Monday 7 September 2020

Tribute to Ciaphus Cain, Hero of the Imperium


Commissar Ciaphus Cain, Hero  is a character invented by Alex Stewart, writing as Sandy Mitchell for Black Library. He is accompanied by his aide, Gunner First Class Jurgen.

I made this model some years ago and it has languished in a box in the garage. However I have been using the lockdown to have a clear out and came across it. After a quick spruce to blow the dust off, it will soon be off to Alex as a momento of his wonderful stories.

I took as my inspiration the front cover of The Traitor's Hand, one of Alex's novels, that shows Cain riding in his personal Salamander armoured recce vehicle. However, I did not feel bound to follow the artwork slavishly as I can't see Cain advertising his presence with a banner.

The Salamander is based on a Rhino chassis so I kitbashed a Basilisk. Removing the cannon left me with an appropriate open-topped hull to which I added an heavy bolter.

I wanted the car to look lived in so added bedding and a potable water holder - water is often a limited resource on Imperial worlds

Note the ID plaque bearing Cain's name on the flank.

The Salamander offers an easy escape route over the back if Cain needs to leg it, sharpish. He has added an additional drum of promethium as a reserve. Running out of fuel in a hostile environment is one of those things that makes his hands itch.

The scout car is a bit dirty and knocked-about with the odd spot of rust on the exterior but you can be sure the weapons and mechanics are in full working order. Cain isn't to bothered about spit and polish but you never know when you may need to make a run for it.

As a recce scout, the Salamander is well equipped with augurs - very useful for detecting and avoiding dangerous enemies.

The Salamander also has the advanced comms array of a command vehicle, as befits the Regimental Commissar. These are useful for screaming for assistance when in difficulties.

Note Jurgen's 'uniform' - and I use the word cautiously. Cain's aide is equipped with a variety of ill-fitting battle dress from different campaigns, sporting a variety of camos.


  1. Love the details, really nicely done

  2. Great looking piece John, inspired by the cool artwork

  3. I hope Alex likes this. Awesome work John.

  4. Dear John,
    Those are excellent books

    In the field you didn't salute, It targeted officers for snipers.

    1. I recall reading that WWI British officers knew they'd transgressed when their own men stated saluting them in the trenches...sure its not true :)

  5. An excellent piece, John!

    You've no doubt gone the extra mile by sealing something malodorous in the hull, close to Jurgen. :-)

    Regards, Chris,

    1. Brilliant idea. Unfortunately, I didn't think of it.