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The Return to Taros @ 2018/06/02 13:52:57

Post by: kestral

I've started getting serious about the old Bucket List, and on it is doing a Taros Campaign. Loved that book, probably the pinnacle of 40K as military Sci Fi. After due consideration, I don't think I really want to do a refight of the first one, but rather a campaign taking place some years later.

Overview of the Taros Campaign from Forgeworld: http://wh40k.lexicanum.com/wiki/Taros_Campaign

This requires a great deal of modeling vis:

Desert Terrain (Have a good start on this, but needs a bit more work)
Tau Terrain (Almost Nothing for this)
Tau Army (Basically done, maybe a few touch ups. My poor tau haven't been out of the box in many years).
Imperial Army (Insurgency Walker's super cool desert theme stuff)
Tau Auxiliaries (Mostly done)
Tau Mutiny (Auxiliaries gone over to Chaos) (Maybe half done).

Fluff now, Pictures Later.

Return to Taros

Once again, it all came down to Nymus Dree.

It had been Dree who had first detected the Tau infiltration of Taros in the first place, leading to the disastrous first and second Taros intervention. His diligence and attention to detail in his Emperor given duties had detected missing mineral resources, resources that were being syphoned off by the Tau. He had been rewarded with the post of Chief Provisioner of the expedition. This had turned out to be a thankless task, for it was the Tau strategy of attacking Imperial supply lines that had brought the invasion to its knees. Though Dree had struggled mightily, he had not been able to get enough supplies to the front, and in consequence the offensive had first stalled, then turned into a rout.

Dree’s Aquila lander had been shot down during the evacuation and he was presumed killed.

But Dree had not died. His pilot, panicking as the tau closed in on the air field at a forward logistics base where Dree had been overseeing the pull out of his staff and critical documents, had taken off without him, only to be shot down. He had reported Dree on board at take off. The Adminstratum clerk stood on a dusty airstrip holding a bundle of data crystals, watching in shock as his transport roared skyward. Swallowing as well as his parched throat would permit, he dropped the crystals and raised his hands shakily as the first Tau to arrive trained their weapons on him.

It would be expected that Dree’s story would end there - gunned down by vengeful tau seeking to take revenge for the death of their beloved Etherial or worked to death in a mining camp. But once again he cheated death with the Emperor’s help.

Assigned to the Gidamak mine workings, he was fortunate to be assigned to help manage accounts rather than hard labor a small, soft middle aged beurocrat would not have survived for long. Though in shock at first, he soon recovered, showing the same remarkable tenacity that had marked his service to the Emperor for decades. He had enough experience with imperial cogitators to make himself useful during the transition to Tau data systems. Conditions were not what he was used to by any means - obeying the orders of traitors and xenos, sleeping in a crowded dormitory cave, dressed in rags and eating vat grown foodstuff accompanied by a small ration of water. Still, he was alive, and while he was alive he might still serve the Emperor.

As Dree bided his time, the Tau consolidated their hold on Taros. Substantial projects were undertaken, including most notably a space elevator over the Pyrra Heights. Tau colonists and other Xenos species arrived in large numbers. Desert adapted plants from other worlds were imported in small numbers. Gas mining of nearby planets provided raw materials for a limited tau-forming operation. Some local industry was installed.

However, the tau plans for Taros fell into neglect during the Third Sphere expansion. Other, brighter jewels beckoned to the Etherials. Taros, of only middling value, was, by an odd quirk of warp geometry and galactic currents, still an exposed border planet, most notably connected to the Argo Cluster by a stable Empyrean gyre. This made it both vulnerable and unappealing as a jumping off point for further expansion, since the Tau could not use the Gyre but Imperial ships could. Taros became a backwater.
11 years standard after the retreat from Taros, that changed. A new sept was given responsibility for Taros, the Rinn’va. The Rinn’va Sept were an eccentric group, noted for adhering to older interpretations of the “Greater Good” doctrine. No sept worked more closely with other species, or was willing to take risks as great for purely altruistic reasons. Aun Mord Rinn saw Taros as an opportunity to demonstrate the worth of his ideas using a world that was deemed unimportant.

His first act upon arriving on Taros was to recruit humans who might help him realize his vision of a harmonious and productive world in service to the Tau Empire. Among them was Nymus Dree. Dree pretended to be won over, but in his heart he remained true, and he was able to recruit a small cabal of like minded men, survivors of the Taros intervention all. The cabal made itself indispensable to the Taros project using its specialized knowledge and leadership skills.

Dree faced three challenges as he saw it - how to escape Taros, how to convince the powers of the Imperium to return to Taros, and how to ensure that when they did, they would be victorious. Although he was by no means a young man, he flung himself into the challenge.

He soon realized, by observation and conversation with former officers of the Imperial Guard, that the Third Taros intervention would be very different from the second. In the first, the Tau had enjoyed many advantages. They were using front line troops with a high tech index. With almost nothing to defend (being largely unconcerned about the human civilian population) and being almost completely airmobile, they were able to strike and fall back at will - textbook tau tactics. They had every advantage over the Imperial Guard, and they had destroyed the guard with clinical precision by attacks on their supply lines. In a war on a near lifeless world, that had been decisive.

The situation was now completely different. The Rinn’va had little access to front line equipment. The mighty Riptide, for example, was absent from their order of battle. Though their hunter Cadres were hardened fighters, their gear was patchwork and they relied heavily on auxiliary forces of variable quality and potentially uncertain loyalty. They had fewer of the critical Mantas and Orcas that had supplied the tau’s mobility in the second intervention. They were invested in the planet and its infrastructure. They would have many fixed population and industrial centers to defend, and those centers would furnish valuable resources to Imperial Invaders when captured. While Taros was still sparsely populated, it was a bustling metropolis compared to the Pre-Tau world. Previously the Tau had largely evaded the sledgehammer onslaughts of the guard - this time they would have to fight on ground not of their choosing.

It was possible that the Rinn’va might resort to a scorched earth strategy, but they would do with reluctance, given the energy they were pouring into the Taros Project. They would fight hard to defend what they had built, and that would be their undoing.

Did Dree feel the lure of the Rinn’va vision of a world of the greater good? Perhaps. He might have given up his dream and simply lived out his days on Taros had he not perceived that their was a third player in the great game - for Chaos had come to the desert world.

The Rinn’va were naturally unconcerned with their auxiliaries’ cultural practices as long as they were not actively killing each other over them. They simply could not understand Dree’s heated warnings about the signs and rites practiced among some of their Sepoy formations. Indeed, they saw the new cult as largely beneficial, for it cut across species and homeworld, providing a uniting bond among their allies. To the extent that they were aware of it at all, they were supportive. True, mutational effects were sometimes disturbing, but the tau were niave to much of the true nature of the galaxy, and so no great harm in it.

Dree might have fallen for the blandishments of the greater good, but as a high ranking adminstratum official he knew enough that he would never consign a world to Chaos. Accordingly, he pushed forward his plan.

The Return to Taros @ 2018/06/02 16:34:22

Post by: monkeytroll

Interesting.....with my main interest being the Tau mutiny obviously

The Return to Taros @ 2018/08/25 14:09:51

Post by: kestral

I had all kinds of plans for the Chaos Mutiny among the tau Auxiliaries - we'll see how many of those come to fruition.

Here's my first piece of terrain specifically for this - desert tank traps.

And a few old Pics of some tau/Mutiny stuff:

The Return to Taros @ 2018/08/27 00:10:53

Post by: Insurgency Walker

Cool, do you plan on working this into the Argo Cluster campaign? Good use for more wheels

The Return to Taros @ 2018/08/27 00:21:12

Post by: Syro_

A start to another great project, I'm looking forward to seeing your work. That is a great Imperial Armour book, it make me tempted to start a Tau army just to be able to play along

The Return to Taros @ 2018/08/29 13:12:01

Post by: kestral

 Insurgency Walker wrote:
Cool, do you plan on working this into the Argo Cluster campaign? Good use for more wheels

Nice vehicle!

I was thinking of it as a Prequel to the Argo Campaign, less RPG and more straight up 40K/battle fleet gothic battles, though it might fit....

