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Choose Your Own Adventurers #6: Joan Grace, Null Maiden


Sometimes it’s easy to modernise an old sculpt… and sometimes it isn’t.

Sculpted in 1987, this particular example of the Rogue Trader Adventurer range is not my favourite sculpt.
On the plus side, the figure looks a lot like Grace Jones circa A View to a Kill.

Grace Jones on her preferred mode of flying
‘The Concorde made life a lot easier, and I was the symbol of a Concorde crowd that had replaced the jet set. I flew on the Concorde so many times I knew the pilots. I knew their families. I could have flown the plane, except I would have wanted to do it naked, sprayed silver, in roller skates.’

Whatever one might say about Grace Jones, she is an eighties icon, which is an appropriate vibe for the figure.

I assume that the two female space marine miniatures in the Adventurer range were sculpted either at an early stage in the games development when the Adeptus Astartes were not exclusively male, or else just sculpted partly for fun, which does seem to be something that happened reasonably regularly during that Citadel era.

In terms of the background of the setting, those old figures pose a conceptual problem.  What are they?

The fairly obvious thing to go for would have been to paint the female marines as Adepta Sororitas – Sisters of Battle.

The only photo of a Rogue Trader version of these is in the back of the RT rulebook.  Its pretty metal.  “Sister Sin” has spiked nipple armour, a veil and a bolter.  The woman in the illustration also wears a ram skull motif on the left shoulder pauldron, which matches the miniature above.

But I didn’t want another Adepta Sororitas miniature.  And the recently explored Sisters of Silence feature armoured pariah nuns that I fancied painting, while also being a concept that dates back to Rogue Trader, which isnt essential, but is fun to callback to.
So I ignored the Adepta Sororitas and roughly copied the Sister of Silence colour scheme that Warhammer TV’s Duncan used instead.

The model that I had was a pretty battered example of a pretty rough sculpt.  The casting wasnt too bad, but while it wasn’t a chore to paint, it also wasn’t really inspirational.  So plans to add some weathering and some Rogue Trader style graffiti to Joans armour (like “Sister Sin” above) fell by the wayside as I aimed to just get it finished.  I might go back to add some slogans if I can think of anything apt.

Suggestions in the comments please.  “Pull Up to the Bumper” is too long.

Good news is that it gives the rather lonely Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor Jodorowsky a thematically apt partner for future witch hunting, assuming that he can tolerate the massive, permanent hangover that Joan generates in psychics like him.

Part seven of Choose Your Own Adventurer will be on either Magpie and Old Lead or Ninjabread, as usual and will return here for number nine.

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30 Responses

  1. The gold and wine colour combination is very nice, especially with the dark skin and bleached white hair. The sculpt is an oddity, no doubt, lacking the built-in narrative that many of the other Adventurers have.

    What is she? I’ll accept her as a Sister of Silence πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Axiom.

      She wasn’t a struggle to paint, but was a little uninspiring.
      Hopefully I will have a few fun games with her on the table that will generate some narrative for her.

      Like

  2. I like her a lot although I’m puzzled by making a Grace Jones inspired model a sister of silence…

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Very nice, also one of the few minis I am missing from my collection.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Not the best old school mini, but your reimagination of her as Grace Jones is inspired. Good work!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Nice job mate – a real silk purse from a sow’s ear! Reads much better as a SoS than a SoB IMO… TTFN!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Alex.

      Less a silk purse, more a Velcro rip-wallet perhaps. There isn’t a lot to work with in that dodgy old sculpt.

      To be fair to her, I am looking forward to using Joan in a few games, so that’s a win.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Nice work on such a mini. What metal colours do you use? I’m not really impressed by Vallejo metals and I’m curious about what other people use.
    About the slogan, I would avoid the typical ‘Kil Kil Kil’. Being a Sister of Silence, a modest ‘Shhh’ should work fine πŸ˜€

    Liked by 2 people

    • “Ssssh!”? Maybe she’s a Librarian πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 2 people

    • I considered painting a “mute” symbol – the speaker with a diagonal line through it – somewhere on the model, but decided not to spend any more time on that particular model.

      The metallics used on this model were GW colours, apart from the final silver highlight, which is Vallejo Air Silver.

      That is easily the best silver paint that I have ever used. Highly recommended.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks! Good to know πŸ™‚
        The mute icon would be a killer!! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€
        I guess that anything from ‘Hush’ to ‘Shut up’ should work fine πŸ˜›

        Liked by 2 people

  7. Great work, love the skin tone especially.

    Seeing your inspiration, some slogans become obvious:

    “A sacred why”

    “Fatal sounds/broken dreams” (very suitable for a sister of silence)

    “Dance into the fire”

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Mikko.

