecht sleeves, et cetera.  It’s interesting that the Pirate Captain’s boots are anachronistic, but aren’t the cliché thigh-high pirate boots of your 17th Century Caribbean pirate; no no no, instead, they’re boring ankle-high medieval boots.  Makes me wonder if he was sculpted as a generic 40K guy and later designated a pirate.  But anyway, to get the boots away from the medieval leather look I painted them gleaming ice-white, imagining Paradox Zeeman as a space-chav displaying his wealth with immaculate footwear.  (I may have also been thinking of the glorious Spacego cover.)

rogue-trader-space-pirate-captain

“Oi, innit blud.  Hit the legs, this is well waffle.”

I am thinking about adding freehand insignia to the back of his jacket, possibly the Crab Claw Nebula symbol.  It’d tie in nicely with his claw.  But that’s a finishing touch for another day, when I’ve collected the other Space Pirates in the range and rounded them out to a little trio/squad/army/formation/Apocalypse detachment.

space-pirate-captain-and-imperial-guard
“Feds have landed up, wiv me in charge. You’re merked.”

Next up in Choose Your Own Adventurers – sho3box!

If you missed it, axiom’s excellent first episode is here!