Monday, June 17, 2013

More Tau Painting

No post in the last week because I've been traveling for work.  However prior and post I've been doing a bit of working to update the Tau army.

Fist off I thought I'd just do up a conversion from a bunch of gun drones I've had into makerlight drones.  For whatever reason GW thinks not to have different version of drones in a box.  Instead you get gun drones with just about every Tau purchase and Gun drones almost nowhere (Pathfinders and Stealth teams).  So rather than buying 4 more maker drones on a bits store I decided to just cut up the gun drones since I have plenty.

Essentially I just cut the carbine on one side down quite a bit and added a Target Array on the other side.  This was all pretty quick and easy and just took and hour or two to do and touch up with paint.  I'd still like to spend more time doing things like drybrushing the black but I've got too much to do and too little time!

I also tackled my two tanks.  First I just updated my Hammerhead tank.

All pretty straight forward on this.  Mostly I was cleaning up lines and adding to the highlight.  The grey parts also got washed and highlighted to add depth.  I also cleaned up the bases a bit to be in style with the Crisis suits I did last month.

Next we had to update the skyray chasis and paint the actual missile turrent as well.

Same techniques, just a bit of extra time to make the tank look a bit better.  I also added some extra details like the engines on the rear top which were just white previously.

Here you can see the base cleaned up a bit and with the dark grey trim.  Overall the tanks do look better though there is still plenty I dislike about them.  The biggest thing that stands out is how poorly some of the construction was, and the paint scheme itself is not my favorite.

But I'm pressing ahead and moving to a totally unpainted model this week... the Riptide!  Hopefully I can get that done, make him look nice, and stay on plan to get the army updated!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Looking at Tau for Golden Throne

So I think the next tournament or two I'm going to run my Tau.  This may be a local 1750 at the end of June, but I'm hearing family rumors of an alleged camping trip.  So the next locked in tournament for sure will be the Golden Throne tournament at the start of August.

The Golden Throne is a 2k event that allows forgeworld and double FOC.  It is essentially a 6 game tournament, but those that fail to 'qualify' for the championship day 2 then play in a 3 game event rogue trader.  Which mean's I'll get to start over Sat!  :)

Interestingly here are the actual missions for the event:

1Vanguard StrikeCrusade (3 objectives)
2Hammer and AnvilPurge the Alien
3Dawn of WarBig Guns Never Tire (5 objectives)
4Vanguard StrikeThe Scouring
5Hammer and AnvilCrusade (3 objectives)
6Dawn of WarBig Guns Never Tire (5 objectives)
ChampionshipDawn of WarCrusade (3 objectives)

So that's interesting for a few reasons.  No Relic and no Emperors Will.  Only one kill point and only one Scouring.

So clearly scoring units are going to be where it is at, but only two games will rely solely on troops.  The other games will take advantage of fast and heavy as well, but of course give up bonus points also.

All in all I don't think you can do a lot with this information, but it is worth keeping in mind I suppose.

As of right now I've laid out a plan to finish up the following 2k Tau army.

HQ: Ethereal
HQ: Commander - Cyclic Ion Blaster + Drone Controller + Stimulant Injector + Puretide Engram Neurochip + XV8-02 Crisis 'Iridium' Battlesuit + Target Lock + Neuroweb System Jammer + Onager Gauntlet + 2 Marker Drone     

Elite: XV104 Riptide -  Ion Accelerator + Early Warning Override + Velocity Tracker
Elite: 3 XV8 Crisis Team- Fusion Blaster x1 + Twin Linked Plasma Rifle x1 + Bonding Knife Ritual
Elite: 3 XV8 Crisis Team - Missile Pod x2 + Early Warning Override 

Troops: 10 Kroot Carnivore Squad + 1 Kroot Hounds
Troops: 10 Kroot Carnivore Squad + 1 Kroot Hounds
Troops: 11 Fire Warrior Team
Troops: 11 Fire Warrior Team
Troops: 11 Fire Warrior Team

Fast Attack: 4 Marker Drones
Fast Attack: 5 Pathfinders
Fast Attack: 5 Pathfinders

Heavy Support: 2 Broadside Shas'ui + Early Warning Override
Heavy Support: Hammerhead Gunship - Submunition Rounds + Disruption Pod + Longstrike + Blacksun Filter + Point Defence Targeting Relay
Heavy Support: Sky Ray Missile Defence Gunship - Disruption Pod + Blacksun Filter + Point Defence Targeting Relay

Aegis Defence Lines + Quad-gun

So I think this has a pretty good blend of things, but I've really only had a few Tau games so we'll have to see how it goes with more play testing.  There is certainly some fat in the list that could be cut but I'm not sure what I'd really add into the list.  I also have everything already minus the Ethereal that seems to be on GW back order hell!

Now the Tau army itself does not look great.  I have quite a bit of updating to do, but not so much of 'totally new' to paint.  I basically have two months to paint, but I also have two weeks+ that I'll be traveling.   So I put together a little schedule to see if I can get this all done in essentially 6 weeks.

Week 1: Update Skyray + Hammerhead
Week 2: Paint Riptide + Convert Paint Marker/Drones
Week 3: Paint Ethereal + Longstrike, Update Firewarriors
Week 4: Paint 2 Kroot Hounds, Update Kroot and Pathfinder Bases
Week 5: Paint last Crisis Suit, Update Broadsides
Week 6: Base Crisis Suit, Ethereal, Riptide, Kroot Hounds, Display Board

That looks like a lot!  In reality much of the touching up is pretty simple stuff.  For instance I knocked out the 6 Crisis suits I had last week.  Here is an example of what the crisis looked like before last week.

There is nothing really wrong with the model, it just doesn't look 'complete' I guess.  So I decided there are a few quick things I can do to improve the overall look of the model.

1) Give the base a dark grey coat.  Right now there is just too much white between the model, the snow, and the base ring.
2) This model/picture doesn't look so bad but some of the snow has yellowed.  So give the base some touch ups to make it not look like pee in the snow.
3) Wash and highlight the 'grey' bits.  This can be done quick and at least gives some depth to the model.
4) Clean up any of the white/black lines.  Some of these were petty hastily done, so clean up the obvious errors.

So I tackled that and this is the result, with crappy pictures that don't help so well...

Overall I feel this is a decent improvement over where they were, and once the army is done it should give them a nice clean look.  There is more I'd like to do of course.
-Highlight all the black.  Right now is just black and it lacks depth.  I could probably do a dry brush of grey followed by a black wash and it would help a lot.
-I'd like more highlight on the blue.  There is some there now, but it needs a brighter highlight to bring that out I think.

So those are things I might tackle once the army is ready for Golden Throne.  If I get ahead of schedule all tackle what I can, but I'm assuming most of that will have to happen afterward.

Of course I don't think the army is ever going to win awards.  A lot of the models are not flashed and the tanks are not well put together.  These take away from ever making this army really great, but at the least I'd like it to look like a nice army on the table.