Monday, April 26, 2010

Tau'chikomatic Days: Attack of the Lethal Little Spiders!




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....


EDIT:


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?

18 comments:

Tachikoma said...

You looking to sell them? I think they are adorable :3

At the very least can you give us a step-by-step?

Dverning said...

My response the moment the first pic loaded: FUCHIKOMAS!!!!

Thankfully, my co-workers are inured to my outbursts. I'm a big Shirow Masamune fan. You really captured the look and feel spot on.

Have you thought about adopting them into the TyraCrons? It's a shame to not see these on the field.

Rushputin said...

Those are inspired. I love 'em!

Fuzzbuket said...

i have now been tempred to burchase one of these

http://www.corvusbelli.com/en/02_tiendainf_rtdo.asp?IDNOTICIA=395

:D

#2501 said...

@ Tachikoma: Sorry, they're not for sale. I thought about it, but then the red one gave me the puppy-dog mono-eye and I just couldn't part with them.

A step-by-step guide? Hmm....

Step 1: Get yourself to eBay and buy a cheap Crisis suit kit and an extra set of legs.

Step 2: Make a Fuchikoma. ;)

Sorry, I'm not good with tutorials. Plus, you'd need pictures to really know what the hell I was doing. You can pretty much get the general idea from the photos of the red Fuchi, though. I made the safety bar in front from some sprue, and the eye is a plastic ball joint, cut in half, mounted on a halved shield generator. You might need to pin the sub-arms since they're perched precariously on the back of the top of the chestplate.

@ Dverning: I thought about using them as Hive Guards, but the Tyracrons are more rounded, and have things like vicious claws and Gauss weapons. They'd have to take on some organic 'Nid bits, and would lose their Shirow-ness :(

Brent said...

This is the kind of thing I find inspiring about your blog - the crazy conversions that somehow work.

With that in mind, I've embarked on my own crazy cutting and drilling project, hopefully to be down by BoLSCon.

Seriously, I probably wouldn't have done it had not this blog got me interested in kit bashing.

Take care - Brent

#2501 said...

@Fuzzbucket- I was tempted to get one of those, too. That one is based on the underwater heavy work robot from the GITS 1.5 manga/Solid State Society anime. All of the Corvus Belli stuff is ripped from Shirow's or other mecha (from the Quo Vadis video game), disappointingly. You can make an entire army of landmates (Yu-Jig Guijia and Szalamandra CAV's) and orc suits, with little Tachi-like drones for spice if you want, but their minis are pricey as hell, so I hope you have a lot of loose cash. ;)

#2501 said...

@Brent: glad I could inspire. That's what this sort of thing is all about. Post some pics of your project on your blog so we can all ogle 'em!

sonsoftaurus said...

Great stuff! I'm always impressed with what people can do with standard kits.

Sean said...

These... I... so... D'AWWWWWWWWW!

I am going to make some of these little buggers because nothing is more awesome than combining GitS and Tau.

#2501 said...

And if you head on over to Spirestone Wastes, Oniakki's making female Tau torsos that would be perfect for a Kusanagi officer for your Tau. Of course, the Tau have human allies, too, so she wouldn't necessarily need to have an alien head...

oniakki said...

My first thought was fuchikoma as well ^.^ I'm gonna have to try making some now. Too cute >.<

and woo! I'm mentioned someplace. :p I'm slowly working on getting some of those female torsos painted up.

suneokun said...

Respect to the Major.

Melon Neko said...

those are amazing! If i had something to use them for i would definitely copy them XD Too many projects atm to just do it for fun though.

keep up the good work, I really enjoy your kitbashes

DamonVI said...

i'd actually like to know how to make these myself! if you dont mind, please try to make just a basic tachikoma, and just take pictures each time you add a piece on, please!! this would greatly be appreciated, seeing that i've been scheming to do this for a while.

#2501 said...

I'll make you a deal, DamonVI. if I get a job this year, not only will I make one and do the tutorial, I will also put up the tutorial model for sale, painted, based and all.

Anonymous said...

please need tutorial having trouble with armp and front legs arangement, i was thinking of mine having a fusion blaster undernieth and the arms being half sawed to hold a plasma on each arm. PS thanks for this i might alter it abit as in making a fan codex and one unit was a spider/crab/quad crisis ruit that would be semi automatic and carry a new type of tau tech weapon and it was suposed to have a skimmer engine motor so im a fan of the positioning of the jet pack.

#2501 said...

Tutorial forthcoming. I gave my word to DamonVI, and I intend to keep it. In the mean time, the front leg balls are meant to fit snugly into the armpit well. A plasma in held each sub-arm is too huge, which is why I simply replaced the sub-arms themselves with plasma rifles. This idea I got from a sketch in the art book for the GITS PS1 video game, which featured an evil Fuchikoma enemy done in whites and greys. The evil Fuchi sported a huge rifle in each socket, and was a PITA to fight.