Sororitas First Codex & Minis: 40K Retro

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Come take a look at the very first Sororitas 2nd Edition army book from back in 1997, and their miniatures.

Welcome to the BoLS Retro Corner, where each week, we take you on a time machine to the era of early grimdark awesomeness.  This week, we take you back to the heady days of Warhammer 40,000 2nd Edition! Time to let the the Daughters of the Emperor take out their flamers and start burning the heretics – Gav Thorpe style!  Enjoy this trip through the mists of gaming time.

Codex Sisters of Battle (2nd Edition)

 

The Sisters Miniatures

Now let’s take a look at the old metal Sisters of Battle minis that accompanied the codex. The tragic moral of the story is these are the same minis you can get today… 20 years on.

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These are the bread and butter Battle Sisters. Bolters, maces, flamers, corsets, and fleur-de-lis everywhere. Don’t forget the classic bob hair-do.

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Without question the standouts of the range. The Seraphim have been flitting around dispensing the Emperor’s justice with bolt and flame pistols for 2 decades. I can only imagine what new modern Seraphim could look like.  The Blood Angel Sanguinary Guard are probably a good place to start.

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Burninating the countryside since 1997. The Retributors have been blasting, melting and incinerating the heretics thanklessly for 20 years while the Salamanders garnered all the glory.

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Most people forget about the Frateris Militia models.  If you need the perfect unit to deal with those irritating Chaos Cultists – have some faithful ones of your own. Run them before the blades and guns of the bad guys with a smile on their faces and the Emperor in their hearts.

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Rounding things out are the Missionaries and named characters of the Ministorum to put a little vim into their sermons to whip up the faithful.

Adeptus_Sororitas
Who’s excited about the Sisters of Battle’s return?
  • DJ860

    If you’re thinking of getting into SoB, there’s a 10 model squad of Sisters for nearly £50 on the GW site, hahaha.

    • Valourousheart

      Eh…. the way that bundle works you have to buy extra models to get a useful squad.
      It comes standard with a flamer and a storm bolter which are the least used options for any of the sister squads.

  • Earl Tower

    I still have my almost 20 year old SoB army. Don’t play them much, but always loved the fluff of the army.

  • Aezeal

    I thought I’d read they had some sort of inferior power armor… don’t see it on these models though.

    • euansmith

      The Sisters’ power armour doesn’t give the strength boost that the Marine’s get; instead the servo systems off set the weight of the armour.

      • Aezeal

        But there is hardly armor visible except for the shoulderpads (I mean GW..so )… they are wearing tights and bodystockings

        • euansmith

          I think they are size zero; also actual armour isn’t very thick.

          • memitchell

            Check our the chick on the cover of the codex. She’s wearing black spandex Power Armor. And, yes, that joke is 20 years old.

          • DeadlyYellow

            I guess if they modernized it, they’d be yoga pants?

          • Aezeal

            So they don’t have an armor save equal to space marine AS? Last I heard (on here, I don’t play) even space marines are dropping like flies despite their very bulky armor… I guess these ladies die in droves when fired upon.

          • memitchell

            Same 3+ save, but T3. BTW, Marines were originally T3.

      • Stephen James Hand

        IIRC Sisters power armour is about as good defensively as Space Marine power armour (in the same way as the different power armour marks are ‘about’ as good as each other, some are said to be a bit better in the fluff but they all get the same rules).

        I thought the Space Marine’s bumped stat line was to represent the genetic enhancements that transform them into something barely human rather than the protection and assistance of the armour. I mean all that gene seed harvesting and tithing and whatnot would be a lot of wasted effort and expense if you could just give an Imperial Guard Storm Trooper the same gear and he’d be just as good…

        • memitchell

          I believe they buffed the Marine’s toughness in a WD article that is included in the Compilation. There was no fluff explanation other than they should perform better in the game.

  • euansmith

    Those Imperial Missionary minis are stonking; as is the Imperial Preacher with a tome.

    • Jeramy Bailey

      I have the second missionary and use him as a Ministorum Priest for my Inquisition detachment. He’s still one of my favorite minis GW has made.

    • PrimoFederalist

      Yes, I have the Missionary with the book and use him as a priest as well. This range has aged very well.

      • memitchell

        Preacher 1 is the spiritual Shepard of my Mordheim Witch Hunters mob. Very versatile figure.

    • Neal Laxman

      Some models I was disappointed to never pick up.

      I do have Jacobus though!

  • DDisforDangerous

    For twenty year-old models, they hold up pretty well. The helmet especially is good design; pretty much a slightly more ornate sallet, but still very evocative.

    Only model I’m missing from your list is the Eviscerator-wielding Priest/Missionary with the huge wild beard. ‘Could be an Imperial Guard model (that’s what I use it for).

