Today I want to talk about the first step before building your own little army. It’s the fantasy you have in mind and that should be reflected throughout all your models.
So what do I mean by fantasy – Its the look and feel, all the little details that connect your whole army and that are somehow reflecting the story behind. And in my case, when I build a new army out of conversions, its about which bits I use, which models might fit in and how they keep the spirit and style of Warhammer 40.000.
Part I – Key Elements
Looking at the Sisters of Battle, there are generally 3 kinds of items I want to add to every infantry unit and as far as possible, also vehicles.
- Purity seals and parchments
- Female heads
The female heads simply allow us to show everyone, that this is an army of women, which is often enough not possible in Helmets. A real Armour, no matter the century, will never have these “Boob Bubbles” on the chest, since they are more dangerous than helpful. So when we convert our own Sisters, the Armour itself might not show any female forms.
The tabards might support this female look, but it is also a good indicator for people of faith. A warrior might not want to wear a full cloak, but tabards do the trick and look beautiful. Also a great possibility to bring some additional colours.
Last but not least, the purity seals and parchments. The Adepta Sororita are really strong believers in the god-emperor. They dedicate all their lives with a passion beyond measure and I love the idea of these warriors showing their oaths, their prayers and all that in battle.
Part II – Further details
Beside these 3 main features of (my) Sisters of Battle, there are other details I try to look at, when converting models.
First of all, I try to achieve some “knightly” style. Be it by the armour itself or for example a lot of extra plates. The more these warriors look like knights, the more I like them and the better they fit into my personal fantasy.
Next, I try to achieve an even more “religious” look by adding bits like candles, books, censars, ropes and all sorts of skulls (sadly enough ^^).
Part III – Keeping it Games Workshop
Even though I am converting models that are not GW, I always try to keep the general style alive. In the end, I try to mimic a GW-Army in some way and not to develop a whole new one. Therefor I keep in mind that some elements and bits are key to the GW-look of my sisters.
Taking standard Boltguns and weaponry from GW is the first step to make them fit in and by the way, the best idea to avoid a lot of discussions before a game with friends. Imagine you had to explain a dozen different weapon types before and surely throughout the game. “No, this WWII Rifle was not a Boltgun but a Melta! This Grenade Thrower is a Boltgun. Why can’t you just remember …” Just take the original ones and feel free to modify those a little if necessary. (For example modifying a Boltgun to look like a GW-Melta)
Taking GW (Space Marine) Backpacks also has one key advantage. They are iconic for the Power-Armours worn by the Sisters of Battle but also Space Marines of every kind. Using some cheap Space Marine Backpacks, gives your miniatures exactly this feel of a highly geared-up warrior and even players who don’t know the Sisters too well, will get the impression of high-quality armour. (Yes I know, the cool spikes are missing. SAD!)
With all this in mind, we can start looking for the best miniatures and bits to convert our own Warrior-Nuns!
Next up: Setting it up – Step II (Order and colour scheme)