      Those phrases are pertinent, but definitely not as pithy as I like hand painted tiny slogans to be ;D

      I doubt that I will ever go back to that miniature again though, I have spent enough time on it.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I have had both this figure and the other “female space marine” kicking around my bitz box for 20 years now… they are just so… thin, and otherwise uninspiring.

    However! This paint job is great. I like Suber’s suggestion of “shhh” for a slogan.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Lasgunpacker.

      Far from my favourite figures in the Adventurer range, the pair of them are as you say, pretty uninspiring.

      But finished now at least.

      Like

  9. I like it. Overall she looks a bit weird… the unusual colour combo, the odd vegetation on the base, the generally odd sculpt. She is very, very vintage, that’s for sure. So she should fit in perfectly with all your other odd, old characters.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Allison, I think ;D

      I may have overdone it with the vegetation now that you mention it, although it does give a certain original Star Trek set vibe that I am fond of.

      The sculpt is relentlessly odd, hence the fairly forgiving metallic colour scheme. There are other Adventurers that I am far more interested in painting to be honest, but the idea of quickly painting it as a Sister of Silence in a metallic scheme kinda crept up on me, so I rattled the figure out rapidly (in terms of actual hours spent. The model sat on my painting table for over a month due to other things going on).

      Like

  10. Cool post. The mini… not so much. I had her and chopped the head off to put something else on, and I can’t remember the rest. It may have been thrown away or rotting in the bottom of a bitz box somewhere. I do admire your perseverance with it, and she’s come out about as well as possible. I look forward to seeing more Sisters of Silence from you, however… πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Azazel. I’m not sure that I would ever have got around to painting that figure if Curis, Axiom and I had not set ourselves the challenge of getting our Adventurer sets painted.

      But I’m glad that its done now and ready for some gaming.

      As for more Sisters of Silence, there will be another. If this one looks like Grace Jones, then the other one looks like Rick James…

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Grace Jones!

    Great cat, love how you painted it.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Omg, Grace Jones. I think more of her warrior character in Conan, but this is fantastic! Next, Andre the Giant maybe?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Heh, the Grace Jones vibe was determined by the old sculpt mainly, but if I find an old model that looks like AndrΓ©, then perhaps.

      Regardless of the roles she played, Grace Jones always seemed to be playing “Grace Jones” in most movies I think!

      Thanks for the feedback Mark.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Matching up the angular face and flat-top to Grace Jones is inspired. esp. with the work on the cheekbones – really nicely done. There’s all sorts of fun connections with Jones androgynous style and the wearing of coded male armour – she was one of the pioneers of the 80s big shoulder look after all.

    Of course in Rogue Trader, anyone could have powered armour, so the model might not have been intended to be a female Imperial Space Marine. Just your average intergalactic style icon and slave to the rhythm.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the kind words Zhu.

      A View To A Kill was released in 1985 and the miniature shown has 1987 on the tab. The sculpt was inevitably at least partially informed by pop culture of the time, and Jones would have been a very prominent image if a powerful female. While it is likely not a direct Grace Jones homage, the sculptor had almost certainly seen Conan the Destroyer (1984).

      Funnily enough I regret not going full Grace Jones on the model after your big shoulder observation. Black armour, a little red trim and some strong eye makeup and lipstick and boom: Space Grace.

      I could have painted the other “female warrior” variant like Joan Collins. She has a suitable perm in addition to the pads.

      As for whether the sculpt was intended to be an astartes or not, I doubt it. More likely a proto “Sister Sin”.

      If there was ever a brief for the design – and there may not have been – then the model was just another idea to add to the creative melting pot that RT was.

      Thanks for the feedback!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I like how this has come out. Interesting to go for a high-gloss armour when the surface is so pitted and resist a rust and grunge look, which is what I assumed you were going for when I saw the WIPs.

    Such odd proportions, especially if you think what shape her limbs must be if you remove the inch-thick plascrete armour. It’s one of those models that seems to command a premium price on eBay despite being a ropey design.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I ran out of steam painting it to be honest Curis. I intended to paint some slogans and add a little weathering etc, but in the end didn’t have the patience. I wasn’t interested in investing more time in it.

      It’s certainly not high up on the list of must have RT Adventurers for me, but it does have conceptual appeal I suppose, being a rare example of a female “space marine” that doesn’t look like a nun.

      Like

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