Imperial Fleet Officers

Imperial Fleet OfficersL to R: Admiral Leopold Horatio III,Commodore Thaddeus Borlase-Arlington

Imperial Fleet Officers
L to R: Admiral Leopold Horatio III,
Commodore Thaddeus Borlase-Arlington

These two guys are made by Ramshackle games.  I have painted them to function as some sort of fleet officers or officials in my skirmish games, but they will serve double duty as politicians or planetary governors as required.  The current iteration of the Imperial Guard rules for 40K has an “Officer of the Fleet” option and they would serve well in that role too I think.

A rare moment of inter-species harmony, Rogue Trader style.

A rare moment of high ranking inter-species harmony, Rogue Trader style.

Leopold – the furry shouldered gentleman – was slated for inclusion as some sort of scenario Maguffin type when I bought him, but my first attempt to paint the model a few years ago floundered.  His stern, half-painted visage has been scrutinising my failure from a shelf in the man-cave ever since.  Until now anyway.

King Jaffe


When I obtained Thaddeus – the flamboyant parrot wielding gent – as part of a set of miniatures in 2011 I really wasnt sure what to do with him.  The model is a bit too Victorian to easily slot into my sci-fi miniature collection. Then I painted Governor Cushing for my Ursa Miners a month or two ago and I decided to continue the Star Wars Imperial officer inspired scheme through to these guys.

Cushings pose and colour scheme are both quite reserved.   Leopold and Thaddeus on the other hand, are not.

"Ready Torpedoes.  Fire on my mark..."

“Ready Torpedoes. Fire on my mark…”

These two guys are vainglorious popinjays, adorned with brightly coloured accessories. They are big deals and they want you to know it.

I figured that by using the previously established sombre uniform scheme I could get away with full on Star Trek technicolour alien accoutrements, so thats what I did.

Astro Lion

Astro Lion

"Does my bum look big in this?"

“Does my bum look big in this?”

I have seen versions of the bald figure painted so that the “lion” looks like a lion, which is absolutely fine of course, but I wanted the model to look as pulp sci-fi as possible.  So the lion had to be an exotic colour.



Bubastis from Watchmen is a bit more purple than turquoise, but she was an infleunce when choosing a colour for Leos pelt all the same.  I went with turquoise mainly because I enjoy painting that particular colour.

"Not the face, NOT THE FACE!"

“Not the face, NOT THE FACE!”

The guy with the parrot is extra silly.  I particularly enjoy that Thad looks like he might actually be afraid of the luridly coloured bird.  It certainly seems to be staring him down.  Likely the bird makes all the tough decisions.

"RAWWWK!. Pieces of hate, pieces of hate! RAAAWK!"

“RAWWWK!. Pieces of hate, pieces of hate! RAAAWK!”

The painting on these guys is ok, but I rushed a few things that irritate me a little now.  The highlighting in the uniforms is a little too harsh and the guy with the parrot is a little too gaudy while the bald guy wearing the pelt needs a little more colour to make him pop I think.

L to R: Mega Miniatures not-Commissar, Ramshackle Games Admiral Leopold Horatio III, GW Astropath

Part of the reason that they didnt come out as well as I would like is that I rushed them and part is because of the odd light where I paint at this time of year, which tends to throw me off a bit.  But the two boys worked out ok all the same, plus they are a bit of a laugh which counts for a lot when playing games.

L to R: GW Rogue Trader era Inquisitor, Ramshackle Games Thaddeus, GW Rogue Trader era Navigator

L to R: GW Rogue Trader era Inquisitor, Ramshackle Games Thaddeus Borlase-Arlington, GW Rogue Trader era Navigator

Styles and scales vary, so mixing miniatures in a project can cause headaches.  Im not too bothered by that sort of thing generally and I am happy to mix these guys in with my other 40K skirmish stuff.  When presented in a line up some figures look a bit off, but spread out on a terrain filled tabletop minor differences disappear.

Party like its 39,999

Party like its 39,999


16 Responses

  1. Ooh I love how you’ve done them. The ‘reserved’ colour scheme with some added vibrance has come out great.

    But the only thing I can think is – that lions head is still ‘shaped’ meaning there’s a skull inside. That thing must be SUPER uncomfortable to lug around on one shoulder. I’m surprised the man isn’t counter weighting with a hunch back 😀


    • Thanks cappuccinogaming, Im glad that you like them. They are gaudy and cartoony and more than a bit daft, but they are fun and thats the most important thing.

