Box

The box itself has a card sleeve with the product photo over the main box, which features the artwork from Warhammer Fantasy Battle 5th Edition (the best edition, don’t @ me)

Instructions

I didn’t really need these, but it was fun to flick through the instructions, for old times’ sake. For those unaware, the last picture is of a “datafax” – every vehicle in 2nd Edition had one of these, which gave the profile, armour values, and damage charts.

Parts and Contents

The parts I received were in good condition – which I expected, as this was a still-sealed, never-been-opened box! The blister pack and transfer sheet both showed a lot of discolouration, beyond what I’d expect for the age and unopened state, and more than shows up in the pictures; I suspect at least one previous owner smoked. As I was about to assemble everything, I wasn’t concerned by this.

Mould lines weren’t really an issue on the plastic parts. There are a couple of regular problem areas on this kit – the grab rails, and the exhausts – but most other parts were fine. The metal parts had the usual assortment of metal tags and casting imperfections, but nothing out of the ordinary or problem-causing. I’ve had more issues with 2019 GW metal castings than I had with this kit.

Assembly

The original Rhino chassis, which forms the basis of the Immolator kit, is so simple and straightforward to put together. Glue the two halves of the hull together, add the hatches and track sections, and you’re pretty much done. The only thing you have to be mindful of, is some of the parts and connection points are small and/or fragile. I broke one of the top hatch handles just by holding it too tight between my forefinger and thumb, and had to carefully glue it back together before assembly. I did quite a bit more clean-up than 14 year-old me would have, to take care of gaps and mould lines. Modelling knives, clippers, and sanding blocks will be your friends if you ever have to build this kit yourself!

The metal parts of the kit were always a little annoying to work with. The tolerances and variance are much bigger in a spin-cast part than injection moulded plastic, so things don’t quite line-up or fit right. I did as best I could, with a bit of filing, bending, and using some superglue to gap fill where needed. I completely forgot to take pictures of the turret assembly!

I did allow myself a couple of nods to modernity – I added 3mm x 2mm magnets to the tracks and turret, to make transportation easier and stop the turret falling off all the time. To speed things along I used my power drill on the slowest setting, rather than my pin vice.

Finishing Up

After building the Immolator I sprayed it with with Halfords Grey Car Body primer to make sure paint would stick to the metal areas as well as the plastic. Once the primer was dry, I sprayed it with a couple of thin coats of Retributor Armour to match the rest of my Sororitas.

I knew the old Rhino kit was smaller than the current kit, but I hadn’t realised by how much until I put the Immolator next to a Razorback. It’s easily 25% smaller.

When I started opening the box for the Immolator, I was a little intimidated… mainly because I’d never find another in this good a condition if I messed up! By the end though I’d enjoyed myself so much I scoured eBay to find a retro Rhino kit to work on next!

For the last 24-18 months or so I’ve had a background project to recreate my original Adepta Sororitas (nee: “Sisters of Battle“) army, in advance of the new codex and plastic release. With that release looking more and more imminent, I really need to get my skates on! By my reckoning I’ve got roughly three months to finish up, maybe less!

John Blanche illustration used on the Sisters of Battle codex in 1997

The original army was purchased by fourteen year-old me on release day in 1997. I’d saved up my paper round money for several weeks to afford it, after falling in love with what had been previewed in White Dwarf the month before. It’s a tiny army by modern standards (roughly 545 points in a Patrol Detachment), but it was a decent sized force in Second Edition, and I loved playing it. Anyway, to cut a long story short, the army was given away by my mum a few years later, once I’d moved out for university and had fallen out of the hobby. Since coming back to the fold, it’s been the one army I’ve really regretted not having any more.

I’ve already collected and painted the two Sororitas character models from the original army – a Canoness and Standard Bearer (now called an Imagifier), and I’ve started painting the two squads I’ve acquired so far: a ten-woman Battle Sister squad, and five Seraphim. I also need to paint a banner for the Standard Bearer, to truly finish it off. Long-time readers will know I have finished painting some Battle Sister squads this year, but those were bought to bulk the collection up to a “full size” Eighth Edition army, and aren’t part of the core project.

