Monday, February 27, 2012

WIP - Hammerheads, FireWarriors and army list

Some tangible progress on the Tau army I'm putting together... Both Hammerheads have received the first coat of primer! I've also taken a step forward with the highlighting of the Fire warrior squads and finalised(ish) the army list.

I keep talking about Priming

Following the initial coat of Vallejo light grey surface primer the Hammerheads will receive  1 and a 1/2 more coats of primer today. One ( the '1/2') will be 'pre-shading' all of the panel lines and recessed areas with Vallejo Panzer Grey surface primer.  This will provide contrast and depth and give me a good head start on the weathered look that I want these models to have.

The next and final coat of primer of Vallejo Olive Drab surface primer will be applied all-over (avoiding going too much into the recessed areas).  This will also provide the basecoat colour that I want.

As mentioned in a previous post, I know from bitter experience that getting a durable finish from the Vallejo airbrush primers means applying at least two coats.  The different colours in Vallejo's range mean that (in this case) I can get the final colour I want for the model.

Fire Warrior colour scheme

I was up until the early hours this morning trying to get a handle on highlighting the FireWarriors.  before I go into that I just want to bring you up to speed on the steps I've already taken:
  1. Cleaned and assembled (arms and shoulder pads left separate and painted separately)
  2. Primed - 1st coat Vallejo light grey surface primer
  3. Primed - 2nd coat Vallejo olive drab surface primer
  4. Thinned Charadon Granite applied to 'under-armour-suit'
  5. Thinned Chaos Black painted onto Rifle handle and sight
  6. Wash - Slightly Thinned Badab Black applied to entire model
  7. Arms and shoulder pads glued on
So now I'm on to the highlighting stage and I'd been putting this off a while as I wasn't sure how to highlight Olive Drab.  After a bit of research it turns out that you can add a dark yellow to your base colour to lighten it.  I'm using Citadel Desert yellow.  After a couple of experiments mixing Vallejo Olive drab with Desert Yellow in different combinations, I wasn't getting the result I wanted, it was just way too subtle.  That would be fine for blending on display or competition mini's but I have 36 Fire Warriors to paint and I feel I need something more immediate, so I decided to paint the Desert Yellow straight on as a highlight.  This seemed like a good idea at 1am!

I'm relatively pleased with the colouring but not with my application.  I was going for a slightly 'battle damaged' look.  In the harsh light of morning it just looks like sloppy painting... A good start though and I'm much more confident taking my brush to the other 35 FW's.  Incidentally the 'eyes' on the mini will ultimately have a different colour.  It's such a 'warm' looking model, I'm thinking a very cool light blue. Any thoughts?

The Army list

I realised that I'd never detailed what the final army will look like so I've made a little list below.  As a side note, both Hammerheads will have magnetised Ion Cannons/Rail guns so they can be easily swapped.  The Battlesuits will also be magnetised to change the configuration of weapons and systems as needed.  So here's the final(ish) list and apologies to the purists if I'm doing this wrong:

1 x Commander (XV8)
2 x Bodyguard (XV8)

3 x XV8 (possibly another 3 if I can get a good deal on eBay!)
6 x XV25 Stealth

12 x Fire Warrior Team with Devilfish Troop Carrier
12 x Fire Warrior Team with Devilfish Troop Carrier
12 x Fire Warrior Team with Devilfish Troop Carrier

Heavy Support
2 x XV88 Broadside  Battlesuit
2 x Hammerhead Gunship

The original plan was to have all this done by the end of February.  That's clearly not going to happen but I have some time off work this week to really get going on this. Mid-March maybe?

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  1. I tried commenting yesterday, but found that I am unable to using my work computer!


    Have you considered dropping the fire warriors down to 10 each... and using the spare 6 to field a unit of pathfinders. (you could go with 5 finders rather than six for point saving)

    Then its a simple case of allocating one devilfish as the pathfinders and carrying out some transport jiggery pokery in the early game.

    The worth of the markerlights is well in excess of the loss of the (few) pulse rifle shots... plus don't forget that the pathfinders fish gets a free marker beacon which can help you drop in some suits...

    On that note, bodyguards are generally not worth it unless they are doing something ultra special... there is very little that a regular crisis team can't do for less points! Without knowing the desired set up though its difficult to really pass comment.

    Also, you get loads of free gun drones in all those sets... they are a highly under-rated unit. You can use them as a small hit squad (deep strike certainty with the finders beacon) and jump them in behind value targets to get those S5 shots on small back field units or artillery / rear vehicle shots.

    1. Oink, many thanks for the comment it's much appreciated. I'll admit the list I came up with was based on a mix of my own aesthetic choices (gotta love those broadsides) and a little research on relevant 40K forums.

      Unfortunately, I won't get much of a chance to field this army personally as it's forming a part of my 'portfolio' of work and I'll be selling it pretty much immediately in order to fund another large project.

      Your advice is helpful as it's Tau players that will hopefully be interested and the potential for a good solid force composition can only help that.

      Are there any units I've omitted that you would have in there?