Sunday, June 7, 2020

Conversion Corner: Sister of Battle


When Games Workshop finally redesigned the Sisters of Battle range of models in plastic, we were generally impressed with their ability to update the classic look while adding some variety to the models, in terms of corsets and different head options. Most of these options were not present in the initial Sister of Battle army boxed set, which we were fortunate enough to get a copy of. Eric has already painted a few of the models directly from the set, and after recently converting a Primaris Space Marine into a regular, true-scale Space Marine, it seemed a good time to convert one of the Sisters of Battle models to better fit our aesthetic of scale.

The main goal for the converted bolter was to drastically reduce its size and add a functional stock.

In addition to the stock, front and rear iron sights were added such that the rifle could actually be aimed.

The main goal of the conversion was to reduce the size of the Sister’s bolter, which is rather comical looking and would be incredibly impractical and cumbersome in the best of circumstances. The hope was to be able to show how a reduction in the size of her firearm could strengthen the model, refocusing the viewer’s attention more on the character and less on the weapon. The conversion was time-consuming, requiring a lot of sawing and cutting with a hobby blade. I replaced the barrel with some thin brass tubing (0.6 and 0.8mm), and added a stock based on one cut down from a House Delaque rifle. Lots of other small details were added, like the front and rear sights, and a new ejection port. The entire process of this conversion will be detailed in an upcoming tutorial on the blog!

A comparison of various bolters, from top to bottom: Primaris Bolt Rifle, Space Marine Bolter, converted Palanite Enforcer Bolter, converted Sister of Battle Bolter.

The only other change on the model was modifying her breastplate. I wanted to minimize the somewhat caricatured boob plate, making it look more similar to some of the other designs in the plastic range. I shaved the original detail down with a hobby knife and resculpted the detail with green stuff. All of this detail had been hidden behind the gigantic bolter, but with its size reduced, it is now visible, making the conversion even more important.

Her breastplate was modified to minimize the exaggerated boob plate design.

The barrel for the bolter was created with two pieces of interlocking brass tubing, 0.6 and 0.8mm.

The converted Sister of Battle next to the same model, without any modification.

I am pleased to have finally converted one of the Sisters of Battle models. I think the small modifications go a long way towards making the model look more serious, without changing the general image or style of the model. When I go back to paint the model, I am not sure if I will use the Order of the Crimson Rose scheme, like Eric did. It might be a fun comparison to do. Any thoughts or comments are welcome, and look forward to a more detailed post about the bolter conversion in the future!

- Adam Wier


  1. Oh wow that's really nice! I like the extremely cut-down bolter a lot. I swear, since I started following y'all's streams the size of 40K weapons has started looking more & more absurd to me.

    1. Thank you for the support! Once you realize how large the weapons are, you will never unsee it, he he.

  2. I really like what you are trying to do here, making the bolter look more realistically sized. That said, it no longer looks like a bolter, and especially not the iconic Godwyn pattern with its sickle magazine. I think its the barrel that screws up the image for me. Without the muzzle-break style lateral hole it just doesn't read as a bolter visually anymore. It looks much more like an autogun or even a lasrifle.

    The technical aspects of the conversion are great though. very nicely sculpted and reworked.

  3. The technical aspects of this conversion are very good. The resculpting and adding of bits from multiple other kits is executed very well. I also think the attempt to make the bolter more human scaled is a worthy one.

    That said, the bolter doesn't really read as a bolter anymore, especially not as the iconic Godwyn pattern. Without the sickle magazine and the lateral hole through the barrel the weapon looks much more like an autogun or a lasrifle than a bolter.

    1. Sorry for the double post. I didn't realize comment approval was on when i tried posting the first time.

    2. Thanks for the comment! Figuring out all of the visually distinct aspects that define the bolter is pretty tricky. I tried to maintain as many of the classic visual elements as I could for this conversion, but as my first attempt was not really expecting to get everything correct. Even just the addition of a stock changes the visuals of a bolter pretty significantly. Modifying the magazine used to one of the sickle shaped ones and adding the holes for the muzzle break in the barrel are something I will consider for future bolter conversions. Thanks for the input!

  4. yeah now I will ask you to make moulds and sell bolters to me, because you have ruined their look forever and ever for me. Can we figure something out? Please:)