There’s still a five-strong Retributor squad to get hold of, but the problem I have here is I can’t for the life of me remember exactly what I armed them with twenty-two years ago! I’m pretty sure it was four of one weapon type – either Multi-Meltas or Heavy Flamers – but given the time period it could well have been a mix of all three. I think I’m going to go with four Heavy Flamers, as I remember I painted at least one of these “back in the day,” and I’m certain it wasn’t for the Battle Sister squad (which had a Heavy Bolter). Plus, I’ve never really liked the “Sabbat” helmet shown on some of the Sisters models, which is why I’m reasonably sure it wasn’t the Multi-Meltas.

When I started the project I knew that some of the models were going to be really hard to get hold of in a usable condition, and for a reasonable price. While many are still available from Games Workshop, several are long out of print: namely the Canoness, Standard Bearer, Immolator, and an “Imperial Missionary with Plasma Gun”. Of these, I thought the Immolator was going to be the hardest to acquire, but I found one on Saturday. Now I just need to get the Missionary. They occasionally pop-up on eBay, but usually in a bad condition, and for a higher price than I’m willing to pay for that condition. It wouldn’t be the end of the world if I can’t get hold of one at this time – it’s no longer a game-legal choice, and I’m concentrating on the Sororitas – but it would be nice for completion’s sake!

1997 'Imperial Missionary 2', armed with Plasma Gun
Got one of these to sell? Let me know!

So, roughly 21/22 models to paint in the next couple of months, with a currently unknown target date for completion? Sounds doable, right? Well, yeah, if you’re not as slow a painter as me, and hadn’t started a Genestealer Cults army in the meantime which needs cleared from the painting desk… If the codex is due in October, I’m reasonably confident I can make it; coming sooner and I’m less so. If anyone in the Warhammer Community team who might happen to read this wants to give me a subtle hint, that would be helpful! 😉 (Also, I’d love to write about the project as an article on the community site, once I have some more finished models to show off!)

With all that said, whether the new models are coming in 3 months, or 3 weeks, first I need to stock up on more Retributer Armour spray paint!

‪I had no idea the Canoness Veridyan model was so much bigger than the original Sisters. Even discounting her ridiculous heels, she’s a good head taller than the others. It makes me worry about how well the plastic kit will blend in alongside the old #PrimarisSistersConfirmed‬

Bit of a bad brain evening, so I’ve spent the time assembling more sisters to distract myself. Somehow I’ve ended up with a couple more Battle squads than I expected! Still got the Repentia to go…

Hopefully the weather improves soon, so I can get them primed!

After several hours of clipping, filing, drilling, and pinning, I’ve finally finished assembling the first of 2 Penitent Engines.

It better be amazing on the tabletop after all that…

The first units of my Sororitas are complete, taking me most of the way towards that part of my 2019 hobby goals, and marking my first entries on the PaintHammer 2019 form.

As always, there’s loads I’d like to be done better on these (the white robes mainly) but finished is better than still in the WIP queue, so Im trying not to nitpick too hard!

The Imagifier will be getting her banner as soon as I find the copper foil I bought to make it.

I’m not one for New Years resolutions, but I wanted to set out a few hobby-related goals for 2019. The main driver for these is to clear some of my backlog, and also to let me play some games of Warhammer 40,000 for the first time since near the end of 7th Edition.

  • Finish Knight Household
    • 3x Questoris
    • Castellan
    • 6x Warglaives
  • Finish Adeptus Custodes Battalion
    • 3x Guard squads
    • 2x Vertus Praetor squads
    • 1x Terminator squad
    • Characters
  • Finish Adepta Sororitas Battalion
    • 3x battle squads
    • 2x Cannoness
    • Imagifier
    • Seraphim squad
    • <stretch> Celestine + Geminae

To achieve this, I think I’m going to have to cut down on the number of one-off miniatures and competition entries I paint.