Friday, April 17, 2015

Modelling like it's 1989!

I went to a swap meet a few weeks back at a local store and traded for a Tau lot that included some Forgeworld 40k Tau Broadsides.  When checking out the parts for the first time this week (beyond just making sure they were all there before), I did a quick test fit of the shoulder pads of one of the broadsides on my Tau crisis suit models.  I do rather like the results.  The bare shoulders were in a way a necessity for two reasons previously as I didn't have enough after doubling up for my Farsight model and I also needed a way to distinguish the various ranks visually.  Unfortunately I only have a single pair of shoulder pads (the second broadside was missing them) but I did some mspaint magic to show how doubled pairs would look below:

I do rather like how they look with them on.  It seems like the shoulders blend visually with the thigh armor as well as give it a bit more of a samurai anime look as well.  I've contacted Forgeworld to see if I could buy extra but assuming that won't be the case (I've never heard of them selling bits) I've gone in the meantime with one pad each on the left shoulder as with the original model.  I had to sculpt a tau symbol to place on the 2nd flat shoulder pad.  Now, the normal suits will have the smaller pad, the squad commander will have the larger pad, and the army commander will have the pair of larger pads.  I hope to take some pics tomorrow of the modifications as I'm currently waiting for my first attempt at modelling with milliput to set.

I also did some more research that confirmed my suspicions about USMC paint schemes.  It seems like the only variation was on the company level applied in the field and that the tanks left the factories in the same olive drab color as US Army vehicles.  I really don't see myself applying a camo pattern to these suits as I already have on in my normal Tau army to distinguish the "scouts" (the pathfinders and their various derivatives with markerlights).  I leaning at this point to just continuing my existing paint scheme but the original Farsight Red (with Russian decals) is still an option as is a weathered winter camo look.

Thanks for reading and that ends the update about big shoulder pads!  :)

edit:  I figured I'd just update yesterday's post instead of making another very related one.  Here is a lower down shot of the completed models.  I used Milliput to make a second tau symbol for the bare shoulder pad and I filled in the empty lip on the other shoulder pad with milliput.  I also used some liquid greed stuff to plug the casting holes in the finecast.

 The home made tau symbol had some imperfections in the edge so the green smudge you see on the edge is my attempt to rebuild it after casting it.  It looks like I won't be getting additional shoulder pads for purchase so this is the final loadout and they're pretty much ready for priming at this point.

I found last night an example of a Tau army done up in the weathered winter style pattern I mentioned using above (but without the soviet decals of course).  I'm really glad I found it because I never would have thought that it would look in practice so different from what I thought it would in theory.  The painter did a really good job completing the scheme but I in the end think that grizzled look is where I'd want to take my Tau now that I've actually seen it done by someone who likely did a better job than I'd have been capable of (especially on a first try).

I've decided to go with the US WW2 style mentioned earlier but I plan to embellish these models with more decals as well as USMC markings instead of the US army cavalry ones the main force has.  Things like cockpit markings, danger and radiation warnings, flags, etc.   I plan on making the suits a mix of tank and airplane style decals with the olive drab base color and some edge highlighting.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Assembly completed! Now onto painting...

I finished up the assembling the rest of the crisis suits for the Farsight Ally force this past week.  I started by tweaking the weapon loadout of the last model I built.  In my older Tau force, all the crisis suits are modeled with plasma rifles and missile launchers.  The combo was an effective take all comers loadout with the previous codex's rules and visually evoked the Heavy Gear robot style as well that I'm a fan of.  With the current rules (both codex and game rules), it's much better to specialize against a particular target.  I do like the double gun(slinger) look as well so visually I'm ok with the change and if I ever do field the squad then they'll now be able to take on heavily armored infantry a bit better.  Here is the redone loadout standard crisis suit from above along with the new one that I assembled this week.  For the final model I decided to use the standard pose for the torso and legs but gave him a bit more of an active pose above the waist to contrast with the relaxed look of last week's model.

And here is the whole ally force made up of Commander Enforcer suits.  I think there is enough variability in the poses to make the squad look dynamic enough and not just carbon copies of each other.  I'd struggle to find a way to add another model from the same core model without copying one of the other poses though.  Game rules-wise, this ally force consists of Commander Farsight and a troops Crisis suit squad with one upgraded to a shas'vre with the fusion blades signature system.

The next step is thinking about how to paint them.  This will be my third successive project on the blog that, if not continued, would add to my hobby pile of (unpainted) shame so I'm definitely completing something before moving onto anything new.  Since I've been having fun modelling the Tau, I'll probably continue working on them as well.  My original Tau force is painted up in a WW2 US army green scheme with the corresponding white star decals.  I'm not sure if I should continue it with these models or come up with something new but related.   The standard Farsight color scheme is a deep red with some grey trim. 

If I went with that, I'd go with a "russian" decal style with red stars instead of the white to signify the "ally" status and the more martial stance of the Farsight enclaves as well as the "communists in space" stereotype that the tau in general evoke at first glance.   Alternately, I could continue the motif a bit further by doing a WW2 Russian brown base color instead.  Alternately, I could research a USMC scheme to contrast my US Army one for my main Tau force.  I admit that I'm fairly ignorant about WW2 USMC schemes beyond watching some John Wayne movies as a kid and vaguely remembering a patchy camo.  Over the weekend, I'll try and look up a few more options but feel free to comment if you have any ideas in the meantime. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Crisis Suits - old and new

I worked on both my existing Tau army a bit over the weekend as well as the next addition to my Farsight enclave ally force.

First up is my new-ish Tau commander that previously was a standard fireknife loadout (plasma rifle/missile pod) but is now a weaponless "Buffmander" with numerous support and signature systems that buff the unit he is attached to.  With him are two new converted markerlight drones to help him with his new role.

Next to him you can see the converted fireknife enforcer suit as well.  This picture shows the size and proportion differences between the two sculpts.  I cut and reposed both legs to allow him to lean to the right.  The left leg just needed some glue but the right ball socket hip joint needed to be constructed with green stuff and my meagre sculpting skills after reposing.  The missile pod is actually a left over tank bit from my Heavy Gear collection.   Next up should be the final enforcer crisis suit for my Farsight killteam.

After that, I'll have to figure out which of my three unfinished projects will actually be finished first.  I'm leaning toward the Tau above but I'm open to both the 28mm VOTOMS and Space Wolf Primarchs as well.  Let me as always know in the comments if there is a blog follower favorite.