    • Seienchin

      The models are pretty descent. Especially the Missionary and normal sister of battles. What is god awful are the new models like sister repentinas (SERIOUSLY WTF are those??) the exorcist (just slightly ugly), the penitent engine (Again WTF is this?) and the Celestine the saint (Had much potential but pose, chubby angels and the face is just disturbing… Intern did it friday evening quality)

    • Carey_Mahoney

      That one came out much later, with the first full Grey Knights/Ordo Malleus Codex.

    • Valeli

      They hold up very well, if you ask me. The Sister Hospitaller is one of my favorite models around across all the ranges.

      The only one I think are /screaming/ for a redo are the Seraphim. We’ve come a long ways with our flying/jump pack stuff, and could make those much much better.

      Not that I’d oppose the rest getting redone, of course.

  • Sonic tooth

    I think some of the sisters minis are quite nice? Eaily as good as most warmahordes minis iv seen. The russian grishnak sisters are the best iv seen so far

    • Severius_Tolluck

      The ones sold on wargame exclusive? I think they pulled those down with a few other of their figures.

      • Sonic tooth
        • Severius_Tolluck

          oh boy, talk about straddling that IP.. lol Least the ol wargame exclusive ones made sure they were unique! A few of these I wouldn’t mind mixing in if the scale was close!

          • Sonic tooth

            heres a scale pic…..ill let you know what mine are like whaen (if?) they arrive. they all have head/helmet and arm options too. rhttp://www.spikeybits.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/plastic-sister-scale.jpg

          • Severius_Tolluck

            That’s a good scale, Although I meant matching to current sisters, as I wouldn’t like them looking too out of place. Looks good though! Good luck mate!

  • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

    lovely minis from GW’s Golden Age.

    • Seienchin

      Not all of them. A lot where hit and miss but the SoB were amazingly well done back then and sadly better than the new stuff. I also much prefer the imperial, goblin and dwarfen warhammer fantasy models (of course only the metal ones… plastics are seriously outdated) of that time over the new ones.

  • Lord Elpus

    On a personal level I hate Blanches’ artworks.. In this illustration she’d have a broken foot.. 3rd ed 40k cover, I wouldn’t hold the combi bolter with flames coming from the combi flamer and through the Boltgun. ..
    I remember the time when he mistook a spray can of black paint for a can of varnish….😁

    • euansmith

      I’m rather the other way with John Blanche; I can overlook his dodgy draughtsmanship and wallow in the unhinged atmosphere of his work. He is what I think of when contemplating the grim dark; both WFB and 40k.

      Along with Ian Miller, he brought a lot of Northern Renaissance cues to the settings; making it rather different to the normal fantasy and sci-fi visuals of the 1980’s.

      Also I think that his mini conversions and painting are excellent.

      • Lord Elpus

        I much prefer Paul Bonner or Mark Gibbons artwork. I think Paul caught the ethos of Orks perfectly;the sheer love of a fight, but they’re not mindless animals.. Marks’ artwork for me rally captures the feel of 40k.

        • euansmith

          Paul Bonner is one of my favourite artists and his orks are absolutely lovely. I really like the affection his orks feel for their runts.

      • Seienchin

        I fully agree. John did some work that feels like he didnt really try but the stuff that is good, is really the best 40k artwork for me. 3rd edition boxart is just amazing and his color scheme and way of drawing i prefer much over the newer cleaner 40k look that always reminds me of fantasy flight games…

    • zeno666

      Finally someone agree with me on this one!
      No one dare say bad things about the “holy” Blanche.
      I can’t understand how this could make it as cover art. Its horrible.

      • Lord Elpus

        No, I’ve always hated his art and his miniature painting..

        • Alpharius

          I need your addresses and a list of your primal fears, because vengeance is coming.

          • Lord Elpus

            My primal fear is having a truck load of money in large demonisation bills, I especially hate $ & £.. I also have a morbid fear of someone cleaning my house and making me drink a glass or two of expensive Scottish Malt Whiskey. ..

          • Alpharius

            He’s out sick, will be back in the morning. Is gold an equally terrifying alternative?

          • Lord Elpus

            I find gold and especially platinum bars terrifying to be honest……😒

          • Alpharius

            Excellent, we have an accord. I will torture and murder you with gold and platinum implements. For while I am Alpharius, I am also the Wishmaster.

            https://cdn.meme.am/instances/250×250/66663036.jpg

          • Lord Elpus

            You can’t intimidate a man that enjoys torture😊

          • Alpharius

            Well then you’ll have a grand old time before the murdering part. Everybody wins!

      • euansmith

        Art; its subjective 😉

    • memitchell

      You crazy kids! That cover is one of the iconic images of that era. It’s 40K’s Farrah Fawcett poster.

      • Lord Elpus

        Farrah Fawcett was never depicted with a misshapen leg and broken foot though..

        • memitchell

          I’m just not that into feet.

