Monday, April 26, 2010
I had nearly forgotten about these little guys. They've been in a box for like 3-4 years.
Back when I was trying to decide on a new army after playing SoB for some time (and lamenting their utter lack of ranged anti-tank), I flirted briefly with the idea of fielding the Tau. Of course, 5th ed has since pushed their codex into the crapper, but the idea I had (before jumping full-bore into the Guard) was to make a Shirow Masamune tribute army, and these little fellas were my battlesuits.
Those of you who followed Ghost in the Shell from its manga beginnings will recognize these designs being closer to the Fuchikomas than Stand Alone Complex's Tachikomas. GW didn't really have a lot orb-shaped bits for me to use for the body, and I wanted to stick to Tau Battlesuit bits anyway. The Major's, of course, is red.
A rear shot showing his little jump jets. GW has always had problems with scale, and even constructed to spec out of the box the Tau battlesuits appear to have little room for the pilot in addition to all the power and support systems the thing would need, even with their miracle technology. With that in mind, I suppose you could fit a pilot in the body, lying down over the main processor; the thorax is dominated by that flight system.
An underside shot so you can get a better idea of how they're put together. The battlesuit chestplate is wedged into the back piece's cavity, and with some trimming those ball-jointed legs fit in nice and snug. Tau battlesuits aren't really built for hand to hand, so I saw no issue with the charactertistic stumpy arms. Plus, they make him look kinda cute.
Mugging for the camera, the blue soldier units. I had fun with different weapons mounts, and the ball joints allowed for some nice reaction poses. In-game, of course, they'd all have standardized weapon loadouts, mostly for anti-armor. Fire Warriors are fine for anti-infantry, giving these spry little fellows the dubious honor of popping tanks at close range. Of course, they're nowhere near as spry in 40k as they are in the manga and anime, otherwise they'd be treated cavalry for movement purposes.
For true anti-armor, of course, you want Broadsides with their heavy railguns, so I converted up a squad of sniper-type units and painted them in low-vis colors. With those big guns, they are, of course, much less spry than their brethren.
The one in the middle seems to be going for maximum elevation. He must see something hiding in the second floor of that building over there. The models might seem back-heavy due to the metal cannons and stabilizers, but their four-legged nature makes them quite stable, actually.
I thought about using the regular Tau missile racks, but they were too underwhelming, so they became railgun ammo hoppers. Plus, since railguns are firing solid projectiles anyway, you can put them higher up without worrying about them being targeted. After all, with railguns it's the power capacitors in the back and those magnets in the barrels you want to worry about. This little guy also has a laser designator in his central mount to paint targets with.
He's really blasting away with those plasma rifles. I never understood why the Tau didn't have BS4 instead of the more pedestrian (and base human) BS3. Then again, with all the accuracy-enhancing gadgets and twin-linking, I suppose they don't really need to be natural marksmen to hit things.
I suppose I could implement them into my AdMech army, but that would mean refitting them with more gothic optics and Imperial-standard weapons, which would sort of detract from that high-tech look. As they are they just sort of don't fit with any of my other armies, which is a shame, because I really like the models. Hmmmm....
If you're wondering what sparked off the nostalgia to dig out these (relatively) old models, it's because I just finished assembling and painting this fellow:
I'll do a more in-depth photo posting of him if you really want. The little Fuchis next to him came with the Kusanagi figures they released to promote the PS1 game. Of course, the inspiration for him came from this fellow:
Fully articulated, this Fuchi came with the Ghost In the Shell One Box, a $300+ product that came with two hardbound manga volumes, a clear folder, and a mini-artbook. Got that sucker waaay back in the day from Tower Records, which is of course, now defunct. Thanks iTunes, where am I going to find an eclectic blend of music, books, and weird stuff now?