Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Tau: Magnetising a Riptide (Quick Tip)

Unboxing and building one Tau troop-type at a time I reached a point where I could no longer hold myself back and tore into the packaging for my Riptide. What a great model!

As with most models, though, there are a number of ways of building it depending on the weapons load-out and sensor suite that you want.

Now I've not play-tested Tau yet so I don't know what the best combination is. Besides, I do like to be able to change things around. The solution: Magnets!

So I started drilling and glueing as follows:
I added a magnet to the top of the "hand" (for sensors, etc) and inserted a small length of cut paper-clip into the slot in the middle of the circle on the back of the hand (for the "power coupling" to attach to)...

Another magnet went into the bottom of the hand for the weapon to attach to...

Magnets went into the recesses at the top of the weapons to attach them to the hands (more easily seen in the upper weapon than the lower in this photo) and a bit of bent paperclip went into one of the recesses on the side of each weapon (for the "button" to attach to)...

The "power coupling" (left) got a magnet inserted in just one end - very tricky drilling job. The other end is too small to work with so I left that be (it will just rest in place). The "button" had a magnet inserted...

Each of the smaller weapons got a magnet too...

For the sensors I just cut a small channel in the bottom and glued a bit of paperclip in place...

So now the arm goes together like this (or with the other weapon or a different sensor)...

And I can add sensors (left) and weapons (right) to the tops of the jump-engines too!
A fairly simple bit of work on the whole - drilling the power-coupling was by far the most difficult part.

It will be a while before I complete the build of this model as I'm only assembling to a stage conducive to easy airbrushing at the moment. I'm trying to do that to the whole force before I start painting anything.

Other Tau-Related stuff:

Monday, 18 August 2014

Tau: It begins - what's on the plan to build/paint

So here I am right at the top of a new project.

This Tau army is something which my son started collecting about 7 years ago when the original Codex was still the book to use. He was still purchasing models as the 2nd edition of the Codex was published, but other than building many of the models and getting me to brush-paint a devilfish for him he didn't do anything with it.

It sat in boxes for a long time. I added a few models to the boxes about 3 years ago, but it still stayed as a collection of cast-off junk.

I got inspired recently and am now in Tau-full-flow.

All my models are sorted and grouped and assembly (and in some-cases dis-assembly) is underway.

One challenge I'm facing is that most of the Battlesuit models are first-edition sculpts and therefore not very dynamically posed. I'm a miser so don't want to replace them. I'll have to see what I can do to give them a bit of "animus". I have a few parts missing too as most of this is built from ebay junk lots so I'll need to hit the bitz stores and see what I can find from the current bitz offerings that will fit these older models.

Anyway, here's a quick run-down on what's on the programme:
Battlesuits, including 2 x Broadsides and O'Shovah

Aun'Va and his entourage

20 x Fire Warriors with Pulse Rifles

Another 20 x Fire Warriors with Pulse Rifles

Fire Warriors with Pulse Carbines

Pathfinders (actually Fire Warriors with Pulse Carbines, but missing shoulder-pads)

Stealth Suits. I'll actually be fielding a slightly different set than shown here - I have some of the old XV15 models in metal being stripped. I think I'm going to use four XV15 and two XV22.

Pirhana sqadron - one is missing its pilots. I'll hack some spare Fire warriors to fit.

One of my three Tetras - I get to play with Resin for the first time on this project!

Tanks - three Devilfish, a Skyray and a Hammerhead. To begin with. I'm doing some cutting and chopping so that this can be flexed a bit.


And some more Resin - a Barracuda aircraft...

...and more Barracuda bits.

The alien auxiliaries might get left for another phase: I tend to build my armies after the following fashion:
  1. Obsessive collecting of way too much stuff,
  2. Get distracted by another project or two,
  3. Come back to it and build enough for a fieldable force (2000 - 2500 points),
  4. Get distracted by another project or two,
  5. Add a bit more to it for the next time I'm going to field it,
  6. Repeat steps 4 & 5 ad nausem.
So on the alien list is:
Vespid Stingwings.

Kroot and Krootoxes.
So there we are. Sorted, organised and ready to go.

I committed to one post per week and this will probably be the only post this week. As things currently stand I'm busily assembling models to what I consider to be a stage ready for painting; I'm going to be airbrushing these guys so I'm not planning to fully assemble anything so I can paint things partwise. Photos of partially assembled models are not too interesting so I'll try and keep that sort of thing to a minimum.

Other Tau-related stuff:

Monday, 11 August 2014

Tau: Musings and a sort of "mission statement"

Well I'm just about to start work on my Tau force and thought that the most surefire way of forcing myself to stick to my guns and follow through on my intentions would be to write them down and make them public.

That way if I wriggle out of doing something, the entire world is vindicated in tearing me apart :-)

In the nicest possible way, of course.

