Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Tau Reinforced: Pathfinders and a fireblade


I'm prefacing this with saying that, in actual fact, I've painted a lot more than 7 pathfinders and a single cadre fireblade at this stage. Since I started painting my tau just over a week and a half ago, I've painted a record 961 points. That's 6 battlesuits and their 12 drones, 12 fire warriors, an ethereal (sort-of, I'll get to that in another post.), 7 path finders, 4 other drones, a Hammerhead and a fire blade. I hope to post about each soon enough, but for now I want to focus on my foot soldiers. My Pathfinders, and my commander in lieu, the Fireblade.

Pathfinders: The Models 

Tactically, Pathfinders are brilliant. They provide support for other units and are themselves very cheap. They also come with some neat options that everyone would take, if their pathfinder markerlight abilities weren't in such a high demand. In my opinion, two Rail Rifles for 40 points on Fire warriors would be an eat-your-heart-out to anything that can get a plasma gun that isn't Tau. 

Like their tactics, the pathfinder kit is brilliant. It's crammed wit small bits and is noticeably more complext than the 10-year-old fire warrior sprue. It comes with dozens of grenades, satchels and equipment, as well as other hands for some really awesome posing options, as I'll show you later. 

I decided that a bright yellow spot colour would be used on all my models. It really stands out and it works especially well for the gun barrels on these pathfinders and on gun drones. 

 One thing that really appeals about the pathfinder kit is the poses. As you can see here, this guy is leaning into a crouch. I haven't modified the model at all and he already looks cinematic. A true improvement over the old models.
This guy is my squad's secret shame. He wouldn't glue to his base, so I rammed a paperclip up his anus and superglued im to his base. A bit over the top I suppose, but hey, we've all experienced modeller's rage. 

Fireblade: The Model

First off, let me say that I hate plastic character models. I hated pewter character models, but I hate plastic models even more. They make me want to make modifications to my models and that's not a good thing when I'm working with a twenty-two dollar model. Nevertheless, my recently bought pathfinder kit saved the day when I damaged the pulse rifle on this bad boy. I would like to believe it looks better. 

First off, I removed the Bonding knife. It was silly. Although the rules for bonding knife are conferred by the Fire Blade's status as an independant character (heroic morale). I replaced it with an open hand from the pathfinder kit. The raised arm worked well for this, I imagined the fireblade wouldn't so much be firing himself, as telling others when to fire. To this end, I posed him with a pair of binoculars - he's spotted his target, now he's giving the order for his squad to open fire. 

I really felt this model was far more cinematic than the original, who has a pet hate of mine, holding the rifle in the wrong hand.

The other thing I did was leave off the shoulder pad. I felt it was silly that he was wearing a shoulderpad over a clock. The cloak is painted in the broans that my tau foot soldier's cloth is done in.

 A closeup of the face. Notice the white on the hair, this is a single line of white that I think has a really big impact on the feel of the model.

Leading the Men. 

Of course, the Cadre Fireblade is meant to lead a squad. He's meant to lead a 12 man fire warrior squad with a Shas'ui, so that the squad can have as many guns as possible - 17 units carrying some form of pulse weapon. 

And a side-on view of the Shas'nel giving the order to Blast 'em!

I'm not a nerd. What're you talking about?