Saturday, November 9, 2019

Building Sisters of Battle from Warhammer 40K Part 5: SHOWTIME

Since Games Workshop is about to release their new Adepta Sororitas boxed set, I suppose I really need to finish writing up the last blog entry about my Sisters of Battle squad.

If you're just now tuning into this build, you can see the other posts here

Part 1: the Armor
Part 2: the Weapons and Backpacks
Part 3: the Soft Parts
Part 4: Mass Production

What's left?


Here's just one of the many pics of the squad out and about:
2019 SDCC 0062

For a ton more photos and some details on their deployments, read on...

The initial plan had been to debut the squad at the Bay Area Maker Faire.  In the end, this project was overcome by more serious work and we only had three completed in time.  Here's a winning photo from the event:
Sororitas Photo by Chris Willis (4)

Here's another good shot by AJ Reilly
Toughest Girls in the Imperium

We recruited my cousin Amanda Thorsson, a talented makeup artist, to take care of the facial scar effects and whatnot.  She did a great job:
Dani's Sororitas Selfies (2)

Sam Closeup

Flamer Madi Portrait 2
You can see more of her work at, or on her Instagram.

As soon as we had them strapped together, the girls were off to check out the Maker Faire and pose for photos wherever they went:
Madi's Maker Faire Pics (7)

Sororitas Progress 113

A lot of the photos we got tended to be less than serious:Sororitas Progress 116

Madi's Maker Faire Pics (11)

Madi's Maker Faire Pics (10)

Since we only had the three together, we decided to reinforce them with a couple of Imperial Guardsmen we built some time ago:
Madi's Maker Faire Pics (1)
You can read about the Imperial Guard build here: LINK

Muzzle Awareness

Sororitas Support Element

Dual-Wielding Flashlights

Those guys had some fun goofing around the event center:COVER!

Madi's Maker Faire Pics (5)

Fan Photo

The Maker Faire was fun and all, but the real debut happened at San Diego Comic Con.

Since the workshop is located in Northern California, eight hours' drive from San Diego, the first challenge was getting everything we needed for a full squad of Sororitas plus three people and the costumes we'd wear on the non-40K days into the Lady Shawnon's car.  I think we did quite well:
Sororitas Loadout
I'm pleased to report that after driving over eight hours, there wasn't even a scuff on the paint when we arrived and opened the rear door:
Sororitas Armor Tetris

Setting everything up in the hotel room was fun:

2019 SDCC 0013

The first two days at the convention were spent taking in the sights, checking out vendor booths, and catching up with old friends.

Saturday, as the girls started ambling in, we started putting the finishing touches on everything.  Here's me and my friend Kai adding strap details to the lower legs:

2019 SDCC 0333

Each suit of armor would get ten of these little strap assemblies added on (one for each side of the chest, one for each side of each ankle, and one for each side of each calf).  There were a lot of them:
2019 SDCC 0334

While we were doing that, Rachel was sizing the belts to fit everyone and the rest of the ladies were gearing up in their undersuits and habits and picking out wigs:
2019 SDCC 0336

Once again, we enlisted the services of Amanda Thorsson to handle everyone's makeup and facial scars.  I still couldn't resist the urge to stage a dressing room photo:
2019 SDCC 0028

Once again, Amanda's makeup work came out great.  Here's the Lady Shawnon showing off her battle scars:
2019 SDCC 0335

And Alicia:
Alicia Closeup

And Rachel:
Rachel Closeup

Once everyone was dressed and rigged and finished with makeup, the next step was to walk down to the train station.  Our hotel was conveniently located half a mile away from the nearest station in San Diego's Old Town:
2019 SDCC 0031

On the way we inadvertently crashed a wedding:
2019 SDCC 0030

Then we got everybody on the train:
2019 SDCC 0035

Since nobody was in character at that point, the train ride included a bit of silliness:
2019 SDCC 0090

Once we got downtown to the convention center, we had to go through the weapons check:
2019 SDCC 0346

This was made all the more entertaining because many of the weapons were literally bolted onto the costume.  Here's Anna getting her grenades checked:
2019 SDCC 0347

With that done, we had finally arrived:
Squad in the Atrium

2019 SDCC 0052

2019 SDCC 0057

2019 SDCC 0085

Patrick the Heretic

Escalator 3

While we were there, my friend Sierra managed to capture portraits of each of the sisters to show off some of the details:
Rachel Sororitas

Amanda Sororitas


Alicia Closeup

Maddy Portrait

Anna Portrait 3

Sarah Closeup

Shawnon sororitas

At some point while we were trooping around the convention, I finished talking with an onlooker and turned around to be taken aback by how angry all of these women looked:
2019 SDCC 0349

I couldn't help but be worried.  I was convinced I must have bought the most uncomfortable shoes in the world or built costumes that were pinching and poking and painful for everyone and they'd all hate me forever.  Shawnon in particular:
2019 SDCC 0348

I pulled each of them aside at one point and asked them if they were okay.  Each of these conversations went pretty much the same...

"Are you alright?" says I, concerned.

"Yeah," she replies.  "Why?"

"You look pissed."

"The Sisters of Battle," she'd explain, "are not supposed to be smiling."

So it turns out every one of them was just doing a great job of staying in character while they were in these costumes.  In every photo each one of them looked either completely battle-weary or like they wanted the photographer murdered:
2019 SDCC 0060

Seriously great job:
2019 SDCC 0067

The only time they cracked was when this adorable little cosplayer posed with them:
2019 SDCC 0086
Hard to keep a straight face in the midst of such cuteness.

That, and this little bit of silliness:
2019 SDCC 0084

We had a lot of fun at San Diego Comic Con, but we still had another deployment scheduled.  One month later we went to San Jose to attend Silicon Valley Comic Con.  

Usually I don't get to dress up for these things, but I really wanted to join in with the rest of the squad.  The only problem is that no matter what kind of wig and makeup you add to my face, I can never pass for female.  Fortunately, the Sisters of Battle occasionally wear helmets:
Image result for sororitas helmet
I'd had a helmet sculpt in progress sitting on the bench for months.  With some of my down time between conventions, I finally got around to smoothing out the last details of the sculpt.  Here it is all ready for molding:

SoB Helmet Prototype

Here's the first cast next to the demolded prototype:

The ear caps were cast separately in order to allow the faceplate to hinge open:
August Progress086

August Progress087

The eyes were fitted with heat-formed acrylic lenses and the basecoats were painted on:

Some light weathering and it was good to go:

When we were actually suiting up for the convention, someone pointed out that it would be better if I didn't get into costume so I could still fix anything that went awry and I could answer any questions the crowd had.  Instead, we put Freddy in the costume with the helmet:
SVCC 2019 0004

I guess he did an okay job of looking appropriately feminine:
SVCC 2019 0008

SVCC 2019 0002

In any case, I'm ridiculously proud of the build:
SVCC 2019 0010

After each deployment, we would adjourn to another venue for drinks.  Sadly, this is the only photo I ever got of these proceedings:
SVCC 2019 0011

The next thing on the list for these outfits is to do a proper location photoshoot when we can find someplace appropriately awesome.  That, and a solid studio shoot so we can have some more fun with the characters.

Now I just need to talk myself out of building the Saint Celestine version of the costume:

I'll probably fail to talk myself out of it though, because wings.

Then there's this craziness:

Image result for penitent engine sisters of battle

Stay tuned...

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