Despite the inclement weather the post arrived today and it included my first Vanguard Miniatures order. Specifically the 3mm Novan Elites Affray Infantry Century on foot from their Defeat in Detail 3mm range of ‘not Heresy’ miniatures. One of my hopes is to build a set of Horus Heresy armies (thinking of Ultramarines and Word Bearers) but I want to have some very large battles and so I was thinking that doing them in 3mm might keep it more affordable and also make it seem more sweeping in scale. Now Vanguard is developing their own set of 3mm miniatures to do large battles from their own ‘not Heresy’ background but one thing I like about Epic gaming is the interplay of individual weapon systems on the game and your strategy. Their rules have generic attack and range values as well as large based units with a mix of units on them. It looks really nice but its not my thing. Thankfully the Epic AU group are still working on their Horus Heresy rules for Epic: Amrageddon and so those look
So before committing to basing a lo of miniatures I decided to do a small test on two stands of Tau models before going all out. This is a variant on the Epic basing scheme I used previously on my older Epic armies. Previously I would have added sand to the bases, painted it and then drybrushed it. Now I can skip a step and just use Astrogranite Debris texture paint from GW. My main concern was that the texture in it would be too large for Epic models but that doesn’t seem to be the case. The light in the photos is a bit off but there is some brown drybrushed into the texture, after doing two passes with some greys, in order to break the colour up and also to weather the base a bit to make it look like it is varied terrain and not just a single material. So now I just need to go get some more Astrogranite Debris this weekend and I can start getting them all done.
So the Devilfish are done. I had some free time and got the rest of the highlights done on the models. They followed the same pattern as the other vehicles so it was a quick job. I’ve started the Piranhas and Tetras and also started to do a quick test of some basing options for the rest of the models.
All I appear to be doing at the moment is painting Epic Tau. My second order from Onslaught Miniatures came in a few days ago so I have been busy assembling some stands of troops. I ran out of small Flames of War bases so I only have 17 stands of Fire Warriors assembled as well as eight stands of Pathfinders. The Pathfinders are on round bases to easily distinguish them from the Fire Warriors and as well it continues a standard of having core troops on rectangular bases. I have two command stands (not that the army requires them) as well as an Ethereal stand and a stand with a warrior equipped with a sword for any bonded formations I use. Prior to this I managed to get some stands of Stealth Suits and Gun Drones done. Nine stands of Gun Drones and six Stealth Suit stands. I had to cheat a bit and add some Gun Drones to fill out the Stealth Suits to make a full unit. So far the count for the army is 12 Hammerheads, five Crisis Suits, five Broadsides, nine Gun Drones and six Stealth Suits. Currently on the pain
Well I am calling them done. I suspect that there are some other details I could paint but they look good enough for me. No basing done yet, I am still not sure what style of bases I want, but they do look good assembled in a unit. I took a shortcut and made the highlights on the weapons and the blue panels the same shade of light grey. I didn’t have a light blue that was bright enough to use as a highlight on the panels and the Vallejo light grey has a slight blue tone to it so it works well without being the exact colour I would want. I could have mixed something but I don’t want to have to remix a paint every time I do highlights. Next up are the last six of the Hammerheads and then the nine Devilfish.
The Crisis Suits continue to advance. I added some light blue details to the weapons as well as painting the jet engines on the back in Tau Light Ochre. There are a few more spots on the models that one could add colour to but I have decided not to since I want the colours I do have to stand out more. So all that remains on these are some touchups and then highlights
With the first of the vehicles done it is time to start on the Crisis Suits. They are a slightly different painting task than the vehicles since they really don’t have the same large areas of colour that the Hammerheads did that helped define the colours. The main weapons are the same grey colour but I’ve made the missile pods the brown to add some of that colour in a prominent location. Since the models don’t have any lines that I can highlight on the body I have drybrushed the models with Skeleton Bone to try to add some of that colour as well.
So the first six of my Epic Tau vehicles are done. Basing will be done later once I have enough figures to do in a batch. These were a breeze to paint. Sharp details on the figures that make it easy to put on highlights. I suspect that they would look pretty good even without the small number of highlights I added. Next up are the Crisis Suits.
Got some more work done on the Hammerhead proxies. I touched up some of the overpainted areas, added some colour patches to the weapons, started the glow on the fusion weapons and painted the missile pods. Next up are the cockpit details and then the highlights.
