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Posted 13/05/2019

Battle Sister Bulletin – Part 7: Your First Painted Plastic Battle Sister!

As you saw in our live blog from Warhammer Fest over the weekend, we showcased the first fully painted miniature from the upcoming Sisters of Battle range. It was, in fact, the very same miniature that we first showed off at Warhammer Fest 2018…

The miniature itself is a faithful rendition of a classic piece of Adepta Sororitas artwork by Karl Kopinski, featured most recently on the cover of James Swallow’s novel, Faith & Fire. As you can see from the picture below, the model’s designer, Darren Latham, did an incredible job of matching the Battle Sister’s accoutrements (down to the grenades, rosary beads and relics), as well as the embellishments on her armour.

Karl’s illustration shows a Battle Sister from the Order of Our Martyred Lady – one of the first and most iconic order of Adepta Sororitas – with black armour and red tabard. To replicate the artwork, the ’Eavy Metal team needed to find a way to match the colour scheme as accurately as possible, so they printed an enlarged copy of the picture to use as reference. The artwork was the anchor of the finished piece, the neutral light offered by its white background helping the process of matching the colours to paint.

Warhammer 40,000 has a number of other factions that are clad in black power armour – the Black Legion, Iron Hands, Raven Guard and Black Templars among them – so the trick was to ensure that the highlight tones and hues were subtly different, to help visually set the Adepta Sororitas apart. After all, as well as being an impressive showcase model, the Battle Sister would eventually form the template upon which the rest of the range would be based.

To accomplish this differentiation, the Battle Sister’s armour was painted in a cold, desaturated black, using highlights that were slightly bluish to counter the warmer colours that would eventually feature on the gold, bone, parchment and red clothing. Another consideration was how to emphasise the different hues of black on the miniature – specifically the black armour and dark leather corset wrapped around the Battle Sister’s midsection. To achieve this, the armour was painted with a more reflective finish, with crisp highlights and light spots, while the black of the corset features warmer highlights of dark brown to depict beaten leather.

The red tabard and sleeves serve as the main secondary colour for the Order of Our Martyred Lady, so it was important to get the tone right. A lot of time and effort was put into achieving the perfect shade of red, as it will eventually be used across the entire army – it’s like picking the right tone of blue for a new Ultramarines collection!

The clusters of roses and candles that decorate the miniature’s sculpted base serve to frame it perfectly. This has been further accentuated by matching the spot colours used on the flower petals and the wax of the purity seals, and the deeper red of the candle wax, which in turn mirrors that of the tabard. In this way, the miniature’s asymmetrical pose displays symmetrical colouration. Using a similar principle, the stonework on the base has been painted in a warmer, lighter tone of marble to provide balance to the purity seal scrolls while contrasting the cooler colour of the armour.

This painted Battle Sister is the first of many to come, so be sure to check back with us in a fortnight’s time for your next Battle Sister Bulletin. Our first painted miniature may hail from the Order of Our Martyred Lady, but which colour scheme are you planning for your Adepta Sororitas? Let us know on the Warhammer 40,000 Facebook page.

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