Yeah, Taros was a great book. I want to try to write a bunch of stuff in the same style.

The Return to Taros @ 2018/08/30 23:46:11

Post by: Insurgency Walker

I'm like the historian of chimera conversion kits. (I'm also surprised Benny hasn't found this picture.) Either way I'd dig a throw down against the Tau, found my LR exterminator to boot. Look out! That kit has been boxed up for years.

The Return to Taros @ 2018/08/31 00:30:25

Post by: Meer_Cat

Interesting new project and the desert dragon's teeth look very good!

The Return to Taros @ 2018/10/13 01:07:04

Post by: kestral


Some small progress, though Miniatures have been on the back burner lately, and what hobby attention I have has been quite divided.

Col. Helstromm's staff car (Conversion by I-Walker)

To'ok tau Auxiliaries:

For reference - one painted in non desert camo :

I plan to part paint them for Taros, doing just the tan, yelow, and maybe light green, then finish them to this scheme someday later.

The Return to Taros @ 2018/10/13 02:22:32

Post by: John Prins

 kestral wrote:

Tau Terrain (Almost Nothing for this)

If you have 2 Droneports, the extra bits make 4/6 of a circle to form an arch, and you can use the extra steps as well.

The Return to Taros @ 2018/11/17 16:30:42

Post by: kestral

Hmmm - good point about the droneports. I've generally been negative on the tau terrain kits (not "gritty" enough for me), but they would be a great source of terrain detailing bits. Maybe I should pick up a couple for that purpose!

In the meantime: Imperial Command Car, Third Taros Intervention

Most notable among the imperial officers was Col. Helstrom. Energetic and unconventional, Helstrom was critical in many actions during the campaign. Helstrom was noted for the use of unusual, sometimes improvised command vehicles, such as the Plasteel Falcon Valkyrie and the "Maus" extended body sentinel. Probably the most unusual was a converted Hive Cruiser Mark 4. Although the use of a civilian vehicle might seem a poor choice for a senior commander in a war zone. the "Greif" had a number of advantages. Capable of nearly 200 kiloms per hour on packed hardpan or tau roads (of which Taros had a great deal), it could get him to a critical point in the battle faster than any other vehicle in areas with strong Tau Air defenses. Additionally, Tau Battle Protocols assigned that type of vehicle such a low target priority that it was often ignored... ...to their cost.

Imperial Command Car: Fast Vehicle, Armor 10-10-10. Transports 5 models, however it may not move or fire while passengers are disembarked since it has no dedicated crew. Cannot be targeted by shooting unless it is the closest model to the firing unit. Equipped with a hunter killer missile and a... ...I really don't know what that is.

The Return to Taros @ 2018/11/20 12:33:52

Post by: kestral

The tau pursued an agressive "Tau Forming" program, and worked to enhance Taraos' biosphere with carefully selected and engineered plant forms. Most of these were simple lichens or algaes, but they also included some more advanced life forms such as these barrel cacti.

The Return to Taros @ 2018/11/24 13:13:45

Post by: kestral

The To'ok Expeditionary Force.

With Taros under attack, the Water Caste scrambled for allies. The Tau Empire would do what it could, but the Rinn'Va were a splinter sept, and not a priority, and Taros's astrographic position was exposed. And so the Water Caste went further afield, to a minor Xenos race, the To'ok. The Rinn'va had had productive contact with the To'ok, an industrialized but largely planet bound species. The To'ok were no strangers to war however, and had fought often among themselves and against alien incursions and at least one Rogue Trader during their history. Accordingly, they assembled a sizable expeditionary force for Taros. The experience such troops might gain could be the difference between survival and extinction if the Imperium turned its attention to the To'ok in the future.

The Expeditionary force arrived on Taros in high spirits. The Elite of an entire world, they were all To'ok knights, every one the best of the best, equipped with the best their technology had to offer - suits of power armor proof against any infantry weapon they had ever encountered. They expected to drive the lowly imperial conscripts before them.

However, early engagements by the To'ok en masse were disastrous. The To'ok came from a world of forests, waterways, and cities. They had no doctrines for dealing with vehicles and air power in the open deserts, and their theoretical plans proved flawed. Since every member of the expedition was, according to the To'ok, of at least Shas'ui rank, co-ordination with the Tau was initially poor. Logistics were a constant challenge, since each To'ok's suit was hand crafted and parts were not standardized. The To'ok themselves suffered under desert conditions, being a riverine species that loved the water. Worst of all, their armor was bulky and limiting, and proved to be penetrated by Heavy Bolter rounds, meaning that the standard To'ok trench attacks on foot against imperial positions were repelled with massive losses.

The To'ok might have collapsed, but they were the elite of their world, and they adapted. Individual To'ok squads were integrated into Hunter Cadres as shock troops. They adapted and integrated tau weaponry at least on at least a small scale. In the later stages of the war they were to play a vital role in many small actions.

Here we see a To'ok marksmen. Although the Tau would rather the To'ok equipped themselves entirely with short ranged assault weapons, the To'ok squads saw themselves as independent, and included a marksman or sniper in each group. Most of these were carrying tau Pulse Rifles by the end of the war, which gave them the ability to engage imperial light vehicles. This soldier has chosen more camo markings than most Knights on Taros. The To'ok regarded camouflage as a form of Heraldry, and there was considerable variation.

Modelling wise the To'ok are only half done, but aside from a few details like the banner that I haven't decided how to handle, they should be fine on the table.

The Return to Taros @ 2018/11/24 17:18:38

Post by: Syro_

I'm really digging the To'ok, both the models and fluff. Where did these models come from, I've never seen them before? Great work!

The Return to Taros @ 2018/11/24 22:04:15

Post by: kestral

Thanks! They are Zombiesmith models:


I asked for a way to buy only the full armored models, and Josh was very accommodating - gave me a great deal too.

In game wise I think they will have a 3+ save, but not get a save vs. AP 4 weapons.

The Return to Taros @ 2018/11/25 06:37:10

Post by: Insurgency Walker

That is the Hot-Shot Volly gun from a Taurox. Always looked kind of Tau tech heracy to me so I thought it would be a good choice

The Return to Taros @ 2018/11/25 17:36:47

Post by: kestral

I thought it was some kind of hell-gun.

And now:

Slygar Dunewalker.

A man of unknown origins and uncertain loyalties, Slygar walks across Taros bearing a casket of water on his back. His knowledge of Taros is unequaled, from the treacherous Phyrea Heights to the Salt Sea Caverns.

Slygar is a Fast Attack choice for the Imperium. A single infrantry squad may be joined by Slygar and may then deploy in reserve and may arrive on any table edge. However, when they become available roll a die - on a 1 Slygar has betrayed them. Remove Slygar, deal D6 wounds to the unit (armor saves apply), and the opponent choses where they set up.

The Return to Taros @ 2018/11/25 23:34:44

Post by: amazingturtles

Great story telling as always! He is quite nifty as well, i like the container things on his chest.

The Return to Taros @ 2018/11/26 00:03:52

Post by: Insurgency Walker

 kestral wrote:
I thought it was some kind of hell-gun.

And now:

Slygar Dunewalker.

A man of unknown origins and uncertain loyalties, Slygar walks across Taros bearing a casket of water on his back. His knowledge of Taros is unequaled, from the treacherous Phyrea Heights to the Salt Sea Caverns.

Slygar is a Fast Attack choice for the Imperium. A single infrantry squad may be joined by Slygar and may then deploy in reserve and may arrive on any table edge. However, when they become available roll a die - on a 1 Slygar has betrayed them. Remove Slygar, deal D6 wounds to the unit (armor saves apply), and the opponent choses where they set up.

Wow, he is looking good. Cool back story and effects.

The Return to Taros @ 2018/11/27 10:51:26

Post by: kestral


Kroot Trackers - they always make the journey, although sometimes they arrive without the horses....

The Shaper is one of my favorite tau figures. He should get some fluff.

Automatically Appended Next Post:
Or maybe he'll make his own fluff with that eviscerator!