      What you say about the lion skull makes a lot of sense (doubly so when you take a look at the photo of James Earl Jones with a de-skulled head on his shoulder). Its an interesting point and something that I hadnt really thought about, so thanks for mentioning it. Now that I have seen it, I can never unsee it 🙂

      The thing is, like the Malifaux universe (and quite a few others) the 40k environment is all about over-the-top ridiculousness. Hypothesising on what super sci-fi lightweight, inflated-with-astro-helium material was used to replace the skull or how a team of cloned hunchbacks follow Leo around keeping his shoulder aloft via a complex series of winches, gimbals and pulleys or even how Leo enjoys the discomfort involved in wearing the pelt as he feels it brings him closer to the Emperor because he is a crazy religious zealot is fun and fills a lot of my gaming chat. But, like the way that the Smurfs and the Autobots vary in size from scene to scene… it doesnt really matter.

      It is interesting to note though 🙂

      Thanks for the feedback.


  2. I just love the idea of a parrot on a 40K battlefield. Lovely work.


  3. They are a nice couple of figs for naval types. I imagine that they will be accompanied by some burly young men in navy outfits that incorporate shorts for some reason. They both look great in general the only thing is that the parrot looks a little pastel clashy to me – but then it is a space parrot I suppose. I would reserve final judgment until I saw it in the flesh though.


    • Representing the crew of a Gothic Class ship-of-the-line with a bunch of cyborg Jean Paul Gaultier types – a bit like Kirk Douglas and co in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea – would be fun, but it might use some of the shtick that I want to reserve for my planned ridiculous space pirate crew. I am on the lookout for a small six or so strong unit of humans to accompany these officers though, so if you have any ideas then lets hear them.

      As for clashing pastel parrots, you are 100% correct Im afraid. It isnt better in hand 😦

      Although the model is largely painted grey, I still managed to use too many colours on Thaddeus, leaving me with some tough decisions regarding the parrot. I made some colour choices on the spot as I was afraid that if I left the figure as it was at the time that I would be disheartened enough not to finish it, so I forced it through with below par results. Its ok, but it could be better.

      Adding to that is that I am trying to improve my oranges, yellows, reds and purples at the moment, which is causing some less that satisfactory efforts to get through the process. Hopefully it will be worth it in the end. You never progress if you dont experiment from time to time and it not like the figure is a write off anyway: its still alright.

      Thanks for the feedback.


      • Absolutely experiment 🙂 .

        I think that if you look at some tropical bird pictures you might find there are some markings or colour features which might be added to offset the pastel feel of the bird. Now that I think about it again they eye of the bird seems wrong as most parrots seem to have distinct erm parrot eye with some Zebra like markings on them, that could be the a key thing with it.


        • Yeah, the next time that I try a to paint exotic plumage I will go another route. But Thad and his pastel parrot will have to stay the way they are now.

          On to the next thing: a vehicle for my evil space brains.


  4. I absolutely adore this project, Paul! You’ve perfectly captured the feel of RT-era 40K. It’s a perfect mix of serious and silly, and your interpretation of the world is so much more varied and interesting than the current iteration’s. Painting is top notch as well, your style really fits these minis.


    • Thanks very much Mikko! The 40K skirmish project started slowly over a year ago but it has been steadily growing since. If you count my Necrons and Ursa Miners as part of it (which I do) then its going very well indeed 🙂

      The whimsical elements in Rogue Trader that appealed to me back in the late eighties are still the sorts of things that make me want to play games now. Nostalgia fuels a lot of the online enthusiasm for the RT era stuff but the setting as described in the original book is, to its credit very open. Back then RT was intended to be a game that could incorporate a players entire miniatures collection no matter the source. Modern 40K is entirely blinkered now and doesnt encourage enthusiasts to look anywhere else, ever (for crushingly dull albeit sensible business reasons). That appeals to many, but it doesnt appeal to me.

      I am more interested in the sort of gaming environment that the original RT rules were written for, where the universe is so incomprehensibly vast that you can squeeze any sort of weirdness in if you want. The 40k universe in my head owes a lot to Samurai Jack and Futurama and those sorts of influences are becoming more and more apparent in my output I think. Your inspirational UTOPIA campaign is expanding to encompass more than you originally planned too by the look of things. I think thats a lot healthier than painting yet another Space Marine army.

      I had some totally daft ideas for space pirates while driving this morning. If they work out they will put blue space lion pelt wearing, astro-parrot wielding navy officers in the shade for sure 🙂

      Thanks for the kind feedback Mikko.


  5. Been absent for a couple of months and missed your work, Paul. But it’s all looking great. Your painting skills are really magnificent now. Love your stuff.


    • Thanks very much Andrew!

      Although these two models are not the best example, I have relatively recently found a compromise between quality and speed of painting that I am happy with. My 2013 output has been pretty good as a result.

      A pulpy take on the 40K universe is what is currently floating my boat, so expect to see a bit more of that here for the next while.


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