So a few people asked about the steps I took to lift the Hammerhead model from the base. The actual idea was from ForgottenLore at the Tac Comms forum.Thanks to Don at Onslaught Miniatures it was actually easy to do. When he designed the vehicle he put a small tab at the bottom of it so that when it was glued to a base there would be a small lift. I tried it out and it didn’t look as if it was high enough to give the impression of hovering. As well, it would make it difficult to put sand on and paint the base with the vehicle so close. All of the vehicles come with metal sprues that the weapon pods and engines are attached to and so it was a simple task to clip a piece of metal into the right length and then glue it to base. Once that dried the model was glue to the metal sprue. Voila! Instant hovering vehicle. It is a wildly simple solution but it is based on the foresight that the model sculptor had in the first place.
We had a week or so of higher temperatures so I managed to get the first six Tau Hammerheads primed and started work on getting some base colours on them. I primed them using the Army Painter Skeleton Bone primer and then tested out a few different GW shades on the bottom tab to see which colour looked best. The idea was that I could shade the model as well as get some darker tones in the recesses with one pass. After I decided on a colour I tossed all that work aside and used Seraphim Sepia instead. Fairly typical for me really.I originally wanted to do the weapons in white but when I put down the grey base that I was going to use for the white it looked really good so I have stayed with that. Hammerheads WIP I need to touch up some of the colours and then add some highlights. One small problem is that I am not sure what colour to use to correct some of my painting errors so there may be some trial and error involved in that.
So I haven’t figured out how I want to paint my Epic Tau but I have figured out how to base the vehicles. The models from Onslaught have a small tab at the bottom to lift them off of the base. it adds a bit of height but not enough, to my mind, to properly portray them as being skimmers. It also doesn’t leave a lot of room to work on the base or paint the bottom of the figs. Thanks to a suggestion from the Tac Comms forum I used some of the metal sprues from the vehicles to life the models up higher. Now they have a suitable height and I can get in under the models to do the bases. Normally I don’t like basing Epic vehicles but in the case of skimmers I think it is necessary to properly convey that they are skimmers.
So 2018 was the year of Gates of Antares. I now have the core of two armies painted and its a matter of adding a model or unit here and there to add some more options. I plan on running a few Boot Camp events the game this year and that might require me to paint up a small 600 point Concord force as well but its not going to be necessary. While I can’t predict where the distracted magpie of my gaming focus will eventually go, the intention for this year is to try to build an army for Epic as well as Warmaster. There are some local gamers who are building Epic forces and there are enough proxy miniatures being produced now that it is possible to build well-balanced armies for Epic. Also, enough time has passed since my last foray into the game that I can ignore the sting of selling my Chaos army. Onslaught Miniatures produce a wide range of 6mm sci-fi figures including almost a full range of proxies for the Tau. I used some of my Xmas funds to purchase the core of a 2000 point Tau army and those minis ar
The new year has begun and there are some new minis on the painting table. The first is a general for my upcoming Chaos Warmaster army. Chaos General The model is part of a set of Chaos miniatures I picked up at a bitz sale at Imaginary War a few years ago. I just need to do a touch of work on the banner to add a chaos symbol to both sides. Also on the table is a set of Dystopian War British Medium tanks. Tanks for the Omnissiah! These are meant to be 2mm Dystopian Wars minis but I am going to use them as 6mm Adeptus Mechanicus APCs. I’ve used some PVA glue to stick them to some bases so I can use my painting handles when painting them. Originally I was thinking of using them as Imperial Guard proxies but I think that the ‘steampunk’ look suits the Mechanicus better. These will join some similar models that I painted some time ago as well as some Vanguard Miniatures Cybershadow miniatures to fill out the infantry and walkers.
So some local gamers have decided to get into playing Epic: Armageddon and it has inspired me to do something that I have always wanted to do which is to build and play an Epic Tau force. Even when Forgeworld was actually making their range of 6mm Tau figures the army was a pipe dream as it was ridiculously expensive and the troops were notoriously fragile. I knew people that had parts snap off of the Crisis Suit models when they were drybrushing them. They still looked amazing though. I actually still have a draft version of the Tau army list for Epic in my folder of old Epic: Armageddon playtest documents. Its interesting to see how the army has evolved since then. As with other old Specialist Games products, a market of small-scale miniature producers popped up to provide models for the game after GW left the market. One of the better manufacturers is Onslaught Miniatures and they have an entire range of ‘not Tau’ figures called the Okami Technocracy Combine. They are very nice looking models t