The Return to Taros @ 2018/11/30 01:36:35

Post by: kestral

Possessing a number of Sentinels in various states of repair after the first two Taros wars, the Earth Caste of the Rinn'va experimented with various hybrids of Tau and Imperial technology controlled by Drone intelligences for long range patrols, fire support and dangerous recon missions. Never numerous, these "Frankenstein" creations were surprisingly useful if short lived.

The Return to Taros @ 2018/12/02 04:13:27

Post by: kestral

Working through my old tau figures for the sake of completeness:

XV-86 Broadside. An early, obsolescent version of the Broadside, the XV-86 none the less was feared on Taros. Unable to mount the High Yield Missile pods common on later marks, the 86s often did not mount smart missiles or plasma rifles due to shortages. Their railguns however operated at high efficiency....

The Return to Taros @ 2018/12/03 02:03:31

Post by: Syro_

The thought and story going into all of this is really enjoyable.

The Return to Taros @ 2018/12/04 22:29:58

Post by: kestral

Thanks! I loved the Taros book because it was "humble" - average inhabitants of the Galaxy waging a war that felt "real (ish)" to someone who had read a little military history, rather than a cosmic clash of space super heroes.

The Architects of the Defense of Taros:

In its later phases the Colonization of Taros was overseen by Aun'Mord Rinn. He would also leadership during the imperial attack, though he did not exercise direct command. A grim figure, he had lost his arm during the Rinn'va's wars on Skaith and never chosen to have it replaced. He was assisted by several Etherials, notably one who went by the name "Aun'Shi", believed by Imperial intelligence to be a clone of the original tau hero. A third notable figure was Aun'Geula Laura, sometimes called the "Human Etherial". Nearly the entire 2nd Valarian Armored All Terrain Rangers had been forced to surrender on Morvall and imprisoned in camps on Taros after being abandoned by Imperial forces. Seeing an opportunity, the Tau began a program of indoctrination. In truth, Valarians were never particularly staunch imperial subjects and needed relatively little prompting before joining the Tau, first against the Orks. Laura Montaign, daughter of an officer,grew up in the camps and was converted to the Greater Good at an early age. She proved an inspirational figure to the Tau Auxiliaries, though there was a darker side to her role, which included a number of summary executions. The Valarians had a tradition of "Etoiles Mortant", daughters of officers who embodied regimental honor and were almost as quick to dispense battlefield "motivation" as any imperial commissar. Still, the loyalty of the Valarians was never a given, as the Mutiny would show.

Early modeling efforts of mine - I could do better today, but I'm still fond of them. Might redo Aun Mord'Rinn's hood someday though.

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My favorite part is the pinned sleeve.

The Return to Taros @ 2018/12/05 23:31:31

Post by: kestral

Getting read to build tau terrain - a decade of vaguely tau shaped objects dumped out on the table!

The Return to Taros @ 2018/12/07 01:24:56

Post by: Syro_

Wow this looks like it's going to be epic. I'm also glad to hear I'm not the only one who stockpiles random stuff in preparation to build Tau terrain. I've been doing it for years too, almost all strangely shaped rounded bottles in my case. I'm looking forward to seeing this progress

The Return to Taros @ 2018/12/07 01:32:48

Post by: kestral

Some things just say "tau" when you look at them! Of course, I've found that with it all dumped out I have no room to work on anything.... : )

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Trying to winnow it down is kind of painful. I too have some very neat plastic bottles....

The Return to Taros @ 2018/12/07 03:01:43

Post by: arnoldz

Looks like it's going to be epic. Turns out I'm not the only one to stockpile and prepare random stuff.

The Return to Taros @ 2018/12/08 02:26:39

Post by: kestral

Sadly, the epicness will be limited by the requirement that it fit in a tote. I'm planning some cunning nesting though!

The Return to Taros @ 2018/12/09 02:05:58

Post by: kestral

Too cold to work on terrain, so I painted up some devilfish wrecks I made many years ago using a crude press molding process on a battered fish. They are kind of warped, but that is Ok for a twisted wreck that has half buried itself in the ground. Not sure i should have dirtied them up as much as I did though.

The Return to Taros @ 2018/12/09 20:24:19

Post by: Private Benjamin

 Insurgency Walker wrote:
I'm like the historian of chimera conversion kits. (I'm also surprised Benny hasn't found this picture.) Either way I'd dig a throw down against the Tau, found my LR exterminator to boot. Look out! That kit has been boxed up for years.

I haven't seen the Blood and Skulls Industry Chimera conversion kit completed, only saw it available on eBay...

The completed eight wheel kit with Pegasus hull & turret looks more like the German Boxer or Marder APC, excellent work sir!

Although i do like the look of the 8-wheel kit it is a bit pricey for me; also i find the Chapterhouse kits look more like the M8 Greyhound or Canadian Forces AVGP

The Return to Taros @ 2018/12/11 13:33:37

Post by: Insurgency Walker

I got one of the Agrius kits, had hoped to build it before thanksgiving but life has been busy. I got an extra Agrius light turret to place on this 8 wheeler. Though I might just use a bog standard chimera turret. The Agrius turret is large enough to cover the rear deck hatch which breaks the functionality of the model......ggrrrrrr. As a straight 8 wheel up grade it's not to pricey but add in the hull top and turret and it gets expensive.

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I originally got hyped for wheeled conversions for desert warfare operations so the return to Taros is the perfect reason to finish those projects.

The Return to Taros @ 2018/12/11 19:12:33

Post by: kestral

I look forward to seeing lots of cool sci fi military hardware rumbling across the desert!

The Return to Taros @ 2018/12/11 21:30:26

Post by: Private Benjamin

 kestral wrote:
I look forward to seeing lots of cool sci fi military hardware rumbling across the desert!

The original concept for my wheeled vehicles comes from the American-built M8 Greyhound, which was fielded by the French Foreign Legion in Indochina:

Using an eclectic selection of resin bits, I assembled my version of a buttoned-down Armageddon armoured personnel carrier:

Keep up the great work kestral and Insurgency Walker !!!

The Return to Taros @ 2018/12/11 22:46:44

Post by: kestral

That is a neat assemblage of bits. I like the lascannon hatches particularly.

Continuing to post the Tau Forces, we have - Auxiliaries!

According to the Ordo Xenos 32 species fought on Taros in the third Intervention. Some of these were formal allied contingents, such as the To'ok, some were integrated members of the Tau Empire, such as the Kroot and Vespid, some were basically mercenaries, and some were part of trade delegations and the like who simply got caught up in the fighting.

None were as infamous as X'xlal and Chuma, who might be described as a winged insect with a flamer accompanied by an aquatic hippene mammal with a jet pack. The two were said to be the last of their species, survivors of Exterminatus, though that may have been Tau Propaganda. Regardless, they shared a bond of implacable hatred for the Imperium. Loosely affiliated with the Crimson Sky hunter Cardre, they were eventually the subject of large imperial bounties....

The Return to Taros @ 2018/12/12 01:23:05

Post by: Syro_

I'm loving all this fluff made rule that you are doing. Where is all this info coming from? The Imperial Armour book? If so, I really need to read more carefully. I really like that you are making all these Xeno allies.

The Return to Taros @ 2018/12/12 14:53:58

Post by: kestral

The fluff is an extension of the Imperial Armor book, 30 years in the future. A few characters are the same, such as Nymus Dree, but most are invented, as is the entire Mord Rinn Sept, and the notion of Taros becoming a backwater of the Tau Empire.

Automatically Appended Next Post:
Col. Helstrom is a character of I-Walkers from the Argos Campaign: https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/524342.page

The Return to Taros @ 2018/12/12 23:26:59

Post by: Syro_

Thanks for the explanation, it has such background and depth it was hard to tell if you were creating the story yourself or getting it from somewhere.
That Argos campaign looks fun and interesting.

The Return to Taros @ 2018/12/13 17:43:06

Post by: Captain Brown


Those are some unique conversions you have built there.



The Return to Taros @ 2018/12/13 23:31:40

Post by: kestral

Thanks! The bug is actually partly a cast of an actual (dead) dragonfly....

The Return to Taros @ 2018/12/29 00:17:31

Post by: kestral

Painted up the rest of I-Walker's Mantic Mules.

These three I did with wash for a dirty,dusty look. I think they will be a utility vehicle that turns up on both sides of the conflict.

