[Archive] Blondes have more fun

Thommy H:

Shrine of the Emperor Ascendant, City of Martyrs, Mausoleum XII, Piscina Sector, Segmentum Obscurus 2766999.M41

Sister Superior Benedicta knelt in silent prayer before the altar of the Emperor Ascendant. The golden statue, depicting the Emperor at the dawn of the Great Crusade, attended by stylised representations of many of the Imperium’s greatest Saints from millennia later - including Sebastian Thor and Lord Solar Macharius - was relatively new, having been erected several decades ago when the City of Martyrs was rebuilt from the ashes of Artemis Prime, but the reliquary at its base, reinforced with rockrete bracings and sealed with adamantium locks, was impossibly ancient. Its contents were of unknown origin, artefacts from the Dark Age of Technology that, it was said, had been blessed by the Emperor when he first came upon the Grave Worlds and liberated them from the unnamed Xenos filth that had once held these most ancient of human worlds in their unclean thrall.

The area for several miles around where she now knelt had been inhabited by humans for tens of thousands of years but, fifty years before, it had all been levelled to the ground by the crude bombardment of Orkish invaders. For over a decade, the survivors had laboured under the cruel lashes of their new greenskin overlords until a War of Faith had finally swept through the system and thrown back the alien menace. Benedicta had not even been born when that happened. She had heard the tale of the Grave Worlds of the Mausoleum system for the first time when she was assigned to the Preceptory here. It had no place in the legends of the Imperium: it was just another nameless light in the void that, for a time, had winked out. As a child, in the Schola Progenium, and later during her training in the Convent Prioris on Holy Terra itself, her life had been full of the stories of the great battles and crusades of unnumbered Saints: the Macharian Crusade, of course, the Armageddon Wars, the sector-wide Gothic War, the dark days of the Reign of Blood and the role her own Order had played in it, but of the Grave Worlds the histories were largely silent.

Nonetheless, these worlds, the surfaces of each of which consisted of ruins built upon ruins built upon ruins, had now come to dominate her life. The spoor of the alien had been eradicated, but contact with Xenos always left the seeds of heresy in its wake. Two generations of humans had grown up knowing no life but servitude to the Ork, and bringing these blighted worlds back into the light of the Imperium and the Ecclasiarchy had been no easy feat. Vigilance was unending, as Abbess Alexandria had always told her.

Intoning the last few words of the Canticle of Mercy, Benedicta made the sign of the Aquila and rose to her feet. She sighed and turned to put out the nearest incense burner when she caught sight of Sister Antonia standing at the entrance to the shrine. The young Battle Sister’s face was grim. “Antonia? What is it?”

“Forgive me, Sister Superior - I didn’t wish to disturb you while you were at prayer.”

“I am no longer at prayer,” Benedicta said, growing immediately impatient and beginning to consider suitable penances to levy for her charge’s dallying, “just tell me what the matter is.”

“It’s the listening posts on Mausoleum VII’s eighteenth moon.”

“What of them?” Mausoleum VII was a gas giant, but two of its moons were inhabited and most of the others housed shipyards, defence networks and, on the barren rocky outliers like the nameless eighteenth, Astropathic listening posts that kept close watch on psychic chatter in the void.

“There are signals combing from the Rictus asteroid field.”


“No Sister Superior: the Astropath says the signals are…are Orkish in origin. The greenskins have returned.”

“Or they never left,” Benedicta said darkly, reaching for her bolter. The Rictus Asteroids had never been fully cleansed due to the difficulty of realspace navigation in the region. No doubt some spaceborne colony of the Orks had survived the crusade that had swept the rest of their kind from this system. And now, in the darkness, they had multiplied and finally grown strong enough to communicate over interplanetary distances. Soon, they would start to construct ramshackle ships and threaten the nearby worlds. If one fell, it could begin a new Waaagh! that would bury the Grave Worlds under another tide of blood. Penance would have to wait. "Have the Astropath contact the Canoness immediately and see to your battle gear. War is upon us."

Squad Benedicta

I first started collecting Sisters of Battle back in 3rd Edition - I’d been considering them during 2nd Edition, but I didn’t have the budget to start a brand new army back then, so I ended up waiting until a year or two later and using the army list in the main rulebook. Then there were White Dwarf updates, the army list in the Chapter Approved compilation (with Necromunda Redemptionists as a Troops choice, for some reason!), then I coincidentally got back into the hobby just after Codex: Witch Hunters came out, so my Sisters became an Inquisitorial force for a bit. And, all the way through, I pretty much never expanded the force from the few squads I’d originally got for Christmas all those years ago. A couple of Battle Sisters units (when they came in squads of six…), two units of Seraphim, an Immolator, a Canoness and a handful of priest types. I got a few more Sisters to be Celestians but, really, there’s not enough variety in the army for anyone to need much besides that. Still, they were always sitting there, caked in enamel paint in the first instance, then repainted to my usual childhood standard (no, I won’t be posting pictures of that) and now, finally, with the advent of 6th Edition 40K I’m getting around to stripping and painting them.

