Handro - Pledge complete - TX4 Piranha

The crusade against the legions of grey continues! Our second pledges are complete, so here's some pics of the Piranha...


I've pretty much just copied the box art Vior'la scheme, almost exactly. If it ain't broke...


I attempted some OSL effects on the faceplates, which seems to work, from a distance...you can also see the horrible graining on the torso from a shonky priming...I used the model as a test run for my newly-bought Micro Sol & Set kit.  Although there aren't any really difficult angles on this model to get a decal to conform to, the softening effect really makes the decal 'blend' into the model, as you can hopefully see above. The Sept markings on the helmets probably benefited the most from the Micro Sol, quite the curvy shape!

You can also see the 'numerical' on the hull to the left of picture is the only one that has silvering/looks like a decal. This is because it was the tester, no gloss underneath to see if Micro Set would do the job on its own. No is the answer. Always have a gloss base!




Thought for the day; 'Against the Alien and the Traitor there is no fair way to fight'



Handro - Pledge Complete - XV25 Stealthsuit Team

It is done. Step one on what will hopefully be a long and fairly productive road to hobby progressville. Pledge 1 was the mountainous molehill that we had to get over else we lose ourselves 'midst a sea of sprues and broken army lists. I painted some models, like.


Despite repeated urging from Der H to attempt a crazy 'stealth field engaging' look, I just went for the normal Vior'la scheme. It looks good, is fairly simple to pull off and crucially gives that clean, hi-tech look that is the Tau's signature. Also painting a new scheme on a model that's bigger than their standard infantryman is a nice way to ease yourself into a new army.

Fusion Blasters - For cooking things at medium range!

Fusion Blasters - For cooking things at medium range!


I'm branching out from modelling sand/train ballast with GW's Armageddon Dunes and Dust for my basing. (These guys have Dust). It's a nightmare to apply to bases with models already attached but I'm lazy like that. (Finished models, not award-winning ones!) It comes out well with a coupe of drybrushings.


So...one pledge down, several more to go (hopefully!). Something vehicular next methinks...



Thought for the day; 'Listen not to the alien, look not upon the alien, speak not unto the alien!' 

FARSIGHT: Crisis of Faith, a review


Like many of you I tend to have a swift Google for a review or video review of a potential purchase. Not so much when it comes to Black Library products, as I usually buy things that I know I'll like (with a few bitter exceptions), but I did however search for any clues as to whether this particular novel was any good as I had just embarked on my own Tau expansion, and it would be my first step into Tau fiction - I found very little, good or bad, so I'm adding my tupp'orth and hopefully you'll find it useful.

So no major spoilers ahead, indeed my review will be more of a comment on the Tau's and Xenos in general's fiction (or lack of), and the community opinions/response to this. Don't worry, I'll talk about the book too!

So what do you get for your £18.99 or regional equivalent? 

A hardback, fairly large print novel of 355 pages by Phil Kelly (more on him later), centering on the eponymous hero's exploits crossing the Damocles Gulf and generally plot device-ing himself and his super awesome squad of justice and tolerance out of the various slightly sticky situations they find themselves in. Presumably there's more to come too, as we don't get any Enclave action at all; this is a prequel, or backstory of sorts.

That's the plot in a nutshell, without spoiling anything - there are subplots involving the Inquisition, an oddly-behaved member of the Water caste, the machinations of the Ethereal caste and the best efforts of the Scar Lords chapter to derail Farsight's expedition. Beyond that, we glean something here and there about Farsight's relationships with Commander Shadowsun, That Guy Kais and his old mentor Puretide, but nothing anyone with a basic grounding in Tau lore wouldn't be au fait with. (I'm not including myself in that group, as a Tau noob).

As for Commander Farsight himself, there's plenty of him getting slightly miffed and emotional about things not going the way he wants, presumably as a prelude to him having the eponymous crisis of faith (at some point). Whether you find it natural or too jarring with the traditional ideas of the Tau obediently going about their for the Greater Good business is largely down to you. His command team are blatantly OP though. One of them is basically a Dreadnought and another is a Cylon. Come at me, bro! 

You also get a brief but useful Xenolexicon at the back, (although if I'm being uncharitable, it would've been nice had this been mentioned in a contents page, I only found it about a fifth of the way through my reading...)

This brings me onto a more general discussion - many of the Tau's hardcore fans have very strong feelings about Mr. Kelly, usually positive in regards to his original involvement with previous Tau codex fluff, and vehemently negative when it comes to his recent move into novel writing.  

I'm as bad as anyone else when it comes to debating my favourite sci-fantasy universe, but the 'colour of Tau blood' debacle (alluded to in the recent Community post announcing the novel) and the somewhat shaky ground of the 'kind of make it up as you go along' Tau language are problems laid at Phil Kelly's feet. As a Tau noob, these things don't bother me unduly, but I know instinctively that they probably would be doing if I'd had a longer relationship with the little blue guys.

On a wider scale, these issues are felt more by a fan base when that group is smaller; write a bad Space Marine novel and enough people will buy it and/or think it's half-decent, and encourage the company to publish more - write a 'bad' Xenos novel and the relatively few people who buy it will desperately wish for it to be good and be all the more enraged when it's not, usually leading to no further novels for that particular faction for a while. It's a vicious circle but hey, newsflash, Marine stuff is popular, sells well, and thusly gets more stuff published for it.