I'm kind of flipping through my hobby projects at a furious rate - should settle down and work on something more substantial.

The Return to Taros @ 2018/12/29 20:58:34

Post by: Private Benjamin

Those are some cool armoured vehicles, i went through and voted for each photo!

The Return to Taros @ 2018/12/30 22:07:36

Post by: insaniak

Those mules look great!

The Return to Taros @ 2019/01/02 01:56:17

Post by: kestral


So, the great Taros Painting Weekend has been scheduled, the goal being to paint as much of I-Walkers's Imperial Guard as we can, especially the tanks, while watching tank/desert/war movies. I've always wanted to do the speed painting an army in a weekend challenge, and this seems a good time and good excuse.

Here's the protype for the vehicle speed paint - just a section for approval before I clock myself painting the whole thing.

Recipe so far:
Wash with Agrax Earth Shade
Dry Brush with Reaper Terran Khaki.
Tracks, fuel tanks, other accents: Munitorium Grey. Need more of this, I'm almost out.
Utility Metal: Runelord Brass. Mine has some kind of jelling issue.
Lights - Craft Paint "Parrakeet" green.

Also figuring out a Rough Rider. Time consuming and annoying as a speed paint subject. Here's a WIP.

Basecoat White.
Nuln Oil.
Khorn red turban with Purple Ink.
Reaper Uniform Brown tunic/gloves, seraphim Sepia.
Leather - Mournfang Brown.

Fill gaps with Squadron Putty.
Craft Paint Pewter Grey.
Dry Brush Reaper Misty Grey.
Mane and tail - Craft Paint Burnt Umbar.

Will get a black wash, then white detailing, kind of an apoloosa thing.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/01/03 16:22:25

Post by: kestral

The Rough Rider looks better with some ink and the details done....

The Return to Taros @ 2019/01/05 14:04:29

Post by: kestral

Test tank is done. Took me about 90 minutes. Used a LOT of ink. I forgot about a few power cables I was going to paint, but eh.

I'd like to do some quick rust effects on the exhaust. I think we should do everything en Mass in steps - all the wash, all the drybrush, all the tracks, do all insignia, etc. That way the army as a whole will be in the same place.

The forgeworld Vanquisher is a beautiful, beautiful model. Oddly though, it appears to have no forward vision blocks for the commander, which is unlike FW.

Automatically Appended Next Post:
The inking Agrax is the critical step and can't be rushed, though I might experiment with a larger brush.

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Looks much better in this lighting.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/01/06 22:14:09

Post by: Insurgency Walker

Looks awesome, though it's actually a Conqueror turret.
I loved the idea of the assault tank when it came out in various editions. From its role as titan escort, to my vision of a tank that could deploy a bit more rapidly than the standard Leeman Russ. I was also inspired by the " less popular weapons" options from the WWII pacific campaign. The pacific became a dumpster for arms and munitions that didn't fit the perceived top tier capabilities used in the European theater. Things like the low level parachute bombs were cast off on the pacific theater then used to good effect when tactics were developed for their use. Come my little stubby gunned Conqueror, the Astra Millitarum may not want you but we have plenty of aliens and heretical cultists for you to crush right here in the Helstrom Imperial Guard Taros task force.

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 kestral wrote:
The Rough Rider looks better with some ink and the details done....

"The soldiers who took up arms against the imperium and aided the Tau in the fighting on Taros often marked themselves with blue to show support for the greater good. I even heard that water was holy to the Tau, as they evolved from fish. Plus they have that whole blue skin look if you have ever seen them outside their armor. Anyway, we chose to mark our selves with red. Everyone thought we were being backed by Mars. I certainly didn't do anything to convince them otherwise."

Col Helstrom on discussion of action on Taros

The Return to Taros @ 2019/01/07 01:01:52

Post by: kestral

Oops, I meant to say Conquerer! Great fluff on the red. Important speed painting discovery - small makeu up brushes put on wash REALLY quickly.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/01/07 23:23:41

Post by: Captain Brown


If you can do a Leman Russ in 90 minutes you will have your armies built and painted in no time.

I have not seen a painted Tallarn Rough Rider in ages.



The Return to Taros @ 2019/01/09 12:30:21

Post by: kestral

I hope so - on the other hand, I-Walker has a LOT of tanks!

In the meantime, War Material Loading for Taros:

The Return to Taros @ 2019/01/10 22:54:30

Post by: Captain Brown

The weakness of the first Imperial counter invasion.

Nice work there kestral.



The Return to Taros @ 2019/01/11 01:08:50

Post by: kestral

The first Taros war was actually very one sided when you come right down to it. As presented, the tau fought a masterful campaign against an ill prepared and technologically inferior (in many ways) enemy. The wide open desert and near complete lack of fixed points to be defended was perfectly suited to old school tau tactics. They retained air superiority and air mobility and thus the ability to strike anywhere at will. The Imperium's space superiority was miss used and contributed little. Their technology apparently mitigated their supply problems - you didn't see them dying of thirst. This time, with Taros being more developed, and the Imperium better prepared, it is certain to go harder.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/01/11 01:31:42

Post by: Insurgency Walker

Well, I have been pairing things down and have a selection of armor but probably need to nick a few more off the list.

Automatically Appended Next Post:

The Return to Taros @ 2019/01/11 14:25:35

Post by: kestral

Nah, we can that many! A number of tanks I haven't seen yet there. What is the Chimera situation?

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Actually I see - there are two variant chimeras in the mix I think.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/01/12 02:49:14

Post by: kestral

The Imperial War Machine Gears up! 5 hours in 12 tanks inked and drybrushed!

Roughrider prep is the order of the day tomorrow morning, followed by tank detailing.

Automatically Appended Next Post:
13 Actually.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/01/13 20:17:18

Post by: Insurgency Walker

Progress has been made!

The Return to Taros @ 2019/01/13 23:09:47

Post by: kestral

Looking good!

I really appreciate the snacks and enjoyed the conversation. Never really painted in company before, it was quite pleasant.

We spent some time talking about the campaign naturally, and I'll jot down some thoughts.

Fluff wise, the Imperium should have air superiority, since I don't have any tau flyers and don't plan to get any. The tau will, however, have strong air defenses, which will somewhat mitigate that. The Imperium is likely to field more armor, the tau will be more rag tag and bob tail and fielding more infantry.

I am going to do a tau improvised/auxiliary tank based on the Swedish S Type.

Probably use old Codexes as the base - Tau 1st or 2nd edition, the Imperial Guard one with Doctrines.

Each of us will write the rules for the new units/units not in codexes/conversions/units that didn't have rules at the time and the other player will set the point cost.

Game structure may go like this:

Player one writes the pre-battle fluff from their side. "Believing the imperium to be off balance, the Tau launched a flanking attack through the Ka'lun dune sea consisting mostly of devilfish mounted infantry. Their objective was reach the causeway, dig in, and cut the imperial supply line"
Player two writes the pre battle fluff from their side. "Imperial lighting recon planes spotted the rooster tails kicked up in the sand by the skimmer attack in time for reinforcements to be dispatched to support the blocking forces of the 4th regiment."
Player one then writes the scenario rules. After the battle, the roles reverse. Campaign is a set number of games, the fate of Taros decided by the number of victories on each side.

Terrain Idea:

Buy some stretchy, desert yellow cloth. Use that as a base, but also sculpt sand dunes out of foam and cover them with it, thereby mitigating some of the annoyance of painting, chipping, etc.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/01/14 13:15:02

Post by: Insurgency Walker

The IG tankers dream, no blocking terrain! If only the Tau didn't have those pesky rail guns. I think we are going to need lots of smoke markers, the line type you made for the car game and then arty shell puff balls.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/01/27 21:34:54

Post by: kestral

The guard engaged in more preparation than they had in the first Taros campaign. Extensive training took place on the desert world of Armket. Here a Talarn regiment clashes in a training expedition clashes in an excercise against the Valarian 3rd Armored All Terrain Rangers. There was some question as to whether or not the Valarians would be included in the Order of Battle. Their sister Regiment, the 4th AATR, had been captured a decade ago by the Tau - and after years in internment camps, many had gone over to the Tau. The training was particularly "enthusiastic" with one fatality from a sentinal stomp in simulated close combat and a dozen sent to the infirmary. It was also marred by accusations of Valarian cheating, as the "Lucky 13" tank failed to register 4 laser destroyer hits and as many battle cannon impacts, rolling forward seemingly unstoppably. Eventually the Valarians were judged to have won the battle on ground occupied, and commissars and Referees separated the two groups after a fist fight broke out between the crew of the Lucky 13 and a Conquerer.