So here is my "Mission Statement":
  1. I will construct this army from at least 75% recycled materials:
    • my Son James' old cast-off Tau Army (2 x devilfish, a couple of kroot and Fire Warrior squads, Aun'Va, Vespids and some broken battlesuits),
    • other people's junk from ebay (drones, another devilfish, more Fire Warriors, more Kroot, battlesuits, Pirhanas),
  2. I will use resin models for the first time - I am planning to obtain some Forgeworld Tetras and a Barracuda,
  3. This army will feature a snow-camouflage paint scheme and be mounted on snow-themed bases (in order to fall in-line with other models I've built recently - the intention is to eventually have all of my armies on bases with the same scheme. I intend to build a gaming table at some point to match),
  4. I will use this project to increase my level of confidence with airbrushing. I have owned an airbrush for some time but have shied away from making proper use of it (my first airbrush was a poor tool and prone to clogging. I have a new one now which seems much better):
    • Every Fire Warrior/Pathfinder/Battlesuit model in the army will feature a significant amount of airbrush work - Zenithal Highlighting is my intention,
    • Every vehicle will feature a digital camouflage pattern, stencilled on. I'm planning to follow the video guide created by "",
  5. I will post a Blog update at least once every week as I progress.
For the greater good
Other Tau-related posts

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Tau: Inspiration comes from odd places

Whilst I was in the throes of my Epic: Chaos project I was fully intending to get stuck into a Tyranid army next. Then I took my son to see the movie "Escape from planet Earth".

The movie follows the exploits of the "Supernova" brothers, Scorch and Gary.

My intentions took a sharp left turn at that point - all of a sudden I was thinking "Tau in snow camo".

I have boxes of junk minis that I pick up at bargain prices off ebay in fits-and-spurts. I have armies of stuff in boxes that are in various states of disrepair and need fixing and painting. For W40K I have Tau, Tyranid, Eldar and Orks in abundance. Each one is going to be my next project with the order of business flipping around in my head the whole time.

I then forgot all about Tau for a while, until I saw a commercial for a store called "Argos" featuring these guys:

When I went again to see the movie when it was re-shown recently my path was irrevocably set: Tau are next.

So at the moment I'm sorting through my boxes of minis to see what I have and what I need, having picked up the new codex (my purchases were all made from the old one).

Other Tau-related posts

Friday, 1 August 2014

Epic: Chaos Marines - Whole Army

As a closing post on the Epic Chaos project, I thought I'd sign off with some photos of the whole army gathered en-masse.

Personal events have overtaken me so I'm not sure when these guys will actually get to take to the field - it could be some time before I get to actually play again - so I thought I'd grab some quick snaps of the army as the chances of me getting any "in action" photos are slim for the foreseeable future.

And just for a laugh, I thought I'd do it with a little bit of fiction, inspired by a comment my would-be opponent Mike made when I sent him one of these photos. If you laugh at the end of this, it's all down to Mike.

This is Recon flight one-alpha-seven. Do you read me, Command?
Command reading you twenty-by-twenty. All still quiet?
Not sure, Command. Reading something over a ridge a few clicks South West. It's outside my grid and I'm pretty much off the clock here. I'm heading back in. I'm transmitting the Bogey's co-ordinates now so you can get one-alpha-twelve to check it out - it's in her grid.
Negative, one-alpha-seven. We lost contact with one-alpha-twelve a couple of minutes ago. We need to you check out that Bogey, but proceed with caution.
OK Command. Going into overtime.
The Emperor doesn't pay overtime, one-alpha-seven. Adjust your heading and report back ASAP. Out.

One-alpha-seven laid in a course to take him on a circuit around the ridge, his Valkyrie bucking and juddering as it got nearer the location he was scouting. That in itself was unusual - the Valkyrie's sleek design and powerful engines normally cut through atmospheric turbulence as though it wasn't there. More unusual were the energy disturbances his dials were starting to show. He almost didn't notice the fact that the sky was brightening up to daytime levels even though it was 02:00.

For the love of the Emperor! Command! Command!
What is it, one-alpha-seven?
Chaos force pouring out of a fissure in the sky! Massive numbers - Titans, Tanks and foot troops. Too many to count. Going to get some images and get the hell back. Transmitting scans, data and images back now. Confirm receipt.
Confirmed - we see it. Good work. Get out of there.
Coming under fire. Doing my best. <FOOM> Damn! That was close!

One-alpha-seven made it back. The maintenance crew weren't quite sure how.

Command this is flight-deck maintenance. Reporting in as directed. We're stumped on how one-alpha-seven made it back. His Valkyrie was almost completely out of fuel, its afterburners are completely burnt out. He must have given it some hammer getting out of there. It's going to need a complete refit. As for the interior - could you dispatch a seat-cleaning servitor down here?

+++ Images received +++

+++ Transmission Ends +++

Overall working time on this lot - 3.5 months. That's about 45 mins per day, 4 or 5 days per week. So roughly speaking, about 54 hours work (so about 3.5 models per hour given that it's an army consisting of 183 playing pieces). I'm happy with that, especially given all the build-and-conversion work I did on the Command Tanks, Titans and Death Wheels.

The complete list of posts (including links) for the project is as follows:
Next Project: Warhammer 40,000 Tau. Stay tuned.

Other Epic: Chaos-related stuff