Evolution of a force: Adeptus Arbites

Hi there! Back to 40K again. Today I'm bringing you a compilation of pics showing how I begun to build up a force of Arbitrators. For all those non-warhammerers, Arbitrators are just the Judge Dredd concept taken into 40K. Law enforcers who deliver judgement upon criminals and heretics Imperiumwide. You know, hard stuff for the dark millenium.

In the beginning there was the core :P

I had these minis so long I even can't remember

And they are not even the first RT models

But they have aged quite decently
Look, there is an eagle on your head! No, not joking!

And the core was of Arbitrators, and these Arbitrators were the core of my upcoming force :D
At some time I saw this conversion work by mighty Mike McVey:

So I fell in love with it and felt that I needed one of my own. My first attempt (I believe at some moment by 1997-98) was this... thing:

The pic was taken much later

This is why Mike McVey is a genius and I am not

It is a converted Chimera, as you may have spotted. But of course I could not be satisfied at all with this, so I had to repaint it. Arbitrators need black gear. Don't ask me why, but these guys really need ominous colours.

Does it look different?
If black is good enough for the new Robocop, it is good for Arbites
Another example of my absurd obsession about details

So I had a small bunch of cops and a van. Good enough for a start. But, as you can imagine, not enough at all. By that moment I had already read the first book of the Arbites' trilogy and I was totally hooked by the leading character, Shira Calpurnia.

A really good sci-fi novel, even if you are not into WH40K

I needed some more Arbites. I traded for some minis and I finally got enough models to build up two squads, one with shotguns and one with bolters. The main problem was the Judge (the leader of the squad). I couldn't have twenty different minis, but at least I would not have two identical Judges. I converted this one who was to lead the bolter squad:

Couldn't stand that helmet
So this is what I got:

There are more people than in the first pic!
Ten guys with shotgun and a grenade launcher
Seven more with bolters and another grenade launcher
Hmmm... What else could I add to my force? A model I'm in love with. A Forge World's Arvus Lighter. Let me show you the pain in the *** process.

FW's superior quality resin blah blah blah
Panting the inside
Adding details I will see no more as soon as I glue the pieces

But I will know they are there.
This is the pilot of the Airbus Arvus

Wooops, fingerprints. Windscreen wiper needed

The aspect of this flying shoebox ship begun to be like this:

Yup, this is supposed to fly

The usual Aeris ductus, cautio and cave pedes signs I tend to paint on all my ships, remember

Once you put the wings on, this is the final aspect of it:

Lovely tiny shoebox

Adeptus Arbites insignia

A final shot
Now to cross the skies!

So this is my current Arbitrator force!

After all this mess, I painted a few Arbites for a friend. I'm only posting here the conversions on the Judges (the rest of the minis are just the same!)

Judge 1, step 1
Judge 2, step 1 (a true RT original model!)

Judge 3, step 1. Yes, that is a lascannon. My friend specifically asked for it
When finished they look like this:

Haha, I have hair! Hair!
Old West Sheriff, 40K version
Nineteenth century gentleman moustache. Just to compensate the rough weapon

Here it is, Team Arbites:

Over there!
Once I have shown you all this, I must say I bought the Necromunda Arbites, but have not painted them yet, and I really want to, the set includes one guy with riot shield and a K9 unit.

Oh, all this deserves an scenario. Or two. Or a full campaign! Agh, too many projects!


  1. Wow there a bit of an amazing bunch of conversion's really nicely done. You have to admit even the RT Arbites as sculpts have even held there own. I'd say there even more menacing in appearance than the Necromunda release of the arbites.

    Great looking force.

    1. Thanks! Yeah, Arbitrators are quite an iconic part of 40K, no one has dared to re-sculpt or even redesign them for ages. I do believe they should receive much more attention in fluff and minis terms :)

  2. Brilliant ! I just love this. I've just found my own arbites myself and I've been reading the Judge Dredd Series form the start and this is just spot on !
    Your convesrions really give some fresh air and add a good diversity while still fitting flawlessly with the rest.
    I actuallynever had seen the arbtites vehicle by Mike before... your version is very nice and with the added flyer you have a beautiful force here !

    The deep black was a great choice. Congrats.

    1. OH, dear me, I only saw the details like the licence plate afterwards, Genius !

    2. Haha, thank you! Glad you like them. For me they are just an essential part of any urban scenario, I would like to have some more variety in poses and so. Some day, some day...

      Hehe, I have a soft spot for those tiny details as the plates or the small signs. There must be a cure for that...