This was a training game for us as well, as we tried to figure out just what flavor of "Oldhammer" we wanted to use. I gave most of my guard Camoline, and found that this gave them about the resistance I feel infantry in cover should have. We ran light buildings as 3+ cover, which seemed good too, since you needed to flame or storm the buildings. We used the rule that a template that covered the whole building hit everyone inside while one that partially covered the building hit half of them. Given that we'll be using a fair number of buildings that are enclosed due to the terrain set, good building rules are pretty important, and I thought these were about right. We couldn't actually find the right edition of the rules, so we had to fiddle or fudge quite a bit based on memory. The 4th edition guard codex seemed a bit too restrictive in hind sight.

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It was great to see the newly painted tanks hitting the table. I look forward to painting more, especially some air power.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/01/27 22:51:07

Post by: Syro_

Great battle report and pictures. It was a fun read.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/02/05 01:13:08

Post by: kestral

Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it.

Rules wise, we want to tighten it up a bit, pick an actual edition with our own changes, and put them in writing. While we play friendly games just fine, Taros is likely to be a bit more competitive and I certainly would enjoy that. Plus, like most old time players, I'm always musing over the "Perfect Edition" (for me anyway).

Right now we're looking at 5th edition, 2008:

My rules wish list - spoilered as they are not really Modeling, per se.


Pg 16 - the decision to run is made during the movement phase. Units moving through terrain may make the decision to run after they see what they roll on their difficult terrain check.
Pg 16 - I loath true line of sight. Area terrain blocks line of sight (not that there will be much of that on Taros) as long as it is as tall as the models in the unit. Units in Area terrain can see and be seen through 6" of it.
Pg 26 - Instant death. I've always felt this is a little too "all or nothing". I prefer "When a model with multiple wounds is takes a wounding hit from a powerful weapon and fails its save, there is a chance it may be fatal. Roll to a die for each point of the weapon's strength exceeds the model's toughness. For every "6" rolled, an additional wound is scored. No saves are taken against these wounds. This would be rough on demon princes and carnifexes, but we won't see many of those on Taros. Or we can give them Eternal Warrior.
P 27 Pistols. "A model may fire a pistol in the close combat phase in place of its normal attacks. However, on a roll of 1 it hits its own unit".
P 30 Blasts. I prefer the Privateer Press blasts with numbered directions around the edge.
Shooting Generally: A grenade throw should be included.
P 31 Sniper weapons. The obvious use of Sniper weapons is to pick off characters, special weapons, etc. Add "Sniper weapons may choose to fire at -1 ballistic skill. If they do so, every to hit roll of 6 is allocated to the model of the firing players choice. Roll to wound and armor saves separately for these shots."

P 35 - Defender Reactions: I prefer some form of overwatch, but not the "hit on 6" business that seems to take a ton of dice rolling for little effect. Some form of "you can set overwatch, but taking a pinning test or moral test (pass or fail) negates it. Takes some thinking though.

P 36. Although the strike first/second dynamic had its points, it always caused some oddities. Replace paragraph 2 with: "Being in cover does not provide as much protection against assault as it does shooting, but it is better than nothing. When models assault into cover, they subtract 1 from their rolls to hit.

Assault Grenades negate the -1 penalty to hit when assaulting into cover.

Well, that is enough for tonight! Now some painting.

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Hmmm - got carried away there. I can't help it, I am a horrible rules tinker. Really, we should stick to just the most critical changes, those that are important for tau vs imperial guard.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/02/07 18:46:14

Post by: Insurgency Walker

Rather than start my own thread I'll sort of hijack this one, as this is for the Taros campaign.

Col Helstrom being a fan of downright sneaky and dirty tactics turned to the Engineseers for advice on making the most effective smoke screens for the imperials on maneuver. The result was the Helsmoker.

Using captured supplies and local light duty trucks the Helsmokers used a special blend of promethium and other detergents the resultant smog was so think it was capable of interfering with even the Tau auspex systems.

Automatically Appended Next Post:
Hm....needs more tubes.

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The Return to Taros @ 2019/02/07 20:27:39

Post by: amazingturtles

The additional tubes were a good choice. More tubes often are.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/02/07 22:38:49

Post by: Meer_Cat

Helsmoker Brand Smoked Grot- it's what's for dinner!

The Return to Taros @ 2019/02/08 16:20:40

Post by: kestral

Looking good! How will the low tech imperial Active Stealth fair against the high tech tau passive stealth?

The Return to Taros @ 2019/02/08 16:47:29

Post by: Captain Brown

 kestral wrote:
Looking good! How will the low tech imperial Active Stealth fair against the high tech tau passive stealth?

Spray paint traps.



The Return to Taros @ 2019/02/08 19:13:27

Post by: kestral

Sounds nasty. Or crop dusting?

And now a little bit about the Mutiny.

The Tau had, as was their custom, payed little heed to the rituals and customs of their auxiliaries. Unknown to them, a cancer had begun to spread among them, a taint with its roots in the first Taros War.

The seed of this bitter fruit was Shas'o R'myr.

R'myr had led the first defense of Taros as supreme commander and won a masterful victory. His war would be a template for many other successful campaigns. Yet it would also destroy him. For the victory had come at a price - in the final stages of the war, the imperial Operation Deathblow had resulted in the death of the Etherial Aun'vre under R'myr's direct protection. He was exonerated, yet even so his career was doomed, and for him, the shame would never fade. He drifted from command to command, generally sinking lower and becoming primarily a commander of Auxiliaries. In time he preferred their company to their that of tau, living, eating and... ...worshipping alongside of them. For in the dark places of himself and the galaxy, R'myr had found... ...something. He returned to Taros, joined the Rinn Va, and prepared for his last war.

Here's my current R'myr figure. Not all that thrilled with it, but we will see.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/02/09 23:57:23

Post by: kestral

Discipline was a continual headache on Armket. Unlike during the first Taros Campaign, several of the regiments mustered were second rate, with all the attendant problems. Rivalries and boredom led to all sorts of lapses. The commissariat struggled to maintain order. Would the regiments "shake down" when they were embarked for Taros, or would there be long term problems? Provisoner Dree fretted endlessly, but his primary concern was the supply train that had failed so thoroughly in the first war.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/02/13 01:57:12

Post by: kestral

Test Panel for the Tau Space Station Interior:

The Return to Taros @ 2019/02/13 05:47:03

Post by: Stormatious

Nice work mate.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/02/13 22:30:36

Post by: Insurgency Walker

Another Helsmoker.

And a space station boarding squad.

"Dude, you can't light that fuse in a vacuum...."

The Return to Taros @ 2019/02/13 22:36:07

Post by: kestral

"Is there Air in there? You don't know!"

Looking great!

The Return to Taros @ 2019/02/13 22:44:52

Post by: fasterthanlight

Love that boarding squad!!


The Return to Taros @ 2019/02/23 23:05:34

Post by: kestral

The Dawnwater's Edge station was the crown Jewel of Taros - its hope for the future and the anchor of its economy under the Tau. Its beanstalk cables joined Taros and space, heaven and Earth. The Imperial primary battle plan relied on capturing it intact. The Tau were ill prepared and faced with a terrible quandry as the imperial ships raced for the station - destroy it or try to hold? In the end they tried to hold, a perhaps fatal mistake. Everyone who could fight did, aside from personnel too valuable to risk.

