Monday, October 14, 2019

Sisters of Battle for FriendsCon

On top of my 2mm madness, another project I've been working on these past few months has been putting together a Sisters of Battle force for a friends tournament that we just had just a few days ago. Byron hosted six of us loons at his house with a delicious BBQ lunch and supper - a great day out. I'll post a couple shots of the event at the end of this.

Last winter I debuted my first efforts with this project, using models kindly provided by IainW, a long time participant of the Painting Challenge and all around good egg (thanks Iain!). As I mentioned in that post, this is not my first foray into the Sisters of Battle, as many years ago I had collected a sizeable force only to regrettably sell it off. 

Anyway, I thought it would be fun to reconstitute (reconsecrate?) my collection of Adepta Sororitas (nerdspeak for the Sisters) and so have been furiously collecting, building and painting models for the past few months.

I understand that the Sisters will have a new Codex-guidebook-thingy coming out soon, but this force is based off the stopgap rules which were published last December. This is just fine with me as I don't expect myself to be haunting the tournament circuit anytime soon - this collection is largely about enjoying the various models and their attendant fluff, with absolutely no eye to being competitive.

Okay, now how to best describe this lot? Well, let's do it by troop type and see how it goes. 

First up are the 'Big Hats' - the leaders, characters and other HQ elements leading the Sisters.

The Abbess

This lady, the Abbess, is the head honcho, the matriarch of the Order. I call her Madge as she totally looks like a Madge to me. Our Gallic friend Sylvain would best describe her, 'Une Femme Formidable.

This figure was a gift from Byron and originated from the Toughest Girls in the Galaxy Kickstarter that was run a few years ago. Thanks Byron!

A wonderful sculpt. I really love the pose, with her brandishing a scroll. 

'These, heretic, are your library fines. Suffer not the Late to Live!'

Saint Celestine

Yes, in the lunacy that is 40K, players have full access to field god-like Primarchs, terrifying Daemon Princes, and for the Sisters of Battle, an undying saint. 

The story behind Saint Celestine is that she was a Battle Sister who, due to her fanatical devotion to the God Emperor of Mankind (GEM), was chosen to be an immortal avatar to her fellow Soritas. In game terms she a bit of a beast, but can be struck down. Not to be deterred, she has a very good chance of immediately coming right back for another bout of zealous mayhem. Yep, kinda bonkers.

GW makes a very nice Celestine model, but I wanted something a little different and found a great rendition of her on Thingiverse designed by the talented 'jimbeanz'. To reflect her heroic stature, I scaled her up slightly so she'd be suitably intimidating on the tabletop. This in turn made her wings quite enormous, so I magnetized them so they can be removed for easy packing and transport.

Celestine is accompanied by what I jokingly call her backup singers. These are a pair of Geminae Superia bodyguards, basically hard-as-nails Sisters sporting zippy jetpacks, powerswords and bolt pistols. Weee! In game terms they essentially act as ablative armour for Celestine, soaking up extra hits for their Main Girl. 

These models are from Wargames Exclusive. I quite like how the jetpacks are modeled with their artificed wings.

Battle Sisters

The main troops are the Battle Sisters themselves. Power armoured ladies, with a wide variety of weapons and fanatical resolve, they form the backbone of the entire force. I painted up about 35 of them, but here is a small sampling along with a few of their leaders. In addition to the venerable metals castings that I got from Iain, I also picked up a bunch of resin versions from Wargames Exclusive.

Arco-Flagellants and Penitent Engine

Okay, these two units are very similar, so I'm lumping them together.  Both are a bit crazed but quite fun to run on the tabletop. 

Arco-Flagellants are essentially criminals who have been swept up by the Mechanicum, lobotomised with a dull spoon, brutally augmented with cybernetic power flails and then festooned with auto-injectors containing toxic mixtures of combat drugs and pain inhibitors. Think pro rugby for the 40th millennium.

They're led by a priest, providing them a little moral guidance to help chivy them along. 

Penitent Engines are similar to Arco-Flagellants, but the poor loon (looness?) is 'installed' half naked in an open cockpit power-suit, armed with paired flame throwers and huge circular saws. Yep, totally plausible.

Unlike the 'misunderstood' Flagellants, the Penitent Engines are piloted by REAL jackholes. You know the type: evil crime lords, small-fingered, porcine heads of state with no moral compass, and the absolute worst, those guys who wear their ball caps backwards and drive those annoyingly huge Dodge trucks with sport exhausts (okay, these examples may be somewhat coloured by personal bias, but you get the gist).

The idea behind both the Arco-Flagellants and the Penitent Engines is that they're promised absolution only if they get rendered down to bloody viscera on the battlefield. 

Yes, all this helps to underscore that, while the Imperium of Mankind may not be an especially forgiving place, it is a big supporter of karmic hubris. As I've said before, one can only imagine that recidivism is probably non-existent in the Empire. 


Last up for the force are the vehicles. These lumps are all variants based off the tried and trusted Rhino chassis. 

The Repressor is sort of a crowd control vehicle, if 'control' means either shooting, immolating or squishing your offending crowd. It features multiple firing ports to shoot from, a handy-dandy flame thrower, a pair of stormbolter turrets and an anti-personnel dozer blade.  Very noice.

Forge World (or as I call it, 'Gouge World') used to have a Repressor model, but it has long disappeared from their catalogue. Undeterred, I found a great 3D kit on, yes, you guessed it, Thingiverse, designed by StFishbulber. The various bits took a bit of cutting, filing, and repositioning, but the final product is fairly convincing I think.

The Immolator. With its extra crispy flamey goodness, the Immolator is a perennial favourite of Sisters of Battle collectors.  For something a little different, I used a third party turret from Wargames Exclusive as I quite the raw, aggressive silhouette it gives.

The last vehicle I'll cover is the Exorcist. This silly thing is basically a combination of a Kayatusha rocket launcher and basilica pipe organ. Makes perfect sense. I love the baroque design, especially the Sister gunner at her 'keyboard' and the servitor drone loading the rockets into the pipe organ. Again, it's completely nuts, but in a fun way. 

So there you have it, the basis of my Sisters of Battle force. For those who are curious they didn't actually do too bad in our FriendsCon with two wins and one loss (a miracle in of itself as I had no idea what I was doing most of the time). 

Noah sending in his Eldar against my Girls with Byron and Ray on another table in the background.
Greg moving up his Tau against Ray's Deathwing (aptly titled as they were soon to be rendered down to smoking boots only a few minutes after this photo). Poor Ray, such a good sport.

My plan is to add a few more units over the coming months, but I feel the pull to try something else - maybe some WWII stuff for my Italian Campaign, we'll see where the brushes take me.

Thanks for visiting - I hope you all have a great week!