  3. Me encantan los Arbites así que me das una envidia que me muero!! Te han quedado de lujo.

    1. ¡Gracias! Es una lástima que hayan desaparecido de las mesas de juego, me encantaría recuperarlos para algunos escenarios...

    2. En un escenaio actual los puedes representar como un séquito inquisitorial con bolters, escopetas y armaduras de cparazón, montados en chimeras

    3. Es buena idea, tengo que montar alguna cosa con ellos :)

  4. Me dejas sin palabras Suber, hace nada pensé en esas minis ya que unos amiguetes quieren montar unas bandas de Necromunda, y a falta de no poder conseguirlas pensé en hacerlas o como proxis usar la tropa de choque de la Guardia Imperial.

    Todo el conjunto me ha encantado, tanto las ideas como el pintado.

    Un gran saludo amigo.

    1. ¡Gracias! He visto proxies muy interesantes por internet. Algún día creo que me gustará intentar algo para conseguir poses diferentes y una mayor variedad.

  5. Me maravilla la cantidad de minis antiguas que tienes y Lo bien qué las adaptas a la actualidad con tu pintura y transformaciones características.
    casi haces que me den ganas de sacar de las cajas mis minis de 40k... casi jejeje
    Un saludo

    1. ¡Jaja, muchas gracias! Para mí este Oldhammer 40K es lo único que me atrae ahora mismo de esta ambientación. Yo te animo a que recuperes el espíritu con el que empezamos, te dejará buen sabor de boca :)

  6. I like your vehicle more than McVey's. :)

    1. Oh, please! You are making me blush! I don't believe so! But Arbites are quite an interesting field for experimentation and to bring new designs to vehicles and this kind of stuff.

  7. Vaya vaya vaya...y de donde sacaste lo de cambiar la cabeza a los jueces no lo cuentas? bien bien...anotado en el libro de agravios, que lo sepas

    1. Rencoroso :P
      Ya tuviste tu reconocimiento público cuando lo hice :D Aun así, lo vuelvo a manifestar, la primera conversión se la vi a Gonfrask :)

  8. Amazing, I too tried to make that Arbite tan when i first saw it in WD. Mine never came to much though, and yours looks great. I really want a Arbite force now..

    1. Haha, thanks! As I said, Arbites are nice for experiments, they allow you to design crazy stuff. It would be nice to have some modified Sentinels or bikes (I even had thought of small walkers to count as Rough Riders) or a little more variety in vehicles and units. I have a few crazy ideas...

      Chico, I challenge you to assemble an Arbites force!! :)

  9. Que chulos, me encanta el cacharrete volador!

    No tienes ninguna figura con escudo antidisturbios?

    1. En el pack de Arbites de Necromunda hay un Arbitrador con escudo. Me gustaría tener una escuadra entera...

    2. Pues a darle al oyumaru... ;-)

  10. I love these, really nice. Something about your riot vehicle is nicer that McVeys in design, honestly :) The Arvus is just perfect too.

    I have a number of Judge Dredd figures from Mongoose Publishing and Wargames Foundry painted in the comic book colour scheme. While the inspiration for the Arbites obviously came from the piles of 2000AD comics that Rick Priestley was reading so that he could write the Dredd RPG back in the eighties (just before RT), I like the 40K Arbites for their own reasons too (although I never finished the third part of the Shira Calpurnia Omnibus).

    I have a squad of the first Necromunda era Arbites, plus I bought a set of the Fanatic era Arbites as soon as I heard about Specialist Games finishing up. Your project has me looking at them again. Mine will be in Mega City 1 Justice Dept colours though. I cant make myself paint them any other way :)

    Great post, great project :)

    1. Thanks! I'd love to see what you get on those, I can tell for sure they will be great, your work is always inspiring :)

      The Shira Calpurnia trilogy starts really nice, I loved the first book, quite fresh for the genre; the second one didn't get my enthusiasm, but was not that bad. And I agree the third wasted its potential. It began as a thrilling story and at some point the author got lost, a real pity. But reading the books hooked me again on Arbitrators, the project looks appealing to me.

      Now I'm looking for sci-fi civilians and rioters. Still haven't found anything 'Jonh Blanche' enough, but I already have a couple of scenarios in mind for whenever I get them :)

  11. Any chance you know off the top of your head which issue of White Dwarf the Mike McVey converted riot control vehicle appeared in? thanks! :-)

    1. Sorry, I've been browsing through the web but I cannot find it :(
      I remember the pics from back in the day; I'd dare to stretch it to 1997-98, but I'm afraid I can't be more precise. I'm positively sure that those two were the only pics released, but I'm afraid that's all I can tell!