Perhaps the most unlikely defenders of the station were the Gauthi. A newly discovered species, they had only recently invented the steam engine, though they had also largely eliminated war from their planet - not a particularly wise move as it turned out. A delegation of several hundred Gauthi were onboard Dawnwater's edge when the imperium struck, and they were pressed into service for the greater good. The Tau simply hoped they might slow the Imperium down, and this they did. Given pulse rifles with the trigger guards torn off, or even lengths of sharpened pipe, they fought with surprising tenacity. They were descended from ambush predators, and their physiology was well suited to defensive fire fights. They were also strong, courageous and surprisingly hard to kill. Most of the Gauthi died on Dawnwater's edge, but at least one later fought on the surface as part of a pathfinder team.

Gauthi defending a makeshift strong point:

Not bad for the conversion of six monopose prepaints, if do say so myself.

Gauthi pathfinder:

Gauthi stats:
WS 2 BS 2 S 4, T 3, I 2, W 1, Ld 9 6+ armor.
Stubborn, Feel no Pain (5+). Gauthi may fire ranged weapons while pinned or gone to ground, but may not move or assault. Gauthi with spears always strike first in the first round of close combat.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/02/24 01:03:41

Post by: Captain Brown


Interesting take on another race serving the Greater Good.



The Return to Taros @ 2019/02/24 12:48:27

Post by: kestral

Thanks! I feel like my Xenos so far have been too "nice" for the overall 40K feel, but the last two allied contingents are suitably nasty.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/02/24 13:08:56

Post by: Kroem

Nice work on the aliens, I like the variety you are getting into the forces.

I feel like I've seen that type of alien somewhere before but can't put my finger on it... how annoying lol.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/02/28 12:45:57

Post by: kestral

Well, I'm sure if you think about it they'll come to mind. : )

Tau Prowler Drone:

The Rinn'va made heavy use of stealthed markerlight platforms, ideally linked with dynamic entry units who would appear suddenly and a launch a devastating markerlight guided attack. In an effort to field as many of these platforms as possible they put into action a number of experimental designs. The prowler was large, wasteful of resources, and limited in its drone intelligence, but none the less saw frequent use.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/01 13:53:48

Post by: Syro_

I really like that Tau Prowler Drone Something about it really appeals to me. Is it scratchbuilt? Also just how big is it?

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/02 00:09:47

Post by: kestral

Thanks - one of my earliest "creative" pieces. Scratch built around a old headphone. It is fairly large - those are devilfish engines on the top and pulse rifles on the bottom. It was meant to represent the forge world tetra. I'll do some better shots with the whole army that will show the scale better at some point.

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Now the second to last Xenos Auxiliary - The Kif.
The Kif are thoroughly nasty pieces of work. Nocturnal liquivores, they strongly prefer to consume only living prey and have two sets of teeth, one for puncturing and another for pulping to extract further nutrients. They have, as far as the water caste has been able to determine, no moral code whatsoever, and no motivation beyond personal power over others and survival. It could, charitably, be said that their sadism and greed are simply extensions of this simple survival drive. None the less, the Water Caste of the Rinn'va were able to extract some benefit from interactions with them, though it always required the most careful negotiations. Attempting to get a Kif to do anything is almost impossible - unless you are another Kif. The Kif Hakkitt (overlords) were more than happy to supply mercenaries in exchange for trade goods. The tau were more than willing to expend them in the defense of Taros. The mercenaries themselves went along - until the calculous of survival shifted. The Kif were skillful, vicious, resourceful fighters... ...until they weren't.

WS 3, BS 3, S 3, T 3, A2 W1 I 4, ld 10, Save 6+

Stealth, Infiltrate, Stubborn, Fleet, Acute Senses, Hit and run, Tank Hunters.
All Kiff attacks (close combat or shooting) will wound on a 6 even if the toughness of the target would normally prevent them from wounding.
A Kif squad is immediately removed from the table (counts as destroyed) if:
They are outnumbered 3 to 1 by enemy models within 12"
They are below half strength and an enemy unit is within 12".
A kiff unit can never be shot at or assaulted by more than one enemy unit per turn - they are just too slippery for that.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/02 19:28:34

Post by: kestral

The last Xenos ally I'm not really sure about - a race of terrible, alien crystal entities housed in flying war machines which spawn hordes of doll sized maniquins. They'd be a chaos breed who were actually laying the ground work for the mutiny. On the other hand, I think they might be too big a departure from the hard, military sci fi we've been going for with Taros -

The Shaltari! I think they look amazing even in 40K games, or at least the big fliers do. Not sure about including the infantry, but I've always thought a tiny, high tech soldier would be deadly. Sure they're only armed with laspistols, but they can fit through a hole a foot high....

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/03 01:49:29

Post by: Syro_

Wow, I agree those do look really cool. What are you thinking of using for the infantry, models from Epic?

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/03 02:48:35

Post by: Captain Brown


Quite the menagerie you have constructed there.



The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/03 20:25:51

Post by: kestral

 Syro_ wrote:
Wow, I agree those do look really cool. What are you thinking of using for the infantry, models from Epic?

Actual Shaltari infantry would be about a foot high in 40K terms. I'd actually like to get their "Ronin" who are about double the size, but we'll see.

The ronin are the second row and would come up to about the waist of a 40K fig.

You're right about the menagerie part Captain - I worry it dilutes the "hard sci fi" nature of Taros, but each auxiliary will probably only appear once or twice in the campaign, so I guess it is OK. I kind of didn't realize how many auxiliaries I'd accumulated over the years. For example there are also these guys:

Growlers - basically Ogryns.

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Probably something like:

WS 4, BS 2, S5 T4 W 3, I 4 A3 Ld 5, Save 6+
Fearless, Fleet, Reroll their run distance, take up 3 spaces on a Transport.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/07 00:38:54

Post by: kestral

We got in a practice game at 1000 points - a clash on some jungle world the Imperium studied to learn about the Rinn'va Sept.
Broke out my tau army and found that unlike some my stuff, they really had aged well. They still need some love here and there, and some bits were "tournament painted", so there is a fair amount of flat black for example. Still, as group I'm really fond of them.

I remember now that I tried to do my FW squads by activity - one squad is all pointing their pulse rifles, one is running, one is just standing around.

Very fond of this Shas'ui.

And Pathfinders! Love those guys.

Even more than I love Hammerheads, and that is saying something. So many happy memories.

Although I dislike miniatures games with counters that clutter the board (I don't even like to have dice on the table if I can avoid it - what is the point of going through so much time and effort to make the game look beautiful, and then dumping crap all over the set up?), I did enjoy making some tau markers.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/07 01:36:51

Post by: Meer_Cat

Super good work- I've always liked Tau and have had to exercise as much control not to leap into them as I've had for exercising control about Bushido! How do you do the joins in the rifles and armor so neatly? Really nice!

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/07 16:15:54

Post by: kestral

Thanks! I used a variety of techniques for the armor joints over the years, with varying success - there are others with much cleaner lines than I. I tried flowing ink in using capillary action, black basecoat and then carefully painting up to the edge (the right brush really helps there), and drawing the line in with magic marker.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/07 18:55:42

Post by: Captain Brown

Nice to an older army come out of storage. My Tau have not seen a battle since 6th,



The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/08 21:28:39

Post by: kestral

Nor mine, I don't think. Loved the first Codex. Second Codex (Tau Empire, the one I'm using for Taros) had great rules but lackluster, darker for the sake of darker fluff. After that it was all giant robots and sillieness I wasn't going spring for a $60 book full of.

Our battle was pretty brutal. The tau are just really good tank hunters who match up really well against guard in early editions. We'll need to give some thought to game balance I think.

Using the Ruins and Markerlights, the Hammerheads have the upper hand in the early exchanges.

Until the Vendetta roars on and blows one sky high. Alas, it was taken down by seeker missiles from the pathfinder's devil fish on its next pass. We used the Chapter Approved flyer rules, which are solid IMO.

The Tau tankhunters dropped in with fusion blasters, and though the guard hung on for another two turns, the tainted commander was able to put an end to things.

We're going to do an armored clash with experimental rules next.