The colour scheme is based on the Order of the Argent Shroud, which is how I repainted them eventually as a kid. I’ve modified it slightly though to give a more muted look. The bolters are usually red, but I’ve done them in black and my rule for this army is going to be “no red”. We’ll see how that works out. I’ve also done them all as blondes (rather than the uniform black hair of the standard colour scheme) because I think it complements the scheme better. Also, gentlemen prefer blondes and I’m nothing if not a gentleman.

Coming next is the Canoness, who’s languishing in the Dettol bath as we speak, and then whatever I feel like stripping next. I’ve got a Battle Conclave kitbashed up (my Arco-Flaggelants are quite clever, I think…) as well as the other Sisters squads and the old-style Immolator, plus the various Preachers, Missionaries, Confessors and so on. Should be fun.


Interesting! Are these models the same that you got during 3rd edition? I don’t keep track of 40k much. How old are these models? I do remember seeing them around when I first got introduced to Warhammer, so they must be fairly old!

I like your paint-scheme. It’s solid, although the models could maybe use a little more… oomph? I’m not completely sure… maybe highlight the gold a bit more to make it stand out or put some stark highlights in select places on the armour itself. I have a suspicion that it’s just the photo washing things out a bit though, along with both the cloth and the background being white, so the cloth doesn’t stand out as much as it does in reality.

Actually, maybe you could add a spot-colour somewhere. Like the cables running from their back-packs. How’d it look if you’d paint them… bright turquoise or something? As an added benefit, it would help draw the eye towards their heads too. You could apply the same trick to their weapons instead as well.

Kay. I’ll stop rambling now. I like your models :cheers

I’ve been having a bit of an 40K itch myself lately, but I’m doing my best not to give it any attention. More models to paint isn’t good and 40K models are damn expensive!.. on the other hand, Iron Warriors are cool… :wink:

Thommy H:

Yeah, they’re the same models - they date back to late 2nd Edition (they were released in 1997, I think). They never released any new version of them, just a few supplementary specialists when Codex: Witch Hunters came out in 2004, so these are pretty old figures. For my money though, the metals GW were doing during that period, like the Perrys’ Bretonnians, Jes Godwin’s Space Marine Scouts, the Gorkamorka Orks and pretty much everything from the Sisters of Battle range, are some of the best figures they’ve ever done. I think they hold up really well.

I’m quite happy with the colour scheme, even though it does look a bit drab. I want them to have quite an austere look, rather than the usual red/black/gold of Sisters of Battle armies. Normally they have no blue on them, so I wanted to go the opposite way and exclude red from the palette. I think once I have a couple more squads, it’ll be a really interesting looking army - you’re right about the photography though, because their robes play havoc with the white balance.


I love the sisters! Even thought they are older models they still are amazingly cool, especially the Seraphim (IMO). I also had a ardent shroud themed force Thommy, but stripped it down and have been stock piling a new army for the apocalypse. (I think is have around 150+ sister models)

Good to have another heretic hunter out there. Love the the background fluff and the paint job.

Also just ordered the complete Daemonifuge series: The Heretic Saint now that you can get it from the black library again.


I think its a admirable thing you are doing Tommy but having owned a large sisters of battle army the one huge regret I have is selling it, True I never did do particualy well with it but ever since I have contemplated making a new version.

I agree with you that these models done at the tail end of 2nd edtion still hold out well but I think they lack the dynamic presence they should really have. I am interested if you will be kitbashing versions of sisters of battle ? I have seen very good versions made from the new dark elf corssair boxed set with some sculpting bolt pistols and Marrine backpacks not to mention that they can also make great seraphim?

The biggest problem I did have however was the sisters of battles faces… I did think that they did look like the 1960’s plannet of the apes females truth be told I know and appreciate that not all females can conform to the expected norms of a singular attractive female face but GW totaly ran with the ball with what was the expected norms of a singular unattractive female face in that entire range.

Thommy H:

I have a minor conversion planned for my Canoness, and my Battle Conclave is completely kitbashed, but I don’t have any real plans to convert the rank and file Battle Sisters - the objective really is to repaint an old army I always intended to revisit.

