Monday, December 30, 2013

WIP: Unit upgrade

My Tau forces get some much needed defense and markerlight support.

Last weekend Dieter and I played a few quick games of 40K. I say "quick" because his Longstrike destroyed my entire infantry within a few turns each game, using submunition rounds. Whole squads, GONE, or on the run, in a single shot.

The railgun's submunition round is AP4, and large blast - denying my infantry a save of ANY kind. The only unit to last more than a single blast were the pathfinders, because I had equipped them with the shield drone I painted with the kit.

After grousing about how insanely OP longstrike was, it slowly sunk in that the lone shield drone had provided the pathfinders a save when the other units got none. Unfamiliar with many of the details of the codex, I re-read it only to realize that almost every unit can take shield drones.

I immediately set about making shield and marker drones for every infantry unit.

While the stealth teams from the battleforce boxes included marker drones (albeit the old design) and the pathfinder kit also included one, I had no more shield drones. Following a tutorial found on Advanced Tau, I used the shield generators from the Crisis Suit sprues to create two additional shield drones.

I clipped the side posts from two lower drone assemblies, and carefully sliced off the bottom half of the hub to make a flat surface. I then glued the modified parts to the shield generators as shown above.

I painted and oil washed the drones.

Once the drones were wiped with turpenoid and dried, I weathered them with dabs of Vallejo cold grey paint to make them look banged up.

I prepared the bases with white glue and sand. Once they were dry, I airbrushed them with Vallejo beasty brown, and drybrushed them with beasty brown and bone white. Notice that I have masked the posts so that they will remain clear.

The assembled drones await assignment to their squads. With the additional protection of a 4+ invul (same as what their armor save would have been anyway), and the inclusion of additional markerlights to every unit, I'll have better shooting from my Riptide.

Have you learned the hard way to upgrade your infantry units? Share in the comments below!



  1. I got started doing the same today. Built the 3 unique drones that come in the pathfinder kit. Have a couple of shield drones to build from my Broadside kits next.
    Goal for tomorrow is to prime and preshade broadside and FW squad.

  2. Yes, but will your drones have racing stripes to make them faster?

  3. Only if they are red! I have a container with a lot of drones in it. Sad thing is they really aren't that detailed as they aren't the main eye catcher of my army that tends to be my crisis suits. My Enclave Warscraper drone is more detailed though.