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I still have a few Tau experimental units to show -

The Kraken Gunship - a hybrid devilfish/hammerhead that carries 6 troops.
The Sea Horse MultiRole Drone Platform - kind of hard to explain and I still need to do some work on them.
The XV 45 Nighthaunt - a low end cut rate Ghostkeel. I have one painted though I think I will convert it a bit, and one more that I could finish.
Sureeye Monat Snipers.
I'm fighting the urge to build some kind of flyer and get a Ghostkeel. I did just buy a Pirhanna in a moment of weakness.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/09 13:05:57

Post by: Syro_

Thanks for the battle report. I'm looking forward to the tank clash and seeing your experimental units

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/09 14:51:36

Post by: amazingturtles

The seahorse intrigues me and i await it's reveal with... something. Excitment mixed with confusion? Yes.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/09 14:52:11

Post by: kestral

We aim to please. Mostly ourselves, it must be said, but it is great to share with other folks, especially those whose work has inspired us over the years!

Here's a centour - great model, the kind of thing that made forgeworld great, IMO.

And Roughriders! These guys make me want my own cavalry army. They are old figures and not one of GW's more stellar efforts,but still charming. They'll definitely need the Helsmokers to get in range to charge without being mowed down by pulse rifles and burst cannons though.

The Subadar rides a Gene-Steed, and looks the best IMO, though the steed is a bit goofy. Clearly some weird DNA in there.

Automatically Appended Next Post:
 amazingturtles wrote:
The seahorse intrigues me and i await it's reveal with... something. Excitment mixed with confusion? Yes.

That is about how I feel when I look at them....

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/10 15:18:28

Post by: Theophony

Great looking models all around. Love all the auxiliary units you have going on with the growlers, and Star Wars guys. Midget aliens invading 40k.....I’m for it .

The next is not meant as an insult. That gene-steed reminds me of Pokey the Gummi horse, and is great fun. I’d have a hard time not ordering my troops not to shoot at it.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/11 00:59:09

Post by: kestral

Thanks! It is a very weird looking horse.

Here is something kind of Random:

Inspirational Pictures for the Tau Space Station Walls:

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/12 16:18:59

Post by: kestral

Here is the Kracken from my early wargaming phase of "Lets get more guns on this tank!" Does everyone go through that? Anyway, the Kraken was an upgunned Devil Fish, carrying a light rail gun (could not fire sub mutitions) and three Burst cannons, with a capacity to transport 6 fire warriors as well. I think the 4th burst cannon the turret looks sill as is, but I think I will replace it with something else (it is magnetic and the hatch is swappable as well). Compared to the Hammerhead it had only light devilfish armor, but nearly the same firepower.

Random rules aside: I think making the light, broadside type railguns only AP 2 rather than AP 1 (so they don't get the +1 damage roll vs vehicles) would be a good balance item in exchange for a small point cost reduction. It makes no sense that the 5 times larger Hammerhead cannon is no better at tank killing - and in fact worse than a broadside, because it is not twin linked.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/12 17:22:57

Post by: Meer_Cat

"Go through" implies that the "you can't have too much dakka" phase is over.... as I read in a sig file: "If your overwhelming force isn't working, you aren't using enough."

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/13 22:26:46

Post by: kestral

True, true, but looking at it now, it seems like there is nowhere for the rest of the burst cannon to fit next to the hatch. Plus, a different weapon system might be more useful. Maybe Smart Missiles.

Here's my tribute to Fire Warrior, a book that was surprisingly good, given that it was based on a first person shooting game.

Sadly, some rear echelon type neglected to ship her bosom and posterior armor to Taros, so I had to greenstuff it in. Don't get me wrong, I love some warhammer 40K cheese cake, but my Tau are my "hard sci-fi" army, and so I'm sticking with that, at least as far as the Tau themselves go. Just realized I'm talking about "hard Sci Fi" in relationship to a model sitting on a pile of skulls. Weird. Anyway....

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/13 23:11:28

Post by: Meer_Cat

Nice greenstuff work- well done. I know that figure, and you've only added realism to it.

And sitting on a pile of skulls is hard sci-fi compliant: Brian Stableford's Venus series of books comes to mind. This'll look good painted up

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/14 17:59:54

Post by: amazingturtles

That is nice greenstuff work, and personally i prefer, you know, actual armor. So well done.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/15 13:07:05

Post by: kestral

She'll make a good squad leader, though I fear, what with the skulls and all, that she's likely to go over to Chaos during the Mutiny - you kind of get the impression that La'Kase was about to embrace Khorne near the end of the book.

Here's a new faction for the Taros War - the Resistance! I Walker is putting together some miners and such from the Genestealer Cult. Ironically, the same mine owners who were complicit in bringing the Tau to Taros had a change of heart when they discovered their part in the new regime. Together with faithful of the imperial cult, escaped prisoners of war and a few hold outs from the first war, they formed the core of a rebellion that burst into flames with the return of Imperial forces. To emphasize that these are loyalists I added a few purity seals and bits of devotional text.

The Goliath is an amazing kit - perhaps the best vehicle GW has done. There are so many evocative details, like the roll up doors, nice playable features and just general coolness. The Ridgerunner, which I'm painting next, is kind of the poor relation. It borrows the Goliath's elements, but puts them together more awkwardly. Oh well!

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/15 23:27:36

Post by: Insurgency Walker

Looks awsome, definitely like the addition of the purity seals. While I really like the ridgerunner I think you're right about the Goliath. I'm sorry about adding the rear facing cage light, I know how much you like painting them but rearward facing lights are so practical. I think maybe I should revise my most practical imperial vehicle stand.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/15 23:33:44

Post by: kestral

I've stopped sweating cage lights - I paint them cloudless blue, wash them with blue ink, call it good.

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I really like that the ridge runner is not HUGE like so many things - both it and the Goliath are well scaled for game play.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/15 23:53:54

Post by: Insurgency Walker

I guess the trend really started with the much maligned Taurox

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The trend of reasonable sized vehicles that is.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/16 00:33:18

Post by: amazingturtles

It's an excellent truck. I want to get one and paint it tonka yellow because it is a tonka truck and that is good and i will have no one deny me.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/16 02:26:30

Post by: kestral

No hate for Tonka here - I have a couple.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/17 01:16:40

Post by: kestral

Here's the Resistance (needs a better name - I think "Insurrection") Ridge runner. Grew on me a bit while I was painting it - using my favorite Thunderhawk blue probably helped. Tomorrow we'll start in on I-Walker's gigantic flyer collection.

The Ridgerunner includes... ...a power shovel. I painted it power weapon blue. Clearly someone left it on.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/17 01:40:54

Post by: amazingturtles

Nice. Power shovels are a great idea. i mean if we can have a setting where people attack each other with chainsaw swords we can have shovels of doom.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/17 02:18:58

Post by: Insurgency Walker

I like how the wheels will tie it in with the other insurrection vehicles. I was impressed with the power shovel

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/17 10:01:36

Post by: mcmattila

Nice work on those GSC vehicles! My view on the models is pretty much opposite to your's, I'm really liking the Ridge Runner, but the truck just doesn't do it for me (though, I've warmed up to it a bit from when I first saw it..). It looks functional, which is a recent trend that I really like, but something about the aesthetic is so toy-like that I'm not a big fan.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/17 12:07:05

Post by: kestral

My issues with the ridgerunner basically come down to two - the fixed heavy stubbers (that's minor really, but they don't seem very useful to a mining scout vehicle, and they clearly look like they are part of the original design, not add ons), and the passenger (?) compartment. The whole thing is 4 feet tall max, but is accessed by a ladder... UNDER the tailgate. It has handgrips for passangers... ...at knee level. Based on that and the wheels being identical to the Goliath only smaller, I wonder if it was simply shrunk down from a larger 3D design? I think the size is perfect, but it may have been conceived as larger. The rear compartment being clearly for Cargo would fix that. Now in fairness, the Goliath's autocannons are awkwardly mounted (they would be better as a pintel mount fired from the observation deck with a gun shield), but they can be justified as a hasty modification.

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Overall though, both vehicles are still quite cool.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/18 11:43:07

Post by: kestral

Some initial test painting of the imperial flyers - Base spray desert yellow, flow Agrax earthshade into the lines and rivits, drybrush with Army Painter "skull" or something like that, turbo fans black, then silver, Balthazar gold (again I think - the reddish, copperish one) over black on metallic engine parts. I-Walker uses a really cool gloss black enamal for flyer optics also.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/25 01:24:03

Post by: Insurgency Walker

I need to stop building things to add to your painting que.