Re: the faces: I always thought it was a bit weird that Sisters of Battle were supposed to be attractive. I get that they have form-fitting armour featuring inexplicable secondary sexual characteristics and stylised garters, but these are supposed to be the most elite un-augmented human warriors in the Imperium - the equal of Imperial Guard Storm Troopers in terms of experience and training. I always liked the Sister pictured in Codex: Witch Hunters depicted with brutal scarring on her face and ritual tattoos, because these aren’t Playboy models: they’re psychotic, fanatical soldiers who have spent their whole lives dividing their time between hellish conflict and rigorous prayer and self-denial. They shouldn’t be attractive in a conventional, modern sense. In other words, the slightly dodgy faces never bothered me much. I always assumed they were meant to look tough, not pretty. GW has historically not been great at sculpting women though, so I expect this is more chance than design…

I’d be interested to see those Dark Eldar conversions if you have a link though, Thorne.


The thing I always thought was weird about the original sisters was their stat line. For not being a part of the space marine gene seed they had BS4, T4, I4 and LD8. That means they must have been wicked tough considering they were on par with space marines, but not genetically altered in the same fashion.

I can see now why they changed them to the current line… It makes sense, but I totally liked idea of hellaciously tough sisters hunting down witches by the divine prowess of the emperor. Standing toe to toe with marines. Now they’re just glorified imperial guardsmen.

Either way I dig them, but I would’ve like to proxy a marine list with them.


I always liked the Sister pictured in Codex: Witch Hunters depicted with brutal scarring on her face and ritual tattoos, because these aren't Playboy models: they're psychotic, fanatical soldiers who have spent their whole lives dividing their time between hellish conflict and rigorous prayer and self-denial. They shouldn't be attractive in a conventional, modern sense.
They sound awesome to me. Playboy models are dull. ;)


I always liked the Sister pictured in Codex: Witch Hunters depicted with brutal scarring on her face and ritual tattoos, because these aren't Playboy models: they're psychotic, fanatical soldiers who have spent their whole lives dividing their time between hellish conflict and rigorous prayer and self-denial. They shouldn't be attractive in a conventional, modern sense.
They sound awesome to me. Playboy models are dull. ;)

Sounds like a new forge world book, or should I say calendar.

FW presents "The Women of 40k"!

I can almost see it now.

Kera foehunter:

Wow!! an army of Space Kera’s Thommy H. I love you xxoo


Thommy H:

Order of the Argent Shroud Preceptory House, Darkstar’s Landing, Nebuchadnezzar Province, Mausoleum III, Piscina Sector, Segmentum Obscurus 2771999.M41

Cannonness Gabriella opened her eyes to the gloom of her spartan sleeping chamber. She always slept light, not only from of a lifetime of following the strict routine of her order’s round-the-clock pattern of prayer and combat drills, but also from long years spent in the field. A good soldier, even one of the devout Adepta Sororitas, knows to get sleep whenever possible. If she had slept more than two or three hours at a stretch in the last seventy years, she had no memory of it. The red rune of awakening was glowing on the overhead console. Gabrielle frowned. Her finely-honed internal body clock told her it was over an hour until Matins, and there was no reason for the rune to be illuminated - save one. Moving slowly, as if weighed down by the impending dread, she pressed the rune of communication beside it and a crackle of feedback heralded a sleepy voice on the other end of the line. “Mother…”


There was a moment of silence while the Sister Dialogous - unused to maintaining the same level of alertness as a Battle Sister - composed herself. “Mother, I have received an Astraopathic communication from Sister Superior Benedicta at the City of Martyrs. Listening posts around the Rictus asteroids have detected…”

“Yes, I know. The Ork.” Gabriella deactivated the rune of communication with a furious jab of her thumb as she swung herself up on her narrow cot. Already her skin was pebbled with gooseflesh as she felt the surge of battle-fury within her. She had fought in the first crusade to rid the Grave Worlds of the greenskin curse and though her rejuvenant treatments had maintained her fighting prowess well past her natural prime, they could not erase the memory of those hellish years. She had always known they would return: always dreaded and hungered for it in equal measure.

But there was something else. In the darkness, Gabriella traced a finger up the narrow scar that split her lip and ran up past her left eye and to her brow. The Orks would come, yes, but another old enemy would come in their wake. An enemy masquerading as a friend. An enemy that had given her this scar. The official records may keep their silence, but Canonness Gabriella of the Mausoleum System Preceptory of the Order of the Argent Shroud remembered. Remembered the bolter shell that almost ripped her skull in twain. Remembered the man who fired it. No, not a man. A Space Marine.

A Dark Angel.