In summary, this is a decent read. Caveat: I have notoriously low standards when it comes to films, TV, etc. It's not that I like bad things, it just that something can be 'ok' and as long as it's vaguely enjoyable I'll be accepting of it. We live in an age where anything and everything is held up to the light and picked apart, and whilst this is good insofar as it encourages things to be done better, it also frequently takes some of the magic away. Everything will seem a little worse if you stop to really scrutinise it. If I hadn't delved a little deeper online in trying to gauge the community's response to this book, I probably would've had a higher opinion of it. Make of that what you will.  

Equally, if you want to read something Xenos-related, you never have much choice. If I had to compare this book to another (in order to give you a sense of how it feels, not in terms of quality) it would probably have to be the notorious Descent of Angels from the Horus Heresy series; it gives a flavour of its subject but leaves you feeling somewhat let down by the lack of actual content/progression.

Not so much a 'crisis of faith' as a mild perturbation. Here's hoping for more to follow.


Why Tau? (AKA Does an army's reputation precede them?)

There comes a point, whilst you're browsing one webstore, catalogue, shop shelf or another, when your latest hobby plan reaches critical mass and overpowers common sense regarding the number of unfinished projects cluttering up your hobby space. It transforms from 'exciting idea' to 'burning, un-ignorable desire'. At that point all you can do is hope that when you wake up next morning the damage to your bank balance/significant other's hobby tolerance/sanity isn't irreparable. It's the nature of the 21st century that within 36 hours of me biting the bullet and clicking 'checkout' this fine collection of sprues and dreams was on my doorstep.

But why Tau, you ask? A fair question, and one I would've regarded as moot just a few months ago. The Tau had never previously interested me; indeed I found them a little distasteful, morally, in that they appeared to have some, and that just didn't fit my world view of 40k, no, no, not at all. Whilst I would never begrudge anyone's else's right to see and play the universe as they saw fit, I knew inside that the Tau were an aberration, a corporate shill, only for Johnny-come-lately's and Anime kids. In short, they weren't proper, and they sure as hell weren't 40k. 

They also coincided almost exactly with my leaving the hobby, and their arrival seemed to only confirm to me that giving 40k a rest was a good idea. Summer/Autumn 2001; a time that will be remembered for dark events, but also the release of epic mini-series Band of Brothers, and a strange, ill-fitting race of blue aliens; the Tau Empire had arrived, so I left.



My first actual contact with the Tau was via Dawn of War and its expansions, namely Dark Crusade, which introduced both Necrons and the Tau, and made them both stupidly, brokenly OP.


DoW, Winter Assault, DoWII, Chaos Rising...could I find my copy of Dark Crusade's Tau cover?...of course not.

DoW, Winter Assault, DoWII, Chaos Rising...could I find my copy of Dark Crusade's Tau cover?...of course not.

Ridiculously, the Tau could have a stealthed Devilfish (or three!) full of Fire Warriors lol just sitting in ur bases killing ur dudes until the enemy had nothing left. (Burst cannon...firing! - As Der H will attest, I am in the habit of endlessly (mis-)quoting DoW. I presume it's very annoying for him). Surprisingly, this did little to alter my snobbish view of the Tau and their tricksy ways, but I, as an average RTS player, loved it. The Tau had begun to get a hold of me...


Aah, Invisifish. Never change...

Aah, Invisifish. Never change...

Fast forward a few years, and I had been pulled back into the hobby with 30k, and thus had avoided the advent of the much-abhorred 'Fish o' Fury', a tactic nearly as game-breaking as its virtual predecessor. The Tau were shooty, gloriously so, but also a little bit snarky, too good for their own (greater) good. They had suits galore, markerlights and actual Railguns for blowing vast holes in any who stood before them. And then came the Riptide.

No, I'm not dirtying this post with an actual picture of a Riptide. For shame!

No, I'm not dirtying this post with an actual picture of a Riptide. For shame!

The Riptide could do everything. Shoot, take a hit, thrust move, throw a pie plate, you name it, it did it, and it was undercosted to boot. And people hated it. Take three, and your opponent was liable to just pack up and leave before you rolled for the first turn. The Tau had now firmly established themselves as 'That Army' for 'That Guy'. The only crime more heinous was to ally with Eldar...Another notch on my anti-Tau post, right? And yet...the new, white Vior'la scheme came to my attention. Huh, Tau didn't have to be ochre...interesting.


With the advent of 8th Edition, I was looking forward to picking up a couple of the new indexes - one for the Guard, one for my Orks (let's not talk about them for now). But oh no, sneaky GW had to bundle a few other armies into the Ork index didn't they? And so I found myself endessly reading and re-reading the Tau section. It was all new to me, plasma rifles, ion blasters, good old, cherished Devilfish with Burst cannon...oh yes, this could be me, this could definitely be me...and what's more, they weren't broken, OP, or even that good at shooting. They could even be a little Grimdark thanks to their Ethereal pheromone shenanigans. And the Riptide costed a fair amount of points! Praise the Emp- Tau'va! I could play Tau, and I wouldn't neccessarily be shunned for it.

And so here we are, on the brink of something new, something hopefully positive, something that might serve as a lesson that anyone can change. A man, his beliefs, his choice of army...

Onwards then, For the Greater Good.