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The Penitent Engine Reveal: Battle Sister Bulletin

The Battle Sister Bulletins continue. This time up is the Penitent Engine. Of course this is one of the most dramatic miniatures concepts in the 40k universe.

via the Warhammer Community
In this Battle Sister Bulletin, we’re checking in with everyone’s favourite execution machine of excruciating death – the Penitent Engine! This particular model features in the Adepta Sororitas: Sisters of Battle Army Set, which is on its way in November, so today we’re taking a closer look at the miniature’s incredible design. But before we do, let’s remind ourselves exactly what these horrific creations are all about…

What We Know

Life in the 41st Millennium is pretty bleak at best, but to delve into the background of the Penitent Engine is to gaze into some of the very grimmest and darkest parts of the far future. Brace yourself – this is not for the faint of heart!

The Ecclesiarchy is unflinching in its punishment of those who commit crimes against the Emperor.* Those judged guilty of the most heinous acts of treachery and betrayal are condemned to die – not by the executioner’s blade, nor even by immolation at the stake,** but as the pilot of a Penitent Engine…
Once wired into the Penitent Engine’s crucible, the convict is as good as dead, for once they are neurally bonded there’s no coming back from the physical and mental trauma inflicted upon them by the machine’s torment amplifiers.*** From that point onwards, the hapless sinner becomes little more than a pain-fuelled berserker, wildly lashing out at cruelly engineered projections of their own crimes as they seek desperate penance in an apoplectic, terminal rampage.****

For their part, the Adepta Sororitas often make use of Penitent Engines. Not only do the Battle Sisters see it as their solemn duty to witness the punishment of the condemned, but the wanton destruction that the Penitent Engines can unleash makes them highly effective – but entirely expendable – auxiliary assets.

The Model

The Penitent Engine is a lethal device – both for its unfortunate pilot and those facing it in battle. It shares the aesthetics of a crude torture machine, with wrought iron and wooden elements layered on top of its otherwise minimalist structure. Given the intentionally disposable nature of the Penitent Engine’s occupant, every expense will have been spared in its construction, the one embellishment being the Ecclesiarchy symbol at its crown.

The Penitent Engine’s hollow main alcove – referred to as a crucible – is designed to accommodate its condemned occupant in whatever torturous stress position they’re bound in.***** Judging by his curled fingers and toes, not to mention the pained expression on his face, it’s fair to say this particular prisoner looks… less than comfortable! His emaciated body and ragged clothing also imply that he’s been incarcerated for some time, waiting on death row for his appointed time of execution in battle.
A visor covers the scalp and eyes of the Penitent Engine’s occupant,****** through which he is neurally overstimulated with pain via a series of umbilical cables, while racks of stimms and combat drug injectors run the length of his spinal column. Around his neck, a heavy weight has been hung, bearing his penitent number. There is no lock and key for his neck clamp – once it’s fastened, that’s it!

Even though the Penitent Engine has a stripped-down aesthetic for massed production, the weaponry is still more advanced than the crude buzz-saws and burnas of Ork Deff Dread and Killa Kans. The circular blades, in particular, feature deep indentations to ensure that they won’t get clogged up with viscera or the torn hulls of the Penitent Engine’s victims.

You can look forward to getting your own Penitent Engine in the Adepta Sororitas: Sisters of Battle Army Set later this year. Until then, make sure you’ve got the existing plastic miniatures, Celestine and Amalia Novena, painted in readiness for the new models. We’ll be back in a couple of weeks with your next Battle Sister Bulletin.

* As the saying goes: ‘To err once is human; to err twice is treachery.’
** Those methods are so 40,000 years ago!
*** To be fair, we doubt they’d want to after what they go through!
**** We recommend staying at a safe distance at this point.
***** Being bound to a wooden beam in this manner was apparently called ‘planking’ – and no, you wouldn’t want to post a picture online if you’re planking like this…
****** We like to think he’s in his happy place… but we somehow doubt it!