Thursday, 5 May 2011

Bases and Faces

The long road to Throne of skulls is on and the project is set at building a 1500pt Tau list in time for it from scratch.  I have a 3000pt Tau force already but it was the first army I ever collected and painted (for 40k at least) and It's been a dream to go back to repaint or redo the force to a new, higher standard with the techniques I've learnt.  At the moment I'm looking into colour schemes and  few spring to mind but nothing final.  The only theme I'm sure of is fitting the army into an urban enviornment so with that said and painting stalled untill I've chosen a scheme I thought back to one of the best mantras I ever heard (GW manager of Solihul), bases and faces.  These two features really make a model, giving it a context and a focal point for detail.  Faces will come in painting but first I need to construct the bases.

An urban base is different from a more open or natural feature in how busy it is.  With little vegetation or plants there will be far more 'hard' features requiring painting and on display.  These hard features can be taken from a number of places, spare weapons and grenades or knives from sprus but even off cuts to form rubble.  I used off cuts from the Imperial Sector box of building components and small pieces of slate to fill in the gaps.  Height is another feature, building the base upwards adds to the feel of tumbling debris and cramped environs of an urban theatre.

To tie these features together green stuff is spread over the base and the pieces pressed in.  Texture is fairly straightforward with repeated jabs from a modeling tool.  There are no hard and fast rules but simply play around, I've chosen to make these bases before the models and intend to scult and position the model to whats around them.

Monday, 2 May 2011


A problem I've had with the Tau army is the look of the crisis suits.  The torso has a sturdy feel but the legs are too spindly and the arms too immobile and difficult to give dynamism.  On the standard suits the look is pretty good overall but the standard broadside looks ungainly and top heavy.  The metal railguns are the biggest cause of the problem, difficult to pose and out of proportion with the rest of the model.  The sculpt quality isn't too high either with the long straight lines easily bent or ragged.

In the past I've converted my broadsides to a pose similar to the forgeworld models here.  This time I wanted to try a diferent pose and model it to fit in with the other foot slogging models in the army.  The metal railgun is too difficult to cut and pose so a plastic railgun needed modeling instead.

I went through a few variations, the barrel was made from a trimmed fusion blaster the the metal railgun end finishing the cannon.  The track of the gun is a pair of pulse rifle barreles cut before the sight.  The metal piece is too heavy and the rifles cant support the weight well and the whole thing is too long, almost the same size as the original.

This rifle has the fusion blaster as the base but with the end cut and moved past the track.  the Ammo cell was moved to the underside.  The rear powercell was taken from a crisis suit burst cannon and the antenna from a multitracker.  The only piece not in the original broadside kit is the drone controller node from the stealth suit.  It comes in much smaller and a strong rifle like feel.  Next it needs mounting on the model.

The crisis suit arms are very inflexible and needed to be almost completley rebuilt.  I'll carry on building and update as I go.