Hall of Fame: Dave’s Choice – Saint Celestine

Hello everyone and welcome to a new ongoing semi-regular series that we are doing about our favourite models. You know how it is, you’re sat round with your hobby-bro’s reminiscing about games and that time that you did that thing, when someone suddenly says “Man, I love this model”. Well, this is the internet version of that. The idea is that each of the Warbasterds chooses their favourite mini from each of the main games that GW has produced, as well as one from the Specialist Game range, and then waxes lyrical about it briefly while shooting their love of the model all over the place in arcing ropes of hobby fandom like excited teens.

So, that’s a model each for Warhammer 40,000, Warhammer Fantasy and the Specialist Games.

What’s that you ask? Where’s the Lord Of The Rings range? Shut your dirty-whore mouth, we don’t talk about that here.

Alright, lets get this show on the road with my first choice:

Warhammer 40,000: Saint Celestine.

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I’m not even going to say anything for second. Just look at her. Take it all in. Take in the absolute perfection of that model, the absolute encapsulation of 40k in a single mini.

I’ve always been a fan of the Sisters of Battle range – armoured boobies aside, it’s a really nice idea for an army and one that shows the sneaky political side of the Ecclesiarchy perfectly.

“No men at arms for the Church – haha, that’s your power ruined!”
“No men….let me clarify this, no men at arms right?”
“Yup, sucks to be you!”
“How about these women? They aren’t men…”
“…….shit”

As a range, they also embody the sci-fi/religion fusion that is the Imperium wonderfully, every model armoured up in baroque power armour and strung with religious symbols. For me, Celestine is the pinnacle of that range, the weird sci-fi fantasy mish-mash that is 40k distilled into a single model. First and foremost, it’s a lovely sculpt, crisp details, smooth lines and a simplicity to both the pose and design that can be lacking from GW’s recent efforts. More than any other Imperial model, it is the perfect example of the contrasts within the Imperium – serene religious posing within heavy enclosing armour, the classic medieval armoured look partnered with random wiring and those creepy haemonculus Cherubs. Even the premise of the model is one of contrasts – a Living Saint of the Emperor, born and dying upon the battlefield. What could more perfectly represent the vast oxymoronical state that is the Imperium?

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There’s that classic saintly pose, arms open and head back in reflection, framed by the actual physical halo and the sweeping cloak echoing angelic wings. All too often character models are little whirlwinds of action, caught in the moment of swinging a blade or shouting orders – this is one of the rare models caught in a moment of relative calm and grace, and for me, it works beautifully.

And let’s not forget the little details. Little touches that really bring Celestine to life – her face just looks so calm and peaceful, I struggle to think of another character with both its eyes and mouth closed like that. Then there’s the dove held in one hand – incongruous yes, but it works with the rest of the model. My favourite touch is one of the simplest, the flowers around the hilt of her sword. Not only reinforcing the femininity of the model, but also reinforcing the religious and celebratory aspects of the model – it’s a Living Saint, something that be loved and praised by all citizens of the Imperium and pelted with votive offerings.

One of my markers for the greatness of a model is very simple – does it make want to paint it, even though I will never do an army for them? With Celestine, the answer is a resounding yes. All the madness and conflicting aspects of the Imperium distilled down into one single model, I think she is utterly perfect.

And yes, I am a little in love.

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