          • Lord Elpus

            Neither am I. I just like people that paint and draw better than him..and get proportions right…

          • Alpharius

            You can’t question the awesome atmosphere of his drawings though, and all the little tidbits in the backgrounds. I’ll take some abstract proportions over GW’s new generic sci-fi deviantart fan art.

          • Lord Elpus

            Yes I can. They look like they’re lined up on bleachers… I’ve met Blanche on many occasions at Lenton and I’ve always has the impression of”I can fart put any old poop and because it’s 40k or fantasy I can call it Gothic.. besides I’m in charge of the art studio and I can pass it”

          • Arthfael

            Fair enough. I would agree Blanche’s art is not always best quality (also because some of it is just testing ideas for minis). But I still find his general approach incredibly inspiring, because it does represent not what your minis are out of the box but what you could make of them with a little converting skills. The very lack of definition stimulates the imagination.

          • Arthfael

            Yeah, much of the recent art is really terrible. Not that all art on DA is bad, there’s plenty of good stuff. For instance, Ukitakumuki did some really great stuff for Harlies, but most other artwork in that book was horrendous, uninspired and clumsy – but not in the dynamic, I-couldn’t-care-less as-long-as-it-is-awesome Blanche way, just I’m-not-good clumsy.

          • Alpharius

            The Cybernetica book’s “art” was 17 variations of the closest representation of the goofiest model (Kastelans) using a Clone War-style palette over generic hazy, dusty field of battle. I think there was a two page spread that showed an example of a Forge World and was literally the only piece of art in that book that wasn’t garbage.

  • miteyheroes

    And, to round it off, the first ever depiction of a Sister of Battle:

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-E3EGgPP7DkY/VLum8Fp6XeI/AAAAAAAAHmI/0OtWTawYzFM/s1600/sister-sin.jpg

  • Stunning models that still hold up since 2° edition. Only these and some Eldar ones can say so.

    • zeno666

      Nah I don’t know about that.
      I can kind of like the one with the multi-melta, because it has some kind of helmet.
      The other ones all look like drag queens.

      • You’re just right, but I can’t see that changing in the upcoming plastics ones; too much part of their intrinsic aesthetic I think.

    • Lord Elpus

      Because they we sculpted by the master Jes Goodwin..

    • Alpharius

      Jes Goodwin genius sculptor that produced awesome models even with the dark age level tools available back then.

  • memitchell

    With the codex, Gav Thorpe set out to write the popular history of the Ecclesiarchy. He came so damn close to getting it right. All he needed was an outline of the story. Then, the story would not be so needlessly convoluted, with repetitive plot elements. And, the BIG Deus ex Machina is a simple Conversion Field. Duh?

    So damn close.

  • Emperor’s Champion

    the moment edna mode became a super hero too.

  • Alpharius

    Nothing tragic about those models, they still stand up well in detail. Just people are scared of metal these days and the price is pretty hefty.

  • piglette

    SoB is such a cool faction. They are the faction that drew me into 40k. I discovered 40k through the old DoW video games. The SoB in Soulstorm really made me love the setting and explore more. I wanted to collect them as my first army back in 2009, but sadly the miniatures were too expensive and all metal and not beginner friendly. If they ever get updated, I will be going to TOWN.

  • SilentPony

    As much as I like the Sisters, it is the literally dumbest idea that they exist because the law says “No MAN under arms” and well lookie here, it’s a bunch of women instead.

    I wonder if you could get away with switching the arms and legs of a bunch of dudes, that way their arms are below them, so they aren’t UNDER arms. Get it?

    What a dumb dumb canon.

    • Alpharius

      Eh it’s lip service in the name of diplomatic compromise so everyone can save face. The peasant rabble that were part of their army list were all men.

      • SilentPony

        Oh come on Alphy. Purposefully skirting the intent of the law by saying “Well, it doesn’t say woMEN therefore its allowed” is 2nd grade levels of silly.

        And there’s no indication the entire Ecclesiarchy was men. Hell, there’s even indication of normal non-Battle Sisters existing, and women simply being part of the Imperial Cult.
        Having to draw the line at ‘No MEN’ is desperate. Its like when in Return of the King, no ‘man’ could kill the big bad ring wraith, so a woman did it.

        Dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb.

        • Valeli

          It is absurd.

          It’s almost as bad as saying that corporations are people and should share personal rights…. almost.

          But thank god these things would never happen in reality, right?

        • Alpharius

          Nah, while the Sisters themselves flaunt the spirit of the rule, the fact that the Ecclessiarchy and Sisters frequently conscript a bunch of peasants to catch bullets for them flaunts the letter. The whole thing is just political screen, they wanted to take away their standing army, but not leave them utterly defenseless, so a convenient technicality was entered into the decree.

  • Jacobus was one of the most popular models for converting into redemptionist leaders in Necromunda. If they put him up on the made to order, I will definitely be picking up one or two for conversions!