He needed to peddle more than treachery.

odd. Double post

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/25 01:55:46

Post by: kestral

BRILLIANT! He goes to the head of line.

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Is that cart from Wreck-Age?

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I just picked up two US airborne carts that have a somewhat similar vibe. Not sure they'll be pulled by drones though.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/25 16:44:40

Post by: Captain Brown


Nice work on your campaign.

Really liked the details like the inspirational pictures for the Tau space station walls.



The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/25 22:01:12

Post by: Insurgency Walker

Yes. Wreck age carts. I liked the big scary command link drone but couldn't get it to conveniently fit in the yoke I planned on using. This version I bit more organic, just need to add some chains.


The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/26 01:17:13

Post by: Meer_Cat

Cool scene! Very Bladerunner (the real one).

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/26 11:49:49

Post by: kestral

I like the floating drone (second one) a lot.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/26 12:15:33

Post by: Insurgency Walker

Yes, it's what I was going for, I just got hung up on the other drone and magnets were not strong enough to het it hover on the end. The shield drone fits just fine in the yoke.

You can't have a proper Insurrection without exploding markets.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/29 18:04:41

Post by: kestral

*I* was thinking more like "here we see the benevolent melting pot society created by the Tau, soon to be crushed beneath the might of the imperium. Alas, T'ros that might have been...."

Exploding markets is good too, and I was actually thinking it could make a good insurrection ability - you place some bits of terrain, one of which explodes.... Or maybe the carts move around slowly. Before exploding.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/29 22:40:29

Post by: Insurgency Walker

Definitely some of that. I sometimes have visions of the Tau melting pot. Like the gun drone streetlight mock ups.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/30 01:20:12

Post by: kestral

I liked those a lot. You should post pics.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/04/01 23:41:57

Post by: kestral

La'Kase is done. She'd make a great fireblade, though they are not in the Codex I'm using for Taros.

Paint job suffers a little when you look at it this close. Also, what is up with the head sculpt from this angle?

The Return to Taros @ 2019/04/02 00:58:47

Post by: Insurgency Walker

That's a long necked Tau chick. I'll also bet some camera chip magic made her ear disappear, or maybe she doesn't have one to begin with. I imagine a skull pile like that has a hefty cost.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/04/05 20:50:11

Post by: kestral

Hmmm, good point. Maybe I should paint scar tissue on one side of the head. Might redo the eyes too.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/04/05 21:16:47

Post by: shasolenzabi

All looking great Kestrel! T'ros is a good little setting to play with.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/04/06 01:02:33

Post by: kestral

Thanks! I worry that I'm drifting away from the hard sci fi, down to "earth", minimalist nature of the original book that made it so cool, but so it goes.

I've decided that April is Airpower month, and My goal will be get as many fliers and my X -wing to 40K rules set done.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/04/12 22:05:08

Post by: kestral

Working a bit on some Tau stuff, but here is a Map I made for the Taros Campaing.

Gotta figure out how to enlarge it.

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Lets see how this looks:

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The Tau had not been idle on Taros. Though the planet remained mostly a desert dotted by a few mining operations, they had increased the population by more than 50% and engaged in numerous development projects. They had added a rail system, though this would be of little help to the Imperium unless Tau rail vehicles could be captured. They had deliberately avoided road development to facilitate control and defense of Taros. Imperial Tactitica Studies identified the following key locations:

Tarokeen - the original capital, Tarokeen remained the heart of Taros, home to much of the population, little changed from its imperial days.

Dawnwater's edge - the Beanstalk and the Tau's primary means on and off the planet.

Rinn'Vos or sometimes Ta'Rinn - the new capital and adminstrative center, located on a highly defensible penninsula.

Hydro Processing plants - adapted and updated by the Tau, these remained critical to the viability of the planet, located primarily on the opposit side of the Ithmus from Tarokeen.

Downfall - site of the original landing and evacuation, this represented a secondary landing field and was symbolically important.

Manufactorums - the Tau, no strangers to the brutality of interstellar war by this time had placed their industry in cave networks in the mountanous south, well shielded from orbital bombardment. This manufacuring ability would provide them with a key advantage in the coming conflict unless the Imperium could neutralize it. On the other hand, it was distant from their core population centers, which might prove an issue.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/04/13 16:17:24

Post by: kestral

Painted an e-bay rescue Pirhanna. I had planned to have only one, but I got a second as a gift, so it looks like this excellent tau vehicle will see more action on Taros than expected!

Hard pressed in the face of Imperial air superority, the Tau desperately turned to the versatile Pirhanna for reconnaissance, tank hunting, and even attempting to intercept Valkyrie flights. The Pirhanna crews answered the call with supreme gallantry, and many paid the ultimate price. No speciality had a higher casualty rate. The Pirhanna remained in production on Taros throughout most of the war and was a staple of the Tau defense.

I'll add some waterslide transfers when the other one is done.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/04/13 16:32:57

Post by: Flapjack

That piranha is looking great, just like the rest of it. How did you achieve the white?

The Return to Taros @ 2019/04/14 10:21:59

Post by: kestral

Thanks! The white is... ...interesting. I tried painting the panel lines in black on the bare plastic and then spraying it with a very light grey spray paint - on the theory that the spray paint wouldn't penetrate and they would still be black after coating. That didn't work. So I did my usual flowing Nuln oil into the cracks and wiping away the excess. Then I did a pretty crappy white edge highlight. I'll do better on the one I'm building up myself. I did like the overall effect though - a bit dirty and worn. It would also be a nice Marble effect if you used that light grey spray over black with a white dry brush I think.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/04/15 00:45:05

Post by: kestral

Idea to save:

Simple Tau monorail - pvc with windows hanging from an overhead rail system made from plastic. I think I could build the whole thing using my clip together plastic system, use paper printiouts for the limited detailing on the cars. Very functional, simple, durable. Each car has its own power supply.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/04/19 20:41:58

Post by: kestral

The tools with which I'll be doing the next Tau Conversion:

And the Drone Carts WIP. Red is doing his best to avoid trouble by showing both loyalist Blue and insurrection Crimson.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/04/20 00:43:08

Post by: Insurgency Walker

Nice dual color scheme. For then the side you chose is your own.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/05/02 00:02:45

Post by: kestral

Air Power April has mostly been grounded - but here are some drone carts!

The Return to Taros @ 2019/05/02 00:06:23

Post by: Meer_Cat

_Love_ the drone carts- really imaginative and well executed!

The Return to Taros @ 2019/05/05 18:59:53

Post by: kestral

All credit to I-Walker, really.

Meanwhile, the Tau War industry ramps up!

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May is too busy, but in June I'm going to get on the Tau Buildings hopefully.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/05/06 01:01:20

Post by: Syro_

Looks like another great use of everyday objects as bits. I'm looking forward to seeing these as they progress

The Return to Taros @ 2019/05/10 10:38:59

Post by: kestral

The Return to Taros @ 2019/05/10 22:47:18

Post by: kestral

There isn't much I love more than scratch building an army up to strength in preparation for some great games.

Incidentally, in the background can be seen the Hairbrush my space marine army color scheme is based on. No lie.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/05/11 01:33:34

Post by: amazingturtles

It's a good color scheme! I got a color scheme once from a travel mug

The Return to Taros @ 2019/05/19 11:11:03

Post by: kestral

Just like I keep an eye out for scratch building bits, I'm always on the look out for color combos.

Imperial Air Power in Progress:

The Return to Taros @ 2019/05/19 13:55:33

Post by: Flapjack

Cool stuff, I like the highlighting. A vulture I believe?

The Return to Taros @ 2019/05/19 18:43:26

Post by: gobert

Nice looking to vulture (?). The Tau flossing (that is what they’re made from right?) drones are shaping nicely too. Looks like you guys have an epic campaign in the making

The Return to Taros @ 2019/05/21 01:06:17

Post by: kestral

Yup, Vulture and Flossing Thingies.

Here's a WIP on the cockpit - the pilots are not fully painted yet. I'm trying to figure out how to the flying tiger shark teeth on the nose.

I'm determined to make it work, but I'm not sure about the fit.