Totenkranz – Navis Nobilite Heir Apparent / Novator



Navigator Totenkranz

This vision of loveliness is Reaper Miniatures Dr. Totenkranz.  I picked the figure up a few years ago intending to use it as a zombie boss type – some sort of sci-fi necromancer/evil scientist and possibly the root of the zombie outbreak.  I ended up being distracted by something else and never got much further than assembly until last week.


House Totenkranz

Painting Navigator Heinlein made me decide to paint Totenkranz for use as a Navis Nobilite Heir Apparent (usually called a Novator in later literature).  All that really means in practical terms is that I tried to tie the two figures colour schemes together a bit.  Mr. T will be perfectly able to serve other duties as an evil zombie master or to show up in Judge Dredd games or whatever too.  Amusingly versatile considering how oddball the figure is.

Image from

A Big-Boned Navigator  (

According to White Dwarf #140, printed way back in August 1991:

“The most powerful Navigators in each of the Great Families are called Heirs Apparent.  This signifies that they may one day contend for the position of Paternova, the ruler of all of the Navis Nobilite.”

“The Paternova is the leader of all Navigators and the most powerful of his kind.  The Paternova may live for up to a thousand years.  When he dies all the existing Heirs Apparent begin to change – they begin to grow even larger and stronger.  Their gill structure becomes fully functional allowing them to survive in hard vacuum as well as underwater or in normally poisonous environments.”

Floating fat man from space.

Floating fat man from space.

This description gives lots of leeway as to how Heirs Apparent might appear.  From bloated and heavily deformed, to very elderly and artificially sustained,  to hardwired to the peculiar instruments that navigators use to ply their trade etc.  The Totenkranz model covers many of those bases rather well.  That the figure is also suggestive of Baron Harkonnen from Dune – itself a series that 40k draws heavily from – is a bonus 🙂


Rear shot L to R: Totenkranz, Heinlein. Im not really sure why Heinlein seems to be wearing a gronk pelt, but he is.

I painted Totenkranz chair to look like it was in working order.  Arcane and peculiar was the goal, rather than decrepit and patchwork.  I quickly painted three vials on the rear of the chair with various brightly coloured liquids, all of which appear to be entering or leaving Totenkranz cadaverous physique.  It was a quick job, but it adds some visual interest.

Late in the painting process I decided to paint the panels on the chair with the blue used on Heinleins jerkin in an effort to suggest that it night be a Navis Nobilite house colour.  The red elements tie the figure together a little more.  Totenkranz really quite sore looking flesh was painted in the same way as Heinleins, with a murky pinkish cast to it, plus some extra orange added to the scabby, irritated areas.

Eurovision Song Contest Runners Up - 0.328.988.M41

Eurovision Song Contest Runners Up – 0.328.988.M41



3 Responses

  1. Love it. The vaccum tube in the groin area is particularly disturbing. Now all you need are a few Carytyds fawning around him.



    • Its a pretty repulsive miniature. Weirdly its the orangey scabby bits that make me wince. Largely because I have some idea how that might feel I suppose, rather than for example the sensation that the insertion of a 10 gauge catheter might generate. By the end of the painting process I actually felt slightly sorry for the guy, but that might be my mid-life crisis angst kicking in 😉

      A caryatid is a good idea. I have one or two cherubs, but they have feathered rather than webbed, membranous wings. Hmm. There must be suitable demon baby models out there…

      Thanks for the feedback Otto 🙂


      • Yes hard to find a web winged little Zogger. The wings of a bat would probably work if you have the correct scale and a suitable cherub model or perhaps a model from the Heroclix range? I seem to remember that the Sisters of Battle hang out with a lot of small cherub creatures but with feathery wings….thats what happens with celibate religious orders it seems. Extra points for having a Caryatid with a heartplug 😉


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: